Our semi-tamed Australian actually made this guide for us, as most of the time we don’t understand WTF he’s saying. We’re pretty sure “FostersMetricSystemBoomerrangCrocodileCriminalIslandMadMax” is a real word there too. But it’s probably the bourbon talking. -Mad Duo
Talkin’ Strayin! (Aussie Slang, A through D)
So, some of you readers may have noticed a slight antipodean lilt to my writing’s accent. It’s not all con. I spell aluminium and colour weird, and you should wait till you hear me talk! I confuse people all over the world, with my mixed up spoken vernacular and messed up “vaguely “not from roun’ here accent…. that said, I feel maybe I can add something to common understanding, and perhaps improve international relations by offering a quick overview of some of the more colourful idioms of common Australian conversation you might come across if you get stationed with some, or even just shoulder up to one of our innumerate backpackers at a bar somewhere cheap and dingy …
Now, Australians are renowed for being fairly potty-mouthed, and I hope you’re adult enough to handle rude word on the internet. if not, go check out the fun kids on 4Chan, but the key is that its all in good context (we hope).
First up: “Ozzies” vs “Aussies.” It’s pronounced like OZZY OSBOURNE, not HOUSE_EEEEE or AHHHWWW-SEEEE
I’m going to cover some simpler terms and phrases that may confuse and conflate your communications, then explain and use them in context.
- Agro: aggravated (abbreviated). “Hey don’t get all agro with me mate, not my fault you didn’t pack wet weather gear.”
- Arvo: afternoon (abbreviated). “Hey Cheer up rain should clear by tomorrow arvo!”
- Average: sub-standard. Poor performance. Sarcasm. “Thanks mate, the forecast has been pretty average this whole trip.”
- Bags: to call claim on, like dibbs. “Chicken’s here. Bags the drumsticks!”
- Battler: an underdog struggling on regardless. “Get a load of these poor battlers. Cold, wet, miserable, and not a Nintendo DS amongst them.”
- Boff: to have casual sex. “So there we were in the middle of the storm, just battling on, then these two just boffed right there on the pool table, lights out for miles around.”
- Bottl-o: abbreviation of Bottle-shop, a Liquor store. “Let’s swing past the bottle-o on the way and grab some beers for the party, mate.”
- Bogan: a uncouth and uncultured ruffian (from Boggan, a kind of troll/gnome). “Man, the bottle-o was full of bogans, huffing paint.”
- Bloody: an verbal amplifier. “That wasn’t just a good concert mate, it was bloody brilliant!”
- Bloody brilliant: very good. “So there we were in the middle of the storm, just battling on, then these two just boffed right there on the pool table, lights out for miles around. It was bloody brilliant!”
- Barbie: a BBQ grill (charcoal or gas), or the act of cooking at one at a party. “Bloody brilliant barbie, mate. We’re just gonna swing past the bottle-o for some more beers.”
- Bastard: a person who is unliked or unlikable. They may also be a dear friend or no relation at all. May also be an insult to someone being a prick. “Look at all these bastards, trying to merge into the off-ramp. Some poor bastard must have had a bingle up ahead in all the rain. And there’s this bastard. Leaning out to take pictures on his bloody phone…get yer head in, ya’ soppy cunt.”
- Bunnings Sausage sizzle: Bunnings, a big hardware/lumber chain, puts on sausage BBQs for local charities. For a “gold coin” ($1/$2) you can get a sausage, and sauce on a slice of buttered white bread. Grilled onions and soft drinks extra. Makes a weekend hardware crafting run a dining experience. “After Davo’s piss-up barbie on Friday night we had to swing past Bunnings to replace the busted lawn chairs. Sausage sizzle was lifesaving hangover cure, mate.”
- Bludge: to be lazy and skate or shirk work or effort. Often in relation to the unemployed. “That bludger say he can’t work because of his back but I saw him playing footy.” It’s a serious insult to call someone a bludger, suggesting they’re shirking duty or leaving others to do the work, which is rather in-Australian.
