• 2020.09.11
It doesn't matter how good your English is or how perfectly British your pronunciation sounds because if your dream is to fly to Australia you may have a hard time understanding Aussies (as Australians call themselves)…Yes, because Australian slang is very rich and tends to shorten almost everything. Do not you believe it? Here is a proof!
Anyone who encounters Australian slang for the first time seems rather surprised how sweet it sounds because it sounds like kids’ language: “I’ll cook barbie with mushies. Bring a coldie for my mate, please.”
Using shortened words has become Australians’ national unique feature for more than three centuries! The earliest appearance of clipped forms in the written language dates back to 1800s, and this tradition is still thriving according to the number of words, sayings and even phrases used in the Australian conversational language.
Unlike British or American slang, Australian slang terms are more recognized for their abbreviations than phrases, but that’s only for the foreigners. No matter what Aussie city you visit, from Melbourne to Victoria, most likely you will hear at least a dozen of the following phrases since all Australian phrases are not restricted to a specific region and are universally used across the country.
I’m giving you the exact translation from OZ English to standard English, accompanied by examples or definitions so the first time you participate in an organized barbie (barbecue) from your Australian mate, you won't be unprepared!
A very interesting fact about Australian slang is that, the words have nick names. The Australians have a way of shortening the long words and using them in their day to day slang.
Another very interesting fact that many of you aren’t aware of is that, the word Selfie that acquired a position in the Oxford Dictionary in 2013, has its root in Australia. The popularity of this word today is well known.

Here are few examples:

BARBIE = It’s the barbecue or BBQ in the rest of the world.
MUSHIE = Mushroom
SUNNIES = Sunglasses
Example: Wear your sunnies in the morning and in the arvo! (see below)
CUPPA = A cup of tea
BREKKIE = Breakfast
Example: For Brekkie Aussies normally eat eggs and bacon and drink a good cuppa!
PREZZIE = Present / gift
Example: I have a prezzie for you! Some coldies for your barbie!
FOOTY = American football
MOZZIE = Mosquitos
Example: For Mozzies you can wear the OZ Mosquito net hat!
MUSO = Musician
Example: My friend is a good muso and he’s also a vego! (see below)
VEGO = A vegetarian
ARVO = Afternoon
EVO = Evening
Example: Let’s have a barbie in the evo mate!

BLOODY OATH = It may sound like an Australian Bloody Mary drink but the expression bloody oath can also stand for certainly, true, I agree.
Example: “It's cold today.” “Bloody oath!”
FAIR DINKUM = Doesn’t it sound like the name of a cookie? But the expression fair dinkum means true, real, genuine.
Example: Mary is fair dinkum, you can trust him / These foods are fair dinkum
GIVE IT A BURL = It means to give something a try, an attempt.
Example: “I've never surfed” “Give it a burl, mate!”
GOOD ONYA = It means Well done! And I am pretty sure it is short for “Good on you.”
It is used to express appreciation for something or someone.
HOW YA GOIN '? = It’s easy, it means How's it going?/ How are you?
STUBBIE HOLDER = It is the slang name given to a cooler for cans of beer.
It is a container / pocket in thermal material, used to cool bottles or cans.
BUDGIE SMUGGLERS = It is a men’s swimming costume. It is another way of referring to the men's costume


  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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