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Speaking Aussie: An A to Z of Words and Phrases

Speaking Aussie: An A to Z of  Words and Phrases

The ankle biters are enjoying their Paddle Pops and fairy floss in the lounge room. (The little children are enjoying their frozen treats and cotton candy in the living room.)

While the majority of Australians speak English, Australian English has its own distinctive accent and vocabulary.

Introduce students to words and phrases with our A to Z list. Use the words in a sentence and encourage students to determine their meaning using context clues.

Speaking Aussie An A to Z

A     ace (excellent); ankle biters (little children); arvo (afternoon)

B     bathers (swim suit); bonnet (engine end of a car); boot (trunk end of a car); brolly (umbrella)

C     chewie (chewing gum); chook (chicken); cook top (stove); cuppa (hot beverage)

D     dag (funny person); docket (receipt or bill); dummy (baby pacifier)

E     earbash (nonstop talk); entree (appetizer); eve (evening); exy (expensive)

F     fairy floss (cotton candy); flanno (flannel); fly screen (window screen); footy (Australian rules football)

G     G’day (hello); Good on ya (Great job); grazier (cattle or sheep farmer)

H     hard yakka (hard work); holiday (vacation);  Hungry Jack’s (Burger King)

I       It’s a goer (something that will definitely happen)

J       joey (baby marsupial: kangaroo, koala, wombat); jumper (pullover sweater)

K      kip (nap); kiwi (someone from New Zealand); knackered (exhausted)

L      light globe (light bulb); loo (bathroom); lounge room (living room)

M     mad (crazy); mate (friend); mozzie (mosquitoes)

N      nappies (diapers); neddies (horses); Noughts & Crosses (Tic-Tac-Toe)

Speaking Aussie A to Z

This phrase is often used as a goodbye when someone is leaving a place quickly. For example, “I’m late for school mate. I’m off like a bucket of prawns in the hot sun.”

O      oil (information); outback (the bush, uninhabited region)

P      pacer (mechanical pencil); Paddle Pop (popsicle-type frozen treat); pram (baby stroller)

R      ripper (great); rock melon (cantaloupe); rubbish (garbage); rumpus room (family room)

S      sanger (sandwich); shark biscuit (amateur surfer); sponger (boogie board); sunnies (sunglasses)

T      ta (thanks a lot); tap (faucet); torch (flashlight); trolley (shopping cart)

U      uni (university); uey (a u-turn); ute (pickup truck)

W     waffle (nonsense); whinge (whine); windscreen (windshield)

Y       yabber (talk a lot); Yank (an American); yakka (work)

Z       zed (how Aussies pronounce the letter Z)

Other Languages in Australia

  • About 18% of Australians speak a language other than English.  Some of the most common ones are Italian, Greek, Arabic, and Mandarin.
  • There are also many varieties of aboriginal languages spoken by a small percentage of Australians.

Go Further

Australia Research Project

Australia Research Project

Australia Research Project