G'day, mate!

For the Yanks and the Pommies who were posted to Australia during WWII, these Aussie Slang words may bring back some good old memories.


Ack Willy: AWL or Absent without leave.

Aerial pingpong: Australian Rules football

Airships and clouds: Sausages with mashed potato

Amber fluid: beer

Animal: a derogatory term for an Officer or NCO

Ankle biter: small child

Antipodes: places on exactly opposite sides of the earth

Apples, she'll be: It'll be alright

Armchair commando: desk bound soldier

Arvo: afternoon

Atta-boys: Atebrin pills taken for prevention of malaria, taken daily under the supervision of an NCO

Aussie (pron. Ozzie): Australian

Aussie salute: brushing away flies with the hand

Avos: avocados



Back of Bourke: a very long way away

Bail out: depart, usually angrily

Bail (somebody) up: to corner somebody physically

Barbie: barbecue (noun)

Banana bender: a person from Queensland

Bangers and mash: sausages and mashed potato

Barrack: to cheer on (football team etc.)

Bastard: can be either a term of affection or the opposite!!

Battler: someone working hard and only just making a living

Beaut, beauty: great, fantastic

Betty (also Betties): A particular type of Japanese bomber, but later in war used loosely to describe any Japanese bomber

Biscuit bombers (or bully beef bombers): Usually a Dakota (C-47) which dropped food and ammunition to forward areas.

Big-note oneself: brag, boast

Bikkie: biscuit (also "it cost big bikkies" - it was expensive)

Billabong: an ox-bow river or watering hole

Billy: large tin can used to boil water over a campfire for tea

Bities: biting insects

Bitzer: mongrel dog (bits of this and bits of that)

Bizzo: business ("mind your own bizzo")

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

Bloody beaut: fantastic

Blot: bum, arse, rear end

Blow through: go away

Blow in the bag: have a breathalyzer test

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

Bluey: pack, equipment, traffic ticket, redhead

Bluey (or Blue): blue cattle dog (named after its subtle markings) which is an excellent working dog. Everyone's favourite all-Aussie dog.

Bob's your uncle: It will be alright

Bodgy: of inferior quality

Bomb-happy: affected mentally by battle, or shell shocked

Bombo: cheap wine 

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

Bottle-o: liquor shop

Bottle shop: liquor shop

Bottler: something excellent

Bottling, his blood's worth: he's an excellent, helpful bloke.

Bourke Street, he doesn't know Christmas from: he's a bit slow in the head. (Bourke Street is a brightly lit Melbourne street)

Brass razoo, he hasn't got a: he's very poor

Brekkie: breakfast

Brizzie: Brisbane, state capital of Queensland

Brown-eyed mullet: a turd in the sea (where you're swimming!)

Brumby: a wild horse

Buckley's, Buckley's chance: no chance ("New Zealand stands Buckley's of beating Australia at football")

Buck's night: stag party, male gathering the night before the wedding

Bull bar: stout bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroos

Bullshit, to: To tell lies

Bundy: short for Bundaberg, Queensland, and the brand of rum that's made there

Bunyip: mythical outback creature

Burgoo: porridge

Bush: the hinterland, the Outback, anywhere that isn't in town

Bush artillery: artillery captured from the enemy and reused against them

Bushie: someone who lives in the Bush

Bushranger: highwayman, outlaw

B.Y.O.: unlicensed restaurant where you have to Bring Your Own grog, also similar party or barbecue



Cark it: to die, cease functioning

Charley the Bastard: A Boyes Tank Attack Rifle; So named because of its tremendous recoil

Chewy: Chewing gum

Choke a darkie: defecate

Chokkie: chocolate

Chook chuff: powdered eggs

Chook: a chicken

Chrissie: Christmas

Christmas: see Bourke Street

Chuck a sickie: take the day off sick from work when you're perfectly healthy

Chuck a yonnie: Throw a stone

Chunder: vomit

Clayton's: fake, substitute

Click: kilometre - "it's 10 clicks away"

Cobber: friend

Cockie: farmer. Also a cockatoo

Cockroach: a person from New South Wales

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

Corroboree: an aboriginal dance festival

Counter lunch: pub lunch

Cozzie: swimming costume

Cranky: in a bad mood, angry

Cream (verb): defeat by a large margin

Crook: sick, or badly made

Crow eater: a person from South Australia

Cut lunch: sandwiches

Cut lunch Commandos: School cadets

Cut snake, mad as a: very angry



Dag: a funny person, nerd, goof

Daks: trousers

Damper: bread made from flour and water

Deadset: true, the truth

Dekko: have a look

Dero: tramp, hobo, homeless person (from "derelict")

Digger: a soldier

Dill: an idiot

Dinkum, fair dinkum: true, real, genuine ("I'm a dinkum Aussie"; "is he fair dinkum?")

