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Australian Slang

G'day, mate! Learn these Australian slang words and phrases
and you'll feel at home on your first day Down Under

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It wasn't easy but we've tried to include uniquely Australian slang here and to exclude British and American slang even though these are commonly used in Australia. We see no point in informing the world that "fridge" is Australian slang for a "refrigerator". If you've got any comments or suggestions, though, we'd very much like to hear them.
This page © Koala Net 1997-2014. Reproduction without permission forbidden.
Updated 19th April 2011
[Added "Boil-over"]
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A

Ace! : Excellent! Very good!
Aerial pingpong : Australian Rules football
Amber fluid : beer
Ambo : ambulance, ambulance driver
Ankle biter : small child
Apples, she'll be : It'll be all right
Arvo : afternoon
Aussie (pron. Ozzie) : Australian
Aussie salute : brushing away flies with the hand
Avos : avocados

B

B & S : Bachelors' and Spinsters' Ball - a very enjoyable party usually held in rural areas
Back of Bourke : a very long way away
Bail (somebody) up : to corner somebody physically
Bail out : depart, usually angrily
Banana bender : a person from Queensland
Barbie : barbecue (noun)
Barrack : to cheer on (football team etc.)
Bastard : term of endearment
Bathers : swimming costume
Battler : someone working hard and only just making a living
Beaut, beauty : great, fantastic
Big Smoke : a big city, especially Sydney or Melbourne
Big-note oneself : brag, boast
Bikkie : biscuit (also "it cost big bikkies" - it was expensive)
Billabong : an oxbow lake cut off by a change in the watercourse. Billabongs are usually formed when the course of a creek or river changes, leaving the former branch with a dead end.
Billy : teapot. Container for boiling water.
Bingle : motor vehicle accident
Bities : biting insects
Bitzer : mongrel dog (bits of this and bits of that)
Bizzo : business ("mind your own bizzo")
Black Stump, beyond the : a long way away, the back of nowhere
Bloke : man, guy
Bloody : very (bloody hard yakka)
Bloody oath! : that's certainly true
Blow in the bag : have a breathalyser test
Blowie : blow fly
Bludger : lazy person, layabout, somebody who always relies on other people to do things or lend him things
Blue : fight ("he was having a blue with his wife")
Blue, make a : make a mistake
Bluey : pack, equipment, traffic ticket, redhead
Bluey : blue cattle dog (named after its subtle markings) which is an excellent working dog. Everyone's favourite all-Aussie dog.
Bluey : heavy wool or felt jacket worn by mining and construction workers.
Bluey : bluebottle jellyfish
Bodgy : of inferior quality
Bog in : commence eating, to attack food with enthusiasm
Bog standard : basic, unadorned, without accessories (a bog standard car, telephone etc.)
Bogan : person who takes little pride in his appearance, spends his days slacking and drinking beer
Bogged : Stuck in mud, deep sand (a vehicle).
Boil-over : an unexpected (sporting) result
Bondi cigar : see "brown-eyed mullet"
Bonzer : great, ripper
Boogie board : a hybrid, half-sized surf board
Boomer : a large male kangaroo
Booze bus : police vehicle used for catching drunk drivers
Boozer : a pub
Bored shitless : very bored
Bottle shop : liquor shop
Bottle-o : liquor shop (originally a man with hessian bags going around picking up beer bottles in the 50's and 60's)
Bottler : something excellent
Bottling, his blood's worth : he's an excellent, helpful bloke.
Bounce : a bully
Bourke Street, he doesn't know Christmas from : he's a bit slow in the head. (Bourke Street is a brightly lit Melbourne street)
Bowl of rice, not my : not my cup of tea; I don't like it
Brass razoo, he hasn't got a : he's very poor
Brekkie : breakfast
Brick shit house, built like a : big strong bloke
Brickie : bricklayer
Brisvegas : Brisbane, state capital of Queensland
Brizzie : Brisbane, state capital of Queensland
Brown-eyed mullet : a turd in the sea (where you're swimming!)
Brumby : a wild horse
Buck's night : stag party, male gathering the night before the wedding
Buckley's, Buckley's chance : no chance ("New Zealand stands Buckley's of beating Australia at football")
Budgie smugglers : men's bathing costume
Bull bar : stout bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroos (also roo bar)
Bundy : short for Bundaberg, Queensland, and the brand of rum that's made there
Bunyip : mythical outback creature
Bush : the hinterland, the Outback, anywhere that isn't in town
Bush bash : long competitive running or motorcar race through the bush
Bush oyster : nasal mucus
Bush telly : campfire
Bushie : someone who lives in the Bush
Bushman's hanky : Emitting nasal mucus by placing one index finger on the outside of the nose (thus blocking one nostril) and blowing.
Bushranger : highwayman, outlaw
Butcher : small glass of beer in South Australia - From the theory that a butcher could take a quick break from his job, have a drink and be back at work
BYO : unlicensed restaurant where you have to Bring Your Own grog, also similar party or barbecue
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C

