G’Day Mate: An Introduction to Aussie Slang.

One thing that takes a bit of getting used to when travelling abroad is the variety of different languages, accents, and voices. In Asia, those languages are plentiful, rapid, and loud, but English is spoken to a high enough standard that you can get by. In Australia, even though they do speak English, some Aussie slang may make you makes you question whether English is actually the first language.

Aussies have a few turns of phrase that are sometimes baffling, but if you stay here long enough, you may end up speaking the language. We have noticed that some of the things we say now come straight from the mouths of the natives. To make sure that you’re ready, here is a collection of phrases.

SENTENCE STARTERS

‘Ah Look…’

A favourite of Aussie cricketer, Michael Clarke, this is usually said when someone is about to tell you something profound like; how the match went, or how bad the traffic is.

‘Yeah, nah…’

If you’ve asked a question, don’t expect a straightforward answer. This literal ‘yes/no’ answer is used at the start of almost every sentence here, and once you’ve noticed it, you’ll laugh every time.

‘Ah yeah…’

Similar to above, this punctuates most answers to simple questions. “Have you had a good day mate?” “Ah yeah mate..”

GREETINGS AND MEETINGS

‘How ya goin?’

Often pronounced ‘haa ya garn?’ this is the ultimate in grammatically incorrect greetings. Australians are mostly friendly cobbers and you’ll hear this dozens of times a day. Shop assistants, baristas, tradies, your mates, everyone uses this phrase instead of a simple hello.

‘Gday’

The quintessential Aussie slang word, you should answer with ‘G’day mate, how ya goin?’

ENTHUSIASTIC REMARKS

Almost everything Aussies say is enthusiastic. Sure, Steve Irwin and Crocodile Dundee are caricatures of what Aussie blokes are like. Nevertheless, you’ll be lucky to meet a more excitable nationality of people.

‘Ya beauty/ya rippa’

Exclaimed when a goal is kicked in AFL, a 6 is scored in the cricket, or when you’ve been told you’ve got steak, chips, and beer for dinner.

‘Great oath’

This is Aussie slang for definitely – a very confident exclamation of agreement.

‘Bloody oath’

This is Aussie slang for ‘damn right’ – a very, very confident exclamation of agreement.

‘Ya reckon?’

Translation: “Oh really, do you think so?’

You’ve gotta be kiddin’ me

I know that other nationalities say this as well, but it seems that Aussies say this is an extraordinary amount of times. “Is that the time? You’ve gotta be kiddin’ me!” “40C? You’ve gotta be kiddin’ me!”

OTHER AUSSIE SLANG

‘Heaps’

= Lots of. Simple as that.

‘Too easy’

Bus drivers seem to say this a lot. It’s an alternative of ‘no worries’.

‘No dramas mate’

Hakuna Matata.

‘Grouse…’

I’ve only ever heard this word used by tradesmen; carpenters, electricians and the likes. Australia’s  construction industry is huge and is the lifeblood of it’s economy. Tradies use this word to express that something was enjoyable: “Did you have a good weekend?” “Yeah, it was grouse mate!”

RELATED: Top 20 Awesome and Unbelievable Facts About Australia

‘Chockers…’

Translates as busy or full, this word is used to describe Melbourne’s perpetually busy roads: “Jeez, the freeway is chockers tonight!”

‘There’s been a smash…’

When it’s chockers on the freeway tonight and there’s been an accident. It’s not an accident, or a crash, its a violent, flame-covered, SMASH!

GOOD ON YA, COBBA

Aussie slang comes in all shapes and sizes and, if you’re not from here, really can take you by surprise. Hopefully this short guide will help you navigate any potential awkward conversations when you get here. 


Aussie slang is part of every day life in Australia, and it is a matter of national pride. Here are a few choice phrases to get used to!

Aussie slang is part of every day life in Australia, and it is a matter of national pride. Here are a few choice phrases to get used to!

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WhenTwoWander

We're Sam and Katherine, a young British couple on the trip of a lifetime. We've navigated South East Asia on a tight budget, and we're currently based in Melbourne, Australia. South America is next on the list! Our story is a sign of the times - we met on Twitter! We've been a couple for three years now, but we're still learning about each other.
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