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How to Talk "Aussie": Dictionary of More Australian Slang, Strine and Colloquialisms (D to I)

John was born and raised in Australia. Subsequently, he is interested in all things Australian: language, sport and culture.

Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour

Welcome Back to Australia!

For those of you who read my first "How to Talk Aussie" article.. welcome back! It's great to know you enjoyed or at least found the first one interesting enough to continue following the series. I have already had to add extra words to the A, B, Cs since I published that, and will continue to do so as I happen upon further slang words that I hadn't thought of originally.

To those readers who happened across this hub first, good to see you. This is the second in a series, however, and you may like to also read: How to Talk "Aussie": Dictionary of Australian Slang, Strine, and Colloquialisms (A, B, C)

In my search for more Aussie slang, I soon found that a significant number of commonly used terms and colloquialisms could be considered by some to be crude or vulgar. This was somewhat of a dilemma for me, whether to include or not. I decided to post a query in 'Question and Answers' and see what responses I got. All were supportive of including all common terms/words, crude or not. This extract from a reply by Kylyssa is a good example:

"I think it's important you include them. If you leave them out, it would feel like a cheat. Then again, I have a very deep and abiding affection for words. I also find the swear words of different cultures fascinating.

What people consider vulgar says interesting things about their history and culture, even sometimes their politics..."

As a result of these positive responses I have decided to publish this series "uncensored." If any readers are offended by any terms I apologise now, but as a number of responders stated, "you can't please everyone." Anyway, I'm sure if anything is too offensive the HP editors will soon let me know. I hope you enjoy "D to I" of the Aussie Slang Dictionary, but before we begin, and to get you in the mood, please sit back and enjoy this video "Australiana."

Equivocations and Puns in the Video and Text Above

Here is the list (in order) of the place names, flora and fauna, and Aussie icons hidden in the above Austraiana video and text.

  • boomerang
  • wallaby
  • vegemite
  • goanna
  • dingoes
  • Nullabor
  • Illawarra
  • Ayers Rock
  • Alice Springs
  • Warrata
  • Eucumbene
  • Gum leaves
  • Launceston
  • Marinos
  • Jacaranda
  • Adelaide
  • Eucalyptus
  • Wombat
  • Tenterfield
  • Darwin
  • Bass Strait
  • Riverina
  • Mt. Kosciuszko
  • Thredbo
  • Perisher
  • Coolabah
  • Marsupial
  • Eureka Stockade
  • Kookaburra
  • Queensland
  • Toowoomba
  • Mount Isa
  • Platypus
  • Wangaratta
  • Wattle
  • Lake Eyre
  • Cockatoo
  • Billabong
  • Didgeridoo
  • Hobart
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Blue Mountains
  • Lord Howe Island
  • Hayman Island
  • Koala Bear
  • Australiana

Australiana by Austen Tayshus

The sketch is built on extensive sets of equivocations that form puns relating to Australian place names and icons, for example:

"My mate, Boomer, rang. Will Walla be there? Vegie might come. Let's go, Anna. Only if Din goes. Nulla bores me. Speak ill of Warra. Ayers rocks in. Alice springs into action. Thanks, Warra, ta. Has Eucum been in? Wait until Gum leaves. On the lawn, Ceston. Marie knows. Leave Jack around a party. Adel laid it on me. Do you wanna game of euchre, Lyptus? Can Wom bat? Can Tenta field? Dar wins every time. Is Bass straight? Swim in the River, Ina. I've got no cosi, Oscar. Without a thread, Bo. Perish the thought. No cooler bar maid. Where can Marsu pee, Al? You reek of Stockade. Cook a burra. A pair of queens land in. Crack on to Wumba. Try to mount Isa. Trying to plat her puss. Flash your wanger at her. What'll 'ey care? Seen a cock or two. Pack Bill a bong. Will a didgery do? Where's the Tally-ho, Bart? Great, Barry—a reefer. Blew Mountains away. Lord! How? Hey! Man! How much can a Koala bear? Lead you astray, Liana." (source: Wikipedia)

