General spelling notes
Follow the BuzzFeed UK Style Guide for anything not covered here. BuzzFeed Australia's preferred dictionary is Macquarie.
Use the British/Australian spelling of words such as "colour", "travelling", "centre", and "analogue", and spell words like "apologise" and "realise" with -ise, not -ize. Note that there are certain differences between British and Australian English, however; for instance, BuzzFeed Australia follows Macquarie by preferring "program" to the British "programme" in all instances.
Ls or Ps abbreviation for a learner or probationary driver licence.
World War I or First World War, not World War One
World War II or Second World War, not World War Two.
Anzac, Anzacs, Anzac Day (i.e. Australian and New Zealand Army Corps)
Aria Awards, Arias (music awards presented by the Australian Recording Industry Association; the Australian equivalent of the Grammys and the Brits)
asylum-seeker (someone who has applied for asylum in a country not their own and who is awaiting a decision as to their status as a refugee)
bloody (colloquial, intensifier signifying approval or disapproval)
bludger (colloquial, a lazy person who lives off the generosity of others)
bogan (colloquial, mildly derogatory, a person, generally from an outer suburb of a city or town and from a lower socioeconomic background, viewed as uncultured)
bonzer (not bonza) (colloquial, excellent)
boofhead (colloquial, a fool, typically a male)
bro, bra, budda, brudda (all are acceptable, male friend or relative)
burl ("Give it a burl!") (colloquial, to make an attempt)
cab sav (colloquial, cabernet sauvignon)
chardy (colloquial, chardonnay)
Chrissie pressie (colloquial, Christmas present)
cossie (colloquial, abbreviation, swimming costume)
coward punch (term adopted by the Australian media and lawmakers to refer to king hit/one-punch assaults)
daggy (colloquial, 1. dirty; slovenly; unpleasant. 2. conservative and lacking in style, especially in appearance)
deadly (colloquial, excellent)
derro (colloquial, a vagrant, especially one with an unkempt or unhealthy appearance)
devvo (colloquial, abbreviation, devastated)
dole (payment by the government to an unemployed person)
doona (a bedspread)
Down Under (colloquial, Australia)
durry (colloquial, a cigarette)
esky (colloquial, a portable icebox)
festy (colloquial, abbreviation, infested, dirty or nasty)
footy, football (both terms can refer to either Australian rules football or rugby league, but not soccer)
Fuckin' hell (colloquial, a curse that indicates surprise)
g'day (colloquial, abbreviation, good day)
galah (1. a small cockatoo endemic to Australia. 2. colloquial, a fool, who is more often than not an empty-headed individual)
goon (1. a thug. 2. a stupid person. 3. cheap wine)
goon bag (colloquial, the bladder from a cheap cask of wine)
houso (colloquial, derogatory, a person who lives in a housing commission home, typically funded by state or federal government; use with care)
idiot box (colloquial, a television set)
jackaroo (a young man working on a sheep or cattle station)
jillaroo (a young woman working on a sheep or cattle station)
kindy (abbreviation, kindergarten)
kindergarten (first year of schooling, term used in ACT and New South Wales)
larrikin (colloquial, an uncultivated, mischievous, often good-hearted person)
Macca's (colloquial, abbreviation, the fast-food chain McDonald's)
maggot, maggoted (colloquial, the state of being when you've imbibed a bit too much)
mozzie (colloquial, abbreviation, mosquito)
nah (colloquial, no)
nark (colloquial, 1. an informer. 2. a complaining person. 3. someone who is always interfering and spoiling the pleasure of others; spoilsport.)
nipper (colloquial, a junior lifesaver)
ocker (colloquial, the archetypal uncultivated Australian)
one-punch law (a law creating a special category of manslaughter for perpetrators of fatal king hit assaults, with harsher penalties than are possible for manslaughter)
onya (colloquial, good on you!)
outback, the (remote, sparsely inhabited country often romanticised in Australian literature and film)
pants (trousers; rarely underwear)
pash (colloquial, to kiss, passionately)
pash rash (colloquial, the rash around one's lips when the kissing was too prolonged and perhaps too passionate. Typically suffered during school years 8-12)
pav (colloquial, abbreviation, pavlova, a dessert made of whipped, cooked egg whites and sugar)
per cent (use this instead of %)
pinger (an ecstasy pill)
pollie speak (colloquial, a term used to describe political spin or talking points used by politicians at public or media events)
pot (also called a handle or middy. A glass of beer of approximately 285ml)
prep (first year of schooling, term used in Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria)
pre-primary (first year of schooling, term used in Western Australia)
program (in all instances)
quid, make a (colloquial, money)
rack off (colloquial, "go away, please")
ranga (colloquial, derogatory, a red-headed person)
rekt (abbreviation, wrecked; colloquial, exhausted; ill or weak because of fatigue or overindulgence in food, drink, etc.)
