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Aussie Glossary

Aussie Words Definitions Comments
a over t Arse over tit, head over heels  
A'sia Australasia (Australia plus New Zealand)  
abo Derogatory slang for Aborigine  
act Pretending to be something you're not  
aerial pingpong Australian Rules football  
agates Testicles  
aggro Aggressive  
alf Stupid person  
alligator Freshwater crocodile (So those early pommies were no naturalists!)
amber fluid Beer  
ankle biter Small child  
antipodes Places on exactly opposite sides of the earth  
ANZAC Soldier from Australia New Zealand Army Corps  
apple eater Resident of Tasmania  
apples, she'll be It'll be alright  
arvo Afternoon  
Aussie (pronounced "ozzie") Australian  
Aussie salute Brushing away flies with the hand  
avagoyermug Traditional rallying call, often heard at cricket matches (contraction of "Have  
avos Avocados  
award wage Minimum pay rate  
B & S Bachelors and Spinsters Ball - a dance cum piss-up Sorry, the perils of a Latin education (cum = with, in Latin)
B-bows (Old fashioned) hand shears The spring between the 2 blades is shaped like a letter B
back of beyond Far away in the outback  
back of Bourke The middle of nowhere  
backblocks The remote interior of the country  
bag Lady who is not particularly pleasant  
bail (somebody) up To corner somebody physically  
bail out Depart, usually angrily  
bail up Hold up, rob, earbash Comes from dairy farming - 'crushing' cows for milking
ball-tearer Wonderful thing  
banana bender Resident of Queensland  
bandicoot Australian marsupial - pointy nose, size of large rat Adoption of Indian (Telegu) word 'pandikokku' = 'pig-rat' = bandicota indica
barbie (barbecue) Like a cook out Spanish origin, 'barbacoa, from Arawak language
Barcoo Far outback (Barcoo R. region of western Queensland)  
barney Fight or scuffle  
barrack To cheer on a team at a sporting event Can also mean: banter, provocative or derisive language - cognate … but to … not derived from borak?
bastard General form of address which can mean practically anything from highest praise  
bathers Swimming costume (Victoria and South Australia)  
battler Hard trier, struggler  
bear Colonial era: (native) bear = koala Koala is a marsupial, not a bear
beaut, beauty, bewdie Very good  
belt up! Shut up!  
berko Angry  
bible basher Minister, or any proselytising Christian  
bickie Dollar  
big mobs Large amount, heaps  
big-note oneself Brag, boast  
bikies Motorcyclists  
bikkie Biscuit (also "it cost big bikkies" - it was expensive)  
billabong An ox-bow river or watering hole East coast Aboriginal languages = dead water
billy Large tin can used to boil water over a campfire for tea  
bities Biting insects  
bitumen Surfaced road  
bitzer Mongrel dog (bits of this and bits of that)  
bizzo Business ("mind your own bizzo")  
black stump, beyond the A long way away, the back of nowhere  
black velvet (Originally illicit) relations of white male and black female  
block Block has a few meanings but the more Aussie one is your head  
bloke Person, usually a male  
bloody All-purpose intensifying adjective  
bloody oath! That's certainly true  
blooming Low level intensive (not quite bloody!)  
blow in the bag Have a breathalyzer test  
blowie Blow fly  
bludge Not doing anything or getting things from others  
bludger Lazy person  
blue A fight  
blue a cheque Spend your wages in a glorious booze-up (NOT = blew!) Thus "Blued his cheque" not "Blew his cheque"
blue, make a Make a mistake  
bluey A swag, blanket roll Army blankets were grey-blue wool
bluey Blue cattle dog (named after its subtle markings)  
bluey Traffic ticket or redhead person  
board The timber floor on which sheep are shorn in a shearing shed  
bodgy Of inferior quality This is from earlier word 'bodger' - self-employed woodworker
bonzer Great, ripper  
boobook Australian bird - ninox novaeseelaniae - in the owl family, but more like a stur  
boogie board A hybrid, half-sized surf board  
boomer Very large; a particularly large male kangaroo  
boomerang Curved flat wooden instrument used by Aborigines for hunting Throwing stick: hunting boomerangs don't return. Returning type a thrown to scare birds down to the ground where they are caught.
booze Alcohol, usually beer  
booze bus Police vehicle used for catching drunk drivers  
boozer A pub Also a drinker
borak (Borack, borax) nonsense, emphatic negation Pidgin, from Wathwurung burag … not from barrack...?
bored shitless Very bored  
boss of the board Shearing contractor or supervisor  
bottle shop Liquor shop  
bottle-o Liquor shop Also a dealer in second hand bottles
bottler Something excellent  
bottling, his blood's worth He's an excellent, helpful bloke  
bowyang (boyang) Cord, thong or strap round trouser leg, below knee Brit. Dialect 'booyang'
brass razoo, he hasn't got a He's very poor  
breaker Specialist horse tamer/trainer Pen-name of poet Harry 'Breaker' Morant
brekkie Breakfast  
brick shit house, built like a Big strong bloke  
brizzie Brisbane, state capital of Queensland  
brolga Australian native crane - elaborate courtship dance resemble 'quadrille', square  
brown-eyed mullet A turd in the sea (where you're swimming!)  
