..the lingo…

Speakin’ ‘Strayan…

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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