Thursday, January 13, 2011

Australian English to American English Dictionary

 I thought it was time to post a funny blog about some of the differences in language I have encountered during my time here in Australia.  You wouldn't think there would be a whole lot different since English is the primary language, but think again.  Australians have a language of their own and I still find myself lost in conversation even though I can understand what words are being said.  However, I've gotten to the point where I don't hear an accent in certain commercials anymore.  Assimilation here I come!  Therefore for your enjoyment and amusement, please enjoy a few of the new "Aussie English" words that I have learned.  And for all of my Aussie readers out there, please feel free to add any words I may have missed. 

  • Arvo:  afternoon
  • Barbie:  bbq.  Yes, Aussies do cook on the barbie, but no, they do not cook shrimp on the barbie.  If anything, they cook prawns on the barbie, not shrimp.
  • Bickkies or biscuits:  cookies
  • Bloke:  man.  Anyone that has been to Outback Steakhouse has learned this one.
  • Bottle shop:  liquor store.  Alcohol is extremely expensive Down Under.  A case of the domestic beer we drink, Pure Blonde, costs around $49.  A bottle of domestic Yellow Tail wine costs around $13.  You can buy the same bottle of wine for $6 in the US.
  • Brekkie:  breakfast
  • Buggered:  tired or worn out
  • Chook:  chicken
  • Crook:  sick, not feeling well
  • Dag:  goofy or an idiot.  Surprisingly enough, Michael has called me dag a few times before now.
  • Dear or dearer:  expensive or pricey
  • Dinner:  lunch.  You see where I would get extremely confused with this one.
  • Dunny or brick shitter:  outhouse.  Although, I have yet to come across one still in use.
  • Entree:  appetizer.  Again, see where I would be very confused by this one.
  • Esky:  cooler or igloo
  • Fair Dinkum:  true and genuine.  One of my favorite phrases to say even though I haven't quite mastered the context of when to say it.
  • Fairy Floss:  cotton candy.  Upon discovering this one, I proceeded to ask Michael if he truly believed that fairies flossed their teeth with the stuff.  He said yes.
  • Fart Sack:  bed.  I'll let your imagination ponder this one.
  • Footy:  National Rugby League
  • Fortnight:  2 weeks
  • G'day:  hello 
  • Good on ya:  good job, well done.  Also one of my most favorite Aussie expressions.
  • Grog:  alcohol
  • Heaps:  a lot or a bunch.  Believe me, Aussies use this word heaps too!
  • Jumper:  jacket
  • Lollies:  candy or sweets
  • Mate:  friend or buddy and can be used for a male or female.
  • Mozzie:  mosquito.  These buggers are everywhere and they bite!
  • No dramas:  no worries mate...I think this one is self explanatory.
  • Pissed:  to be drunk or getting drunk.  Can also mean to be mad in which case I think this is universal.
  • Reckon:  best guess or to ask a question.  "Do you reckon...." or in response, "I reckon...."
  • Rubbish:  trash or waste
  • Shelia:  woman.  Again, anyone who has ever been to Outback Steakhouse knows this one.
  • Smoko:  morning tea or break.  Aussies are religious about this morning break.  Promptly at 10am people gather to have a small snack and cup of tea or coffee.
  • Stubby:  beer bottle
  • Stubby cooler:  beer koozie
  • Tea:  dinner
  • Thongs:  flip-flops
  • Wog:  to have the flu or illness
I know that there are a bunch that I have forgotten but thought this would at least be a good start.  


  1. love it, as I read these I could hear Michael saying them!

    Valla and her Brownie troop are starting their Australia research Wed, thinking of you!!

    Little fact I found 21 of the top 25 deadliest snakes are in Australia. :(

    Jan 26 (valla's bday) is Australia Day :)

  2. Hi Jen,
    Please tell Valla to give us a call with any questions about Australia, or even if her brownie troops wants to hear a real Australian talk!
    Funny that you mention the snakes, I've been working on a blog about the dangerous aspects of OZ. Coming soon hopefully.
    Of course Valla's birthday is Australia day, tell her she should feel very connected to OZ.
    Love, Amy