Australian Slang N to R

Australian Slang N to R
Though the official language of Australia is English, Australian are equally notorious for their use of slang. While some, like "gidday" and "fair dinkum," are fairly well-known outside of Australia, many tourists struggle to understand what is being said. And it's especially important to understand what is being asked of you when your newfound friend at the local pub tells you it's your turn to "shout."

Australian slang, like all slang, is constantly evolving and changing. While the list below includes a lot of common slang, it is by no means complete.

Continued from last week's article: here is N-R

[See A-C D-I J-M N-R S-Z]


nana - (short for banana) to be mentally deranged or to lose your temper. "He was off his nana."

Never Never, The - the remotest part of inland Australia

nipper - a small child

Noah's Ark - rhyming slang for a shark

no-hoper - A fool, or lazy, hapless person.

no worries - Don't worry, everything is okay. See apples.

nong - a fool or silly person

nuggety - a short, thickset person

nulla-nulla - an aboriginal war club


ocker - an uncultivated Australian. Easily identified by their navy cotten singlet or tee-shirt, stubbies or rugby shorts and thongs. Used in the same way red neck in the used.

off - Many meansing such as tainted food is "off"; bad tase is also "off"; to leave in a hurry is to be "off"; and if someone is ill they are "feeling off."

"Off like a bucket of prawns", means something had a very bad smell. Someone who is in a hurry can be said to be 'off like a bride's nightie."

old man - a fully grown male kangaroo

Orstralia - Australia in broad Aussie dialect

Outback - Inland Australia

Oz - Australia


paralytic - Dead drunk

Pat Malone - Rhyning slang for "own". "I'm on me Pat Malone"

pavlova - A popular suburban dessert, named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. A "pav" consists of a large soft centered meringue filled with cream and fruit topped with passionfruit.

perks - little extras; the side benefits.

petril - Gasoline

pie floater - Meat pie floating in a bowl of pea soup. Some devotees believe a pie floater is the best hangover cure. See floater.

pokies - Poker or slot machines. Also, one-armed bandits.

pollie - Politican. Australian, like most people, don't hold "bloody pollies" in high regard.

pommy - Someone from the British Isles. There are a number of explanations but the most common are: Pomegrante for the ruddy cheeks of British immigrants; the acronym P.O.M.E. stamped on early convicts' clothing, which stood for Prisoner of Mother England. Also, a pommy bastard is someone from Pommyland or Pomgolia - Great Britain.

possie - a position or spot. "There's a good parking possie."

postie - Mail man or woman. Most posties in Australia ride motor cycles and have flags on the back so people can see them.

P-plate - newly licensed drivers in Australia have to display a (Provisional) P-plate for one year and are known as P-platers.

prang - a car crash or accident

prawn - What Americans call a shrimp. Also, a fool. "Don't come the raw prawn with me, mate", means don't try and pull a fast one.

property - a farm or ranch

pub - Public house, hotel or bar

pull your head in - mind your own business


Rafferty's rules - no rules at all

rager - someone who likes to party

ratbag - a bit of a rogue or troublemaker. Raybaggery is the act of being a ratbag.

ratty - mad or deranged

raw prawn - see prawn

razoo - An imaginary coin of no value. Also, to have no money at all. "She didn't have a brass razoo."

redback - a small black spider with a red spot on its back. Potentially lethal. They hang out in in outhouses (dunnies) or other dark places.

reggo - motor vehicle registration

ring-in - something replaced fraudulently. Also, someone who arrives at a party uninvited.

ringer - in sheep country, a ringer is the fastest shearer; in cattle country, he's the best stockman.

ripper - someone or something really good. "Bloody ripper, mate."

ropeable - angry or bad tempered. "Cripes, me old china plate was ropeable when I turned up legless this arvo."

rort - a fraudulent act. Aussies are always accusing the pollies of rorting the system.

rough - Originally the word referred to a bad shearing jobs, nowadays it means something unreasonable. "That's a bit rough, mate."

roughie - a cheat, someone who tries to "pull a swiftie." Also refers to someone who is uncouth.

round - Originally, to round up cattle, but nowadays refers to buying a "round" of drinks at the pub

rubbish, to - to put someone down, to denigrate.

rug-rat - a small child. see ankle-biter.

Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

Content copyright © 2023 by Judie Bellingham. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Judie Bellingham. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Judie Bellingham for details.