Speaking Aussie-Style: The Australian Accent and Slang

align boxBlog Owner and Post Author: Lainy

Two years down the track and this little Filipina is yet to get accustomed to Australian culture and customs and yes! That Aussie slang!

The first year of living the Australian way was not only the fine tuning of myself to the places and things that is Australian but more so of understanding deeper its core values and that popular “mateship.” These are massive challenges that I faced in my first few months of settlement especially when I entered the Australian work force.

Truth be told, I struggled immensely in comprehending Australian accent. Decoding Aussie slang is an entirely different story. I felt I was the dumbest little Filipina that could not easily grasp what’s being said.

Photo not mine
Photo not mine

Let me begin with how my real name is pronounced the Aussie way. Most of my friends know that I adopted “Lainy” as my pen name at the blog and most blogpals call me that. Please note that “Lainy” was a sort of an endearment given to me by my ex-boyfriend who is now my husband. But I remain to be “Ellaine” to some friends and family offline. It is commonly pronounced as eeh-LANE. I still am not used to being called “eeh-layn” as it is spoken Aussie-style. I have noticed that older Aussies are more inclined to pronouncing it that way.

You might think I should find it a lot easier to understand and decode both accent and slangs respectively because I am married to a true blue Aussie. But that is not the case. He speaks to me with less Aussie slangs and more on Filipino words. Haha! Talk about interracial marriage! 😉

When I began working and dealing with various people from all walks of life, I got wider exposure to the Aussie accent and slangs and it made things even more difficult. I had trouble coping but I openly accepted the challenge. I guess getting accustomed to it everyday and taking in these new learnings with open mind is part of an immigrant’s journey.

One day, I was doing my regular tasks at work and informed one of our Directors that I just accomplished the major task that was expected of me. I felt lost and confused when he responded: Ta! (Pronounced as tah) I stared at him blankly and didn’t know what to say! He must have thought I was unforgivingly stupid! LOL! I still had not realized what it meant but when I kept hearing it from random Aussies, I have finally figured it out that it must have been a slang for Thanks a lot or an expression of gratitude. Of course, I had that confirmed at some point.

If you speak to an Australian and you wanna speak like an Australian, you’ve got to learn these:

G’day Mate! (Pronounced as Gud-die, Mite!)- This is a universal language that ALL Australians will understand. It is used anytime of the day or night. This is actually just the friendly way of saying “Hello.”

How ya goin?– It is usually the response after seeing someone and simply enquiring how they are.

You reckon?– If you say something and you’re trying to ask them what they think. e.g., I think it’s going to rain. You reckon? It’s the casual way of saying “I think.”

See ya later, see you soon or catcha later!– See you another time; not literally “later” in the day.

Below are the list of widely used Aussie slangs which I have learned to decode over my short stint here:

Arvo– afternoon
Aussie– an Australian
Bubba or bub– Baby
Barbie or Barby– barbecue
Beannie– bonnet
Bloody– it is the great Australian adjective to describe intensity. i.e. bloody idiot!
Bloke– Australian man, guy
Bludger– lazy person
Boot– trunk of a car
Brekky or Brekkie– breakfast
Bugger– a term of frustration
Capsicum– red or green bell peppers
Cardie- cardigan
Check-out– cashier
Chemist– pharmacy
Chips– french fries
Chook– chicken
Cuppa– cup of tea or a hot beverage
Dear– expensive
Docket– official receipt
Doona– duvet or comforter
Dummy– infant’s pacifier
Esky– portable icebox or cooler
Fillet– means the same thing but Aussies pronounce it with a “t”
Footy– Australian football (Rugby League)
Fridge– refrigerator
Jumper– usually a woolen sweater
Kindie– kindergarten
Knickers– panty or female underwear
Layby– layaway
Lift– elevator
Lollies– candies or sweets
Loo– toilet
Lounge room– living room
Maccas (pronounced as Mackers)– McDonalds
Mate– friend or buddy
Mozzies– mosquitoes
Nappy– diaper
No worries– this is a common English expression but it is used quite A LOT here. It means no dramas, no problem, it’s ok
Oz– Australia
Petrol– gasoline or fuel
Powerpoint– power/ electrical outlet
Pram– stroller
Prawn– shrimp
Prezzy or pressie– present or a gift
Pub– short for “public house” or hotel; it also indicates a bar that is licensed to provide alcohol to the public
Rubbish– garbage. Also used to describe something ugly or ridiculous.
Sickie– calling in sick to work
Script– prescription
She’ll be right, Mate!– She will be OK
Shopping centre– shopping mall
Singlet– sleeveless cotton undershirt
Sook– someone who complains a lot
Sunnies– sunglasses
Tap– faucet
Tellie– television
Thongs– beach footwear e.g, slippers
Tomato Sauce– ketchup (Yes!)
Torch– flashlight
Tracksuit pants or trackies– jogging pants
Trolley– shopping cart
Truckie– truck driver
Uni– university
Ute (pronounced as “yut”) – abbreviation for “utility”; it is a utility vehicle with a cargo tray in the rear. I call it pick-up in the Philippines 😉
Whinge– the act of incessantly and annoyingly complaining. The person who does this is called a “whinger”
Woolies– Woolworths