Sandy Gutman aka Austen Tayshus

Sandy Gutman aka Austen Tayshus

Alexander (Sandy) Gutman aka Austen Tayshus

comedian and author
Sydney humorist Alexander (‘Sandy’) Gutman was born on 17 March 1954 in New York and moved to Sydney at one year of age. He should have grown up to become a dentist, a career that would have pleased his mother and his father. Instead, he adopted an alter ego and became Australia’s most confronting stand-up comedian – Austen Tayshus.

In contrast to his alter ego, Sandy is a highly-cultured and observant son of Judaism, and at the age of 15 he participated in The International Bible Contest for Jewish Youth. He is a strict vegetarian who has beaten alcohol and drug abuse and is the father of two daughters.

Sandy's father was a Holocaust survivor. A childhood obsession with his father’s wartime experience profoundly affected young Sandy’s relationship with the world, forging a personality destined to wage war against authority, racism, and institutional dogma. This weapon is Austen Tayshus - Merchant of Menace. His comic range is extraordinary and his fans include international film stars, world famous artists and a former Australian prime minister. Austen Tayshus has been performing for three decades, around Australia and around the world.
His first single Australiana remains the biggest selling single in Australian recording history. He is a Tropfest winner, film school graduate, award winning recording artist and the most energetic and provocative satirist this country has ever seen.

In July 2010 Sandy was endorsed as the Australian Sex Party’s candidate for the federal seat of Warringah on Sydney’s northern beaches (current sitting member Tony Abbott). In May that year, at the age of 57, he launched his own biography Austen Tayshus: Merchant of Menace. (source: Movie credits: Holy Smoke!, Going Down Under.

Damper cooked in a camp oven

Damper cooked in a camp oven

Warning! Some words and terms may offend some readers. I have tried to keep this list as tasteful as possible without detracting from our rich and unique language by censoring too heavily. Some words that may be considered vulgar or rude in other languages are used as terms of exclamation and surprise, or even endearment In Australia.

D d

Dag : a funny person, nerd, goof
Daks : trousers, pants
Damper : bread made from flour and water (often cooked on a campfire or camp oven)
Date : arse/butt[hole] ("get off your fat date")
Dead dingo's donger, as dry as a : dry

Dead Heart, the : The centre of Australia, or “Red Centre”
Dead horse : Tomato sauce
Deadset : true, the truth
Dero : tramp, hobo, homeless person (from "derelict")
Dickhead : "wanker”, idiot, annoying person, know it all

Scroll to Continue

Didgeridoo : Aboriginal wind musial instrument
Digger : a soldier
Dill : an idiot, fool

Dingo : native wild dog, sly person
Dingo's breakfast : a yawn, a leak and a good look round (i.e. no breakfast)
Dinkum, fair dinkum : true, real, genuine ("I'm a dinkum Aussie"; "is he fair dinkum?")
Dinky-di : the real thing, genuine
Dipstick : a loser, idiot
Dob (somebody) in : inform on somebody. Hence dobber, a tell-tale
Docket : a bill, receipt
Doco : documentary

Dog and bone : telephone
Dog's balls, stands out like : obvious, nothing to hide

Dog's breakfast : a mess

Clancy of the Overflow, Australia's most famous drover

Clancy of the Overflow, Australia's most famous drover

Dole bludger : somebody on social assistance when unjustified
Donger : penis
Doodle : penis
Doovalacky : used whenever you can't remember what something is called. Thingummyjig, whatsit.
Down Under : Australia and New Zealand

Drag the chain : lag behind
Drongo : a dope, stupid person
Dropkick : see 'dipstick'

Drover : cowboy
Drum : information, tip-off ("I'll give you the drum")
Duchess : sideboard
Duffer, cattle : rustler

Dummy : pacifier
Dummy, spit the : get very upset at something
Dunny : outside lavatory/toilet
Dunny rat, cunning as a : very cunning
Durry : tobacco, cigarette
Dux : top of the class (n.); to be dux of the class (v.) - "She duxed four of her subjects".

