I realize that saying I’m going to visit “Australia” is akin to saying I’m going to visit “Canada.” They’re both vast countries with vastly different things to see depending on where you are. Even so, we’re going to do our best. And while I don’t have to try and wing a foreign language like how I did in Taiwan, I also recognize that the vernacular Down Under can be a little different than what we speak around these parts.
It’s funny, because I still get odd looks from some of my American friends when I say I want a “pop,” because some of them are more inclined to call it a “soda” or, in some parts of the United States, a “coke” (even if it’s not cola). So, with that in mind, I thought I’d try to brush up on some of the Aussie-isms that I may encounter while traveling through Brisbane, Cairns, Sydney, and so on.
Yes, there is more to Australian slang than mate and crikey. Thankfully, since one of my co-workers back in the day is Australian, I’m already familiar with some of these terms. One thing that immediately jumps out is how they tend to like ending words in “y” or “ie” as in the case of “uni” (“yoo-nee” = university) or “footy” (“foot-ee” = Australian rules football, or football in general).
- dunny = toilet (usually outhouse, but not necessarily)
- arvo = afternoon
- barbie = bbq
- boot = trunk of car (same as UK)
- bonnet = hood of car(same as UK)
- windscreen = windshield
- jumper = sweater
- bluey = redhead (that’s a confusing one!)
- boomer = male kangaroo
- boozer = pub
- chewie = gum
- Back of Bourke = nowhere
- exy = expensive
- a fair go = a chance
- ute = utility vehicle (pickup truck)
- fourby = 4×4 (SUV)
- how you goin’? = how are you?
- good on ya = good for you
- she’ll be apples = don’t worry about it (or it will be fine)
- longneck = 750ml beer bottle
- mozzie = mosquito
- no worries = no problem (I use this too)
- in the nuddy = naked
- footpath = sidewalk
- Macka’s = McDonald’s
- oldies = parents
- sunnies = sunglasses
- Sheila = a woman
- tinny = can of beer
- yabber = talk a lot
Do you know any good Australian slang or lingo that might prove useful (or fun) during my trip? Let me know through the comments below.