20 Common Phrases & Expressions Used in Australia

Any migrant or person new to Australia may be confounded with some slang, unfamiliar words and phrases. These words and idiomatic expressions may stem from the fact that Australians are native English speakers and more often, unknowingly, they play on some expressions that are uncommonly used by the majority.

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It is also worth mentioning that Australians may either use British English, American English or both. For example, the word “centre” is written in British style while “center” is the American English counterpart of the former. Another example is the “comfort room” which is an American version; in British, comfort room is more known as “water closet”.

Hence, newly arrived individuals in Australia should be able to learn few, new common expressions in Australia.

  1. Snag. This is a raw pork, chicken or beef sausage.
  2. Cuppa. A cuppa can refer to a cup of tea or coffee.
  3. Chook. A chook is a hen.
  4. To be crook. It means ill or to be sick.
  5. Fair dinkum. It is a phrase that is translatable to “Is it really the truth?”
  6. Flat out. A person who is “flat out” means he is busy.
  7. Shout. This doesn’t mean to “yell” or “scream” but to buy someone a drink. On the other hand, if someone says “I am not obliged to shout”, it is another way of saying “I don’t drink alcohol.”
  8. Bloke. A man.
  9. Ow-ya-goin-mate (how ya goin’/ how are you going). Another way of saying it is “how are you?”
  10. Bring a plate. This is a common idiom when a person is invited to a party.
  11. BYO. This stands for “Bring Your Own”. Most restaurants in Australia are BYO. For example, anyone can bring sodas while dining in a restaurant only that it accompanies with corkage.
  12. Arvo. Statement such as “drop this by arvo” means visit this afternoon.
  13. Fortnight. It is another term for a two-week period.
  14. Ace. It means “Excellent!”
  15. Banana Bender. A person who is a “Banana Bender” denotes anyone from Queensland.
  16. Big Smoke. Sydney is a “Big Smoke”– it’s another way of saying, Sydney is a big city.
  17. Billy. A teapot.
  18. Blood oath. An expression which means “that is certainly true!”
  19. Bodgy. A thing that is bodgy is something that is expensive.
  20. Bog in. to commence eating with enthusiasm.
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