Free Settler or Felon

Australian Slang

Local Lingo ~ Unique Phrases ~ Memorable Quotes

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According to Watkin Tench who who arrived on the Charlotte with the First Fleet in 1788.... A leading distinction, which marked the convicts on their outset in the colony, was a use of what is called the Flash or kiddy language. In some of our early courts of justice an interpreter was frequently necessary to translate the deposition of the witness and the defence of the prisoner. I have ever been of opinion that an abolition of this unnatural jargon would open the path to reformation. And my observations on these people have constantly instructed me that indulgence in this infatuating cant is more deeply associated with depravity and continuance in vice than is generally supposed.

James Hardy Vaux author of Vocabulary of the Flash Language, Australia's first dictionary, penned at Newcastle in 1812, wrote that to speak good flash is to be well versed in cant terms . Vaux Vocabulary of the Flash Language lays down many words that can still be found in our language today, e.g.,....croak = to die; bolt = to run. Others have long fallen into disuse e.g., chant = dwelling place; cly-faker = pickpocket.

Just as words from the flash language have disappeared, so too are some slang words disappearing from our language e.g., cobber = mate; blow = to boast. In their place come new words eg., sus = suspicious; blind = drunk. There are so many more that could be added to the list below. Missing are those with racial undertones as well as many words and phrases that are crude or offensive. Many new slang words are also not included, partly because they have not stood the test of time but also because they would fill another page!


ABSENTEE - a runaway convict

A BAKER'S DOZEN - 13 of something

ABDUL - Turkish soldier WW1

ABSO-BLOODY-LUTELY - beyond doubt; you better believe it

A BUM - Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum - said by Prime Minister Bob Hawke following Australia's victory in the 1983 America's Cup

ACCADACCA - slang for ACDC rock band

ACE - excellent

ACE - WW1 pilot who had shot down 5 or more enemy aircraft

ACE IT UP - be asked to improve performance


ACROSS THE DITCH - to cross the Ditch means crossing the Tasman Sea to Australia from New Zealand, or vice versa

ACT - Australian Capitol Territory - Canberra

ACT THE GOAT - behave foolishly

A CUP OF TEA, A BEX AND A GOOD LIE DOWN - marketing phrase for APC powders in 1960's

ADD INSULT TO INJURY - to make things worse than they already are

A DEAD CERT - horse race that is sure to win


ADFA - Australian Defence Force Academy

A DINGO TOOK MY BABY - A cry by Lindy Chamberlain in 1980 when she found her baby missing

ADVANCE AUSTRALIA - Portrait of Caroline Chisholm painted by A.C. Hayter

ADVANCE AUSTRALIA FAIR - Australia's National Anthem

AERIAL PING PONG - Australia Rules Football



A FROG IN THE THROAT - a sore throat

AGGRO - aggressive

A GOOD BUST - a drunken spree, e.g. by a swagman when his work was finished

A GOOD MARK - a person who pays his men their wages without delay or drawbacks c. 1845

A HAIR PAST A FRECKLE - response when asked the time

AH WELL! IT'S COME TO THIS AT LAST - reported to be the last words of Ned Kelly

AIN'T - abbreviation of is not

AIR CON - Air conditioning

AIRY FAIRY - vague

AKUBRA - wide brimmed felt hat

ALDERMAN LUSHINGTON IS CONCERNED - said by convicts about a person who is drunk

A LEGEND - a great bloke

ALF A MO - fraction of a second

ALICE, (THE) - Alice Springs

A LIFE LIVED IN FEAR IS A LIFE HALF LIVED - from Baz Luhrmann's movie Strictly Ballroom

ALL FROTH AND NO BEER - superficial, no substance

ALL IN - exhausted

ALL IS SET ON THE SIDE - term used in two-up

ALL THE GO - in vogue

ALL THE WAY WITH LBJ - a remark made by Prime Minister Harold Holt while visiting President Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House during the Vietnam War era

ALL TIP AND NO ICEBERG - Paul Keating describing Peter Costello

ALL TO PIECES - to fall away

ALL OVER HER LIKE A RASH - can t keep his hands to himself


ALL PISS AND VINEGAR - sour, trouble-making person




AMBO - paramedic

APM - 1. A Permanent malingerer. 2. Assistant provost marshall, an unpopular staff officer

AMSCRAY - scram

ANCHORS - brakes on a car

ANDREW MILLAR - nautical term among smugglers to describe revenue cutter

ANKLE BITER - small child

ANNIVERSARY DAY - Australia Day was first known as Anniversary Day - Celebration of the raising of the British Flag in Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788

ANNUAL - a bath

ANTS PANTS - a person who thinks they are just the best

ANTY-UP a game of cards played for tobacco c. 1891

ANY TICK OF THE CLOCK - about to happen soon

ANZAC - Australian and New Zealand Army Corp

ANZAC BISCUITS -sent to soldiers in WW1, because they were able to keep for a long time

ANZAC BUTTON - nail used instead of a trouser button (WW1)

ANZAC DAY RULE - a tradition in Canberra that heaters should not be used before Anzac Day

ANZAC SOUP - shell hole water polluted by a corpse (soldier slang WW1)

ANZAC WAFER - army biscuit (WW1)

ANZUS TREATY - Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty - collective security non-binding agreement between Australia and New Zealand and, separately, Australia and the United States, to co-operate on military matters in the Pacific Ocean region

A PENNY SHORT OF A POUND - someone who is a bit stupid/slow

APPLE ISLE - Tasmania

ARCHIE - anti aircraft shell /gun WW1

ARC UP - to lose your temper

ARE YOUR EARS ON BACKWARDS? - didn't you hear me?

ARE YOUR EARS PAINTED ON? - as above - said to someone who isn't listening

ARGUE THE TOSS - dispute a decision

ARGY BARGY - argument

ARMY NERVOUS CORP - Army Service Corps (soldier slang WW1)


ARSE OVER TIT - falling over

ARSE UP - upside down

ARSE WIPE - an idiot; unpleasant person

ARSEY - lucky

ARTESIAN - colonial beer (Vic.,)

ARVO – Afternoon

A SHINGLE SHORT - wrong in the head

AS HAPPY AS LARRY - very happy


AS SCARCE AS HEN'S TEETH - very rare/ hard to find

AS SMOOTH AS SILK - everything went ok



ASH WEDNESDAY BUSHFIRES - a series of bushfires that occurred in south-eastern Australia on 16 February 1983

ASHES, (THE) - Ongoing series of Cricket Tests between Australia and England

ATMOTIC SHIP - (from Greek word for vapour) Convict surgeon William Bland patented the Atmotic Ship, Australia's first airship in 1851

AT THAT - meaning something in addition to, e.g. 'dear at that' the price is understood to be expensive

AUNTY - Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is sometimes informally referred to as "Aunty"

AURORA AUSTRALIS - southern hemisphere atmospheric phenomenon that be seen from Tasmania, New Zealand and Antarctica during winter months. Similar to Northern lights

AUSSIE/S - abbreviation of Australian. Often refers to Australian-born citizens of Anglo-Celtic descent

AUSSIE SALUTE – Wave to shoo the flies

AUSTRALIA - In the introduction to 'A voyage to Terra Australis' published 1814, Matthew Flinders wrote: 'Had I permitted myself any innovation upon the original term, it would have been to convert it into Australia; as being more agreeable to the ear, and as an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth'

AUSTRALIA DAY - The official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually on 26 January, it is anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip

AUSTRALIAN CRAWL - freestyle swimming stroke coined early 1900's

AUSTRALIA FELIX - Latin for fortunate Australia or happy Australia . The name given by Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell to lush pasture in parts of western Victoria in 1836.

AUSTRALIAN FLAG - (showing the Australian Flag) - the bottom of a shirt; used derisively by new chums to describe un-tucked shirt of bushmen who wore belts instead of braces

AUSTRALIAN GRIP - a hearty handshake. The bushman shakes hands very heartily - a long grip with the whole hand, following three deep shakes. He does not crush your hand but is sarcastic about the limp shakes and one finger shakes of people out from England (c.1890)

AUSTRALIAN LIGHT HORSE - mounted troops with characteristics of both cavalry and mounted infantry, who served in the Second Boer War and World War I

AUSTRALIA'S GOLDEN GIRL - Olympian Betty Cuthbert

AUSTRALORP - Australian breed of chicken valued for egg production (1946)

AVAGOODWEEKEND - Have a good weekend

AVO - Avocado

AWAKE - to know all

AWAY WITH THE PIXIES - day dreaming

AWNING OVER THE TOY SHOP - a man's beer gut

AXLE GREASE - butter

AY? - what did you say?


BAAL - indigenous term for disapproval

BABBLING BROOK - The Cook (soldier slang WW1)

BABBLER - shortened version of above

BACK BLOCKS - away from the city

BACK CHAT - answer back (WW1)

BACK OF BEYOND - very far away

BACK OF BOURKE - somewhere out of the way/ isolated


BACK OUT - retreat from difficulty

BACKSHEA - something for nothing (soldier slang WW1)

BACK SLUM - a back room, a back entrance

BACK THE BARRER - to intervene without invitation on a conversation; butt in (1921)

BACK TO THE CACTUS - to return home

BAD EGG - dishonest person

BAD TROT - period of misfortune


BAG - to criticise someone behind their back

BAG (OLD BAG) - uncomplimentary term for a woman

BAGGY GREEN - cap worn by Australian Test cricketer

BAGMAN - swagman; tramp

BAG OF TRICKS - all one's belongings (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)

BAGS - a big quantity

BAGS - to have first choice

BAIL - To cancel plans.

BAIL UP - secure cattle by means of a bail

BAIL UP - bushranger term. To rob someone

BAKED - tired out. Because meat put in the oven is said to be baked when it is done, a man who is done up or done, is said to be baked (c.1890)

BALD AS A BADGER - having no hair

BALD AS A BANDICOOT - having no hair

BALI BOMBING - On 12 October 2002, two bombs triggered by suicide bombers exploded at Kuta in Bali. 202 people killed including 88 Australians

BALIBO FIVE - The Balibo Five was a group of journalists for Australian television networks who were killed in the period leading up to the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975

BALL AND CHAIN - wife; also trouble and strife

BALLS UP - error, bad mistake


BALONEY - ridiculous; a bunch of baloney

BALONEY (Bologne) - Luncheon meat in NSW

BANANA BENDER - coming from Queensland

BANANA-LANDER - from Queensland (1887)

BANANA REPUBLIC - In 1986 Paul Keating remarked that the economy was in danger of turning Australia into a banana Republic (politically unstable country with an economy dependent upon the exportation of a limited-resource product, such as bananas or minerals)

BANANAS (going) - going crazy

BANDICOOT - fossick for gold in previously worked ground or go by stealth at night to rob a field, taking the tubers from roots without disturbing the tops

BANDITTI - a term used for bushrangers

BAND OF HOPE - lemon syrup

BANDS - convict slang - hunger

B & S BALL - Bachelor and Spinster s Ball - a singles dance held in rural areas

BANGED UP - pregnant

BANGERS - sausages

BANGS LIKE A DUNNY DOOR IN A CYCLONE - sexually promiscuous woman

BANGTAIL MUSTER - cutting the tail hair of cattle or sheep to aid in identifying them when doing a head count

BANJO - shovel

BANKER - river in flood - 'And every creek a banker ran, And dams filled overtop; We'll all be rooned, said Hanrahan, If this rain doesn't stop' . 'Said Hanrahan', a poem written by Australian bush poet John O Brien

BANKSIA MAN - from May Gibbs Snugglepot and Cuddlepie

BANTUM - a hot headed person

B-A-R - safe place/ home in various children's games

BARBARY COAST - underworld name given to part of Sydney between Taylor Square, Central Station and the junction of Elizabeth Liverpool Streets (criminal slang 1950)

BARBEQUE STOPPER - a topic of great public interest, esp. political

BARBIE – Barbecue

BARCOO BUSTER - westerly wind outback Qld

BARCOO ROT - ulcers that won't heal, suffered by bush people in colonial days, probably caused by lack of vitamins

BARCOO SALUTE - Aussie fly swat/ wave of the hand (also bush salute)

BARE BELLIED JOE (EWE) - a ewe with hardly any wool on its belly

BARNEY - dispute; fight

BAROMETER - gas helmet (soldier slang WW1)

BARRA - barramundi

BARRACK - cheer for a sporting team, first used about 1880 in Australian Rules football

BARRACKER - possible the word originated from soldier's barracks; also may have been derived from the aboriginal word 'borak' meaning to jeer at

BARRY CROCKER - a shocker; awful

BASH - wild party

BASH - (someone's ear) - talk at length; boring

BASKET CASE - a crazy person

BAT - tool used in two-up

BAT - old bat = old woman

BATS - crazy

BATHERS - Swimsuit ; togs; swimmers

BATHURST BURR - Australian plant; annoying person

BATTERED SAV - A saveloy which has been battered, deep fried and served with tomato sauce

BATTERED SAV - Australian comedy duo Roy & HG commentary of Sydney 2000 Olympic Games defined battered sav as a gymnast move when a male gymnast pushes his groin to the floor and 'batters his sav'

BATTLEAXE - (OLD) - derogatory term for an older woman. Often mother-in-law

BATTLE OF BEERSHEBA - Light horse men usually fought dismounted, using their horses as transport to the battlefield and as a means of swift retreat. A famous exception was the charge of the 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments at Beersheba on 31 October 1917

BATTLE OF BEERSHEBA COMMEMORATIONS - Commemorations of the Battle of Beersheba occur at the memorial in Canberra every year on 31 October

BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA - fought from 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy and naval and air forces from the United States and Australia

BATTLE OF LONE PINE - fought between ANZACS and Ottoman Empire forces during the Gallipoli Campaign of World War 1, between 6 and 10 August 1915.

BATTLE OF LONG TAN - Took place in a rubber plantation near Long Tan, in South Vietnam on 18 August 1966. Fought between Viet Cong and People s Army of Vietnam units and elements of the 1st Australian Task Force

BATTLER - working class, underdog

BAZZA - Barry

BEAK - nose

BEAK - Magistrate

BEAL - aboriginal drink

BEAN COUNTER - accountant

BEANIE - hat worn in winter

BEANO - feast, gala affair

BEATEN BY A BLOW - line from song Click go the Shears, blow being shearing term for a run of the shears

BEAT AROUND THE BUSH - saying a lot without much meaning

BEATING THE BOUNDS - or traversing the boundaries - marking out the boundaries of townships. Ceremony included the Police Magistrate, Surveyor, townsfolk and perhaps children

BEAT IT - move off quickly


BEAUTY! – excellent.

BEAUTY BOTTLER - excellent

BEAVER HAT- made of imitation beaver fur

BEEF - complaint

BEER GOGGLES - while drunk, to think something is better than it is

BEER GUT - fat tummy

BEER O'CLOCK - time to have a beer

BEETLING ABOUT - flying aimlessly (1918)

BEG YOUR'S - I beg your pardon, what did you say/ mean?

BELL TOPPER - tall silk hat

BELL'S LINE OF ROAD - named for Archibald Bell Junior who at the age of nineteen years discovered a route across the Blue Mountains

BELLWETHER SEAT - An electoral district where voters have historically chosen a candidate from the election-winning party in a series of elections

BENGAL LANCER - razor slasher (criminal slang 1940)

BERKO - Go Berko; Chuck a Berko - go beserk. React with anger


BEYOND THE BLACK STUMP - imaginary isolated place; outback

BIBLE BASHER - vocal about religious convictions

BICKIE - biscuit

BIDDY BIDDY - kind of burr

BIDGEE - alcoholic drink made of methylated spirits

BIFF - a hard strike around the head

BIG BICKIES - a lot of money

BIG BUGS - man of importance (c. 1891); imported from America

BIG NOTE - to brag about yourself; a skite; self important

BIG NOTE MAN - or pound note man - a wealthy person (criminal slang 1950s)

BIG SMOKE - the city

BIG WIG - authoritative person

BILLABONG - A pond in a dry riverbed

BILLY – can to boil water over open fire. Perhaps originated in W.A. where miners in the early days ate a lot of tinned meat that came from France. It was called Bouef Bouilli (boiled beef). The miners used the empty tins as cups, and pots for boiling water and called them bouilli cans

BILLY BARLOW IN AUSTRALIA - an original song by Benjamin Pitt Griffin of Maitland published in the Maitland Mercury in 1844

BILLY CART - child's go cart; also billy goat cart

BILLYCOCK - hat made of hard felt with a turned up brim


BILLY TEA - An Indian tea introduced to Australia 1890's. Advertising slogan c 1892 - The cup that never fails to cheer, is Billy Tea, not wine or beer

BIMBO - an effeminate swaggie

BIN CHICKEN - also Tip Turkey. Ibis (bird) regarded as a pest in Australia because of scavenging

BINDI-EYE - weed with sharp barbs. Also known as Joeys or Jo Jos

BINGLE - small car accident

BINJEY - the stomach

BINT - a woman

BIONIC EAR - Cochlear implant invented by Professor Graeme Clark, Melbourne University in the 1970s

BIRD - a quaint person

BIRD - young woman

BIRD - a prisoner (WW1 soldier slang)

BIRDIE - General Sir William Riddell Birdwood - British Army officer who was Commander of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915

BIRDSVILLE RACES - Horse races held each year in September in Birdsville, Queensland

BIRDSVILLE TRACK - Once a 520 km stock route, it has become popular 4WD drive.

BIRTHDAY BALLOT - lottery where the birthdate of thousands of Australian men, aged 20, who had registered for National Service, determined who became eligible for conscription to serve in ADF during the Vietnam War


BITE - put the bite on; ask for loan

BITE YOUR BUM - be quiet

BITIES - biting insects eg mosquitoes

BIT OF A BROTHEL - bit of a mess

BIT OF A YARN - have a chat together

BIT OF FLUFF - girl; derogatory

BITSER - a mongrel dog. A bit of this a bit of that

BLACK ARM BAND HISTORY - Polarising term first used by Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey in his 1993 Sir John Latham Memorial Lecture

BLACKBIRDING - kidnapping Pacific Islanders and taking them to Australia to work as slaves or under paid labourers

BLACK BOX - flight recorder invented by David Warren 1954

BLACK BOY GRASS TREE- genus name Xanthorrhoea. First described by botanist Robert Brown

BLACK HAWK TRAGEDY - Military Aviation disaster. In June 1996 near Townsville during a Black Hawk training exercise involving the Special Air Service (SASR) Regiment and Army Aviation Corps 18 men died when two helicopters collided mid-air and crashed

BLACK FRIDAY BUSHFIRES - Victoria on 13 January 1939. Among the worst natural bushfires in the world. 71 people died

BLACK SATURDAY BUSHFIRES - a series of bushfires that ignited or were burning across Victoria on and around Saturday, 7 February 2009. 173 fatalities

BLACK SNOW - nickname for cane fire ash (Townsville)

BLACK TRACKER - Aboriginal native who tracked absconders and criminals

BLIGHTY - home (England) - a wound severe enough to be returnd to Britain for hospitalisation. Soldier Slang WW1

BLIMEY - Exclamation of astonishment

BLIND - drunk


BLIND FREDDY - if Blind Freddy jumped off a cliff, would you? - don't be a follower

BLINKY BILL - Australian children's book character created by Dorothy Wall

BLOB - a fool

BLOCK - parcel of land

BLOKE - man

BLOKEY - behaving in a manly way

BLOODS WORTH BOTTLING - a valuable person

BLOODY - known as the Great Australian Adjective. The word bloody is a familiary oath. One man will tell you that he married a bloody young wife, another a bloody old one, and a bushranger calls out Stop, or I'll blow your bloody brains out. (Travels in New South Wales 1847)

BLOODY – Very. Used to extenuate a point

BLOODY HELL - expressing displeasure

BLOODY OATH – yes; or it's true.

