G'day there. Welcome to my you beaut' guide to the rich and colourful language known as "Australian" (or "Strine" as we call it). Now we're not here to fuck spiders, so let's get on with it!
The pub is one place you can be guaranteed to find a speaker of Strine in their natural habitat. Here are a few words to get you served at the bar and start a conversation with an Australian.
Note: Australians don't drink Fosters. Don't ask us where you can get this. Actually, this is a really good way to annoy an Australian.
Test 1: "My esky is chockers of tinnies"
This standard phrase is actually quite difficult, now that I think about it. Let's break it down:
By now you may have noticed a few standard rules for Australian slang: shorten the word and add "ie" or "y" to the end. We also like to add "o" to the end of words, for example:
Okay, time for another test. This one is a bit trickier.
Test 2: "This arvo, we're going to go to the servo to get some durries, to the bottle-o to get some goon, and then we'll do a Maccas run"
Once again, let's break it down:
"We're not here to fuck spiders"
This phrase can obviously not be taken literally, because who would be there to fuck spiders? Rather, it means the same as "Does a bear shit in the woods?" or "Is the Pope Catholic?", so basically, it means "of course!"
In context, if your mate and you were at the bar, and he turned to you and said "Would you like a beer?", you could reply "We're not here to fuck spiders". So, of course, I want a beer, that's why we are at the bar!
Unfortunately, this particular phrase is dying out, although still well understood. So I encourage you to use it widely, spread it amongst your friends, colleagues and family, and watch their confusion as they try to work out, who would be there to fuck spiders...
As you can see, Australian slang or "Strine" is a rich and colourful language, and this article is just the first step in your journey to discovering all the wonders it contains. For further watching and reading, I recommend the following resources.
Australia's version of "The Onion". They bill themselves as Australia's oldest and favourite newspaper, from the Queensland country town of Betoota, official population: 0. Often the best way to understand current affairs in Australia.
My favourite Facebook page. User-submitted photos of old men at the pub, with the most accurate and Australian-slang-laden descriptions. The man behind this page is an absolute poet and Aussie legend, whoever they are.
I can't guarantee you'll learn anything from this Instagram account, but say goodbye to at least the next 15 minutes of your life. Who knows, maybe it will teach you some deep insight into Australian culture...
I grew up watching Monty Python and this skit set at the fictional "University of Wooloomooloo" has always been one of my favourites. Unfortunately, the video of the skit appears to have been removed from Youtube, so enjoy this audio!
Bondi is a great place to parody, full of hipsters, surfers, yoga chicks and beautiful people. This music clip by the "Bondi Hipsters" was so popular with my group of friends that we even organised a "Bondi Hipster"-themed house party back when we were in university.
"Tough as woodpecker lips", "Going off like a bull in a China shop" and "Sweating like a gypsy with a mortgage" were all phrases that Australian rugby union player Nick "Honey Badger" Cummins threw out in post-match interviews during his playing career. His sayings and use of Aussie slang were more often than not the highlights of the game (for me at least).
The very talented and beautiful Margot Robbie teaches Aussie slang while sitting on the beach. And she does a bloody ripper job!
To learn more about Australian slang, come on our Sydney secret bar crawl, which contains an advanced lesson on slang, as well as the opportunity to test phrases out on real Australians and ask questions. Book your spot here!