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10 Australian slang words you should learn

02.07.2014

Matt Hopkins_DOSG’day cobbers!!! (Hello friends!)

My name is Matt, and I am the Director of Studies (DoS) at Langports Brisbane. Today, I thought we would talk about slang and the 10 Australian slang words you should learn!

The topic of slang comes up so frequently with students, and I get asked so many questions about it   — “What is slang?”, ”Is slang just swearing (using bad words!)?”,”Should I use slang?”, “Are there times when I shouldn’t use slang”— that a blog entry answering these questions and giving a few basic Aussie (Australian!) slang words/phrases seems like a good idea:

What is slang?

Slang is informal words and phrases that people/groups of people use to communicate verbally. It is not usually used in written form (unless you are texting or emailing mates!).

Is slang just swearing?
No! Although slang can sometimes contain swear words, it usually doesn’t have to involve insulting language!

So, why should I use slang?
Using slang in its correct form and in the appropriate situation — remember it’s informal spoken language, so use it with friends and in informal social situations — makes you sound more natural in your speech, and shows your understanding of English and communication skills are improving.

So, are there times when I shouldn’t use slang?
YES!! Don’t use slang in formal conversations or in your written work. Using slang incorrectly or inappropriately sounds terrible and shows people you don’t understand the language.

So, using slang is a double-edged sword (that’s an idiom, not slang!) — it’s great if you can throw in some slang to an informal conversation, but be careful not to misuse it!

Matt’s Top Ten Favourite Aussie Slang words/expressions  

  1. G’day mate — Hello friend!
  2. No worries, mate! — Not a problem, friend!
  3. The Bottle-o — Shop that sells beer and wine.
  4. Snags on the barbie — Cook sausages on a BBQ.
  5. Maccas — McDonalds.
  6. Arvo — Afternoon.
  7. Drongo — fool, silly person.
  8. Fair dinkum — Honest, genuine.
  9. Bonza — Excellent.
  10. Stubby cooler — used to keep your drink cool in hot Aussie climate!

So, if you are confident you have the right slang for the appropriate situation — give it a go!

Australian Slang By Regions
If you wish to come and study English at Langports during winter, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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