BLOODY RIPPER - really awesome

BLOOMER - prison slang for a mistake e.g. blooming error

BLOTTO - drunk - beyond capacity to stand up

BLOW - to boast; from blowing your own trumpet

BLOW A FUSE - lose your temper

BLOW A PLUGGER - breaking the toe divide in a thong (flip flop)

BLOW A TANK - rob a safe (criminal slang Sydney 1950s)

BLOWER - telephone

BLOWIE - blow fly

BLOW IN - arriving univited

BLOW ME DOWN - expression of astonishment

BLOW ME DOWN WITH A FEATHER - expression of astonishment

BLOW THE FROTH OFF A FEW - have a few glasses of beer

BLOW YOUR DOUGH - spend all your money


BLUBBER - to cry

BLUDGER – Someone who's lazy, generally also who relies on others

BLUDGER - someone who exploits prostitutes for financial gain

BLEW - made a mistake

BLUE - argue, fight

BLUE BOTTLES - stinging marine creatures that wash up on the beaches, often on the east coast under a northeasterly wind

BLUE HEELER - Australian cattle dog breed

BLUE HEELER - police

BLUE RIBBON SEAT - An electorate that has consistently voted for the same member or party over a long period of time therefore making it a safe seat

BLUE SHIRT - garment worn by a gold digger


BLUE TONGUE - lizard indigenous to Australia

BLUEY / BLUE- red head

BLUEY - a swag carried by sundowners and called after the blue blankets that were common at the time

BLUEY - parking fines that were printed on blue paper

BLUFF - bumptious

BOARD BUMPS - bumps on surfer's knees from knee paddling

BOARDIES - boardshorts

BOB - shilling

BOBBY - a policeman

BOBBY DAZZLER - something very good

BOBBY PIN - two pronged device for pinning back hair

BOB'S YOUR UNCLE - everything is ok

BODGIE - bad job

BODGIE AND WIDGIE - youth subculture in the 1950s

BODYLINE - cricketing tactic devised by the English cricket team for their 1932–33 Ashes tour of Australia, specifically to combat the extraordinary batting skill of Australia's Don Bradman.

BOGAN – uncultured person; uncouth, ocker

BOGEY - swimming hole

BOGGED - when vehicle is stuck in mud or sand

BOGGI - shearer's handpiece, similar in shape to a boggi lizard

BOGGO ROAD - Gaol in Brisbane

BOGRAT /BOGGY - junior pilot - someone who is qualified, but not a QFI/FC Instructor (military)

BOG IN - eat up!

BOG ROLL - toilet paper

BOILED SHIRT - digger lingo; a clean shirt

BOILER - an old woman

BOKKER - bowler hat

BOLTER - runaway convict

BOKO - nose (WW2)

BOMB - an old car

BOMBED - high on drugs

BOMBING OF DARWIN - During wartime on 19 February 1942, 188 Japanese planes were launched against Darwin

BOMBORA - indigenous Australian term for an area of large sea waves breaking over a shallow reef

BOMMIE - shortened verson of above

BONDI BEACH - famous Australian beach in Sydney

BONDI CIGAR - excrement floating in the surf

BONDI ICEBERGS - a group of people who swim at Bondi beach in winter. Established 1929

BONKERS - crazy

BONNET - hood of a car

BONZER - awesome

BOOB - cell (Army 1945)

BOOFHEAD - fool; idiot

BOOKIE - short for bookmaker

BOOMER - large kangaroo; also known as old man kangaroo

BOOMERANG - Aboriginal weapon that returns to the thrower; anything that comes back to you

BONTODGER - something admirable

BOOT - trunk of a car

BOOTS AND ALL - wholeheartedly

BOOZE BUS – Police vehicle used to catch drunk drivers

BORED SHITLESS - bored to death

BOSHTERINO - outstanding, admirable

BOSKER BLOKE - admirable man

BOSS COCKY - employer, supervisor

BOSSAROO - abbreviation of Boss Kangaroo. From poem by J.B. Stephens (Lentzner 1891)

BOSS OF THE BOARD - supervisor of the shearing shed

BOTT - to sponge off (WW1)

BOTANY BAY COAT OF ARMS - a pair of artificially black eyes

BOTANY BAY BAR-FLY - referring to early Sydney people drinking habits

BOTTLE-O – Bottle Shop, - a place to buy alcohol

BOTTLER - excellent, exceptional

BOTTOM OF THE HARBOUR SCHEME - referred to destroying company records and dumping them in the Sydney harbour 1970's. Tax avoidance

BOUNDARY RIDER - stockman on a sheep or cattle station who regularly checks boundary fences and rounds up stray stock

BOW THE CRUMPET - plead guilty before a Magistrate (criminal slang 1950s)

BOWLO - Bowling club

BOYONGS - or Bowyangs - Straps tied below the knee outside the trousers, to give the leg freedom

BOX - Television

BOXER - bowler hat

BOX HEAD - a term used to describe Macedonian people.

BOXHEAD - Paul Keating to Wilson Tuckey: 'You boxhead you wouldn't know. You are flat out counting past ten.'

BOXING KANGAROO - The boxing kangaroo served as the symbol for the successful Australian challenge for the America's Cup in 1983

BOY CHARLTON - Andrew Murray who was an Australian freestyle swimmer c. 1920s and 30s was known as Boy Charlton. He won gold in the 1500 m freestyle at Paris Olympics

BRANCH STACKING - improperly increase the membership of a local branch of a political party to ensure the preselection of a particular candidate

BRASS RAZOO - broke; no money

BREAK-DOWN - a measure of liquor; also nobbler

BREAK THE ICE - to begin

BREATHER - take a rest

BREKKIE - breakfast

BRICK - gaol term, can mean either an amount of ten pounds or a sentence of 10 years

BRICKFIELDER - westerly dusty wind, Sydney 1800s

BRICKIE - bricklayer

BRIGHT AS A BUTTON - very intelligent


BRING A PLATE - contribute to event by bringing a plate of food to share

BRING ME BACK ALIVE - an anti aircraft man (WW2)

BRISBANE BRONCOS - Rugby League team based in Brisbane

BRISVEGAS - Brisbane

BROKE - having no money

BROKEN BAY - Attributed to Captain Cook who on 7 May 1770 sighted 'some broken land that looked like a bay'

BROKEN MOUTHED - a sheep that is losing its teeth and going gummy

BROLLY – Umbrella

BRONZE - a penny

BRONZED AUSSIES - sun baked beach boys

BRUCE – An Aussie Bloke

BRUMBY - wild horse

BRUMMY - false

BUBBLER - drinking fountain

BUCK - (to buck) resist

BUCKJUMPER - untamed horse used at rodeos

BUCKLEY'S CHANCE - no chance at all; forlorn hope. Derived from either William Buckley a convict who escaped and lived with aborigines for 30 years; or from the Melbourne store Buckley and Nunn (You've got two chances - buckleys and none!)

BUCK'S NIGHT - celebration for a bride groom put on by his mates

BUILT LIKE A BRICK SHIT-HOUSE - large sturdy physical build

BUCKSHEE - something for nothing, free (1918)

BUCKSHEE BREAD - over the usual ration of bread

BUCK UP - to gain courage

BUDGIE / BUDGERIGAR - small Australian parakeet


BUG-A-LUGS - term of endearment to child

BUGGER - bad luck

BUGGER ALL - to have nothing

BUGGER ME - to be surprised

BUGGER OFF - go away; get lost

BUGGERED - exhausted

BUGGERED - having no idea

BUGGERISE AROUND - messing around

BUG HOUSE - mental asylum

BULL - a lie

BULLAMAKANKA - middle of nowhere; mythical

BULL DUST - rubbish! nonsense!

BULL DUST - fine red dust found in the Australia Outback

BULLET - got fired, sacked

BULLOCKY - driver of a bullock team

BULLSHIT - a lie


BUM FLUFF - hair on the face

BUMMER - a cadger

BUMPER - butt of cigarette

BUMPER UP - gaol term. A man who is employed by a harlot to do odd jobs. Derogatory (1946)

BUM STEER - mislead someone deliberately

BUNDLE, DROP THE - show cowardice

BUNDOOK - a rifle (soldier slang WW1)

BUNDY RUM - Bundaberg rum

BUNG - to put something in somewhere

BUNG - broken, exhausted. Aboriginal

BUNG ON AN ACT - feign superiority

BUNGER - large fire cracker

BUNK - abscond or do a bunk

BUNNY - fall guy

BUNYIP - mythical outback creature

BUNYIP ARISTOCRACY - an Australian term satirising attempts to develop a titled aristocracy in the NSW government.

BURGOO - porridge (soldier slang WW1)

BURKED - Port Arthur prison slang for strangling c. 1909

BURL - to try anything. Give it a burl


BURNT CHOP SYNDROME - mothers giving the best food or item to others in the family and having what is left

BUSH, (THE) – in the country away from cities and town

BUSH BAPTIST - a person of uncertain religion; someone who does not claim or admit affiliation with a particular church

BUSH BASHING - go off road

BUSH BRIDE - a woman who is married in country Australia. Sometimes used disparagingly to denote lack of sophistication


BUSH ECHOES - book of poetry by W. A. Horn 1915

BUSHED - originally to be lost in the bush; to die in the bush; later used to described a person in mental or physical difficulty

BUSHIE/BUSHY - country person

BUSH LAWYER - claiming to have legal knowledge but unqualified

BUSH UP - to bush up a person is to confuse them

BUSH SALUTE - Aussie fly swat / wave of the hand (also Barcoo Salute)

BUSH SCRUBBER - a bumpkin or slatternly person who came from the scrub. c1896

BUSH TELEGRAPH - gossip network

BUSH WEEK - When country folk come to the city

BUSHRANGER - outlaw, highwayman

BUSHWHACKER -someone who lives in the bush; unsophisticated

BUSTED - caught doing something wrong

BUTT IN - intrude

BUTTINSKI - an intruding person

BUZZ OFF - go away

BY A CAT'S WHISKER - just in time

BY CRIKEY - exclamation of surprise

BY JINGO or BY JINGOS - expression of astonishment at something good

BYO - Bring your own

BY THE HOKEY FLY - a mild expletive, without any particular meaning (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)


CABBAGE HEAD - NSW term for a person from Victoria

CABBAGE TREE HAT - unique colonial hat made from cabbage tree palm leaves

CABBAGE TREE HAT MOB - Rebels. Australian-born boys (Currency Lads) who began to identify themselves as United Australians in 1830s and 1840s. Their attire included cabbage tree hats

CABBAGITES - members of the Cabbage Tree Hat Mob

CAB SAV – Cabernet Sauvignon

CACTUS – useless, broken; malfunctioning equipment (WW2)

CACKY HANDED - left handed

CADY - hat

CAKE HOLE - mouth

CALICO YARD - a kind or corral; expression used by drovers (Lentzner 1891)

CALL IT A DAY - finish for the day

CALL IT QUITS - to stop

CAMP DRAFTING - unique Australian sport involving a horse and rider working cattle

CAN - toilet (dunny can)

CANARY - a convict (because of his yellow suit) CANNING STOCK ROUTE - the world's longest stock route. Used to drive cattle from the Kimberley to the railhead at Wiluna, WA early 1900s

CAN'T PUT IN WHAT GOD LEFT OUT - without natural talent

CAN'T TAKE A TRICK - unlucky

CANVAS WATER BAG - invented in 1846 by Sir Thomas Mitchell while exploring in South-Western Queensland. As an experiment he sewed pieces of canvas together to make a bag which he greased with mutton tallow

CAPTAIN'S CALL - decision made by a leader without consultation.

CAPTAIN'S PICK - as above

CAPTAIN COOK - have a look

CARBIE - carburettor

CARDIE - cardigan



CASTLE HILL REBELLION - convict uprising in 1804

CASER - derived from Yiddish. Gaol term. Can mean either five shillings, five pounds or a sentence of five years

CASCADE - in Tasmania beer is called Cascade as it is made from cascade (artesian) water


CAT'S PYJAMAS - very special

CAT O'NINE TAILS - whip with nine thongs as thick as the tip end of the little finger. Each thong had several knots with lead inside Also called Rogue's Cat

CATTLE DUFFER - cattle rustler; stealer of cattle

CATWALK - wired alleyway between compounds (Army 1945)

CAWBAWN - also cobbon; big (indigenous).

CELESTIAL - an immigrant from China during gold rush days

CENTURY - 100 pounds (criminal slang 1950s)

CHALKIE - a schoolteacher; or a clerk who used to chalk up the prices at the Stock Exchange

CHANNEL COUNTRY - a Region of outback Australia in Queensland South Australia, Northern Territory and NSW. The name comes from the numerous intertwined rivulets that cross the region

CHARDONNAY SOCIALIST derogatory for someone who enjoys affluent lifestyle but espouses left wing views

CHARGE LIKE A WOUNDED BULL - charge a high price for something

CHARGE OF THE 4TH LIGHT HORSE AT BEERSHEBA - Known as the Battle of Beersheba. 31 October 1917. Remembered as the last great cavalry charge

CHARLIES - women's breasts


CHATS THE TOM - speaks to a woman

CHATTER BOX - Lewis gun (soldier slang WW2)

CHATTY - Affected with French vermin (soldier slang WW1)

CHEAP AS CHIPS - very cheap

CHEAP DRUNK - person who becomes drunk quickly

CHECK IT OUT - look at that

CHECK OUT CHICK - supermarket cashier

CHEEKY GRIN - Double chin

CHERIOS - small sausages from delicatessen

CHEESED OFF - annoyed about something

CHESTY BOND - Bond's advertisement tradesmark c. 1938; symbol of the Australian male who always fought in his singlet

CHEWING THE FAT - having a talk

CHEW IT OVER - talk it over

CHEWY- chewing gum

CHIACK - to tease or jeer

CHICK - girl

CHICKEN OUT - too scared to join in

CHICK FLICK - a movie that women like


CHICKEN SALT - flavoured salt to sprinkle on chips etc

CHICKEN STRANGLERS - soldiers capable of living off the land

CHICKEN WING TACKLE - A move in Australian rules football and rugby league, in which a player locks an opponent's arm so that he or she cannot legally move the ball. Coined by Fox Sports NRL Producer Geoff Bullock in 2008

CHIKO ROLL - deep-fried snack food

CHILDERS BACKPACKERS HOSTEL FIRE - On 23 June 2000, the backpackers hostel was destroyed by a deliberately-lit fire. Eighty-eight people occupied the hostel at the time of the fire; fifteen died

CHIN WAG - a long talk

CHIPPIE - carpenter

CHIT-CHAT - a talk

CHIV - Port Arthur prison slang for stabbing c. 1909

CHIVEY - face (prison slang c. 1893)

CHIVVY - back talk, lip (WW2)

CHOCCY BICKY – Chocolate Biscuit

CHOCOLATE CRACKLES - children's party food made from rice bubbles


CHOCK AND LOG FENCES - rough timber fences made in 1860s before the use of wire became widespread

CHOCKERS - full up

CHOCS - soldiers who were believed to be unwilling to fight (WW1)

CHOOF OFF - leave

CHOOK– Chicken

CHOOK RAFFLE - held in the local pub

CHOOK SHED – Chicken shed

CHOOM - English soldier - WW1

CHOPPERS - teeth

CHOP UP - division of spoils

CHRISSIE – Christmas

CHROME DOME - a bald man

CHROMO - prostitue

CHUCK - prison ration food c. 1893

CHUCK - throw

CHUCK A CHARLEY - throw a fit; lost your temper

CHUCK A LEFTY - turn left

CHUCK A SIX - throw a fit; lose your temper

CHUCK A SPAZ - angry; tantrum

CHUCK A TANTY - have a tantrum

CHUCK A U-EY - do a U-turn

CHUCK OFF AT - to sneer at

CHUCK UP - vomit

CHUCK UP - to relinquish (Digger Smith; C.J. Dennis)

CHUCK A WOBBLY - throw a tantrum

CHUCKING A DUMMY - fainting on parade (soldier slang WW1)

CHUMP - a simpleton

CHUNDER - vomit

CIGGY– a Cigarette

CLAGGED OUT - worn out

CLANCY'S GONE TO QUEENSLAND DROVING, AND WE DON'T KNOWN WHERE HE ARE - line from Banjo Paterson's poem Clancy of the Overflow

CLANGER - make an ill-timed or inappropriate comment

CLAP - gonorrhoea

CLAYTONS - substitute for the real thing

CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA DAY - rubbish cleanup campaign done by volunteers co-founded by Ian Kiernan and Kim McKay

CLEAN SKIN - a new crook who has had no previous convictions (1950s)

CLEAR AS MUD - complicated, unclear

CLEAR SKINS (also CLEANSKINS) - unbranded young stock running wild

CLEAR OFF - be off with you (WW1)

CLICK GO THE SHEARS - iconic Australian bush ballad. 1890s

CLINCH - agree; clinch a deal

CLINER - young unmarried female

CLINK - gaol

CLIP - all the wool shorn in one shed or on one property

CLOBBER - suit of clothes eg prison clothes

CLOBBER - gear or pack (Army 1945)

CLOCK YOUR MUG - gaol term - have photo taken for prison records (1946)

CLODHOPPERS - heavy shoe or foolish awkward person

CLOUT - hard blow

CLOWN - fool, idiot

CLUCKY – feeling maternal

C'MON AUSSIE C'MON - World Series Cricket slogan

COALOPOLIS - refers to the city of Newcastle

COATHANGER - Sydney Harbour Bridge

COBAR SHOWER - dust storm

COBB & CO. - Pioneered road transport in Australia. Their horse-drawn coaches carried passengers and mail from 1853 to the 1920s.

COBBER – Very good friend.

COBBER - Chocolate coated caramel lolly

COBBLER - a sheep that is difficult to shear, often wrinkled; last sheep to be shorn

COBRAH - Bush Tucker. Obtained from timber which had been in the river. Small round looking beetle which changes to become a large whitish looking worm ; teredo navalis

COCK AND BULL STORY - a tall tale

COCKATOO - a person posted to keep lookout during illegal activities. esp. during two-up; also a nit-keeper

COCKATOO FARMER - a small farmer or selector; term of contempt used by large land holders

COCKATOO FENCE - a rough fence made of logs and saplings before the use of wire became widespread

COCKATOO WEATHER - fine by day, rain at night

COCK-EYED BOB - small whirlwind; also called willy-willy or dust-devil

COCKY/COCKIE - Native Australian bird

COCKIE - person who owns a small farm

COCKROACH - person from NSW

COCKY'S JOY - golden syrup spread

CODS WALLOP - unbelievable

COLDIE– Beer. ‘Come over for a few coldie’s mate.’

COLOURS - mining term; originally the gold visible after washing

COLONIAL - patronizing term used by the British to describe Australians. Used until about 1914-18)

COMB DOWN - (to). to ill-treat, thrash

COME A CROPPER - to fall; or have a setback

COME ACROSS - bestow sexual favours

COME A GUTZER/GUTSER - fall heavily (WW1)

COME-DOWN - a disappointment

COME GOOD - turn out alright

COME IN ON THE GROUTER - take advantage of the misfortune of another

COME IN SPINNER - call at gambling game two-up

COME TO BLOWS - fight- workers

COMFORT FUNDS - shells (soldier slang WW1)

COMPO - workers compensation

CONCHERS- up country; tame or quiet cattle

CONCHIE - conscientious objector during war time

CONCRETE MACAROON - army biscuit (WW1)

CONDAMINE - cattle bell with a distinctive high note first made in the Condamine region of Qld

CONK - nose

CONVICT ATTAINT - (felony attaint) - In England condemned criminals were not allowed to give evidence in court, act for another person or sue in the civil courts. As well their goods were forfeited to the crown. Convict attaint was not removed when sentences were commuted to transportation to a penal colony. Only the expiry of the sentence or a pardon could remove the attaint

COOEE - call out; bush-cry. Published in John Hunter's Journal of native words in 1790 as the term Cowee meaning to come.

