australian phrases

70 Common Australian Phrases and Words to Speak Like a Local

Understanding Australian phrases can make your conversations more engaging and help you connect better with locals. Whether you’re planning a trip to Australia or just want to impress your friends with some Aussie slang, learning these expressions is both fun and useful.

In this article, we’ll explore 70 common Australian phrases that you can use in everyday conversations. These phrases will not only enhance your vocabulary but also give you a glimpse into the vibrant culture of Australia.

Common Australian Words and Phrases


1. G’day

“G’day” is a classic Australian greeting that simply means “hello.” It’s a friendly and informal way to start a conversation, commonly used throughout Australia. This phrase embodies the laid-back and welcoming nature of Aussies.

How to use it: You can use “G’day” when greeting someone in any casual or informal setting, whether you are meeting a friend at a café, starting a conversation at work, or saying hello to a neighbor. “G’day, how’s it going?”

2. Arvo

“Arvo” is short for “afternoon.” Australians love to abbreviate words, and this is a perfect example. It’s a casual and easy way to refer to the latter part of the day.

How to use it: Use “arvo” when discussing plans or events happening in the afternoon, such as meeting up with friends, scheduling appointments, or chatting about the day’s activities. “Let’s catch up this arvo for a coffee.”

3. Brekkie

“Brekkie” means “breakfast.” This term reflects the casual and fun approach Australians have towards language. It’s often used in informal settings, especially when planning morning activities.

How to use it: “Brekkie” is perfect for making plans with friends or family to meet in the morning, discussing your breakfast choices, or inviting someone to join you for a morning meal. “Want to grab brekkie at the new café?”

4. How ya goin’?

“How ya goin’?” is an informal way of asking “How are you?” or “How’s it going?” It’s a friendly phrase that shows genuine interest in someone’s well-being, commonly used in everyday conversations.

How to use it: Use “How ya goin’?” when you want to check in on someone in a casual setting, such as greeting a colleague at work, bumping into a friend on the street, or catching up with someone you haven’t seen in a while. “How ya goin’? Haven’t seen you in ages!”

5. Cheers

“Cheers” is a versatile phrase in Australia. It can mean “thank you,” “goodbye,” or be used as a toast. It’s a warm and informal way to express gratitude or to end a conversation on a positive note.

How to use it: “Cheers” can be used when you want to thank someone for a favor, end a conversation, or when clinking glasses in a toast during social gatherings. “Cheers for helping me with that report!”

6. G’day mate

“G’day mate” is another friendly greeting, similar to “G’day,” but with “mate” added for an extra touch of camaraderie. “Mate” is a term of friendship and is used frequently in Australian English.

How to use it: Use “G’day mate” when greeting a friend, making a new acquaintance, or starting a casual conversation with someone you know well. It’s commonly used in social situations to express friendliness. “G’day mate, what’s new with you?”

7. Snag

“Snag” refers to a sausage, often cooked on a barbecue. Barbecues, or “barbies,” are a popular Australian pastime, and snags are a staple at these gatherings. This phrase is quintessentially Australian and reflects the country’s love for outdoor cooking and socializing.

How to use it: “Snag” is used when talking about food at a barbecue, planning a cookout with friends, or discussing what to bring to a social gathering. “Throw some snags on the barbie for lunch.”

8. Esky

An “Esky” is a portable cooler used to keep drinks and food cold. It’s an essential item for outdoor activities in Australia, like picnics, beach trips, and barbecues. The term “Esky” is actually a brand name, but it has become synonymous with all portable coolers in Australia.

How to use it: You can use “Esky” when preparing for an outdoor event, discussing what to bring for a picnic or barbecue, or when making sure your drinks stay cold at the beach. “Don’t forget to pack the Esky with drinks for the beach trip.”

9. Bikkie

“Bikkie” is short for “biscuit,” which is what Australians call cookies. It’s a common term used during tea time, casual conversations about snacks, or when offering someone a treat.