- Barrack: to support or cheer for a side. To “root” has a different meaning to Aussies. “I started off barracking for the Bulldogs like my dad but they’re crap so I switched to the Mighty Magpies. They’re doing bloody brilliant this season.”
- Cobber: a guy, a dude, a fella. “That cobber is a true blue battler. Right as rain he is.”
- Chuck: to vomit. “After the piss-up at Tommo’s I didn’t think I’d ever eat again. I even chucked when we drove past the Bunnings Sausage Sizzle.”
- Chucking a na-na: – temper tantrum. From baNA-NA . “The Sergeant Major chucked a right na-na after his dog ran in front of the convoy. Squashed flat it was.”
- Chucking a wobbly: see chucking a na-na .
- Chucking / hanging a U-ey: making a U-turn whilst driving. No drifting or bootlegger turns required, but sound effects welcome.
Dag: the matted faecal matter hanging from the back of a sheep. A mild jibe to indicate someone is bit lame or uncool. Suitable for schoolteachers to address wayward kids. Equivalent to Huckleberry or dingleberry. “Take those off, you big dag. Who wears sunglasses inside at night?”
- Cunt: derisive insult. Nowhere near as taboo a term in Australian culture as in American. It’s still not nice conversation, but not a deadly insult either. “Sure, my dad’s a bit of a cunt, but at least he’s not a bloody bludger like yours.”
- Dart: a cigarette. Often hand rolled. “Chuck us a dart mate, I’m off for a smoko.”
- Dobbing: telling on someone; finking/tattling/ratting on. For personal gain. Viewed with much contempt. “It was a total bludge job mate, right until those dobbers from level seven chucked a wobbly.”
- Dead set: True, dependable, fixed or sturdy, decided or final. “If you’re dead set on crossing the Nullarbor in that junk heap, you might want to chat to Ol’ one-eye Joe, first. Fella is a dead-set legend in these parts, mate.”
- Don’t come the raw prawn with me: don’t try to fool me in an area I’m experienced in. “I need the carburetor for a 1968 Holden Commodore. Don’t come the raw prawn with me, mate, that one’s for a 1972 Ford Fairlane”.
- Democracy sausages: voting in Australia is compulsory. To help reduce the sting of having to waste perfectly good Saturday mornings, it’s traditional for polling stations to also host a sausage sizzle and bake sale on election day. “I don’t care which of the bastards wins, I got me my Democracy sausage so I’m good for four years.”
- Dog and bone: telephone. Rhyming slang. “One of those bastards from level seven on the dog and bone again, dobbing on the bludgers from section three. AGAIN. AVERAGE.”
- Donger: A penis. “She threw him the can, but it was wet from the Esky, right? So I slipped it and it got him right on the donger, pinned him to the chair it did, thought he mighta spewed right there at the table.”
Drongo: a mild insult, equivalent to a dumbass.
- Durry: a cigarette. abbreviated from Dunhill. “give us a fuckin’ Durry, ya cunt“
- Dry as a dead dingos donger: thirsty. Dingos (the semi-native wild dog) which die of dehydration, often get baked into hairy jerky by the unforgiving Australian sun. “Pass me a beer, mate, this one’s as dry as a dead dingo’s donger.”
(Stay tuned for F-N and M-Z)
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.
About the Author: Josh Orth is a second generation expat currently dwelling in the arguably civilized outskirts of Melbourne, Australia. He’s lived in deserts, jungles and urban sprawls around the world and traveled/adventured into assorted inhospitable places around the world and has a keen sense of the speed with which the trappings of ‘civilized Western life’ can disappear. This has led him to begin writing about his interests and observations when it comes to the gear, skills and other necessities of self reliance of being equipped for whatever a capricious, occasionally indurate life might throw at him. This isn’t by any means to say our eccentric friend truly experiences genuine vorfreude about dystopian life, but if he had to he might not complain. Read more by Josh at Apocalypse Equipped.