NOT WITHIN COOEE - figuratively a long way

COOEE MARCH - Recruiting march in WW1

COOK THE BOOKS - falsify accounts

COOLABAH TREE - eucalyptus tree

COOLAMAN - a word adopted from aborigines to describe their drinking vessels and then applied generally

COOLGARDIE SAFE - uses evaporation to keep food inside cool while protecting it from flies and scavengers. Invented in Coolgardie on W.A. Goldfields in the 1890's by Arthur McCormick

COON CHEESE - Iconic Australian trademark of a cheddar cheese first launched in 1935 by Fred Walker. Coon cheese was named after its American creator, Edward William Coon of Philadelphia

COOT - a person of no account, an outsider

COP - policeman

COP IT SWEET - accept defeat with good grace

COPPER - police man or woman

COPPER TAIL - less privileged person; opposite of silver tail

COP SHOP - police station

CORKER - something that is excellent

CORNER - or sling - have a share in a haul (criminal slang 1950s)

CORNSTALK - born in Australia, in the past of convict parents

CORNSTALK - Victorian name for a person from New South Wales.

COTTON ON TO - realise; become friendly

COSSIE - swimsuit; togs; swimmers

COULD HAVE BLOWN ME DOWN WITH A FEATHER - expression of astonishment






COUNTER LUNCH - pub lunch

COUNTRY MILE - a long way

COVE - a man; bloke

COW - it stinks (WW2)

COWARD'S CASTLE - When parliament is used to vilify, abuse others while under parliamentary privilege

COW LICK - piece of curly hair

COWRA P.O.W CAMP OUTBREAK - On 5 August 1944 Japanese prisoners of war (POWs) housed in the detention camp in Cowra a mass outbreak

CRABS - pubic lice

CRACKS - The best stockmen - the best whip crackers.

CRACKER JACK - a good thing

CRACKER NIGHT - Celebrated on the Queens Birthday long weekend. Now Banned

CRACK A BOO - is to divulge a secret

CRACK HARDY - to suppress feelings

CRACK ON TO - to hit on someone; make their acquaintance

CRACK ON TO - understand

CRACK THE WHIP - hurry up

CRACK UP - become exhausted;

CRACK UP - laughing

CRAPPER - toilet

CRAWCHIE - freshwater crayfish (Qld); yabby

CRAWLER - sheep left behind on the road

CRAWLER - an obsequious bloke; one who cosies up to the boss; flatterer; first used c. 1857 - Australia, a country where the strongest reproach was to be a crawler

CREAMED - to be defeated (sport)

CRIB - a house

CRIB - worker's lunch

CRIKEY MATE - Steve Irwin's catch phrase

CROAK - die

CROCK - a load of nonsense

CRONK - sick, unwell; boxer who lets himself be beaten through unfitness (1890s)

CRONK - dishonest

CROOK– Being ill, things a crook in Tallarook

CROOK AS ROOKWOOD - extremely ill, nearly dead

CROOKED AS A DOG'S HIND LEG - criminal connections

CROOK SPIN - run of bad luck

CROPPER - fall; come a cropper

CROPPY - an Irish convict on the 1790s-1800s, so called because the Irish rebels of 1798 cropped their hair short like the French revolutionaries

CROW - street woman, chromo, prostitute (criminal slang 1950)

CROW EATER - person from South Australia

CROW EATER - a lazy fellow who will live on anything rather than work (1895)

CROW TO PLUCK - to take issue with someone (Maitland 1833, but probably earlier English origin)

CRUDDY - poor quality

CRUELLED THE PITCH - upset arrangements

CRUISY - easy; relaxed

CRUSHER - bushranger term for police trooper

CRUST - earn a crust; earn a living

CRY BABY - sook; easily upset

CUNNING AS A DUNNY RAT - very cunning

CUPPA - cup of tea

CUR - cowardly; mean or dishonest

CURL-A-MO - excellent, bonzer

CURLY - bald headed man

CURRENCY LADS AND LASSES - The first generation of free children born to convicts in Australia.

CUSHY - easy

CUT LUNCH - sandwiches

CUT LUNCH COMMANDO - a publice servant; a soldier who seldom served in the front lines (used during WWII 1939-45)

CUT OUT THE MIDDLE MAN; FIND SOMEONE YOU HATE AND BUY THEM A HOUSE - quote from mockumentary film Kenny 2006

CYCLONE SEASON - cyclone season starts in mid-December and finishes at the end of April

CYCLONE TRACY - Tropical Cyclone Tracy, category 4, struck Darwin in the early hours of 25 December 1974. 71 deaths


DAD AND DAVE FROM SNAKE GULLY - radio drama series based on the On Our Selection stories of Steele Rudd

DAG – Someone who’s a bit of a nerd or unfashionable.

DAG - in rural areas: a wag or an amusing person; in cities, a dull or boring one

DAG - a wag in the crowd (WW1)

DAGGY - unfashionable

DAGGING - cutting away the flyblown wool from a sheep's backside

DAGWOOD DOG - frankfurter on a stick that is battered and deep-fried

DAISY CUTTER - anti-personnel bomb (WW1)


DAKS– Trousers

DAMPER - bushman's bread made of flour and water; cooked on campfire as thin cakes in a frying pan or on a flat stone in wood ashes

DANCING - method of robbery at the goldfields

DANDER - anger

DARBY KELL - cockney slang - darby kelly - belly

DARLING SHOWER - dust storm in the Riverina

DARLO DROP - police brutality towards prisoners

DART - a scheme or racket; also known as a rort or lurk

DARWIN STUBBY - Northern Territory. Introduced by Carlton & United in 1958 with an 80 fluid ounce (2,270 ml) capacity

DAWN SERVICE - first commemorative event of Anzac Day is the Dawn Service at 4.30 am. This is about the time men of the ANZAC approached the Gallipoli beach 25 April 1915

DAZZA - nickname for Darren

DAZZLER - good looking person

DEACON SKINNER - dinner (soldier slang WW1)

DEAD BEAT - a derelict

DEAD CERT - a certainty; a sure thing

DEAD HEAD - a good for nothing

DEAD HEAD - one who stands about a bar to drink at the expense of others (Qld 1891)

DEAD HEART - The centre of Australia (from Ernest Giles' book of thta title 1906)

DEAD HEART OF AUSTRALIA - Memoirs written by J.W. Gregory referring to Lake Eyre

DEAD LURK - to rob a house while the occupants were at church

DEADLY - excellent; strong

DEAD MEAT TICKETS - identification discs (soldier slang WW1)

DEAD NARK - unsatisfactory; or having a bad temper

DEADSET – True - exactly

DEAD RINGER - exactly the same

DEAD TO THE WORLD - sound asleep

DEAF AS A POST - hard of hearing

DEANER (DEENER) - A shilling (WW2); superceded by ten cent piece in 1966

DEAR - expensive

DEAR AUNTIE - a phrase signifying utter weariness or disgust (soldier slang WW1)

DEATH ADDER - machine gun (WW2)

DECORATED PRIVATES - N.S.O.'s (soldier slang WW1)

DEEP THINKER - reinforcement soldier who arrived late in the war (soldier slang WW1)

DEMOCRACY SAUSAGE - a colloquial name given to the sausages cooked and eaten as part of the Australian tradition of holding a fundraising sausage sizzle at polling places on election day.

DEMONS - prison slang for police

DERO - derelict homeless person

DERRICK'S SHOW - final assault on Sattelberg, New Guinea during WW2 became known as Derrick's Show after Victoria Cross recipient Tom Derrick's bravery during the battle

DERRY - to have a grudge; a feud

DERWENTER - ex convict from VDL

DESERT RATS - Rats of Tobruk. Australian Army soldiers who served in North African campaign WW2

DEUCE - sentence to jail for two months (criminal slang 1950s)

DEUCER - a shearer who can shear 200 sheep in a day

DEVVO – Devastated

DEVON - luncheon meat; called Fritz in S.A.; Polony in W.A.

DIAL - face

DIBBER DOBBER - telltale; a person, often a child, who reveals secrets

DICE IT - throw it out!

DICKEN - disgust; doubt or disbelief

DICKHEAD - an idiot

DICKY - something of low quality or broken

DIDDLE - to cheat

DIDGERIDOO - a wind instrument that was originally found only in Arnhem Land in northern Australia

DIDN'T BAT AN EYELID - gave no reaction to news


DIGGER - Australian soldier ; also gold digger

DIGGINGS - residence; probably originated in the gold fields days

DIGS - the place you live

DILL - a simpleton or trickster's dupe. First used by C.J. Dennis in Sentimental Bloke

DILL BRAIN - idiot

DILLYBAG - Aboriginal term; small bag

DINGBAT - annoyed; crazy

DINGBAT - an army batman

DINGBATS - delerium tremens (DT's) (c 1920)

DING DONG - fine, swell (WW2)

DINGO - native dog that cannot bark; thus a treacherous man; a coward c. 1908

DINGO - compulsory trainee in the Militia (WW2)

DINGO'S BREAKFAST - no breakfast at all

DINGO FENCE - longest fence in the world. South Australia. Finished 1885

DINKUM - also fair dinkum; genuine; real; also hard work (an hour's hard dinkum - from Rolf Boldrewood, Robbery Under Arms 1882)

DINKUM OIL - authenticated news (WW1)

DINKY DI - genuine, authentic

DINKY RIDE - double up on a bike. Passenger

DINNER - lunch

DIPSTICK - loser; fool

DIRTY - angry about an injustice

DIRTY BIG - enormous. eg. dirty big truck

DIRTY STOP OUT - person who stays out all hours having a good time

DISH IT OUT - to serve roughly

DIVVY - divide into portion

DIVVY - The Store's famous dividend rewarded members for buying goods. Newcastle NSW


DO A MELBA - make repeated farewell performances

DOB - report someone to police etc

DODGER - bread (soldier slang WW1)

DODGIE - poor quality

DOE RAY ME - money

DOESN'T MISS A TRICK - doesn't miss an opportunity for advantage

DOG - detective (criminal slang 1940)

DOG ACT - cowardly, treacherous behaviour

DOGGED IT - didn't show up

DOGGEREE - Go on; go straight ahead (soldier slang WW1)

DOG ON THE TUCKERBOX - Historical monument located at Snake Gully, five miles from Gundagai

DOGS BREAKFAST - a total mess

DOG'S EYE - meat pie

DOG'S LEG - Stripe (Army 1945)

DOG WATCH - nightshift

DOING THE CLOCK - serving five years imprisonment in Long Bay Gaol

DOING IT COLD - serving a sentence for a crime of which you are innocent

DOING IT TOUGH - gaol term for having a difficult time of it

DOING SOL - solitary confinement (1893)

DOING THE LOT - also a full hand as in a full hand in poker - a sentence of life imprisonment (1946)

DOLE - unemployment payment

DOLE BLUDGER - on who is content to live off social security payments in contrast with one who is genuinely unemployed

DOING A BRADBURY - winning something against the odds, after Steve Bradbury's win at the Winter Olympics

DOING A BUNK - running away

DONE A GINGER - robbed someone (criminal slang Sydney 1950s)

DONE HIS DASH - finshed up; lost opportunity

DONE LIKE A DINNER - finished; completed

DONGA - Temporary shelter

DONKEY VOTE - ballot cast in an election where a voter ranks candidates based on the order they appear on the ballot paper

DONKEYS YEARS - a long time

DONE LIKE A DINNER - finished, over with, completed

DONNYBROOK - a fight (origin Irish)

DON'T COME THE RAW PRAWN WITH ME - Don't try to fool me (WW2)


DON'T KNOW THAT PERSON FROM A BAR OF SOAP - don't know them at all

DON'T PUT ON A PERFORMANCE - don't make a fuss

DON'T SLEW YOUR BREW - keep your mouth shut and don't do your block when in police custody (criminal slang 1950s)

DON'T YOU EVER LET A CHANCE GO BY, OH LORD - line from Bob Hudson's 1975 hit The Newcastle Song

DON'T YOU WORRY ABOUT THAT - catch cry of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen

DONUTS - black circles on road made by vehicle

DOORSTOPPING - practice by journalists of conducting a brief interview of politicians at the entrance to a building

DOOVERLACKIE - referring to something you don't have a name for

DORA GREY - threepenny piece

DOROTHY DIXER - parliamentary question asked by a colleague to give the Minister the opportunity to deliver a prepared reply

DOSS - to sleep

DOUBLE BANKING - hooking on one or more additional bullock teams to assist in crossing a bog

DOUBLE D - short for double dissolution, the simultaneous dissolution of both houses of a parliament preparatory to an election

DOUBLE DUTCH - children's skipping game using two ropes

DOUGH - money

DOUGHY - soft; slow witted; slow to catch on; not very knowledgeable

DO THE DIRTY - do the wrong thing

DOVER - ration of bread (prison slang c 1893)

DOWN ON - angry with

DOWN THE CHUTE - to be found guilty in court (criminal slang 1950s)

DOWN THE GURGLER - wasted money, opportunity or effort

DOWN THE STREET - shopping street

DOWNUNDER - coming from Australia

DO YOUR BLOCK - lose your temper

DO YOUR LOLLY - lose your temper

DO YOUR NANA - lose your temper

DRAG - sentenced to three months in jail (prison slang 1893)

DRAG THE CHAIN - lag behind

DRAW (to) - to vex, to infuriate

DRAWING A POSSUM - sending in a dog to draw a possum out of hiding

DREADNOUGHT - a shearer who can shear more than 300 sheep in one day

DRIBS AND DRABS - a little bit at a time

DRINK WITH THE FLIES - to drink alone in a pub

DRIP - fool

DRIZA BONE COAT - Unique Australian coat

DROGO - rookie (WW2)

DRONGO - loser, no-hoper; slow witted

DRONGO - name of a race horse that never won a race in 37 starts. 1920s

DROP A CLANGER - say something embarrassing or inappropriate

DROP BEAR - hoax featuring carnivorous version of a koala

DROP KICK - an idiot; not very smart

DROP THE BUCKET - to put the entire blame for an offence on someone else (criminal slang 1950s)


DROVER - an experienced stockman, who moves sheep, cattle, and horses over long distances

DROVER'S DOG - one who owns no respect

A DROVER'S DOG COULD LEAD THE PARTY TO VICTORY - Bill Hayden after losing labour leadership

DROVING - driving or moving a herd or flock over a long distance.

DRUM - a brothel

DRUM - a bundle carried by a swagman as a roll strapped over the right should and under the left arm

DRUMMER - a lazy shearer; in the old days they used to be drummed out of the shed

DRUNK AS CHLOE - very drunk (1946)

DRUNK AS A SKUNK - blind drunk

DRY AS A DEAD DINGO'S DONGA - thirsty for alcohol

DRY HASH - tramp; sundowner(1887)

DRY HASH - one who will not shout for drinks (c. 1895)

DUCKS ON THE POND - warning to men that women are around and to refrain from swearing, used in shearing sheds

DUCK THE SCONE - plead guilty before a Magistrate (criminal slang 1950s)

DUD - a failure

DUDS - trousers

DUFFER - a fool

DUFFER - unproductive shaft in gold mine

DUFFER - cattle duffer = cattle rustler

DUG OUT - protective hole dug out of the sides of trenches (WW1)

DUKE - hand (prisoner slang c 1893)

DUMMY - pacifer for baby

DUMP - centre struck out of the holey dollar. The holey dollar was worth five shillings, and the dump fifteen pence

DUMPER - large strong wave in surf that pushes the surfer to the bottom

DUNNY - outside toilet in a small outhouse at the back of the house used before the septic system

DUNNY MAN - council worker who collected toilet pans and transferred them on his shoulder to the dunny truck

DUNNY ROLL - toilet paper

DUNNO - don't know

DURREY - a cigarette you roll yourself

DUST-DEVIL - small whirlwind; also called willy-willy and cock-eyed bob

DUST UP - a fight


EAR BASH - talk non stop

EARLY MARK - let out of school early

EARWIG - eavesdropper

EASY AS - something that is easily done

EASY ON - take it easy; slow down

EKKA - Brisbane Exhibition (annual show)

ELBOW GREASE - hard work

EMPIRE DAY - The celebration of Queen Victoria's birthday on May 24 was renamed Empire Day in 1903 after her death in 1901. It was celebrated throughout the British Empire culminating in fireworks and bonfires in the evening. The last celebration of Empire Day in Australia took place in 1958

EMPTIES - empty beer bottles

EMU PARADE - picking up litter in a group

ENZEDDER - Australian term for a soldier of the New Zealand forces (1914-1918)

ESKY – An insulated container to keep food and drink cold

EUCHRED - done in; exhausted; beaten

EUREKA FLAG - First used in the Eureka Rebellion of 1854. Has a dark blue field with a central white symmetric cross consisting five eight-pointed stars, representing the Crux constellation. The design was first used in the Eureka Rebellion of 1854.

EUREKA STOCKADE - a battle which took place at Ballarat on 3rd December 1854 after diggers' opposition to miners' licenses. Often regarded as the birthplace of Australian democracy

EVEN STEVENS - equal after repaying a debt

EVERY COUNTRY NEEDS ITS HEROES, AND WE MUST FOLLOW THEM - Colonel Sir Ernest Edward Weary Dunlop 1907 – 1993 was an Australian surgeon who was renowned for his leadership while being held prisoner by the Japanese during World War II

EVERY MAN AND HIS DOG - extremely crowded place

EVERY DOG HAS ITS DAY - your day will come eventually

EYES LIKE A HAWK - 20/20 vision

EXXY - high price


FACELESS MEN - people who wield (especially political) power behind the scenes

FAFF ABOUT - dither

FAG - cigarette

FAIR COW - a louse or heel (WW2)

FAIR CRACK OF THE WHIP - request for fair treatment


FAIR ENOUGH - expression used to concede a point

FAIR GO - call in a two-up game

FAIR GO - to treat someone with fairness and reason; also a protest or plea for decent treatment, as in 'Fair go!'

FAIR SHAKE OF THE SAUCE BOTTLE - used several times by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

FAIR SUCK OF THE SAUCE BOTTLE - be fair (sauce perhaps being booze)

FAIRY BREAD - white buttered bread covered in hundreds and thousands

FAIRY FLOSS - heated sugar spun into threads and eaten from a stick

FANTAILS - chocolate-covered caramels introduced by Sweetacres in 1930. Wrappers included brief biographies of movie stars.

FATS - wide tyres

FATTY FINN - Fatty Finn, was a popular Australian comic strip series created in 1923 by Syd Nicholls

FEBRUARY 14 1966 - introduction of decimal currency to Australia. Accompanied by a famous jingle to the tune of Click Go The Shears

FEDERATION DROUGHT - name given to a prolonged period of drought that began 1895 and reached its peak in 1901 - 1902

FEED THE CHOOKS - to hold a press conference; to feed the media. Attributed to Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, former Premier of Queensland

FELIX THE CAT - cartoon character created in 1919 by Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer in an Australian studio

FELLAS - men


FELL OUT OF THE UGLY TREE - not attractive to look at

FFF - Forlorn, famished, and far from home (soldier slang WW1)

FIDDLEY - one pound note. Derived from fiddley-did, a rhyme on the word quid (criminal slang 1950s)

FIELD DAY - day used to display new farm equipment


FIFO - fly in - fly out - flown in to remote work area and flown back again to town

FIGJAM - Acronym for I m good. Just ask me.

