Aussie Slang Made Easy

Let's say you’re an American male on a visit to Australia and you meet this dinki-di Aussie sheila.
You click, and she wonders if you can meet her later, say at 5pm, near the lifts by the chemist’s on the first floor of the Oz Building.
"No worries, mate," you say, having already picked up that Aussie expression.
And, yes, you know that lifts are elevators and the chemist’s is the pharmacy or drugstore.
A really good start to what could develop into something great.
And so at 5 o’clock...
Before it’s 5pm you rush into the Oz Building, which you discover to be a shopping centre. You had a map and it was easy to find.
The elevators are there all right but there’s no drugstore. Well, even a true blue Aussie sheila can get her bearings wrong.
So you wait by the elevators, and the minutes tick by.
By 6pm you just know you’ve been stood up...

But what about her?

Well, she was there before 5pm. She was waiting near the lifts by the chemist’s on the first floor but when you didn’t arrive by 6pm, she just knew she’d been stood up.
Unfortunately, the American knows the ground floor of a building as the first floor. Any Australian knows that the first floor of a building is the first floor up from the ground floor, or what the American would know as the second floor.

The moral of this little story is: Know a little bit of the local language.

A recent development is using level instead of floor, hence Level 1, Level 2, and so on, to avoid confusion. (Of course, Level 1 may not be the ground floor either, particularly in buildings with underground levels.)
There are a number of Australian words and phrases, for which Americans, or people influenced by the American language, use different terms.

Here we go:

barrack for. Cheer. as in barrack for the Blues (a sports team). Warning: Don’t use root willy-nilly unless you know what it means in Australian.
battler. Someone who tries hard despite money problems.
bitumen. Paved road, asphalt.
bludger. One who won’t work and usually relies only on Social Security payments.
bonnet. Hood (of a car)
boot. Trunk (of a car)
bottle shop. Liquor store.
bushfire. Forest fire, wildfire.
bushranger. Outlaw, highwayman.
BYO. Bring your own (wine). Said of restaurants without a liquor licence.
cask (of wine). Boxed wine ready to drink from a spigot.
chemist, or chemist’s. Pharmacy or drugstore.
come good. Turn out okay.
cut lunch. Sandwiches.
deli. Milk bar, delicatessen.
esky. Insulated container (usually to keep beer cold).
flake. Shark meat, what you usually get in fish and chips.
give it away. Give up.
grazier. Cattle or sheep farmer.
holidays (sometimes colloguially shortened to hols). Vacation.
knock. Criticise.
lamington. Sponge cake covered in chocolate and coconut.
lift. Elevator.
lolly. Candy.
lay-by. Buy on instalment without taking the goods until fully paid for.
milk bar. Usually a general store.
newsagent. Newspaper shop.
non-smoking area. No smoking area.
offsider. Assistant or partner.
out of pocket. Spent more than was received.
pavlova. Meringue and cream dessert.
perve. Be a peeping Tom, or to look with lust. From pervert.
pictures. The movies, cinema, as in Let's go to the pictures.
ratbag. A weirdo or something like that.
ropable. Extremely angry or bad-tempered.
sealed. Paved, as in sealed road. Not a dirt road.
shellacking. Criticism for a thorough and shameful defeat.
shonky. Dubious, unreliable.
shopstealing. Shoplifting.
sunbake. Sunbathe.
takeaway. Take out, to go.
windscreen. Windshield (of a motor vehicle).

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