Aussie Lingo Lessons

right here at

I had a brilliant idea the other day at 4am as I was gently
rocking on The-Deep-Blue ... It all started when I had a
call from a Sharkite in The USA ... I was telling Him about
... Here's what I'd said:
"Yeah Ole Hook was on the red biddy and ned and started to reef out some rellies
that were resting on their oars around the place and had started a rhubarb
down the pier with some other Skippers but luckily I made that right as rain"...

At this point Me-Mate from the U.S.A. stopped me and said:
"WHOA SharkDoctor ! What-In-The-World Are You Talking About?"

It was then that I realized that He needed
a translation from Aussie to English!
So for the next few weeks, I'll be giving
Aussie Lingo Lessons

right here at

cactus - 1. dead. 2. not functioning. e.g., You'll be
cactus when Dave learns that you lost his money at the T.A.B

cake-hole - the mouth.

came over on the boat with Noah - pertaining to a very old
person or thing.

camp it up - 1. to engage in cross-dressing; to dress in drag.
2. behave in a flamboyant or outrageous manner.

can't find the handle - (Australian Rules football) can't pick up
the ball.

candy car - Victorian police highway patrol car; from the yellow
and white stripes on the cars, which superficially resemble
a particular candy bar wrapper.

caning - 1. a beating; physical attack. 2. harsh rebuff or
verbal abuse. 3. rough treatment; abuse. 4. a sound defeat:
e.g., Our team copped a caning in the finals. (equivalent of
American 'took a hiding'.)

cappo - capitalist, as an accusation that someone has too much
money and too much interest in making it.

cardie - cardigan; a button-through sweater.

carpetbag steak - dish that was first popularised in Sydney. It
consists of a scotch fillet steak stuffed with Sydney rock
oysters, a small but exceptionally rich and creamy species. Most
steak and oyster lovers have one of two reactions to this dish,
either delight or disgust.

carry on like a pork chop - behave in a foolish or outlandish manner.

chalk and cheese - a comparison indicating a total dissimilarity
between two people, situations or things: e.g., Trisha and her
mother are like chalk and cheese.

cobber - a companion, a mate, a friend. The meaning is not the
least bit obscure; however, the origin is. Possibly, cobber is one
of those English dialect words that survived here in Australia after
it had died out in England. And there is an old British dialect
word “cob”, meaning “to take a liking to”. All the citations in the
dictionaries for cobber are from Australia and New Zealand, and
the earliest is from Sydney in 1893. Cobber is now nearly defunct.

cock-eyed Bob - old-timers on the Australian west coast often
used the term to refer to severe tropical cyclones.

cockie - cockroach.

codswallop - nonsense; rubbish.

coldie - cold glass, can or bottle of beer.

colourful yawn - vomit; to vomit.

come good - to improve after a bad start: e.g., The business
got off to a shaky start but it'll come good.

come off the grass! - an expression of disbelief; a plea to stop
talking nonsense.

come-uppance - just reward for reprehensible behaviour;
punishment that is well deserved.

cooee - a sound used to attract attention, especially at
a distance.

cooking with gas - going or happening satisfactorily; doing well..

cork up! - shut up!

corked - drunk; intoxicated.

could eat a baby's bum through a cane chair -
an expression of one's extreme hunger

could eat an apple through a paling fence - said of
someone who has protruding buck teeth.

could kick a bullock up the arse and walk away with the hide -
said of someone with exceptionally large feet.

could open a can of peaches with that nose -
said of someone who has a large or hooked nose.

couldn't catch a cold - incompetent.

come off the grass! - an expression of disbelief; a plea to stop
talking nonsense.

couldn't give a stuff - expression of total lack of
concern or worry: e.g., I couldn't give a stuff whether
he comes back or not..

crash-hot - excellent; first-rate; wonderful: e.g.,
I'm going to take asickie 'cause I don't feel so
crash-hot today.

crikey! - euphemistic expression of surprise or concern.

curl up (one's) toes - 1. to give up. 2. to die.

curly - difficult to deal with, handle or solve: e.g.,
Except for a few curly problems at the start, the business has
been crash-hot.


