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The big reveal: how to understand what the heck Aussies are saying

How to understand what Aussies are saying

Australia. A country with long summers, clean streets, bright beaches and a really, really weird way of speaking.

 Maybe it’s because Aussies spend so much time staring at the sun, that the never-ending squinting turned their voices all nasal. Maybe the relaxed ‘eternal holiday’ vibes caused all the vowel sounds to draw out longer than they’re meant to. Maybe the attitude of over-familiarity towards all people and things at all times caused a nickname epidemic.

Look, who bloody knows. All we do know is that we can’t teach you how to mimic the accent, but we can certainly teach you how to understand a little more Australian slang.

In order to navigate the land down under and understand whatever the hell people are actually saying, there are a few buzz words and phrases that may be helpful to memorise.



Bloody oath = that’s the truth

Old mate = used often sarcastically to describe someone you don’t like or are not happy with. But be careful, because it can just as often be used literally to describe - you guessed it - an old friend.

Sick = cool


Fully sick = really cool

Bottlo = the bottle shop

Servo = service station

Aggro = aggressive


Avo = avocado. Please note: this rule applies to pretty much all names that have a consonant letter in the middle of them. It also isn’t limited to people, but also objects. E.g. “Robbo” = Robert, “Jono” = Jonathan, “Stevo” = Steven

Chewie = chewing gum

True Blue = authentic

Slab = a case of alcoholic beverages, usually beer


Tinnie = a can of beer

Maccas = McDonald’s

Budgy Smugglers = swimming briefs for men  

Spag bog or spag bol = spaghetti bolognese  

Yeahnah = this means nothing and everything at the same time. It takes on the meaning implied by the inflection and tone within which it’s delivered. E.g. “yeahnah, that’s sh&t.” or “yeahnah, that’s sick.” This also works in reverse, so don’t be afraid to try out “nahyeah” while you’re at it.

Galah = silly person (but also a species of bird native to Australia)

Cuppa = cup of tea

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