The basics
Australia: Once you arrive

Common confusing Aussie slang explained

Studying in Australia? Aussie slang left you bewildered? We’re collated a few of these terms to help you out here.

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Each country will have adapted the English language to make it theirs, infused with their own cultures and with it, their own set of slang, that non-locals would have a tough time comprehending. Australia is no different. Here is a list of slang that are used by Aussies that may leave you scratching your head in confusion.

 

As crook as Rookwood- When you first hear this term, it sounds as if they’re describing someone who is a criminal or a crook. What the term actually means is that someone is seriously ill. "Crook" being really sick, at death's door, and Rookwood being the biggest cemetery in Australia.

Drongo – Someone who is crazy or a fool. The term was derived from a racehorse of that name in the 1920s, which never won a race out of 37 starts. 

Face like a dropped pie – Someone who’s face is ugly.

Firies - Refers to firefighters. 

Fit as a Mallee bull – Someone who is very fit and strong and in good physical condition. The Mallee is a region in Victoria, South Australia - a dry area where an animal would need to be tough and fit in order to survive. 

Full as a centipede's sock drawer – This is a strange one. The origins of this particular phrase is uncertain, but it generally means that the person is very full.

Go troppo – It means to go crazy. The term was first used to refer to people thought to have become a bit bizarre from the tropical heat in places like Darwin.

She/He played a Barry – Someone who did something really badly. Barry is short for Barry Crocker and rhymes with shocker. He sang the theme tune for the Australian soap- Neighbours

Kangaroos loose in the top paddock - Eccentric or not very smart.

Knock up – Meaning wake up. This could lead to some misunderstandings if a fellow flatmate or your host family saying: “I would knock you up in the morning.” One might think that said person is trying to get them pregnant.

Like a mad woman's breakfast – Something that is all over the place or messy. 

Macca's or Mackers - McDonald's.

Mouth like the bottom of a cocky's cage – This is used to refer to a dry mouth, often as a result of heavy drinking and or smoking and a cocky is a cockatoo.

Neck oil - Beer.

Spit the dummy – To have a sudden tantrum.

Stone the crows – An expression of amazement.

Thongs - Flip-flops.

Tucker - Food.

Two-pot screamer - someone who can't hold their drink. A pot is a half-pint glass.

Woop woop – An isolated place.

We hope that some of these explanations will help in deciphering the interesting and colourful terms that the Aussies use! 

 

Photo credit: visualhunt.com

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A fan of anime and all things Japanese, Khai has been writing professionally since 2010 and “unofficially” for much longer. In her free time, you will often find her baking, reading, travelling and doing everything else in between.

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