FILUM - film, movie picture

FIN - five pound note (prison slang)

FINGER - an eccentric or amusing person

FINGERS - also screws or blokes. Prison slang for prison wardens c. 1893

FIRIE - a fireman

FIRST CAB OFF THE RANK - first there


FITZROY COCKTAIL - methylated spirits mixed with another drink to hide the taste

FITZROY YANK - flashy dresser (WW2)

FIVE EYES - An alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and USA for joint cooperation in signals intelligence, military intelligence, and human intelligence

FIVE FINGER DISCOUNT - to steal without getting caught

FIVER - ‎£ 5 note

FIVER - prison slang - five years in gaol c. 1893

FIX YOU UP - pay back money

FIZZ-GIG - police informer

FIZZER - police informer

FIZZER / FIZZLER - disappointment

FIZZY DRINK - soft drink/ cordial

FLABBERGAST - astonish

FLAG - £ 1 note (criminal slang 1950s)

FLAG FALL - initial hiring charge for a taxi

FLAKE - shark meat

FLAKE OUT - collapse, lie down

FLAMING GALAH - idiot; stupid person

FLAMIN HELL - for goodness sake

FLAP THE GUMS - talk endlessly

FLASH - showy

FLANNIE / FLANNO – flannelette shirt

FLAT AS A TACK - low in spirits, lacking energy

FLAT CHAT - doing something quickly

FLAT OUT - as fast as possible


FLAT TO THE BOARDS - busy working

FLATTY - policeman (1925)

FLEA - A prisoner who seeks to be on good terms with the warders and then to be on good terms with the prisoners

FLICK - get rid of

FLIMSY - handkerchief (prison slang c. 1893)

FLIP YOUR LID - to be angry

FLOATER - a meal sold from a stand - a meat pie floating in a bowl of pea soup (Adelaide), invented by an English cook named Gibbs

FLOATING KIDNEY - soldier unattached to a unit (WW1)

FLOG - to steal; also to sell

FLOG - Wanker; someone with ideas above their station

FLOGGED WITH A WARM LETTICE, (LIKE BEING) - Paul Keating re John Hewson's debating skills

FLOGGING A DEAD HORSE - a hopeless cause

FLOORDROBE - leaving clothes on the floor instead of putting them away

FLOORED - knocked down

FLUKE - lucky break

FLUMMOX - perplex

FLUTTER - a small bet on the races

FLYBOG - Jam (WW1)

FLYER - a female kangaroo (1826); The males are called foresters and the females flyers (1834)

FLYING DOCTOR - the aerial medical service pioneered by the Rev. John Flynn in the outback in the 1920s

FLYING FOX - fruit bat

FLYING FOX - an overhead cable-way often used in mining

FLYING OFF THE HANDLE - angry outburst

FLY SCREEN - gauze door screen to keep out flies

FOODIE - lover of gourmet food

FOOTPATH - sidewalk or pavement

FOOTY - Australian Football League (AFL), Rugby Union (Union) or Rugby League (NRL). Not Soccer

FOSSICK - prospect for gold

FREAK VILLA - the cook house (soldier slang WW1)

FRED - small metal spoon in ADF combat ration pack - Field Ration Eating Device - also F.cking Ridiculous Eating Device

FREDDO FROG - Chocolate lolly Freddo Frog was introduced by MacRobertson’s in Melbourne 1930

FREE AND EASIES - a form of entertainment held in hotels where miscellaneous concerts of an informal character took place. A person played the piano and anyone in the room was at liberty to contribute a song for the amusement of the audience. They were considered infringements of the Licensing Act. c. 1880s- 1890s

FREEBIE - get for free

FREE CHEWING GUM - chin strap (soldier slang WW2)

FREEDOM ON THE WALLABY - A poem by Henry Lawson 1891

FREEDOM RIDE BUS - students from University of Sydney formed a group called the Student Action for Aborigines. Led by Charles Perkins, they travelled into New South Wales country towns

FREEZ-A - a popularity hunter. Origin found in for he's a jolly good fellow (WW1)

FREMANTLE DOCTOR - cooling afternoon wind. Western Australia

FRENCHIE - condom

FREO - Fremantle W.A.

FRESH - overflow of a river caused by heavy rain

FRIDGE - Refridgerator. In 1855 James Harrison of Geelong was granted a patent for an ether vapour-compression refrigeration system.

FRILL - swagger, conceit (c. 1895)

FRISK - search

FRITZ - luncheon meat; called Devon in NSW; Polony in W.A.

FROG IN A SOCK - energetic

FRONT - appear before a magistrate (criminal slang 1950s)

FRONT UP - to turn up

FROTHING / FROTHIN - very keen

FROTHY WINDBAG - politician, who when it suits his purpose, champions the cause of the working class man. Socialist c 1895

FRUIT LOOP - crazy person

FRYING PAN - A description of the brand on stolen cattle or hides after duffers have obscured the owner's brand

FUDGE - to cheat

FUGLY - ugly

FULL AS A GOOG - satiated of food or drink

FULL HAND - or SPIN - five years in jail

FULL OF BEANS - lots of energy

FULL ON - intense

FUNNY FARM - mental hospital

FURFIE - rumour (soldier slang WW1)

FURPHY - idle rumour. Jewish origin; or from the wheeled water tanks made by Furphy and Co around which troops gathered in army camps in 1914-1915 and from where all rumours flowed

FX and FJ Holden cars - FX launched in 1948. FJ launched in 1953. FX First mass made locally produced car


GABBA - Brisbane cricket ground at Woolloongabba

G'DAY – Hello

GALAH – native bird renowned for its antics, like hanging upside down on telephrone wires, therefore a noisy, stupid person

GALLIED - frightened

GALLIPOLI GALLOP - dysentery (WW1)

GALOOT - clumsy, foolish man; derived from word used for soldier

GALVO - galvanized iron

GAME AS NED KELLY - brave; the ultimate Australian compliment

GAMMON - to deceive

GAMMY LEG - crippled or injured leg

GANDER - take a look


GARBOS - garbologists; garbage collectors

GAZZA - short for Garry

GAZZOB - a fool or a blunderer

GEEBUNG - native word adopted by settlers, an Ausralian wild fruit

GEEBUNG - an Australian born money grubber (1859)

GEE GEES - race horses

GEEK - take a look

GEE WHIZZ - expressing surprise

GENTLEMAN GEORGE - description of a remittance man from W. A. Horn's 'Bush Echoes' - Gentleman George in his youthful days was the pride of the Eighth Hussars, He's only a bronzed old teamster now in the land of the red galahs...

GET A GUERNSEY - receive an award

GET A HANDLE ON - understand

GET A WRIGGLE ON - hurry up

GET DOWN OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE - stop acting superior

GET OFF THE GRASS - unbelievable; tell the truth

GET OFF WITH A SCRATCH - sentenced to 12 months in jail

GET ON YOUR GOAT - someone annoying you

GET STUFFED - dismissal after a disagreement

GET THE BOOT - get sacked

GET THE DRIFT - understand

GET THE RUN (to) - to be discharged

GET THE WIND UP - soldier slang for a scare (WW1)

GETTING OFF AT REDFERN - referrring to contraceptive technique

GET YOUR DANDER UP - get upset

GIBBER - a small rock

GIBBER - GUNYAH - home in a cave; aboriginal

GILGAI - aboriginal word meaning small waterhole

GINGER BEERS - engineers (military)

GINGER MEGS - popular and long-running comic strip created in the early 1920s by Jimmy Bancks


GIVE IT A BREAK - stop talking!

GIVE IT A CRACK - give it a try

GIVE A BUM STEER - mislead

GIVE IT A BURL - give it a try

GIVE IT A GO - give it a try

GIVE IT SOME HERBS - adding extra power or putting on extra speed (from cooking, adding more herbs)

GIVE SOMEONE A SERVE - give them a piece of your mind

GIVE SKY HIGH - (to) - to scold in an immoderate way

GIVE THEM A BURL - give them a good spin (two-up)

GIVE US A HEADS UP - let us know


GLORY BOX - box in which a young woman gathers items to use after marriage

GNARLY - awesome (surfing term)

GOB - mouth

GOBFUL - abuse

GOB SMACKED - surprise

GO BUSH - leave home; live rough

GOD BOTHERER - religious person



GO FOR IT - expression of encouragement

GOING OFF - things are busy

GOING OFF AT- telling someone off

GOING TROPPO - going crazy

GOING WALKABOUT - travelling

GOLDEN CASKET LOTTERY - est. c. 1916 to pay for soldier repatriation (QLD)

GOLDEN GUITAR AWARDS - Country music festival awards held annually in Tamworth

GO LEMONY - become angry

GONE WALKABOUT - item that is misplaced or lost

GONE WEST - dead (soldier slang WW1)

GONG - medal (military)

GONNA -going to

GOODIES - treats, usually lollies

GOOD IRON - commendation; from game of quoits throwing the ring over the iron

GOOD-O. Everythings all right

GOOD OIL - reliable information (WW1)

GOOD SPORT - fair person

GOOD ON YA – goodonyer; term of approval; good work

GOOF OFF - muck around

GOOG - as full as a goog = drunk

GOOGY-EGG - child s name for a boiled egg

GOOLEY - a stone

GOOLEY - a single bomb dropped from a plane

GOON – flagon of wine

GOOSE - insult describing someone considered foolish


GO BANANAS - become excited or angry

GO ON A SPREE - go on a drinking binge

GO ROUND WITH - Go out together, date. 1970s

GOSFORD SKIRT - A very short skirt, so called because the NSW city of Gosford is close to a town called The Entrance.

GO TO BUGGERY - go away; leave me alone

GO THE KNUCKLE - engage in a fist fight with another person

GO UNDER - fail; collapse

GO UP IN SMOKE - fail, collapse; lose


GO WALKABOUT - Aboriginal - living a nomadic life

GOYDER'S LINE - George Goyder established the margin between reliable and unreliable rainfall regions in South Australia 150 years ago

GRAFTER - a good worker (WW2)

GRANNY FLAT - detached building on your property where your mother or father might live.


GRASSHOPPER - Canberra term for weekend visitors to the capital; they eat everything in sight and never have a drink

GREASING THE SWAG STRAPS - Swagman's language time to move on

GREAT ARTESIAN BASIN - underground reservoir. is the largest and deepest artesian basin in the world, stretching over 1,700,000 square kilometres


GREAT AUSTRALIAN BIGHT - large oceanic open bay off the central and western parts of the south coast of mainland Australia

GREAT AUSTRALIAN DREAM - a belief that in Australia, home-ownership can lead to a better life and is an expression of success and security

GREAT SOUTHERN LAND - a single released in 1982 by the Australian rock band Icehouse.

GREAT WHITE SHARK - Nick name of golfer Greg Norman

GREEN - inexperienced person

GREEN GROCER - type of cicada

GREENIE - environmentalist

GREEN WHISTLE - temporary analgesic given to trauma patients

GREY NOMAD - retired person who travels Australia usually in a caravan

GRIND THEM INTO THE DUST - Quote - Don Bradman - When you play test cricket, you don't give the Englishmen an inch. Play it tough, all the way. Grind them into the dust

GRINDER - a small coin of money

GRIZZLE - complain

GROG - alcohol

GROG SHOP/ GROG SHANTY - pub or bottle shop

GROMMET - young surfer

GRONK - idiot, lacking in social skills

GROUSE - great; very good

GRUB - food

GRUMBLEBUM - complainer

GRUNDIES - underwear/ undies

GUFF - foolish talk

GUFFED - deceived

GULLY RAKING - stealing unbranded livestock from distant station

GUMMY / GUMMIE - user of Gumtree

GUM SUCKER - description of young Australian because of their habit of eating the gum of the wattle tree

GUM-SUCKER - native of Tasmania because of the abundance of gum trees in Tasmanian forests 1887

GUM TREE (up a gum tree) - completely lost or confused

GUN - expert shearer

GUN FIRE BREAKFAST - originally British however popular in Australia now as a follow-up to the Anzac Dawn service

GUNYAH - temporary shelter from sheets of bark at NSW goldfields. From Dharuk Aboriginal language


GUTSER (come a gutser) - to fall or fail

GUYVER - pretence; make believe. Jewish origin

GYP - swindle


HAIRY BELLY - sycophant (soldier slang WW1)

HAIRY EYEBALL - give someone the once over or examine closely

HALF A FLAG - ten shillings (criminal slang 1950s)

HALF ARSED - job that is half done

HALF YOUR LUCK - wishing for the good fortune of someone else

HALF WAY DECENT - reasonably attractive person

HAM AND CHICKEN - ammunition (soldier slang WW1)

HANGER ON -unwanted person

HANG OF (get the) - to become familiary with

HANG ON A TICK - wait a moment

HANG OUT FOR - anticipate

HANGRY - hungry and angry at the same time


HAPPY AS A PIG IN SHIT - very happy

HAPPY AS LARRY - very happy

HAPPY LITTLE VEGEMITE - very happy (advertising jingle)

HARBOUR BRIDGE PASS- in rugby a high looping pass

HARD CASE - an amusing or eccentric person

HARD HITTER - bowler hat

HARD LINES - bad luck

HARD UP - destitute

HARD YAKKA – Hard work

HARD WORD - put the hard word on = make demands

HARRY CAFE DE WHEELS - iconic trailer cafe at Wooloomooloo, Sydney

HATTER - a bushman or digger who worked by himself at a shallow sinking of a gold mine; they became well known for talking to themselves (as in 'mad as a hatter') c1895

HATTER - swagman who travelled alone

HAVE A BLUE - have a fight

HAVE A CAPTAIN COOK - have a look

HAVE A CRACK - have a go

HAVE A GO YA MUG - try harder

HAVE A GOOD ONE - have a good day

HAVE A JIMMY WOODSER - to drink alone

HAVE A NATTER - talk, usually between women

HAVE A SQUIZ - have a look

HAVE A STICKY - pry into the personal affairs of another


HEAD OVER TURKEY - head over heels

HEAD STATION - house occupied by the owner or manager of a station or run

HEAPS – loads, lots, many

HEIDELBERG SCHOOL - An Australian art movement of the late 19th century

HE'S LIKE A SHIVER WAITING FOR A SPINE TO RUN UP - Paul Keating referring to John Hewson


HELLO POSSUMS - Dame Edna Everidge s catch cry

HEN'S NIGHT - bachelorette party

HERBS - (give it some herbs) - adding extra power or putting on extra speed (from cooking, adding more herbs)

HEXHAM GREYS - large mosquitoes found in Hexham district, Newcastle, NSW

HICKORY - Be off. (soldier slang WW1)

HICKS - people who live in the country/bush

HIDEY - children's game - hide and seek

HIGH AS A KITE - high on drugs

HIGH JUMP (The) - Sydney Quarter Sessions (criminal slang 1950s)

HILL'S HOIST - rotary clothes hoist invented by motor mechanic Lance Hill in 1945 South Australia

HILTON HOTEL BOMBING - An explosion occurred outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney on 13 February 1978 where a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting was taking place

HISSY FIT - tantrum

HIT FOR SIX - laid low

HIT THE FROG AND TOAD - hit the road - get out!

HMAS SYDNEY - The loss of HMAS Sydney in November 1941 following an encounter with the German raider Kormoran off the W.A. coast is Australia s worst naval disaster, 645 lives having been lost

HOBNAIL EXPRESS - travel by foot

HODDLE STREET SHOOTING - In Melbourne on 9 August 1987 a gunman fired a total of 114 rounds in the space of 45 minutes, killing seven people and wounding a further 19, including two police officers

HOLD YOUR HORSES - request for patience

HOLEY DOLLAR - what remained of a Spanish dollar when the centre of the coin (the dump) had been struck out of it. The holey dollar was worth five shillings, and the dump fifteen pence.

HOLEY DOOLEY - expression of surprise

HOLLYWOOD - shanty town at Lambton NSW c. 1930s

HOME AND DRIED - safe and sound (soldier slang WW1)

HOME AND HOSED - safe and sound

HOME ON THE PIG'S BACK - successful

HOMINY BUS -the gaol tram that ran between Darlinghurst police station and the prison

HONEY JOYS - children's party food made from cornflakes

HONKER - nose

HOOK JOB - Prisoner who is serving two or more years. From having the letter C (a hook) stamped above their prison numbers on their coats

HOON – lout; also bad and fast driver, usually young

HOOROO - see you later

HOOT - money (1946)

HOP OUT - a challenge to fight c. 1920

HOP OVER - go over the top to fight (soldier slang WW1)

HORNBAG - Sexually attractive person

HOSPITAL SHEEP - sheep suffering from a contagious disease which necessitates their removal from the rest

HOT AS HADES - a scorcher of a day

HOT SCONE - detective (criminal slang 1940)


HOTTIE - souped up car

HOWARD'S BATTLERS - working class people, traditionally regarded as Labor voters, who were instrumental in electing John Howard’s conservative Coalition to power in 1996

HOW ARE YOU GOING ? - How are you?

HOW WOULD YOU BE? - How are you?

HOW'S THE SERENITY - Darryl Kerrigan in The Castle - how good is this place?

HOWZAT - appeal a decision in cricket

HUGHIE - God; when pleading for rain, bushmen cry 'Send her down, Hughie!

HUMDINGER - remarkable person or thing

HUMIDICRIB - incubator for premature babies

HUMPING BLUEY - carrying a swag

HUMP THE DRUM - also on the Wallaby Track - walk to outback or bush

HUMPY - bush hut

HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS - coloured sprinkles for cakes

HUNGRY FORTIES - depression of the 1840s

HUNKY DORY - all's well


I AM, YOU ARE, WE ARE AUSTRALIAN - popular Australian song written in 1987 by Bruce Woodley of The Seekers and Dobe Newton of The Bushwackers


I DEMAND AN APOLOGY, ONE OF YOUR TEAM MATES CALLED ME A BASTARD - Douglas Jardine to Australian Player. Reply: Which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard? from the movie Bodyline [1984]

I DID BUT SEE HER PASSING BY, AND YET I LOVE HER TILL I DIE - In admiration of Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Robert Menzies famously quoted these lines in 1963 from English poet Thomas Ford’s poem Lady Sweet and Kind

IDIOT BOX - television

IF BLOOD SHOULD STAIN THE WATTLE - from Henry Lawson's poem Freedom on the Wallaby

I FEEL LIKE A TOOHEYS – Tooheys advertising slogan

IFFY - questionable; a bit risky


I GOT ONLY A FIVER FOR THE SONG, BUT IT'S WORTH A MILLION TO ME TO HEAR IT SUNG LIKE THIS - Banjo Paterson on hearing Waltzing Matilda sung at an army camp at the beginning of WW1

Waltzing Matilda

I'LL BE A MONKEYS UNCLE - expression of surprise

I'LL GO THE BASTARD - cause physical altercation

ILLYWHACKER - confidence trickster; sharp operator


I'M ALRIGHT JACK -don't worry about me

IMSHEE - begone - take yourself off (soldier slang WW1)

IN A MO - soon

IN A TIZZ - excited

IN GOOD NICK - in good condition

INKED - drunk

INLAND TROUGH - or dry line, is a semi-permanent feature of the synoptic pattern over the interior of Queensland mostly during warmer months

IN LIKE FLYNN - successful (Errol Flynn)

I NEED IT LIKE A HOLE IN THE HEAD - don't need it at all

INSIDE SQUATTER - a squatter residing within the margins of settlement as distinguished from pioneer or outside squatters in the wilder parts of Australia (1895)

IN THE BOX - In the Front Line (Army 1945)

IN THE STICKS - in the bush; away from civilization

IODINES - Army Medical corps

IODINE VILLA - where the doctor rests his patients (soldier slang WW1)

IRON LUNG - wouldn't work in an iron lung - extremely lazy

IRON RATIONS FOR FRITZ - shells for the enemy (soldier slang WW1)

ISLAM AS A COUNTRY - I don’t oppose Islam as a country, but I do feel that their laws should not be welcome here in Australia. Stephanie Banister, a candidate for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party 2013

ISLE OF THE DEAD - small island adjacent to Port Arthur, Tasmania used as a cemetery for convicts and guards who died in the prisons

I STILL CALL AUSTRALIA HOME - song written by Peter Allen; later Qantas theme song

IT'S BETTER THAN A SLAP IN THE BELLY WITH A WET FISH - not as bad as it could be

IT'S JUST NOT CRICKET - an unjust or unfair occurrence


IT'S EITHER SYDNEY OR THE BUSH - a final choice or decision


IVORIES - teeth

I WISH YOU WERE A STATUE AND I WERE A PIGEON - by Yabba, heckler at the Sydney Cricket Ground

I WOULDN'T BE DEAD FOR QUIDS - a reply to Howya going?



