Did you know that, according to a survey taken in December 2018, the total number of higher education enrolments of overseas students was 398,563? The diverse mix of students come from China, India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore, among others. Australia's education sector contributes to its GDP with a whopping 33 billion dollars. People pursue a lot of different courses, including natural sciences, information technology, engineering, architecture, creative arts, and management. And Australia proudly presents the highest number of students completing their courses.

If you are a student who got admissions in any Australian university, then congratulations. The country is very diverse, rich in natural resources, welcomes all races, and has a high-class education system with the latest equipment and facilities. The admission, accommodation, and orientation process are fairly straight-forward. While you are figuring out these things, you might be missing out on an important aspect – language. Yes, English is their primary language, but the way they speak highly differs from other continents.

What’s So Different About Australian spoken English?

Slang! Slang is a set of informal phrases and words, which are used by people to communicate verbally. It is usually not followed while writing, except of course, when you are sending an informal e-mail or texting.

Australian Language Blog

Learning Local Language Slang is Imperative

Effective Communication: When you are a new student trying to fit into the college and want to communicate with professors and classmates, learning their slang can make it easy. You might be able to tell/ask your queries or anything else easily, without explaining too much.

Sense of Belonging: Like mentioned before, when you are new and want yourself to be a part of the local group, the slang will help you achieve that goal easily. It also helps you bond with people however small or big. It will also make your conversations lively.

Avoid Clashes: Sometimes, what is a common phrase in your country can be offensive here, or vice versa. To avoid clashes due to misinterpretations or misunderstandings, learning local slangs can be useful.

Enjoy the Culture: If you want to enjoy and study the local theatre, advertising, literature, movies, and music, learning the local slang can help you. This, in turn, will help you gel with people by discussing common interests.

What are some Aussie slang words?

  1. Want to know how do Aussies greet each other? G'day mate.
  2. Want to say no problem? Then, try no worries, mate.
  3. McDonald's is referred to as Maccas while hard work is “Hard yakka”
  4. Arvo translates to the afternoon. If you have a class in the afternoon, you can hear them say, mate! see you in Arvo.
  5. If you hear your professors say Bonza which means, excellent. Or if they say Fair Dinkum, it means honest or genuine.

Delve Deeper with Slang

What does it mean to be Aussie? The lifestyle in Australia is pretty relaxed and is often reflected in their speech. And, they love abbreviations and adding 'o' to their words in the end.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the term ‘selfie’ was first used by an Australian university student?

Slang to Refer Places:

  • 'Straya is for Australia
  • Uni is for University and Unit is for apartment
  • Woolies is referred to Woolworths, which is a popular and chain supermarket
  • And Gas/Petrol Stations are referred to as Servo

Slang to Refer Time Zones:

  • Brekky is for breakfast.
  • Afternoon time is Arvo.If your professor schedules you for an arvo class, which means your classes will be conducted in the noon.
  • Hols stands for holidays and Chrissie for Christmas.
  • Want to take a smoking break? It is called as Smoko.

How do Aussies Refer to Common Items/ Things?

  • Barbeque is commonly said as Barbie
  • Swimwear is called as boardies or bathers
  • An umbrella is a brolly
  • The Australian currency notes are Pineapple (yellow, $50), Lobster (red, $20), and Gray Nurse (Grey, $100)
  • Thongs are not underwear but flip-flops
  • If you got the best seat in the house, they are box seats
  • Cigarettes are either known as ciggie or durry
  • The toilet is called as Bog and toilet paper is called as Bog roll

Slang to Refer People:

  • Friends are mates
  • Male people are Blokes
  • Vegetarians are vegos
  • Police people are copper
  • Relatives are relo
  • Environmentalist or people with eco-conscious are greenie
  • Musicians are muso

Slangs Useful in Universities:

  • Pens are Biro which is a popular brand name
  • Tutes are referred to tutorials which are for less formal lessons
  • Documentary program is doco

Common Foods Slang:

  • Chewing gum is called chewie. For example, your classmate might say can you pass me a chewie?
  • Chicken is Chook
  • Cuppa is a cup of tea. Go to any restaurants or a café and ask for a cuppa and you will be served a hot cup of tea.
  • Flat White is coffee with milk
  • Jaffle is a toasted sandwich
  • Avocado is avo
  • Bubbles is a sparkling wine
  • Sausage is snag
  • Roadie is picking up a drink on the way
  • 25 cans of beer are slab. This means only thing, PARTY!
  • Wine is Vino
  • Tucker is food
  • Sweets are lollies
  • Choccy biccy is a chocolate biscuit
  • Vegemite a salty and dark yeast spread which needs an acquired taste. But they are popular like Nutella and Skippy.

What are the common Australian phrases?


If you want to look cool in your university, here are some phrases which will help you.

  • If your classmates encourage you by saying ‘have a crack – it means to try something new.’
  • Good on ya - well-done job.
  • Iffy - a bit risky.
  • Not Fussed - not caring enough.
  • What's the john dory - what's the story?
  • If you want to appreciate someone for being great, you can refer them as rippers.
  • If something is broken, the Aussies will tell them as cactus.
  • If you want to show support or cheer them, then barrack is the right time. Especially the football fans will identify them quickly.
  • If someone is faking a sick day, they will use 'chuck a sickie.'
  • Cut snake is a very Australian way to tell that someone is really angry.
  • If you want to call out someone's mess, then it is called a dog's breakfast.
  • Laughing gear is a uniquely Australian term for laughing continuously.
  • Mozzie – mosquitoes.
  • No problem or no worries is generally referred to as no drama. If you have to take a rain check, not able to help, or generally held up, you can simply say ‘no drama mate.’
  • Complaining is whinge.
  • Woop Woop means you are in the middle of nowhere.
  • Yewy is or U-turn.
  • How do Australians say goodbye – with a simple ‘catch you later?’

The only thing one must be careful about using slang is while attending any formal events and working on formal write-up at university, as it will reflect poorly! Keeping this mind, you must be proud to study in Australia, as they equip you with not just knowledge but also practical skills. Their international standards, premium training, and world-class facilities in terms of student support will help your transition as a student. The standard of living is above any international standards average concerning healthcare, transport, and infrastructure. And, employee opportunities not just in Australia but across the globe will be easier.

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About the Author



Hello, everyone! I’m Celina, an educationist and academic consultant. I enjoy reading, learning, and implementing the same in the assignments. I also take a lot of pride in guiding students with their assignments. I have 6 years of experience in writing assignments for students and when not doing that I follow my passion for blogging. I spent my spare time often researching new trends of writing.


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