brownie (browny) Sweetened currant bread - a 'bush' treat  
brumby A wild horse  
buck's night Stag party, male gathering the night before the wedding  
Buckley's No chance at all  
Buckley's, Buckley's chance No chance ("New Zealand stands Buckley's of beating Australia at football")  
bug (Moreton Bay bug) Small crab  
bull bar Stout bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroo Or bulls!
bull dust Fine and sometimes deep dust on outback roads  
bullamanka Imaginary place even beyond back of Bourke, way beyond the black stump  
bullock Ox A castrated bull used as a draught animal
bullocky, bullockie Bullock driver - carter operating with a team of bullocks and a dray  
bun in the oven Pregnant  
bundy Short for Bundaberg, Queensland, and the brand of rum that's made there  
bung Crook, broken Eastern Aboriginal = dead
bunny Rabbit, a mug, a swindler's victim 3rd sense cognate with 18th c. London sense of 'coney'
bunyip Mythical outback creature Inhabits swamps and billabongs
burl Have a try, as in "give it a burl" Scots dialect: burl = twirl, spin … Aussie usage via two-up call 'give it a burl' = have a bet, chance your arm
bush Somewhere in the country or away from the city It's all either "Sydney … or the bush"
bush telegraph Gossip network  
bush tucker Native foods, usually in the outback  
bushbash Force one's way through pathless bush  
bushie Someone who lives in the Bush  
bushranger Highwayman, outlaw Originally (c. 1788) a 'trusty' convict given a gun and told to go an shoot something for food .. Oddly enough, a lot of them did not come back - at least until they ran out of powder and shot!
bushwhacker Someone living rough in the Bush Not an ambusher - the US sense
butcher's To look  
BYO Bring Your Own (booze to a restaurant, meat to a barbecue, etc  
caaarn! Traditional rallying cry at football games (contraction of "Come on!")  
cabbage tree hat Hat sewn from coil of plaited cabbage tree palm leaf Proverbially tough and long-lasting … very expensive … the badge of the native-born colonial
camp oven Large, cast-iron pot with a lid, for cooking on an open fire  
Captain Cook To have a look  
cark it To die, cease functioning  
cask Wine box Australian "invention" - first ones were a collapsing sack inside a tinplate cylinder painted with a cask stave pattern (c. 1966/7?)
cheque Payment for the season's/job's work (US 'check')  
chiko roll Australian junk food  
choke a darkie Defecate  
chokkie Chocolate  
chook A chicken (adult domestic fowl / hen)  
chrissie Christmas  
Christmas See Bourke Street  
chuck a sickie Take the day off sick from work when you're perfectly healthy  
chuck a u-ey Make a U-turn  
chunder Vomit, drive the porcelain bus, kerbside quiche, pavement pizza, liquid laugh, r  
clay pan Dry salt lake bed  
Clayton's Fake, substitute  
cleanskin Unbranded cattle  
click Kilometre - "it's 10 clicks away"  
cliner Girlfriend of a city larrikin, c. 1900 (from German 'kleine')
clip Entirety of the season's wool shorn from sheep  
clobber Clothes; to hit  
cobber Friend  
cobbler Tough, old, wrinkled sheep you shear last (if at all) / the last sheep in a run Cobblers' last - sort of rhyming slang
cockie Farmer  
cockroach A person from New South Wales  
cocky Small-scale farmer Earlier: 'cockatoo farmer'
coldie A beer  
colonial experience man (Usually) English apprentice grazier - working for keep, but learning the coloni  
combo White man cohabiting with Aboriginal woman (Illegal, in early 20th c., under "Native Protection Act")
come a gutser Make a bad mistake, have an accident  
come good Turn out all right  
compo Workers' Compensation pay  
conk To hit someone (archaic)  
cooee Bush greeting  
cooee, not within Figuratively a long way away, far off - England weren't within cooee of beating  
coolabah Type of box eucalyptus tree Not actually providing much shade (Paterson's irony)
coolgardie safe Box for storing perishable foods, cooled by non-mechanical evaporation  
copper Policeman  
cornstalk (Old - colonial period) name for New South Wales resident - refers to height of  
corroboree Aboriginal meeting, with ceremonial dancing  
counter lunch Pub lunch  
counter meal, countery Pub meal  
cove The boss of a station (~ ranch) - the cove in charge … A bit more polite than the Cockney sense of 'rogue'
cow Also means anything that is difficult  
cow cocky Small-scale cattle farmer  
cozzie Swimming costume (New South Wales)  
cradle (noun & verb) (wash auriferous soil in) riffled tub on curved feet to separate out the gold  
cranky In a bad mood, angry Varies state to state + means 'crazy', 'eccentric' in Tasmania
cream (verb) Defeat by a large margin  
creek A (usually) seasonal watercourse Not the Scots sense of a bay or inlet on a coast - close to the US sense
crook Ill, badly made, substandard  
crow eater A person from South Australia  
cut lunch Sandwiches  
cut snake, mad as a Very angry  
dag A funny person, nerd, goof  
dag, daggy Dirty lump of wool at the back end of a sheep, also an affectionate or mildly ab  
daks Trousers  
damper Bush loaf made from flour and water cooked in a camp oven  
Darling pea Staggers (usually the stock) from eating poisonous plant Appears in 'All For My Grog'
dead horse Tomato sauce  
deadset True, the truth  
deli Delicatessen  
demon Policeman, detective Originally a Tasmanian (Vandemonian) ex-convict recruited into the colonial police force
dero Tramp, hobo, homeless person (from "derelict")  
didgeridoo Cylindrical musical instrument played usually by Aboriginal men Women are forbidden to play didge in Aboriginal culture because the muscular contractions of playing can cause abortion … !
