The Aussie slang – G’day, mate!

Posted on February 3, 2009 by


Oh yes, the Aussies sure have their unique slang, which still baffles me and other travelers alike. In some parts of Australia, their accent mixed with the Aussie slang make understanding them a tad bit difficult. But yet, you can’t seem to get enough of it. At least it cracked me up when we were trying to carry out a conversation with this surfer dude, where I had to keep going,  ‘ermm say it again?’.

Australia Slang, Aussie Slang, or Strine as it is sometimes called, is a reflection of the harsh Australian land, and the no-nonsense “lets get on with it” attitude of the Australian people. So a lot of corners are cut both with what we say and how we say it.

From ‘G’day mate!’ to ‘Onya’, the Aussie style of English is made up of colloquial expressions and slang phrases. So, to not look like a complete drongo, we’d better pick up some Aussie slang to get by in this land down under!

G’day is hullo, pronounced Gidday which is a shortened form of Good Day, and used mostly in informal situations.

Hooroo is Goodbye, pronounced as ‘ooroo’ and is used among friends.

Mate is Friend, mainly for males. Everyone in Australia is a mate, so they would often say “G’day mate” or “Thanks mate”.

Onya means Well Done, a shortened form of Good On You. The best “Aussieism” some say.

Adam’s ale means Water! Wonder who came up with that?!

Galoot refers to a foolish person – you don’t wanna hear people call you that!

Razoo is a fictitious coin made from brass. The term is usually used to indicate that someone has no money. “I haven’t got a brass razoo!”

Veg out is to relax and thing of, er, nothing.

Last but not least,

Drongo means a stupid, inept, awkward or embarrassing person, a dimwit or slow-witted person.

*Several slangs I’d found online are similar to the British, such as ‘bloke’, ‘back in a tic’, ‘I kid you not’ etc. The above slangs are usually used only by the Aussies.

So anyone knows any other Aussie slangs that might just make us chuckle?

About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

8 Responses to “The Aussie slang – G’day, mate!”

  1. Carrie February 10, 2009 6:37 am

    A friend of mine is in Australia right now for the first time! I will be sure to pass this along to him. Thank you! Also, wanted to let you know that your blog is getting a little award<a/> from me! :)

  2. Dina VagabondQuest April 13, 2010 12:25 pm

    I like how they call barbeque "barbie :) Not that long haired barbie doll.

  3. Amy Cammann April 5, 2011 7:19 am

    I’ve heard people say “you flaming golaa!” to mean foolish person as well. Love Australian mannerisms!

    • Pretraveller December 14, 2012 2:40 am

      I think you mean ‘you flaming galah’ – noting that a galah is a beautiful bird which is pretty stupid…

      Nice article!! Being a proud Aussie myself I will comment that only about half of your terms are ones I would hear (or use) regularly – but be aware that some slang can also be different between different Australian states.

  4. Tinerfeno March 2, 2014 4:54 am

    Nice selection, what about 'Sheila'.:)

    • Nellie March 12, 2014 6:44 am

      Thanks for sharing! What does \’Sheila\’ mean in Australia? Im going back to Oz soon and definitely hope to use some of these words. ;)


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