daggy - 1. a person with slovenly habits or dreadful
sense of style in clothing. 2. an odd or unconventionally
amusing person.

daks - trousers (from a brand name).

darkie - fit of bad temper, anger: e.g., He really
chucked a darkie when he found out

dazzler - anything excellent, exceptionally good, brilliant.

dead hand at - expert; skilled at.

dear - 1.expensive 2. that which is close to one's

dero/derro - a derelict; a socially forsaken person; a
homeless vagrant, characterised by slovenly, unkempt
appearance and, in many case, alcoholism.

dice with death - to act dangerously.

dicky - unsound; dicey; shaky; risky; difficult:
e.g., He's in a dicky situation.

diddle - 1. cheat; swindle. 2. tinker with: e.g.,
Don't diddle with it!

didn't touch the sides - (of a drink such as beer, tea)
wasn't sufficient to quench the thirst, desire

died in the arse - (something) was not a success: e.g.,
Wally came out with what he thought was a better
mousetrap, but it died in the arse.

digs - one's place of abode; residence; home.

dill - a silly person; often used affectionately.

ding - 1. minor accident between two vehicles;
2. a dent in a car or vehicle. 3. an argument.
4. a fool. 5. a successful and noisy party, happening
or event. 6. backside or bum. 7. to smash,
break or damage.

dingo's breakfast - nothing at all.

dinkum - 1. genuine; authentic. 2. truth or truthful:
e.g., Are you dinkum? 3. excellent or admirable:
e.g., That was a dinkum party. Often used in the
combination (see: fair dinkum, dinkum oil).

dinky-di - an intensified version of dinkum, entering
the language by the end of WWI. By the late 1970s
the phrase 'dinky-di Aussie' had become so firmly
established that the 'Aussie' bit could be omitted
as superfluous.

dip - a pickpocket.

dip south - spend money; reach into one's pockets:
e.g., I've had to dip south in a big way this week -
all my bills seem to have come at once.

dishwater blonde - ash blonde.

do - 1. beat up; thrash; assault: e.g., I'll do him
if I ever see his face around here again. 2. cheat
or swindle: e.g., He'll do you if you're not careful.

do a freeze - suffer from being very cold: e.g., I
do a freeze every time I go to Melbourne.

do a runner - 1. elope; escape; run away, especially
from a commitment or responsibility. 2. change one's
place of residence quickly and secretly in order to avoid

do (one's) lolly/nana/narna/nut - lose (one's) temper;
become suddenly angry.

do (someone) like a dinner - defeat (someone) soundly either
physically, verbally, mentally or in some form of
contest; get the better of (someone).

do the dirty - use unfair tactics; cheat; behave
unjustly and corruptly.

dob on (someone) - betray; tell on; inform on: e.g.,
A dinky-di Aussie battler would never dob on his workmates.

dob (someone) in - 1. betray; inform on. 2. nominate someone
for an unpleasant task, usually in that person's absence.

docket - a bill or a receipt.

dodgy - 1. awkward; unreliable; tricky. 2. cunning; artful.

doer - 1. one who gets things done; an efficient person;
a trier. 2. an eccentric, amusing or odd person: e.g.,
He's a bit of a doer, is our Alf.

doesn't know (someone) from a bar of soap -
doesn't have any acquaintance with.

dog's breakfast - any untidy mess.

dogbox - 1. train compartment without a corridor.
2. very small house; cramped living quarters.
3. sleeper box (compartment) on a semi-trailer.

doing it tough - enduring or withstanding difficult conditions:
e.g., Since the hurricane hit, the people of Honduras
have been doing it tough.

dole - (the...) unemployment benefits. The federal government
provides a flat rate of financial support to any unemployed
person for an indefinite period of time, on the provision the
dole receiver is not supported by a working partner (whether
married or de facto), and makes regular job applications. The
idea behind this plan is to avoid the emergence of slums
and all their attendant social problems.

dole-bludger - unemployed person held in contempt for
receiving government benefits without making serious
effort to find work.

dolly-bird - an attractive and stylish young woman.

don't come the raw prawn - don't try deceive (indicating
that the speaker is wise to someone's attempt to con).

