If you’re moving to Australia or just visiting, one of the first things you should do beforehand is brush up on your Aussie slang. The Australian lexicon is a mix of the familiar and foreign to most Britons that encounter it, and other countries can take educated guesses.

Below is a list, in alphabetical order, of some Australian lingo to reference when you next encounter someone from the Great Southern Land (Oz); and find yourself in a bit of a pinch (a bit of a tricky situation).


Which means: Afternoon.

In context: ‘See you this arvo!’


Which means: The BBQ. A national symbol.

In context: ‘Put a shrimp on the barbie.’


Which means: A guy, a dude. Imperative to include this in your Aussie vocabulary.

In context: ‘David is a good bloke.’

Buckley’s chance

Which means: A small prospect of success.

In context: ‘That team has Buckley’s chance of winning today!’

Budgie smuggler

Which means: Male speedos that have won a nickname for the apparent resemblance of a bud smuggler. Known as a banana hammock in the US.

In context: Self-explanatory, we hope.


Which means: Translates for blimey, sweet Jesus, wow.

In context: ‘Crikey! Did you see the size of that shark!’


Which means: A bad, but endearing idea.

In context: ‘Messi should sign to play for Crystal Palace? That’s daggy.’


Which means: A native Australian bird that has since been commandeered to mean an idiot.

In context: ‘Mate, did you just see Sarah accidentally set the stove on fire? What a galah!’


Which means: A greeting used anywhere and everywhere, pronounced ‘Gid-ay’.

In context: ‘G’day Steve!’

Good onya

Which means: Well done.

In context: ‘Good onya Rachel, well done on winning that award.’

Fair go

Which means: Treat people with decency and respect if they’ve not done anything wrong to you

In context: ‘Listen, we might not enjoy stamp collecting like that bloke does, but give him a fair go!’

Fair dinkum

Which means: Are you genuine and sincere.

In context: ‘He might not be perfect, but he’s fair dinkum and I like that.’

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Which means: A thorough beating, usually used in the sporting context.

In context: ‘Mate, they lost by 8 goals – they were flogged!’


Which means: Goodbye.

In context: ‘Hooroo mate, see you on Saturday!’

Go son!

Which means: Good work, keep going.

In context: ‘Go Son!, score that point!’


Which means: Friend. Also used in the UK of course, but in Australia can be peppered on the start, end and within middle of a sentence as needed.

In context: ‘Mate, do you know where I can get a coffee, mate? Thanks, mate’.

In a pinch

Which means: In a difficult or tricky situation.

In context: ‘That car part shall suffice in a pinch.’


Which means: A heatwave underway.


In context: ‘The forecast said the weekend shall be a scorcher.’


Which means: A girl.

In context: ‘This sheila is a good friend of mine’.


Which means: A stunning thing!

In context: ‘Streuth!, Did you see that goal just then?’


Which means: Flip flops. Just flip flops, so don’t confuse the lingo with something else.

In context: ‘Grab your thongs, we’re going to the beach!’


Which means: An endearing term for someone who is a bit of a fool.

In context: ‘Hey mate did you hear Max is going to run for Prime Minister? He’s 18 years old right? Wow, he’s a bit of a Wally isn’t he?’

You beauty!

Which means: What a fantastic person you have become.

In context: ‘You just passed the driver’s test? You beauty!’

Not bad for a beginner’s lesson in Australian slang. Now that you’ve mastered these Aussie expressions, go on and impress your Australian friends – er, mates!