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How to Talk "Aussie": Slang, Strine and Colloquialisms of the Land Down-under (Q to Z)

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

Typical Queenslander, East Brisbane.By Commander Keane (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Typical Queenslander, East Brisbane.By Commander Keane (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dictionary of Australian Slang, Strine, and Colloquialisms

This article brings to an end the series "How to Talk Aussie" and includes words and sayings beginning with the letters Q through to Z. I have enjoyed writing and compiling this dictionary of our unique take on the English language and I hope you have found it interesting, sometimes funny, and above all useful.

It remains to be seen how many attempts it will take me to get this article published. The previous one in this series had to be edited and submitted about five times before I could get it accepted. It appears I may have the same problems here as it has already been declined more than once due to duplication. Because of the subject matter and being a dictionary of terms, this is a difficult hurdle to overcome. Anyway, I will keep trying.

From time to time I will update this series of articles with new words and others I have simply forgotten to include. But for now, please enjoy the Dictionary of Australian Slang, Strine, and Colloquialisms Q to Z.

Maroon supporters shouting "Queenslander!"

Maroon supporters shouting "Queenslander!"

Qq and Rr


Queenslander : a style of house built specifically for the hot Queensland climate. Typically features wide verandahs and on high stumps to take advantage of the breeze for cooling.

Queenslander : a person from Queensland; more recently a barracking cry used in Rugby League football's State of Origin series in support of the Queensland Maroons vs the New South Wales Blues, "Queenslander, Queenslander!"

Quid, make a : make money, earn an income - "we all need to make a quid to put food on the table" ( 'quid' is slang for a pound. £1 became $2 when Australia converted to decimal currency in 1966)

Quid, not the full : intellectually challenged, a few cents short of the dollar

Not another boat load of illegal reffos! Rack off!

Not another boat load of illegal reffos! Rack off!


Rack off : get lost! get out of here! also "rack off hairy legs!"(what Miss Muffet may have said to the spider)

Rage : wild party (n), party hard (v); name of a long running late night music show on ABC TV

Rage on : to continue partying - "we raged on until the next morning"

Ranga : a red-headed person

Rapt : pleased, delighted, excited

Ratbag : numbskull, menace, lout

Raw prawn, to come the : to talk bullshit, to be disagreeable - "don't come the raw prawn with me!"

Ring up : to make a phone call, "I am going to ring up and order a pizza"

Rip snorter : great, fantastic - "it was a rip snorter of a footy game"

Ripper : great, fantastic - "that was a ripper party"

Ripper, you little! : Exclamation of delight, or as a reaction to good news

Rissole : a large meatball

Road train : big truck with many trailers

Roadie : a beer to take away, or assistant to travelling (on the road) musicians

Rock up : to turn up, to arrive - "we rocked up at the club at 8pm"

Rollie : a cigarette that you roll yourself using tobacco and papers

Roo : kangaroo

Roo bar : metal bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroos

Root (verb and noun) : synonym for f*ck in most instances: "I feel rooted"; "this refrigerator is rooted"; "(s)he's a good root". A useful word in fairly polite company.

Root rat : somebody who is always looking for sex.

Ropeable : very angry, mad

Rotten : drunk - "He had a late night and got rotten"

Rubbish : garbage, trash, crap, a lie(n). or to criticize(v)

The Aussie salute

The Aussie salute


Salute, Aussie : waving flies away from face

Salvos, the : Salvation Army

Sandgroper : a person from Western Australia

Sanger, sanga : a sandwich

Sav : saveloy, wiener, type of frankfurt

Schooner : large beer glass in Queensland; medium beer glass in South Australia

Schoolies : High-school graduates who have completed their final exams and take a week-long vacation. Both the vacation and the school leavers are called this.

Scratchy, scratch-it : instant lottery ticket

Screamer : "she's a two pot screamer" - somebody who gets drunk on very little alcohol

Script : doctor's prescription

Seppo : an American (mildly derogatory, short for septic-tank, rhymes with "yank")

Servo : service station, petrol station, gas station

Shag on a rock, stands out like a : very obvious, impossible to ignore

Shagger : someone with a high sex drive

Shark biscuit : amateur surfer

She'll be right : it'll be okay, don't stress about it

Sheila : a woman or girl

Shit a brick! : you must be joking! I don't believe it! Difficult or unexpected situation.

