Skip to main content

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"

Scroll to Continue

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 Australia (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 Australia (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."