digger A soldier - typically from Australia or New Zealand Term is a goldrush legacy
dill Idiot  
dillybag Small bag to carry things  
dingo Australian native dog, (tranf.) an untrustworthy person or coward  
dinkum, fair dinkum Genuine or honest  
dinky-di The real thing, genuine  
dipstick A loser, idiot  
divvy van Police divisional van  
do your nana Lose your rag, spit the dummy, lose your temper  
dob (somebody) in Inform on somebody  
docket A bill, receipt  
doco Documentary  
dog Unattractive woman  
dole bludger Somebody on social assistance when unjustified  
don't come the raw prawn Don't try to fool me  
donah A girl, to a city larrikin, c. 1900 (from Portugese 'dona' ?)
donger Penis  
donk Car or boat engine  
doodle Penis  
doozey Something very pleasant  
doughboy Flour dumpling British dialect / navy slang
down south The rest of Australia, according to someone north of Brisbane, Queensland  
Down Under Australia and New Zealand  
drink with the flies To drink alone  
drinking down the cheque Drinking alcohol ontil all the wages have been squandered  
drive the porcelain bus Vomit  
drongo Worthless or stupid person North Australian bird that flies south (towards colder regions!) in summer …?
drover Person driving large herds of cattle or sheep across Australia  
drum Information, tip-off ("I'll give you the drum")  
drum (hump the) (Carry a) swag  
Dry, the Dry season in the north, April to November  
duco Car paint Brand name
duffer, cattle Rustler  
dukies (and duchesses) Pickpockets Earn their living with their 'dooks'
dummy, spit the Get very upset at something  
dungarees Workingman's clothes/overalls Named for a coarse Indian calico (Hindi 'dungri') … a social indicator in colonial days
dunny Outdoor lavatory  
dunny budgies Blow flies  
dunny rat, cunning as a Very cunning  
durry Cigarette  
earbash Non-stop talk  
eastern states The rest of Australia, according to someone in Western Australia  
Enzedder New zealander  
esky Large insulated box for keeping beer cool  
evo Evening  
ewe Female sheep, corruption is 'yoe' or similar  
exy Expensive  
fair crack of the whip! Fair go!  
fair dinkum Genuine or honest  
fair go A chance ("give a bloke a fair go")  
fairy floss Candy floss, cotton candy  
FIGJAM F*ck I'm good; just ask me  
financial To be flush with cash  
FJ Most revered Holden car  
flake Shark meat, used in fish and chips  
flaming All-purpose intensifying adjective (A safer "f" word)
flash Very fancy, overly fashionable ('lairy') "Flash as a rat with a gold tooth"
flat out As fast as possible  
floater Meat pie floating in pea soup, viewed by Australians either as a great delicacy or as a great emetic  
flog Sell; steal This once meant to pawn, back in the '50s/early '60s - I remember people baulking at my use of the sense steal …
footy Australian Rules football  
fossick To hunt for gemstones Or gold … or any other mineral ...
fossicking Searching, rummaging ("fossicking through the kitchen drawers")  
freckle Anus  
from arsehole to breakfast All over the place  
fruit loop Fool  
full Drunk  
furphy A rumour or a false story  
g'day A greeting  
gaffer (Lesser) Boss … usually a supervisor or shed boss N. English dialect - US usage is head lighting tech on film set … thus "gaffer tape" - specially made to hang film lights from rough surfaces
galah Noisy parrot, thus noisy idiot  
game Brave  
gander Have a look  
gaol Australian and British variant spelling of "jail"  
garbo Garbage collector  
garbo, garbologist Municipal garbage collector  
gibber, gibby Stony desert (that's originally a 'gibber plain' or 'gibber country - 'gibber' i Sydney region Aboriginal word for stone (Dharuk - 'giba')
gidgee Rough, dry country, characterized by tough acacia scrub called gidgee Aboriginal (Yuwaalaraay) word for 'spear wood'
give it a burl Try it, have a go  
give it away Give up  
goanna Australian monitor lizard Adaptation of S. American 'iguana'
going "troppo" Going tropical; laid-back and fun-loving; insane  
good oil, good gits Useful information, a good idea, the truth Good guts?
