G’day, cobber. It may seem barmy, but folks around the world really do use slang like this. In fact, every English-speaking country has its own vocabulary full of slang terms. So, before you take a trip to Australia or England, make sure you know your destination’s local slang. (You definitely don’t want to get stuck in a chock-a-block sounding like a bogan.)


Turns out the land down under should actually be called the “land of abbreviations.” You can always count on Australians to chop a word into a shorter, savvier version of itself. In fact, the first Aussie slang term you can think of is probably g’day—an abbreviation for good day, or the Australian way to say hello. Here’s a list of others that you may not be familiar with:

  • avo avocado
  • barbie barbecue
  • brolly umbrella
  • brekky breakfast
  • choccy biccy chocolate biscuit
  • rellie/rello relative
  • runners running shoes
  • sunnies sunglasses

Outside of their abbreviations, Aussies are also known for their funny-sounding terms that (to American English speakers, at least) have no reasonable explanation for meaning what they do.

  • bogan redneck (but can be used toward your friends when they’re acting strange)
  • bludger a lazy person
  • cobber a very good friend
  • crook angry or ill
  • deadset true
  • dunny toilet
  • galah a not-so-bright individual (named after a particularly dull bird)
  • larrikin someone who’s always up for a laugh
  • rooted tired or broken
  • sheila a woman
  • snag a sausage


And now for our friendly British counterpart. Our other half. Our sister country. (After all, we do share the same roots and a bunch of DNA.) British slang can throw you a curveball if you aren’t prepared for it. Though you most likely know that fish and chips refers to battered fish and french fries, you may need a translator if you hear the following words in a British conversation:

  • bagsy the British way of calling shotgun
  • bog toilet (meaning bog roll is the British equivalent to toilet paper)
  • barmy bonkers or crazy
  • cheesed off displeased or annoyed
  • chock-a-block a bustling busy place
  • dishy attractive or good-looking
  • flog to sell something
  • full of beans energetic, bouncing off the walls
  • Her Majesty’s pleasure spending time in jail
  • lurgy a cold or flu
  • scrummy delicious
  • yonks a very long time

Of course, there are other countries that speak English besides the US, Australia, and England, but this guide should give you a good head start. And if it doesn’t… well, please don’t be cheesed off for yonks.

—Jenna Palacios