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12 Australian slang words you need to know Down Under

By June 23, 2014November 6th, 2018No Comments

Australia – a country filled with sun, sea, sand, notoriously large quantities of alcohol and a language barrier?

But they speak English in Australia I hear you say, and you’re quite right, so maybe it’s more of a slang barrier. But when you’re visiting the upside-down world of Oz you may hear a few things that throw you.

Luckily we’ve made a list of 12 terms you’ll most probably need to know when visiting. Alcohol included.
Australian: Coldie
British: A Beer

Australians have a reputation for liking a good drink and us Brits are known for being partial to the odd drink (understatement of the century). So this is evidently the most important slang term you’ll need. Also don’t forget to ask for a scoona (you’ll work it out).

Australian: Durry
British: Tobacco/Cigarette

We know it’s a dirty habit but it’s a popular dirty habit nonetheless, and obviously, smokers are allowed to enjoy their vacation too.
Australian: Dunny
British: Toilet

Not just any old toilet, an outdoor toilet. Whereas us Brits banished the outdoor loo to the days of the past, the Aussies have the perfect weather that allows you to relax in the sun in the most peculiar of ways.

Australian: Arvo
British: Afternoon

So its midday and some Australians are saying a weird word to you and each other. Don’t worry you’ve not slipped into a parallel universe; it’s just the later-in-the-day version of G’Day.

Australian: Tucker
British: Food

Kind of makes those bush tucker trials on ‘I’m a Celebrity’ make a bit more sense now doesn’t it. But don’t worry, we’re sure grubs and animal bits are off the menu in most places.


Australian: Mystery Bag
British: Sausage

This one’s slightly worrying and brings to mind a certain horse meat scandal with this rather ominous slang term. But should you still fancy one off the barbeque then go right ahead.

Australian: Bring a plate
British: Bring your own food/Jacobs join

If you happen to be invited to a barbeque and you hear this, don’t assume your hosts are short on crockery, as you’ll look pretty stupid when you turn up with a dinner set.

Australian: Lollies
British: Sweets

Over here they could mean ice lollies, but in Australia it just means sweets. Knowing this could save you an awkward exchange in the sweet shop – should your sweet tooth get the better of you.

Australian: Togs
British: Swimsuit 

With beautiful beaches everywhere you’ll need plenty of swimsuits, so don’t get confused and assume you need to shop for something called a tog. Budgie smugglers are optional, but preferably left at home.



Australian: Daks
British: Trousers

Australians love their weird terms for items of clothing don’t they? So when you hear someone reference their daks, don’t assume they’re talking about birds that enjoy floating on water in an Australian accent.

Australian: Swagman
British: Tramp/Hobo

You’d probably expect this to mean the opposite. Who says Aussie slang doesn’t make sense?

Australian: Hooroo
British: Goodbye

Finally, it’s that sad, sad time to say goodbye. Luckily you’ll be able to say it to your Australian friends like you’ve lived there for years. Hooroo 😉