Australian English. Not quite American English.

Australian Crosswalk

A Crosswalk in Australia

-Submitted by Meg Bauer, Abroad101′s Global Ambassador at Griffith University in the Gold Coast, Australia

Australian English is almost the same as American English. It took me awhile to get used to however. They talk really fast here. Australians always tell me that Americans talk so slow.  I used to always feel bad for saying “what?” every time an Australian spoke to me, but I’m getting better now!

The spelling is a little different between Australian English and American English. For example, the er ending like the er in center. “Center” is spelled “centre.” here. “Yogurt” is spelled “yoghurt” here. Also, the z is words like organization is spelled with an s here to get organisation.

Australians also like to shorten everything especially cities. Brisbane is called Brissie. Melbourne is pronounced Melbin. Cairns is pronounced Cannes.

Australian McDonalds

Australia’s version of McDonald’s







Here are some good words/ phrases to know if you’re headed to Australia:

heaps = a lot Example: There were heaps of cars on the road today.

biscuit= cookie

lolly= candy


brekkie= breakfast

Uni= university

potato crisps= potato chips Don’t call these chips, people will think you will be talking about fries.

chips= fries

fairy floss= cotton candy

boogin= a low-class person

reckon= to think Example: I reckon the answer to the test was A.

jumper= hoodie

nappy= diaper

singlet= tank top

yarn= to talk Example: Come to my office hours and yarn with me.

G’Day= Hi

Good on ya= Good job!

How ya going?= How are you?

Hey?= What? Example: If you missed what someone said last, just reply with “hey?”

chemist’s= drug store/ pharmacy

concession= student

petrol= gas Example: The petrol station was crowded yesterday.

toilet= bathroom No one here ever says bathroom.

rubbish= trash Example: Please put this wrapper in the rubbish bin.

barrack=to root Example: Barrack for your favorite team!

footy= football

lift= elevator

mates= friends

Australian ketchup

Australian Ketchup, maybe?







queue=line Example: I had to wait in the queue at the movies.


bottle-o= liquor store

takeaway= to take out, to go Example: Let’s get takeaway for dinner.

The states= America

kiwi= a New Zealander

fortnight= bi-weekly Example: Rent gets taken out every fortnight.

sunglasses= sunnies

thongs= flip-flops

footpath= sidewalk

rockmelon= cantaloupe

tomato sauce= ketchup

Macca’s= McDonalds

Hungry Jacks= Burger King

No worries= You’re welcome

Cheers!= Bye!

Holiday= vacation Example: I went to the beach while I was on holiday.

For emergencies here, you dial 000 instead of 911.

Those are some useful phrases and words to know!

Want to read more about Meg’s Australian adventures? Read all her posts from life down under!

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