Learn to Speak Aussie: Mastering the Lingo of Down Under

Marisa Etzell James Cook University, Australia


January 3, 2019
Marisa Etzell is a student blogger studying at JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY, AUSTRALIA

If you choose to study abroad in Australia and were expecting it to be an easy transition because they speak English, prepare to have your mind blown. While they may speak the same language as you do, the Australian way of communicating has its differences. I’ve decided to help you out a bit and give you a list of several key words and phrases that will come in handy during your semester away.

*Please note that the vocabulary list below is simply my interpretation and may not be entirely accurate. I have done my best to capture the essence of the words and their meanings, but of course, the ideal way to learn about these terms is from a local Australian.

  • Arvo: afternoon
  • Avo: not to be confused with arvo, avo means avocado
  • Barbie: Barbecue
  • Bathers/Togs: swimsuit
  • Bloke: man
  • Brekky/Brekkie/Breaky: I still haven’t figured out what the correct spelling of this word is, but it means breakfast
  • Esky: a cooler (a container to keep things chilled)
  • “Good on ya!”: well done, good work
  • Heaps: lots
  • “How ya going?”: a common phrase, essentially asking how you are doing
  • Maccas: This is what they call MacDonalds
  • Mozzie: mosquito
  • Sunnies: sunglasses
  • “My shout”: it’s on me, I’ll pay
  • Ute: utility vehicle, a type of truck with a tray in the back
  • Sanger: sandwich
  • Sheila: woman
  • Snag: sausage
  • Thongs: no, this is not what you think it is. Thongs are flip flops