Posted by: Alicia Phillips | July 13, 2013


Here are just a few of my favourite Australia-isms! Over the last 3-4 weeks I have heard all of these phrases in normal everyday conversation. It was pretty obvious to everyone that I am an American when they talk to me, but it’s even more obvious when I have to ask what in the world they mean when they say things to me. ha! Read below and you’ll see what I mean!

“Good on ya!” Meaning, good job! Or well done!

“That’s ace!” That’s great! or That’s good!

“Fair dinkum” Really? Or is that true?

“Bogan” Another word for a red neck or unsophisticated person

“Thongs” I’ll never get used to calling my flip-flops thongs…

“Tucker” Another word for food

“Pissed, On the piss, anything piss related” Means drunk or drinking

“Bottle shop” aka liquor store

“Bit of alright, isn’t it?” Not bad, huh?

“Grog” Alcohol. First time someone asked me if I wanted some grog I got a horrible look on my face and said no because I thought they meant Fijian Kava!!

“Grouse” Great! Terrific! Very good!

The bush” the country or forest area

“The big smoke” A big city, usually Sydney or Melbourne. “I’ll see you in the big smoke in a few days!”

“Ute” a work truck. Usually half car, half truck…..think el camino. They are all over the place here.

“Sunnies” Sunglasses

“Tennies” Tennis shoes

“Torch” flashlight

“Brekky” Breakfast. Do you want some eggs and bacon for brekky?

“Servo” Short for service station or as we would call it, a gas station. Australians shorten anything they can by either adding a O halfway through or an -ies at the end of a word.

“Petrol” No, it’s not gas….it’s petrol.

“On the Barbie” On the grill Let’s cook us up some roo (kangaroo) on the barbie tonight!

“Shelia” A girl. “You’re a real good sheila for helping cook lunch today!”

“Flat white” I have been drinking tons of these. It’s similar to a latte or a cappuccino…but with less foam

“Long Black” an Americano, or black coffee

“G’day” Well…..good day to you too

“Foote” Australian rules football

“Chemist” A pharmacy

“Can’t be bothered, or can’t be fucked” Meaning, I don’t care to do that.

“Cuppa” A hot beverage   Anyone interested in a cuppa?

“Dead Horse” Tomato sauce….or Ketchup

“Fag” A Cigarette

“Hungry Jacks” That’s Burger King over here

“Zed” How they pronounce the letter Z. Have you seen World War Zed yet?

“Joey” A baby kangaroo. Quite possibly the cutest thing on the planet.

“No drama” No worries!

“Mate” friend

“Power Point” Outlet

Pram” A stroller

“Salvo” The Salvation Army

Wanker” A ridiculous person

See what I mean? It’s like a whole other language down here! Silly Australians. =) I’ve tried to adopt some of these sayings, but for some reason it sounds silly with a southern accent. Australians can pull it off while still looking cool.


  1. I love it mate!


  2. Alicia, growing up in Los Angeles in the1950’s, we always called flip flops “thongs.” A lot of those other sayings are very British, and also heard in Canada.

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