How to use it: “Bikkie” is used when talking about snacks, offering someone a biscuit with their tea or coffee, or discussing favorite treats. “Would you like a bikkie with your tea?”

10. It’s bucketing down

“It’s bucketing down” means it’s raining very heavily. Australians often use this phrase to describe torrential rain. It paints a vivid picture of rain pouring down as if from a bucket.

How to use it: This phrase is used when discussing the weather, warning someone about heavy rain, or describing a rainy day. “Grab an umbrella, it’s bucketing down outside.”

11. Stinking hot

“Stinking hot” describes extremely hot weather, a common occurrence in many parts of Australia. This phrase is often used to emphasize just how unbearably hot it is.

How to use it: Use “stinking hot” when talking about the weather, planning activities to avoid the heat, or expressing discomfort due to high temperatures. “Stay indoors today, it’s stinking hot out there.”

12. Bush

The “bush” refers to rural, undeveloped areas in Australia, often covered with native vegetation. It’s a term used to describe the countryside, away from urban centers. Australians often use it to talk about nature, camping, and outdoor activities.

How to use it: Use “bush” when discussing travel plans to rural areas, camping trips, or describing natural landscapes. “We’re going camping in the bush this weekend.”

13. Bludger

A “bludger” is a term for someone who is lazy or avoids work. It’s often used in a teasing or mildly disapproving way. This term can describe someone who shirks their responsibilities or doesn’t put in much effort.

How to use it: “Bludger” can be used when talking about someone who is not pulling their weight, jokingly referring to a friend who is being lazy, or describing a colleague who avoids work. “Don’t be a bludger, help us set up for the party.”

14. Chucking a sickie

“Chucking a sickie” means taking a day off work by pretending to be sick. It’s a common phrase used when someone calls in sick to enjoy a day off, even though they’re not actually ill.

How to use it: This phrase is used when discussing taking time off work, joking about taking a day off, or planning a day off without a legitimate reason. “He’s chucking a sickie today to go to the beach.”

15. RDO

“RDO” stands for Rostered Day Off, a pre-scheduled day off work that is part of an employee’s work schedule. It’s a common term in Australian workplaces, especially in industries with shift work.

How to use it: Use “RDO” when discussing your work schedule, planning time off, or explaining why you’re not at work on a particular day. “I’m taking my RDO next Friday to have a long weekend.”

16. Servo

“Servo” is short for service station or gas station. It’s a term used by Australians when referring to places where you can refuel your vehicle and buy snacks or other necessities.

How to use it: Use “servo” when talking about stopping for fuel, grabbing snacks on a road trip, or giving directions. “Let’s stop at the servo to fill up before we hit the road.”

17. Ute

“Ute” is short for utility vehicle, a type of pickup truck popular in Australia. It’s a versatile vehicle used for both personal and commercial purposes.

How to use it: Use “ute” when discussing vehicles, planning to transport goods, or talking about a road trip. “We’ll load the tools into the ute and head to the job site.”

18. Cuppa

“Cuppa” refers to a cup of tea or coffee. It’s a casual term used when offering or discussing hot beverages, often associated with taking a break or socializing.

How to use it: Use “cuppa” when inviting someone for a tea or coffee, suggesting a break, or chatting about drinks. “Let’s have a cuppa and catch up.”

19. BYO

“BYO” stands for Bring Your Own, typically referring to alcohol at parties or gatherings. It’s a common practice in Australia, where guests are expected to bring their own drinks.

How to use it: Use “BYO” when inviting people to an event, planning a gathering, or discussing party arrangements. “We’re having a BBQ this weekend, so it’s BYO drinks.”

20. Fair dinkum

“Fair dinkum” means genuine or real. It’s a phrase used to affirm the truth of a statement or express sincerity.

How to use it: Use “fair dinkum” when emphasizing honesty, expressing disbelief, or confirming authenticity. “He’s a fair dinkum Aussie, born and raised.”

21. Bogan

“Bogan” is a term used to describe an unsophisticated person, often associated with a particular style of dress and speech. It can be used humorously or disparagingly, depending on the context.