good on ya! Well done!  
good on you Good for you, well done  
good possie Advantageous position  
grazier Large-scale sheep or cattle farmer  
greenhide Tough, untanned leather Equivalent to US "rawhide"
greenie Environmentalist  
grizzle To complain  
grog General term for alcohol, but typically beer Interestingly, it was originally RN term for rum, watered down to prevent sailors saving their ration up for a bender (after Admiral Grogham)
grouse Very good, unreal  
gum sucker Resident of Victoria  
gumtree Eucalyptus Smoothbarked eucalypt, not a stringybark or messmate
gun Champion (shearer)  
Gunyah Aboriginal temporary shelter (also gunya, guneah, gunney &c) Aboriginal (Dharuk): 'ganya'
gutzer Some plans don't work out or to have an accident (to come a gutzer)  
gyno Gynaecologist  
handle Beer glass with a handle  
hard yacka Hard work  
hatter Person living alone and rough in the bush - maybe crazy "Mad as a HATTER"
heaps A lot  
hire To rent, as "to hire a car"  
his nibs The boss  
homestead Residance of a station (ranch or farm) owner or manager  
hooley Wild party  
hooly-dooly An expression of surprise  
hoon Idiot, hooligan, yahoo  
hooroo Goodbye  
hotel Often just a pub  
hottie Hot water bottle  
how are ya? Standard greeting  
hq Second most revered Holden car  
hump To carry  
humping bluey Carrying a swag, travelling rough and light (looking for work - or tucker)  
humpy Temporary, makeshift dwelling (originally Aboriginal shelter, gunyah) Aboriginal (Jagara): 'yumbi
icy pole Popsicle, lollypop Ice block, where I came from
identity Celebrity  
iffy Doubtful, questionable  
illywacker A con man who preyed on the gullible at country shows/fairs  
in full feather In fine health  
in yer boot! An expression of disagreement (archaic)  
it's a goer Something that will definitely occur  
Jack Shay (Jack Shea) Quart pot, metal drinking vessel / container Rhymes (to the Irish) with tea (pot)
jack-in-the-box Person who can't sit still  
jackaroo A male station hand (a station is a big farm/grazing property) In station life, Jackaroo has long meant an Englishman getting 'colonial experience' (often not paid … but ate with the magager, not the men!) [Originally, ie very early colonial, it meant a white man living beyond the boundary of settlement - possibly Aboriginal word 'dhugai-iu', (Jagara)]
jillaroo A female station hand  
jingoes! Exclamation of wonder  
jocks Men's or boys' underpants  
Joe Blake Snake (rhyming)  
Joe Bloggs The average citizen  
joey Baby kangaroo, still in the pouch Originally baby possum - trans. to kangaroo, then any young marsupial … eventually comes to mean child!
johnny cake Small, thin, loaf of damper (bush bread) Trans. from US flat oat cake
journo Journalist  
jumbuck Sheep Probably an Aboriginal word for 'cloud' or 'mist' (a distant mob of sheep?)
jumped-up Full of self-importance; arrogant  
kanga or kangaroo Shoe  
keen as mustard Enthusiastic  
kelpie Australian sheepdog originally bred from Scottish collie Breed is descended from champion short-haired collie named 'Kelpie'
kerb Alternative Australian and British spelling of "curb"  
kerbside quiche Vomit  
kerfuffle Argument  
kero Kerosene  
kick To share or join in  
kick-in To provide your share  
kindie Kindergarten  
king brown Type of venomous snake or tall bottle of beer  
kip Sleep or nap  
kiwi New zealander  
knackered Worn out, rooted  
knackers Testicles (also love spuds, nuts, nads)  
knock To criticise  
knock back Refusal (noun), refuse (transitive verb)  
knocker One who criticises  
kombi Multi-purpose van-like vehicle, often modified so the back seats were folded dow  
koori Aborigine (mostly south of the Murray River) Also all of NSW (except for Yuin in south east) ... Murri -then Bama to north in Queensland - Yura, then Nunga to west, in South Australia
lair Layabout, hooligan  
lairise To behave in a vulgar, flamboyant manner  
lamb-brained Stupid  
lamington Sponge cake cut into squares, covered in chocolate and coconut  
larrikin Ruffian or hoodlum, but viewed with some admiration  
lay-by To put a deposit on an article so a shop will hold it  
licensed Legally permitted to sell alcoholic drinks  
like a bandicoot on a burnt ridge Lonely and vulnerable  
lingo The language  
lippy Lipstick  
liquid laugh Vomit  
lob, lob in Drop in to see someone ("the rellies have lobbed")  
lollies Candy or sweets  
lolly Money  
London to a brick Absolute certainty ("it's London to a brick that taxes won't go down")  
loo Lavatory or toilet English, 19th c. (Water)loo
lot The whole thing  
lubra Aboriginal woman Aboriginal word (se Tasmania) 'lubara'
lucky country, the Australia, where else?  
