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Guide To Aussie Slang: 30 Australian English Phrases and Idioms

Australian English Phrases and Idioms

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Australian English is more than just an accent – it's a totally different way of speaking. From the unique Aussie slang to how they shorten words, this variety of English is full of colorful expressions that can bewilder outsiders. It can be difficult enough to understand someone with a strong accent, but if they're using unfamiliar slang terms as well, it can be impossible! However, don't worry – we've got you covered.

In this guide, we'll introduce you to some of the most common and colorful Aussie slang phrases. By the end, you should have a much better understanding of how Australians speak and learn a few handy expressions you can use yourself.

What is Aussie Slang?

Before we dive in, let's start with a quick definition of Australian slang. Slang refers to words and phrases that are used informally in everyday speech. It includes things like shortened words, nicknames, and colloquialisms. Also, there are phrases from everyday conversation and some more colorful Aussie slang words that you might only hear down at the pub.

Australian English has its unique brand of slang developed over the years from various sources. It has borrowed heavily from other varieties of English, as well as from a number of languages spoken by immigrants. As a result, it's a rich and colorful form with many Aussie words that can be difficult to understand if you're not familiar with them. This has resulted in a unique dialect that is distinctly Australian. While some terms may be familiar to speakers of other varieties of English, other Australian sayings can be quite impenetrable for outsiders.

Aussies often use slang to give things a more laid-back feel or to lighten the tone of a conversation. It can also be used as a way of bonding with others, as it can help to create an instant sense of rapport and camaraderie. In many cases, it's also just more fun to say!

As well as being used informally between friends, you can also hear Australian slang phrases in a popular culture, particularly in movies, TV shows, and music. Celebrities and public figures also use it to endear themselves to the Australian people.

Why Do You Need to Learn Aussie Slang Phrases?

Learning Aussie saying is never a waste of time. It doesn't matter if you want to travel, make friends, improve your career prospects or just understand what people say on TV. Being able to speak like a local will give you a real advantage.

Of course, you could always look up all Australian slang words you don't understand, but that would take forever – and it wouldn't be convenient either. A better solution is to learn some of the most common expressions before you travel, or just start watching that new show. That way, they won't seem so alien when you hear them used in conversation.

Let's look at the main reasons why you should learn Australian expressions:

  • If you're planning a trip to Australia or have Australian friends, it's important to be aware of the language differences. In addition to the accent, many phrases are unique to Australian English – words you might not find in other dialects. Even if you're just watching an Australian movie or TV show, you might find yourself lost without knowing what certain words and phrases mean.
  • Australian slang sayings can also be useful in the workplace. If you're dealing with Australian clients or colleagues, being able to speak their language will help to build rapport and trust. It shows that you're interested in their culture and willing to make an effort to understand them. This can be a valuable asset in any business dealings.
  • Slang can be useful in other English-speaking countries, as many of the terms and expressions have made their way overseas. So, even if you're not planning on visiting Australia any time soon, it might still be worth learning some Aussie slang for your next trip abroad.
  • Learning Australian sayings is just plain fun. It's a great way to improve your English vocabulary and sound more like a native speaker. You might even find yourself using some phrases in your everyday speech!

While understanding Aussie Australian idioms is not essential for enjoying your time in Australia, it will certainly make things easier – especially if you're planning on spending any length of time there. It can be enough to break the ice and make new friends, even if you only pick up a few key phrases. So whether you're looking to improve your communication skills or just have some fun, learning Australian English phrases and idioms is definitely worth your while!

Top Australian Slang Words You Need to Know

So, without further ado, let's jump in and take a look at some of the best Australian idioms and words. They're sure to get you talking like a local in no time!

Fair dinkum

This Aussie phrase describes something that is genuine. If someone tells you that they're fair dinkum, they're telling you that they mean what they say, and you can trust them.

Arvo

This word is a shortened form of “afternoon.” If you want to wish someone a good afternoon, you can say, “have a good arvo!”

Hard yakka

This phrase is used to describe hard work, particularly manual labor. If someone has been working hard all day, you might say, “That was some hard yakka!” to show appreciation.

My shout

My shout describes a situation where someone offers to pay for something. They shout if you're out with friends and someone offers to buy the next round of drinks.

No worries

This is one of the things Australians say when they mean “you're welcome” or “it was no trouble at all.” It's a widespread phrase in Australia that will endear you to locals if you use it yourself.

