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Distinctly Australian Words and Phrases:
arvo – afternoon
bewdy – also ‘beauty’, usually as in ‘a bewdy of a day’ in reference to fine weather or ‘she’s a bewdy’ in reference to a car or item of purchase.
bickie – any variety of sweet biscuit, usually served with a cup of tea
bloke – fellow, man. Particularly used in reference to older Australian men.
bloody – informal and sometimes taboo but ocker term for ‘very’
broke – used in reference to a personal situation of poor or low finances
BYO – Bring Your Own (can be seen as ‘BYOG’ Bring Your Own Grog or alcohol)
CBD – Central Business District, usually only in reference to cities not towns
chips – potato fries or dry packaged potato crisps
chock-a-block – full
chook – chicken
cockies – cockroaches; country residents especially farmers; also slang for a person from a southern state to where you are (for eg, someone in Queensland may refer to NSW residents as ‘cockies’, while NSW residents could be referring to Victorians)
come on – (as a verb) to hurry; (as an expression) showing incredulity; (as a noun) flirtation
dodgy – modern slang for unethical, corrupt, threatening or fraudulent behaviour
a dog’s breakfast – messed up, jumbled… usually referring to the way something looks or appears
fair dinkum – infrequently used, traditional ocker expression indicating sincerity
done like a dinner – finished up or completed usually in a negative, derogative, non-satisfactory way
fair go – expression calling for justice and equality either in an individual situation or for the masses
give us a go – let the speaker make an attempt
good on you – this expression can either be used positively as a form of ‘congratulations’, or negatively in sarcasm against or mocking a person’s behaviour.
heaps – slang for a lot or much
how (are) you goin’? – abbreviated form of ‘how are you going?’ or the traditional English ‘how are you?’ greeting; can also be used to gauge the progress of work completed
kick it into gear – to speed things up; to hurry up
(you’re) kidding – to be joking or not serious
lingo – language
mate – a sacred term of endearment used across generations and cultures in Australia
a nervous nellie – someone who is particularly apprehensive or fearful in situations (eg ‘don’t be a nervous nellie’)
ocker – uniquely traditionalised, informal and stereotypical Australian language, more commonly spoken in rural communities with a dry, more relaxed pronunciation and mostly at a slower pace
on ya – abbreviation of ‘on you’ and ‘good on you’; also may be used to indicate who is paying for the next shout when buying beer, eg ‘the next round is on you’
patience Prudence – ‘ocker’ expression requesting the listener to be more patient
(it’s a) ripper – it is excellent. NOT to be confused with ‘it’s a rip’ in reference to a very dangerous surf condition in the ocean.
sanga – ocker term for a sandwich
sav – abbreviated form of ‘saveloy’ or a type of sausage; the British slang ‘bangers’ is more commonly used in many a menu reference to ‘bangers and mash’ or sausages and mashed potato.
straightaway – immediately
ta – ocker form of thank you
togs/cozzie/bathers/swimmers – swimsuit
tucker – ‘ocker’ term for food
(your) shout – your turn to buy something, usually beer