E e

Earbashing : nagging, non-stop chatter

Easy, too : it’s a simple task, consider it done

Ekka : the Brisbane Exhibition, an annual show/state fair

Elephant stall/sale, white : sale of unwanted /used goods

Emu Parade : an organised group to pickup rubbish/trash (usually at school)

Esky : large insulated food/drink container for picnics, barbecues etc., cooler, ice box

Ethnics : European migrants

Exy : expensive

Typical sideshow stall at the Ekka

Typical sideshow stall at the Ekka

F f

Face, off one's : drunk ("She was off her face by 10pm")

Fag : cigarette

Fair crack of the whip : Give us a “fair go”/chance
Fair dinkum : true, genuine
Fair go : a chance ("give a bloke a fair go")
Fair suck of the sav! : exclamation of wonder, surprise, disbelief (sav: saveloy, hotdog, weiner)
Fairy floss : candy floss, cotton candy

Falcon : Ever popular make of car produced for the Australian market by the Ford Motor Company

Fanny : female genitalia, vagina

Feeding time at the zoo : hectic, noisy
Feral (n.) : a hippie, redneck
Figjam : "F*ck I'm good; just ask me". Nickname for people who have a high opinion of themselves.

First cab off the rank : First to grasp an opportunity
Fisho : fishmonger

Fit as a Mallee Bull : very fit
Flake : shark's flesh (sold in fish & chips shops)
Flat out like a lizard drinking : flat out, busy
Flick : to give something or somebody the flick is to breakup with or get rid of it or him/her
Flick it on : to sell something, usually for a quick profit, soon after buying it.
Fly wire : gauze flyscreen covering a window or doorway.
Footy : Australian Rules, or Rugby League football
Fossick : search, rummage ("fossicking through the kitchen drawers")
Fossick : to prospect, e.g. for gold
Fossicker : prospector, e.g. for gold
Freckle : anus
Fremantle Doctor : the cooling afternoon breeze that arrives in Perth from the direction of Fremantle
Frog in a sock, as cross as a : an angry person
Fruit loop : fool, crazy person
Full : drunk, or had enough to eat
Furphy : false or unreliable rumour

Roar proudly! You're a Feral! You love to be in nature, and rebel against society. You may dabble in spirituality, but it doesn't rule your life. Neither does hygiene - people are meant to smell this way!

Roar proudly! You're a Feral! You love to be in nature, and rebel against society. You may dabble in spirituality, but it doesn't rule your life. Neither does hygiene - people are meant to smell this way!

G g

G'Day : hello!
Gabba : Wooloongabba - the Brisbane cricket ground
Galah : fool, silly person. Named after the parrot of the same name because of its antics and the noise it makes.
Garbo, garbologist : garbage collector

Gazza : nickname for Garry
Give it a burl : try it, have a go
Gobful, give a : to abuse, usually justifiably ("The neighbours were having a noisy party so I went and gave them a gobful")
Gobsmacked : surprised, astounded
Going off : used for a night spot, party or event that is a lot of fun - "the place was really going off"

Good oil : useful information, a good idea, the truth, a hot tip
Good onya : good for you, well done

Goog, googie egg : egg
Goog, as full as a : drunk. "Goog" is a variation of the northern English slangword "goggie" meaning an egg.

