Before heading to Australia, a person, particularly of the North American persuasion, might think they have it all figured out. A trip to an English speaking country is nothing like travel to Asia or Europe where language difficulties add to the daily drama. No, in Australia, getting around is all a matter of asking.
For the person that has never spent a significant amount of time around Australians before, I can tell you that the transition can catch you off-guard more often than not. Sometimes, just the simple act of ordering your food might leave you stuttering and responding with a confused look and a “What?”
Not only do some Australians carry a strong accent, they also use an abundance of slang in their daily speech. Here are some top words and phrases that will help you on your upcoming Australian journey.
Greetings and Small Talk
G’day, mate! Australians have a habit of shortening words whenever and wherever they can. G’day is simply a shortened version of good day. Mate is the friendly term used to call on a good friend or someone random in a casual manner, such as the bartender as you’re ordering a beer.
How ya going? This simple question has the power to stop an American in his or her tracks because… how are you supposed to answer it? Instead of “How’s it going?” or “How are you doing?” Australians will ask this as their equivalent.
Ta. Ta simply means thank you.
No worries. This single phrase has done the job of shaping Australia’s persona. No worries is the response you use Down Under instead of that’s alright or don’t worry about it.
She’ll be right. When discussing a potentially negative event or situation, the term “she’ll be right” simply means that it’s going to be okay.
Good on ya. When an Australian approves of a person’s performance or action, they say “good on ya” instead of way to go or good for you.
Food and Drink
Brekky – Brekky is the shortened form for breakfast.
Snags – Snags are sausages.
Barbie – In Australia, they do put the shrimp on the barbie, but they would most likely call them prawns instead. A barbie is the shortened form of barbecue, and a place where you would put the snags.
Chook – Chook means chicken.
Bottlo – The bottlo is the place where you buy your beer and liquor – the shortened form of bottle shop.
Some Random Favorites
Bogan – The bogan is the Aussie version of white trash.
Arvo – Arvo is the shortened form of afternoon.
Woop woop – When a place is remote, you can say you’re out in woop woop. Great to know before heading on a trip to the Outback.
Roo – Roo is the shortened form of kangaroo. This might be good to use when referring to food, such as roo burgers or roo steaks.
What other Aussie slang would you consider essential for a first-time trip to Australia?