Here are some useful words and phrases to help you navigate Australia’s unique take on the English language.


What Australians call themselves; the ‘ss’ is pronounced as ‘zz’


An outdoor grill on which prawns, steak and sausages (snags), and even fruit are cooked.

Top view of Grilling Sausages on barbecue grill

A “barbie” or outdoor grill.


Great; “That’s a beaut hat you have”


A popular form of greeting; an abbreviation of “good day” used in place of “hello”.


The mystique and meaning of ‘mate’ to Australians is enormous; it’s used to refer to friends and strangers alike and implies a level of friendship, inclusion and egalitarianism that goes to the heart of the Australian culture and national identity.

Ta and Cheers

Both mean “thank you”

Middy or Schooner

No matter if you choose a middy or a schooner, an Aussie beer promises to quench your thirst.

glasses of beer toasting

Up for a middy?

No Worries

A general response to being thanked; “no problem” is also popularly used.

Gone walkabout

Used figuratively when someone or something can’t be found, or literally when someone heads into the bush without a set return date.

Fair Dinkum

Genuine, honest or authentic; “That’s fair dinkum amazing” or “Are you fair dinkum?”


Afternoon, as in “See you this arvo”.

Budgie smugglers


Budgie Smugglers hung with a clothes pin

Nothing fits like a good pair of Aussie budgie smugglers.



Yeah, nah

Also heard as “yeah, but” this translates to “I understand what you are saying but I don’t necessarily agree with it”.


Delivery is key here; it can mean “OK”, “Right, let’s get going” or “I understand, but I’m not sure I believe you”.

She’ll be right

Everything is OK

Good onya

Congratulations given on doing something well.

Crikey or strewth

Translates to “Oh my goodness” or “wow”.

You little ripper

That’s fantastic.

Heaps good

Used when something is excellent.

Birds speaking aussie english

Navigate Australia’s unique take on the English language.


A derrogatory remark for someone behaving foolishly, as in “stop acting like a flamin’ galah”.


Excellent, the best; “That meal was bonza”.


A male


No chance

Fair dinkum

Real, authentic: “Is that fair dinkum?” – and in true Australian lingo, occasionally shortened to just dinkum.


Flip flops; considered the national footwear.

thongs and sunglasses

Thongs are very different in Australia.


The real thing, authentic; “I’m a dinky-di Aussie”.


A toilet

Hard yakka

Hard work


A female


How Strayians pronounce Australia.

barbecuing father and daughter

A bloke and a shiela enjoying a barbie.

The language of the barbeque

It would be a mistake to underestimate the role that the barbeque plays in Australian society. Unlike the Texan barbeque – involving wood, charcoal, spicy rubs and large hunks of meat, the traditional Aussie barbeque is a little more all-encompassing, referring to the grilling of any kind of meat over a flame.

Known locally as the “barbie” (pronounced “baaarbie”), as in “throw another shrimp on the barbie”, the word is used not only to describe the appliance itself but also the social gathering that results from it. If you’re invited to “come over for a barbie”, you’ll be offered a choice of snags (sausages), prawns (shrimp), yabbies (freshwater crawfi sh), burgers, chops (a cut of lamb) and steak; modern offerings influenced by Australia’s multicultural society include kebabs, aromatic marinated chicken, stir fry and even pizza.

Australians also utilize the barbie to raise money for charity. Known as a “sausage sizzle”, the traditional offering is a snag on a folded slice of white bread with a generous slug of tomato sauce (ketchup), although flaky bread rolls and fried onions on top are also popular. The best place to find a sausage sizzle in Australia is at popular hardware store Bunnings Warehouse.

Deals & Offers

Travel and tour, AAT Kings, Australia

Ready to roam beyond the ordinary?

Save up to $1000pc on selected Australian and New Zealand vacations. Secure your tour today knowing that your travel plans can be adapted to suit your needs with REBOOK. REFUND. RELAX.*
  •  Australia
Get Deal
Ayers Rock, Red Centre, Adelaide, South Australia

Dive deeper into the outback

Save up to 10%
Immerse yourself in breathtaking natural wonders on a spectacular 11-day journey that extends deep into the Red Centre of Australia. Save up to 10%*.
  •  Adelaide, SA

Save up to 10%

Get Deal
Rail journey, The Ghan, Adelaide, South Australia

Welcome to Australia’s legendary Ghan

Save up to 10%

The Ghan travels through the heart of the Australian outback, delivering an experience that will move you in every sense. Save up to 10%*.

  •  Adelaide, SA

Save up to 10%

Get Deal
Couple, Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

Experience romance at Lizard Island Resort

Allow us to accommodate your heart's every desire. Enjoy Champagne on arrival, spa treatments, a sunset cruise with wine and cheese and a private beachside dining experience for two.
  •  Lizard Island, QLD
Get Deal

The Australia


Free Australia Magazine