Dinky-di: the real thing, genuine

Dipstick: a loser, idiot

Dob (somebody) in: inform on somebody. Hence dobber, a tell-tale

Doc: Dcotor

Docket: a bill, receipt

Doco: documentary

Dog: unattractive woman

Dole bludger: Somebody on social assistance when unjustified

Doozey: something very pleasant

Down Under: Australia and New Zealand

Drink with the flies: to drink alone

Drongo: a dope, stupid person

Drum: information, tip-off ("I'll give you the drum")

Duffer, cattle: rustler

Dummy, spit the: get very upset at something

Dunny: outside lavatory, or toilet

Dunny budgie: blowfly

Dunny rat, cunning as a: very cunning

Durry: cigarette



Earbashing: nagging, non-stop chatter

Esky: large insulated food/drink container for picnics, barbecues etc.

Exy: expensive



Fair dinkum: True, genuine

Fair go: a chance ("give a bloke a fair go")

Fairy floss: candy floss, cotton candy

Figjam: "F**k I'm good; just ask me". Nickname for people who have a high opinion of themselves.

Flake: shark's flesh (sold in fish & chips shops)

Footy: Australian Rules football

Fossicking: searching, rummaging ("fossicking through the kitchen drawers")

Freckle: anus

Fruit loop: fool

Full: drunk



Galah: fool, named after the bird of the same name which flies south in the winter - a bloody silly thing to do in the Southern Hemisphere

Garbo, garbologist: municipal garbage collector

G'Day, Gidday: hello!

Give it a burl: try it, have a go

Good oil: useful information, a good idea, the truth

Good on you: good for you, well done

Greenie: environmentalist

Grog: liquor, beer ("bring your own grog, you bludger")

Grouse (adj.): great, terrific, very good

Gyno: gynaecologist



Handle: beer glass with a handle

Heaps: a lot, e.g. "thanks heaps", "(s)he earned heaps of money" etc.

Hoon: hooligan

Hooroo: goodbye ( Don Burke)

Hotel: often just a pub

Hottie: hot water bottle



Icy pole: popsicle, lollypop



Jackaroo: a male station hand (a station is a big farm/grazing property)

Jillaroo: a female station hand

Joey: baby kangaroo

Journo: journalist

Jumbuck: sheep



Kelpie: Australian sheepdog originally bred from Scottish collie

Kero: kerosene

Kindie: kindergarten

Knock: to criticise

Knock back: refusal (noun), refuse (transitive verb)

Knocker: somebody who criticises



Larrikin: a bloke who is always enjoying himself, harmless prankster

Lippy: lipstick

Liquid laugh: vomit

Lob, lob in: drop in to see someone ("the rellies have lobbed")

Lollies: sweets, candy

London to a brick: absolute certainty ("it's London to a brick that taxes won't go down")

Loo: toilet

Lucky Country, The: Australia, where else?

Lurk: illegal or underhanded racket



Mate: buddy, friend

Mate's rate, mate's discount: cheaper than usual for a "friend"

Metho: methylated spirits

Mexican: a person from south of the (Queensland) border

Mickey Mouse: excellent, very good

Middy: 285 ml beer glass in New South Wales

Milk bar: corner shop that sells takeaway food

Milko: milkman

Mob: group of people, not necessarily troublesome

Mob: family or herd (?) of kangaroos

Mongrel: despicable person

Mozzie: mosquito

Muddy: mud crab (a great delicacy)

Mug: friendly insult ("have a go, yer mug"), gullible person

Mull: grass (the kind you smoke)

Mull up: roll a joint and smoke it



Naughty, have a: have sex

Never Never: the Outback, centre of Australia

Ninkum poop: a fool

Nipper: young surf lifesaver

No-hoper: somebody who'll never do well

Not the full quid: not bright intellectually

Nuddy, in the: naked



Ocker: an unsophisticated person

Offsider: an assistant, helper

Oldies: parents - "I'll have to ask my oldies"

O.S.: overseas ("he's gone O.S.")

Outback: interior of Australia

Oz: Australia!



Pash: passion, infatuation

Pav: Pavlova - a rich, creamy Australian dessert

Perve (noun & verb): looking lustfully at the opposite sex

Piker: Someone who doesn't want to fit in with others socially, leaves parties early

Plonk: cheap wine

Pokies: poker machines, fruit machines

Polly: politician

Pom, pommy: an Englishman

Port: suitcase (portmanteau)

Postie: postman, mailman

Pot: 285 ml beer glass in Queensland

Pozzy: position - get a good pozzy at the football stadium

Prezzy: present, gift



Quack, or off to the quack: the doctor, or off to the doctor

Quid, make a: earn a living - "are you making a quid?"

Quid, not the full: of low IQ



Rage: party

Rage on: to continue partying - "we raged on until 3am"

Rapt: pleased, delighted

Raw prawn, to come the: to bullshit, to be generally disagreeable

Razzo: not worth much, another phrase is "brass razoo"

Recce: have a look or reconnaissance

Reckon!: you bet! Absolutely!

