Derro – noun – deh-row
Derived from the word derelict , “derro” transcends this straightforward definition and can be used in a variety of ways. Most commonly, it is used as a jibe at others. Not to be confused with “devo”, which means devastated.
“That Elias kid is such a derro.”
“That Elias boy is quite oblivious to his poor stature.”
Root – verb – roo-t
No, it’s not the foundation of that tree in your backyard. In Australia, “root” follows along the same connotations as shag in the UK and screw in the USA.
“Root” encapsulates the brutal humanity of intercourse, and is probably one of Australia’s greatest creations.
“Our dog Ruby was rooted by a dingo…”
“A wild dog came in during the night and impregnated poor Ruby.”
Bloody – adjective – blah-dee
The very word that singlehandedly destroyed Tourism Australia’s multimillion dollar advertising campaign, “bloody” is a powerful thing when used appropriately. Used initially as an exclamation, “bloody” has now become a national slogan.
“Where the bloody hell are ya?!”
“Where art thou?”
Bugger – noun – bugg-er
Said outright as an exclamation or used as a synonym for “slept with”, “bugger” is a powerful and often used term in the Australian vernacular. The word apparently originated in medieval Europe, but has been a part of Australian culture since at least the mid-20th century. It’s a fun word to say, and a lot of Australians use the term in different ways to its original use. Because they can.
“You ready to go out tonight?”
“Nah mate, i’m buggered.”
“Shall we venture into town tonight? Become flâneurs for tonight’s sake?”
“It would be my pleasure any other time, old sport, but tonight I’m rather tired.”
Ganga – noun – gang - ah
This one might rustle a few feathers. “Ganga” is often used as a derogatory term in relation to the promiscuous nature of a female. It is rarely used to describe men. This word seems have originated from Sydney’s western suburbs and fluctuates in popularity. Most of the time use of the word is restricted to certain social circles. It is not used in corporate Australia.
“Far out, Stacy’s a ganga, I’ve seen her out with five different guys this week.”
“Well now, young Stacy is rather promiscuous. I’ve seen her down at the milk bar with several different gentlemen just this week.”
Wog – noun – wog
The exact origin and definition of “wog” is still unclear. Originally, the term was used in a derogative manner but now the subcultures of Australia seem to have adopted it into their vernacular, resulting in popular Australian films such as Wog Boy.
“Dude I love tabouli.”
“Yeh mate, all wog food is awesome.”
“Friend, I do enjoy tabouli.”
“Agreed, all Mediterranean cuisine is favourable to me.”
3. FUCK IN’ ‘ELL
Fuck in’ ‘ell – exclamation – fuckin-ell
Us Aussies love a good slur. Originally (and most obviously) this beauty of the English language was fucking hell, but over time Australia has morphed it so that it rolls off the tongue in an unparalleled fashion.
“Did you hear about Dave?”
“Nah-cunt what happened?”
“Got bit by a snake.”
“Fuck in’ ‘ell.”
“Did you hear about David?”
“No, good sir, I did not! May I ask what has happened?”
“Why, he was bitten by a snake!”
2. FUCKIN’ AYE
Fuckin’ aye – noun – far-kin-aye
“Yes” and “no” are boring. In the 21st century, us Aussies don’t have time to deal with their trivial nature. So why waste your breath on them when instead you can harness “fuckin’ aye” and add it to your vocabulary? This is the ultimate form of giving approval.
“Australia is so bloody expensive.”
“I say, Australia does seem to be harsh on the ol’ hip pocket.
Cunt – noun – ka-hnt
Just relax, OK. Take a breath. In Australia, “cunt” (pronounced “cunt”, as in “bunt”) has many connotations – most of which are actually positive. For example:
If a friend of mine were to be exceptional at motorsports or a nice person in genera,l he would henceforth be referred to as a “sick-cunt”. (pronounced “sick” as in “lick” and “cunt” as in “bunt”.)
And no, “cunt” does not end there! This once frowned-upon “curse word” has been embraced by the Australian people as the suffix to end all suffixes. Play around with it and try it for yourself.
Likely conversations include:
“Hey man, you going to Liz’s party?”
“Hello friend, are you going to Elizabeth’s party?”
“No thank you, sir.”
This post has been updated to remove inaccurate information and clarify that “bugger” is thought to have originated in medieval Europe. An earlier version of this post misstated that “wog” is believed to be an acronym for Western Oriented/Oriental Gentlemen; that theory has been shown to be false.