The Beginner’s Guide to Australian Slang

Heaps

Hearing “heaps” is heaps common in Australia. It’s basically used in place of “very” or “a lot.” If something is amazing, it’s heaps good. If you’re feeling especially grateful— thanks heaps! If you’re dying to do something, like spending nine days exploring Sydney nightlife, learning to surf and petting a kangaroo with an awesome group of people, be sure to let everyone know you’re heaps keen.

 

She’ll be right

Australia is a pretty laid back country, so chances are high you’ll encounter this phrase a few times. For anyone who’s never heard it before, you might have a few questions like who is she? And what exactly is she right about? Don’t overthink it: the phrase is essentially an Australian way of saying, “it’s no big deal” or “everything will be fine.”

 

Thongs

In Australia, you might throw on your favorite thongs before going on a stoll around the neighbourhood, to the grocery store, to pick up the kids from school. But before you get any ideas of Aussies putting on their best flossy undies for the most menial errands, “thongs” is the word used to refer to the casual sandal commonly known as flip-flops in other parts of the world.

 

Footy

Everyone knows that footy is short for football... But if you’re imagining a foot-only game of trying to kick a checkered ball into a net or a bunch of clashing helmets scrambling for a pigskin ball, you’ve got a bit of work before you’re in an Aussie state of mind. Footy, or Australian Rules Football, is the country’s most popular sport. Think of it as a mix of soccer, rugby, American football, and basketball, all with minimal padding for some added danger.

 

Barrack

Most sports fans are probably accustomed to saying they “root” for their favorite teams. But in Australia, root is used in place of a particular four-letter expletive. So to avoid the snickering and questioning glances you’d get from saying you root for your favorite team, show your devotion by saying you “barrack” for them instead.

 

Arvo, avo, aggro servo, devo, defo, etc.

After about an hour on Australian soil you’ll realize that the key to most Aussie slang is to just shorten any word and add an –o at the end. Some examples to get you started: arvo (afternoon), avo (avocado), aggro (aggressive), servo (service station), devo (devastated), defo (definitely).

 

Ready to put your newfound knowledge to use? Check out our group tours here!

 

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