Pick a language to speakRight Arrow
Ready to learn?
Pick a language to get started!

The Down Under Pocketbook: 15 Aussie Phrases And Their Hilarious Translations

Australians have a language all their own. Whether you’re preparing for your next big Australia trip or simply trying to decode a colleague’s funny slang, this guide of Aussie phrases will come in handy.
15 Best Aussie Phrases | Babbel

Illustration by Emma Jayne, courtesy of the Bright Agency.

Australians may share a language with their Northern Hemisphere friends, but when it comes to everyday speech, they couldn’t be more different. Aussies use a lexicon of countless unique slang phrases and terms in order to describe everyday life Down Under.

A clued-in foreigner might know that G’day is a type of greeting, but what about lesser-known (and much-loved) phrases like hooroo? With the help of this miniature pocketbook, you can learn some essential Aussie phrases (plus their hilarious translations) and be true blue in no time!

1. Choc a bloc

Definition: This Aussie phrase is used to describe an area or thing that is really full.

Example: “Mate, that parking lot is choc a bloc!”

2. Taking the piss

Definition: A phrase used for making fun of someone or something — to “pull someone’s leg,” as we might also say in other varieties of English.

Example: “Don’t take the piss out of Jeremy. He’s going through a hard time!”

3. She’ll be right

Definition: A phrase used to imply that a situation or person will be okay.

Example: “She’ll be right mate, that sauce stain will come out in the wash.”

4. Tell him he’s dreamin’

Definition: This Aussie phrase is used to tell somebody that their offer is unreasonable — it’s frequently used in trading or bargaining contexts. The phrase is actually a quote from the iconic Australian film, The Castle, but it has since found its way into common speech.

Example: “$250 for a used bicycle helmet? Tell him he’s dreamin’.”

5. A few stubbies short of a 6-pack

Definition: This phrase refers to somebody who is lacking in intelligence. It can be used interchangeably with the other beloved Aussie phrase, “a few sandwiches short of a picnic.”

Example: “Geez. That bloke Mark sure is a few stubbies short of a six-pack.”

6. Pull ya head in

Definition: A phrase used to tell somebody that their behavior is out of line and they need to correct it, preferably immediately.

Example: “Pull ya head in mate, that’s no way to speak to someone!”

7. Woop woop

Definition: This pair of words is used to describe a faraway place or remote location, much like using “the middle of nowhere” in a sentence.

Example: “I’m driving out to woop woop for Christmas with the in-laws!”

8. Going off

Definition: You might already be familiar with this Aussie phrase — but perhaps not both of its connotations. Yes, the phrase “going off” has two meanings: the first is for describing somebody who’s extremely mad, while the second is used to describe a party that is absolutely wild.

Examples: “My mum’s going off about throwing that party!” and/or “That party was going off last night!”

9. You wanna go?

Definition: This is another popular Aussie phrase that might have already entered your lexicon. It’s used as an invitation to start a physical fight. It can also be used comically between good friends.

Example: “Oi mate. I hear you’re disrespectin’ me. You wanna go?”

10. True blue

Definition: A phrase used to describe somebody who’s authentic and genuine.

Example: “Rob helped me move house last weekend! That bloke sure is true blue.”

11. Face like a dropped pie

Definition: This insulting Aussie phrase describes somebody’s facial appearance when it resembles a destroyed pastry.

Example: “I’ve got a face like a dropped pie.”

12. How ya garn?

Definition:  A more common way of asking someone how they’re doing. It’s essentially “How are you going?” but pushed together and spoken with an Aussie accent.

Example: “Hey mate! How ya garn?!”

13. Bloody beautiful/what a beaut’/what a beauty

Definition: These phrases are used to describe something positive — a remark of good fortune, so to speak.

Example: “Look at this fish I just caught! What a beauty!”

14. See ya when I’m lookin’ at ya

Definition: A not-so-friendly Aussie phrase you’d use when saying goodbye to somebody you don’t intend to see again.

Example: “Alright mate. See ya when I’m lookin’ at ya!”

15. Knock off/Can’t wait to knock off

Definition: “Knock off” is a term for finishing work. It’s often used to describe how excited you are to leave work for the day.

Example: “It’s going to be beautiful weather this weekend, I sure can’t wait to knock off!”

Good luck understanding (or even using) these Aussie phrases to impress your new mates Down Under. Put on a bad Aussie accent and you’ll be laughing like a galah in no time!

Learn more useful, everyday phrases in another language today.
Meredith Eriksson

Meredith is a typical Australian who likes her poached eggs gooey and her avocado spread thick. Born by the beach, you’ll find her in the water or bathing on the rocks.

Meredith is a typical Australian who likes her poached eggs gooey and her avocado spread thick. Born by the beach, you’ll find her in the water or bathing on the rocks.

Recommended Articles

How Australian English Grew Its Wings

How did Australian English become distinct from British English? We explore its history from 1788 until today.

How To Speak Australian

It’s not all ‘brekkie’ and ‘barbie.’ To speak like a true Australian, you have to learn to stop being such a wanker first.

What Are The Differences Between An Aussie And Kiwi Accent?

The New Zealand and Australian accent are close, but mistaking one for the other is a big faux pas. Here’s how to keep them straight.