|Australian Words and Phrases|
Aussie words and phrases in common use
tele and video
Let's go to the pictures
see you later
Words meant to be typical Australian but rarely used
don't come the raw prawn with me, mate.
Slang, invented by Barry Humphries and others, but in regular use
point Percy at the porcelain
Invented Aussie slang but not actually used
shake hands with the wife's best friend
siphon the python
don't come the raw prawn with me, mate
Words known in Australia but not actually used by Australians
trunk of car
fender of car
hood of car
write a person (instead of saying write to a person)
we are going to the markets Saturday (without an 'on' before markets)
gas, gas station, gasoline etc: sorry, it's called petrol here
carousel - Australians usually say merry-go-round
I'm going to the mall
tubes - American word for radio valves, as used in guitar amplifiers
ground beef - Australians say mince
Old fashioned words gradually going out of use
radiogram (up to 1958)
trannie - it used to mean transistor radio
gay (it used to mean happy, light-hearted and cheerful 50 years ago)
theatre, flicks or pictures meaning cinema
reel-to-reel tape recorder
one armed bandits
milk bar, sandwich shop
six o'clock swill
laundromat and laundrette
front stalls and back stalls at the pictures
your shout - to buy a round of drinks
Happy and gay, the Laxette way - old slogan for laxatives
reporter - what a journalist used to be called before they wrote opinions instead of facts.
New Words and Wacky Acronyms
CBD - this shocker has replaced "the shops" or "down town" or "up town"
Centrelink - a euphemism used to disguise the dole office
metro - a modern-sounding but bogus word for a smaller than average train
transit lane - a place where cars move slowly during the peak hour
24/7 - we never close, except when we are not open
365 - we are open every day except when we are closed
convenience store - corner store, corner shop, general store
anorexia nervosa - unheard of 50 years ago
heritage - unheard of 50 years ago
convict ancestors - utterly taboo until 1988
WAGs - Wives and Girlfriends
BYO - Bring your own wine to a restaurant
shock-jock - the smear word for a radio announcer when you don't agree with them.
gutter press or Murdock press - word for a newspaper when you don't agree with them.
having a dining experience - eating out.
living your chosen lifestyle - what more can I say?
Words not generally known in Australia
underground (railway station)
electric fire - wonderful British word for radiator
scarf and barf replacing chew and spew
the tri-state area
metro (although the NSW government is desperate to have one)
jelly (meaning jam)
tractor-trailer - horrible American word for semi-trailer
Slang words and phrases in fairly common use
see you later
there you go
stone the crows
flat out like a lizard drinking
even Blind Freddie could see that
you've got Buckley's chance
thongs - footwear not undies
hoons, hooning around
she'll be right
youse (the plural of you)
middle of nowhere
The Furphy was a mobile water tank used on farms and during the 1914-1918 World War.
Nowadays a furphy is a rumour, a piece of misinformation, or story that is unlikely to be true.
Old fashioned slang rarely used
bodgies and widgies (also mods and rockers)
up the duff
back of beyond
a bun in the oven
mad as a two bob watch
it's had the pork sword
housie or housie-housie - alternative Australian word for bingo
getting off at Redfern.
Overseas words best not said in Australia
cheerleaders rooting for their home team
it's better to say draughts instead of checkers
making jokes about everything being upside down in Australia
down under - nobody actually says this in Australia
New Zealand slang and especially the accent
New Zealand pronounced New Zillund
his pronounced hez
guest pronounced gust
fish and chips pronounced fesh and cheps
jandals - called thongs in Australia
six, as in this story....
Aussie boy on first date: What time shall we go out to eat?
Homely NZ girl: After six.
chilly bin - an Esky in Australia
tramping - known as bushwalking in Australia
kiwi - word used by Australians to describe everything from New Zealand
Note: There are lots of shortened words in New Zealand like in Australia.