rellies (colloquial, blood relatives, family)
root (colloquial, 1. an act of sexual intercourse. 2. a sexual partner, e.g. she was an easy root)
ropeable (colloquial, extremely angry or bad-tempered)
schoolie (chiefly in Qld and NSW, a high school student who has completed their final exams)
schoolies week (a week in which aforementioned schoolie travels to a designated place to party/holiday together)
schooner (a glass of beer of approximately 425ml)
skol (colloquial, to consume [a drink] at one draught)
servo (colloquial, abbreviation Service station)
shorts (short trousers; not underwear)
soccer (a game commonly referred to as football in pretty much all other countries in the world bar the US)
Speedo (a brand of swimming costume)
speedos (a close-fitting swimming costume made of some synthetic fabric and used especially in competitive swimming, for men comprising a pair of briefs. Also known as budgie-smugglers)
Straya (vernacular, Australia)
strewth (colloquial, abbreviation, an exclamation expressing surprise)
tinnie (colloquial, 1. a can of beer. 2. a boat with an aluminium hull)
tinny (colloquial, lucky)
tracky dacks (colloquial, sportswear, tracksuit pants)
tradie (a tradesperson)
try-hard (a person who attempts to make friends and influence people without success)
un-Australian (not Australian in character)
undies (colloquial, abbreviation underwear)
wag (colloquial, to not attend school or work, not to be mistaken for the acronym)
vego (colloquial, a vegetarian)
wog (colloquial, derogatory, loosely used to describe someone foreign in origin, especially of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern appearance; use with care)
XXXX (pronounced Four X, a brand of beer popular in Queensland)
yakka (colloquial, typically associated with the phrase "hard yakka", physical labour)
year 1-13 (schooling for those ages 6-18)
zonked (colloquial, exhausted. Also zonked out)
Acronyms that will be familiar to an educated Australian audience do not need to be written out in full, especially if they're better known as acronyms. These include ABC, AIDS, CEO, HSC, MTV, PETA, PMS, TED. Use your judgment.
If an acronym is six letters or longer, only the initial letter is capped, so write Unicef, Unesco, etc. These shorter exceptions also take only initial caps: Anzac, Anzacs, Anzac Day, Arias.
Job titles are generally lower-case, so write prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, minister for the arts Mitch Fifield (or arts minister Mitch Fifield), and senator Penny Wong.
However, military and police ranks are treated as honorific, so cap when used before a name at first mention: Colonel James Mustard (thereafter "Mustard" or "the colonel"), DCI Gene Hunt (thereafter "Hunt", "the DCI", or "the detective chief inspector"), etc. Abbreviations such as PC for Police Constable and Lt for Lieutenant are acceptable, but do not abbreviate Police Commissioner.
Australian Labor Party, aka Labor, aka ALP
the Budget (federal budget)
Budget night (second Tuesday of May, when the federal budget is delivered)
cabinet minister (typically an elected member of parliament or senator appointed to the federal cabinet)
chief minister (the leader of a government in an Australian territory)
Coalition (i.e. the political agreement between the Liberal and National parties)
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, etc.
House of Representatives
leadership spill (the declaring of the position of the leader of a political party as open to a vote; associated in Australia with the phrase "It's on")
liberal (favourable to progress and reform; not necessarily a Liberal)
Liberal Party of Australia, aka the Liberals
National Party of Australia, aka the Nationals
New Zealand Labour party, aka Labour
parliament, Parliament House
premier (leader of a government in an Australian state)
secretary (departmental head, senior public servant)
state (New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland)
territory (Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory)
the Turnbull government
The word "cunt" is less offensive in Australian English than US English and is non-gender-specific as a swearword. It does not need censoring in posts unless quoted in a headline or dek, in which case write "c*nt". For more information on Australia swearing and slang, see the The 100 Most Australian Words Of All Time.
Indigenous terminology guide
Indigenous: Indigenous is an umbrella term for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders communities and should always be capitalised in this context to show respect and differentiate Indigenous people from other indigenous people around the world. Note, however, that in the term "non-indigenous" the initial i is not capitalised.
Aboriginal: Aboriginal refers specifically to the traditional owners of Australia (excluding the Torres Strait Islands). Aboriginal is capitalised to show respect and to differentiate between Australian Aboriginal people and aboriginal people from other countries. (Note: Aborigine as a noun is offensive. Avoid.
Torres Strait Islanders: Torres Strait Islanders is the preferred collective term for various Indigenous peoples of the Torres Strait Islands, who have a separate linguistic and cultural identity to Aboriginal people. When referring to a specific individual or group, use the terminology of identity, for example, "Meriam woman/man/people". Abbreviations such as Islander or TSI should not be used.
Koori: Koori is a specific term used for Aboriginal people from New South Wales; it means that the tribe or nation they come from was originally in the state of New South Wales.
Koorie: Aboriginal person from Victoria.
Murri: Aboriginal person from Queensland.
Auntie, Uncle: These are community honorifics, not family roles, and should be capitalised. But decap terms such as elder and senior member of the community.
on country: To be on country is to be on the land or homeland of your (Indigenous) people/community.
community: Community in Indigenous terminology is a specific term meaning a family group that tie their lineage back to a specific homeland.
the Stolen Generations: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children removed from their families by government agencies and church missions in the 20th century until the 1970s.
LGBT Indigenous terminology guide
Not all Indigenous transgender people refer to themselves as Brotherboys and Sistergirls, but the terms are now becoming widely used and incorporate gender identity and cultural identity succinctly.
Brotherboy: Brotherboys are Indigenous transgender people with a male spirit, whose bodies were considered female at birth. Brotherboys choose to live their lives as male, regardless of which stage/path medically they choose. Brotherboys have a strong sense of their cultural identity.
Sistergirl: Sistergirls are Indigenous transgender women (assigned male at birth) who have a distinct cultural identity and often take on female roles within the community, including looking after children and family. Many Sistergirls live a traditional lifestyle and have strong cultural backgrounds. Their cultural, spiritual, and religious beliefs are pivotal to their lives and identities. (Sistergirl is also a common term used between Indigenous women to denote friendship between women.)