Shithouse (adj.) : of poor quality, unenjoyable ("this car is shit house", "the movie was shit house")

Shit house (noun) : toilet, lavatory

Shonky : untrustworthy, poor quality. E.g. a shonky practice, "that computer seems rather shonky"

Shoot through : to leave, run away

Shout : turn to buy - usually a round of drinks ("it's your shout")

Show pony : someone who tries to impress those around him (usually by dress or actions)

Sickie : day off sick from work, usually when you're perfectly healthy (chuck a sickie)

Skite : brag, boast

Skull/Skoll : to drink a beer or other alcohol in a single swig without taking a breath

Slab : a carton of 24 bottles or cans of beer: concrete base for a houe etc

Sleepout : verandah of a house converted to a bedroom

Smoko : smoke (cigarette) or coffee break

Snag : a sausage

Snag bag : sausage roll

Sook : person or animal who is timid, overly friendly or looking for attention. That puppy is very sooky (adj.)

Spag bol : spaghetti bolognese

Sparky : electrician

Up at a sparrow's fart/dawn/sun rise

Up at a sparrow's fart/dawn/sun rise

Sparrow's fart : dawn, sunrise, early morning

Spew : vomit

Spewin' : very angry

Spiffy, pretty spiffy : great, excellent, flash, fancy

Spit the dummy : get very upset at something, refuse to do something if things are going wrong

Spruiker : man who stands outside a nightclub, business, or restaurant etc trying to persuade people to enter

Sprung : caught doing something wrong or illegal

Spunk : an attractive person (of either sex)

Squizz : look - "take a squizz at this"

Standover man : a "heavy," or tough man who threatens people with physical violence in order to have his wishes carried out. may work for a money-lender or collection agency

Station : a ranch, large farm/grazing property,

Stickybeak : busy body, nosy person

Stoked : very pleased, extremely happy

Stone the crows : you must be joking, that's just crazy

Strewth : exclamation, mild oath ("Strewth, that John is a bonzer bloke")

Strides : trousers, slacks

Strine : Australian slang and distinct pronunciation

Stroppy : cranky, bad attitude

Stubby : a 375ml. beer bottle

Stubbies : a popular brand of short pants (especially with tradies)

Stubby holder : polystyrene insulated holder for a stubby

Stuffed, I feel : "I'm exhausted", "I feel tired"

Stuffed, I'll be : surprised expression, similar to "I'll be damned" (sometimes shortened to just "I'll be..")

Sunbake : sunbathe

Sunnies : sunglasses

Surfies : people who like to surf, more than work

Suss : suspicious, "that excuse is a bit suss," or "that guy looks a bit suss"

Swag : rolled up blanket and bedding etc carried by a swagman (hobo)

Swaggie : swagman, hobo

Swagman : tramp, hobo

Sweet as : really good


Ta : thanks a lot

TAFE : a school/college for vocational education courses

Tall poppies : rich or successful people

Tall poppy syndrome : the tendency to criticize successful people

Tallie : 750ml bottle of beer

Tasmanian Devil : endangered marsupial found only in Tasmania

Tassie : Tasmania

Taswegian : a person from Tasmania

Tap : faucet

Tax File Number : social security number

Tea : supper, dinner

Technicolor yawn : spew, vomit

Tee-up : to set up, arrange (an appointment)

The lot : everything, "I'll have a burger with the lot"

Thingo : Wadjamacallit, thingummyjig, whatsit

Thingummyjig : thingo, wadjamacallit, whatsithThingummyjig

Thongs : flip-flops or cheap rubber sandals (not skimpy underwear or beach wear we call "g-strings")

Throw-down : small bottle of beer which you can drink quickly

Tickets on oneself : to have a high opinion of oneself "he's got tickets on himself"

Tinny : can of beer; small aluminium boat, a dinghy

Togs : swim suit, bathers

What is Two-up?

Two-up is a gambling game where coins are tossed and bets are made on whether they will land on heads or tails. The prize pool is all the money invested by players.

Two-up is a simple game. The spinner (the person who tosses the coins) places two pennies on the kip (the wooden block) and tosses them. The pennies must spin at least two metres over spinner’s head and not come into contact with an object or a person. It must also land in the boundaries of the ring.

Players bet on either two heads or two tails. The ring keeper selects the spinner and controls the conduct of the game. (source:

Too easy : it's a breeze, consider it done

Too right! : definitely!

