Aussie Bush Slang

G'day Mate, she'll be right - let's have Smoko eh...

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

A

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.

B

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.

C

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.

D

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.

E

Earbash – to talk incessantly, someone who talks too much.

F

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

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.

H

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.

I

In the shit – in serious trouble.

J

Jingoes – exclamation of surprise.

Joe Blake – snake (rhyming slang).

John – toilet.

Jumbuck – a sheep.

K

Kick in – contribute money to something.

Knock off – to steal something; a counterfeit product.

L

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.

M

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.

N

Nong – a fool, idiot.

Noah / noah’s ark – a shark (rhyming slang).

O

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.

P

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.

R

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.

S

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.

T

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.

U

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.

V

VB – Victoria Bitter, a beer.

W

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.

X

XXXX – a Queensland beer brand (pronounced four ex).

Y

Yarn – a story.

Yobbo – loutish, surly youth.

Yonks – a long period of time.