lurk Scheme, sometimes viewed with envy  
ma stater Resident of New South Wales  
mad Crazy (seldom means anger)  
Mallee Remote bushland of Victoria, low scrub  
manchester Household linen  
mate This usually means a friend but it can be used to talk about or to anyone - even  
mate's rate, mate's discount Cheaper than usual for a "friend"  
matey with Familiar or friendly with  
matilda The belongings of a swagman, wrapped in a blanket or bedroll  
meat safe Ventilated fly-proof cage for storing meat carcasses without refrigeration  
merino Breed of sheep with fine strands of fleece  
metho Methylated spirits Denatured alcohol/rubbing alcohol
Mexican A person from south of the (Queensland) border  
mickey mouse Excellent, very good  
middy 285 ml beer glass (New South Wales)  
milk bar Corner general store Not NSW usage - corner shop had to have milk licence, but a 'milk bar' was principally a (milk & soft) drink shop … almost = US "drug store"
milko Milkman  
mob Family or herd (?) of kangaroos / herd of sheep or cattle (transference ?)
mob Group of person or things (not necessarily unruly)  
moke Horse (not a good one!) Original meaning was donkey
mole (native) Platypus … to a Pom who isn't any sort of naturalist  
moleskin(s) Trousers of moleskin (untwilled cotton fustian fabric) Typical sailors' wear on British sailing ships
moll Girl(friend), disreputable girl, tart, Dona  
mongrel Despicable person  
mopoke Australian bird ninox novaeseelaniae - in the owl family, but more like a sturdy  
mozzie Mosquito  
muddy Mud crab (a great delicacy)  
mug Friendly insult ("have a go, yer mug"), gullible person  
mug One's face  
mull Grass (the kind you smoke)  
mull up Roll a joint and smoke it  
murphy Potato  
naff Ridiculous, useless  
nana Banana  
nark Spoilsport  
narked Annoyed  
naughty, have a Have sex  
neddies Horses  
Never Never The Outback, centre of Australia  
new chum New arrival or immigrant  
nick To steal  
nick out Go somewhere for short period of time  
nipper Young surf lifesaver Also any youngster (generally male)
nit Fool or idiot Also nitwit
no hoper Hopeless case  
no shortage of oscar To be flush with money  
no worries! Everything will be fine!  
no-hoper Somebody who'll never do well  
nobbler Glass or drink of liquor  
noise off Speak loudly  
north island Mainland Australia, according to someone in Tasmania  
northern summer Summer in the Northern Hemisphere  
not the full quid Not bright intellectually  
nuddy, in the Naked  
nulla-nulla Wooden club used by Aborigines  
num-nums Tasty food  
ocker Uncultivated or boorish Australian  
off-sider Assistant or partner  
oil Information  
old man Large (animal) as in 'old man kangaroo … by tranference (and pidgin use?) = large Old Man Plain', in "Across the Western Plains", means 'the big, wide plain'.
oldies Parents - "I'll have to ask my oldies"  
on a good lurk To have a good job  
open slather Without restrictions  
OS Overseas  
outback The bush, or uncivilised uninhabited region  
overlander A drover, herding cattle or sheep hundreds of miles over land  
owyergoin How are you going? Often used with "g'day" and "Mate"  
oy! An ocker's call; hey!  
oyo On your own (flat or apartment)  
Oz Australia, as in Oz-tralia  
packed out Filled to capacity  
packet Large some of money, an envelope  
paddock Field or meadow In Australia, that COULD be 1000 square miles!
pademelon, paddymelon Small (potorid) wallaby … Aboriginal word (Dharuk - 'badimaliyan') Confused with inedible African cucurbit, growing feral in Australia - 'Paddymelon'
pally On friendly terms with  
paper yabber Letter  
parcel Package  
pash Passion, infatuation  
pastoralist Large-scale grazier  
patent pill machine Revolver Image goes back to loading a cap-and-ball revolver
pav Pavlova - a rich, creamy Australian dessert  
pavement pizza Vomit  
pavlova Traditional Australian meringue and cream dessert, named after Russian ballerina  
pearler Excellent (Purler?)
peel Shear (a sheep) "Peel the wooly overcoats of those monkeys!)
peeler policeman (Anglo-Irish, from Sir Rober Peel)
pen Shearing position or job (= 'stand')  
perve (noun & verb) Looking lustfully at the opposite sex  
pester Annoy or bother someone (Standard English?)
petrol Gasoline  
piccaninny Native child (International colonial) W. Indian creole from Spanish 'pequeno'
piece of piss Easy task  
piffle Nonsense  
pig's arse! I don't agree with you  
piker Someone who doesn't want to fit in with others socially, leaves parties early  
pinch To arrest  
pineapple, rough end of Stick, sharp end of; misfortune  
pink (verb) Shear closely (so close that the pink skin shows through the wool)  
pinkie Wine - local - young (bit short of the Beaujolais mystique) Term occurrs in song 'Ard tac', inter alia
pint pot Tin-plated cooking/storage/container - specially made, not improvised like a billy Sometimes fits snugly inside the quart pot - horsemen's model is oval to pack better in saddlebag
piss Alcohol, usually beer  
piss turn, piss up Boozy party  
piss weak No good, gutless  
pissed Drunk  
pissed off Annoyed  
pivot on Consider  
plant the foot (to the floorboards) Drive fast  
plonk Cheap wine (contemptuous contraction of "vin blanc")  
plurry (alledged) pidgin for "bloody" The Oxford blames this one on the New Zealanders and Maoris?
