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Embassy Goals 26 August 2015 - by Julius Kaplan

17 Australian slang examples and what they actually mean

How much Australian slang do you know?  For example, do you know what a “dag”, a “bogan” or a “bludger” is?  If not, find out with Julius Kaplan, Academic Manager at the Embassy English school in Melbourne.  Learning slang is a great way to practise your language skills and a fun way to discover more about Australia, the Australians and their way of life.

A guide to Australian slang with examples

Julius’ quick guide covers some of the most common (and not so common) Australian phrases and expressions with handy examples of exactly when to use Ozzie slang in everyday life.

1.  Barbie : barbecue (noun)


The image was taken as a part of activities at Embassy English School in Brisbane.

Max: “Let’s have a barbie on Sunday”
Ben: “What a great idea, but what should we cook. Meat or fish?”
Max: “Meat of course! Just chuck a few snags (sausages) on the Barbie and in no time we’ll have dinner.”


2.  Bikkie : biscuit (also “it cost big bikkies” – it was expensive)

aussie_slang__0002_2. Bikkie

Holly: “I need a bikkie with my tea.“ D’ya have any bikkies left?”
Zoe: “I’ll have a look for you, but I don’t have Tim Tams. Tim Tams cost bikkies!!”
(Tim Tam – popular Australian chocolate biscuit)


3.  Bludger : lazy person, layabout

aussie_slang__0000_3. bludger

Somebody who always relies on other people to do things or lend him things

Emily: “Where’s Ben?”
Jasmine: “Down at the beach surfing. He should get a job and a haircut, he’s a real bludger.”
“Yep. He’s always asking me for a hand out (money) or wanting to use my iPad. He should buy his own.”


4.  Bogan :  a person who spends his days slacking and drinking beer

aussie_slang__0009_4. bogan

“Carol is a good sort (an attractive woman), but her brother Noel is a real Bogan. He never showers, shaves and he’s never bothered to get a job. Every time I see him he has a tinnie (beer can) in his hand.”


5.  Cark it : to die, cease functioning

cark it

Sam: “Why d’ ya (do you) look so sad mate?”
Josh: “Me (My) pet wombat just carked it. I had him for eleven years.”


6.  Chuck a sickie : take the day off from work when you’re perfectly healthy

chuck a sickie

Ben: “Where’s Edgar today?”
Holly: “He called in earlier to say he’s not coming to work today. I think he’s chucking a sickie.”
Ben: “Why’s that?”
Holly: “Cos I saw him at the movies last night and he looked pretty healthy to me.”


7.  Crook: sick, or badly made

aussie_slang__0006_7 crook

Will: “What’s wrong mate you look a bit pale?”
Dylan: “I feel really crook. Think it was the Vietnamese take away meal I ate last night.”
Will: “You poor bloke (man). Looks like you’re gonna (going to) chunder (vomit). I’m outta here! (I’m leaving in a hurry).”


8.  Dag : a funny person, nerd, goof

aussie_slang__0015_8. DAG

Zoe: “Harold is a real dag. He always wears flannel shirts and that green stupid beanie.”
Emily: “Yes, but he always has a joke to tell and a smile on his face.”
Zoe: “I reckon the world needs more dags.”


9. Dinkum/fair dinkum : true, real, genuine

aussie_slang__0017_9. Dinkrum

Jasmine: “Did you go to the Taylor Swift concert?”
Holly: “Yep, last night.”
Jasmine: “You can’t be serious?”
Holly: “Dinkum I am, she was great!”
Jasmine: “I still don’t believe you.”
Holly: “Fair dinkum mate- no porkies.” (A porky = a lie,untruth)


10.  Dinky-di : the real thing, genuine

aussie_slang__0016_10. Dynki di

Emily: “Wow! I like your engagement ring. Is that really a diamond?”
Chloe: “It’s dinky-di (pron : di =die) alright. Cost Bob bikkies to buy it… seven thousand dollars!”


11.  Garbo, garbologist : municipal garbage collector

aussie_slang__0014_14. GARBO

Mother: “Jason if you don’t do your homework, you’ll end up a garbo.”
Jason: “Excellent! What a great job. Running after the truck will me keep fit for Footy!”


12.  Heaps : a lot, e.g. “thanks heaps”, “(s)he earned heaps of money”

aussie_slang__0001_13 heaps

Jasmine: “Did you see James Packer is hanging out with Mariah Carey! He must be after her money.”
William: “What are you on (are you drunk?)? He’s got heaps of dough (money) he owns Crown Casino and half the world…”
Jasmine: “Thanks heaps for telling me, I thought he was just some bludger…”


13.  Knock back : refusal (noun), refuse (transitive verb)

aussie_slang__0018_14. Knock back

Dylan: “Why you look so sad mate?”
Jack: “I asked Janice out on a date but she knocked me back.”
Dylan: “Don’t worry mate, she may be a good sort ( very attractive woman )but she only likes blokes with heaps of dough.”
Jack: “Excellent! I’ll go and have a word with James Packer.”


14.  Lippy : lipstick

aussie_slang__0008_17 lippy

Holly: “You look nice today, Vera. There’s something different about you but I can’t work it out.”
Vera: “It’s my new lippy. It’s called Shades of Paris by Dior”


15.  Maccas (pron. “mackers”) : McDonald’s (the hamburger place)


Josh: “I’m so hungry I could eat a kangaroo!”
Will: “Don’t eat our national animal mate, I’ll buy you brekkie (breakfast).”
Josh: “Thanks mate, but only if you take me to Maccas!”


16.  No worries! : Expression of forgiveness or reassurance

aussie_slang__0004_18. No worries

The image was taken at Embassy English Surfers Paradise’s accommodation, the Islander.

No problem; forget about it; I can do it; Yes, I’ll do it
Alex: “I’m really sorry, Doug. I think I accidentally killed your pet Maltese. She ran into the road and I couldn’t brake quick enough!”
Doug: “No worries mate, Janet was getting a bit old and I wanted to get a kelpie anyway.” (Kelpie: Australian sheepdog originally bred from Scottish collie)


17.  Mate : friend, buddy

aussie_slang__0005_19. mate

Ben: “Matt is a really good mate.”
Sam: “Really?”
Ben: “Yep, he took me to Maccas for brekkie and bought me a bacon McMuffin and a double cheese burger.”
Sam: “Geez you must be happy.”
Ben: “Happy I’m totally stoked (very pleased)”


The best way to perfect your  “Australian English”? Book an English course at one of our  English schools in Australia, based in some of the most exciting places in Australia.

Julius Kaplan is the Academic Manager at Embassy English Melbourne. Follow everything going on in Melbourne on the Embassy Melbourne Facebook page.

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