don't get your knickers in a knot/twist - admonition not
to get upset or angry so quickly.

don't go nap on - to not favour, agree with, like:
e.g., He never went nap on wine, but loved his beer

don't pick your nose or your head will cave in - an insult to
someone who is not very clever, lacking in intelligence.

done like a roast dinner - completed to one's satisfaction.

done (one's) dash - to have lost (one's) chance or opportunity..

done (one's) dough - 1. to have spent all (one's) money
foolishly; to have lost (one's) money gambling. 2. to have
been cheated of (one's) money.

dong - 1. to hit or punch. 2. engine.

donkey's years - a long time.

doona - a thick, soft quilt with a detachable cover,
used instead of an upper sheet and blankets.

drawing a long bow - 1. to be acting on a minimal chance;
a long shot. 2. unbelievable; hard to believe

drink with the flies - to drink (alcohol) alone, without company.

drop a bundle - give birth.

drivel on - talk foolishly and at length.

drop like flies - sicken and/or die in great numbers: e.g.,
During the drought our sheep dropped like flies.

drop-kick - 1. an obnoxious, disliked person. 2. (Australian
Rules football; rugby) a kick made by dropping the ball
and kicking it on the bounce.

drown some worms - go fishing.

drum - information, tip-off: e.g., I'll give you the drum.).

dry as a dead dingo's donger - conditions brought about by

dry horrors - delirium tremens.

duck's breakfast - a drink of water and a wash
(from WWI).

dummy - a baby's pacifier.

dumper - 1. a strong wave in the surf. 2. a tip-truck.

dunny - toilet, especially an outside one; an outhouse.
The word comes from British dialect 'dunnekin',
meaning 'dung-house'.

dunny budgie - a blowfly (blowie) - because blowflies hang
about a toilet, especially an outside toilet. They are also
very big (i.e. the size of a budgie).

dust-up - a fight, brawl, commotion.

ears like taxi doors/wingnuts - pertaining to having big ears.

easy as shoving butter up a porcupine's bum with a
knitting-needle on a hot day - not easy; extremely difficult.

eat a horse and chase the rider - (I could...) jocular
declaration of one's hunger.

elevated - slightly drunk.

emu's breakfast - (joc.) a drink and a good look around.

end up on (one's) ear - finish up in trouble.

enough to drive one round the twist - expression of utter
frustration over something that is intolerable.

esky lid - (derog.) in surfing slang, a bodyboard.

ever-so ever-so - pompous; haughty; stuck-up; snooty:
e.g., She's ever-so ever-so since she went overseas.

extract the digit - stop being lazy, idle and start work;
work harder and with more perseverance.

eye-service - admiring looks: e.g., He gave you a lot
of eye-service.

eyes like roadmaps/two holes burned in a blanket/
two piss-holes in the snow - bloodshot, red, tired-looking eyes.

face as long as a fiddle - a dismal face.

face fungus - facial hair, e.g. a beard or moustache.

face like a twisted sandshoe - (to have a...) to be
extremely ugly.

fagged out - tired; exhausted.

fair - a considerable amount or degree: e.g., He's
a fair idiot!.

fair dinkum - it was a response of the early Chinese
goldminers to the question: "Are you finding a fair amount
of gold?" because din gum means "good gold". So over time
the expression has become a positive response to a
good news story

fair go - 1. a request for fair treatment or reason:
e.g., Fair go, mate! 2. fair, equitable and just conditions:
e.g., I don't think he was given a fair go.

fair hike - a long distance to travel, especially
by walking.

fairy floss - spun sugar, usually coloured pink and wrapped
onto a stick; cotton candy.

fall in a heap - 1. disintegrate into tears and a state of
self-pity. 2. collapse through exhaustion or over-work.

fall pregnant to - get pregnant by: e.g., She fell
pregnant to her defacto.

fanging for a feed - to be hungry.

fat's in the fire - (the...) the commencement of
difficulties as a result of some action taken: e.g., The
fat's in the fire now, with those harsh words!

feed the fishes - 1. be sea-sick. 2. to drown.

feel a bit off - feel ill, unwell; short for off-colour.

