Travelling to Australia? Even if you speak English you will need to read this to understand what Aussies are saying!
G’day mate! (pronounced Gidday mate)
As soon as you hear someone say that you know they are an Aussie, it is a well known Australian phrase. However, like most countries Australia has its own way of speaking English with words that sound like another language, even to other native speakers.
Australia was colonised by the British in the 18th century and still maintain a close relationship with the Brits. As such they take a lot of their slang words and terminology from the Brits for instance “mate” (friend) and “boot” (car trunk).
But Australia also developed its own style.
Australians often shorten words such as:
Agro – aggressive
Arvo – afternoon
Avo – avocado
Barbie – BBQ
Boardies – board shorts
Bottle-o – bottle shop (liquor store)
Breakie – breakfast
Chippy – carpenter
Ciggies – cigarettes
Firey – firefighter
Footy – football
Maccas – McDonalds
Mozzies – mosquitoes
Rego – registration (car registration)
Rellies/Relos – relatives
Servo – service station (gas station)
Sunnies – sunglasses
Trackies – tracksuit pants
Uni – university
Woolies – Woolworths (supermarket)
And that is not an exhaustive list!
Now let’s get on to some of Aussies strangest words!
Most people know of the more common Australian sayings and words that have been made popular in movies and television shows. Often these are not regularly used in common day to day conversations by Australians so here are some common words and how they are used.
“I’m gonna chuck a sickie, grab a chook, some stubbies and take my togs down the beach, wanna come?”
“Defo! I’ll bring my esky and the fourby.”
Now the translation!
“I’m going to take a day off work as a sick day (even though I’m not sick), get a roast chicken, some bottles of beer and take my swimming costume down to the beach, want to come?”
“Definitely! I’ll bring my ice cooler and my 4 wheel drive car.”
As an Australian, the translation sounds so formal to me!
Here are some more common words and their translations. And yes most Australians use these words regularly.
Cactus – broken (This car is cactus!)
Cark it – die or stop working (If I keep eating this bad food, I will cark it)
Dodgy – dishonest or unreliable (That man is so dodgy)
Iffy – dodgy or questionable (This meat is a bit iffy)
Kick the bucket – die (When I kick the bucket I hope it’s quick)
Rooted – broken (This car is rooted)
Sook – cry or whinge/whinger (That man is a real sook)
Stoked – happy or excited (I’m stoked about the concert)
Stuffed – tired or exhausted (I’m totally stuffed after work)
Stuffed – full after eating (I’m stuffed)
Stuffed – ruined or broken (The car’s stuffed)
Check out this video of 2 Aussies speaking for more words!