How to use it: Use “bogan” when describing someone’s behavior, style, or cultural background in a casual conversation. “He’s a bit of a bogan, but he’s got a good heart.”

22. Drongo

A “drongo” is a term used to describe someone who is foolish or incompetent. It originated from the name of a racehorse that never won a race, and it has become a popular way to refer to someone who isn’t very bright or has done something silly.

How to use it: Use “drongo” when playfully teasing a friend, pointing out a mistake, or describing someone’s foolish behavior. “Don’t be a drongo, you left your keys in the car again!”

23. Dag

“Dag” is an affectionate term for someone who is socially awkward or unfashionable, but it’s often used humorously and endearingly. It’s not meant to be hurtful and is usually used among friends.

How to use it: Use “dag” when joking about a friend’s quirky behavior or style, or when describing someone in a light-hearted manner. “You’re such a dag with those old-fashioned clothes!”

24. Galah

Galah” refers to a type of parrot known for its noisy and often silly behavior. In Australian slang, it’s used to describe someone who is acting foolishly or making a lot of noise for no reason.

How to use it: Use “galah” when teasing someone about their loud or silly actions, or when commenting on noisy behavior. “Stop being a galah and keep it down!”

25. Good on ya

“Good on ya” is a phrase used to express approval, congratulations, or encouragement. It’s a positive term that shows you’re happy with what someone has done or are encouraging them to continue.

How to use it: Use “good on ya” when congratulating someone on their achievements, encouraging them, or showing approval. “Good on ya for finishing that project ahead of time!”

26. You beauty

“You beauty” is an expression of happiness or approval, often used to celebrate a success or good news. It’s a way of showing that you’re pleased with something that has happened.

How to use it: Use “you beauty” when celebrating a win, acknowledging good news, or expressing excitement. “You beauty! We got the contract!”

27. Stoked

“Stoked” means very pleased or excited. It’s often used to describe a high level of enthusiasm or happiness about something.

How to use it: Use “stoked” when expressing your excitement or happiness about an event, achievement, or plan. “I’m stoked about our trip to the Great Barrier Reef!”

28. Footy

“Footy” refers to Australian Rules Football or sometimes rugby. It’s a term used to describe the sport and is very popular in Australia, where many people are passionate fans.

How to use it: Use “footy” when talking about watching a game, discussing your favorite team, or playing the sport. “Are you coming to watch the footy with us this weekend?”

29. Having a go

“Having a go” means making an attempt or trying something, often in the face of difficulty or with little experience. It’s a phrase that embodies the Australian spirit of giving things a shot, regardless of the outcome.

How to use it: Use “having a go” when encouraging someone to try something new, acknowledging their effort, or describing your own attempts. “Even though he was nervous, he had a go at the presentation and did really well.”

30. Speccy

“Speccy” is short for “spectacular mark,” a term from Australian Rules Football used to describe an impressive catch. It’s also used more broadly to describe something that’s visually impressive or outstanding.

How to use it: Use “speccy” when talking about an amazing catch in sports, or when describing something that looks great or is particularly impressive. “Did you see that speccy he took during the game? It was incredible!”

31. Bottle-o

“Bottle-o” is an Australian term for a liquor store. It’s a casual way to refer to a place where you can buy alcohol, and it’s commonly used in everyday conversation.

How to use it: Use “bottle-o” when discussing plans to buy drinks, giving directions, or talking about your local liquor store. “I’m heading to the bottle-o to grab some wine for tonight.”

32. Macca’s

“Macca’s” is the Australian nickname for McDonald’s. It’s a widely recognized term and is even used in some official marketing by McDonald’s in Australia.

How to use it: Use “Macca’s” when making plans to eat at McDonald’s, talking about fast food, or discussing your favorite items from the menu. “Do you want to grab breakfast at Macca’s before work?”

33. Mozzie

“Mozzie” is short for mosquito. It’s a common term used by Australians to refer to these pesky insects, especially during the warmer months when they are more prevalent.

