21 Sayings That Aussies Think Are Normal, But The Rest Of The World Find Confusing
"Couldn't give a rat's arse" — an ancient Australian proverb.
There's nothing that gives me more national pride than a good Aussie saying — and sure, the rest of the world are aware of a couple of our phrases, but there are some that we like to keep just for ourselves.
1. "'Your mate' when you point a random person out to one of your friends, who is, in fact, not their mate."
Explanation: A fun game to play — particularly in class, when you have a textbook, so that you can point at random photographs and say, "your mate" to a friend.
2. "'Fuck me dead' gets thrown around a lot in our house."
Explanation: Goodness gracious.
And for a comeback — "Wouldn't fuck ya alive, mate."
Explanation: A sarcastic response to the literal translation of "fuck me dead" a.k.a "I wouldn't even have sex with you if you were alive."
3. "Calling someone 'sunshine' translates to — 'I'm gonna fucken belt you, cunt.'"
Explanation: Tone is everything to us Aussies, so even an endearing word like "sunshine" can be used as a warning.
4. "When someone’s leaving — 'hoo roo' and the other replies 'kangaroo'. Also 'see ya in awhile' — to which you'd respond 'crocodile.'"
Explanation: This is literally just a cute way to exchange goodbyes.
6. "'Sgarn' = what's going on?"
Explanation: A universal way that Australians say "hello" to each other. The appropriate response would be, "nothing much, sgarn' with you?"
7. "It's not fucking bush week."
Explanation: Really just an exclamation of disbelief if someone's made a request like "can you grab me a beer?" when you've just sat down after a long day's work.
8. "Kangaroo loose in the top paddock."
Explanation: Something you'd say about someone who has very eccentric thoughts and ideas.
9. "A few tinnies short of a six pack."
Explanation: The "tinnies" here can be substituted for other words like "stubbies", "beers", etc — and it basically means that the person you're referring to has a hard time learning things, or is not very bright.
10. "'Get a dog up ya' = get a move on/hurry up."
Explanation: This phrase could also mean "get it together" or "pay attention" — or it could even be used in place of "cheers" right before downing your favourite bevvie.
12. "Far out, brussel sprout."
Explanation: We Australians like rhyming things as much as we like shortening things. Don't question it.
13. "Don't be a galah. She's a pearler!"
Explanation: This phrase basically means, "don't be a fool, it's great."
"Beautiful sunny day, no wind, not a cloud in the sky...absolute pearler!"
Explanation: An example of the above saying, emphasising how bloody good the weather is.
14. "Bob's your uncle."
Explanation: Usually used when explaining how to do something, so if you were telling someone how to appropriately eat Vegemite, you'd say: "Toast your bread, slather on some butter, add a light scraping of Vegemite and Bob's your uncle!"
15. "'Send her down Huey!' — when it's raining hard, like deadset real hard."
Explanation: Just something you say when it's raining a lot, and hard.
16. "No wuckas."
Explanation: No worries, mate! I.e. that thing you asked me to do caused me no real inconvenience, so don't worry about it.
17. "They couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery."
Explanation: Used to describe someone who is very bad at organising things — so bad that they wouldn't even be able to organise an event with loads of drinking at an establishment where they almost exclusively sell alcoholic beverages.
18. "I could eat the arse out of a low-flying duck."
Explanation: This pretty much means that you're really bloody hungry.
19. "'Fucking wingnut' is my favourite."
Explanation: Before American's go off in the comments, this does NOT mean what you think it does. In Australia, this term is used to describe someone who has unfortunate, pointy-outy ears.
20. "Having a sook."
Explanation: Becoming sullen and irritable when things don't go your way. Used for children, but also adults who become butt-hurt.
21. And finally, "'How you going?'. It's hidden in plain sight, but confuses the fuck out of a lot of other nations — including English speaking ones."
Explanation: Do not, I repeat, do not respond to this with a real answer about how you're doing, we do not care. This simply means "hello".
What's your favourite Aussie expression? Let us know in the comments!
Note: Responses have been edited for length, sensitivity and/or clarity.