Goon : cask of wine
Greenie : environmentalist
Grinning like a shot fox : very happy, smugly satisfied
Grog : liquor, beer ("bring your own grog, you bludger")
Grouse (adj.) : great, terrific, very good
Grundies : undies, underwear (from Reg Grundy, a television person)

Gun Shearer : the fastest shearer in the shed
Gutful : drunk, "he's got a gutful of piss"
Gyno : gynaecologist

Tom Roberts- "Shearing the Rams" (The Gun Shearer in the foreground)

Tom Roberts- "Shearing the Rams" (The Gun Shearer in the foreground)

H h

Happy as Larry : very happy
Harold Holt, to do the : To bolt, disappear (Also "to do the Harold")*

Hay, ay : I beg your pardon. Please repeat that.
Heaps : a lot, e.g. "thanks heaps", "(s)he earned heaps of money"etc.

Hen’s teeth, scarce as : very scarce

Holden : Traditionally Australia's most popular make of car (especially the Commodore models) made by General Motors
Holy dooley! :
an exclamation of surprise = "Good heavens!", "My goodness!" "Good grief!"

Homestead : ranch house
Hoon : hooligan
Hooroo : goodbye, see ya
Hotel : a pub
Hottie : hot water bottle

Howzat! : an exclamation used when taking a wicket in the sport of cricket. (made famous by a song performed by the Aussie group "Sherbert")*

Humpy : Aboriginal shelter, shack

*Harold Holt was an Australian Prime Minister for only 22 months before he disappeared in December 1967 while swimming at Cheviot Beach near Portsea, Victoria, and was presumed drowned. His body was never recovered.

I i

I can’t take a trick : I can’t win, everything I do goes wrong

Icy pole, ice block : popsicle, ice lolly

I didn’t come down in the last shower : I’m not stupid or naïve

Iffy : hard to believe, don’t trust it, possible but not likely

It’s my shout : This one’s on me (drink, meal etc)

It’s your shout : It’s your turn to buy (drink, meal etc

Icy pole/ice block: By dumbfoundling a flickr user [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Icy pole/ice block: By dumbfoundling a flickr user [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 John Hansen


The Logician from then to now on on May 08, 2020:

Wow. I wonder how Babel will deal with this! Never been to Australia. Someday I’ll Wake 'n rise, 'n step into the bloody green outdoawrs there.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 21, 2015:

Oh no, what have I done? Australian slang is gong to be spread throughout America..haha. Thanks for reading Deb, glad you enjoyed this enough to want to try them out at work.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on June 21, 2015:

I love this. I'm going to start using these at work. Watch how fast they catch on.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 21, 2015:

Thanks for the great comment Kylyssa. I am enjoying putting this series together and hopefully will have the next installment published soon. I'm just writing a couple of other hubs in between for variety. Yes "fanny" is one of the funniest differences in use of the same word, and has often brought a smile to Aussie faces watching American tv shows etc. Interesting to here South Africans use it the same as us. Glad you are enjoying the images as well. Hooroo.

Kylyssa Shay from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA on June 21, 2015:

I love this series. I find it fascinating. I've been saving a few choice terms to bust out when I need to make my roommate laugh.

I love the images you've chosen to illustrate these pieces, too.

In the US, "fanny" is used as a word for butt one uses in delicate company. Years back, I worked with a South African woman who almost hurt herself laughing when I slipped on flower stems and fell at work. She asked me if I was hurt and I said I was fine but it felt like I just about broke my fanny on her flower bits. I thought she was going to have an asthma attack! When she explained (and fanny means the same to her as it does to Aussies) I, too, was laughing until I cried.

After that, I'd sometimes go up to her and whisper "fanny pack" in her ear when some customer would come in the store with a bum bag on. She had a great laugh.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 15, 2015:

Thank you or the great comment Bob. Glad you enjoyed this hub. I hope you do visit our shores in the near future.

Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on June 15, 2015:

I loved it Jodah. Very tastefully written. I don't think anyone would have a problem with that language. Let's face it people are rude, crude and quite tasteless at times. This is a very well written piece that makes me want to visit Australia even more. voted up and interesting. Bob.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 14, 2015:

Thanks for reading Will, glad you are enjoying this series There should be another on the way in a couple of weeks. Just have to finish up something else I'm working on first.