AUSSIE ALPHABET
It must be noted that Aussies pronounce the letter H as “haitch”. This is different from how we normally pronounce it in the American English alphabet, “aitch.”

In addition, Aussies pronounce the letter Z as “zed.” I am used to pronouncing it as “zee.”

Australia is an English speaking country but the Aussie slang has got a unique flavour to it. Right matey? The Aussie accent is always a thing to contend with. I personally don’t think I’d ever get to learn how to speak the Aussie accent (I won’t even dare try!) the way the true blue Aussies do it but understanding what’s being spoken about is the key to finding it exciting and fun- Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! 😉

16 thoughts on “Speaking Aussie-Style: The Australian Accent and Slang”

  1. Dropping by and learning a lot from this post, Teh. Lol

    I can just imagine your adjustment. Thank you for sharing your Aussie experience. Unta maka hapit ko diri pirmi :)

    1. Hi Enod,

      Thank you for your comment. I didn’t know that British English and Aussie slangs are similar? I want to know their similarities if that is the case; I’d appreciate it if you can elaborate a bit more just so I can be enlightened.

      Thank you.

  2. Ehehehehehe! I have been here for 8 years now and still learning. Please keep updating as I am sure there are still heaps out there. See you soon dear!xoxo

  3. So if I say, “You look like a Barbie” it might mean you look like barbecue lol. My husband has been in Aussie and he worked with Australians before and he told me that their accent is really different. I love listening to them talk though lol. Am sure, you will adopt their accent and slang words hehehe. G’day Mate!

    1. @Rose,

      Something like that. Haha!

      It’s interesting to know that your hubs had firsthand experience in dealing with the accent and slangs, hehe.

      Fat chance, Re: adopting the accent. Like they say, it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks :-/

  4. wow!!! I’m sure it will get more time for your to be able to get used to the Aussie Language. I mean it’s hard at first but when you are actually living in that country you’ll never know one day you’re one of the Aussie speaker.

  5. Ohhh..it’s so hard to blend with them than the Americans but you dare yourself to learn it anyway because it’s helpful. You dealt it with flying colors and hoping to learn some words from your post. I think, most Filipinos living abroad experienced this hardship…me too, very hard to blend with Arabic people.

  6. That’s a lot! I just remember talking to an australian client then. It’s quite difficult to absorb the words they spoke since they are too slang and fast. I am pretty sure it would take me a lot of time to learn how they speak. But you got a good list here, though. Those who are interested to learn their accent, this is really helpful. :)

  7. I laughed reading your post. It reminded me so much of my Aussie colleagues who drop Aussie slang in a day-to-day basis. Most of them are nice enough to explain to me what they meant. My fave (and I actually use it now) is “I reckon.” Hahaha. I love the sound of it, you reckon?

  8. I had fun reading this… trying to install the Aussie lessons I learned from this post. Hehe! :)

    I enjoy watching an Australian couple in YouTube. They vlog weekly… I am a little used to American and British English (because of my job), I thought it’s easy to understand Australian English now but I thought wrong. LOL. They say some things that I can’t make out quickly and had to Google it. Hehehe!

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