feel crook - 1. feel ill, unwell. 2. feel annoyed, angry:
e.g., I can't help feeling crook after what he did!

feel like a pick-pocket in a nudist camp - feel
nervous, out of place, disoriented.

feral - 1. (of an animal or plant) wild, untamed,
uncultivated. 2 (of an animal) in a wild state after escape
from captivity: e.g., Feral goats have made drought-stricken
areas much worse. 3. brutal.

fins - the arms.

first cab off the rank - first to take advantage of
an opportunity: e.g., He was hired because he was the
first cab off the rank.

fish - person: e.g., He's a strange fish!

fit as a mallee bull - extremely well, healthy and
in good spirits.

flag-pole - tall, thin and lanky person.

flake - fillets of shark, commonly used in fish
and chip shops.

flaming - euphemism for damned, bloody: e.g.,
He's a flamin' idiot!

flat - 1. a rental apartment. 2. depressed; dejected:
e.g., She's feeling a bit flat since her cat died.

flat chat - as fast as possible; very quickly; e.g.,
we drove flat chat to get there on time.

flat-out like a lizard drinking - 1. fast; busy; very active.
2. lying prone, prostrate; taking it easy.

flathead - simpleton; dull-witted person; fool.

flippers - the hands.

flog - 1. sell; put up for sale: e.g., Flog the car for
whatever you can get for it. 2. steal; pinch; pilfer; take
without permission: e.g., He didn't buy it, he flogged it.
3. use abusively; treat roughly or without respect.

flog the cat - to indulge in self-pity, regret and frustration,
often by taking one's anger out on an innocent person.
Equivalent of the American phrase 'kick the dog'.

flush - having plenty of money: e.g., He was
royally flush after winning the Tatts.

fly a kite - 1. pass a fraudulent cheque. 2. test public
approval or opinion by spreading a rumour.
3. a rude rebuff or dismal.

fly cemetery - fruit cake or slice showing raisins
or sultanas.

flying the Australian flag - pertaining to someone's
shirt-tails that are hanging out over the trousers.

form - 1. a person's reputation or past behaviour:
e.g., Going by his form, I wouldn't hire him for the job.
2. behaviour, usually impudent or cheeky: e.g., How's your form!

freckle past a hair - stock answer to someone who asks
what the time is (especially if one does not wear a watch).

freshie - a freshwater crocodile.

fried eggs - flat breasts.

frig it up - ruin; mess up; spoil; break; damage; confuse.

frigged - ruined; broken; wrecked

frizzle - (of a meal) burn, spoil, over-cook.

from pillar to post - 1. aimlessly from one place to another:
e.g., He's been going from pillar to post all his life.
2. from one predicament to another.

froth and bubble - nonsense; idle, insincere,
inconsequential talk.

frostie/frosty - a cold bottle or can of beer.

full as a fairy's phonebook/pommie complaint-box/
state-school hat-rack/the family jerry - 1. very full.
2. drunk; intoxicated. 3. extremely well fed.

full bottle on - expert.

full quid - mentally astute; in complete control of one's
faculties: e.g., I don't think he's quite the full quid.

full up to dolly's wax - 1. to have satisfied one's hunger;
to have eaten sufficiently. 2. totally full.

fussed - worried; concerned: e.g., I'm
not fussed what we do tonight.

g'day - (contraction of: good day) a greeting: e.g.
G'day, mate! (often completed by, Ow-aah-ya? Good?)

galah - 1. Cacatua roseicapilla, a grey and pink cockatoo.
An active and noisy bird with a shrill call. Also known as
the rosy-headed cockatoo or rose-breasted cockatoo in
America. 2. a twit; foolish person; someone who talks a
lot but says nothing sensible.

game of ivories - the game of pool.

garbage-guts - greedy person; person who eats often,
eats leftovers.

gasbag - 1. a windbag; a garrulous person.
2. to talk excessively.

get a bee in (one's) bonnet - to become obsessed with

get a lift under the ear - receive a beating or a
punch in the ear, face.

get a hammering - receive a sound beating; suffer a
major defeat.

get (one's) goat - annoy, irritate.

get (one's) licence out of a cornflakes packet - to be
unskilled or incompetent.

