There are a few things you will notice straightway when you talk to Australians (or Aussies for short). First, they tend to add the word “aye” to many sentences – but don’t worry about that, it doesn’t really mean anything. Secondly, they LOVE to use slang. Lots and lots of slang.
Many of these are actually abbreviations. For example: arvo is short for afternoon (as in: “Do you wanna come over this arvo?”), prezzie is short for present (as in: “You got me a birthday prezzie? Cheers, mate!”, barbie is short for barbeque (as in: “Put another prawn on the barbie!”), mozzie is short for mosquito and servo is short for service station (a gas/petrol station).
However, there are many other great Australian expressions that you are likely to hear in everyday conversation. Here are 12 of the most common ones.
Traditionally, Aboriginal Australian boys would go into the outback for several months to show that they could survive alone. This was called the Walkabout, and when they came back they were considered to have grown into an adult. Today, Australians say that any person (especially a young person) who is traveling or backpacking overseas has “gone walkabout”.
Do the Harry
In 1967, the Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt went swimming in the sea and disappeared without a trace. If someone tells you to “do the Harry”, it means you should get the hell out of there – or in other words, make yourself disappear.
She’ll Be Right
This simply means that everything is going to be fine.
Most beers are sold in tin cans, which Australians abbreviate to “tinnies”. A tinny is a can of beer – expect to be offered plenty of them at any Aussie barbie!
This is what you put your tinnies in to keep them cold. It’s a plastic cool box that you can carry around with you (especially if you’re having a barbie and need to keep your beers cold while they’re outside!)
This is where you buy your tinnies from. It’s short for “bottle shop” or a shop that mostly sells alcoholic drinks.
Okay, you might have noticed a theme here – Aussies love their beer! A slab is a pack of 12 tinnies.
A few stubbies short of a six-pack
This means that someone is a slow learner or not very smart. A stubbie is another word for a tinny and a six-pack means a pack of six beers/tinnies/stubbies. So, this suggests that there is something missing or lacking – in this case, intelligence.
This is a general term that means something is good or great. Aussies use it all the time! In this phrase, “as” means very and you might hear people add it to other expressions, too.
A pash is short for a passionate kiss – and so a pash rash is what you get if you have a passionate kiss with a person who has a beard!
The Australian version of a redneck or hillbilly. Generally it means someone who lives in a poor, rural area, has plenty of tattoos, some missing teeth and possibly a drug problem.
I Wouldn’t Piss On Him If He Was On Fire
In this context, pissing is a rude way of saying urinating. I wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire means that you hate someone so much that you wouldn’t try to help them in any way if they were on fire – even by pissing on them!
What’s your favourite Australian slang expression? Have you heard any others but don’t know what they mean? Let us know in the comments section below!