The very best Aussie phrases Americans don't get

The question has been asked many times before, but we'll ask it again - when is the rest of the world going to get on board with the endless list of Australia's very excellent everyday phrases?

We've curated a definitive* list of the truest bluest sayings we Aussies take for granted back home that no other country seems to get.

Read it, share it among your friends. Your good deed might even save another Aussie living overseas the agony of having to explain that no, an "arvo" is actually nothing like an "avo".

"She'll be right"

Because there's simply no better way to let another person know that everything is going to work out just peachy, so turn that frown upside down.

"My shout"

Here's a fact: Our American friends have no idea what a shout or a round is. But they really should, for the sake of our bank accounts.

"Chuck a sickie"

This one is up there with "bludging". On second thought, it might be a good idea to keep these phrases to ourselves. You never know when you might need to call in a mental health day.

"Spit the dummy"

Because we all need to be able to call out a grown man or woman when they are having an unnecessary tantrum and embarrassing us both.

"Carrying on (like a pork chop)"

See above.

"Bloody hell"

Conveys so much frustration in just two words.

"Have a good one"

Usual response to this friendly farewell tends to be, "have a good what?" I'll never tell.

"A bogan"

There really is no replacement. A redneck? An uncultured person? It's a cracker of a word though.

"Taking the piss"

Admittedly, we've nicked this one from our British neighbours, who enjoy a bit of lighthearted ridiculing as much as we do. Americans, not so much.

"Have a crack"

Challenge: go for the trifecta with something like, "No worries, I'll have a crack and let you know how I get on." Enjoy the blank stares that follow.

"Sing out"

Obviously this means we want you to let us know when something is ready/happening/finished/starting/etc. Derr.

"I'm snowed under"

A more polite way to let someone know you have a lot of shit going on, okay?!

"I'm run off my feet"

Rarely requires any actual running.

"Yeah, nah"

Any Aussie will tell you there's a distinct difference between "yeah, nah" and "nah, yeah".


Because we're lazy AF but we still want to thank you, kind sir.

"I'll suss it out"

"I'll investigate so as to determine the correct answer and will report back in a timely fashion."


Also bowlo, bottlo, garbo, barbie, brekkie, mozzie, servo, tradie, cozzie, Macca's (am I missing any?)

"Tell him he's dreamin'"

Simply because we're all massive fans of The Castle and we'll quote it till we're blue in the face

"Throw a shrimp on the barbie"

Said no Australian, ever. Write that down.

*Definitive is subjective. To be fair, there are heaps more. (We say heaps a lot, too).

Topics:  editors picks slang

News Corp Australia

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