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Local Expressions

Aussie use of the English language I think is one of the most interesting, with lots of slang and swearing commonplace in daily life. One of the first saying which I notices was everyone, no matter where I was would ask me “how you going?” This I’ve found is the primary greeting just meaning ‘hello’ or ‘how are you’ and I have found myself adopting my own vocabulary. This isn’t the only slang or sayings I’ve noticed, in fact, I would say most words have some sort of shortening or abbreviation, even though at times the ‘abbreviation’ is longer than the word itself. I have compiled a sort of dictionary below of slang words I have come across here.

  • Ambo – ambulance
  • Arvo – afternoon
  • Avo – avocado
  • Barbie – barbeque
  • Bogan – redneck
  • Bottle-o – liquor store
  • Brekky – breakfast
  • Bush – country/rural area/outback
  • Devo- devastated
  • Dunny – toilet
  • Durry or ciggy – cigarette
  • Esky – cooler
  • Goon – inexpensive boxed wine
  • Macca’s – McDonald’s
  • Mozzie – mosquito
  • Pav – pavlova
  • Schooner – 425ml glass
  • Sheila – girl/woman
  • Sheepshagger – New Zealander
  • Snags – sausages
  • Stinger – jelly-fish
  • Stuffed – tired
  • Thongs – flip flops
  • Togs or bathers – swimming suit/costume
  • Veggo – vegetarian

Other than that, pretty much everything can be made into Aussie slang by adding an ‘o’ to the end of it. Other common phrases I hear daily are ‘no worries’ and ‘too easy’ as simple phrases added to then end of sentences. Overall, I’ve found that the  local expressions and colloquialisms to be a constant learning experience.

Caitlin, Sydney

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