A practical guide to learning Australian slang
Australian English has some unique characteristics. The type of jargon or special words they use is called "slang", so Australians are different from the rest. If you want to learn Australian slang because you live there or want to start an adventure in this country, here we teach you some basic words and expressions.
We are sure that you will end up speaking like an Aussie!
For example, the word we just used “Aussie, means "Australian" and in Australia, it is pronounced like the name of the well-known singer "Ozzy”
This word can be used both to refer to citizens and as an adjective of anything. Example: Aussie meat pie = Australian meatloaf.
Continuing with this example, you should know that the locals pronounce Australia as "Oztralia". This is why the country is often known as the land of Oz or Ozland.
You will now understand that it is very common for Australians to shorten words in a very particular way, so you must be very attentive. Also, not only does the lexical slang matter, but the accent also comes into play.
Abbreviating the words
One of the tricks to understanding what Australians speak is to shorten the words in your head. You will realise that the further you get away from the big cities, the more you will hear this particular slang.
Similarly, Australia is a multicultural country, so you will meet many people of different nationalities and accents.
If you want to get involved in real slang and learn Australian slang, go to the outer suburbs or rural areas of the country.
In Australia, they managed to change the name of the popular American restaurant McDonald’s, their franchises in this country are called Macca’s.
Most used words and expressions:
To help you avoid uncomfortable situations, we share a list of the most common Australian terms that you should learn:
- Arvo – afternoon – tarde.
- Avo – avocado – aguacate.
- Aussie – australian – australiano.
- Barbie – barbeque – barbacoa.
- Bathers – swimsuit – traje de baño.
- Brekky – breakfast – desayuno.
- Brolly – umbrela – paraguas.
- Chrissie – Christmas – Navidad.
- Ciggy – cigarette – cigarrillo.
- Esky – a cooler– una hielera, un recipiente aislado que mantiene las cosas frías, generalmente cervezas)
- G’day – hello – hola.
- Good on ya – good work – buen trabajo.
- Mozzie – mosquito – mosquito.
- No worries – it’s OK – está bien.
- Roo – kangaroo – canguro.
- Straya – Australia.
- Ta – thank you – gracias.
- Tradie – tradesman – comerciante.
- Bloke – man – hombre.
- Sheila – woman – mujer.
- Loo – toilet – servicio de baño.
- Cuppa – cup of tea – Taza de té.
- Off your face/pissed/legless/blotto/smashed – drunk– todos sinómimos de borracho.
- A cold one – one beer– una cerveza.
- ‘Taking a sickie’ when he is not and does not go to work.
- ‘Don’t get your knickers in a knot’ It is used to say ‘Do not get angry’.
- ‘Put a sock in it’ Avoid translating it literally, this expression means ‘Shut up’.
- ‘One for the road’ is an expression that Australians use when they want to have 'the last drink before going home'.
- ‘I’m gonna go see a man about a dog’ is a colloquial phrase used when someone is going to have bad behaviour.
- ‘It’s gone walkabout’ is an expression with a double meaning. The first is that "someone has gone for a long walk and the second is that" someone or something got lost.
- ‘Buckley’s Chance’ o ‘You’ve got Buckley’s’ is a phrase that refers to William Buckley, an English ex-con who was sent to Australia as a prisoner and escaped. The phrase is used to say that 'You have little or no chance'
- ‘Boys in blue’ The expression refers to ‘The police’
- ‘No worries’ is an expression that defines ‘No problem’ or ‘Everything OK’.
- ‘Can’t Be Bothered’ is a widely used phrase and its meaning is ‘I can do it but I’m not going to do it because I don’t want to.’
- ¡Rack off! means get out! Or leave me alone!
- How ya goin’? This expression is very common. How are you?
It may not be very easy to understand the meanings of these words when you hear them in the middle of a conversation with your friends, so it is best to try to memorise phrases or keywords and be very attentive. As time passes, you will get used to it and begin to incorporate them into your vocabulary.
We hope you have learned new vocabulary, which will serve you well on your Australian adventure!
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