Ah Australia, the land of beach bums, man-buns, cheese plates, and the infamous Aussie accent.
Aussie English is more than just an accent, it’s a type of English slang that can best be described as a lingual melting pot between the ‘bush’ and beach. Aussies are pretty laid back in all that they do, and language is no exception. From an American’s point of view, British English and Australian English sound somewhat similar, but the Aussies infuse their dialect with unique expressions, slang terms, and various idiosyncrasies.
I would compare an Aussie accent to a deep southern drawl on crack, because every word loosely rolls off the tongue, but at about 100 miles (km) a minute. Australian slang is truly unique, and contributes to the immense character of all Aussies.
For my fellow Americans out there – here are some new words for you to add to the vocabulary, courtesy of those down-under:
1. Heaps: This usually means lots, loads, too many, etc.
2. Arvo: What are you doing this arvo? Translation: afternoon
3. Fortnight: Every 2 weeks, or ‘fortnightly’ aka bi-weekly
4. Have a shower? Have is used instead of other words we would usually substitute such as, ‘Would you like to take’ or ‘I will take a shower.’ NO, It’s ‘Have a shower’
5. How are you going?: How are you doing? How are you? Same, same but different
6. Mum, dad. Never, ever will you hear the word my mum or my dad. Again, shortest sentences possible.
7. Capsicum: Peppers, yes they do call pepper spray, capsicum spray…
8. Keen: Are you interested? As in, ‘Are you keen to get heaps loose tonight?’ Translation: ‘Would you like to get really drunk tonight?’
9. We’re Hiring: Usually means you have to harass an employer to get interview, when you do get interview they just throw you in there. Nothing about pay will ever be brought up unless you initiate it, and you may or may not be asked to start working the next day without really knowing if you’re hired or not.
10. G’day mate: Stereotypical greeting, self explanatory.
11. Cheeky: As in, naughty
12. Brekky: The best meal of the day, abbreviation for breakfast
13. Full on: 100%, completely, entirely.
14. Bench: You better not put your butt on this, its a countertop. Tricky …
15. Boot: This is a trunk. It makes sense because it the ‘booty’ of the car
16. Lounge: Just a fancy word for any ordinary couch
17. Dusted: hungover, feeling like shit, ‘just dusty’
18. Ta: Thank you (since everything is abbreviated here they just took half the word away. Here’s your coffee. Response: Ta)
19. Cheers: Another word for thanks, usually said after ordering at a restaurant or being handed something such as a coffee or food.
20. Lollies: Not just a lollipop, any sweet candy can fall under this category.
21. Biscuits: Cookies, crackers, rice cakes, anything in the middle isles of the grocery store can basically fall into this category.
22. Boardies, swimmers, cozis, budgie smuggler: AKA swim suits, swim trunks, I think every region has a different name for swimsuit, which makes things interesting.
23. Reckon: Believe, think
24. Hot chips: This definitely shows the British influence, but these are fries. They also have created hot chip sandwiches (fries inside of a big bun, super healthy!)
25. Snitty aka Schnitzel: I had no clue how big this was here, as it is usually thought of as a German dish, but the Aussies love their snittys, and I cannot blame them. Fried goooodness.
26. Sunday sesh: My favorite day of the week in Australia, basically a Sunday funday. Consists of blindly drinking cidars, wine, or beeries (beers) all day in the sun, looking out over the ocean, with beautifully bronzed humans. SOLD.
27. GOON: All boxed wine in Australia. Don’t be fooled and go into a BWS (bottle shop aka the only place they sell liquor) looking for a box labeled ‘Goon.’ (I may or may not have done this) But this cheap, disgusting, usually warm, and hang-over ridden boxed wine is all the rage with the under-30 crowd.
28. Bogan: Redneck, hick. See UrbanDictionary for a better description
29. Flat White: It is most similar to an american latte, but so much more. The baristas here really put american coffee to shame, and the intricate coffee art is incredible.
30. Long Black: My addiction. The closest thing to black coffee in the states since they don’t have it here. So, basically its just dark-black, liquid-ecstasy. Not for the faint of heart.
31. Sambo: sandwich
32. Bird: girl, lady, hottie
33. Mozzies: Mosquitos
34. Rooted: Sex, sexual intercourse, anything to do with sex
35. Bird: female; usually attractive young female
36. Get Amongst It: get after it, do it
37. Jumper: Any jacket or sweatshirt
38. Happy hour, bottomless mimosas, buffets: Doesn’t exist, you can’t find any of that here
There are honestly so many other phrases, abbreviations, and vernacular idiosyncrasies of the Aussie language, and I love meeting new Aussies just to see what crazy sentences will pour out of their mouths. Walking around the busy streets of Bondi or Sydney will leave you listening to conversations like this, ‘Hey Mate, did you have a big one last night?’ ‘I got sauced last night and am feeling pretty dusty today.’
I hope you enjoy the Aussie lingo as much as I do, and cheers to embracing the Aussie slang in all its glory!