Aussie English

Level 2

In conversation, Aussies use a lot of slang and idioms. These words are not in your English dictionary (unless you buy The Penguin Book of Australian Slang - A Dinkum Guide to OZ English) and they are not taught in English language classes. When Aussies talk about getting a stubby from the Esky and watching the footy on the telly, migrants and international visitors are confused. Even people who are fluent in English find this informal language a mystery.

Students of English need to understand Aussie slang so that they can follow and take part in casual conversations. Students should learn about snags, sheilas, blokes, sunnies and mozzies. They should also sample traditional Aussie food such as Vegemite, Tim Tams and Four and Twenty meat pies. They should even have the chance to learn to kick a footy. This should be part of their language learning in Australia.

Some more examples of Aussie slang:
barbie
cuppa
mate
bickie
full-on
oldies
brekkie
hottie
pickie
cabbie
lippie
sickie
chooks
lolly
Righto!
How are you going?
You little beaut!
Fair dinkum
Too right!
She'll be right


(adapted by Maureen Berry from Herald Sun 7 September, 2003)

Click on the link below to see more examples of Aussie English

  Aussie Slang


Answer ALL questions, then check your answers.

1. What does barbie mean? breakfast
bread roll
banana
barbecue

2. What does cabbie mean? taxi-driver
bus-driver
tram-conductor
train driver

3. What does Esky mean? Eskimo
portable ice-container for drinks
fridge
water bottle

4. What does mate mean? classmate
roommate
friend
flatmate

5. What does fair dinkum mean? light in colour
blond
just
true, authentic

6. What does She'll be right mean? All's well
She'll get well soon
She'll know the answer
She'll be safe

7. What are sunnies? sunny days
sunglasses
summer days
sunrays

8. What are snags? snails
salads
sausages
snacks

9. What are chooks? lamb chops
chickens
chopsticks
chocolates

10. What does sickie mean? sick person
illness
medical certificate
sick leave (when you are not really sick)


Created by Sophie Cholewka on 20 Oct 2005

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