How to use it: Use “mozzie” when talking about avoiding mosquitoes, preparing for outdoor activities, or discussing insect bites. “Don’t forget the mozzie repellent if we’re going to the park tonight.”

34. Lollies

“Lollies” is the Australian term for sweets or candies. It’s used to describe all kinds of sugary treats and is commonly used in both everyday conversation and by children.

How to use it: Use “lollies” when talking about buying sweets, giving treats to kids, or discussing your favorite candies. “I picked up some lollies for the party this weekend.”

35. Dunny

“Dunny” is a colloquial term for toilet. It’s an old Australian slang word that’s still commonly used, particularly in more rural or informal settings.

How to use it: Use “dunny” when asking for directions to the toilet, talking about bathroom facilities, or in casual conversation with friends or family. “Where’s the dunny? I need to go.”

36. Mate

“Mate” is a term of endearment and friendship commonly used in Australia. It’s similar to “buddy” or “pal” and is used to refer to friends or even strangers in a friendly manner. This term reflects the friendly and egalitarian nature of Australian society.

How to use it: Use “mate” when addressing friends, making new acquaintances, or speaking casually with people you meet. “G’day, mate! How have you been?”

37. She’ll be right

“She’ll be right” is an expression of reassurance, meaning “everything will be okay.” It embodies the laid-back and optimistic attitude of many Australians, indicating that there’s no need to worry.

How to use it: Use “she’ll be right” when comforting someone, expressing confidence that things will work out, or downplaying a minor issue. “Don’t worry about the deadline, mate. She’ll be right.”

38. Sanga

“Sanga” is a casual term for a sandwich. Australians often use this abbreviation when talking about meals, especially in informal settings like picnics, lunches, and quick bites.

How to use it: Use “sanga” when discussing food plans, making lunch, or talking about your favorite sandwiches. “I’m making a ham and cheese sanga for lunch. Want one?”

39. Thongs

In Australia, “thongs” refer to flip-flops, not the type of underwear as in some other countries. They are a popular type of casual footwear, especially during the summer months.

How to use it: Use “thongs” when talking about summer attire, preparing for a trip to the beach, or discussing comfortable footwear. “Don’t forget your thongs if we’re going to the beach.”

40. Ripper

“Ripper” is an expression used to describe something really great or excellent. It’s often used to express enthusiasm or approval and is a way to show excitement about a particular event or thing.

How to use it: Use “ripper” when celebrating good news, complimenting someone’s achievement, or expressing excitement about something. “That was a ripper of a game! Well played!”

41. Crook

“Crook” means sick or unwell. It’s a commonly used term in Australia to describe feeling under the weather or having some sort of illness.

How to use it: Use “crook” when talking about your health, explaining why someone is absent, or checking in on a friend who isn’t feeling well. “I’m feeling a bit crook today, so I’m going to stay home.”

42. Aussie

“Aussie” is a colloquial term for Australian. It’s used both as a noun and an adjective to describe people, things, or customs that are Australian. It’s a term that reflects national pride and identity.

How to use it: Use “Aussie” when referring to someone from Australia, describing Australian products or customs, or expressing national pride. “He’s a true Aussie, loves his footy and barbies.”

43. Chockers

“Chockers” is short for “chock-a-block,” meaning very full or crowded. This term is often used to describe places, schedules, or things that are packed to capacity.

How to use it: Use “chockers” when talking about busy schedules, crowded events, or full containers. “The pub was absolutely chockers last night, you could barely move!”

44. Bail

“Bail” means to leave abruptly or cancel plans. It’s a casual term often used among friends to describe someone backing out of an arrangement or leaving a place suddenly.

How to use it: Use “bail” when you need to leave an event early or cancel plans with someone. “I’m feeling tired, so I’m going to bail on the party tonight.”

45. Grog

“Grog” is a term used to refer to alcoholic beverages. It’s a broad term that can describe any kind of alcohol, from beer to spirits.

