Learn the Lingo – A – C
Amber fluid – beer (sometimes also known as “amber nectar”)
Ambo – someone who works in an ambulance (a paramedic)
Ankle biter – small child, usually a toddler
Arvo – afternoon
Aussie – a Citizen of Australia (sometimes used to describe the country of Australia itself; “I’m from Aussie”)
‘ave a go ya mug – to encourage somebody to participate more enthusiastically (usually in sports)
Bail up – to corner someone physically
Ballistic – to be demonstrably berserk about something
Banana bender – a resident of the state of Queensland on Australia’s north-east coast
Barbie – barbeque
Barney – fight
Barrack (for) – to cheer or support something (usually a professional sports team). In the US it is the equivalent of rooting for your team
Bathers – swimming costume
Beanie – woolen hat (tight fitting as used in cold climates)
Bender – heavy drinking session (usually resulting in a severe hangover the next day)
Biffo or Biff – fight
Big bikkies – lots of money
Big smoke – the city
Bikkie – biscuit (or “cookie” in the US)
Billabong – small waterhole/pond surrounded by trees with lots of shade
Billy – a recycled tin can used to boil water over a campfire to make tea
Bingle – car accident/wreck
Biro – ballpoint pen
Bizz or Bizzo – business
Bloke – male of adult age
Bloody oath, mate! – “…that is correct” or “…I agree with you”, a phrase used to confer support for a situation or to emphasize that something is genuine or correct
Blotto – drunk
Bludger – a lazy person (most commonly used as “dole bludger” meaning a person on government welfare when they are unemployed)
Blue – a mistake, a verbal argument or a physical fight (“…oh no! I made a blue by cutting that log to short” or “…those two blokes got into a blue over that girl on the dance floor)
Boardies – board shorts (like those used when surfing)
Boatie – a person who likes boating
Bondi cigar – an intact turd floating in the sea. The term, now pretty much outdated, harks back to a time before Sydney’s effluent treatment was dragged into the 20th century (in other words, sewage was pumped into the sea after a level of treatment and left to nature to break its components down)
Boofhead – a complete idiot
Boomer – kangaroo
Bored s***less – very bored (to the point of being totally disinterested in something)
Boss – the wife (usually sarcastically, an Aussie bloke will advise that he has to consult his wife before making a decision, so “…I’ll need to check with the boss”)
Bottle shop – liquor shop (sometimes drive thru). Premises licensed to sell all forms of alcohol.
Breatho – a random road breath test (drink driving, also known as RBT) administered by police
Brekkie – breakfast
Brick s*** house – usually used to describe a big strong bloke “…he’s built like a brick s***house”. The connotation being that a brick s***house can withstand just about anything that an occupant could throw at it when using the bathroom (harks back to the earlier days in Australia when a bathroom was not always indoors and it may have been made from wood or sheetrock and thus not so strong as brick construction).
Brickie – used in the construction industry and describes a tradesman who lays bricks
Brissie/Brisvegas – Brisbane, the capital of the state of Queensland
Brumby – a wild Australian horse
Buck’s night – a stag party
Buckley’s, Buckley’s chance – no chance, or having only a very remote chance, of something happening (“…the Australian ping pong team has Buckley’s chance of beating the Chinese ping pong team”)
Budgie-smugglers – tight fitting Speedo swimwear worn by males. A “budgie” is short for budgerigar, a small bird native to Australia. You can use your own imagination to join the dots!
Bugger – a mild equivalent of the “F word”. Something that has stopped operating or is broken can be referred to as “buggered”. Someone who can’t explain something might say “…buggered if I know” or a person down on their luck can be described as “… an unfortunate bugger.” You can also dismiss someone by telling him or her to “…bugger off”.
Bull bar – strong steel bar or frame fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it from the impact of hitting kangaroos. Only bull bars on road trains actually protect against bulls.
Bundy – short for Bundaberg in Queensland, and the rum and ginger beer that is made there
Bunyip – mythical Australian creature
Burl – to attempt or try something (“…I’ll give it a burl)
Bush bashing – four-wheel driving or off-roading
Bushie – someone who lives in the bush, the folk of the land
Bushranger – highwayman or outlaw (historical term)
Bush telegraph – an informal manner of communicating via the “grapevine”, or via word of mouth or gossip but usually considered reliable
Bush tucker – food gathered from nature (usually in the Outback). The Indigenous people of Australia are the historical owners of the term but more and more it is used to denote Australian food that is unique in some way.
Bushwalking – hiking in the bush
BYO – Bring Your Own alcohol (a party invitation might flag that the event is BYO)
Cab Sav – short for Cabernet Sauvignon wine
Cabbie – a taxi driver
Cackleberry – an egg
Cancer stick – a cigarette
Cane toad – a person from Queensland (see Cockroach below)
Cark it – to die (a living thing) or to stop functioning (a non-living thing)
Cask – boxed wine in a plastic bladder
Chin-wag – a conversation
Chippie – a carpenter
Choof off – to leave a location (derived from the days of the steam train when it would choof, chooof, choooof as it pulled away from the station)
Chunder – to vomit
Chook – chicken
Chrissy – Christmas
Ciggie – cigarette
Clayton’s – something fake or something substitute (for example, someone might make a Clayton’s effort to clean a kitchen). The name was derived from the brand name of a non-alcoholic beverage that looked like liquor and was introduced into Australia around the time that random breath testing started.
Click – a kilometer
Clucky – non-pregnant women feeling maternal around pregnant women
Cobber – a friend or mate of the highest quality
Cockie – a farmer, cockatoo or cockroach (known as a “roach” in the US)
Cockroach – a person from the state New South Wales on Australia’s east coast. The term evolved during a fierce state football rivalry between New South Wales in the south and Queensland in the north that commenced back in the early 1980’s and continues to this day (a person from Queensland is referred to as a cane toad).
Coldie – a chilled beer, usually in a can but can also be in a glass
Compo – Workers’ Compensation pay
Cooee – a shout out to find someone lost in the bush (forest). The term can also be used to signify proximity to a place; the house is within cooee of the river (meaning that if you shout out loud, the shout could be heard from the river at the house, and vice versa).
Corroboree – an Aboriginal (Indigenous) gathering that may be theatrical, ancestral or spiritual and which will include instruments that were fashioned over 40,000 years ago (like the didgeridoo)
Counter lunch – a pub lunch that can be eaten either sitting at a bar or a nearby table.
Cozzie – a swimming costume for either a male or female
Crack onto – to hit on someone or to pursue them romantically (for example, “…mate, would it be okay if I try to crack onto your sister?”)
Crash – To go to sleep, often in an uncomfortable place at someone else’s house. It can also mean to stay at someone else’s place for a period of time (for example, “…can I crash here until my divorce is finalized?”).
Crikey – Amazed, usually in wonderment or surprise
Crim – a criminal
Croc – a crocodile
Crook – can mean a criminal or indicate that someone is not feeling well (for example, “… I’m a bit crook, mate.”).
Croweater – a resident of the state of South Australia
Cuppa – a cup of something hot (usually tea, coffee)
Cushie – something perceived to be easy and beneficial (usually financially). For example, envy or sarcasm usually applies but somebody might accuse somebody else of having a “…very cushie job” meaning that they don’t work hard and are probably viewed as being overpaid. The term original derived from the word “cushion”, something comfortable.
Cut lunch – sandwiches
Cut snake (mad as a) – a term used to describe somebody who is seriously irritated about something. Leaving aside the pain and impending death, think how irritated a snake might be when its two ends are separated and each is wriggling independently of the other.