Australian Slang S to Z

Australian Slang S to Z
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 S-Z

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


Shag on a rock - being exposed or being alone. "Left like a shag on a rock."

Schooner - large glass of beer (15 oz.) "I've love a few schooners of amber fluid."

shandy - a drink composed mostly of beer and a dash of lemonade. Once regarded as a "refined" drink for ladies but now popular primarily with older women.

sheila - a young girl or woman. "She's a pretty grouse sheila." Less popular today in light of feminism.

shoot through - to leave or escape quickly, as in "to shoot through like a Bondi tram."

shout - to pay for a round of drinks, also used when buying anything for another person. In an Aussie pub, you'll often hear, "It's your shout, mate.""

sickie - to "take a sickie" is to take a day off work when you are not really ill.

silvertail - someone with social aspirations; can also refer to a wealthy person

singlet - mostly worm by men under their shirts like a t-shirt but sleeveless. Sometimes worn alone with shorts. See ocker.

six-pack - package of six cans or bottles of beer

skerrick - a very small amount

skite - to boast or to brag

slacker - someone who avoids hard work

sling-off, to - to ridicule or mock

snag - a light meal, but most commonly a sausage. See barbie.

snaky - angry. "Listen you drongo. Don't get snaky with me." Can also mean sneaky.

soft drink - soda or pop

sook - a coward or sissy

sparrow fart - very early in th emorning. "The kookaburras woke me up at sparrow fart."

spine-bash, to - to loaf or lie around.

spinner - used in the gambling game, Two-up. The spinner is the player who tosses the coins. "Come in Spinner" is said to call up one's luck as the coins are tossed.

sport - a friendly greeting. "G'day sport."

squatocracy - Modern day descendents of the original squatters who leased Crown land for grazing and farming. Now referred to as a socio-economic group - a rural aristrocracy.

station - a ranch where cattle or sheep are the major industry. Usually a large holding or station of many thousands of acres.

sticky beak - a nosy, prying person

stir, to - to provoke someone. A stirrer is a troublemaker.

strides - men's trousers, sometimes referred to as "dacks"

strike, to - a mild oath. "Strike me blue." "Strike me lucky." "Strike a light."

struth, another mild oath. God Struth Bluey, tell me ya didn't!

stubby - a short, squat bottle of bear. Look out for stubby coolers; small sturofoam holders shaped to fit a cold stubby or tinnie.

Stubbies - short shorts worn by farm workers - a brand name that has stuck.

sunbake - sunbathe. "It's a scorcher. A great day for a sunbake."

sundowner - itinerant worker. Originally a tramp who wandered station to station looking for work, making sure he arrived at sundown in time for dinner.

swagman - a tramp; an itinerarnt worker. Also known as a swaggie.


ta - thank you. "Ta ta" means goodbye, and to go "ta tas" means to go on an outing or to go to sleep."

Tassie - Tasmania

Taswegian - Tasmanian

tea tree - An aromatic tree whose oil has healing qualities. Also, ti tree.

tin lid - rhyming slang for kid - wife and kids often referred to as Strife and Tin Lids.

tinnie - a can of beer; also a small aluminium boat used in estuaries for fishing

togs - a bathing costume

tomato sauce - ketchup

too right - Certainly!

toot - toilet

Top End - The northern part of the Northern Territory. A Top-Ender is a resident of this area.

troppo - to "go troppo" is to be mentally disturbed. The original usage probably came from illness caused by too much time spent under the tropical sun of northern Australia and Papa New Guinea.

truckie - a long distance lorry or truck driver, sometimes pulling three large vans.

true blue - to be true blue means to be genuine. "A true blue Aussie."

tube - can of beer

tucker - to eat food. Can also mean to be tired out. "All this yarning has tuckered me out."

turps - Alcoholic liquor. "Let's have a night on the turps."

two-bob - Cheap; of little value. Also, "as mad as a two-bob watch", means silly or mad.

two-pot screamer - someone who is very suspectible to alcohol

two-up - a gambling game in which two coins are tossed and bets are made on how they will fall


Uey - also, uy and youee. To "chuck a Uey" is to make a U-turn while driving

uni - University

up a gum tree - confused, not sure what to do

ute - utility truck or pick-up truck


Vegemite - sometimes referred to as Australia's national food. Loved by all true blue Aussies, Vegemite is a brown yeast extract spread on toast and sandwiches. Now a foreign owned company!


waddy waddy - dried beef similar to, but much harder than, beef jerky

Waltzing Matilda - Australia's unofficial national anthem. Also means to wander around the country with a swag. See matilda.

walkabout - to wander the countryside. When Aborigines "go walkabout," it means to live in the traditional manner of their ancestors.

Westie - a resident of Sydney's western suburbs

Westralian - someone from Western Australia

whacker - a fool. A general term of abuse.

whacko - a positive exclamation such as "whacko the diddle O" or "whacko the chook". Can also be used to describe someone that is a little crazy. "He's whacko".

whinge, to - To complain a lot. A Whinger is a person who whinges.

white ant, to - to undermine someone's reputation

witchetty - in the language of the Aborigines of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, a witchetty is a hooked stick to remove grubs from treet roots. Also, a witchetty grub is a large white grub that lves in the roots of certain types of gum trees. Aborigines value them as good tucker.

wobbegong - a New South Wales Aboriginal word for several species of se-bed dwelling sharks. Also known as carpet sharks, as they are harmless to humans.

Woomera - an Aboriginal implement used to propel a spear. Also the geographical township that was blasted to billy-o, by the British when testing nuclear bombs.

Woop Woop - a fictional remote rural backwater. "That raving ratbag comes from somewhere out near Woop Woop." See back of beyond and black stump.

worries, no - Not a problem!

wowser - someone whose behavior is puritancal or prudish


yabby - freshwater crayfish

yahoo - originally a new South Wales Aboriginal word meaning an evil spirit, now means a hooligan. See hoon.

Yakka - Hard work. "She's a demon for hard yakka."

yam - an edible tuberous root

yarn, to - to tell a bit of a tale. Also, to talk, to chat.

yobbo - a hoodlum

youse - Slang for plural you. "Why don't youse come over for a cuppa this arvo." "I love youse all".

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