get sprung - 1. be arrested for a crime or offence.
2. be caught out, surprised by someone: e.g.,
He got sprung letting down the tyres on my car!

get stuffed!! - a term of abuse; rude rebuff,
rebuke or dismissal.

get the dry-horrors
suffer from extreme thirst, a dry mouth, especially
after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

get the sack - an expression from the Depression era,
when a workingman carried the tools of his trade to work in
a sack: if fired, he was handed his sack at the time of

getting a fair whack - being well paid

gin - an Aboriginal woman.

gin's handbag - a cardboard cask housing a plastic bladder
filled with low-quality, usually very sweet, wine.
Also called Chateau Cardboard.

gi-normous - very big; huge.

give as good as (one) gets - to be able to successfully
return, retaliate with witty remarks, sarcasm or deeds.

give birth to a politician - defecate.

give it a bash/burble/burl/fly - make an attempt;
have a try.

give it a go - make an attempt at something.

give it a miss - avoid; leave alone; refuse or elect not
to participate: e.g., Everyone's going to the pub tonight
but I think I'll give it a miss.

give it away – drop it, forget it. .

give (one) the screaming meemies
aggravate, drive to distraction

give (someone) a fair go - give (someone) a turn,
a chance or an opportunity.

give (someone) a hoy - 1. call out to (someone) to gain
attention. 2. give someone a telephone call.

give (someone) a serve - berate or criticise (someone).

give (someone/something) heaps - 1. treat with firmness
in order to get a desired response from (someone/ something).
2. annoy, tease, criticise, show displeasure or dislike etc

give the game away - 1. to reject or abandon a pursuit or
activity previously followed. 2. to reveal some strategy or secret.

give up the ghost - 1. to despair, worry, suffer from anxiety,
be negative. 2. to die. 3. fail; break down.

glory box - a large chest in which a young woman collects
household items in preparation for marriage; a hope chest.
Although not commonly used any more in this traditional way,
the old family glory box is commonly utilised for storing
blankets or winter clothing.

go - 1. state of affairs; situation: e.g., What's the go?
2. energy; enthusiasm: e.g., He's got a lot of go in him.
3. definite arrangement: e.g., The party's a go for next
Friday. 4. attack; fight: e.g., That dog looks savage enough
to go anyone who steps through the gate.

go crook - become angry: e.g., Dad's going to go crook when
he finds out what you've done!

go bush1. live in the outback, or without
electricity and other modern conveniences. 2. make oneself
scarce; hide oneself from intrusion - especially in a remote place.

go down the gurgler - failure resulting in wasted effort or
loss of money.

go off - 1. become stale, rancid, spoiled, as of food.
2. become less popular, liked, trendy: e.g., That pub's gone
off over the last few years.

go to see a star about a twinkle - (of a woman) urinate;
express the need to urinate..

go troppo - suffer a mental aberration brought on by intense
tropical heat and humidity. A common malady common during the
monsoon season in Far North Queensland, characterised by sudden
outbursts of intense anger or aggression.

Golden Mile Super Pit
one of the biggest open-cut mines in the world. It forms part
of the 'Golden Mile', reputed to be the richest square mile of
gold-bearing earth in the world. The pit is located at the
edge of thecCity of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and is currently 290
metres deep. When complete, the pit will be about 4km long,
1.5km wide and will exceed 500m at depth - an
impressive sight.

good on ya (you) - expression of approval and encouragement.

good sort - 1. sexually attractive person. 2. likable, honest person.

Great Barrier Reef A World Heritage-listed
system of more than 3000 reefs which range in size from 1
hectare to over 10,000ha in area. Situated off Australia's
east coast, the reef is scattered with beautiful islands and
coral cays, and covers more than 300,000 square kilometres.

great galloping goannas - an expression of amazement or
astonishment, equivalent to that popularised by Little Orphan
Annie ("great leaping lizards")..

greedy guts - one who takes more than his share.

grey nomad - elderly caravan travellers who journey to northern
regions of Australia during winter: e.g., There goes another
grey nomad.

greyback - a one-hundred-dollar note.

gridiron - American football..

grin and chronic - gin and tonic.