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on June 14, 2015:

This is a fun and informative series, John! Looking forward to more.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 14, 2015:

Yes Flourish, the most interesting part is how the same word is used differently in various countries. It pays to be very careful when visiting other places so you don't say something offensive.

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 14, 2015:

It's funny how fairly innocuous terms in one country are risqué in another, with other meanings.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 09, 2015:

No problem Alicia. My pleasure. Thanks for reading and glad you found this informative.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 09, 2015:

This is very interesting and informative, Jodah! Thanks for sharing all the slang expressions.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 08, 2015:

Thanks for the affirmative and insightful comment Eric. You are right that some people lead dull and boring lives if they let everything offend them. One major way of seeing the differences (and similarities) in cultures is through their use of slang.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 08, 2015:

Yes Ann, I agree that language and words and how they are used are is always intriguing. I guess it doesn't really matter where our common slang words originated, just that we do use them in our respective countries and not in others. Glad you didn't find any offensive.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 08, 2015:

Hi Frank, thanks for the vote up and share. Glad you found this hub enjoyable.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 08, 2015:

Wonderful read on so many levels. I reckon that some things in life are offensive to some folks in life. What a dull life that would be. Slang is a wonderful open window into a collective psychie. It reminds me that if we all did not think somewhat alike we could not communicate.

Ann Carr from SW England on June 08, 2015:

I love how different folk use different words, wherever they may be. It's the versatility of language.

It's hard to know whether some Brit phrases were originally here or there, for example, I've always known, 'white elephant, fair crack of the whip, full & it's my shout. I didn't know anything about Oz words until about 20 years ago but that might mean I led a sheltered life!

Great selection, John. I don't think any of this is offensive - it's just how it's spoken, surely?!


Frank Atanacio from Shelton on June 08, 2015:

thank you my friend from down under this was actually fun.. up and shared :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 08, 2015:

Thanks MsDora, I aim to educate :) interesting to see which slang words we share. Have a great week.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 08, 2015:

Thank you Larry, glad you are enjoying this series. The slang does vary across the country though a lot of it is the same throughout. Certain states do have some words and phrases specific to them. For instance the names of glasses of beer used to be different in Queensland as opposed to other states. We called a 10 ounce glass here a "pot" whereas in NSW it was a "schooner". Recently I noticed that now we also have "schooners".. So terms to spread and change over time. It can be tricky ordering beers around Australia, see:

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 08, 2015:

Very interesting, especially because some of these slang words are used in the Caribbean, but with other meanings. Quite an education we're getting here.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on June 08, 2015:

Loving this series. I had a question. Australia is very large. Does the slang vary much from one part to the next? In the U.S. it varies a lot on region.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 08, 2015:

Thanks Kurt, glad you liked this and that it may be helpful when you visit this country. I appreciate the vote up too.

Kurt James from Loveland Colorado on June 08, 2015:

Loved this and of course very useful for when I come to your fair shores....Thanks and voted up

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 08, 2015:

Haha agvulpes. I hadn't thought about the fact that by educating everyone about our language it would jeopardise being able to tell who was and who wasn't tourists :) Yes, sounds like Austen Tayshus is still doing well. Thanks for reading.

Peter from Australia on June 08, 2015:

Gaw blimey me old china now that you've gone and educated everyone we won't be able to 'pick the tourist' when the come and visit .lol Keep up the good work.

I really love the way Austen has come back :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 08, 2015:

Thanks for reading and commenting Rebecca. Glad you enjoyed this hub.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 08, 2015:

I enjoyed glancing through and reading all the different expressions and phrases. Interesting. Good job, Jodah!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 08, 2015:

Thanks stricktlydating.

