Australian Bush Terminology
Backblocks : a rural remote area that is not the unsettled outback.
Billabong : a waterhole in the bed of a river that is not flowing. From the aboriginal “billa” meaning creek or river and “bong” meaning dead (not running).
Billy : a tin can with a wire handle used to boil water in which to make tea.
The Black Stump : the mythological boundary between the Backblocks and the outback.
Brumby : a wild horse.
Bushman : an honest country man skilled in the ways of the bush.
Bushranger : an outlaw.
Bush Telegraph : the grape vine or word of mouth communication by which gossip is spread.
Cocky : a farmer.
Cocky’s Joy : Golden Syrup or Treacle.
Cooee : a far reaching call used to attract attention.
Damper : a bush bread made from flour and water and baked in a camp oven or the ashes of a camp fire.
Digger : the name given to the early gold miners, now common terminology for Australian soldiers.
Donga : a shelter or hut.
Drover : a person engaged in the long distance movement of stock.
Flat dog : a crocodile
Furphy: a rumour or tall story.
Galah : a noisy Australian parrot, or a nickname for someone deemed to be stupid!
Hawker : a salesman travelling by horse and wagon selling all manner of goods in the outback.
Jackaroo/ Jillaroo : a young man or woman working on an outback property to experience the ways of the land.
Jumbuck : a young lamb.
Long Paddock : the name given to stock routes along which cattle are moved.
Mob : a word used to describe a large undomesticated group of cattle.
Moleskins : the soft but durable cotton trousers worn by stock men.
Never Never : the furthest outback.
Pommy : an English immigrant.
Quart Pot : a billy that holds a quarter of a gallon.
Ringer : a stockman.
Road Train: a large truck with multiple trailers used to transport stock by road.
Rouseabout : a person employed on a station to do odd jobs.
Shank’s Pony : on foot; to walk.
Smoko : a term for a tea break and the food consumed at this time.
Station : a large property holding on which sheep or cattle are grazed.
Stockman: someone who works on a grazing property handling cattle or sheep.
Squatter: a large landholder.
Swag : a canvas covered bedroll.
Swaggie : a man who travelled on foot carrying his bedroll and survived from handouts or by doing odd jobs.
Tucker : food
Tucker bag/box : a bag or box in which bushmen carry their food.
The Wet : the rainy season.
Underground Mutton : rabbit meat.
Wowser : a killjoy
Dictionary of Australian Slang
Aggro – abbreviation for aggravated, aggressive, aggression.
Ankle biter – a small or young child.
Arvo – afternoon.
Av-a-go-yer-mug – a phrase used to encourage someone to put more effort into something.
Aussie – an Australian.
Bangers – sausages.
Barney – an argument, fight.
Beano / Beanfeast – a festivity, celebration.
Beanie – a small close fitting knitted cap often with a pom pom on top.
Big smoke – the city.
Billabong – a waterhole.
Billy – a container, usually makeshift, for boiling water or tea; a receptacle used for smoking marijuana.
Bloke – a man.
Bludger – a lazy person who evades responsibilities, often applied to one who collects the dole and doesn’t try to find work.
Blue – to fight, a dispute; depressed in spirits; a mistake; .
Bluey – a nickname for a red-headed person; a breed of Australian work dog.
Bonza – excellent, attractive, pleasing.
Bottlo – a Bottle shop or Liquor store.
Bush telegraph / bush wire – unofficial communication network by which rumours are spread.
Bushwhacker – one who lives in the bush.
Bushwacked – extremely fatigued or exhausted.
Bush week – a fictitious week when country people come to town; a time of year when stupid things happen.
Bushytailed – full of health and good spirits.
Bust – to apprehend for an illegal activity; to go bankrupt; a police raid.
Butt – the buttocks, bottom.
Cakehole – mouth.
Can-do – capable and obliging.
Centralia – the inland region of Australia.
Champers – champagne. Chinwag – a chat, conversation.
Chook – a chicken.
Cobber – a mate, friend.
Cockeyed – twisted or slanted to one side; foolish, absurd.
Codger – a bloke, fellow, especially elderly and a little odd.
Compo – compensation for injury; workers compensation.
Corker – something striking or astonishing; something very good of its kind. Crapper – toilet.
Creepy-crawley – an insect.
Crook – sick, disabled, bad inferior; a thief; to get angry.
Crown Jewels – the testicles.
Cut up – to cause distress to; to criticise severley.
Dag – a person with little or no dress sense, uncouth.
Date – buttocks; a date roll is a roll of toilet paper.
Dick stickers – mens brief style bathers.
Digger – an Australian soldier, especially one who served in World War I.
Ding – a dent or damaged section of a car, bike, surfboard, etc.
Dinkum / dinki-di – true, honest, genuine.
Down the road – term indicating distance but no particular distance, it could be a few hundred metres but may be a few hundred miles.
Drongo – slow-witted or stupid person.
Dunny – an outside toilet, lavatory.
Earbash – to talk incessantly, someone who talks too much.
Fair dinkum – real, genuine, true.
Few sandwiches short of a picnic – slow witted, not all together.
Footy – rugby league.
