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Fair dinkum! – getting to know your lingo from your dingo

“G’day!” That cheerful, welcoming line is perhaps the best-known and amiable phrase in the Australian vocabulary. It is an invitation to a good-natured chat and almost always prompts a smile in return. In some ways, “G’day” communicates the best of Australian culture: welcoming, laid-back and easy-going friendliness to all.

Such is the power of good slang and, as anyone from Australia will tell you, it is everywhere here! Not just down at the local pub, at the beach or around the barbie, but also in the workplace and across the conference tables as well. It is part and parcel of everyday life so, for anyone planning on making the move to Australia for work or pleasure, it is a good idea to be familiar with at least some of the most common phrases and references so that you don’t find yourself out “back of Bourke” when you really only wanted to find the dunny!

So, to get you started, keep this as your reference guide so you can keep on top of Aussie conversation while waiting in the sausage sizzle line up at the footy (meaning AFL or rugby – NOT soccer!):-

Phrase/term = Meaning

Ace = great, excellent

Ankle-biter = child

Arvo = afternoon

Barbie = barbecue

Barrack = support (a sports team)

Bathers (also swimmers, cozzies) = garment you swim in

Bogan = Uncouth or uncool person

Bottle-o = bottle shop (liquor store)

Bloke = male

Bludger = lazy person

Buggered = tired, broken

Call it a day = finish what you are doing

Dodgy = not quite right, suspicious

Dunny = toilet

Fair go = give someone an equal chance

Fair dinkum = for real. Serious.

Give someone a bell = call someone on the phone

Good on ya = good for you (can be sarcastic)

Have a blue =have a fight

Hot under the collar = get angry

Idiot box = television

Jumper = sweater

Knock something = to criticise something

Lamingtons = sponge cakes coated in chocolate and grated coconut

Larrakin =a prankster, someone who likes to have a laugh

Little Aussie battler = someone bravely overcoming hardship

Maccas = McDonalds

Mate = term of friendship

Mucking around = playing games, being foolish

No worries = no problem, reassurance

Reckon = to agree, an opinion

Rip off = to cheat

Rug up = dress warmly

Servo = service station (gas station)

She'll be right = it'll be fine, reassurance

Shout = to pay for the next round of drinks

Show you the ropes = show you how things work

Slack = lazy

Slab = pack of 24 cans of beer

Spewin' = not happy

Spuda = potato

Spunk = a good looking person of either sex

Sucked in = to be conned or tricked into something

Sunnies = sunglasses

Ta = thank you

Take or chuck a sickie = have a day off work

Thongs = cheap rubber backless sandals

Trackie daks = tracksuit pants

True blue = genuinely Australian

Uni = university

Up yourself = have a high opinion of yourself

Veggies = vegetables Veggo = a vegetarian

Whinge = complain

Wonky = something unstable, unsteady or shaky

Wussa = coward

Yobbo = a rowdy/loud/disruptive person

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