grizzle - complain under one's breath.

grog shop - bottle-shop; bottle-o: a drive-through liquor store.

groover - trendy person.

groper - person from Western Australia (contr. of sandgroper).

grotty - exceedingly dirty or in any manner disgusting.

ground lice - sheep.

gummies - gumboots, worn in agricultural areas and during
wet weather.

gurgler - a drain, used both literally and figuratively: e.g., All
his effort went down the gurgler when the company
went bankrupt.

had a skinful - 1. to have drunk too much alcohol; intoxicated, drunk.
2. be totally exasperated, annoyed, frustrated, angry.

hairy goat - (racing) a horse that performs poorly.

half a chance - any chance at all: e.g., If I had half a chance
I'd go out with him.son.

hammer and tongs - with great energy and enthusiasm: e.g.,
He went at it hammer and tongs all day until it was finished.

hammering - 1. a sound beating, bashing, hiding.
2. intense criticism, cross-examination, questioning..

hand in the till - (to have one's...) to be stealing, embezzling
money from one's employer.

hang on like grim death - hold on, stay put; act,
behave tenaciously, firmly.

happy as Larry - very happy; elated.

happy little Vegemitean Australian (child).
A Vegemite sandwich to an Australian kid is the equivalent of a
peanut butter and jelly sandwich to an American kid - but
the taste is QUITE different! Vegemite is one of several
yeast extract spreads sold in Australia. It is made from
leftover brewers' yeast extract (a by-product of beer
manufacture) and various vegetable and spice additives.
It is very dark reddish-brown, almost black, in color.
It's thick like peanut butter, it's very salty, and it
tastes like - well let's just say that it is an acquired
taste! Australian children are brought up on Vegemite
from the time they're babies. It is said that Australians
travel all over the world with at least one small jar of
Vegemite in their luggage, for fear that they will
not be able to find it.

hard slog - difficult, tedious work.

hard yakka - difficult, tedious work.

hard-done-by - harshly or unfairly treated.

hat-trick - 1. (cricket) three wickets taken by a bowler
with three successive balls. 2. achievement of three identical
wins, actions, etc in succession.

hatter - silly, crazy person.

have a bash - 1. have a go; attempt; try. 2. have
a wild party.

have a blue - have an argument, fight or quarrel.

have a burl - have a go; attempt; try.

have a domestic - have an argument with a family member -
usually (but not always) at home.

have a go - have a try; make an attempt.

have a go at (someone) - 1. fight, bash, punch, hit (someone).
2. abuse, scold, berate, reprimand (someone).

have a prang - have an accident in a car.

have a sticky-beak - have a look.

have (oneself) on - to delude (oneself) with the egotistical
belief that (one's) worth is much greater than it really is:
e.g., He's having himself on if he thinks that scheme
of his will really work!

have/got a memory like a sieve - extremely forgetful.

have/got a swing on the back porch - to have a mincing
style of walking.

have/got Buckley's - have no chance at all: e.g.,
The police have got Buckley's of ever wiping
out big crime syndicates.

have/got hollow legs - have an ability to eat huge
amounts of food.

have/got short arms and long pockets - to be mean,
parsimonious, miserly, stingy..

have/got to walk backwards to a door to open it -
pertaining to someone with very large feet.

haven't got a brass razoo/cracker - haven't got
any money.

haven't got two bob to rub together - haven't got any
money; destitute.

having a lend/loan of (someone) - teasing, taunting,
deceiving gently: e.g., Are you having a lend of me
or are you being honest?

heaps - a lot: e.g., I like him heaps.

heart-starter - strong drink such as alcohol or
coffee, taken early in the morning before work or

hectare - a metric unit of square measure, equal to
100 acres (2.471 acres).

high as a dingo's howl - having an unpleasant smell.

highfalutin - pretentious; pompous; snobbish;
affectedly superior.

hit a bad patch - strike difficulty or problems;
experience misfortune, especially financial.

hit the cot - go to bed, sleep.

hoo-roo - goodbye.

horror - naughty, unpleasant child or person.

how ya goin' mate - orright? - a standard form of
greeting; hello.

hoy! - exclamation or shout to attract attention.

hurk/hurl - to vomit.