Top End : far northern Australia

Trackie daks/dacks : tracksuit pants

Trackies : track suit

Troppo, gone : to have escaped to a state of tropical madness; to have become uncivilized after spending too long in the tropics.

Trough lolly : the solid block of disinfectant in a men's urinal

Truckie : truck driver, trucker

True blue : patriotic, "true blue Aussie"

Tucker : food

Tucker-bag : food bag, lunch bag (there is a famous old song called "The Dog Sits on the Tucker-bag Five Miles from Gundagai")

Turps : turpentine, sometimes alcohol

Turps, hit the : go on a drinking binge

Two up : gambling game played by tossing two coins (traditionally pennies) simultaneously

Australian soldiers enjoying a game of two up

Australian soldiers enjoying a game of two up

Various styles of Ugg Boots

Various styles of Ugg Boots

Uu, Vv, Ww


Ugg boots : Traditionally Australian sheepskin boots originally worn by surfers to keep warm while out of the water, and by airmen during WW1 and WW2 to maintain warmth in non-pressurized planes at high altitudes. Now a popular footwear with the general population during winter.

Uni : university eg. Sydney Uni

Uluru : Ayers Rock (the world's largest monolith)

Unit : flat, apartment, condo

Up oneself (yourself, himself, herself, themselves) : have a high opinion of oneself - "he's really up himself"

Up somebody, get : scold somebody - "my wife got up me for missing dinner"

Useful (or useless) as an ashtray on a motorbike : unhelpful or incompetent person or thing, "That advice is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike"

Useful (or useless) as tits on a bull - unhelpful or incompetent person or thing, "he, she or it is about as useful as tits on a bull"

Ute : utility vehicle, pickup truck

Holden VE Commodore SS Ute: By Bidgee (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Holden VE Commodore SS Ute: By Bidgee (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Valiant : a once popular make of car produced in Australia by Chrysler

VB : Victoria Bitter, the most popular brand of beer in Victoria

Veggies : vegetables

Vee dub : Volkswagen

Vegemite : Australia's favourite sandwich spread (yeast extract), an Aussie icon

Veg out : relax, often in front of the TV (like a vegetable)

Veggo : vegetarian

Vinnie's : St. Vincent De Paul's (charity thrift stores, opportunity shops, and hostels)

By Tristanb [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Tristanb [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


WACA (pron. whacker) : Perth cricket ground (Western Australian Cricket Association)

Waggin' school : playing truant

Walkabout : a walk in the Outback by Aborigines that lasts for an indefinite amount of time

Walkabout, it's gone : it's lost, can't be found

Wallaby : small variety of kangaroo, marsupial; member of the Australian Rugby Union team "the Wallabies"

Waltzing Matilda : Australia's favourite song (our unofficial National Anthem)

Weekend warrior : army reservist

Whacker, whacka : Idiot; somebody who talks shit; somebody with whom you have little patience; a dickhead, wanker

Whinge : complain, gripe

White pointers : topless (female) sunbathers

White-ant (n) : termite

White-ant (v) : to criticise something to deter somebody from buying it. A car dealer might white-ant another dealer's cars

Wobbly : tantrum, excitable behaviour ("I complained that my meal was cold and the waiter threw a wobbly")

Wobbly boot on, he's got the : he's drunk, got the staggers

Wog : flu or non-serious illness

Wog : person of Mediterranean origin. A milder insult than the same word elsewhere.

Wombat : Australian marsupial, or somebody who eats, roots and leaves (see also root)

Woop Woop : mythical name for any small unimportant town - "he's from Woop Woop"

Wowser : straight-laced person, prude, puritan, spoilsport, tea-totter

Wuss : coward; timid or nervous person

Xx, Yy, Zz


XXXX : pronounced Four X, brand of beer made in Queensland


Yabber : talk (a lot)

Yabby : inland freshwater crayfish found in Australia

Yakka : work (noun) "I am exhausted after all that hard yakka"

Yank : American, from "Yanky"

Yewy, U-ee : u-turn in traffic ("chuck a yewy at the next traffic lights")

Yobbo : an unsophisticated person


Zack : sixpence (5 cents) - "it isn't worth a zack", "he hasn't got a zack to his name"

Zed : the letter "Z", zee

Zincalume : brand of zinc/aluminium coated steel roof sheeting (to make it corrosion resistant)

Zinc cream : popular zinc-based sunscreen product (often used by cricketers)

XXXX Beer sign

XXXX Beer sign

Blue claw yabby

Blue claw yabby

I Leave You With This Video. Catch Ya Later.

