Talk:Australian slang

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is this a joke?[edit]

It certainly sounds like it has been ripped from a joke site.

This is not a joke. Old Australian slang is rather odd and uses words that rhyme instead of the intended words.


These aren't all strictly Aussie. "Take the piss" is standard British, for example, but unfamiliar enough to Yanks that I suppose it belongs here. Two I have questions about:

  • Bloody Hell - OK, Americans don't say this, but I picked it up as a teenager and I've never had anyone here in the States fail to understand what I meant by it. Do we need to translate the obvious?
  • You're pulling my leg - This is Australian? You gotta be pulling my leg. This expression is common in America. Is this one that the Brits won't understand?

- (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 16:22, 1 June 2006 (EDT)

British people understand "pulling my leg", we had it before Americans and Aussies. In my end of the country we tend to say "are ye kiddin uz or summit?" something similar anyway "lol". I reckon this page should be forwarded for deletion.

Most of these phrases aren't seen outside of Paul Hogan movies and Home and Away. I'm Australian and have traveled extensively in the country and have yet to hear anyone say the following in a real life setting: -

Strayan (unless mocking the 'bogan' pronounciation in an exaggerated way) The sticks - heard it quite a bit in the US and from Americans overseas, but not here. Struth! - A favourite of a Home and Away character (although he was quite old the last time I viewed the show - perhaps he is dead now?), in any case, it's "strewth", not struth. Where's the dunny/boghole? ( ?) - try that outside, say, a mining camp, and you're likely to be given rude looks.

This phrasebook mostly seems a commentary on the working class side of Australian society; while it could be a bit funny in a different context, I don't think it has a place here. In addition, as a lot of these phrases are used by a certain sector of Australian society when mocking their less educated countryman (think back to members of the American entertainment industry lambasting the "rednecks" who voted for Bush), making use of them in the wrong situation may be interpreted as an insult and a challenge rather than a genuine attempt to speak like the locals. - KM


I'm sure there's a thesis or two dedicated to the why "mate" cuts through the class divide to unite all Australians in something or other yet must never be used by outsiders, but this seems to suffice. Removed the joke edits.

Votes for Deletion Discussion[edit]

Not sure whether I want it deleted or not, but a lot of this is similar for other English-speakers as well (cheers, yeah, boot, bloody hell, bite to eat, etc.). Not just that, but a few of these would probably bring laughter if a non-Australian tried to use them (Mate, how much a bloody ticket to ___?). Australian isn't really a dialect of English, which would merit its own phrasebook, but rather a collection of region-specific slang which isn't imperative for comprehension & which, in my opinion, doesn't merit a phrasebook. In that case, we'd also need a "British English phrasebook", an "American English phrasebook", a "Southern (US) English phrasebook", an "Indian English phrasebook", and a "Simple English phrasebook". Maybe someone could incorporate a few of the Australian-specific slang terms/phrases in a subsection of "Talk" in the Australia article. (WT-en) AHeneen 04:02, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

Delete, or userfy if anyone really wants the article. The point of phrasebooks is to give novice speakers enough grounding in a language to get by. People using this language version of Wikivoyage should already be proficient in English; any English speaker can already ask questions and understand answers in Australia, so no phrasebook is necessary. Variations in slang are not so profound that "Where is the bathroom?" needs translation. The introduction even admits that the phrasebook is just for fun and for interpreting the Crocodile Hunter (who, frankly, wasn't all that unintelligible to begin with). (WT-en) LtPowers 09:08, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
  • Delete. I think that differentiated English phrasebooks for other Wikivoyage versions can be useful, but that is besides the point. I don't think that English Wikivoyage should have English phrasebooks; after all a lot of our contributors and readership are Australian. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 16:08, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
Bugger, I sort of like it --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 16:51, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
  • Keep, and I feel strongly it shouldn't creep into the Australia article. 1. It is not devoid of use for travelers, it makes a point about Australian English beyond just the words. Even if you think the words are easily intelligible, there is a useful point for travelers being made there too! Many travellers are interested in Australian slang. 2. It does no harm. It is maintained, it is not a spam magnet 3. Incorporating it into the main article Australia article would not be of benefit to that article. Check the New Zealand article and the edit history to see how ugly and how much of a distraction it would be to move it there. 4. Similar information is in many other travel guides, so Wikivoyage should include it for completeness. 5. If it really doesn't fit into the phrasebook set (because it isn't really a phrasebook), we should just make it a travel topic. --(WT-en) Inas 19:35, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
I have much less objection to it in travel topic form. It would be nice to convert it fully away from the phrasebook template, and give multiple "translations" for each slang word into multiple local variations. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 23:00, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
Okay, well unless anyone has a better suggestion, after the 14 day expiry, I'll take on the task of moving it into an Australian slang travel topic, and fix up the links appropriately. --(WT-en) Inas 06:50, 12 April 2009 (EDT)

Outcome: Rename and make travel topic

Drive it like a rental[edit]

One travel related Australian slang would be "Drive it like a rental" Meaning you drive a car like you don't care about it. (Even though you should).

How silly. 1. Australians do not really say this. 2. Rental cars have much more stringent insurance exclusions than private cars ($1,000+ excesses, no cover on rollovers, etc) so it wouldn't make any logical sense to say this anyway. 20:40, 21 August 2010 (EDT)


"Mexicans Anyone from the next state south (not often used)"

Seriously? Australians calling each other "Mexicans"? Such an expression would maybe be logical in the United States, but not in Australia. ϒpsilon (talk) 17:49, 14 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

After seven years. I've lived in both the states that have a state "south" of it (exc. Tas). I've never heard that term before. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 11:37, 26 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pejorative terms[edit]

Do we really want to have the pejorative terms for different types of Asians and gay people? Nurg (talk) 07:32, 15 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm neutral on this, but it's sometimes heard when you're out late at night (after ≈20:00), but again, not sure what a traveler would be doing that late at night – and these terms are also used by a minority, although understood by nearly every Australian. But I'm leaning towards remove. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 07:40, 15 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Nurg: given there's been no opposition, feel free to go ahead and remove those. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 08:10, 25 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Done. Nurg (talk) 03:50, 26 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It may be beneficial if a traveller who hears one of these words directed at them knows that it was a racist/homophobic insult but on the other hand, having so many of them on the list doesn't paint the country in a good light. I suppose I'm neutral as well. I'm also not sure if "Seppo" is any more pejorative than "Yank" since it is just rhyming slang (from Septic Tank). Gizza (roam) 04:08, 26 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

the southeast[edit]

I know that this isn't exactly slang, but I feel it should be mentioned somewhere on this site that when in news reports, "southeast" usually refers to South East Queensland, not the southeast states. I can see that this can very easily confuse people, because this is not like the American terms where "Southwest" literally refers to the southwest of the US. --SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 09:19, 28 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I doubt that somebody in Hobart or Perth will mean South East Queensland when they say "southeast". AlasdairW (talk) 21:58, 28 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A bit of discretion is required when using this guide, in particular the regionalized slangs used to refer to place names. Similarly, someone in Tasmania, South Australia or even Victoria probably won't call the Snowy Mountains, the Snowies. I wanted to include "southeast" somewhere as it often comes up in the TV in both Qld and neighbouring NSW. Otherwise, I think it could go in Queensland#Talk and New South Wales#Talk. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 12:49, 10 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]