Australian Slang Words Students Must Know

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Allaa Ashraf

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05 June, 2023

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5 mins read

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Student life in Australia is an absolute blast, mate! It's a ripper of an experience, I tell you. Picture this: waking up in your trackie dacks, craving a brekkie with your mates at a local café. As you stroll down the street, you're greeted with friendly "G'days" and contagious smiles from fellow students. The arvo rolls around, and it's time to hit the books (or maybe take a sneaky breather). Don't be surprised if your classmates throw around slang words like "chockers" or "ripper" during lectures, making it a uniquely Aussie academic adventure. After a hard day of study, it's time to fire up the barbie and enjoy some snags with your newfound friends. And if you're up for some fun, head to the local servo for a cheeky Maccas run or grab a tinny to relax by the beach. These are just a few of the reasons why you should study in Australia!

As a foreigner to Australian culture, we believe you may not have understood some of the words mentioned above. That’s okay, though. That’s what this blog is all about! We’re here to teach you Australian slang!

Australian slang is a unique and colourful aspect of the country's culture and language. For international students studying in Australia, familiarising themselves with Australian slang can greatly enhance their understanding and integration into local communities. 

This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to Australian slang words that are commonly used in everyday conversations. By learning these terms, students can navigate social situations with ease and develop a deeper appreciation for the Australian way of life. Come on, let’s dive in!

Australian Slang

Australian Slang Words You Should Know:

Aussie = Australian

It simply means Australian, someone from Australia. So when Australian people refer to themselves, they say Aussies do so and so.

Arvo = Afternoon

Short for "afternoon," "Arrvo" is a widely used term to refer to the time between noon and evening. For example, "See you this arvo" means "See you this afternoon."

Sickie = Sick Day

Taking a "sickie" means taking a sick day off from work or school when one is not genuinely ill. It implies taking a day off for leisure or relaxation.

Servo = Petrol Station

Short for "service station," "servo" refers to a gas station or petrol station. Australians frequently use this term when discussing refuelling or purchasing items at a gas station.

Sheila = Girl

Yes, that is the Australian slang for girl.

Tinnies = Cans of Beer

But the Australian slang for beer is amber fluid. Some states call it a pint, and in others, it is a schooner. Stubby meaning? a squat bottle of beer typically holding 375 cl. Go figure!

Beauty! = Beautiful 

If you want to know the Australian slang for beautiful, here it is. It is commonly used to say "great.”

Hooroo = Goodbye

Australian goodbye is “Hooroo”; sometimes they even “cheerio” like British people, a UK slang word.

Bonzer = Excellent

It is the Australian equivalent of the American term “awesome”. Aussies sometimes also use “ace” like British people.

Chrissie = Christmas

Yup. Aussies call Christmas a “Chrissie.” In Australia, cold seafood Christmas dinners are preferred over hot turkey ones.

Facey = Facebook

It is mostly popular among university students in Australia who want to refer to Facebook.

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Barbie = Barbeque

You had it coming, didn’t you? An abbreviation for "barbecue," "barbie" represents a typical Australian social gathering where food is cooked on a grill outdoors. Australians love their barbies and often use this term to invite friends over for a casual outdoor meal.

Durry = Cigarette

Durry is the common Australian term for a cigarette. Among the younger generation, it is often called “ciggies” or “darts”. Both ways, stay away from smoking!

Billy = Teapot

Yep, unusual, isn’t it? A teapot has a nickname!

Bloody = Very

You’ll find that Aussies use this one quite a lot rather than simply saying “very”.

Australian Slang

Dunny = Toilet

Yeah, they have a nickname for the toilet, too.

Sanger = Sandwich

Not “singer”, but “sanger”. This one pretty much refers to any sandwich.

Sunnies = Sunglasses

As you’ve noticed, Australians tend to use “ie” at the end of a slang word, and this one refers to sunglasses.

Tea = Dinner 

We know, we know. This one is quite confusing. Your Australian friend might ask you over for dinner using this word, and you’d think he’s casually inviting you for a cup of tea.

G'day = Good Day

Derived from "Good day," "G'day" is an informal Australian greeting used to say “hello” or “hi”. It is an iconic Aussie slang term representing friendliness and a laid-back attitude.

Mate = Friend

One of the most commonly used Australian slang words, "mate", refers to a friend, buddy, or companion. It is used as a term of endearment and can be used to address both males and females.

Brekkie = Breakfast

Derived from "breakfast," "brekkie" refers to the morning meal. Australians often use this term to ask or discuss plans for having breakfast together.

australian slang

Bottle-O = Liquor Store

Informally known as the "bottle shop," the "bottle-O" refers to a liquor store or a place to buy alcoholic beverages.

Maccas = McDonald’s

A popular slang term for McDonald's, "Maccas", is used colloquially to refer to the fast-food chain and its outlets.

Breather/Breatho = Break

These terms are used to describe a short break or rest during an activity or work. For example, "I need to take a breather" means "I need to take a short break."

Ripper = Excellent

Used to express excitement or approval, "ripper" means something that is excellent or great. It is commonly used to describe a positive experience or a situation.

Chockers = Full

When something is "chockers," it means it is extremely full or crowded. This term is often used to describe a busy place or event.

Trackie Dacks = Comfortable Pants

"Trackie dacks" is a colloquial term for comfortable, casual pants or tracksuit bottoms. Australians often wear these relaxed garments for leisure or during informal occasions.

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Final Tip

To further expand your knowledge of Australian slang, it is recommended to engage in conversations with native speakers, watch Australian movies and TV shows, and actively participate in social activities. Embracing the local language will help you communicate more effectively and foster connections and friendships during your time in Australia.

And there you have it! Understanding Australian slang words is essential for international students studying in Australia. By learning these terms, students can connect with locals, engage in conversations more effectively, and immerse themselves in Australia's unique culture. The slang words mentioned in this comprehensive guide are just the tip of the iceberg, as Australian slang is incredibly diverse and constantly evolving. It is worth noting that context and tone play a significant role in understanding and using slang appropriately.

Remember, Australian slang is all about having a bit of fun and embracing the laid-back Australian spirit. So, go ahead, use these slang words with confidence, and enjoy the linguistic adventure that comes with immersing yourself in Australian culture!

If you are interested in slangs, try reading our UK Slang Words Every Student Should Know blog article.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the most common Australian slang?

The most common Australian slang term is probably "mate," which is used to refer to a friend or companion.

2. How do you say cool in Australian slang?

Australians say "cool" as "ripper" or "heaps good" in slang.

3. How do you say hello in Aussie slang?

In Aussie slang, "hello" is often replaced with "G'day."

4. How do Australians say sorry?

Australians typically say "sorry" as "sorry" itself, without any significant variation in slang.

5. How do Australians say no?

Australians often say "no" as "nah" or "no worries" in casual conversations.


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