JACK - detective (criminal slang 1940)

JACKASS - a kookaburra, renowned for its cackling laugh; someone who laughs at anything

JACK UP - refuse to do something

JACK UP - to plead not guilty before a Magistrate (Criminal slang 1950s)

JACK OF IT - had enough of it; exasperated

JACKEROO - a city boy or an Englishman working on a property. 'Young gentleman getting the 'colonial experience' in the bush are called jackeroos by station hands. (1873)

JACKING UP - objecting

JACK OR JACKMAN - lazy digger or one who places himself above others

JACKS - military police WW1

JACK SCRATCH - got a match? (soldier slang WW1)

JACK SHAY - a tin quart pot used for boiling tea in and contrived so as to hold it within a tin pint pot c. 1895

JACK THE PAINTER - an adulterated green tea used in the bush, produced by the use of the copper drying pans in its manufacture

JACKIE HOWE - John Robert Howe - gun shearer. At Alice Downs station outside Blackall, Jackie set the record for hand shearing 321 sheep in just seven hours and forty minutes.

JACKIE HOWE - sleeveless, singlet worn by shearers

JACKIE - 19th century term for an Aborigine

JAFFAS - chocolate coated orange lollies first made in 1931

JAFFLE IRON - Device used to make toasted snacks by heating over a fire. First patented in Australia 1849

JAMPOT - very high, starched stand-up collar worn by dandies c. 1895

JATZ CRACKERS - Rhyming slang for knackers; male genitalia

JELLY CAKES - small cakes covered in jelly and rolled in coconut

JERILDERIE LETTER - 56 page document written by bushranger Ned Kelly as a justification of his actions in the year before his death

JERRY - understand

JIB - face - prison slang c. 1893

JIFFY - a brief period of time

JIGGER - small wireless sets manufactured by prisoners (Long Bay gaol 1946)

JIGGERED - broken

JILLAROO - a young female version of a jackaroo

JIMMYGRANTS - immigrants. Often used mid century re Italian and Greek newcomers

JINDALEE RADAR SYSTEM - developed in 1995 to detect stealth aircraft through monitoring sea and air movements.

JINKER - wood carrier; vehicle

JOB - strike a blow

JOCK - Scottish soldier (WW1)

JOE BLAKE - snake

JOE BLOW - an average sort of bloke

JOES or JOE BLAKES - the blues or delerium tremens (WW2)

JOES - Gold fields - Licence boundaries for mines were strictly enforced, and the approach of the police was signalled by the cry of Joe! Joe! as miners without licences scrambled to escape the grasp of the law. Joe or Charlie Joe were terms of derision for the Lieutenant-Governor Charles Joseph Latrobe

JOEY - young marsupial. Also pinkie

JOEY - a fake (Army 1945)

JOEY or JO JOS - another name for bindi-eyes. Used around Newcastle Hunter Valley

JOHN HOP - police officer

JONNICK also JANNOCK - fair, honest, true (1870s)

JOURNO - journalist

JUG - prison

JUICE - petrol

JUMBUCK - sheep, from an aboriginal word for a white mist, which a flock of sheep resembled. First used in 1824

JUMPER - sweater

JUST ROCK UP - come whenever


KANAKA - labourer from the South Seas

KANGAROO - Australias leaping marsupial and national icon

KANGAROOS - Australia's Rugby League team, first formed c. 1908

KANGAROO LOOSE IN THE TOP PADDOCK - intellectually challenged

KANGAROO FEATHERS - 1. a tall tale. 2. an impossible thing.

KANGAROO FEATHERS - Emu feather attached to the slouch hat of the light horse men, became a symbol of the light horse, inseparable from its legend. Appreciating a practical joke, when asked about their plumes, First AIF light horsemen pulled many legs by replying that they were, in fact, "kangaroo feathers"(AWM) (WW1)

KANGAROO MILE - a distance longer than an actual mile because of adverse conditions. Coined by David Burn in 1842

KARK IT - die

KATHLEEN MAVOURNEEN - an habitual criminal with an indeterminant sentence (criminal slang 1950s)

KEEP THE BASTARDS HONEST - Slogan for the Democrat Party coined by leader Don Chipp - the bastards being the major parties and politicians in general.

KEEP YOUR SHIRT ON - don't get angry

KELPIE - great Australian sheep dog; short haired Australian bred dog from Scotch collies in 1870s NSW, sometimes with part dingo; term derived from Scottish term for a spirit or ghost

KENTUCKY SHOUT - Dutch treat

KERR'S CUR - Gough Whitlam's reference to Malcolm Fraser in 1975

KERO - Kerosene

KIBOSH - prevent from

KICK ABOUT - to loaf or hang about (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)

KICK ARSE - overpower, succeed

KICK IN FOR A PRESSIE - contribute to gift

KICK OFF - to commence

KICK ON - to continue to party


KIDDING - deceiving

KILLER - the straw that broke the camel's back

KILLING IT - winning, doing well

KIP - take a nap

KIPPER - an Englishman; an English sailor (naval term)

KITE - criminal class word meaning cheque

KIWI - a New Zealander

KNACKERED - very tired

KNICKERS – female underwear

KNOCK - criticise

KNOCK-ABOUT - A man hired on a sheep or cattle station to do odd jobs and are employed by the week

KNOCK BACK - refuse something; a refusal for closer intimacy, usually from a woman

KNOCK BACK - reversal of fortune

KNOCK BACK A FEW - drink a large amount of alcohol

KNOCK DOWN A CHEQUE - a cheque handed over to the publican when drinks are called for the bearer and his friends until he is told he has drunk out his cheque

KNOCKED - wounded (soldier slang WW1)

KNOCK 'EM DOWN BUSINESS - auctioneering

KNOCK IT OFF - stop doing that

KNOCK OFF - poor copy of an original

KNOCK OFF TIME - time to finish work

KNOCKED UP - pregnant

KNOCKER - one who disparages or cut down others

KNOCK YOURSELF OUT - go ahead and do it

KNUCKLE SANDWICH - punch in the mouth

KNUT - a flash person

KOOKABURRAS - Light Horse men

KOORI - one of the Aborigine's preferred names for their own people


LAG - old convict

LAGGING - a term of imprisonment c. 1893

LAIR - a show-off

LAKEMAC - Unfortunate nickname applied to Lake Macquarie in recent years

LAMB DOWN (to) - to beat

LAMBED DOWN - (to be) - a shearer who is defrauded by publicans after cashing his cheque

LAMINGTON - chocolate iced cake rolled in coconut invented by Armand Gallad

LAMINGTON DRIVE - fundraising event selling lamingtons

LANCE-JACK - Lance-corporal (Army 1945)

LAND THE MUSTARD - to win money

LARK - joke

LARRIKIN – young man who’s always up for a laugh; prankster. Clothes worn were shiny black with velvet collar and shoes with high heels (c. 1895)

LARRIKIN HAT - a black wideawake felt hat worn with its brim turned down. c. 1895. This hat was worn by larrikins in place of former Cabbage Tree Hat.


LAYABOUT - lazy unemployed person

LEAD OR LEADER - mining slang; a vein of gold

LEAN AS A DROVER'S DOG - thin bloke

LEANAWAY - one who is tipsy

LEARNER - in shearing, a shearer is regarded as a learner until he has shorn 5000 sheep

LEARNING THE HARD WAY - learning from experience

LEATHER JACKET - dough fried in a pan (pancake). - G. Haydon c. 1846

Oi!, LEAVE OUR FLIES ALONE, JARDINE. THEY RE THE ONLY FRIENDS YOU VE GOT HERE - by Yabba, heckler at the Sydney Cricket Ground

LEERY - a common person

LEFTIE - derogatory term for a person who supports the left side of politics

LEGGY - leg rope that attaches the surfer to the board

LEG IT - walk

LEGLESS - Someone who is really drunk; can't stand up

LEMON - something useless or in bad repair; car


LID - a hat

LIE DOWN - to retract a previous confession or statement in court (criminal slang 1950s)

LIFE. BE IN IT - Australian Government slogan

LIFE WASN'T MEANT TO BE EASY - Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser quoting George Bernard Shaw

LIGHT HORSE - Australian cavalry

LIGHT ON THE HILL - Australian labour party catch phrase - Ben Chifley

LIGHTS ON THE HILL - Iconic song written by Joy McKean and made famous by her husband Slim Dusty

LIKE BILLYO - energetically


LIKE A RAT UP A RAFTER - very fast


LIKE A SHAG ON A ROCK - stands out; lonely

LIKE A SHIVER WAITING FOR A SPINE TO RUN UP - Paul Keating describing John Hewson

LIKE A TERRIER - Never gives up

LIKE PITT STREET, SYDNEY - busy; lot of traffic

LIMA DECLARATION - Disastrous for Australia, the Lima Declaration called for the redistribution of world industry so that developing countries would have 25% of it by the year 2000. Signed by Whitlam in 1975, ratified by Fraser

LIME BURNER - man without any money (1885)

LIME-JUICE - new chum (1887)

LIME-JUICE LICKER - immigrant from England

LINDT CAFE SEIGE - Hostages taken by Islamic State operative Man Monis on Monday 15 December 2014 at the Lindt Cafe, Sydney

LINGO - Language

LIPPIE - lipstick


LIQUID LUNCH - beer only for lunch

LITTLE AUSSIE BATTLER - hard working Australian down on his luck

LITTLE AUSSIE BLEEDER - referring to Australian comedian Norman Gunston

LITTLE DIGGER - Billy Hughes, Australia's 7th Prime Minister

LIVING OFF THE SHEEP'S BACK - referring to Australia s prosperity because of the wool industry

LIVE OFF THE SMELL OF AN OILY RAG - to live frugally

LOADED - with money; rich

LOB - to lob somewhere is to arrive at a place

LOLLIES – Sweets

LOLLY WATER- fizzy drink

LONDON TO A BRICK - certainty

LONG-STOPPER - a superior type of cockatoo, or a man who gives warning at the approach of police

LOO - toilet

LOOKED LIKE HE'D SWALLOWED A SHEEP - carrying too much weight; obese. - Shane Warne to Sri Lankan Arjuna Ranatunga

LOOK SEE - have a look

LOOSE CANNON - out of control; unpredictable

LOST THE PLOT - lost site of objective

LOUIE THE FLY - Mortein advertisement

LOVE APPLES - tomatoes (1895)

LUGS - ears

LUMBER - place where stolen jewellry and other valuables are disposed of (criminal slang 1925)

LUMBERED - robbed a person. Also rolled, done a ginger, tickled a peter (criminal slang 1950s)

LUNA PARK - heritage-listed amusement park at Milsons Point, on Sydney Harbour. The park was constructed during 1935

LUNA PARK FIRE - On 9 June 1979 at approximately 10:45pm, six children and one adult were killed when a ghost train amusement ride at Luna Park caught fire

LURK - a scheme for success; a racket; dishonourable; also known as a dart or a rort


MABO - The Mabo Case was a significant legal case in Australia that recognised the land rights of the Meriam people, traditional owners of the Murray Islands

MACCAS - McDonalds

MAD AS A CUT SNAKE - angry; crazy



MAD MICK AND BANJO - pick and shovel (soldier slang WW1)

MAFEESH - nothing (soldier slang WW1)

MAGGIE - magpie

MAGIC PUDDING - endless resource


MAKE A BLUE - make a mistake

MAKE A GALAH OF YOURSELF - behave foolishly

MAKE A QUID - make a living

MAKE A WELTER OF - take advantage of

MAKING TUCKER - making a living (1858)

MALLEE - the scrub

MALLEE ROOT - tree roots found in Victoria's Mallee region that are long burning and make a hot fire

MANILLA HAT - hat made of imported fibres

MARALINGA - site of British nuclear tests 1956 and 1963. Part of the Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia

MARCHING KOALAS - The Marching Koalas were formed in 1982 as a band from the Hunter Region of NSW representing local high schools and the community

MATE - term of friendship or greeting

MATESHIP - the Australian male's strong trust in his fellow man

MATELOTS - Sailors

MATE'S RATES - lower price for friends

MATILDA - swag; German in origin


McMANSION - Coined during the urban sprawl of the 90s, when large homes began to dominate the outer suburbs

MELBOURNE CUP - Australia's most famous annual thoroughbred horse race. Conducted by the Victoria Racing Club on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. The event starts at 3:00 pm on the first Tuesday of November and is known as "the race that stops the nation". First held in 1861

MERINO - strong Spanish breed of sheep inured to extremes of heat and cold, which when interbed, produced extraordinary amounts of long fibred wool; the basis of Australia's wealth for more than a century

METHO - methylated spiritsts

MEXICAN - someone from Victoria

MICK - an Irish catholic

MICKY - a term used for a wild bull, said to have originated in Gippsland, Victoria

MIDDLE OF NOWHERE - in the outback; far away

MIDDY - a measured glass of beer (10oz)

MIGALOO - pure white adult humpback whale first spotted in 1991 off Byron Bay. Humpack whales migrate along the east coast of Australia from Antarctica to breed in the warm tropical waters near the Great Barrier Reef

MIKE (to do a) - to pretend to be working, to hang about

MILKO - milkman

MILKSHAKE DUCK - to be popular in the media at first but later to lose favour because of questionable behaviour

MILLS PILLS - hand grenades (soldier slang WW1)

MIND YOUR P's AND Q's - mind your manners; observe correct etiquette

MING - Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies (whose surname is pronounced 'Mingis' in Scotland); he reminded his enemies of the villain of the popular Buck Rogers comic strip of the 1930s Ming the Merciless

MINTIES - mint flavoured lolly created in 1922

MISERABLE AS A BANDICOOT - extremely unhappy

MISERY GUTS - miserable person

MISSUS - wife

MOB - A way to refer to a group of Aboriginal people who have a connection to one another.

MOB - a lot of cattle

MOB - bushranging gang

MOB - army unit

MOCK GOOSE - colonial recipe using butter beans or mutton and other ingredients when unable to afford a goose

MOGGIE - cat

MOLES - moleskin breeches

MOLESKINS – trousers of heavy, closely-woven cotton material worn mostly by stockmen

MOLLY DOOKER - left handed person

MONGREL - dispicable person; also flamin mongrel

MONKEY - padlock (criminal slang 1925)

MONKEY - 500 pounds (criminal slang 1950s)

MONTE - a sure thing (in betting)

MOOLAH - money

MOOMBA - Melbourne Festival


MOON - prison slang for sentence of one month in gaol (1893)

MOPOKE - native bird with a mournful cry; hence a dreary indiviual; a person remarkable for nothing new in common conversation c. 1845

MORE FRONT THAN MARK FOYS - over confidant person


MORE NUTS THAN THE BRIDGE - person who is a bit crazy - nuts being of the Sydney Harbour bridge

MORETON BAY FIGS - cigs (cigarettes)

MORGAGE BELT - area where many people are paying off a mortgage on their home, regarded as electorally unpredictable

MORGY - something to eat (soldier slang WW1)

MOTZA - (motzer) a lot of money (criminal slang 1950s)


MOZ - work (prison slang c. 1893)

MOZZIE – Mosquito

MOZZLE - luck

MR. SQUIGGLE - early Australian TV children's program


MUDDY - mud crab

MUD MAP - map drawn on the ground

MUG - a useless person

MUG'S GAME - unrewarding activity

MUG PUNTERS - amateur gamblers

MULGA - scrub or the outback

MULGA WIRE - also bush telegraph - country rumour network. c. 1893

MULLOCK - waste rock or earch

MULLOCKY - rubbishy, messy

MULLY GRUBBER - cricket - a ball delivered so that it stays very low after pitching.

MUNCHIES - snack food

MUNGO MAN - discovered in Mungo National Park, New South Wales, lived between 40,000 – 68,000 years ago.

MURRUMBIDGEE WHALER - a swagman who follows the course of a river; also a lazy swagman who spends six months of the year snoozing under the Murrumbidgee gum trees instead of working

MUSTER - round up livestock

MUTTONBIRDING - seasonal harvesting of the chicks of petrels for food, oil and feathers by recreational or commercial hunters

MYALL - in 1895 described as one of the wild blacks of the North of Australia


NAME IS MUD - utterly discredited; of no account whatever

NAIPOO - no way (WW1)

NAPOO - almost done with, finished (1918)

NARKED - to be angered or foiled

NARKY - irritable

NASHO - person who underwent compulsory military training

NECKLACE - garrotter (criminal slang 1940)

NED KELLY - Australian bushranger

NEENISH TART - small cream pastry with icing on top

NELLY - cheap wine


NEVER LET THE TRUTH GET IN THE WAY OF A GOOD STORY - embellish a story with a lie

NEVER NEVER - the outback; back of beyond (from Aeneas Gunn's 'We of the Never Never' c. 1908)

NEVER NEVER - unrealistic utopian future

NEVER SEE A NEED WITHOUT DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT - said by Mary MacKillop, Australia's first saint

NEWBIE - new person at work

NEWCASTLE EARTHQUAKE - On 28 December 1989 an earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale hit Newcastle

NEW CHUM - a young man sent out to Australia to gain some experience of life in the colonies

NICK - steal

NICK OFF - go away

NICKY NU - naked

NIGEL - someone who has no friends

NIGGLE - irritable


NINE O'CLOCK BREEZE - cooling summer night breeze, Emerald, Central Queensland

NINETY TO THE DOZEN - constant and fast talking

NING NONG - Sometimes abbreviated to nong - someone who has done something stupid or clumsy

NIPPER - young surf life saver

NIT-KEEPER - someone who keeps a watch out while illegal activity is afoot; also cockatoo

NIT WIT - silly person

NOAH'S ARK - shark; also a fool

NOAH'S DOVES - reinforcements who were at sea on their way to war zone when armistice was signed (WW1)

NO BUTS ABOUT IT - no dispute

NO DRAMA – No problem / it’s ok

NOD THE NUT - plead guilty before a Magistrate (criminal slang 1950s)

NO FLIES ON - quick-witted person

NOGGIN - head

NO GOOD TO GUNDY - ruined; unpleasant

NO HOPER - someone who will never do well; a loser

NONG - a simple person

NORM - initially for a fitness campaign c. 1970 s. Depicted an unfit, beer drinking male

NOSH - food

NOSY PARKER - sticky beak

NOT A DROOB - no money at all (criminal slang 1950s)

NOT BACKWARD IN COMING FORWARD - confident, brash person

NOT FOR ALL THE TEA IN CHINA - not at any price

NOT HAPPY JAN - Displeased with another person's incompetence. Yellow pages advertisement

NOT IN THE RACE - no hope

NOT MUCH CHOP - not much good, or no good at all - Such is Life, 1904

NOT ON - not having it; its not going to happen

NOT ON YOUR NELLIE - under no circumstances

NOT PLAYING FOR SHEEP STATIONS - don't take competition so seriously

NOT THE FULL QUID - lacking in intelligence

NOT WHAT IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE - disappointing

NOT WITHIN COOEE - figuratively a long way

NOT WORTH A CRACKER - of no value

NOUGHT - zero

NOT WRONG - correct

NO WORRIES - No problem, it’s ok

NO WUCKERS - phrase progression from no worries = no f.ckin worries = no wuckin forries = no wuckers - means no problems, it's ok

NUDDY – Naked

NUGGETT - small piece of tobacco cut from figs (1852)

NUGGETT - small compact livestock eg. a nugget of a bullock (1852)

NUGGETT - handy name for someone (soldier slang WW1)

NUGGETTY BLOKE- man with a short stocky build

NUKE - microwave

NUMBER CRUNCHER - accountant

NUT OUT - to work out a problem



OARSOME FOURSOME - nickname of Australian Olympic men's rowing crew

OCKER - rough uncultivated man, bogan

ODDIE - a halfpenny

OFF HIS KADOOVA - off his head; insane (1895)

OFF HIS SAUCER - tired, not in humour; out of sorts

OFFSIDER - a bullock-driver’s assistant who walks on the off-side of the team and flogs the bullocks on that side when needed

OFFSIDER - work mate

OFF THE PLANET - taking drugs

OG - one shilling piece

Oi! - call used to get someone's attention or to convey annoyance

Oi! Oi! Oi! - Chanted three times after Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, - national sporting cry.