Rego: vehicle registration

Rellie: family relative

Ridgy-didge: original, genuine

Right: okay ("she'll be right, mate")

Ripper: great, fantastic

Road train: big truck with many trailers

Roo: kangaroo

Root (verb and noun): synonym for f*ck in nearly all its senses: "I feel rooted"; "this washing machine is rooted"; "(s)he's a good root". A very useful word in fairly polite company.

Ropeable: very angry

Rotten: drunk ("I went out last night and got rotten")

Rubbadedub: bar or hotel

Rubbish: to criticize



Salvos, the: Salvation Army, bless them

Salute, Aussie: brushing flies away

Sandgroper: a person from Western Australia

Sanger: a sandwich

Schooner: large beer glass in Queensland; small beer glass in South Australia

Scratchy: instant lottery ticket

Screamer:    1. party lover; "two pot screamer" - somebody who gets drunk on very little alcohol

                    2. To take a "screamer" in footy is to take an awesome mark/catch.

Servo: petrol station

Shark biscuit: somebody new to surfing

Sheila: a woman

She'll be right: it'll turn out okay

Shonky: dubious, underhanded. E.g. a shonky practice, shonky business etc.

Shoot through: to leave

Shout: turn to buy - a round of drinks usually ("it's your shout")

Shufti: have a quick look around

Sickie: day off sick from work (chuck a sickie = take the day off sick from work when you're perfectly healthy!)

Skite: boast, brag

Slab: a carton of 24 bottles or cans of beer

Sleepout: house verandah converted to a bedroom

Smoko: smoke or coffee break

Sook: person or animal who is soft, tame, inoffensive. Hence sooky (adj.)

Snag: a sausage

Spag bol: spaghetti bolognese

Spit the dummy: get very upset at something

Sprung: caught doing something wrong

Spunk: a good looking person (of either sex)

Station: a big farm/grazing property

Stick it in your kick: Stick it in your pocket

Stickybeak: nosy person

Stone the Crows: Heaven forbid!

Stuffed, I'll be: expression of surprise

Stuffed, I feel: I'm tired

Strewth: exclamation, mild oath ("Strewth, that Chris is a bonzer bloke")

Strides: trousers

Strine: Australian slang and pronunciation

Stubby: a beer bottle

Stubby holder: polystyrene insulated holder for a stubby

Sunbake: sunbathe

Sunnies: sunglasses

Surfies: people who go surfing - usually more often than they go to work!

Swag: items, luggage etc. carried by a swagman

Swaggie: swagman

Swagman: tramp, hobo



Tall poppies: successful people

Ta muchly: thank you very much

Taswegian: a person from Tasmania

Technicolor yawn: vomit

Tee-up: to set up an appointment

Thingo: Wadjamacallit, thingummy, whatsit

Thongs: cheap rubber backless sandals

Throne or, on the Throne: toilet or, on the toilet

Thunder box: toilet

Tickets, to have on oneself: to have a high opinion of oneself

Tinny: can of beer, small aluminium boat

Togs: swim suit

Too right!: definitely!

Top End: far north of Australia

Truckie: truck driver

True blue: patriotic

Tucker: food

Tucker-bag: food bag

Turps: turpentine, alcoholic drink

Turps, hit the: go on a drinking binge

Two up: gambling game played by spinning two coins simultaneously



Uni: university

Unit: flat, apartment

Up oneself: have a high opinion of oneself - "he's really up himself"

Ute: utility vehicle



Veg out: relax in front of the TV (like a vegetable)

Vedgies: vegetables

Vejjo: vegetarian

Vee dub: Volkswagen



Waggin' school: playing truant

Walkabout, it's gone: it's lost, can't be found

Weekend Warriors: Army Reserve personnel

Whacko: You beauty! (an exclamation.)

Whinge: complain

White pointers on the beach: topless (female) sunbathers

Wobbly: excitable behaviour ("I complained about the food and the waiter threw a wobbly")

Wog: flu or trivial illness

Wombat: somebody who eats, roots and leaves (see also root)

Woop Woop: invented name for any small unimportant town - "he lives in Woop Woop"

Wowser: straight-laced person, prude, puritan, spoilsport



XXXX: pronounced Four X, brand of beer made in Queensland



Yabber: talk (a lot)

Yakka: work (noun)

Yanks: Americans

Yewy: u-turn in traffic ("chuck a yewy at the next traffic lights")

Yobbo: an uncouth person

Youse: you



Zack: sixpence


I'm sure I've missed a few

There may be some more with a military theme

I'd welcome any more to add to this list

Keep 'em clean -   eh mate!


Can anyone help me with more information?


I need your help


 Peter Dunn 2015


Please e-mail me
any information or photographs

"Australia @ War"
8GB USB Memory Stick


This page first produced 22 October 2000

This page last updated 16 August 2016