Fair Dinkum, Let's Go Down Under!: Australian Slang

By: John Miller
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Americans and Australians both speak English, but their words are often very different, particularly when it comes to common lingo. How much do you know about Australian slang?

What sort of meal will you be eating if your friend fires up the "barbie"?

"Barbie" is slang for barbecue, which of course means that you'll be eating grilled foods. Barbie is one Australian slang term that's familiar to most Americans.

In Australia, if someone gives you a gift, what would you say?

Down Under, "ta" is a simple but effective way of telling someone "thank you." "Ta, I love my new 'Crocodile Dundee' t-shirt!"

What's a "flanny"?

"Flanny" is slang for a flannel shirt. So if you want to get your grunge on Down Under, you'll definitely dig out a flanny.

If someone tries to con you, you'd most likely utter which word?

If someone tries to take advantage of you, you might say "bull dust," which means bad or rubbish.

What do "mozzies" do?

Mozzies suck your blood. They are, of course, mosquitoes.

It's a good thing to be in a "bingle."

You definitely don't want to be in a bingle, which is a term for a minor car accident. If the accident is your fault, the other driver might "chuck a wobbly" or go crazy on you.

"Bogans" are the equivalent of what type of American?

Bogans are sort of like Australian rednecks. They are not known for their sophistication or high levels of achievement.

What product would you buy as a "slab"?

Are you looking to catch an alcohol buzz? Then you'd best buy a slab (24-pack) of beer for you and your friends.

If you're eating "snags," you're consuming what kind of food?

"Snags" are sausages. "When you head over, grab some snags and we'll throw them on the barbie!"

If you want to say that something is truly fantastic, how would you describe it?

If something is great, it's "ripper." "That slab of beer was totally ripper, mate!"

Everyone loves hanging out with a "skite."

Skites are braggarts. And in Australia, like everywhere else, no one really likes spending time with them.

If your friend tells you to met her in the "arvo," at what time of the day will you see her?

"Arvo" is slang for the afternoon. "I'll see you tomorrow arvo!"

If your friend says something and you respond with "too right" you are essentially doing what?

If you're certain that your friend is sharing a sentiment with which you agree, you might say "too right." In short, you agree with them.

"The ditch" refers to a land mass.

"The ditch" actually refers to a body of water. In this case, it's the 2,000-plus miles of ocean between Australia and New Zealand.

What sort of product do people buy at the "servo"?

In Australia, you'll go to the "servo" to fill up your vehicle with gasoline. Alternately, you'd call servos "petrol stations."

What might you say in surprise?

"Well, I'll be stuffed! I guess Julia Gillard's policies turned out to be good for all of us."

What's a term for garbage men?

In Australia, if the "garbos" wake you up early in the morning, it's because the garbage men are making their rounds.

If something is "bottler," it's great.

That fancy motorcycle "cost big bikkies" but that's OK because it's "bottler." In other words, that bike is expensive, but it's so great that it's worth it.

What does it mean to "drink with the flies"?

If you're "drinking with the flies," you're drinking alone. Grab your stubbie and fill up that pot of beer!

Who is most likely to "whinge"?

"Whingers" are major whiners. And in this case, of course, your toddler is most likely to be the one whinging.

How would you say, "everything will be OK"?

Disappointed in your propensity to drink with the flies? Don’t worry, "she'll be apples," in other words, in the end, everything will turn out fine.

A "dead marine" is the same thing as a "dead soldier."

It's true, they refer to the same thing. Dead marines and dead soldiers are both empty beer bottles.

What does it mean if you're "mad as a meat ax"?

If someone is as "mad as a meat ax," they are downright crazy. Perhaps they drank too many slabs of beer.

"Wowsers" are the people that you really want at a house party.

"Wowsers" makes it sound like these people will be wowing your other guests with their amazing conversational skills and party tricks. But wowsers are actually the party poopers.

What would you use to help your mate move across town?

You'd use a "ute" to help your friend. Ute is short for utility vehicle, such as a pickup. Be sure to buy a slab of beer on your way!

What's the "woop woop"?

If something's way out in the "woop woop," it's out in the boonies. In other words, it's kind of in the middle of nowhere.

If you need help with a complicated problem, you should consult a drongo.

"Drongo" is a slang term for a really stupid person. You should probably ask one of your smarter mates for assistance.

If you're putting on togs, you're donning which piece of clothing?

"Put on your togs and hit the beach!" If you wear your togs, you're wearing a swimsuit.

Why would you NOT want to take a "smoko"?

"Smokos" are smoke breaks. They'll not only cost you a ton of money, but they'll eventually take a toll on your health, too.

Why would you put food in an "esky"?

An "esky" is an insulated cooler. An eksy keeps foods and drinks hot or cold depending on your needs.

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