Fridge – the refrigerator.
Full as a boot – intoxicated.
Full of it – someone is full of it if they are a liar.
G’day, gidday – a greeting meaning good day.
Gee-whiz – an expression indicating astonishment.
Get stuffed – go away.
Get the shits – to become angry, upset or short tempered.
Gnarly – difficult, awkward; terrific, excellent.
Go a meal or drink – could eat a meal or have a drink.
Go for broke – to risk all ones capital.
Greenie – deprecatory term for an environmentalist.
Grog / booze – alcohol. beer, spirits.
Grommet – an idiot; a young surfer
Grouse – very good.
Grub – food.
Hack it – to tolerate something or to keep up.
Hair of the dog – an alcoholic drink taken to relieve a hangover.
Half your luck – an expression often indicating envy of one’s goodwill can also be a congratulatory remark or best wishes blessing.
Hard yacka – hard work.
Hassle – to give problems, complications or aggravations.
Homestead – main residence on a sheep or cattle station (ranch or farm).
Hooroo – goodbye.
In the shit – in serious trouble.
Jingoes – exclamation of surprise.
Joe Blake – snake (rhyming slang).
John – toilet.
Jumbuck – a sheep.
Kick in – contribute money to something.
Knock off – to steal something; a counterfeit product.
Lag – to inform on someone.
Lair – flashily dressed young man of brash or vulgar behaviour.
Larrikin – a lout, a mischievous young chap.
Laughing gear – mouth.
Loo – toilet.
Mad as a cut snake – crazy.
Mate – usually a friend or acquaintance but anyone can be a mate.
Middy – a middle-sized (285ml) glass of beer.
Mug – a fool, one easily duped.
Nong – a fool, idiot.
Noah / noah’s ark – a shark (rhyming slang).
Ocker – the uncultivated Australian workingman; boorish, uncouth.
Ol’ cheese – mother.
Ol’ man – father.
Oldies – parents.
On a good lurk – on to a good thing.
On ya mate – usually means well done but often used sarcastically.
Open slather – free-for-all, anything goes.
Oz – Australia.
Piker – someone who doesn’t want to do something especially within a group.
Pissed – drunk.
Pissed off – disgruntled, fed up.
Plonk – any alcoholic liquor, especially cheap wine.
Poddy-dodger – a cattle rustler, one who steals unbranded calves.
Pollie / polly – a politician.
Pommie / Pom – English person (usually whinging pom).
Prawn – a shrimp.
Pub – a hotel, short for public house. Usually taken to mean the bar or drinking area in a hotel.
Rack off – go away, get lost.
Rag – a newspaper or a woman who sleeps around.
Ratbag – rascal, rogue.
Ripper / rip snorter – great, terrific.
Roo – short for kangaroo.
Sandshoes – casual footwear, joggers.
Sanga – a sandwich or sausage.
Schooner – a large-sized (425ml) glass of beer.
Scrub up – dress up.
Seppo / Septic tank – an American (rhyming slang for yank).
Servo – a petrol / service / gas station.
Sheila – girl, woman.
She’ll be apples – all is well (rhyming slang).
Shout – buy or pay for; a round of drinks in the pub.
Skite – boast, brag.
Slab – a carton of 24 beer cans.
Slugo’s – mens brief style bathers.
Smoko – a break from work to indulge in chit-chat and a cigarette
Spine bashing – resting, loafing.
Spit the dummy – get very upset about something.
Sport – used as a term of address usually between males like mate.
Squib – to behave in a cowardly manner or to back down.
Stickybeak – to pry or meddle; one who pries or meddles.
Strine – Australian English.
Struth – an exclamation expressing surprise or verification.
Stubby – a small bottle of beer.
Sunnies – a pair of sunglasses.
Swag – a large number or unspecified number.
Ta / tar – thanks.
Tart – once meaning ‘sweet heart’ but now a derogatory word for a woman.
Tee up – to organise something.
Thingy / thingo / thingummyjig – any thing that doesn’t have a precise name.
Tightarse – someone who wont buy a drink or wont part with money.
Tinnie – a can of beer or a small aluminum fishing boat
True blue – genuine.
Tucker – food.
Uee – a U turn.
Up a gum tree – in difficulties, stranded.
Up shit creek – in trouble (often without a paddle indicating serious trouble).
Ute – small truck, short for utility truck.
VB – Victoria Bitter, a beer.
Walkabout – a period of wandering, usually in reference to Aborigines.
Walloper – one who thrashes someone.
Wally – someone who keeps making mistakes.
Wanker – one who masturbates; a person who is full of themself, egotistical.
Waxxy / wax head – a surfer.
Wedding tackle – a penis.
Westie – someone from Sydney’s western suburbs, often used derogatorily to mean uneducated and/or uncultured. Also someone who acts like a westie.
What-da-ya-know – an expression of surprise; a friendly phrase used to open a conversation.
Wombat – a simple minded person.
Wog – a derogatory term for a foreigner, especially one of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern extraction.
XXXX – a Queensland beer brand (pronounced four ex).
Yarn – a story.
Yobbo – loutish, surly youth.
Yonks – a long period of time.