About Australian Slang and Lingo

G’day, mate! Get familiar with these Australian phrases and slang words and as a foreign city slicker you’ll feel right at home and easily join in on the yarn with some fellow ringers on your first day out bush!

1. Ankle Biter – A young child
2. Arvo – Afternoon (S’Arvo – this afternoon!)
3. Avo – Avocado
4. Bare – Barbecue
5. Bathers – Swimsuit
6. Big Smoke – The City
7. Billabong – A pond in a dry riverbed
8. Billy – A tin used over a campfire to boil water for tea
9. Bikkie – Biscuit (also ‘it cost big bikkies’ – it was expensive)
10. Bloke – A guy, man
11. Blocking cattle up – Generally refers to mustering on horseback when the cattle are first approached and held in one spot for a time until they have quietened down enough to move forward.
12. Bloody – Very. Used to extenuate a point
13. Bogan – A person whose speech, clothing, attitude and behaviour are considered unrefined or unsophisticated. ‘He is a bit of a bogan.’
14. Bore Runner – A person who drives around the station usually 2 or 3 times a week checking the water for the cattle.
15. Brekky – Breakfast
16. Budgie smugglers – men’s bathing shorts/costume
17. Bullock – A castrated male cow
18. Brumby – A wild horse
19. Bush – ‘Out in the bush’ – ‘he’s gone bush’ In the countryside away from civilisation

20. Carrying on like a Pork Chop – Making a great fuss about something for little or no reason
21. Choc A Bloc – Full
22. Chook – Chicken
23. Chopper – Helicopter; usually used for mustering cattle
24. Clean skin – An unbranded and unearmarked heifer, cow or bull
25. Copper – Policeman
26. Crack the shits – Getting angry at someone or something
27. Crikey – an expression of surprise
28. Crook – Being ill or angry; ‘Don’t go crook on me for getting crook’
29. Cruisie – Taking it easy, ‘A cruisie job’ – an easy job or affirmative ‘Cruisie’- that will be fine, cool
30. Cuppa – A cup of tea or coffee. ‘Lets have a cuppa’ – to have a break for a cup of tea
31. Daggy – Uncool, not fashionable
32. Digger – Soldier
33. Dodgy (or Bodgy) – poor quality. ‘It’s a bit dodgy’ – it might fall apart
34. Donkey – Usually a drum of water with a fire underneath stoked up when hot water is needed for showers
35. Draft / Drafting – Usually refers to separating cattle into different catorgories for branding, trucking or treating. Can be done on horseback or in a yard. Can also refer to the sport of campdrafting
36. Drover – An experienced stockman, who moves livestock, usually sheep, cattle, and horses on a horse over long distances
37. Dunny – Toilet
38. Esky – An insulated container that keeps things cold (usually beers)
39. Fair Dinkum – ‘Fair Dinkum?’ ‘Fair Dinkum!’ = Honestly? … Yeah honestly!
40. Fella, Fellas – A guy, a group of people
41. Flat out, Flat chat – Really busy – ‘Flat out like a lizard drinking’
42. Float – A horse trailer
43. Footy – Football (AFL / Aussie Rules)
44. Fresh horse – a horse that hasn’t been used for a while.
45. Furphy – Rumours or stories that are improbable or absurd
46. G’day – Hello
47. Gnarly – awesome – often used by surfers
48. Good On Ya – Good work
49. Grazier – A farmer who is in the business of raising cattle or sheep for the market
50. Green horse – a horse, broken in but with not much training or experience
51. Grub – Food
52. Hard yakka – Hard work
53. Heifer – A female animal that has never had a calf
54. Heaps – Loads, lots, many
55. Hobble – To join the front legs of a horse with two straps and a swivel chain (usually at night) to stop them going too far from camp
56. Holding the cut / cutting – When cattle are drafted on horseback it is often referred to as cutting and the cattle that have been separated from the mob are called the cut

57. Horse plant (or just ‘plant’) – The group of work horses kept ready for work at any time
58. Jackaroos and Jillaroos – Usually young station workers
59. Killer – One of the stock to be slaughtered for eating on the property
60. Knock it off – Stop that nonsense
61. Knock off – Finish work for the day – ‘I’m going to knock off now’.
62. Mate – Friend, companion, colleague; ‘How are you, mate?’
63. Micky bull – A young bull, usually up to about 18 months of age, which should have been branded and castrated but has been missed in previous musters.
64. Mob – A group of cattle, horses or sheep running or mustered together. Can also be a description of a family or station grouping or group of people
65. Mongrel – Someone who’s a bit of a dick (offensive), also used for a dog of non-definable breed
66. Muster – Round up sheep or cattle. Noun – ‘this year’s muster’, or verb – ‘we’ll muster cattle’
67. Mozzie – Mosquito
68. No drama or No worries – Forget about it (in forgiveness) or Yes, I’ll do it (it will be no problem)
69. Offsider – Assistant, who is usually younger or less experienced
70. Paddock – Fenced area
71. Rapt – Very happy
72. Reckon – for sure. ‘You Reckon? ‘I reckon!’ ‘Do ya reckon?’ = Do you think so? or ‘I reckon!’ = I agree wholeheartedly, or ‘I reckon it will be a hot day’ = I think it’s going to be a hot day
73. Ringer – A male or female stock worker on an Australian cattle station (mainly , so named from rounding up ‘mobs’ of cattle
74. Ringing – A term for someone who is a ringer
75. Ripper – ‘That’s a ripper’ = That’s fantastic mate!
76. Roo – Slang for ‘jackeroo’ or ‘jilleroo’. A term often used for a person who is inexperienced or meaning that the person is not very skilled. Also short for kangaroo
77. Roo Bar – A stout bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroos (also cow bar)
78. Saddle Bronc – The sport at a rodeo in which a rider attempts to ride a horse that in inclined to buck
79. Salties or Freshies – Crocodiles, saltwater or freshwater crocodiles
80. Servo – Service Station / Garage
81. Slab – A carton of beers
82. Smoko – a break for a smoke or a cup of tea or coffee. See also ‘Cuppa’
83. Snag – Sausage
84. Stoked – Happy, Pleased, ‘I was stoked’
85. Straya – Australia
86. Stubby, stubby holder – A bottle of beer, beer bottle holder; used so your hands don’t get cold when holding your beer, or to stop your hands making your beer warm!
87. Stuffed – Tired
88. Sunnies – Sunglasses
89. Swag – Single bed you can roll up, a bit like a sleeping bag
90. Tailing – to contain a ‘mob’ of cattle or horses while they graze
91. Tea – Dinner
92. Thongs – Flip Flops
93. Too easy – Similar to ‘No drama’ or ‘No worries’ = I’ll do it, it will cause no problems
94. Top End – Far North of Australia
95. Tucker – Food. ‘Bush Tucker’ tends to be food found in the Outback
96. Ute – Utility vehicle, pickup truck
97. Veg, Veggies – Vegetables
98. Weaners – young steers or heifers, usually six to eight months old, recently weaned from their mothers
99. Yard – A structure used to hold and process cattle and sometimes horses, Yarded = ‘The cattle have been yarded’ – put in the yard
100. Yarn – ‘Having a yarn’ means to have a chat, a discussion, generally very informal