10 you beaut Australian slang terms Brits should totally adopt

10 you beaut Australian slang terms Brits should totally adopt

If a thong-clad bogan from woop-woop sold you a goon-bag for for a few bucks would it make you a dag if you said yes?

Are you sick of the blank expressions and crossed wires that comes with being an Australian expat in the UK? Teach your London friends the lingo and you’ll be laughing like a kookaburra, No worries. Here are some ripper Aussie slang terms Brits need to adopt.

1. Woop-woop

An ambiguous, non-specific territory halfway between Timbuktu and a place really far away. Us Aussies don’t need a metric system when everything can be scaled on its proximity to woop woop.

Use: Mate I’m not trekking there, he lives in bloody woop-woop.

2. Arvo/traino/avo

We’ve all been there, eating an avo, in the arvo, on the traino. If only the Brits could understand what we meant. After all, there’s something so friendly about putting an ‘o’ on everything. David from the office needs to embrace the fact he will be forever, and to all Australians, Davo.

Use: What are you up to this arvo, Davo? I’m heading to the bottle-o via the servo.

3. Goon bag

Probably our greatest national contribution to the world of innovation and design. Australians may have invented the refrigerator and mechanical clippers, but the goon bag is of far greater significance. For its is it that protects our cask wine, and it that serves as many-a-nights’ entertainment as we string it up to the washing line for yet another game of ‘goon of fortune’. And just how many nights has it served as a pillow, when we inflate the little bag with air to rest our drunken heads at the end of the evening?

The Brits have it all wrong: drinking fruity drinks with bits of mint getting stuck in your teeth (Pimms) – not cool and so expensive. They need to embrace the technological advancement – we have invented the wheel! Goon bags, we salute you.

Use: Are you going to Davo’s on Saturday? Don’t forget the goon bag.

4. Bogan

Brits will tell you that they have chavs and we have bogans, but this is not a fair comparison. The term chav may mask some serious class hatred here in England (standing for Council-Housing Anti-Social Vermin), whilst bogan is an affectionate term we throw at our mates when they’re rocking a mullet, being overly patriotic and drinking cheap, luke-warm beer from a footy-themed stubbie. We are all bogans sometimes, it is a word which unites not divides.

Use: Ah, ya bogan.

5. Bucks

If you say you have ten bucks in your pocket, you may receive a strange look. Brits may envisage you sporting 10 male-deer with large horns protruding from your pants. But ‘bucks’ is in fact a one-size-fits-all, non nation specific, term for coin. Whether it be yen or euro, it’s always a buck to us. It’s an essential term for travelling as it can be super confusing when trying to remember whether you owe someone a pound or a koruna. Or was it a quid? Is that the same thing? Who can keep track anymore?

Use: Hey mate, can I borrow five bucks to grab a pie?

6. Undies vs pants vs trousers

What’s so damn confusind? Briefs, undies, jocks, tighty whities, boxers. Pants are what you swap shorts for if you’re going somewhere fancy (fancy pants?). Trousers are so pompous – they’re bland and dull. Pants are fun, they can be flared, they can be corduroy. It’s a pants party!

Use: I’m not wearing any undies under my pants today.

7. Cozzies and togs.

Seriously, just ask a British male what they call their swim shorts – they are so primitive they haven’t even got a word for it. Apart from the uptight, all-style encompassing word of ‘bathers’, they only have ‘swimming suits’ or ‘swimming costumes’. This conjures up the image that they are sporting some kind of bow-tie-speedo-lycra combination, a three-piece made of spandex. How can you have a swimming ‘suit’? ‘Togs’ or ‘cozzies’ encompass the tankini, bikini, bordies, rashies and anything else one may choose to swim in.

Use: Surf’s up, let me just grab me cozzie.

8. Ranga

Officially adopted into the Australian Oxford Dictionary, what started as a schoolyard insult has now entered the official Aussie lexicon. There’s something quite literary, if not offensive, in referring to someone with red hair as a ranga, likening them to an Orangutan. We are poets, really.

Use: “A Ranga sir. Cause he’s got red hair” (Jonah Takalua – Summer Heights High)

9. Thongs

When Sisqo released his 90s hit ‘Thong Song’, while the rest of the world bore all in skimpy cozzie bottoms, Aussies everywhere took off their shoe and waved it proudly in the air as the chorus sang ‘Shake that thong’. If only Brits would adopt the correct vernacular, we’d stop this g-string, flip-flop confusion.

Use: Oh no, I’ve had a blow-out on my thong, and they’re my favourite pair!

10. Dag

Nowhere else in the world would the poo that hangs off of a sheep’s behind be used as a casual insult by mums, dads and grandmas everywhere. A dag is a dork, a lamo, a silly person.

Use: When someone enters a room with the tag of their clothes hanging out, one would say, ‘hey mate, you’re being a tag-dag’.

For more great Aussie words see: Australian slang dictionary

Poppy Damon

Poppy Damon

Poppy Damon is going into her third year reading history at Cambridge University. Born in East London with two passports, Poppy moved to Perth (WA) in 2006 to attend Secondary school before returning again to England for University. Poppy's short story, 'The Untouchable' has recently been published in 'Hatched: Celebrating 20 years of the Tim Winton Award for Young Writers'.


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