OK BOOMER - eye-roll put-down of Baby Boomer's lecturing of Millenials


OLD CHEESE - mother


OLD DART - colonial settlers' country of origin, mostly from Britain

OLD HAND - Ex-convict c. 1860

OLDIES - parents

OLD LAG - ticket of leave holder; ex convict

OLD MAN - fully grown kangaroo; also known as boomer

OLD SON - my fine fellow; an expression of patronage or contempt

OLIVER IN TOWN- Oliver used to mean moon. This expression meant it was unfavorable night for burglars

ON A GOOD WICKET - successful

ON A STICKY WICKET - in trouble

ONCE OVER - look over quickly

ON FOR YOUNG AND OLD - full scale fight

ON THE BLINK - broken

ON THE MAKE - looking for profit or conquest

ON THE NOD - without payment (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)

ON THE NOSE - smelly

ON THE NOSE - bad food (Army 1945)

ON THE OUTER - excluded

ON THE PEA - gone crazy (the result of sheep eating the poisonous Darling Pea plant)

ON THE PEAR - seasonal work eradicating prickly pear by poison from farmland

ON THE RAG - period

ON THE TURPS - drinking heavily, turps being abbreviation of turpentine

ON THE WALLABY TRACK - tramping the bush roads of the outback

ONE ARMED BANDIT - poker machine

ONE FOR THE FATHER, ONE FOR THE MOTHER AND ONE FOR THE COUNTRY - Treasurer Peter Costello on introducing the Baby Bonus in 2002

ONE FOR THE ROAD - the last drink at the pub before you leave

ONE STAR ARTIST - second lieutenant (soldier slang WW1)

ONE STAR PIP - second lieutenant (soldier slang WW1)

ONYA BIKE - Get on ya bike - tell someone to leave

ON YOUR PAT MALONE - on your own

ONYA - good on you

OPEN SLATHER - free-for-all; no rules

OPERA HOUSE LOTTERY - subsidised the building of the Sydney Opera House

OP SHOP - opportunity shop; second hand goods

OSCAR - money


OUT - bushranger term - to go out was to be at large in the bush

OUTBACK - interior of Australia; dry, unpopulated

OUTHOUSE - dunny

OUT THE BACK - back yard, nearby

OUT TO IT - dead drunk

OVERPAID, OVERSEXED, AND OVER HERE - phrase thought to have originated in Australia during WWII in regards to American servicemen who arrived in the country shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbour by the Japanese

OVERLAND - across country

OVERLANDER - stockman who herds cattle over great distance

OVERLAND TELEGRAPH LINE - 200 km telegraph line that connected Darwin with Port Augusta in South Australia

OVER THE RIVER - signifying good-bye

OVER THE ROAD - across the street

OZ - Australia


PACKING IT - scared

PACK IT IN - give up

PACK OF GALAHS - group of no hopers

PADDED THE HOOF - to go by foot (prison term 1891) probably originated in England much earlier

PADDLE-POP - icecream on a stick

PADDY MELON - small marsupial similar to wallaby. From the Aboriginal word badimaliyan


PANIC MERCHANT - person who panics easily

PANNIKIN - undersized quart pot


PART UP - to pay

PASH – a long kiss

PASH RASH - red irritated skin because of a lengthy kiss

PASS MUSTER - be approved of


PASS THE BUCK - pass the blame to someone else

PASSED THROUGH THE MILL - prisoner slang for someone who has previously been through the ordeal of jail (Pentridge gaol 1887)

PATERSON'S CURSE - noxious weed introduced in 1840s

PATLANDER - early immigrant or convict from Ireland (Sydney Gazette 1832)

PAT MALONE - on your own

PAVLOVA - meringue dessert

PAY DIRT - when a sufficient quantity of gold is found in the ground that gold mining may be profitable

PAY OUT - to make fun of

PAY THROUGH THE NOSE - pay too much

PEACOCKED IT - get the best bits

PEADODGER - bowler hat

PEARLER - or Purler. Impressive

PEB - a tough; a larrikin; an appreviation of pebble

PEDAL TO THE METAL - fast driving with accelarator pedal down on the floor

PEG - two shillings (criminal slang 1950s)


PEN - threepenny piece (1895)

PENTONVILLER - former inmates of the Pentonville Penitentiary who were sent to Australia as exiles

PERKINS PASTE - Glue first made by Maurice Bertram Jeffery c. 1934. Specifically for children many of whom loved the taste!

PERV - looking surreptitiously at the opposite sex

PETER - prison term for a cell (1893)

PETROL HEAD - someone who loves cars; drives fast

PICCADILLY BUSHMAN - An Australian business man who lives in London

PICK A BOX - one of the first game shows on Aussie TV. Bob and Dolly Dyer

PICK THE EYES OUT OF IT - get the best bits

PICKLED - drunk

PICNIC RACE MEETINGS - a part of Australia's bush tradition and social life, often included a week's festivities with racing, pigeon shooting, kangaroo shoots and children's sports



PIE EATER - a person of little consequence with a narrow view of the world

PIG IRON BOB - Refers to Robert Menzies because of a 1938 political industrial dispute at Port Kembla protesting the export of pig iron from Australia to Japan

PIG - F-111 aircraft

PIGS - derogatory term for police

PIG'S ARSE - not true

PIG STICKER - bayonet (WW1)

PIKER - someone who leave a party early

PIKERS - wild cattle (1887)

PINCH - arrest

PINK-EYE - Aboriginal term for walkabout

PINKIE - young marsupial - joey

PINKING - shearing the sheep so close that their skin shows

PIPPED AT THE POST - beaten at the last minute

PISS OFF – go away, get lost

PISS UP – a party, a get together and in Australia – most social occasions

PISS WEAK - no strength

PISSED – Intoxicated, Drunk

PISSED AS A NEWT - drunk. Probably English origin

PISSED OFF – Annoyed

PITT STREET FARMER - Someone who lives in the city but has rural property, possibly as a means of tax avoidance

PLANT - A place selected by bushrangers as a good place to hide stolen goods


PLAYED A LONE HAND - to go alone to a place (1887) (card playing term)

PLAY FUNNY BUGGERS - act in a silly or sly way

PLAY SILLY BUGGERS - as above; mucking about; acting in a silly way

PLAYING POSSUM - pretending to be asleep; keeping quiet

PLAYING FOR SHEEP STATIONS - used ironically to describe something as a big deal

PLAYING WITH FIRE - tempting fate

PLAY LUNCH - morning tea time at school (NSW)

PLEASE EXPLAIN - Said by Pauline Hanson, founder of the anti-immigration One Nation Party, on being asked in October 1996 on the television show 60 Minutes if she was xenophobic.

PLONK - cheap wine from vin blanc - (WW1 origin)

PLONK DOWN - sit down heavily

PLUGGERS - cheap rubber thongs

PLUG HAT - bowler hat

PODDY - calf, lamb or foal not long taken from its mother

PODDY DODGER - thief who steals unbranded cattle

POKE - a purse (criminal slang 1925)

POKE BORAK - to insult (WW2)

POKE MULLOCK - to deride, to tease

POKIES - Poker machines

POLEY - with the horns off c. 1895

POLLY or POLLIE - Politician

POLLY WAFFLE - Cylindrical shaped chocolate bar created by Melbourne based business Hoadley's Chocolate in 1947

POLONY - luncheon meat; called Devon in NSW; Fritz in S.A.

POMMY - person born in England. Derogatory. Acronym, origin debatable

POMMY SHOWER - not using a shower with water, just using deodorant

PONG - bad smell


POOR BASTARD - expression of sympathy for another's misfortune

POOR FELLOW MY COUNTRY - A novel by Xavier Herbert re wasted opportunities of Australia to build a just and independent country

POOR MAN'S DIGGINGS - land from which gold was mined without substantial capital investment

POPULATE OR PERISH - Catch phrase of Labor Immigration Minister Arthur Calwell as he sought to boost population by immigration after WW2

PORK BARRELLING - term used in politics when promises are made for more funding to marginal seats than safe seats


PORT - suitcase

PORT ARTHUR MASSACRE - On Sunday 28 April 1996, gunman Martin Bryant used a military style weapon to kill 20 people in the Broad Arrow Cafe at Port Arthur,Tasmania. He then killed a further 15 people within Port Arthur and the nearby region and injured 21 others

POSER - a show off

POSSIE - (pozzie) position (soldier slang WW1); also in children's game hide and seek

POSSUM, (STIR THE) - cause controversy

POSSUM GUTS - a term of contempt

POST AND RAILS TEA - tea made of stalks and coarse particles of leaf which float thickly (1887)

POST AND RAILS MATCHES - wooden matches as distinguished from wax vestas c. 1895

POSTIE - postman


POTTY - a bit crazy; eccentric

POUND NOTE MAN - also big note man - wealthy person (criminal slang 1950s)

PRAD - a horse

PRANG - car accident

PREZZIE - gift

PRINCE ALBERTS -socks (1905)

PROMOSSING - talking rubbish, playing the fool

PROPER CROWD - particular friends, a circle, a clique

PUB TEST - term used to describe the general opinion of everyday Australians about current events and politics

PUGGERY - a strip of muslin wound round a hat or helmet, the ends hanging down the back to protect head and neck for the effects of the sun

PUGGLE - baby echidna

PULL A SWIFTIE - do something dishonest

PULL SOMEONE'S LEG - play a trick; a joke



PULL YOUR HEAD IN - be quiet; leave off even if you are correct

PUNCH A DART - smoke a cigarette

PUNCHING THE BUNDY - Bundy clocks were mechanical. Employees used cards that were punched by the machine to record their working hours

PUNCH ON/ PUNCH UP - a fight

PUNTER - the natural prey of bookmakers; betting men. (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)

PURE MERINO - derogatory term for the privileged settlers in early 1800s who benefited from land grants; pre-dated squatters


PUSH (THE) - a group of larrikins in Sydney's working class Rocks area; also see Sydney Push

PUSHFUL PATRIOTISM - using patriotism to sell goods or services (WW1 era)

PUT A SOCK IN IT - be quiet

PUT HIM DOWN - Paul Keating referring to Andrew Peacock.The Leader of the Opposition is more to be pitied than despised, the poor old thing. The Liberal Party of Australia ought to put him down like a faithful old dog

PUT THE ACID ON - try to get a loan or favour from someone (1946)

PUT THE BOOT IN - attack someone when they are already down

PUT THE HARD WORD ON - make sexual proposition

PUT THE MOCKERS ON - jinx someone; cause them to have bad luck


QANTAS - Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services

QUACK - doctor without qualifications

QUARTER ACRE BLOCK - suburban plot of land. Together with a 3 bedroom bungalow, once part of the Great Australian Dream

QUEENSLANDER HOUSE - Single detached timber high-set house with a corrugated iron roof and a characteristic veranda

QUEENSLANDERS - As we weep for what we have lost, I want us to remember who we are. We are Queenslanders. We are the people they breed tough, north of the border. We're the ones they knock down, and we get up again (Anna Bligh, Premier, vowing to rebuild after the floods and cylones of the 'Summer of Sorrow' 2011)

QUEUE JUMPER - illegal immigrant

QUID - 1 pound note

QUIET AS A MOUSE - very quiet

QUIET AUSTRALIANS - Prime Minister Scott Morrison credited Quiet Australians for his 2019 election victory


RAAFIE – an Air Force person

RABBIT KILLER - quick chop/hit at the nape of neck with side of hand. Used as a term in boxing

RABBITING ON - talking endlessly

RABBIT PROOF FENCE - Western Australia. Completed 1907

RABBITOH - man who sold rabbits (for eating) from his cart

RACK OFF – go away. Exclamation of dismissal

RACK OFF HAIRY LEGS - go away, leave!

RAFFERTYS RULES - no rules at all

RAG - five pound note (prison slang c 1893)

RAGE - party; have a good time

RAINBOWS - soldiers who came out after the war storm was over (soldier slang WW1)


RANGA - offensive term for red headed person

RAPT – Very happy

RAT BAG - cheeky, unpredictable person

RATS OF TOBRUK - Australian soldiers who held the Libyan port of Tobruk against the Afrika Corps, during and after the Siege of Tobruk in World War II

RAW PRAWN, (DON'T COME THE) - asking too much of someone or don't try to take advantage of someone

RAZOO - non existing coin; without a razoo means to be broke

RAZOR GANG - violent criminal gang in Sydney

RAZOR GANG - government committee to reduce spending

RECKON – believe

REDBACK - spider

REDHEADS - Australian brand of matchsticks

RED LOT - gold watch and chain (criminal slang 1925)

RED NED - cheap red wine

RED RATTLERS - Old Sydney train carriages


REINSTOUSHMENTS - Reinforcements (WW1)

RELLIES – Relatives

REMEMBRANCE DAY - Observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of First World War on that date in 1918.

REMITTANCE MAN - shady Englishman usually of good family sent out to Australia and paid an allowance by his family so long as he remained

REV-HEAD - car enthusiast, usually male


RIGHT HANDER - strike across the face with an open right hand

RIGHT INTO MY BARROW - just what I want


RING - call or phone

RING (to) - to patrol round and round cattle

RING BARK - to kill a tree by stripping off a ring of bark around the tree

RINGER - fastest shearer in the shed

RING IN - substitute

RIP - a stretch of fast moving water which takes swimmers and surfers out to sea

RIP OFF - item that costs more than it should

RIPPER– excellent

RIPSNORTER - excellent

ROAD TRAIN - truck used in rural Australia. Prime mover plus two or more trailers

ROBBERY UNDER ARMS - A terms used in court to describe charges against bushrangers

ROCK HOPPER - fisherman on coastal rocks

ROCK LOBSTER - crayfish

ROCK UP - turn up unannounced

ROCKS PUSH - Also The Push. Larrikin gang in Sydney in 1890 s

ROCK SPIDER - a thief who steals from the handbags of couples sitting in parks (criminal slang 1950)

ROGUE - one shilling piece

ROGUE'S CAT - whip with nine thongs as thick as the tip end of the little finger. Each thong had several knots with lead inside. (cat o nine tails). Sydney 1826

ROLL UP - gather for a meeting (goldfields)

ROLL YOUR OWN - making your own cigarette

ROLLED - robbed a person (criminal slang 1950s)

ROLLED GOLD - genuine or first class

ROO - kangaroo

ROO BAR - bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it if a kangaroo is hit. Also bull-bar

ROOK, (to) - to take down (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)

ROONED - ruined. We'll all be rooned said Hanrahan , quote from iconic poem Said Hanrahan

ROOT - crude term for sex

ROOT FOR - barrack for a team

ROOTED – tired

ROOT UTE - panl van with a mattress for sex

ROOTY - a route march (soldier slang WW1)

RORT - scam; also having a good time


ROSEMARY - Rosemary is a symbol of remembrance. It is traditional on Anzac Day to wear a sprig of rosemary pinned to a coat lapel

ROUGH AS BAGS - a coarse person; ill-mannered

ROUGH AS GUTS - vulgar; uncouth

ROUGH END OF THE PINEAPPLE - raw deal; getting the rough end of a deal; poor treatment

ROUGH END OF THE STICK - bad side of a deal

ROUGH NUT - unsophisticated person

ROULETTES - Royal Australian Air Force's aerobatic display team established in 1970

ROUSEABOUT - odd job man on station esp. shearing time

RUBBADEDUB - a pub or bar (WW2)

RUBBER DUCKY - Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) introduced into Australia in the 1970s

RUG UP - dress warmly

RUG RAT - child

RUM JAR - type of artillery shell (soldier slang WW1)

RUM REBELLION - an uprising on 26 January 1808 in which William Bligh Governor of New South Wales was deposed by members of the New South Wales Corps

RUN - cattle station

RUN A BANKER - flooded river or creek

RUN AROUND LIKE A CHOOK WITH IT'S HEAD CHOPPED OFF - race around getting nowhere

RUN LIKE A HAIRY GOAT - perform badly in race

RUNNERS – trainers, sneakers

RUN RINGS AROUND - defeat another by physical prowess or intelligence

RUST BUCKET - old car

RYBUCK (RIBUCK) - correct or genuine. Jewish origin

RYBUCK - feeling in good spirits

RYBUCK SHEARER - expert shearer


SADDLING PADDOCK - a place to pick up women; originally the bar in the Threare Royal, Melbourne

SALTBUSH BILL - a character in poems written by Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson. First published in The Bulletin on 15 December 1894

SALTIE - saltwater crocodilele

SALVOS - Salvation Army personnel

SAND GROPER - person from Western Australia

SANDY BERET - Worn by qualified members of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment. Sand-coloured beret with metal gold and silver winged dagger badge on a black shield

SANDY BLIGHT - trachoma; at one time this was a common eye complaint/disease

SANDSHOES - sneakers; tennis shoes

SANFAIRYANN - almost finished, but it does not matter (1918)

SAN FERRY ANN - as above

SANGER or SANGA - sandwich

SANTA CLAUS - fluffy airborne seeds from thistle or similar; children used to make a wish and blow the seeds in the wind

SAO - charity biscuit - it used to be handed out by Salvation Army Officers

SAPPED - ring-barked (1871)

SARVO - this afternoon

SASR - The Special Air Service Regiment - an elite special forces unit of the Australian Army. Formed in 1957, motto Who Dares Wins. Entire Regiment and Special Operations Task Group of 3,000 soldiers treated disgracefully by feckless upper echelons of the Defence Force and Government in 2020 in the wake of the Brereton Report and unproven rumours of wrongdoings allegedly committed by 25 soldiers in Afghanistan.