I'd like to have that nose full of gold-dust! -
said of a person with a very big nose.

I'll pin your ears back (if you're not careful) -
a threat of violence.

in a spot of bother - in a difficult predicament
or some form of trouble.

in for a penny, in for a pound - to go all the way;
commit oneself entirely; be impetuous.

in good nick - 1. in good condition: e.g., For an old car,
it's still in good nick. 2. in good health: e.g., He's
in good nick for his age.

in one fell swoop - all at once.

in the good books - in favour.

in two ticks - in a very short time.

is it a goer? - 1. is it going to proceed, happen,
as planned? 2. does it work, operate, function?

jake - OK; all right; satisfactory; acceptable:
e.g., She'll be jake!

jammies - pyjamas.

jump the queue - take unfair precedence;
obtain unfairly before one's turn..

k's - 1. kilometres: e.g., How many k's is it to
Melbourne? 2. kilometres per hour.

keel over - 1. fall over; faint. 2. to die.

kerb - British spelling of curb.

kick on - to continue having a good time long after
most people have left: e.g., We kicked on till dawn.

king hit - 1. a sudden and crushing misfortune.
2. a sudden blow that knocks one out. 3. (Australian
Rules football) hit, usually behind play, when the
receiver is not ready for it.

kip - 1. a sleep or nap. 2. small piece of board used
to toss the coins in the game of two-up.

Kiwi - a New Zealander or pertaining to New Zealand.

klicks - kilometres.

knackered - 1. tired; exhausted. 2. useless; worn-out;
broken; ruined. 3. castrated.

knock about/around with - associate with; keep
company with

knock it on the head - put a stop to (it, something).

knock up - 1. make, construct or arrange in a hurried manner:
e.g., I'll knock up something to wear tonight. 2. exhaust;
tire; wear out: e.g., I'm going to knock up this horse
to teach him a lesson.

knock-back - 1. a set-back; rebuff; rejection; bad turn of
events. 2. a refusal or rejection.

Kombi - any small, multi-purpose, van-like vehicle.

la-di-da - 1. affected manner; pretentious; snobby;
posh. 2. (especially of women) the toilet.

lamb's fry - lamb's liver or other offal as food.

lark - 1. amusing incident; prank: e.g., What a lark
that was! 2. joke, tease, play pranks: e.g., He was
only larking.

lash out - 1. spend money freely; not to worry about
the expense: e.g., We lashed out and bought some new
clothes. 2. denounce, castigate, criticise severely.

laughing - in an extremely satisfactory, fortunate or
advantageous position: e.g. If I win lotto at the
weekend, I'll be laughing!.

laughing gear - the mouth: e.g., Wrap your laughing
gear around these lamingtons.

lav/lavvy - lavatory; toilet; dunny.

lay you tens - wager with (someone): e.g., I'll lay you
tens that he won't do it!

lettuce - paper money.

lie-in - an extra length of time in bed in the morning:
e.g., every Sunday morning I have a lie-in

lift doesn't go all the way to the top - (of a person)
lacking in intelligence.

like a blue-arsed fly - in a frenzied manner;

like a cut snake - in an extremely active,
busy manner.

like a one-armed taxi-driver with crabs - a very
busy person!

like a pork chop - in a silly, foolish manner.

like a rat up a drainpipe - very quickly.

like a spare groom at a wedding - out of place; confused;
not comfortable with one's surroundings; not needed or necessary..

like a stunned mullet - 1. bewildered; surprised;
astonished. 2. inert.

like a two-bob watch - unreliable; second-rate;
of poor quality.

like chalk and cheese - nothing alike; opposites.

like the clappers - very fast.

liquid laugh - vomit.

little Aussie battler - a battler is a person who struggles
for a livelihood, and who displays great determination in so
doing. This sense is first recorded in 1896 in a Henry Lawson
story. Such a person is now often described as 'a little Aussie
battler', a phrase first recorded in 1979.

little pigs have big ears - a warning that what is being
said may be overheard by unwanted eavesdroppers,
especially children.

little Vegemite - jocular term for a person or fellow,
but especially for a child.

