Common Aussie slang for international students
Students in Australia don’t usually speak as formally as in learning English books and guides, so get to know some commonly used phrases and slang terms below.
In Australia, ‘mate’ is commonly used as a friendly, informal way of referring to others, whether male or female. Don’t be surprised if people say ‘G’day’ (short for ‘good day’) as a way of greeting or say ‘no worries’ as an expression of forgiveness or reassurance or ‘good onya’ to mean ‘well done’.
Australians also have a habit of shortening most words to make them more informal, and even adding an ‘o’ to the end of the word. Common examples include:
- Avo = Avocado
- Barbie/barby = Barbeque
- Bottle-o = Bottle shop or liquor store
- Breaky = Breakfast
- Doco = Documentary
- Footy = football (usually AFL or NRL)
- Macca’s = McDonald’s
- Postie = Postman
- Servo = Service or Petrol Station
- Snag = Sausage
- Spud = Potato
- Sunnies = Sunglasses
Often commonplace items are called after a common brand name, such as ‘Esky’ (portable icebox) and ‘Band-aid’ (plaster/plastic bandage). Australians also use ‘thongs’ to refer to open sandals (also called ‘flip-flops’) and often refer to dinner or the evening meal as ‘tea’.
Studying in Australia is a great way to improve your English skills, including some of the common slang above. Try to do some research into commonly used phrases and if you hear someone use a phrase that confuses you, don’t be afraid to ask!
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