The Expat Guide To Aussie Lingo

Living with an Aussie in London had me somewhat prepped for the new lingo I would encounter whilst living in Oz. I was already throwing ‘heaps’ into conversation and telling people “no worries” like I actually had none. But these first few weeks have taught me I still have much to learn. So for the sake of any new or potential expats moving to Oz, below is my guide to understanding Aussie lingo.

Doona > this was one I had learned before moving to Sydney due to the nightly fights over it with my boyfriend. I was surprised to find doona is an actual word for duvet though, as in something they print on the product label, and not just my man’s affectionate term for it.

Manchester > the sheets/linen you put on the doona (perhaps because they all used to be produced there?)

She’ll be right > no idea who she is but apparently she’s fine. We’re all fine. Nobody has any worries.

Chook > a chicken, as in “I bought us a chook for dinner”.

Capiscum > a posh sounding word for a pepper.

Fanging > as in, “we were fanging it down the motorway”. (Not sure if this is just my friend Rosie’s word or general Aussie lingo?)

Kris Kringle > Chrissy (yes really! I prefer Chrimbo myself) has come up in conversation early due to all the Christmas in July events happening at the moment. Kris Kringle is the practise us Brits will know as Secret Santa.

Bush Doof > I love saying this one. It sounds like something violent that might happen in a shrub but is actually an outdoor rave or dance party.

Bloody oath! > too right!

These are the terms that have confused or tickled me so far. I’m sure there will be more along the way. I’ll keep adding to the list as we go!

Are there any Aussie terms that have left you stumped?

About the author

I’m Jayne, a travel blogger, content creator and mum to a 4-year-old son. I’ve been blogging since 2010, travelled to 65 countries and share travel guides and tips to help you plan stylish, stress-free trips.

15 thoughts on “The Expat Guide To Aussie Lingo”

  1. I was surprised to find out that Pepper Spray in Australia is called Capsicum Spray! They said it on a TV news report.

    I also enjoyed “Ah too easy!” as a generic response to anything being good.

  2. I know a few, but they all too rude for your lovely blog 🙂

    I actually know why manchester is called, well, manchester. All linens had to be imported during the late 19th and early 20th century because there wasn’t the machinery here (and in Australia) to produce it. Linen from Manchester was considered the best (like Egyptian Cotton now). So people went into the store and asked for ‘Manchester linen,’ which was then shortened to manchester.

    I’ve used that anthropology degree twice today. Result!

    and ‘fanging’ is legit.

  3. ‘How’s it going’ instead of hello. It’s all I’ve heard since I got to Victoria! Can’t wait to get back to Sydney in October and rediscover all the Aussie beach and board words again 😀
    Congratulations on the move lovely! Hope to see you in the city when I get back there 🙂

    • Ah yes this is a good one! I’m still using the cockney – ‘y’alright?’. And yes lets def do drinks/coffee/beaches etc when you are back xx


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