SAUSAGE SIZZLE - community event where BBQ sausage and sauce are served wrapped in bread. Often fund raisers eg Bunnings sausage sizzle

SAV - short for Saveloy, a hot dog-like boiled sausage served in a bread roll with tomato sauce. A battered sav is a battered saveloy which has been battered, deep fried and served with tomato sauce

SAVEE - Do you Know? (soldier slang WW1)


SCAB - abusive term; non union worker

SCALE A TRAM - ride on a tram without paying a fare


SCHNITTY - chicken schnitzel usually purchased in a pub

SCHOOLIES - week after year 12 finish school spent partying

SCHOOL OF THE AIR - School lessons by radio for outback children

SCORCHER - very hot day

SCRAN - prison ration food

SCREWS - also Fingers and blokes - prison slang for warders 1893

SCROUNGE - pilfer ( soldier slang WW1)

SCRUB - remote area of low trees and bushland

SCRUBBER - promiscuous woman

SECRET BALLOT - Also known as Australian ballot - when a voter's choices in an election or a referendum are anonymous, forestalling attempts to influence the voter by intimidation, blackmailing, and potential vote buying. First implemented in 1856

SEE A MAN ABOUT A DOG - go to the toilet

SELECTOR - farmer who is was allowed to occupy a small portion of a squatter's holding and farm it

SEND HER DOWN HUEY - (Hughie); a response to the onset of rain; can't get enough of it

SENT OUT - transported to Australia as a convict

SEPPO - someone from America - from septic tank (rhyming slang for Yank)

SERVO – Service Station / Garage

SETTLE PETAL - relax, chill out. Don t get so upset

SETTLER'S FRIENDS - greenhide and stringbark, which made useable rope and twine

SEVENTEENER - corpse (criminal slang 1940)

SHADES - Sun glasses

SHAG - to have sex

SHAG ON A ROCK - lonely; isolated

SHAGGIN' WAGON - panel van

SHAKE - to steal or rob a person

SHAKE IT - wishes to acquire (soldier slang WW1)

SHANDY - drink; mixture of lemonade and beer

SHANDY-GAFF - drink; mixture of half beer, half of ginger beer. Sometimes other liquors are used instead of beer e.g. stout or rum

SHANGHAI - catapult made from fork of a branch and rubber strap

SHANK'S PONY - on foot

SHANTY - a rough bush house

SHARK BAIT -person swimming out further than others

SHARP AS A TACK - smart person

SHARPIES - youth group c. 1960's. Alternative to hippies

SHAZZA - Sharon

SHEPHERD (to) - to watch, to guard; e.g. on the football field

SHEARER'S STRIKE - In 1891 the Shearer's Strike occurred in Queensland and a State of Emergency was declared. The Moreton Mounted Infantry was called-out to re-establish and maintain civil order and discipline. They were placed on full time duty for five months and served in the Barcaldine, Clermont, Longreach and Charleville districts


SHEILA – an Australian female; not derogatory; from the Irish word for a girl shelagh

SHELF - police informer (criminal slang 1950)

SHE'LL BE APPLES - all will be ok

SHE'LL BE RIGHT - In the face of adversity, everything will be ok

SHEMOZZLE - mixed up mess

SHEPHERD'S COMPANION - the willy wagtail, which often rides on the sheep's back pulling out the wool for it's nest

SHE'S CACTUS - broken

SHE'S RIGHT MATE - everything is alright

SHICER - barren mine. Yiddish. Gold rush days

SHICER - a swindler or a crook (1946)

SHICKERED - drunk. Jewish origin

SHICKERY - shabby, bad, shaky, doubtful

SHINDIG - party


SHIRT-FRONTING - confront an opponent eg football. Brought back in use by Tony Abbott - 'Look, I’m going to shirt-front Mr. Putin … You bet I am '

SHIRT OUT - (to have one's); to be angry

SHIRTY - irritated and annoyed

SHIT HAPPENS - dismissive of misfortune

SHITHOUSE - something that is bad

SHIVOO - a party

SHODDY DROPPER - a hawker of inferior clothing

SHOE-FLIER - thief who specialises in snatching handbags (criminal slang 1925)

SHOE-IN - certain to win, horseracing

SHONKY - of dubious quality

SHORTY - a tall person

SHOOTING STICK - rifle (soldier slang WW 1)

SHOOT STRAIGHT YOU BASTARDS. DON'T MAKE A MESS OF IT - reported to be the last words of Harry (Breaker) Morant as he faced the firing squad in South Africa in 1902 (Boer War)



SHOTGUN - Claiming the front passenger seat (from stage coach days)

SHOUT - buy a drink for others in a pub

SHOW - a chance, an opportunity, a turn. To have no show means to have not a chance

SHOW - party

SHOW PONY person who shows off

SHOW THE ROPES - show how things are done

SHUT YOUR FACE - impolite way of saying stop talking

SHYPOO - a sly grog shop

SICK AS A DOG - very sick

SICKIE – or ‘pull a sickie’- take a day off when you aren’t actually sick

SILENT COP - yellow metal or concrete dome used at intersections


SILLY COOT - foolish man; simpleton; derived from bandicoot

SILLY GALLAH - foolish person

SILLY SAUSAGE - silly person

SILVER BODGIE - Bob Hawke called this by the media because of his silver hair worn in the bodgie style

SILVERTAIL - insult invoking the class divide. Used to describe someone who is privileged or socially prominent. Also a social climber

SINK THE BOOT IN - attack someone who is down

SIT UP LIKE JACKEY - sit up straight

SIX BOB A DAY TOURISTS - in reference to daily wage for soldiers in WW1 of six shillings per day

SIX O'CLOCK SWILL - last-minute rush to buy drinks at a hotel bar before it closed at 6PM

SIX OF ONE, HALF DOZEN OF THE OTHER - whatever decision you make will not likely affect the outcome of the situation

SIXER OR EIGHTER - prisoner slang for six or eight ounce loaf (1884 Pentridge Gaol)

SIX-PEN'ORTH - prison slang for six months in gaol

SKEDADDLE - go away; leave

SKERRICK - the smallest bit; to have not a skerrick is to be broke

SKEWIFF - askew

SKINNED - to be on the look-out for the main chance

SKINNY AS A RAKE - looking too thin

SKINT - no money

SKIPPY THE BUSH KANGAROO - Children's TV program 1968 - 1970

SKITE - to boast; a show-off

SKITTLED - killed (soldier slang WW1)

SKULL – To down a beer

SKY PILOT - a parson

SKY THE RAG - give in; throw a towell into the air in token of surrender

SLAB – A carton of beers

SLACK - lazy

SLAG - promiscuous woman

SLAP UP - good

SLEDGE - to needle a player - on the cricket field etc

SLEEP OUT - verandah used as sleeping quarters

SLEPT LIKE A LOG - had a sound sleep

SLICE - one pound note (criminal slang 1950s)

SLICK - quick

SLIDE NIGHT - evening when family or friends gathered to watch projected slides and movies of holidays and other events - 1950s and 1960s

SLING - or corner - have a share in a haul (criminal slang 1950s)

SLING OFF AT - to jeer and mock another

SLING SHOT - catapult. Also called shanghai

SLING YOUR DADDLE - give me your hand; shake hands

SLIP SLOP SLAP - Cancer Council slogan

SLIPPERY AS AN EEL - sly character

SLITHER (to) - to hurry away

SLOSHED - drunk

SLOUCH HAT - first worn by military forces in Australia in 1885. Looped up on one side so that rifles could be held at the slope without damaging the brim

SLOW AS A WET WEEK - too slow

SLUDGE LAMPS - also SLUSH LAMPS; a crude lamp burning slush, tallow, or grease

SLUG UP - frame up

SLUSHY - (nautical)- the cook. From slush, grease obtained from boiling salt pork

SLY GROG - illegal alcohol

SMART ALEC - someone who thinks they know everything

SMART ARSE - someone who thinks they know everything

SMASHED AVO - toast topped with mashed avocado served in cafes

SMASHER - owner of counterfeit coin (criminal slang 1925)

SMOKES LIKE A CHIMNEY - heavy smoker

SMOKO - morning/ afternoon tea break

SMOOGE - to cringe; to fawn. Jewish origin

SMOOGER - one who fawns

SNAFFLE - take it up quickly; steal, grab or borrow

SNAG – Sausage

SNAGGER - a shearer who rushes, shearing a sheep roughly

SNAKE GULLY - a country race course; imaginary country town from 1930s radio series Dad and Dave

SNAKE JUICE - strong drink (whiskey)

SNAKE-HEADED - quarrelsome in his cups

SNAKY - hostile, sly, angry comment or behaviour

SNAKE YARN - a tall tale

SNARLER - dishonorable discharge (Army 1945)

SNAVVLE / SNAFFLE - take by stealth, capture, steal

SNEEZE GRASS - In Cape York Peninsula when the Dingoes chase the kangaroos, the roos race across patches of sneeze grass which gives dingoes hay fever. While the dingoes stop to sneeze the roos escape

SNIDE - counterfeit coin (criminal slang 1925)

SNORKER - sausage (WW2)

SNORT - (to) to be enraged at something

SNOUT - tobacco (prison slang c. 1893)

SNOWED UNDER - having a lot of work to do

SNOWY MOUNTAINS SCHEME - hydro electricity and irrigation development begun in Ben Chiefley Government 1949

SNUFF - to die

SNUFFLEBUSTER - a term for Methodist (1896)


SOLAR PLEXUS - William Lawless, Australian Boxing doyen and supporter of boxer Les Darcy

SO LONG - signifying good-bye

SONG AND DANCE - make a noise or fuss about something

SOOK - coward or timid person

SOOKY LA LA - Someone who whinges about things in a childish way

SOOL - to incite; time for a player or jockey or boxer to put forth his utmost effort to win

SOS - Member of the Signal Corp (military)

SOUTHERLY BUSTER - cool wind change after a hot day. NSW

SOUTHERN CROSS FLAG - Has a dark blue field with a central white symmetric cross consisting five eight-pointed stars, representing the Crux constellation. The design was first used in the Eureka Rebellion of 1854.


SOZZLED - drunk

SPAG BOG - spaghetti bolognaise

SPARKIE - electrician

SPARK WELL - be in good health (1918)

S.P. BOOKIE - Starting price bookmaker - one who receive bets at fixed odds or starting price away from the race track

SPECK (THE) - mainland term for Tasmania

SPEEDO - speedometer on car

SPEEDOS - swimmers developed in 1928

SPEND A PENNY - go to the toilet - (female)

SPEWIN' - angry; disappointed

SPIDER - a glass of lemonade with a scoop of ice cream added

SPIFLICATE - hurt or punish someone

SPILL - deliberately create a vacancy in cabinet or political party

SPILL YOUR GUTS - tell all

SPIN - or full hand - sentence of five years in jail (criminal slang)

SPIN A YARN - tell a tall story

SPIN OR SPINNAKER - a five pound note

SPINNER - 50 pounds

SPINNER (COME IN) - shout in the game of two-up; also the title of a famous novel set in Sydney in the 1940s

SPIT THE DUMMY - tantrum

SPITTING CHIPS - angry, frustrated

SPLAYD - eating utensil that combines a spoon, fork and knife in one, invented in Sydney by William McArthur 1940's

SPLIT - detective (criminal slang 1925)

SPONGER - a bludger

SPORT - slightly agressive term for someone disliked

SPOT - 100 pound note (criminal slang 1950s)

SPOT ON - exact, true

SPRAT - sentenced to six months in jail

SPRING HEEL - a man who on joining a fighting unit immediately finds a means of leaving it (WW1)

SPRUCE - to exaggerage or pull the leg (criminal slang 1925)

SPUD - potato

SPUD BARBER - man on kitchen fatigue (soldier slang WW2)

SPUNK - sexually attractive person

SPUNKRAT - sexually attractive person of opposite sex usually male

SPUNKY - full of spirit

SPRAG - to accost truculently

SPREAD - food on table

SPRING THE PLANT - to spring the plant was to discover a bushranger's plant or recover articles from the plant

SPROGG - offspring

SPRUIK - deliver a long harangue about nothing in particular

SPRUIKER - a persuasive talker

SQUARE-HEAD - also cleanskin. A new crook who has had no previous convictions (criminal slang Sydney 1950)

SQUARE UP - settle accounts

SQUATTER - person who occupies uninhabited land or building to which they had no title, as sheep runs in 1820s - 1840s and established themselves as 'the squattocracy'

SQUATTOCRACY - a play on aristocracy, referred to squatters and the social and political power they wielded

SQUEALERS - Provost Corps (military)

SQUIZ - have a look

STACK - car crash

STACK HAT - also crash hat - bicycle helmet

STAGER - one who fakes an injury or shows off (from Australian Rules football)

STAND A HAND - shout a drink c. 1892

STANDOVER MAN - extortionist


STATION - large ranch

STEADY ON - slow down

STEP THE GUTTER - pass the butter (soldier slang WW1)

STEW - a framed case (Army 1945)

STICK AROUND - wait around

STICK BY - support a person

STICK OF WEED - gaol term; an ounce of tobacco used in gambling

STICK OUT LIKE A SHAG ON A ROCK - stand out; lonely

STICKY BEAK - nosy person

STIFF - letter to inmate from a recently discharged prisoner announcing his intention of planting a swag near the prison (c. 1893)

STIFF - too bad!

STIFF AS A CRUTCH - rigid posture

STILL KICKING - still alive

STINKER - very hot day

STINKING HOT - unbearable heat

STIR THE POSSUM - excite interest; liven things up; create mischief to get a reaction

STOCKYARD - enclosed area for cattle

STOCKROUTE - a right of way through the land of a squatter which must be unobstructed for the use of cattle or sheep to pass through

STOCK WHIP - whip made of a long, tapered length of flexible, plaited leather with a stiff handle for mustering cattle

STOCK RIDER - a cowboy

STOKED – Happy, Pleased

STOLEN GENERATION - referring to aboriginal children taken from their families

STONE THE CROWS - expression of amazement

STONEY BROKE - having no money

STONKER - exterminate, kill, strike out

STONKERED - very drunk or knocked out

STOOK - handkerchief (prison slang c 1893)

STOOP - petty thief (criminal slang 1940)

STOP FAFFING AROUND - don't waste time

STOP MUCKING AROUND - stop wasting time

STOP ONE - to receive a blow. (Digger Smith C.J. Dennis)


STORM STICK - umbrella

STOUSH - to punch with a fist; fight

STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN - honest person

STRAPPED FOR CASH - short of money

STRAW BAIL - inadequate or non existant bail (criminal slang 1950s)

STRAW HAT PUSH - larrikin gang prevalent in Sydney 1870s - 1890s

STRAYA – Australia

STRETCH - name for a tall person

STRETCH - prison term for a year in gaol c. 1893

STREWTH - God's truth - mild oath expressing surprise

STRIDES - trousers

STRIFE - trouble

STRIKE A LIGHT exclamation of disappointment

STRINE - Australian Slang

STINGER - jellyfish

STRINGERS - gold digger slang - now and then a good payable prospect which induces men to raise a paddock of dirt when washed has little value

STRINGY-BARKER - small farmer

STRAIGHT TO THE POOL ROOM - something highly valued. From movie The Castle

STRAW BAIL - worthless bail where the surety proves to be inadequate

STRIKE ME DEAD - exclamation of frustration

STRIKE ME LUCKY - exclamation of astonishment

STRIKE ME PINK - expression of shock or surprise

STRINGYBARK - sundowner, tramp, dry hash

STUBBIES - men's shorts 1970's

STUBBY – a bottle of beer

STUBBY HOLDER – polystyrene insulated holder to keep beer cold


STUFF IT - exclamation of defeat

STUFF UP - blunder, failure

STUMPED - confused

STUMP JUMP PLOUGH - Invented by Richard and Clarence Bowyer Smith 1876. Allowed the plough to jump over stumps so the undercarriage was not damaged

STUMP ORATOR - or On the Stump. A politician who will speak from any available soapbox about any issue that comes up. Also used in America and UK

STUNNED MULLET - shocked look

SUCH IS LIFE - expression or resignation to life's misfortunes

SUCKED IN - tricked

SUCK UP TO - ingratiate oneself

SUGAR BABY - Militia man. No overseas service. c. 1940s

SUGAR BAG - prison warden who is too easy going with his men (c 1893)

SUGAR BAG - a nest of honey; stores of the wild bee

SUMMER OF SORROW - referring to January 2011 floods and cyclones in Queensland

SUNBURNT COUNTRY - from Dorothea Mackellar's poem 'My Country'

SUNDOWNER - itinerant worker/ swagman who often appeared at stations at sunset in search of work; also stringybark or dry hash (1887)

SUNNIES– Sunglasses

SUPER AND SLANG - watch and chain

SUPERINTENDENT - manager of a cattle station or sheep run

SUPPLEJACKS - creepers, lianas

SURFER'S - shorter version of Surfer's Paradise on the Gold Coast

SUSS - Suspicious

SUSS IT OUT - to figure out a tricky situation

SWAG - bundle consisting of large blanket rolled up with belongings and worn as a roll passing over the right shoulder under the left arm, the luggage of a man who humps it; also drum (1887)

SWAG – Single bed you can roll up, a bit like a sleeping bag.

SWAG - bushranger term - loot, plunder

SWAMPED BY ASIANS - term used by Paul Hanson in maiden speech to parliament

SWEAT, DUST AND BEER..THERE'S NOTHING ELSE OUT HERE MATE! - quote from Ted Kotcheff's 1971 film Wake in Fright

SWEET - very good; satisfactory

SWEET AS - awesome


SWIG - drink

SWINGING THE LEAD - evading service; malingering (soldier slang WW1)

SWINJER - something excellent

SWING THE BANJO - to dig (soldier slang WW1)

SWIZZLE - drink

SWY - the game of twoup

SWY - two shillings (criminal slang 1950s)

SYDNEY DUCKS - also Sydney Coves. Thugs, scoundrels, thieves, ex convicts etc who headed to San Francisco during the Gold Rush where they set up nefarious grog shops and lodging houses

SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE - performing arts complex on situated at Benelong Point, Sydney Harbour

SYDNEY OR THE BUSH - All or nothing. In two-up to risk all on the toss of a coin

SYDNEY PUSH - The Sydney Push was a predominantly left-wing pseudo-intellectual subculture flourished in Sydney from the late 1940s to the early 1970s

SYDNEY-SIDER - one who hails from Sydney

SYDNEY TO HOBART YACHT RACE - held on Boxing Day. Starts in Sydney and finishes in Hobart


TA - Thanks

TAB - betting agency

TAKE A CAPTAIN - phrase progression - take a look - take a captain cook - take a captain

TAKE TO THE BUSH - absconding convict; bushranger

TAKE A TUMBLE - to understand, comprehend

TAILORS - machine made cigarettes

TALKING THROUGH THE NECK - talking foolishly c. 1895


TALL POPPY - A conspicuously successful person.

TALL POPPY SYNDROME - when successful, high achieving people are resented and critized in an attempt to denigrate and cut them down to the size of everyone else

TANK CAR - a car used for the purpose of safe breaking (criminal slang Sydney 1950s)

TANKS - army boots - soldier slang WW1)

TASMAN BRIDGE COLLAPSE - Part of the Tasman bridge that crossed the Derwent River at Hobart collapsed after the Lake Illawarra, bulk carrier ran into it on 5 January 1975

TASMANIAN TIGER - (thylacine) large carnivorous marsupial now extinct

TAR BOY - in a shearing shed, a boy who had the job of dabbing antiseptic Stockholm Tar on cuts on sheep

TART - promiscuous woman (a contraction of sweetheart) Digger Smith (C.J. Dennis)

TASSIE - Tasmania

TATTS - dice (convict)

TEA – supper


TEE-UP - make arrangement

TELL HIM HE'S DREAMING - unrealistic expectations

TELL YOUR STORY WALKING - Whatever you have to say, say it while you are leaving.

