An expat’s A-Z guide to Australian Slang

If you’ve just arrived in Australia, you’re probably not sure what’s going on. While Australia’s main language is English, you might have found a bit of a twist – some random informal words that sound nothing like what they are.

But worry not!

We’ve compiled an alphabetical guide to Aussie slang so you have a cheat sheet for your next neighbourhood barbie (that’s our first bonus word – Meaning: barbeque).

A-Z of Aussie slang

A is for ARVO

Meaning: Afternoon


Meaning: Tight male cozzie*. These look like undies or beachwear, depending on whether you’re at the beach or not.

C is for *COZZIE

Meaning: Swimming costume


Meaning: When you can’t remember what something is called. Also known as whatsit, thingamajig or wiso.

E is foe ESKY

Meaning: A large insulated container – you usually put food or drinks in this to keep them cool.


Meaning: Genuine.


Meaning: Surprised, astonished.

H is for HOTTIE

Meaning: Hot water bottle.

I is for IDOT BOX

Meaning: Television.

J is for JUG

Meaning: Kettle.

K is for KINDIE

Meaning: Kindergarten, for children.

L is for LIPPY

Meaning: Either lipstick or term used to describe someone who is being cheeky (this one depends on the context).

M is for MOZZIE

Meaning: Mosquitos.

N is for NIPPER

Meaning: A child.

O is for OZ

Meaning: Australia

P is for PREZZY

Meaning: Present or gift

Q is for QUID

Meaning: Making a: earning a living “making a quid.”

R is for RIPPER

Meaning: Great, bloody fantastic.

S is for STREWTH

Meaning: Exclamation – “strewth those thongs are nice.”

T is for THONGS

Meaning: Sandals.

U is for UTE

Meaning: Utility vehicle, truck.

V is for VINNIE’S

Meaning: St Vincent De Paul’s (charity store).

W is for WUSS

Meaning: Coward, a person who scares easily.

X is for…

Meaning: (Cut us a break, finding a word for X is too much hard yakka!*)

Y is for *YAKKA

Meaning: Work.

Z is for ZINGER

Meaning: A witty remark.

Aussie Sayings

On top of those, you may hear a few of these sayings out and about:

“She’ll be right”

Meaning: It will be fine.

“Tell him he’s dreaming”

Meaning: When you’re trying to say something’s unrealistic (From the movie: The Castle).

“Buckley’s chance of that happening”

Meaning: Unlikely.

“It’s gone walkabout”

Meaning: Lost, not to be found.

We hope some of those will come in handy on your next trip down under. If you’re feeling brave, you can probably make up some words of your own. After all, who’s going to notice or care anyway?

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