Aussie Phrases I Love

cc license, Neubie

These are just a few phrases and words I’ve come to adore while living in Australia. Some I’ve adopted into my own vocabulary and others continue to grow on me.

How are you going? – When I studied abroad in Australia we went abseiling our first week here. The instructor said to me, how are you going? So I answered “right handed.” She thought that was pretty funny. Looking back I can laugh about it now too.

Heaps – You can be heaps hungover, heaps hungry, heaps happy. It’s like a giant pile of emotion.

Totes– This is just a cute way of saying totally. I mean, this is just a totes cute way of saying totally.

Cheers – I like to sign off my emails with “cheers.” I like when people say “cheers” after you pay them at the register, and we get to say “cheers” as a toast at the pub.

What are you after? – This phrase might not be exclusively Aussie, but they sure do love it here. I notice it especially when you’re trying to pick something off the café menu.

Keen – I want get tickets to that concert, who’s keen?  I’m keen to get started on this work.

Average – an adjective to describe when you’re not feeling so great, or just so-so. “I can’t believe I had those tequila shots last night, I’m feeling pretty average today.”

Footy – I used to think Footy described AFL (Australian Football League) but apparently footy can also mean Rugby (NRL) or even soccer. I’m not really sure. I call everything with a ball (minus cricket) footy.

Ute – it’s a little baby truck. See photographic evidence below please.

Bogan – thank you Chris Lilly and Summer Heights High for teaching me what a skanky bogan was. Redneck, hill-jack, white trash… you get the idea.

Cheers big ears – I thought this was something silly my colleague Sam made up the first time I heard it. It makes me giggle every time.

Shout (a round) – Shouting rounds is fun. While buying rounds wasn’t a new concept to me, there is something unique about the Australia style shout.

Lemonade – it usually means sprite, but I’m pretty sure it can be any carbonated lemon or lime drink. The most important thing to know is that lemonade doesn’t equal a drink made of lemonades, sugar and water. Unless it’s “old fashioned lemonade” but you can only get that at the grocery store or markets.

What are your favourite Aussie words or slang? 


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