The video above is from a concert at the Sydney Opera House and features some of everyone's favourite Aussies: Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, Keith Urban and Olivia Newton-John singing "I Still Call Australia Home."

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


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on February 27, 2016:

Haha Cynthia, thanks for reading and commenting. I guess "a shithouse" by any other name would smell as know :)

Good point about "the lot" as opposed to "everything except..." We Aussies do like to simplify things. Glad you enjoyed the read.

Cynthia Hoover from Newton, West Virginia on February 26, 2016:

I really enjoyed reading this Jodah, had a few great giggles as I read. I guess no matter where you are from a "shithouse" is a shithouse! Having spent time working in a café I wish here in the US people would order using "the lot", most people order here by saying "everything" only to then say, except this, this and this. I should start a movement and get people to use "the lot" when people really do want everything!!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 11, 2016:

Haha LTM, I guess if you are in a word does serve the cause better..and you do have a point with "bathroom"....but then we have "thunder box" or should that be "thunderbox"? Maybe I we should just call it the "crapper."

LongTimeMother from Australia on January 11, 2016:

And the noun as well, I'm thinking. If you're running to the outdoor dunny, doesn't matter how nice and new it is. It is still a shithouse. lol.

No doubt both terms are acceptable, but I tend to liken it to bathroom ... as opposed to bath room.

Oh, I could have too much fun having discussions like this one. :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 11, 2016:

Yes, you are right LTM. The adjective form should have been. Editbot thought otherwise, but I have changed it. Thanks.

LongTimeMother from Australia on January 11, 2016:

G'day mate. I always thought shithouse was one word. :)

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on August 14, 2015:

Yep. Quite a few! Still they're good ones.

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

Thanks Lawrence, I'm sure we share quite a few of these sayings/words.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on August 14, 2015:

Some classics here

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

Goodday Suraj, yes you should visit here one day. It's not far away and you sure can chill in whoop woop :) especially at the was -4 degrees last night.December is much warmer and more like the climate you are used to in Java. Thanks for reading.

suraj punjabi from jakarta on August 08, 2015:

Australia is very near from Indonesia. Might come over and visit someday. If the big towns are packed i might go to some woop woop and chill! Hah! Might come during december when it is hot out there i hope I wont go tropo!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 30, 2015:

Hey thanks for reading Carrie, glad you enjoyed this. Good to see you back, on-line again. Can't wait to read some more stories from you.

Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on July 30, 2015:

Great and fun hub! We use a few of these in the States like rubbish and Sh*t a brick etc. But my favorite one was shark biscuit. I laughed out loud :) I am back on the grid again!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 29, 2015:

lol...sounds like a fun time at your work Deb, glad these are useful.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on July 29, 2015:

Loving these. I use several of these commonly. This only adds more fuel to the fire at work.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 28, 2015:

Thank you Chris, glad you found this an interesting learning experience. I am a fan of vegemite. It is probably an acquired taste and many Australians are brought up on it from the time they first begin to eat as babies. People from other countries are usually shocked by it's unexpected strong flavour when first tasting it. This is because they usually eat it incorrectly. It can't be spread on bread or toast thickly like peanut butter for instance. Because it has such a strong flavour you only put a very light spread on the bread and it has to be combined with butter. Spread on a generous amount of butter first and then just a light spread or dabs of vegemite on is great on toast, and I like it on raisin or fruit bread/buns.

Krzysztof Willman from Parlin, New Jersey on July 28, 2015:

I really enjoyed learning more and more about Aussie terms with bits of history placed into the definitions themselves. I've always been curious about Vegemite in particular, and I'd like your opinion on it.

Very nice series of hubs, Voted up!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 26, 2015:

Thanks for revisiting Blossom, and for your encouragement. I guess you are right..all countries have some words that originated elsewhere I guess, and yes we do say words slightly differently around the country.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 26, 2015:

Hi Nell, I had trouble with this. HP had some issues with this one and took it down within minutes of being published. Three attempts and an email later it was reinstated so notifications were lacking. Thanks for finding it and reading though.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on July 26, 2015:

I'm back! I don't think it matters that some of the words originated in Britain and elsewhere, that's how languages grow. We even have differences between the States, take what we wear when we swim, for example - bathers, usually in Vic, swimmers, NSW, cossies SA, etc. And even the stress on words differ - PADock where I live, PAD-DOCK in SA; bolERo in Vic, BOLero in Qld, and so it goes. That what makes it so interesting. Great work of yours!