Train station instead of railway station
Saying zee instead of zed for the last letter of the alphabet
Thinking the emergency number is 911 not 000
Licence plate instead of rego number
Railroad or railroad track instead of train track or railway track
Convenience store instead of corner shop (what's convenient about being overcharged)
Numbering the floors in buildings where Level 1 is the ground floor.
restrooms or bathroom instead of toilet (this one has to be the worst, especially at Westfield)
Confusion between alligators and crocodiles
Saying vacation instead of holiday.
bathroom tissue instead of toilet paper
diaper instead of nappy
crib instead of cot
training bras for little girls
shopping mall instead of shopping centre
Anything off TV, for example words like mall-rat
saying Emergency Room instead or Emergency or Outpatients or Casualty
American trends reaching Australia for example saying 24/7 and 9/11 which is actually 11/9
Saying write someone instead of write to someone
fire truck instead of fire engine
saying checkers instead of draughts for the board game
saying college when you mean University or TAFE
calling a railway carriage a car
saying streetcar or tramcar or light rail instead of tram
calling a flat or a home unit an apartment or a condo
rush hour instead of peak hour
thinking that thongs are a type of underwear instead of footwear
cookies instead of biscuits (they don't have Tim Tams, so there)
jelly instead of jam
trash can instead of garbage bin
spelling the word centre as center
saying stocks when you mean shares
saying wildfire when the Australian word is bushfire
liquor store instead of bottle shop
mom instead of mum
hurricane instead of cyclone
thinking that school buses should be painted yellow and have flashing lights
talking about cattle ranches after watching a western movie
saying happy holidays instead of merry christmas.
American spellings unacceptable in Australia
fiber, center, specter
dialed should be dialled, and many more that are similar eg travelled
realized instead of realised and many, many more of these z words
Note: This spelling fiasco was created by just one American who thought he knew what was best for everybody.
British words and slang not often used in Australia
chav - the new peasant urban underclass
ASBO - Anti Social Behaviour Order
DOGBO - Same, but for your pit-bull
Regional Words in Australia (these are surprisingly few)
poloni, devon, salami, windsor sausage, german sausage
peanut butter or peanut paste
bogan, westie, yobbo - it's usually westie in Sydney and bogan in Melbourne, but the Sydney Morning Herald used the word 'boganism' in March 2010.
cossies, togs, bathers, swimmers - slight regional variations.
Shortening of Words and Terms of Affection
It seems appropriate that the leader of the opposition is Bill Shorten.
the woo worse foo fairies at Miranda
I'm going to the Erko Bowlo this arvo.
I'm off to the Sando to see Chris and Lucy do their stuff.
the Meccano Set at Lansvale
the blinking light at Frenchs Forest
the 'Number 96' block of flats in Woollahra
the Map of Tasmania
Shoot through like a Bondi tram.
Political Correctness, especially from Government Departments
The Spot - All locals know where this is, basically it's South Randwick. And all the buses used to say "Via The Spot" on the front, but now they say "Via Carr Street". Worse still, Australia Post says the post office at The Spot is called "St Pauls".
Beach Inspectors renamed to Lifeguards.
Holiday - this frightful new word for Christmas is a worst possible case of political correctness and is occasionally seen in Australia.
Indigenous Australia - all derogatory words have been banished.
Team Leader - the original word was ganger
Bus Operator - whatever happened to bus driver
Construction Workers - a more up-market term than Builder's Labourers
Administrative Assistant - junior clerk
Circular Quay - Sydney buses used to go to Circular Quay, but now they go to City.
Ambulatory toilet - I haven't figured this one out yet.
Customers instead of Passengers - a special prize to Cityrail, whose new name 'Sydney Trains' is deservedly detested.
The 'Spastic Centre of NSW' has been renamed.
Restooms - A special prize to Westfield Shopping Centres for renaming the toilets but not providing any beds.
Chair person instead of chairman - complete tosh because the 'man' refers to the Latin word for hand
Wait person - the gender-neutralists keep trying, don't they.
Person hole cover instead of manhole cover - only joking, the feminists have not achieved this one yet.
Huntsperson Spiders - An example from Macquarie Uni, coming soon to your back verandah.
Let Stalk Strine and Nose Tone Unturned, two books by Professor Afferbeck Lauder
Wikipedia Article on Australian English - anomyous experts know the topic well
Paul Hogan and the Crocodile Dundee movies
Barry Humphries and the film character Bazza McKenzie
Macquarie Dictionary - Book of Slang (1996, revised in 2000)
The Penguin Book of Australian Slang by Lennie Johansen (1988, 1996)
Prize: A special tribute to the compilers of the Australian English word list, as used in the Firefox and Chrome browsers, a massive effort completed without thanks or credit.
Booby Prize: The collaboration between Microsoft, News Corporation and Macquarie Dictionary to produce a list of Australian words that tolerated American spellings such as color, fiber and organization and which introduced pretentious French accents on words such as cafe, facade and deja vu.
Special Booby Prize: All the shopping centres, especially Westfield-owned, where the signs say restrooms instead of toilets.
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