This is an abridged list of Australian words and how they are used. All known offensive or derogatory terms have been omitted. Learning Australian words will help you better understand the culture while expanding your global vocabulary.


noun, slang, afternoon. “Drop by this arvo if you’ve got time.’


noun, barbecue. ‘Throw some prawns on the barbie. I’m hungry!’


verb, to cheer or jeer a player or opponent. ‘Australians barrack for their athletes passionately.’


noun, a body of water left behind after a river changes course. ‘While we’re there, we should go fishing in a billabong.’

billy, billycan

noun, a container (esp. a metal can) used for boiling water on a campfire. ‘Considering the luxuries I was afforded in the city, cooking instant noodles in my billycan wasn’t my idea of a good time.’


noun, a fuel dispenser at a gasoline service station. ‘We were advised to leave our car at the bowser until we had paid for the petrol.’


noun, flat, round bread baked in hot coals of a campfire. It contains no yeast or baking powder, thus it remains comparatively flat. ‘Few things are tastier than hot damper with butter and jam.’

dinkum, fair dinkum

1.  adjective, genuine. ‘With a can of Bundy rum, she’s a dinkum Aussie.’

2.  adverb, truly. ‘I fair dinkum love it’


noun, an assistant, supporter, or lacky. ‘He worked as a driller offsider for years and earned a handsome living, but it was never his calling.’


noun, rural Australia. ‘Avoid colorful snakes in the outback. It’s home to some of the most lethal snakes on Earth.’


noun, slang, Australia. ‘Visiting the outback in Oz was an amazing experience.’


noun, a deceitful act. ‘I can’t believe he’s still in office after taking tax payers money. What a rort!’


noun, informal kangaroo. ‘Get away from that roo. He’s more vicious than he looks.’


noun, service station, a gas station. ‘After hours of driving, we were low on petrol and had to stop at the servo.’


noun, slang, a girl or woman. ‘She’s a pretty little sheila.’


1. verb, to treat someone by paying for the bill. ‘He wouldn’t shout if a shark bit him!’

2.  noun, one’s turn to pay. ‘Put your wallet away. It’s my shout.’

In addition to these regional terms, Australia has contributed several words that are used around the world today. These include boomerang, dingo, kangaroo, koala, kookaburra, and wombat.