Nell Rose from England on July 26, 2015:

G'Day Jodah! how did I miss this? a lot of the sayings we have over here in good ol' blighty, but some are new too me. I didn't realise that I had missed some hubs, so I will go investigate!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 26, 2015:

Thanks Bill, much appreciated. I wouldn't have asked you to share it if it had been published and notified normally.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 26, 2015:

I do enjoy this series. I'll share it now my friend.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 26, 2015:

Hey Frank, I am here to entertain Mate..I'm just here vegging out in my tracky daks. Ta for reading.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on July 26, 2015:

hey.. don't come with this Raw prawn, LOL .. I get a kick out of this hub.. or these types of hub Jodah voted up and entertaining my friend

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 25, 2015:

thanks for reading Alicia. Glad you found the series interesting and enjoyable.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 25, 2015:

I've enjoyed this series very much, Jodah. A few of the words I already knew, but the vast majority were new to me. Thanks for sharing all of the very interesting information.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 25, 2015:

She's all apples now Mike, thanks. Nope We can't lay claim to "blimey!" That's British I am afraid :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 25, 2015:

Hi Faith, maybe you didn't check the email until the hub was back up...if you haven't opened it while it was down it would show up. Thanks for sharing anyway and I'll be sure to do the same with your next one.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 25, 2015:

Thank you Dana for voting up and sharing. You are right, weekends are usually slow so it's all good.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 25, 2015:

They found you! Blimey! (Wait is that Australian slang?) Glad to see everything got straightened out. Happy Saturday.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on July 25, 2015:

Oh, I saw the email HP sent out as usual, so I thought it went around as usual ... I will make sure to share with my followers, as I hope you would do the same for me if I ever get around to publishing again : ) ... That is most frustrating, but I did get a notification and was able to read it from the email.


Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on July 25, 2015:

I think sharing this will be a good idea. I know people are busy on the weekends and some hubs will get lost with all the other new hubs being published. Voted up, awesome, useful and sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 25, 2015:

Thank you Chris. This has been a challenging but interesting series of hubs to write in more way then one. Glad you and others enjoyed them. The Land Down Under is not a bad place to live.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 25, 2015:

Hi Dana, it did feel good to actually get this email to HP staff worked. I did share it on my feed so some of my followers should see it that way, but no it hasn't had a lot of comments yet. Maybe you'd like to share it :) I will keep adding to these hubs as I think of words I've missed but if you've already read them you probably won't know. Blessings to you for your support.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 25, 2015:

Hi Faith, yes I did it. Had the same problems as with the last one, but my email to the HP staff seemed to work. Once again my problem is letting everyone know it's up and running so appreciate it if you can share. We do have out fair share of popular stars both singers and actors at the moment don't we? You have a great weekend too.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 25, 2015:

Hi Blossom, thanks for your comment. I started off trying to have only words that were distinctively Australian but it became just too difficult to separate them from some that originated in Britain. I tried my best. If you know of any specific ones that are shared let me know and I may delete them. Not sure if it will ever become a book, but we'll see. I am actually working on my first eBook of poetry so I'll see how I go with that first. It has been quite a process compiling this list and I have left out a lot that I haven't heard used personally.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on July 25, 2015:

So many wonderful, colorful, descriptive words. You've got a great country and people down and around, John. Thanks for these hubs. They've been a blast to read.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on July 24, 2015:

Glad to see you finally got this one published I kept checking for it. It was worth the wait. Kinda sad this is the last of the series though. You may need to alert all your fans and let them know its fixed because I just happen to check and find it. I was surprised I was the second one to comment, usually, you would have had at least sixty by now.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on July 24, 2015:

What a zip snorter of a hub here, John. Hooray, you did it! It must have taken a huge amount of time to pull this together, and then to have to jump through hoops to get it published.

We actually use a lot of these same slang here, as I was surprised to note.

Boy, Australia certainly has a lot of amazing people who we all love! Woo hoo Keith Urban : )

I hope you and yours have a great weekend ahead.


Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on July 24, 2015:

Interesting. Have you read 'Let Stalk Strine'? Some of these words originated elsewhere, many in various British dialects - but we really do hear lots of them every day - even though we only use a few ourselves - and I'm third generation Aussie. It must have taken quite a while to get all this together, so congratulations. Is it going to be a book?

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