5 of My Favorite Australian Words

Caroline Cannon is a student at the University of Alabama and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is studying with ISA in Sydney, Australia.

Australia, or “Straya” as the locals call it, is a great place to visit for many reasons. The fact that they speak English here is a big attraction to many American students. However, to my surprise I’ve still found myself lost in a few moments. Australians tend to use a lot of slang and love to abbreviate everything. Slang is also prevalent on many signs and billboards throughout the city. On top of this, they also have a unique way of pronouncing words. Much to my dismay, there have been a couple of awkward moments where I had to continuously ask the cashiers to repeat themselves. Also, I think it’s important to note that Australian English uses the British spelling of words and grammar. Before coming here, I definitely recommend looking over some Aussie (Australian) slang. Even though there are heaps of slang words, here are five of my favorite ionic Australian words that I’ve heard so far.

1. Brekkie

Brekkie is simply short for “breakfast.” This one is not very difficult to figure out, however it still catches me off guard every time I hear it. It is a good example of how Aussies love abbreviate their words!

2. Togs

This word is a little trickier. “Togs” refers a bathing suit or swimsuit. This word is used very often considering Sydney has over 70 beaches, and Australians love to spend their free time at the beach.

3. Dunny

Dunny actually means toilet. This comes from a British word “dunnekin,” and is another example of how Australians love to abbreviate. I personally love hearing “using the dunny” over “the toilet.”

4. Macca’s

Macca’s is an Australian nickname for the fast food restaurant McDonald’s. It’s a quirky name that really shows what Australian slang is all about. Beyond the name, McDonald’s in Australia is a little different from the United States. For example, they offer table service.

5. Thongs

This one can be quite funny. Thongs are what our Aussie friends call flip-flops. When you’re on your way to the beach, don’t be alarmed when a friend tells you to wear your thongs!

Whenever you find yourself in Straya, try these words out on your new Aussie friends!


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