TEN POUND POMS - British citizens who migrated to Australia after WW2 under the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme

TENTERFIELD ORATION - speech given by Sir Henry Parkes, Premier of New South Wales at the Tenterfield School of Arts in 1889 when he called for the Federation of the Australian colonies

TERRA NULLIUS - A concept in international law meaning a territory belonging to no-one or over which no-one claims ownership .

THAT'S BULLSHIT. YOU JUST BULLSHITTED NASA - Quote from movie The Dish Ross Mitchell

THAT'S NOT A KNIFE - THAT'S A KNIFE - Crocodile Dundee

THAT'S THE SHOT - expression of encouragement or approval


THE ALICE - Alice Springs, Northern Territory

THE ASHES - The Ashes is a cricket competition played between Australia and England since 1882

THE BASTARD FROM THE BUSH - an anonymously-authored bawdy rhyme c. 1900s

THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN - the most recognised Australian battle of the Vietnam War. 18 men killed 24 wounded


THE BIG AUSTRALIAN - The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP)

THE BIG FELLA - Australian Labour politician Jack Lang was known as The Big Fella

THE BLACK LINE - 1830 - settler force attempted to corral Aboriginal people on the Tasman Peninsula

THE BOYS FROM OLD FITZROY - Theme song of the Fitzroy football club sung to the tune of La Marseillaise

THE CABBAGE PATCH - Derisive NSW term for Victoria, because it was smaller and green, and only good for growing vegetables. 19th century

THE CORNER - the area where the boerders of NSW , Qld, and South Australia meet


THE DISMISSAL - Refers to events on 11 November 1975 when the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), was dismissed by Governor-General Sir John Kerr, who then commissioned the Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Fraser of the Liberal Party, as caretaker Prime Minister

THE DREAMING - A western term used to describe the Aboriginal spirituality system.

THE FLAT - prison term for a criminal lunatic asylum (1946)

THE FORGOTTEN PEOPLE - The middle class - Robert Menzies - But if we are to talk of classes, then the time has come to say something of the forgotten class... the middle class who, properly regarded, represent the backbone of this country

THE FISH - A passenger train that first ran between Sydney and Mt. Victoria. So calld because its first driver was John Heron (Herring), its first fireman John Salmon and the first Guard John Pike

THE GAP - a sheer cliff near South Head in Sydney; a popular spot for suicides

THE GHAN - Train travelling from Darwin to Adelaide. Named for Afghan cameleers

THE GOLDEN MILE - The Golden Mile at the centre of the Kalgoorlie Goldfield is one of the richest gold deposits in the world

THE GONG - Wollongong

THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN ADJECTIVE - A poem by W T Goodge first published in the Bulletin in 1894. The missing word from the poem being 'bloody'


THE HEADS - those in authority (soldier slang WW1)


THE LITHGOW FLASH - Marjorie Jackson defeated reigning Olympic 100 and 200 metres champion Fanny Blankers-Koen a number of times in 1949, thus earning this nickname

THE LONG PADDOCK - an historic web of tracks linking stock-breeding areas of inland NSW and Queensland etc

THE LUCKY COUNTRY - coined by Donald Horne with intent to portray Australia's climb to power and wealth as based almost entirely on luck rather than strength of political or economic system. 'Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck '. Has come to have a different meaning over the years.

THE MAITLAND WONDER - Boxer Les Darcy. Brother of Frank Darcy

THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER - poem by Banjo Paterson written in 1890

THE ODE - Part of a poem of remembrance by Laurence Binyon always used to commemorate Anzac Day - They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.


THE PUSH - a band of larrikins

THE QUACK - Army doctor (WW1 soldier slang)


THE RATTLER - underground railway (criminal slang 1925)

THE RECESSION THAT AUSTRALIA HAD TO HAVE - said by Paul Keating during economic crisis in 1990

THE ROARING DAYS - Bush verse about the gold rush days by Henry Lawson

THE SENATE - The upper house of the Parliament of Australia

THE SYDNEY PUSH - The Sydney Push was a predominantly left-wing intellectual subculture in Sydney from the late 1940s to the early 1970s.

THE STORE - The Store, also known as the Newcastle and District Co-operative Society.

THE TOP END - northern most part of Australia

THE WET - period of torrential monsoonal rain in the summer in northern Australia


THERE IS WATER IN EVERY LANE, SO IT IS OK. Quote - Ian Thorpe on drawing lane five for the final.

THERE'S MOVEMENT AT THE STATION - first line from Banjo Paterson's from the 'Man from Snowy River' - now sometimes used to signify beginning of change

THEY RE A WEIRD MOB - A 1966 Australian film based on the novel of the same name by John O'Grady under the pen name Nino Culotta

THE STRAIGHT GRIFFIN - the truth; secret reliable information

THE UNDERTAKER - nickname for Paul Keating


THINGY - a thing

THICK AS A BRICK - dull; slow witted

THICK AS TWO PLANKS - dull; slow witted

THIEVING PRONG - hand (prison slang)

THIMBLE AND THREAD - watch and chain

THINGS ARE CROOK IN TALLAROOK - used to indicate that things are bad or unpleasant.

THIS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO THE POOL ROOM - Darryl Kerrigan in the movie The Castle ;



THOMMOS - famous gambling den in Sydney that survived for decades close to police headquarters

THONGS – Flip Flops.

THORPEDO - nick name of Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe

THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND - close to being drunk

THROW A CHARGE - to escape sentencing in court; to be found not guilty (criminal slang 1950s)

THROW IN THE ALLEY - to surrender

THRUM - a threepenny piece

THUNDERBOLT'S ROCK - near Uralla. Used as a lookout location by bushranger Frederick Ward (Captain Thunderbolt) who escaped from Cockatoo Island in 1863

THUNDER BOX - toilet

TICK - debt

TICKETS ON YOURSELF - to have a high opinion of oneself

TICKEY - threepenny piece (1913)

TICKLE THE PETER - steal, especially from a cash register

TICKLE THE TILL - steal from a cash register

TICKLED PINK - very pleased

TICKLER - difficult to understand; puzzle

TIDDLEY - a threepenny piece

TIGHT ARSE - stingy person

TIN - medal (military)

TIN DISH - signifying good-bye

TIN HAT - steel helmet (soldier slang WW1)

TIN LIDS rhyming slang for kids

TINNED DOG - canned meat (goldfields)

TINNIE (TINNY) - can of beer

TINNIE (TINNY) - small aluminium boat

TINNY - Luck in gambling and competitions (WW1?) see Trove

TINTOOKIES - Australian children’s theatre puppet show 1950s

TIP - garbage dump

TIP TURKEY - also Bin Chicken - Ibis (bird) considered a pest in Australia because of scavenging

TO BANDICOOT - to fossick or to dig under a plant without disturbing the top (goldfields term)

TO BE DIRTY ON - to be very angry with

TO CLOCK - to strike with the fist

TO COIL - custom of swagmen to make a station homestead at sundown rather than through the day

TOEY - nervous

TOE RAGGER - short sentence man

TOGS - swimsuit, swimmers, bathers

TO HAVE WHITE ANTS (Qld) - wrong in the head

TO LOB - arrive unexpectedly at someone s place

TOM TART - a woman

TOM THUMB - tiny open boat used by Matthew Flinders and George Bass to explore the NSW coast line 1795 - 1796

TOOL - idiot, male

TOORAK TRACTOR - city-based 4WD or SUV that never sees off road driving

TOO RIGHT - agreeing

TOOTSY - foot; toe

TOP BLOKE - a good guy

TOP END - Northern Territory

TOP OFF - police informer (criminal slang 1950)

TO PUT THE BITE ON - to borrow

TO PUT THE POT ON - to settle an enemy (c. 1920)

TO RAG - to tease

TO RAT -method of removing property from those no long able to use it (WW2)

TO RUBBISH SOMEONE - to insult them

TO SLING OFF - make uncomplimentary remark

TOSSED OUT ON YOUR NECK - rejected (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)

TOSSER - a jerk

TOSS IN THE ALLEY - give up the ghost; surrender, die


TO WEAR - to be on the receiving end of misfortune

TOWELLED UP - beat up severely

TRACKIE DAKS - tracksuit pants


TRANNIE - portable transister radio

TRAP - police officer or trooper

TRAY BONG - very good (soldier slang WW1)

TREACLE MINER - a man who boasts of his wealth

TREE HUGGER - environmentalist

TREY - threepenny piece

TREZZIE - threepenny piece

TRIM - ship's cat who accompanied Matthew Flinders on his voyages to circumnavigate and map the coastline of Australia in 1801–03


TRUE BELIEVERS - stalwart Labour Party supporters

TRUE BLUE (AUSSIE)- patriotic ; genuine Australian


TUCK-SHOP ARMS - flabby upper arms on women

TUG - a rogue; rough uncouth fellow

TURFED OUT - asked to vacate building

TURKEY - ineffectual person

TURN IT ON - provide beer at a party

TURN IT UP - expression of disbelief in what another is saying

TURON WIDOW - Woman left without her husband because he was at the goldfields

TWIG - to observe; to aspy (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis) TWIST - criminal (criminal slang 1940)

TWO-UP – A gambling game played on Anzac day.

TWO BOB EACH WAY - hedge your bets; be uncommitted

TWO BOB'S WORTH - an opinion

TWO DADS - a person with a hyphenated surname (military)

TWO FOR THE VALLEY - Brisbane Qld - Holding up two fingers to signal to a tram conductor to buy Two tickets to Fortitude Valley . Also a symbol of contempt. Equivalent of Up Yours

TWO MICKS - Two tails (two-up)

TWO MINUTES SILENCE - Australian journalist Edward Honey first suggested two minutes silence as the Nation's homage to fallen heroes of W.W.1

TWO PEG - two shillings

TWOPENNY BUNGER - large firecracker

TWO POT SCREAMER - someone who can't hold their drink


UGG BOOTS - sheep skin lined boots

U-IE – to take a U-Turn when driving

ULURU - or Ayers Rock. Spectacular landmark in N.T. that stands 348 m above sea level. Sacred to the Aboriginal people of the area

UMPTY-DOO - far fetched (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)



UNREAL - fantastic

UNREPRESENTATIVE SWILL - Paul Keating's description of the Senate

UP AGAINST IT - foiled, nullified, thwarted (1913)

UP A GUMTREE - means to be in a quandary

UP AND DO 'EM SPINNER - term used in two-up

UP HIM - to have a fight

UP SHIT CREEK - in trouble


UP THE DUFF - pregnant

UP THE SPOUT - gone; finished

UP THERE CAZALY - encouragement call

UP TO MUD - worthless, useless, no good

UP TO PUSSY'S BOW - couldn t eat anything more

UP TO PUTTY - no good (soldier slang WW1)

UP YOU - brush off towards another with different views

UP YOURSELF - person who has high opinion of themselves

USEFUL AS - completely useless

UTE - Utility car - designed in 1934 by Lewis Bandt at Ford in Geelong


VAN DIEMENS LAND - Name used for Tasmania until 1856

VEE DUB - volkswagon car

VEGANESE - Terminology sprouted by vegans to describe their moral superiority

VEGGIES - vegetables

VEGEMITE - Australian savoury spread made from yeast extract. Invented in 1923 by Dr. Cyril P Callister a leading food technologist

VEGEMITES - Aussie children

VERBAL DIARRHOEA - non stop talk

VICTA - rotary lawn mower. Invented by Mervyn Victor Richardson in 1952

VILLAGE BIKE - promiscuous woman

VOLLEYS - sandshoes

VON BLINKED - drunk (vin blanc corruption WW1)


WACK-O - exclamation expressing anticipation, approval or delight

WACKO THE DIDDLIO - exclamation of pleasure, esp on seeing attractive woman (WW2)

WADDY - a hunting stick or club once used by Aboriginal natives in hunting and fighting

WAFFLE - talk at length

WAFFLE BURGER - fried savoury takaway food made at Coolangatta 1960s

WAGGING - playing truant from school

WAKE-UP - an alert person (1946)

WALER - a horse from NSW; a favourite of Australian munted troops

WALKABOUT - indigenous journey; rite of passage

WALK TO BOURKE BACKWARDS - Bob Katter re the gay population in North Qld.

WALLABY BRIGADE - Poem published 1894 about the army of itinerant workers who tramped the bush of Australia between the gold rush years of the 1850's and the First World War

WALLABY TRACK (ON THE) - humping bluey on the bush roads of Australia

WALLOPER - policeman

WALLY - forgetful or clumsy person

WALTZING MATILDA - carrying a swag

WANDERING JEW - Stew (soldier slang WW1)

WANKER - contemptible person

WARATAH - a brilliantly coloured red flower; state emblem of NSW

WARRIGAL - Aboriginal term for untamed; esp. dogs and horses


WATERBAG - bag made of skin, leather or canvas for keeping water cool


WATTLE AND DAUB - early Australian hut made from a woven lattice of wattle branches which has been is daubed with wet clay, sand or straw

WATTLE DAY - Now held annually on 1st September. First proposed in 1909 by Mr. J.H. Maiden, Mrs. Clunies-Ross and Mrs. Kettlewell with a view to stimulating Australian national sentiment and connecting it with love of the beautiful native flora

WATTLE TREE - botanic acacia. The name wattle was first applied by early settlers from England who had been accustomed to watting (placing thin, flexible twigs or limbs of trees on to a roof to hold the thatch). When they made their homes in Austrlia they found a suitable timber for wattling was the acacia which they called wattling trees and later wattles

WE ARE ON THE CREST OF A SLUMP - Gold Coast rugby league coach Phil Economidis after a rough trot.

WEEKENDER - a weekend cottage or shack

WE KNEW YOU WOULD FIGHT WELL; WE EXPECTED YOU TO FIGHT WELL; BUT WE DID NOT EXPECT YOU TO ASTONISH THE WORLD - address by French Premier M. Georges Clemenceau thanking Australian troops at the end of WW1

WELCOME TO COUNTRY - acknowledgment of traditional custodianship of the land at the commencement of functions, meetings and presentations of government departments and various organisations


WELLIES - wellington boots

WE'LL ALL BE ROONED SAID HANRAHAN - a dismissive response to predictions of disasters or hard times from poem 'Said Hanrahan' by bush poet John O Brien

WERE YOU BORN IN A TENT? - Shut the door!

WE'RE WINNIN' - when tucker is plentiful (Soldier slang WW1)

WET AS WATER - ineffective

WHACKLING OUT - thinking deeply about something (1918)

WHALER - similar to a sundowner - itinerant worker/ swagman who often appeared at stations at sunset in search of work c. 1885

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A CRUST? - what do you do for a living?

WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS? BUSH WEEK? exclamation when someone does something wrong

WHAT'S THE DAMAGE? - how much is owed?

WHAT'S YOUR POISON? What would you like to drink

WHEN I STAND UP IN PARLIAMENT, THE LABOUR BENCHES WHISTLE - Scott Morrison's thoughts on what the ALP thinks of him


WHERE THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU? -advertising campaign launched by Tourism Australia in 2006

WHERE THE BULL FEEDS - grass (c. 1920s)

WHINGEING POM - An immigrant from England who moans about trifling inconveniences in Australia and constantly compares them to the equivalent back home


WHIP THE CAT - cry over spilt milk

WHIPS OF TIME - an abundance of time

WHIPS OF TIN -any amount of money

WHISKEY AU GO GO - The Whisky Au Go-Go nightclub in Fortitude Valley, Queensland, caught fire after two drums of fuel were set alight on 8 March 1973 Fifteen patrons died from asphyxiation

WHITE ANT - cut in on another's property by subterfuge

WHITE AUSTRALIA POLICY - a set of historical policies in 1901 that aimed to forbid people of non-European ethnic origin from immigrating to Australia

WHITE LOT - silver chain (criminal slang 1925)

WHITE MARY - generic name used by aborigines for all female cooks on out stations

WHITE SHOE BRIGADE - (Qld 1980s) wealthy business people and property developers; politically conservative

WHIZZ BANG - German shell (WW1)

WHIZZER - pickpocket (criminal slang 1925)



WHOOPDY DO - big deal; sarcastic

WHOPPER - a lie

WHY IS IT SO? - Professor Sumner Miller catch phrase

WIDOW MAKER - tree, deadwood falling branch from eucalyptus gum tree

WIDE BROWN LAND - from Dorothea Mackellar's poem ‘My Country’

WIDGIES AND BODGIES - youth subculture in the 1950s

WIFE BEATER - blue singlet worn by men (American origin?)

WIGWAM FOR A GOOSE'S BRIDLE (going to get) - dismissive reply to an unwanted query

WILLIES - a feeling of disquiet

WILLY-WILLY - small whirlwind; also called cock-eyed bob or dust-devil

WINDBAG - a talker out of his turn (soldier slang WW1)

WINGED KEEL - Wing at the base of sailing boat keel. Invented by Ben Lexcen. First used in 1983 America’s Cup on Australia II.


WITCHETTY GRUB - large, white, wood-eating larvae of moths. Bush tucker

WITHIN COOEE - Within ear shot

WOBBLER - soldier toadying for stripes (WW2)

WOG - a flu or virus

WOG - derogatory term for new migrants 1960s and 1970s

WOLF - prison guard who is hard on his men (c. 1893)

WOMBAT - slow moving marsupial of nocutrnal habits; anyone with the same characteristics

WOMBAT TRAIL - election campaign trail by leaders of the National Party

WON'T HAVE A BAR OF - refuses to take part

WOOD AND WATER JOEY - a person who hangs about pubs; a doer of odd jobs (1887)

WOODBINE - English soldier ( WW1)

WOOL IS UP - times are good; wool being the staple of Australia c. 1895)

WOOL IS DOWN - times are bad

WOOLOOMOOLOO YANK - flashy dresser (WW2)

WOOL SHED - shearing shed

WOOMERA ROCKET RANGE - Unique military testing range covering 122 188 square kilometres in north-west South Australia. Largest land testing range in the world

WOOP WOOP - the back of nowhere; fictitious


WORLD SERIES CRICKET - one day cricket games for TV introduced by Kerry Packer

WOULDN'T BE DEAD FOR QUIDS - happy to be alive


WOULDN'T HAVE A BAR OF IT - would have nothing to do with it

WOULDN'T TOUCH IT WITH A TEN FOOT POLE - having nothing to do with it


WOULD TO GODDER - for the man who would to god he could go to the front, but preferred to stay at home (WW1)

WOWSER - boring conservative narrow minded person; killjoy. In 1916 Australian poet C. J. Dennis defined a wowser as 'an ineffably pious person who mistakes the world for a penitentiary and himself for a warder'


WUSS - weak ineffectual


YA – You

YABBER - talk a lot

YABBY - (yabbie) small freshwater crayfish

YACKA - YAKKER - work; hard yacka. Jewish origin

YAHOO - show-off; fool

YANK TANK - American car

YARN - long story; talk

YARRALUMLA HOUSE - Located in Canberra - the official residence of the Governor-General of Australia


YENNEP - a penny c. 1911

YIKE - argument (1940)

YIKE - (getting into a ) dog-fight (RAAF)

YOBBO - uncouth, usually male

YONKS - very long time

YONNIE - stone or pebble for throwing

YOU DON'T TELL THE FROGS ANYTHING BEFORE YOU DRAIN THE SWAMP - attributed to Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, former Premier of Queensland

YOU RE NOT ROBINSON CRUSOE - not the only one

YOU'RE TERRIBLE MURIEL - line from iconic Australian movie Muriel's Wedding starring Toni Collette, Rachael Griffiths and Gabbie Millgate

YOUR SHOUT - turn to buy a drink

YOUS – (youse) plural of you!


ZAC - sixpence

ZIFF - a beard (1946)

ZILCH - nothing

ZIT - pimple

ZONKED - tired

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