poddy dodger Cattle rustler Strictly, someone pinching unbranded calves from careless neighbours
poker machine, pokies Slot machine or fruit machine but with playing card pips  
polly Politician  
pom, pommy English person Imperfect rhyming slang = pomegranate - 'immy-granate'
pommy bastard An Englishman  
poofter Homosexual  
port Suitcase (portmanteau) Not a Sydney term - common everywhere else
possie Position  
postie Postman, mailman  
pot 285 ml glass of beer (Victoria and Queensland) And the Sydney Journalist's Club
pozzy Position - get a good pozzy at the football stadium  
prad A horse (From Dutch 'paard')
prang Accident or crash  
prezzy Present, gift  
prog Food Old Englis, ex Norse
pub Any hotel  
puddle Wash soil in tubs or troughs for gold ('often preparatory to cradling')  
push Group or gang of people, such as shearers  
putt-putt Any small vehicle  
QANTAS Acronym for Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service  
quack Doctor, especially if not very good  
quart pot Tin-plated cooking/storage/container - specially made, not improvised like a billy  
quick smart In a hurry  
quid, make a Earn a living - "are you making a quid?"  
quid, not the full Of low IQ  
quids A lot of money  
rabbiter Person trapping, poisoning or shooting rabbits for pay, bounty or skins  
rage Party  
rainbow sneeze Vomit  
rapt Delighted, enraptured  
ratbag Someone who does not behave properly  
raw prawn, to come the To bullshit, to be generally disagreeable  
razoo Fictitious coin, as "I haven't a brass razoo"  
reckon! You bet! Absolutely!  
red poppy The one at the top whom Aussies like to give a hard time Tall poppy (syndrome)?
rego Registration, as in car rego  
rellie Family relative  
remittance man (Generally) Englishman whose family are prepared to pay him to not to come home  
rhino Money (real money, not the cockies' 'shinplasters'!)  
ridgy-didge Original, genuine  
right Okay ("she'll be right, mate")  
ring-in Impostor, unauthorised  
ringer Fastest sheep shearer  
ringer (Queensland) Stockman, cattle drover (required to "ring, mill & circle cattle")  
ripper Great, fantastic  
road train Big truck with many trailers  
roly-poly Australian tumbleweed (roley-poley, rolly-polly)
roo Kangaroo  
roo bar Metal frame on front of vehicles to protect against kangaroo strikes  
root Have sexual intercourse  
rooted Tired  
ropable Very ill-tempered or angry  
rotten Drunk ("I went out last night and got rotten")  
rouseabout, rousie General stationhand / non-shearing shed-hand  
RS Lousy (rat shit)  
rubbish To criticize or tease  
rug up Dress for warmth  
rum cull Rich fool, an easy mark 17/18th c. London street slang
run A station - a large country agricultural property  
ryebuck Genuine, fair dinkum  
sack To dismiss from a job  
sack Bed: "Hit the sack" = go to bed Also (usually a sleeping bag) "fart sack"
safe Storage box/cupboard for food See also Coolgardie safe
salute, aussie Brushing flies away  
salvo Member of the Salvation Army  
sandgroper Resident of Western Australia; sand-burrowing desert insect  
sanger A sandwich  
Sawbees Brand of hand-shears used for shearing sheep Spelling?
scallops Fried potato cakes (Queensland and New South Wales), shellfish (elsewhere) The shellfish often distinguished as "Tasmanian" scallops" … except in Tasmania or Victoria
scheme System or method (no negative connotation) Or project … I worked on the Snowy Mts Scheme in the '60s
school Group of drinkers, each of whom buys a round  
schooner Large beer glass (New South Wales, South Australia)  
scratchy Instant lottery ticket  
screamer Party lover; "two pot screamer" - somebody who gets drunk on very little alcohol  
scrub Can be the same as the bush or it can mean areas in the country without many tall trees  
sea wasp Deadly box jellyfish  
sealed road Surfaced road  
see you in the soup See you around  
selector Farmer who was able to freely choose a small parcel of Government land  
semitrailer Articulated truck  
septic Disparaging term for an American ("septic tank" rhymes with "Yank")  
servo Petrol station  
session Lengthy period of heavy drinking  
SFA Sweet Fuck All, precious little Actually started as Sweet Fanny Adams: Frances Adams, murdered and chopped up, c. 1870 (RN term for canned meat!)
shark biscuit Somebody new to surfing  
she'll be right! Everything will be fine!  
