Written by Amy Baker,
Last Modified: 16th March 2017

The UN was celebrating Language Day on Tuesday and although Australians speak English, like most things in Australia, its language has truly unique properties. Here are some awesome Australianisms.

You will notice distinct dialects throughout the country from the broad Queensland accent that may have you scratching your head, to the refined cultivated accent of South Australia that more closely resembles the British. If deciphering dialects isn’t enough, Australians have created their own slang that can at first be perplexing and even downright rude. Here are some phrases to start you off speaking Aussie. Try them out at your immigration interview (actually maybe don’t).

Amber fluid – beer! If someone offers you an amber fluid to welcome your arrival in Australia, do try to say yes. To deny them would be (as the Aussies like to put it), un-Australian. Another name for beer is ‘neck oil’.

Bogan – a person lacking in class and education (and not in a good way).

Bloody oath – not as gruesome as it sounds, bloody oath is simply a statement of agreement. Tim: “I’m tired from moving all that furniture.” Dave: “Bloody Oath!

Buckley’s chance – no chance at all. Tom: “How about we save money on rent and move in with your parents instead?” Linda: “Buckley’s chance!


Learn to talk Australian


Cobber – mate, friend

It’s gone walkabout – it can’t be found anywhere. “I can’t find the mortgage forms, they’ve gone walkabout.”

Kangaroo’s loose at the top of the paddock – crazy, eccentric or not very bright. “He fell for the same thing again, I think the kangaroo’s loose at the top of the paddock.

Like a shag on a rock – alone, exposed. A shag is a seabird.

Mad as a cut snake – very angry! Janice: “Bruce didn’t take well to England winning the Ashes again.” Linda: “No, he was as mad as a cut snake!

She’ll be right – everything will be ok. Jenny: “Do you think we’ll get the work permits?” Travis: “She’ll be right.

Spit the dummy – to have a tantrum or suddenly get very angry. “When we didn’t get our house price offer accepted Sheila spit the dummy. She really wanted that place!

Download the Australia Buying Guide today

The Australia Buying Guide takes you through each stage of the property buying process, with practical recommendations from our experts who have been through the process themselves. The guide will help you to:

  Ask the right questions
  Avoid losing money
  Avoid the legal pitfalls
  Move in successfully

Download your free guide to buying in Australia

  • We handle your data with care and only ever as outlined in our Privacy Policy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This