Strewth! 

This exclamation can be used when you're surprised, shocked, or amazed by something. It might not be the most polite thing to say, but it definitely gets your point across!

Brekkie

This word is a shortened form of “breakfast,” and it's one that you'll hear a lot in Australia. Whether you're grabbing a quick bite to eat before work or sitting down for a full fry-up, this word will definitely come in handy.

You beaut!

If something really good happens or you see something impressive, this phrase is the perfect way to express your amazement. It's informal but still perfectly polite, making you sound like a true Aussie.

Straya

If someone wants to show their patriotism, there's no better way to do it than by using this word. It's a shortened form of “Australia” that can be used as both a noun and an adjective. For example, Aussies can say, “I love my country! Go, Straya!”

Ta

This word is a very common way to say “thank you.” It's short, sweet, and to the point, which makes it perfect for everyday situations.

Hooroo

It is used to say goodbye, yet another example of how Australians like to shorten words. So, use hooroo instead of “goodbye” the next time you need to leave.

Sanger

This Australian saying is used to describe a sandwich, and it's yet another case of the word shortening. If you want to sound truly Australian, use this word instead of “sandwich” when you order one.

Servo

If someone from Australia asks if you want to stop at the servo, they're asking if you want to stop at the gas station – yet another example of an Aussie shortcut.

Bogan

A bogan is a person who is considered to be unsophisticated or lacking in taste. It's not necessarily a negative term, but it's usually used to describe someone considered lower class.

Rego

Rego is a shortened form of the word “registration,” and it's used to refer to the registration plate on a car. So, if you want to ask someone for their rego, you're asking for their license plate number.

Chook

A chook is a chicken, so if you hear someone talking about buying a chook, they're probably talking about buying a chicken for dinner.

Ute

A ute is a type of vehicle that is similar to a pick-up truck. It's a very popular type of car in Australia, and it's often used for work or leisure activities.

Brolly

This Aussie saying is an umbrella, so if you see someone walking around with a brolly on a sunny day, they're probably trying to stay cool and avoid getting sunburned.

Cactus

A cactus is a person who is unpleasant or disliked. It can also be used to describe something that is broken or not working properly.

Cobber

This word has a few different meanings, but it's generally used to refer to a friend or mate. You can also use it to describe someone helping you out, as in “my cobber will help me with the move.”

The Most Popular Australian Slang Sentences

In addition to individual words and phrases, Australian English also has its own unique way of constructing sentences. This often involves shortened words and slang terms, so it can be difficult to understand if you're not familiar with the lingo. To help you out, we've compiled a list of some of the most popular Australian sentences.

G'day, mate, how are ya?

G'day, mate - Aussie Slang

This is one of the most quintessentially Australian things you can say. It's a casual greeting that can be used with anyone, whether you know them well or not. If you want to make a good impression when you first meet someone, this is definitely one of the Australian greetings to use.

No worries, mate, she’ll be right

It is used to describe a situation that may seem bad but will ultimately be fine. It's the perfect way to reassure someone who is stressed out or worried about something.

Give me a bell

This phrase simply means, “give me a call.” So, if you want someone to contact you, you can say, “give me a bell.”

Have a Captain Cook

This is one of the most popular Aussie idioms, which is used as a way of telling someone to have a good look around, for example, when you're looking for something and can't find it. For example, if you lose your phone, you might say to your friend, “have a captain cook and see if you can spot it anywhere.”

Wrap your laughing gear ‘round that

This Aussie saying is used to tell someone to go ahead and eat something, usually food that looks particularly good. So, if you're at a restaurant, and you see a dish you really want to try, you might say this to your dining companion.

Pull the wool over your eyes

This sentence means that someone is trying to trick you or deceive you in some way. It's a way of telling them that you see through their deception, and you're not going to let them get away with it.

Throw a shrimp on the barbie

It is among the top Australian slang sentences, which simply means “to cook outdoors on a barbecue.” It's often used as an invitation to others, as in, “Why don't you come over for a barbie, and we'll throw some shrimp on?”

Onya bike. Tell your story walkin’

This is a dismissive way of telling someone to go away. It's the equivalent of saying “get lost” or “piss off” in other English-speaking countries.

Have a go, ya mug

This is one of the Aussie slang sentences used to encourage someone to have a go at something, even if they're not confident they'll succeed. It's the Australian equivalent of saying “give it a shot” or “go for it.”

