We’ve spoken previously about the fun to be had when you can mix some local slang into your English. It helps you feel part of the community and helps your English sound more natural. Let’s not forget that it’s also really fun and even a bit silly sometimes! With that in mind, read on for a list of our choices on Aussie (Australian) slang. Perfect for those of you currently studying English in Australia. In fact, students in EC Brisbane will already be familiar with the slang inspired artworks on the walls of the school!
One of the first things you’ll hear when in Australia, is the classic “G’day, mate”, which is basically the same as saying, “good day”, or “hello”. So feel free to use this one from day 1 and watch the smiles around you as people respond with, “g’day mate”, which means “hello, friend”.
There are two usages for this word. A bikkie is a biscuit, and saying that something “cost big bikkies” is the Aussie way to say that something is expensive. For example, “Did you bring your own surfboard to Australia?”, “No, mate, it cost big bikkies to do that, so I’ll rent a board while I’m here instead.”
Make friends with these words… immediately! Both words mean ‘great’ or ‘fantastic’ and when you think of the adventure awaiting you while studying English abroad, these words will be very useful. When people ask you how school is going, you can simply reply, “it’s bonza!” When asked how the party was the night before, “oh it was ripper, the best night of my life!”
4. Make a blue
This could be a fun word to try with your teacher in Australia someday. If you make a mistake in class and you notice it, don’t worry. Simply raise your hand, and when the teacher addresses you let them know, “I think I made a blue”. They’ll immediately understand what you mean!
5. She’ll be right
After you use the word in the section above, your teacher may respond with “she’ll be right”. There’s no need to sit there scratching your head, because what they mean is “everything will be ok”. Reassurance served with a slice of slang. Bonza!
A common word that Aussies use to express surprise, exclamation or disappointment. Similar to saying, “oh my god!”, for example. The more you use it, the more familiar you’ll become with it. Some common ones you’ll hear could be, “strewth! I forgot about our exam on Friday”, and “strewth, it’s hot today!”
Any Australian you meet will tell you of their fondness for abbreviating, or shortening, words. This goes for everything from Australian to Aussie, Australia to Straya and sandwich to sanga. Yes, sanga! The most favourite of which is a sausage sanga. I think we all know what you should order for lunch today!
This one catches out the non-Australian English speakers, as well as the non-native English speakers. But don’t worry, it’s always met with a smile and a friendly laugh. In Australia, thongs are your flip-flops. In the rest of the English-speaking world, thongs are underwear. So, if someone tells you to bring your thongs to the beach, you now know what they mean!
9. A flaming galah
Every article about slang needs at least one example like this. A galah is a pink cockatoo, a bird native to Australia. However, a flaming galah is someone who is a bit of an idiot, or a silly person; but is also loveable, and able to laugh at their own silliness.
10. Goon, stubby and bottle shop
When the time comes for your iconic Australian BBQ, you’ll need to go to the nearest bottle shop for some goon (cheap wine) or a crate of stubbies (small bottles of beer). Someone else will bring the shrimp, someone brings the burgers, someone else brings the veggies. A recipe for a Strayan night to remember!
With these words in your head and some enthusiasm to get out there and talk with the locals, you’ll be feeling at home in Australia in no time. Speaking English with slang is all about having fun, and in Australia, you’re in the home of a good time.
Are you planning to study English abroad? EC offers classes in a variety of tempting locations around the world and they’re waiting for you.