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Expat Diaries / Sydney Living

The Expat Guide To Aussie Lingo

Living with an Aussie in London had me somewhat prepped for the new lingo I would encounter whilst living in Oz. I was already throwing ‘heaps’ into conversation and telling people “no worries” like I actually had none. But these first few weeks have taught me I still have much to learn. So for the sake of any new or potential expats moving to Oz, below is my guide to understanding Aussie lingo.

Doona > this was one I had learned before moving to Sydney due to the nightly fights over it with my boyfriend. I was surprised to find doona is an actual word for duvet though, as in something they print on the product label, and not just my man’s affectionate term for it.

Manchester > the sheets/linen you put on the doona (perhaps because they all used to be produced there?)

She’ll be right > no idea who she is but apparently she’s fine. We’re all fine. Nobody has any worries.

Chook > a chicken, as in “I bought us a chook for dinner”.

Capiscum > a posh sounding word for a pepper.

Fanging > as in, “we were fanging it down the motorway”. (Not sure if this is just my friend Rosie’s word or general Aussie lingo?)

Kris Kringle > Chrissy (yes really! I prefer Chrimbo myself) has come up in conversation early due to all the Christmas in July events happening at the moment. Kris Kringle is the practise us Brits will know as Secret Santa.

Bush Doof > I love saying this one. It sounds like something violent that might happen in a shrub but is actually an outdoor rave or dance party.

Bloody oath! > too right!

These are the terms that have confused or tickled me so far. I’m sure there will be more along the way. I’ll keep adding to the list as we go!

Are there any Aussie terms that have left you stumped?

About Author

Travel blogger and freelancer writer who loves boutique hotels and brunching. I've been blogging for 10 years, visited 60+ countries and called London, Sydney, Melbourne and (oh so briefly) New York home at various points during the last decade. Now travelling with a baby and trying to make it as stylish and stress-free as can be!

15 Comments

  • Kirsten
    July 21, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Ha! Love those crazy Aussie words. Never heard of Bush Doof but I think it might be my new favourite thing.

    I have my own post on this I picked up on from when I lived in Melbourne (http://kirstovertheworld.com/2014/01/25/the-aussie-dictionary/)

    Reply
    • Jayne
      July 22, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      I love saying it too!! Thanks for the link – look forward to reading it 🙂

      Reply
  • Matt
    July 21, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I was surprised to find out that Pepper Spray in Australia is called Capsicum Spray! They said it on a TV news report.

    I also enjoyed “Ah too easy!” as a generic response to anything being good.

    Reply
    • Jayne
      July 22, 2014 at 12:01 am

      Capsicum Spray? Really!

      Ah yeah, shall start adding “Too easy” into convos 😉

      Reply
  • Teresa
    July 21, 2014 at 11:47 am

    I know a few, but they all too rude for your lovely blog 🙂

    I actually know why manchester is called, well, manchester. All linens had to be imported during the late 19th and early 20th century because there wasn’t the machinery here (and in Australia) to produce it. Linen from Manchester was considered the best (like Egyptian Cotton now). So people went into the store and asked for ‘Manchester linen,’ which was then shortened to manchester.

    I’ve used that anthropology degree twice today. Result!

    and ‘fanging’ is legit.

    Reply
    • Jayne
      July 21, 2014 at 11:57 pm

      Ah I thought there must be a logical answer – thanks for filling me in 🙂

      Reply
  • Alexis Kensey
    July 21, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Fanging in definitely and all aussie lingo- all my friends say it! haha I love this list.

    Reply
    • Jayne
      July 21, 2014 at 11:58 pm

      Haha wasn’t sure if my friend had made it up. Will start using it in everyday situations immediately 🙂

      Reply
  • BeaNs
    July 21, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Jayne, nobody calls it a “motorway”. Least Aussie thing ever! 😉

    Reply
    • Jayne
      July 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm

      Doh! I knew I’d slip up somewhere. Still a learner :p

      Reply
  • Shane
    July 22, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Love this! I’m moving to Sydney next week 🙂

    Reply
    • Jayne
      July 22, 2014 at 11:44 pm

      How exciting!!!

      Reply
  • […] The Expat Guide To Aussie Lingo July 21, 2014 […]

    Reply
  • Toni
    August 19, 2014 at 2:21 am

    ‘How’s it going’ instead of hello. It’s all I’ve heard since I got to Victoria! Can’t wait to get back to Sydney in October and rediscover all the Aussie beach and board words again 😀
    Congratulations on the move lovely! Hope to see you in the city when I get back there 🙂
    x

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      August 19, 2014 at 2:27 am

      Ah yes this is a good one! I’m still using the cockney – ‘y’alright?’. And yes lets def do drinks/coffee/beaches etc when you are back xx

      Reply

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