she-oak Tree (wood of which) vaguely resembling a European oak, the 'she' meaning inferi Dead right - but don't try to explain that to a feminist ...
shed Shearing shed - major structure on large wool property Rung the shed', means shearing top tally for that property, that season
sheila Female or woman  
shellacking Complete defeat  
shinplasters Cheque for wages (surreptiously baked to make paper brittle) . Workers often wrapped them around their ankles, under their socks, to keep them moist and intact
shirty To get upset or angry  
shivoo Rowdy party (archaic)  
shonky Unreliable  
shoot through To leave or disappear in a hurry  
shout Turn to buy - a round of drinks usually ("it's your shout")  
shove off! Go away!  
sickie Day off work ill, or malingering  
silk shirt on a pig Something wasted  
silvertail Well off, usually English, settler (European silvertail pigeon, contrasted with  
sink the boot Go in hard  
skint Broke  
skite Boast, brag  
sky pilot Minister, bush missionary (early 20th c.)  
slab 24 cans (tinnies) of beer, shrink-wrapped as a unit  
sleepout House verandah converted to a bedroom  
slog Hard work  
smoko Smoke or tea break  
snag Sausage  
snagger Inexpert, slow or worn out shearer  
sook Person or animal who is soft, tame, inoffensive  
spag bol Spaghetti bolognese  
sparrow-fart Dawn, first light  
spider (19th c.) Brandy mixed with lemonade  
spider (20th c.) Aerated soft drink plus ice cream (~ US 'soda'?) NOT Sydney - lime soft drink + ice cream = 'Ice cream, lime & soda', no other spiders served
spieler Carnival spruiker - con artist - swindler (Originally a US term)
spit the dummy Get very upset at something  
sport More general way to refer to someone rather than a mate  
sprung Caught doing something wrong  
spunk A good looking person (of either sex)  
square Honest, respectable  
square face Gin (comes in square bottles)  
square off Apologise and make reparations  
square up Prepare to fight (as in boxing)  
squatter Large landowner who originally occupied land as a tenant of the government  
squattocracy Australian "old money" folk, who made their fortunes by being first on the scene  
stand Shearing position, shearing job  
station A big farm/grazing property  
sticky beak Nosy person  
stinger Deadly box jellyfish  
stockman Station hand (rural worker) herding cattle  
stockwhip Plaited leather lash on a (usually) cane handle used by stockmen and drovers Plaiting and whipcraft are important Australian bush skills
stood Shouted, paid for as a gift  
strewth! It's the truth! An exclamation, often of surprise  
strides Daks, trousers  
strike a light! An exclamation, of surprise or as an intensifive  
strine Australian slang and pronunciation (Or-strine = Australian … badly nasalised!)
stringybark Shaggy-barked eucalypt, its timber (proverbially tough) or its bark used as roof  
stubby 375 ml bottle of beer  
stubby holder Polystyrene insulated holder for a stubby  
stuff Money, the payment for a job (Capt. Of the Push / Cockies of Bungaree)
stuffed, I feel I'm tired  
stuffed, I'll be Expression of surprise  
sunbake Sunbathe  
sunnies Sunglasses  
surfies People who go surfing - usually more often than they go to work!  
surfy Surfing fanatic  
swag Canvas-covered bedroll used in the outback or for camping (modern usage) Traditionally, a swagman's belongings wrapped in a blanket and carried over or around the shoulders
swaggie Swagman Confuses non-Australians, since swag means 'loot from a crime' … so, it was a convict colony … ? (It also means something rolled up.)
swagman Vagabond, rural tramp  
swimmers Swimming costume (Queensland, Victoria)  
t'other side The northern island (mainland Australia) to a Tasmanian Of course, they're 'down under down under …"
tack (hard) Work (hard) Trans. From sailor's 'hard tack' - tough, hard biscuit?
take away food Take-out food  
tall poppies Achievers, often a disparaging term Tall poppy (syndrome)?
tally The number of shorn sheep attributed to individual shearers in a day Transf. - a good result
tank Dam or reservoir, as well as constructed water storage container  
tar Stockholm tar, applied as first aid to sheep cut during shearing  
tar boy Shearing shed hand patching up cut sheep  
tariff Rate  
tart Once a contraction of 'sweetheart', now more derogatory  
Taswegian A person from Tasmania  
tea Evening meal  
technicolour yawn Vomit  
tee up Organise or arrange  
telly The television  
thingo Thing, whatchamacallit, whomajigger, hooza meebob, doo velacki, thingamajig, wha  
this arvo This afternoon  
thongs Rubber sandals, flip-flops  
ticker Watch  
tickets, to have on oneself To have a high opinion of oneself  
tiger cat Carnivorous marsupial, about domestic cat size Related to extinct Tasmamian Tiger
tinny Can of beer, small aluminium boat  
toad-skin £1 banknote, from its green colour Australian banknotes are each of different colours (and sizes)
togs Swimming costume (Queensland, Victoria)  
tongs (Old-fashioned) Hand shears Suggested by spring hinge (B-bow)?
