Lost in Translation – Australian Slang Part 1

I thought I would compile a list of common Australian Slang terms & sayings. Sometimes online translators do not know what these terms mean.

Too many for one Blog, so I will post a list once a week, starting with A,B & C.

Try them out on your friends and see what their reactions are. Better still, find an Aussie and try one out.

A

Ankle biter : small child
Apples, she’ll be : It’ll be all right
Arvo : afternoon
Aussie (pron. Ozzie) : Australian
Aussie salute : brushing away flies with the hand

B

B & S : Bachelors’ and Spinsters’ Ball – a very enjoyable party usually held in rural areas
Back of Bourke : a very long way away
Bail (somebody) up : to corner somebody physically
Bail out : depart, usually angrily
Barbie : barbecue (noun)
Barrack : to cheer on (football team etc.)
Bastard : term of endearment or a curse
Bathers : swimming costume
Battler : someone working hard and only just making a living
Beaut: beauty : great, fantastic
Big Smoke : a big city, especially Sydney or Melbourne
Big-note oneself : brag, boast
Bikkie : biscuit (also “it cost big bikkies” – it was expensive)
Billabong : a lake cut off by a change in the watercourse. Billabongs are usually formed when the course of a creek or river changes, leaving the former branch with a
dead end.
Billy : teapot. Container for boiling water.
Bingle : motor vehicle accident
Bities : biting insects
Bitzer : mongrel dog (bits of this and bits of that)
Black Stump, beyond the : a long way away, the back of nowhere
Bloke : man, guy
Bloody : very (bloody hard yakka)
Bloody oath! : that’s certainly true
Blowie : blow fly
Bludger : lazy person, layabout, somebody who always relies on other people to do things or lend him things
Blue : fight (“he was having a blue with his wife”)
Blue, make a : make a mistake or a nickname for a redhead
Bluey : blue cattle dog (named after its subtle markings) which is an excellent working dog. Everyone’s favourite all-Aussie dog.
Bluey : bluebottle jellyfish
Bodgy : of inferior quality
Bogan : person who takes little pride in his appearance, spends his days slacking and drinking beer
Bogged : Stuck in mud, deep sand (a vehicle).
Bonzer : great, ripper
Boogie board : a hybrid, half-sized surf board
Boomer : a large male kangaroo
Booze bus : police vehicle used for catching drunk drivers
Boozer : a pub
Bottler : something excellent
Brass razoo, he hasn’t got a : he’s very poor
Brekkie : breakfast
Brick shit house, built like a : big strong bloke
Brickie : bricklayer
Brumby : a wild horse
Buck’s night : stag party, male gathering the night before the wedding
Buckley’s, Buckley’s chance : no chance (“England stands Buckley’s of beating Australia at football”)
Budgie smugglers : men’s bathing costume
Bull bar : stout bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroos (also roo bar)
Bundy : short for Bundaberg, Queensland, and the brand of rum that’s made there
Bunyip : mythical outback creature
Bush : the hinterland, the Outback, anywhere that isn’t in town
Bush bash : long competitive running or motorcar race through the bush
Bush oyster : nasal mucus
Bush TV : campfire
Bushie : someone who lives in the Bush
Bushranger : highwayman, outlaw

C

Cactus : dead, not functioning (“this bloody washing machine is cactus”)
Captain Cook : look (noun) (“let’s have a Captain Cook at it”)
Cark it : to die, cease functioning
Chewie : chewing gum
Chokkie : chocolate
Chook : a chicken
Chrissie : Christmas
Chuck a sickie : take the day off sick from work when you’re perfectly healthy
Chunder : vomit
Clacker : anus (from Latin cloaca = sewer). Also the single orifice of monotremes (platypus and echidna) used both for reproduction and for the elimination of body
wastes.
Click : kilometre – “it’s 10 clicks away”
Clucky : feeling broody or maternal
Coathanger : Sydney Harbour bridge
Cobber : friend
Cockie : farmer (Farmers were called cockies in the early days of European settlement because, like the birds of the same name( Cockatoo), they made their homes on the edges of
permanent waterholes)
Cockie : cockatoo
Cockie : cockroach
Coldie : a beer
Come a gutser : make a bad mistake, have an accident
Compo : Workers’ Compensation pay
Cooee, not within : figuratively a long way away, far off – England weren’t within cooee of beating Australia at cricket
Cook (noun) : One’s wife
Corker : something excellent. A good stroke in cricket might be described as a ‘corker of a shot’
Corroboree : an aboriginal dance festival
Cozzie : swimming costume
Crack onto (someone) : to hit on someone, pursue someone romantically
Cranky : in a bad mood, angry
Crook : sick, or badly made
Cubby house : Small, usually timber, house in the garden used as a children’s plaything.
Cut lunch : sandwiches
Cut snake, mad as a : very angry

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