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Australian strine is alive and well.
Australian strine is a unique variant of the English language originating from the English, Irish or Scottish languages of our first settlers or from our own Australian origins.
Australia is a nation of many cultures. Many of us are direct descendants of English convicts who were sent to settle Australia from England in the late 1700s. Many of these were rogues, murderers, thieves and opportunists .. I have heard it said .. ‘not a lot has changed’ 🙂
True Australian ‘Strine’ can often be quite difficult to understand, especially if you are the Outback. You may find that Australians tend to speak quickly and have an unusual way of pronouncing words. Some Aussies roll a few words together as one – like ‘waddayareckon’ – What do you reckon? or ‘owyagoinmate’? How are you going mate? so it can take time to get the gist of the conversation.
To add further frustration, some slang uses rhyming as does the English cockney slang. “Take a Captain Cook” means to take a look. Be careful, sometimes an attempt to use Australian slang without a clear understanding of the use of context may be viewed as an attempt to mock.
Australia is an English speaking country, but we are known to put a unique twist on the traditional English language. The best advice I can give you is .. don’t take it too seriously!
Always say ‘G’day, How are you going’ to an Aussie. If you struggle getting the intonation of the G’day right, just say hello! You’ll score points for being friendly!
An Introduction to Australian Strine
We Aussies have a quirky sense of humour and take every opportunity to have a laugh where we can. We often use our language to do that.
Fair dinkum = truthful, fair, being honest – the absolute truth! Are you telling the truth?
Arvo = abbreviation for afternoon
Happy little Vegemites = happy Australian children (taken from an advertising jingle in the 1950s)
Crook = ill, sick, unwell
Chook = chicken, hen, rooster
Dunny = toilet
I hope your chooks turn into emus and kick your dunny down = I wish you bad luck
A few sandwiches short of a picnic = not a clever person, stupid
A kangaroo loose in the paddock = crazy person
Make a proper Galah of yourself = make a fool of yourself
A Sheila = a derogatory term for a woman
A bloke = a man, fella
Score points = win favour,
Mad as a cut snake = crazy person
Go Troppo = go crazy, act nuts
As slow as a wet week = very slow, boring
Cooee = a call to attract attention
Within Cooee = not too far away, short distance away
Woop Woop = a very remote place
Back of Bourke = a very remote place
See you round like a rissole = goodbye, see you later
Cark it = break down, die
Clapped out old bomb = an old car in poor working order, a broken-down car
Chuck a U-ie = make a U turn
Silly Duffer = a person who’s made a silly mistake
Stuck up = a snob, elitist
He doesn’t know if he’s Arthur or Martha = he’s confused
He’s got tickets on himself = he has an inflated ego
In like Flynn = a strong chance of success
Pash = a passionate kiss
[bctt tweet=”Aussie Strine is alive and well. Have you encountered some words that should be on this list?” username=”territorymob”]
True Blue = authentically Australian
A blue = a fight, punch-up, verbal disagreement
G’day = hello
Fair Go = a fair, be reasonable about it
Fair shake of the sauce bottle = be fair, be reasonable
Sanga = a sandwich
Tucker = food
Snag = sausage
Like flies around a dunny door = a group of people attracted to something
Wrap your laughing gear around that = eat that
Full as a goog = couldn’t eat another thing, sated
Drier than a drovers dog = thirsty
Plonk = cheap wine
Plastered = drunk, intoxicated
Flat our like a lizard drinking = very busy, exhausted
Strewth = that’s shocking, wow!
Like a stunned Mullet = shocked, surprised
Stone the crows = wow, I can’t believe it!
Cop a load of that = Look at that
Better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick = it’s not that bad
You’ve got buckley’s = you’ve got no chance of success
No worries = that’s okay, I don’t mind
Things are crook = things are not going well
Chuck a sickie = take a day off work as sick leave even if you’re not sick
Don’t come the raw prawn with me = don’t lie to me
Furphy = misleading story, commonly believed
Budgie Smugglers = men’s revealing swimming costume
Reg Grundies = underpants
Dag = an unfashionable but lovable person
Bludger = a lazy person
Bogan = an uncultured person
Dinky Di = authentically Australian
Boofhead = an idiot, sometimes a term of endearment
Panic Merchant = a person who panics easily
Drongo = an idiot, sometimes a term of endearment
Dropkick = an idiot
Ocker = a steriotypically uncultured Australian
I wouldn’t be dead for quids = I’m enjoying life
Running around like a chook with its head cut off = panicking, overreacting
Flat chat = full speed
Chuck a wobbly = throw a tantrum, lose your temper
He could talk under wet cement = he’s extremely talkative
Bugger that for a joke = there’s no way I will do that
Hard Yakka = hard work, physical labour
She’ll be right = things will be OK
She’s apples = everything is fine
Bonza Mate = great, thank you mate
Ya blood’s worth bottling = you’re a good friend, thank you
Rough as guts = course, uncouth
Not much chop = poor quality,
‘ave a go, ya mug = try harder, you’re useless
Barrack for = support your sports team
Chip in = add value, participate
Happy as Larry = extremely happy, content
Gone Bung = not working, broken
Got a guernsey = selected for a team, win an award
You beaut = you’re a champion
Give it a burl = give something a try
Fair crack of the whip = you’re not being fair
Fit as a mallee bull = very fit, strong and healthy
Every man and his dog = everyone
Chockers = full, overcrowded, overeaten
Chock-a-block = full up, overeaten
Check out our earlier post: How to speak Aussie – the Lingo of the Land Down Under
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Aussie strine is truly alive and well.
Learn a little Aussie lingo on your trip down under and enjoy your Aussie travel experience. Chip in and have some fun.