live on the smell of an oily rag - to have the ability to
survive on the most meagre of incomes.

loads - plenty of: e.g., There were loads of
people at the party..

loaf - 1. the head, pertaining to intelligence: e.g.,
If he used his loaf more often, he wouldn't get into
so much strife! 2. an easy, secure, cushy job,
position, career.

lolly - 1. sweet confection. 2. money. 3. head or temper:
e.g., Every time I buy a new dress my husband does
his lolly! 4. a fool or stupid person.

long-distance call on the big white telephone -
to vomit in the toilet bowl.

loo - lavatory; toilet.

look like (one) has been chasing parked cars - to appear
beaten up, bloodied - especially of the face.

look-see - a good look: e.g., Come and have
a look-see at this!

looks like a rat looking over a straw broom -
pertaining to a man with a beard..

lose a packet - lose a large amount of money,
especially in a wager or gamble.

lose (one's) block - become very angry.

lurks and perks - pertaining to schemes (often unethical)
and resulting benefits, profits etc: e.g., He knows all the
lurks and perks of the gambling industry.

Macca's - McDonald's: e.g., Let's go to Macca's
for burgers this arvo (arvo = afternoon)

mad as a cut snake - 1. crazy; insane; stupid; foolish;
demented; unbalanced. 2. very angry.

mad keen - extremely eager.

make a blue - make a glaring error or mistake.

make a go of - try to succeed at: e.g., They're trying
to make a go of their marriage for the second time.

make a quid - 1. earn a living: e.g., What does he do
to make a quid? 2. make a lot of money; become wealthy.

Mary's room - the toilet - especially for women.

mates' rates - reduced prices for goods,
labour etc for friends.

matey - 1. friendly with: e.g., Those two are very matey.
2. term of friendly address among men.

memory like a sieve - forgetful.

mental - mad; insane; stupid.

milk bar - corner shop where many general purpose
items may be purchased, such as bread, milk,
confectionery, newspapers etc.

mix it - to fight with (someone): e.g., You wouldn't
want to mix it with him - he's a champion boxer.

mo - 1. moment: e.g., Just a mo! 2. moustache.

mob - 1. collective name for people with similar peculiarities
or interests: e.g., That footy team is a mob of galahs!
2. group of friends, acquaintances or relatives: e.g.,
I'm taking me new boyfriend home to meet me mob this arvo.

mongrel - despicable, deplorable person or thing.

monsters - children.

more-ish - irresistible; tempting; so pleasant that
one desires more.

morning tea - a mid-morning break; the refreshment
taken in this break.

mountain oysters - testicles of lambs as a delicacy.

mouth like a bottom of a bird cage - morning-after breath..

muck about/around - 1. potter or fool about.
2. fool or interfere with.

mug's game - any job, activity, enterprise that is
unpleasant, unrewarding or held in contempt.

my bloody oath/colonial/colonial oath! - expression of total
agreement; emphatically yes!

mystery bags - (rhyming slang) snags; sausages.


mate -this is a word found throughout the English
speaking world to mean “a friend” or “a partner”. It
appears to have come into English around the 14th century
from a Germanic source word meaning (more or less)
“companion” – making the key sense of the word unchanged
over many centuries. But in Australia the word “mate”
took on a special complexion. This was because of the
difficulties and dangers of life in the bush during the
early years of the various colonies that were to
become the nation of Australia. Although “mate” is
first recorded here in 1834, it was more towards the
latter part of the 19th century that it took on its
distinctive Australian colouring when a mate came to
be “one with whom the bonds of close friendship are
acknowledged; a sworn friend”. Used in this way it
suggested a high level of trust: the bush was a dangerous
place and it was safer to work in pairs – but you had to
trust the bloke you were working with, he had to be a
real mate. This is the sense in which Henry Lawson
used the word in all those classic short stories. Then in
1914 the mates went to war and the word was
infused with wartime suffering and heroism. Today it is
probably somewhat weaker. But in Australia “mate” is
still a form of address implying equality and goodwill. Some
people will, today, use the word ironically, even sneeringly.
But despite this, it is a stubborn little word,
and refuses to die.