Do the Harry

This means doing a disappearing act, especially when you're supposed to be doing something. For example, if you say, “I'm going to do the Harry and leave this party early,” it means you're going to sneak away without anyone noticing.

Mastering Australian English: 5 Tips to Speak Like a True Aussie

It is no secret that Australian English is quite different from British and American ones. In fact, many people who speak English as a second language find it to be one of the most difficult dialects to understand. However, with a little practice, it is possible to master this variety and even start using some unique Aussie phrases and expressions. Here are 5 tips to help you speak like a true Aussie:

  • Learn the basics first. Before you start learning Australian slang, it is important to ensure that you understand the basic grammar and vocabulary well. Once you have a firm foundation, you can add colloquial words and expressions more easily. A great way to practice is to watch movies or listen to podcasts. Not only will this help you improve your understanding of the language, but it will also give you an insight into the culture and everyday life Down Under.
  • Use Aussie sentences sparingly. While it can be tempting to overdo it with the Aussie slang once you start learning it, try to use it only sparingly until you get the hang of how it sounds in natural conversation. In addition, keep in mind that not everyone appreciates too much slang – so use these new terms and expressions wisely!
  • Try to pronounce words in the way that Australians do. One of the most enduring challenges when learning Australian English is mastering pronunciation. Many words are pronounced differently than in other dialects due to the influence of Aboriginal languages. For example, Australians tend to elongate vowel sounds and drop consonants (e.g., “barbie” instead of “barbecue”).
  • Listen to Australian radio and TV. A great way to become more familiar with the sound of the language is to listen to local radio and television programs. Not only will this help you improve your listening skills, but you will also get exposed to various accents across the country.
  • Sign up for a course. If you want to really perfect your Australian English, consider taking some language courses. These can be found online, and they will help you learn the ins and outs of the dialect in a structured way. In addition, you will have an opportunity to practice speaking with other learners – which is essential for developing fluency.

So, there you have it – 5 tips to help you speak more naturally and learn Australian phrases! Just remember, practice makes perfect. The more you immerse yourself in the language, the easier it will become. Soon enough, you'll speak Australian English like a native!

Learning Australian English with Promova

If you want to really perfect your English and learn popular Aussie slang sayings, consider taking a language course at Promova. It will help you learn the ins and outs of the dialect in a structured way. In addition, you will have an opportunity to practice speaking with tutors who are native speakers, which is essential for developing fluency. 

Promova offers several different Australian English courses that can be tailored to your specific needs and level of proficiency. For example, you can take individual classes to focus on areas that you find more difficult, or join a group class to practice conversation and pronunciation. 

Our courses are designed by experienced language teachers and are perfect for those who want to improve their skills in a structured way. The tutors are also native Australian English speakers, so you can be sure that you're learning the language from experts.
Furthermore, you can take advantage of our app, which provides extra practice material and allows you to learn new words. Thanks to this, you can make significant progress in a relatively short amount of time.

Conclusion

Australian English is a unique dialect that can be difficult to understand – even for native speakers. However, with a little practice, it is possible to master the basics and even start using some of the colorful Australian slang and expressions. It's all about training, so try to listen to Australian radio and TV or practice with native speakers. Furthermore, if you want to have a deeper understanding of the language, consider taking one of Promova's Australian English courses. And with enough time and effort, you'll be speaking like a true Aussie.

FAQ

In Which English-Speaking Countries Is Australian English Used?

It is mainly used in Australia, as the name suggests. But since many people in New Zealand have Australian ancestors, they also tend to use some vocabulary and phrases. Moreover, due to the increased popularity of Australian media and culture worldwide, you can hear Aussie quotes almost anywhere now.

Do I Need to Learn Australian English Phrases and Idioms?

It depends on your purpose. If you want to understand Australian movies, songs, and TV shows better, learning some phrases will definitely help you. Also, knowing at least the basics will make communication much easier if you travel to Australia or New Zealand for a vacation or business trip.

How Can I Learn to Speak Australian English Like a True Aussie?

To sound like a true Aussie, you must on your accent and intonation. Also, make sure to follow grammar rules and use unique Aussie expressions. And last but not least, don't be afraid to experiment with slang words and phrases – that makes this variety of language so unique and interesting!

What Are Some Australian English Resources Available?

Many resources are available online if you want to learn more about Australian English. Here are just a few examples: The Australian National Dictionary and Macquarie Dictionary.

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