Aussie Words and Style
‘Dialogue’ = Australian English. The opposite to the US style.
“Quote within dialogue” = Australian English. The opposite to the US style.
Thought = Italics used in Australian English
* * *
Abo = Derogatory slang for Aboriginal person.
Arvo = Afternoon.
Bastard = General form of address which can mean practically anything from an insult to the highest praise.
Battler = Hard worker, struggler.
Beaut, beauty, bewdie = Very good.
Billabong = An ox-bow river or watering hole.
Billy = Bush teapot. Large tin can used to boil water over a campfire for tea.
Bitumen = Surfaced road.
Boomer = Very large; a particularly large male kangaroo.
Brolga = Australian native crane - elaborate courtship dance.
Bull dust = Fine and sometimes deep dust on outback roads.
Bunyip = Mythical outback creature that inhabits swamps and billabongs.
Bush = Somewhere in the country, especially in amongst the trees.
Bush tucker = Native foods, usually in the outback.
Camp oven = Large cast-iron pot with a lid, for cooking on an open fire.
Cheque = US ‘check.’
Chook = An adult chicken or domestic hen.
Clag = An Australian glue.
Cockatoo = A look-out; also a species of bird.
Cocky’s Joy = Golden Syrup.
Cooee = Bush greeting.
Corella = Bird. Licmetis is a subgenus of the white cockatoos (genus Cacatua).
Dago = Mediterranean or Middle European migrant – derogatory.
Damper = Bush bread: flour, baking powder and water, cooked in a camp oven.
Didgeridoo = Cylindrical, hollow musical instrument played usually by Aboriginal men, requiring strong muscular contractions and continuous circular breathing to be played well. Traditionally from Northern Australia, as the instrument is hollowed out by termites.
Dillybag = Small bag to carry things.
Dingo = Australian native (introduced) dog.
Drongo = A fool or simpleton.
Dunny = Outdoor lavatory.
Ewe = Female sheep, corruption is ‘yoe’ or similar.
Flaming = All-purpose intensifying adjective. (A less offensive “f” word.)
G'day = A greeting.
Galah = Noisy parrot, thus noisy idiot. Red breasted cockatoo.
Gaol = Australian and British variant spelling of "jail."
Gin = Derogatory slang for female Aboriginal person.
Glory box = A box in which a bride accumulates her personal possessions, such as clothes, household linens, etc.
Going "troppo" = Going tropical; laid-back and fun-loving; insane.
Grazier = Large-scale sheep or cattle farmer.
Gumtree = Eucalyptus tree variety.
Homestead = The owner/manager’s residence on a station (ranch or farm).
Humpy = A temporary shelter of the Aboriginals.
Jill = Female kangaroo.
Kangaroo = A large marsupial that hops from the family Macropodidae.
Kerb = Alternative Australian and British spelling of "curb."
Kerfuffle = Argument.
Kookaburra = ‘Laughing jackass’ bird, whose cry resembles laughter
Koori = Aboriginal person, mostly south of the Murray River and parts NSW; Yuin in southeast NSW; Murri then Bama to north in Queensland; Yura then Nunga to the west in South Australia.
Labara = Wise old Aboriginal man.
Lubra = Aboriginal woman.
Larrikin = Ruffian or hoodlum, but viewed with some admiration.
Lollies = Candy or sweets.
Loo = Lavatory or toilet.
Mallee = Remote bushland of Victoria; low scrub.
Mate = This usually means a friend, but it can be used to talk about or to anyone.
Matilda = The belongings of a swagman, wrapped in a blanket or bedroll.
Milk bar = General store where milk and other basics are sold.
Mob = Family or herd of kangaroos or herd of sheep or cattle. Also a group of people or things (not necessarily unruly).
Mopoke = Australian bird, ninox novaeseelaniae, in the owl family.
Muster = An assembly of people
Nick = To steal. (Nicking = To steal.)
Nulla-nulla = Wooden club used by Aboriginal Australians.
Outback = The bush, or uncivilized, uninhabited region.
Paddock = Field or meadow. In Australia, that could be 1,000 square miles!
Pay back = something done in order to gain revenge.
Perve (noun & verb) = Looking lustfully, or one who looks lustfully at another.
Pig’s arse! = I don't agree with you.
Point = A unit of measuring rainfall, .01 of an inch.
Polly = Politician.
Pom, Pommy = English person.
Possum = Australia’s most commonly encountered marsupial.
Punt = A gamble; chance
Reckon! = You bet! Absolutely!
Right = Okay (‘she'll be right, mate.’)
Roo = Kangaroo.
Rosella = Colourful Australian parrots in the genus Platycercus.
Sheila = Female or woman.
Smoko = Smoke or tea break.
Station = A big farm/grazing property.
Stockman = Station hand (rural worker) herding cattle.
Stockwhip = Plaited leather lash used by stockmen and women and drovers.
Stringybark = A eucalyptus tree that regularly shreds its bark in strips.
Swag = Traditionally, a swagman's belongings wrapped in a blanket and carried over or around the shoulders. Modern usage: Canvas-covered bedroll used in the outback or for camping.
Swagman = One who carries a swag; an itinerant worker.
Tank = Water storage container.
Tart = Once a contraction of 'sweetheart', now more derogatory.
Truckie = Truck driver.
Tucker = Food.
Tyre = Australian and British spelling of “tire.”
Uni = University.
Ute = Utility truck or vehicle.
Walkabout = Lengthy walk away from it all.
Wallaby = An Australian marsupial. It looks similar to a small kangaroo.
Waltz matildas (as in ‘Waltzing Matilda’ song) = To carry a swag.
Wattle = Acacia; common Australian species of shrub. So named because it was used to build wattle & daub dwellings in colonial settlement of Australia.
Weatherboard = Wooden house with lapped horizontal wooden cladding.
Willie Wagtail = A small black and white bird.
Willy willy = Small dust twister.
Wog = Mediterranean or Middle European migrant – derogatory.
Wombat = A short-legged Australian marsupial.
XXXX = Pronounced Four X; brand of beer made in Queensland.
Yabby = Small freshwater crayfish.
Yakka, yakker = Hard work, an Aboriginal term. (Yagari language -'yaga.')
Yahoo = Uncouth, aggressive person.
Yonks = Ages, a long time.
Ryn Shell’s acclaimed Stolen Years series blends rich Australian historical fiction with riveting adventure and love stories. Now, with this convenient seven-volume eBook bundle, discover the novels that have won thousands of fans when it was published on Amazon. Be introduced to the valiant Scottish free settlers to Australia, Jane and Douglas, in Gold. Follow the Fife family’s adventures through until the Australian’s story of Skylab’s spectacular demise in Star Struck.