How to use it: Use “grog” when discussing drinking plans, describing what beverages to bring to a party, or talking about alcohol in general. “Let’s grab some grog for the barbecue this weekend.”

46. Bathers

“Bathers” refers to swimsuits or swimwear. This term is commonly used in Australia, especially in contexts involving swimming pools, beaches, or water activities.

How to use it: Use “bathers” when preparing for a swim, packing for a beach trip, or discussing swimwear. “Don’t forget your bathers; we’re going to the pool after lunch.”

47. Cark it

“Cark it” means to die or break down, often used informally and humorously. This term can describe both living beings and mechanical objects.

How to use it: Use “cark it” when referring to something that has stopped working or someone who has passed away (often in a light-hearted manner). “My old car finally carked it yesterday; time to get a new one.”

48. Deadset

“Deadset” means absolutely or really, often used to emphasize the truth or intensity of a statement. It can express sincerity, amazement, or affirmation.

How to use it: Use “deadset” to emphasize your point in conversations, express disbelief, or confirm something strongly. “That was deadset the best concert I’ve ever been to!”

49. Flat out

“Flat out” means very busy or working as hard as possible. It’s a common way to describe a hectic schedule or intense effort.

How to use it: Use “flat out” when explaining why you’re busy, describing a busy day, or talking about working hard. “I’ve been flat out at work all week; I need a break.”

50. Knackered

“Knackered” means exhausted or very tired. It’s a term used to describe extreme fatigue, often after a long day or strenuous activity.

How to use it: Use “knackered” when expressing how tired you are, explaining why you need to rest, or after a busy day. “After that hike, I’m absolutely knackered and need a rest.”

51. No worries

“No worries” means “no problem” or “it’s okay.” It’s a reassuring phrase often used to indicate that everything is fine or that someone should not be concerned about something. It’s a reflection of the laid-back and friendly attitude prevalent in Australia.

How to use it: Use this phrase to reassure someone or to respond to a thank you. “Thanks for helping me with that report.” “No worries, happy to help.”

52. Piece of piss

“Piece of piss” means something is very easy. It’s a casual way to describe a task that doesn’t require much effort, often used to downplay the difficulty of a job.

How to use it: Use this phrase to describe a simple task. “That test was a piece of piss.”

53. Strewth

“Strewth” is an exclamation of surprise or disbelief, similar to “wow” or “good grief.” It’s a versatile phrase used to express astonishment or amazement, often in response to something unexpected.

How to use it: Use this phrase to express astonishment. “Strewth! I can’t believe how hot it is today.”

54. Fair go

“Fair go” means giving someone a fair chance or treating someone fairly. It embodies the Australian value of fairness and equity, often used to encourage equal treatment or opportunities.

How to use it: Use this phrase to encourage fairness or equity. “Give him a fair go; he’s just starting out.”

55. Full as a goog

“Full as a goog” means to be very full, typically after eating. It’s a colorful way to describe feeling stuffed after a large meal, often used in a jovial or light-hearted manner.

How to use it: Use this phrase to describe being stuffed after a meal. “I’m full as a goog after that big lunch.”

56. Go walkabout

“Go walkabout” means to go on a journey or to wander, often without a specific destination in mind. It’s rooted in Aboriginal Australian culture, where it refers to a spiritual journey or exploration.

How to use it: Use this phrase when talking about traveling or taking a break. “I’m planning to go walkabout in the outback for a few weeks.”

57. Harden up

“Harden up” means to toughen up or stop complaining. It’s often used to encourage someone to be more resilient or to face a difficult situation with strength and determination. This phrase reflects the no-nonsense attitude that is sometimes associated with Australian culture.

How to use it: Use this phrase to encourage resilience or to tell someone to stop complaining. “Come on, mate, harden up and finish the job.”

58. Off like a frog in a sock

“Off like a frog in a sock” means to leave very quickly or to be very active and energetic. It’s a humorous and vivid way to describe someone or something that is moving at a fast pace or is full of energy.

