10 Secret Words and Phrases Only Australians Understand

A few years ago, I shared a meal with an American family at their home in Tulsa Oklahoma. I had met them previously at my home town of Perth Australia.

I thanked them for the meal by saying: “That was great tucker.”

My hosts and other guests looked at me in stark amazement.

I then realized that we Aussies do speak a different lingo and this led to a hilarious dinnertime discussion when other guests asked me to “speak Australian”

Fast forward to 2009.

I was part of a small group touring remote Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory. Our tour guide had a broad Aussie accent.

We were discovering amazing Aboriginal rock art with 2 local Aboriginal guides. It was a fascinating tour taking us to hidden areas known only to the locals.

The group included a number from Europe and North America and they were fascinated, not only by the rock paintings (some believed to be 30 000 years old!) but by his broad accent. Some words he had to repeat and explain, much to the amusement of the Aussies in the group.

So what are these strange words and expressions?

If you’re planning to visit Australia in the future, here’s a taste.

Let’s see how you go. (Don’t worry, the answers are at the end)

1. Tucker

2. Blue

3. Cyclone

4. Petrol

5. Car

6. Pram

7. Chemist

8. Not the full quid

9. Kangaroos short in the top paddock

10. Crack a tinnie and crack a fat.

Well, howja go?

The answers:

1. The word means food or a meal. It comes from the word “tucker box” used by outback workers to store their lunch. It was immortalised in the poem “Waltzing Matilda” by Australian writer Banjo Patterson.

2. Not only a colour. It has 2 other meanings. A bloke with red hair is called “blue” and if you get involved in a fight, you’re having a blue or “barny”. Many blokes in pub fights may have a blue over a shiela, particularly if they are pissed after drinking too much amber fluid. To confuse the issue a “true blue” is a dinki di Aussie.

3. The Australian word for a hurricane. In the Southern Hemisphere a cyclone spins in a clockwise direction. By the way, the name for a small localised spinning wind is “willy willy”. They are common in Outback Australia and are sometimes called dust storms.

4. Called gas in America. Australians call gas the non liquid form of fuel.

5. The Aussie name for an automobile or “motor” as the English call them. The luggage storage area is called a boot and the engine is housed under the bonnet. If an Aussie bloke gets drunk he is said to be “as full as a boot”

6. Pram or perambulator. Called baby buggies in North America.

7. Chemist. Another name for pharmacy or drug store. Aussies feel ill at ease with the word “drug store”

8. A term used to describe a person who is not very bright or “as thick as 2 short planks”

9. Similar to 8 but not only stupid, possibly dangerous. “He’s a few kangaroos short in the top paddock”.

10. The first word means to open a can of beer and the second to have an erection.

If you scored 9 or 10, you could pass for an Aussie. 5 to 8 and you’ll soon pick up the lingo. If you scored under 5, you’ll have to visit Oz and have a few coldies in an Aussie pub. Before long you could pass for a true blue!

Wherever you are going to travel, you should bring flameless lighter in anticipation of an emergency, besides that lighter is also very necessary under any circumstances. Given its simple but elegant and easy to carry shape, it is a futuristic lighter without gas.