too right! Absolutely!  
top end Far north of Australia  
top ender Resident of the Northern Territory  
trap Policeman, (later) mounted trooper  
triangle Flogging frame In convict settlements, 1788 - (~) 1860
trooper Policeman (usually) on horseback  
trots Runny stools, the shits  
truckie Truck driver  
true blue Dinkum, patriotic  
tucker Food  
tucker-bag Food bag  
turps Turpentine or alcoholic drink So-called 'Methylated Spirits' no longer is denatured with methyl alcohol, which is merely poisonous ... now uses turpentine, which is sickening
turps, hit the Go on a drinking binge  
twit Fool or idiot  
two-pot screamer Someone who can't hold his liquor  
two-up Traditional Australian heads/tails gambling game, played with 2 coins  
tyre Australian and British spelling of "tire"  
underdaks Underwear  
uni University  
unit Flat, apartment  
up a gumtree In a quandary  
up north New South Wales and Queensland, according to someone in Victoria  
up oneself Have a high opinion of oneself - "he's really up himself"  
up the duff Pregnant  
ute Utility truck or vehicle Australian 'invention' - Ford Australia (1928?)
vedgies Vegetables  
vee dub Volkswagen  
veg out Relax in front of the TV (like a vegetable)  
Vegemite Popular vegetable extract used as sandwich spread Yeast extract - made from the 'lees' of beer-making!
vejjo Vegetarian  
velvet Highly profitable or advantageous  
waddy Wooden club (waddi, waddie, wody, woodah &c) Aboriginal word (Dharuk): wadi = tree, stick of wood
waffle Nonsense  
wag To skip school or work  
waggin' school Playing truant  
waler Bloke from New South Wales (also NSW breed of tough bush horse) Not 'whaler'
walkabout Lengthy walk away from it all  
walkabout, it's gone It's lost, can't be found  
wallaby track, on the To wander from place to place in search of work (archaic)  
walloper Copper, policeman  
waltz matilda To carry a swag Auf den walz (mit Mathilde) Mathilde is blanket roll or tool roll in German
wattle Acacia, common Australian species of (typically) shrub The original wattle - so named because it was used to build wattle & daub dwellings in Sydney's first settlement, was not acacia, but callicoma serratifolia, which had yellow globular flowers and serrated leaves. Early settlers were no botanists and they thought similar acacias were same genus …
weatherboard Wooden house Strictly: a specific pattern of lapped horizontal wooden cladding
West Island Australia, to a New Zealander  
Wet, the Rainy season in northern Australia  
wether Castrated male sheep  
whack Fair share, agreed deal Turns up in a few songs - old English word
wharfie Dockworker (Stevedore)
whinge Complain and carry on unnecessarily  
whips (of) Lots (of)  
white ant (noun) Termite  
white ant (verb) Undermine or sabotage  
white pointers Topless (female) sunbathers or type of large shark  
whomajigger Term for person or thing whose actual name one can't remember  
willy-nilly Small dust twister or erratic More commonly "willy willy" - a couple of citiatons of williy nilly in Aus. Nat'l Dict. Aboriginal words (Yinji-Barndi) - 'wili wili'
Wimmera West Victorian region (characterised by wimmera rye grass)  
wobbly Disturbing, unpredictable behaviour, as in "throw a wobbly"  
wog Flu or trivial illness  
wog Mediterranean or Middle European migrant - derogatory  
Wolseleys Machine shears (inventor, Fred Wolseley, went on to make cars … in England) (Assisted by his shears mechanic … Herbert Austin … who then made his own cars!)
wombat Somebody who eats, roots and leaves (see also root)  
woomera Stick used by Aborigines to throw spears  
woop woop Invented name for any small unimportant town - "he lives in Woop Woop"  
wowser Straight-laced person, prude, puritan, spoilsport  
XXXX Pronounced Four X, brand of beer made in Queensland And there's no truth to the story that Queenslanders just can't spell BEER
yabber Talk (a lot) Probably Aboriginal … and/or pidgin from jabber
yabby Small freshwater crayfish  
yahoo Noisy and unruly person  
yahooing Boisterous behaviour  
yakka, yakker Hard work, an Aboriginal term (Yagari language -'yaga')
yank American regardless of location  
yank tank An American car  
yankee shout A round of drinks in which everyone pays his own  
yeo Ewe, female sheep Scots dialect … also ewie or yowie (not the aboriginal forest monster!)
yewy U-turn in traffic ("chuck a yewy at the next traffic lights") I've always spelled it: U-ey … but I'm a bit of a pedant!
yobbo Uncouth, aggressive person Old Cockney 'backspell' slang: yob = boy
yonks Ages, a long time  
youse Plural of you (by the grammatically challenged)  
zarucker Police trooper (Appears in Manifold's "The Death of Ned Kelly"_
zebra crossing Broad-striped pedestrian roadway crossing  
zed Australian and British pronunciation of "Z"  
zeds Pertaining to sleep (zzz)  
zonked Exhausted, rooted  


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