Speaking ‘Strine’ or Aussie Slang

Photo: Australian Flag by Publicstock.net. CC by 2.0
Photo: Australian Flag by Publicstock.net. CC by 2.0

The Nephilim Code is set in Australia, with mostly Australian characters. The characters speak using words and terminology that I know. After all I’m Australian.

In his/her review of Nova (Nephilim Code #1) ‘Smittie’ pointed this out very clearly.

“…The use of so much slang was distracting and many words were not definable– ‘not found.’ … The book seems more suited for Aussie readers, not so much for USA ones due to the slang and word usage.

That surprised me because I hadn’t given it much thought. It is ‘slang’ and ‘word usuage’ that I use practically every day.

But I guess it’s all ‘Strine’ to some people.

I suppose I can relate though. Going back to my 11 year old self, reading books and wondering what ‘sophomore’, ‘candy’, ‘SAT scores’ and ‘ranches’ were. And why in heavens name anyone one would have gravy with biscuits. (Biscuits in Australia being the equivalent of ‘cookies’.) And why people were having ‘summer’ holidays in June, and why the school year started at the wrong end of the calendar. I also remember trying to figure out how ‘Mom’ was pronounced. I always thought it rhymed with ‘phone’, until I heard it in a movie and realised it was more like ‘bomb’.

Even though I took the unknown words in my stride, or asked an adult what it was, I realise that sometimes it’s nice just to have it laid out in an easy format. So here, now, are some Aussie ‘slang’ and ‘terminology’ for you. I do know that some things are ‘every day’ for me – that I don’t even realise are ‘slang’, so if I haven’t included something you’ve come across and what to know the translation, just ask me.

Ace = Excellent

Ambo = Ambulance or ambulance driver

Arvo = Afternoon

Aussie = (Ozzie) Australian

Barbie = BBQ or Barbecue

Barrack = to cheer (as in to barrack for a football team)

Big Smoke = a big city

Bikkie = short for biscuit (cookie)

Bloke = Male person

Bludger = lazy person

Bodgy = inferior quality or badly done

Bogan = red neck

Bogged = stuck in mud or sand

Brekkie = Breakfast

Bush = the outback or basically anywhere that isn’t a town

BYO = Bring Your Own, usually referring to alcohol

Cark it = to die or cease functioning

Chewie = chewing or bubble gum

Chook = a chicken

Corker = something excellent

Dag = a funny person, a nerd, a goofball

Daks = trousers

Dinkum or Fair Dinkum = true, real, genuine

Dipstick = a loser or idiot

Docket = a bill or receipt

Doovalacky = the thing you can’t remember the name of. Thingummygig or whatsit

Down Under = Australia

Dunny = lavatory

Durry = cigarette or tobacco

Fair Go = A chance

Footy = Football (not Soccer)

Fortnight = a period of two weeks

G’Day = (Good Day) Hello

Galah = fool or silly person

Hoon = hooligan

Hooroo = goodbye

Jug = electric kettle

Maccas = McDonald’s (golden arches – burger franchise)

Mob = group of people, not necessarily troublesome. Family.

Mate = Buddy or friend

Mozzie = mosquito

Outback = interior of Australia

Oz = Australia

Pash = long passionate kiss

Porkie = Lie, untruth

Prang = accident causing damage; as in vehicle accident

Ratbag = mild insult

Rego = vehicle registration

Ripper = really great

Roo = Kangaroo

Rort = cheating or defrauding (usually ‘the system’ or finances)

Servo = a petrol station (gas station)

Sheila = Female person

Shout = ‘your shout’; your turn to buy

Sickie = day off sick from work

Skite = brag or boast

Strine = Australian slang

Stoked = very pleased

Sunnies = sunglasses

Ta = Thank you

Technicolour yawn = vomit

Thongs = flip flops; shoes

Togs = bathing suit or swim suit

Truckie = truck driver

Tucker = food

Unit = flat or apartment

Veg out = relax

Waggin’ = being truant

Whinge = complain

Wobbly = excitable behaviour (Chuck a wobbly = throw a tantrum)

Yewy or U-ee = U-turn in traffic

Yobbo = uncouth or homeless person

Zed = the last letter of the alphabet


There you go, some Aussie slang. Have an ace arvo with some ripper tucker and just veg out in front of the footy.



12 thoughts on “Speaking ‘Strine’ or Aussie Slang

  1. I’m an Australian living in Viet Nam. I work in an English-speaking office with 60 other people, one of whom is also Australian.
    We’ll speak Strine between ourselves occasionally and everyone is convinced we’re speaking a completely different language.

  2. I didn’t notice the slang when I read Nova, and that’s not just because I’ve had more contact with Aussies in the last few years. Some of these words have been used in South Africa since I was a child – bloke, corker, mate, mozzie, prang, sickie, sunnies, ta, etc. I think they might have originated in Britain because both our countries have historical ties to there. However, since I arrived in Oz I have been confused by more new words, such as tinny which I thought was a can of beer because those always seemed to go hand in hand with trips in small boats. It took me a while to work out that a doona is what I know as a duvet. What worries me is that one day I am going to muddle dunny and doona and get some very strange looks from people who will think that I sleep under the toilet or worse…

  3. A great read 🙂 Yeah as an Australian I think our slang is pretty unique, also makes stuff a lot easier and quicker to say! Others may think it sounds lazy/strange but that’s the nature of slang everywhere I guess. I’m a student also writing about slang (internet slang) on my blog! Check it out if you have the time 🙂

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