How to use it: Use this phrase to describe someone moving or acting quickly. “As soon as the bell rang, the kids were off like a frog in a sock.”

59. Pull your head in

“Pull your head in” means to mind your own business or stop being annoying. It’s a direct way to tell someone to stop interfering or to behave more appropriately, often used when someone is being overly intrusive or disruptive.

How to use it: Use this phrase to tell someone to back off or be quiet. “You need to pull your head in and stop causing trouble.”

60. Spit the dummy

“Spit the dummy” means to throw a tantrum or get very upset, often over something minor. It’s a colorful expression used to describe someone losing their temper in an exaggerated way, similar to a child throwing a pacifier (“dummy”) when upset.

How to use it: Use this phrase to describe someone losing their temper. “He spat the dummy when he found out he didn’t get the promotion.”

61. Stickybeak

“Stickybeak” means someone who is nosy or likes to pry into others’ business. It’s often used to describe a person who can’t resist the urge to know what’s going on in others’ lives, usually in a meddlesome way.

How to use it: Use this phrase to describe a person who is too curious. “Stop being a stickybeak and let them sort it out.”

62. Take a squiz

“Take a squiz” means to have a look at something. It’s an informal way to suggest someone should check something out, often used when showing or pointing out something interesting or important.

How to use it: Use this phrase when asking someone to look at something. “Take a squiz at this; it’s really interesting.”

63. Wrap your laughing gear around that

“Wrap your laughing gear around that” means to eat or drink something. It’s a humorous and colloquial way to invite someone to enjoy food or drink, with “laughing gear” referring to the mouth.

How to use it: Use this phrase to invite someone to enjoy a meal or drink. “Wrap your laughing gear around this steak; it’s delicious.”

64. Belt up

“Belt up” means to be quiet or shut up. It’s a straightforward way to tell someone to stop talking, often used when someone is being noisy or disruptive.

How to use it: Use this phrase to tell someone to stop talking. “Belt up for a minute, I’m trying to concentrate.”

65. Flat chat

“Flat chat” means to be very busy or working at full speed. It’s used to describe a hectic pace or situation where someone is extremely occupied with tasks.

How to use it: Use this phrase to describe a busy schedule or intense workload. “We’ve been flat chat at work all week, no time for breaks.”

66. Not the full quid

“Not the full quid” means someone is not very bright or is a bit foolish. “Quid” is slang for a pound (currency), and the phrase implies that someone is lacking in intelligence or common sense.

How to use it: Use this phrase to describe someone’s lack of intelligence, usually in a light-hearted or humorous manner. “He’s a nice guy, but sometimes he’s not the full quid.”

67. Mad as a cut snake

“Mad as a cut snake” means someone is very angry or behaving wildly. It’s a vivid expression used to describe extreme agitation or erratic behavior.

How to use it: Use this phrase to describe someone’s intense anger or crazy behavior. “He was mad as a cut snake when he found out about the mistake.”

68. Fair suck of the sauce bottle

“Fair suck of the sauce bottle” means to give someone a fair chance or to treat someone fairly. It’s an expression used to call for equity and fair play, emphasizing the importance of giving everyone a fair go.

How to use it: Use this phrase to advocate for fairness or to complain about unfair treatment. “Come on, give me a fair suck of the sauce bottle; I deserve a chance too.”

69. Cactus

“Cactus” means something is broken or not working, or it can refer to someone who is exhausted. It’s a versatile term used to describe both inanimate objects and people in a state of disrepair.

How to use it: Use this phrase to describe something that’s not functioning or someone who is very tired. “My phone’s gone cactus; it won’t turn on at all.”

70. A few roos loose in the top paddock

“A few roos loose in the top paddock” means someone is a bit crazy or eccentric. It’s a humorous way to describe someone who may not be thinking clearly or is behaving oddly.

How to use it: Use this phrase to describe someone’s quirky or eccentric behavior. “She’s got a few roos loose in the top paddock, but she’s harmless.”

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