StrictlyQuotes from Australia on June 08, 2015:

Very good!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 07, 2015:

Hey dr just, thanks for reading this doovalacky, thingamajig, what's it of a hub. Glad to add to your store of Aussie strine words. Cheers.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 07, 2015:

Ta Phyllis, you are one grouse Sheila too. :) Glad you are having fun reading this series. With such positive responses how could I not keep it coming?

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 07, 2015:

Hi Faith, you bonsai sheila :) glad you enjoyed this including the painting of Sydney and the info about Sandy Gutman. We often use "thingamabob" too but I thought it was used too widely to include. As I told Shauna, I probably use about a third of these terms at some stage, but have heard most of them used by others from time to time on my travels. As you say it often depends on the scenario and the people you are with.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 07, 2015:

Nice Aussie accent you've got there Clive :) thanks for reading and "avagoodone".

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 07, 2015:

Hi Dana, glad you are enjoying this series. Not sure where the word "fanny" originated, probably Britain, or why it came to refer to different body parts in our various countries.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 07, 2015:

G'day Shauna, ow'sitgoin? Here we call at "butt" a "bum" hence where you have "fanny packs" we have "bum bags". Most people outside Australia can not make head nor tail of 'Australiana' by Austen Tayshus that's why I decided to include all the actual words used in his puns. Probably about a third of the slang here would be used in my everyday conversation, but it depends where you go in Australia..especially the outback regions tend to use a greater proportion.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on June 07, 2015:

Thank you, mate, for increasing my bare-bones knowledge of strine. Particularly fond of 'Doovalacky' - so much more classy than 'whatsit.' :)

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on June 07, 2015:

You are Dinky-di, Jodah - Fair Dinkum Aussie, for sure. You are Dux in my book. Good onya, Jodah. Voted up, across and shared.

Keep going with this awesome, enjoyable series. I love it! Well done, Mate.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on June 07, 2015:

Wow, John, you did cover a lot of ground on this second one here. So glad you included background on Alexander (‘Sandy’) Gutman interesting!

Love, love, love the artwork at the beginning and I have always loved that famous location known to all around the world it seems, especially due to the Olympics.

We have our own word for doovalacky here in the Deep South, which is thingamabob LOL (not sure how we would spell it).

I did watch the first video and was unable to discern anything from what was actually being said, but from the visual aids, I did get a lot of it LOL.

We have a lot of ferals around here. I was surprised that we do use a couple of these same terms over here in the US.

So, when y'all speak to others everyday, do y'all use a lot of the slang in everyday conversations? Or is it just depending on the scenario when one would use the slang? Just curious.

Oh, I love real cowboys, so I know I would love Clancy : )

Loved the second video artist.

Blessings always and hope you are enjoying a peaceful Sunday.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on June 07, 2015:

ok mate, i did i sound....ok that was a stupid question, aint it mate?

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on June 07, 2015:

Loved this second series of ' More Australian-slang. I have heard the word fanny used here also. I'ts funny I wonder if we got that from you guys.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 07, 2015:

Interesting. Some of your slang we use here, too. Others I was able to figure out what they mean (before reading your explanations) and others are just off the wall. For instance, if fanny is a woman's lady parts, what do you call the butt? Also, if hotel means pub, is a pub a hotel?

I must be a little slow this morning; I didn't catch on to Austen Tayshus until the second subhead. How clever of him!

This series is a hoot, John. Do you personally use a lot of this slang in everyday conversation?

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 07, 2015:

Hi Bill, so glad this series is bringing you some extra enjoyment. I am having fun writing it too. Take care.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 07, 2015:

A kick in the butt....or a poke in the funny bone...that's what this series is to me. Total enjoyment, John.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 07, 2015:

Glad you enjoyed this Essie and found it informative. Thanks for reading both arts and voting up when you can.

Essie from Southern California on June 07, 2015:

As always, full of wonderful, delightful info! I got a kick out of the the puns! Moseyed over and read part one as well. That was great. Can't find the vote up button on my phone. When I get to my laptop, I will vote up! :-)

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