Here are some of the things that I’ve picked up on that are unique to Australian culture:


  • Mate/Sheila: Mate is commonly used with any guy. “whats up mate” “alright mate” it’s very casual and not offensive. I haven’t heard much sheila though
  • Splash and dash – quick bathroom rest stop
  • Togs/swimmers: bathing suite
  • Yeah: Another very casual term that I’ve heard a lot of. I’m thinking it’s instead of saying um or like. It’s often used at the end of a sentence or thought, yeah.
  • Inverted commas: “quotation marks”
  • You’re alright/She’ll be right- When you get in someone’s way and say sorry this is the common response



  • Buz: it’s written on the front of the buses. Itll say ‘city to the gap buz’
  • Reading period: before an exam, students are given 10 minutes to read through without marking the testPokies:
  • A bar will often advertise Pokies. It means that there is gambling there, like poker.
  • Jay walking: it’s really not done much. I’ve heard that there is a $40 fine for doing it. It seems really inconvenient when the crosswalk isn’t where you want, but better than seeming like an outcast.
  • Tipping: You don’t have to tip.  Nowhere on the bill does it say 15% and it’s not rude not to.
  • Club music: The first night out we liked hearing all of the throwbacks from our middle and high school dance parties. Songs like “get low” and “tipsy” were fun to hear after years of not being popular. However, all of the clubs seem to play them every night! They’ll throw in an electronic or dubstep song here or there but it always seems to get thrown back. Here’s my collection.
  • Junk mail:  Lots of mailbox have little plaques on it that say “no junk mail”.  I’m not sure if this really stops those letters from coming but they seem to belevie so.
  • TAB: A betting organization
  • Smoke-o: smoke break
  • Uniforms: The school kids are required to wear a uniform.  The different schools vary.  Our home brother and sister have to wear a maroon colored polo with a long skirt or long shorts.  I think it’s funny when the schools get out at the end of the day and mix on the bus because there has to be some hidden uniform rivalry
  • Sunscreen: You have to wear it here. The ozone layer is thinner here and people are very conscious of sun protection with hats and sunglasses. There are skin testing clinics around to check you out.
  • smoking: it’s heavily taxed. A pack costs $20. In the stores, tobacco is behind the counter in a covered box. Seems to deter the consumer away if they don’t see it. The boxes also have terrible images of cancer. I’ve seen people rolling their own cigarettes which is probably cheaper. You’re not allowed to smoke inside any building but some places have designated smoking areas.
  • Crossing Signals: because people never jaywalk, they always wait for the crossing signal.  along with the light changing color, a ping sound also plays that sounds almost like a whip-bird

Food and Drink:

  • Barbie: Meaning barbecue. This seems to be a popular way of cooking everything. Our home stay has a traditional Sunday brekky where they cook eggs, bacon, hash browns, tomatoes, and mushrooms on the Barbie. “fire up the barbie” “throw some prawns on the barbie”

A jar in our homestay

  • Veggiemite: A spread used on toasts that has a salty tase.  It isn’t as popular as I thought it would be. It is pretty much everywhere, like ketchup. However, not everyone likes it – I think it tastes discussing.
  • Tomato sauce: ketchup (rarely Heinz, sorry Molly)
  • Lollies: Candy. They conveniently have a lolly shop on the UQ campus.
  • Milo: A chocolate powder drink
  • Mueseli – Oat cereal with mixed dry fruits and nuts
  • Clear Skin Wine: popular with our host family, this type of wine is really cheap because it comes from an undisclosed vineyard. The vineyard may be of high quality but produces extra wine that they bottle and sell with a clear skin label.

Have you ever seen such a great deal!?

  • Goon: Boxed wine. It’s cheap and theres about 5 bottles in a bag!  It’s cheap, like $15 for a box and terrible quality.  But when you call it “vino” it’s classy.  Slap the bag
  • poppers: juice boxes
  • Prawns: Shrimp
  • Bottle Shop: Means the liquor store, also called bottle-, i’ve seen drive through ones!
  • Brekky: breakfast. Alot of Australian slang is just the word cut short and a y added.
  • Long Black: One shot of expresso filled with hot water.
  • Tea: This is a snack time – either morning tea or afternoon tea. Tea and coffee is served with biscuits, cookies, or fruit.
  • Beets: Red beets are a popular sandwich condiment
  • Maccas: McDonalds, they don’t have a dollar menu but they do have 30 cent ice cream cones!
  • Hungry Jacks: Burger King
  • Stubby holder: beer can holder, a coozie
  • Anzac buscuits

One thought on “Aussie-isms

  1. Pingback: Dedicated to Brisbane « Down Under

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