Cab Sav : Cabernet Sauvignon (a variety of wine grape)
Cactus : dead, not functioning ("this bloody washing machine is cactus")
Cane toad : a person from Queensland
Captain Cook : look (noun) ("let's have a Captain Cook")
Cark it : to die, cease functioning
Cat burying shit, as busy as a : busy
Cat's piss, as mean as : mean, stingy, uncharitable
Chewie : chewing gum
Chokkie : chocolate
Chook : a chicken
Chrissie : Christmas
Christmas : see Bourke Street
Chuck a sickie : take the day off sick from work when you're perfectly healthy
Chunder : vomit
Clacker : anus (from Latin cloaca = sewer). Also the single orifice of monotremes (platypus and echidna) used both for reproduction and for the elimination of body wastes.
Clayton's : fake, substitute
Cleanskin : Bottle of wine without a label. Usually bought in bulk by companies who then add their own personalised label and use the wine as e.g. gifts to clients
Cleanskin : cattle that have not been branded, earmarked or castrated.
Click : kilometre - "it's 10 clicks away"
Clucky : feeling broody or maternal
Coathanger : Sydney Harbour bridge
Cobber : friend
Cockie : farmer (Farmers were called cockies in the early days of European settlement because, like the birds of the same name, they made their homes on the edges of permanent waterholes)
Cockie : cockatoo
Cockie : cockroach
Cockroach : a person from New South Wales
Coldie : a beer
Come a gutser : make a bad mistake, have an accident
Compo : Workers' Compensation pay
Conch (adj. conchy) : a conscientious person. Somebody who would rather work or study than go out and enjoy him/herself.
Cooee, not within : figuratively a long way away, far off - England weren't within cooee of beating Australia at cricket
Cooee, within : nearby - I was within cooee of landing a big fish when the line broke. He lives within cooee of Sydney.
Cook (noun) : One's wife
Corker : something excellent. A good stroke in cricket might be described as a 'corker of a shot'
Corroboree : an aboriginal dance festival
Counter lunch/Countery : pub lunch
Cozzie : swimming costume
Crack a fat : get an erection
Crack onto (someone) : to hit on someone, pursue someone romantically
Cranky : in a bad mood, angry
Cream (verb) : defeat by a large margin
Crook : sick, or badly made
Crow eater : a person from South Australia
Cubby house : Small, usually timber, house in the garden used as a children's plaything.
Cut lunch : sandwiches
Cut lunch commando : army reservist
Cut snake, mad as a : very angry

D

Dag : a funny person, nerd, goof
Daks : trousers
Damper : bread made from flour and water
Date : arse[hole] ("get off your fat date")
Dead dingo's donger, as dry as a : dry
Dead horse : Tomato sauce
Deadset : true, the truth
Dero : tramp, hobo, homeless person (from "derelict")
Dickhead : see "whacker"
Digger : a soldier
Dill : an idiot
Dingo's breakfast : a yawn, a leak and a good look round (i.e. no breakfast)
Dinkum, fair dinkum : true, real, genuine ("I'm a dinkum Aussie"; "is he fair dinkum?")
Dinky-di : the real thing, genuine
Dipstick : a loser, idiot
Divvy van : Police vehicle used for transporting criminals. Named after the protective 'division' between the driver and the villains.
Dob (somebody) in : inform on somebody. Hence dobber, a tell-tale
Docket : a bill, receipt
Doco : documentary
Dog : unattractive woman
Dog's balls, stands out like : obvious
Dog's eye : meat pie
Dole bludger : somebody on social assistance when unjustified
Donger : penis
Doodle : penis
Doovalacky : used whenever you can't remember what something is called. Thingummyjig, whatsit.
Down Under : Australia and New Zealand
Drink with the flies : to drink alone
Drongo : a dope, stupid person
Dropkick : see 'dipstick'
Drum : information, tip-off ("I'll give you the drum")
Duchess : sideboard
Duffer, cattle : rustler
Dummy, spit the : get very upset at something
Dunny : outside lavatory
Dunny budgie : blowfly
Dunny rat, cunning as a : very cunning
Durry : tobacco, cigarette
Dux : top of the class (n.); to be top of the class (v.) - "She duxed four of her subjects".
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E

Earbashing : nagging, non-stop chatter
Ekka : the Brisbane Exhibition, an annual show
Esky : large insulated food/drink container for picnics, barbecues etc.
Exy : expensive

F

Face, off one's : drunk ("He was off his face by 9pm")
Fair dinkum : true, genuine
Fair go : a chance ("give a bloke a fair go")
Fair suck of the sav! : exclamation of wonder, awe, disbelief (see also "sav")
Fairy floss : candy floss, cotton candy
Feral : V8 ute (q.v.) sporting large heavy bullbar, numerous aerials, large truck mudflaps and stickers almost all over the rear window and tailgate. Sometimes seen with a Mack emblem on the bonnet and always with large (multiple) driving lights
Feral (n.) : a hippie
Figjam : "F*ck I'm good; just ask me". Nickname for people who have a high opinion of themselves.
Fisho : fishmonger
Flake : shark's flesh (sold in fish & chips shops)
Flat out like a lizard drinking : flat out, busy
Flick : to give something or somebody the flick is to get rid of it or him/her
Flick it on : to sell something, usually for a quick profit, soon after buying it.
Fly wire : gauze flyscreen covering a window or doorway.
Footy : Australian Rules football
Fossick : search, rummage ("fossicking through the kitchen drawers")
Fossick : to prospect, e.g. for gold
Fossicker : prospector, e.g. for gold
Franger : condom
Freckle : anus
Fremantle Doctor : the cooling afternoon breeze that arrives in Perth from the direction of Freeo
Freo : Fremantle in Western Australia
Frog in a sock, as cross as a : sounding angry - a person or your hard drive!
Fruit loop : fool
Full : drunk
Furphy : false or unreliable rumour

G

G'Day : hello!
Gabba : Wooloongabba - the Brisbane cricket ground
GAFA (pron. gaffa) : the big nothingness of the Australian Outback. Great Australian F**k All.
Galah : fool, silly person. Named after the bird of the same name because of its antics and the noise it makes.
Garbo, garbologist : municipal garbage collector
Give it a burl : try it, have a go
Gobful, give a : to abuse, usually justifiably ("The neighbours were having a noisy party so I went and gave them a gobful")
Gobsmacked : surprised, astounded
Going off : used of a night spot or party that is a lot of fun - "the place was really going off"
Good oil : useful information, a good idea, the truth
Good onya : good for you, well done
Goog, as full as a : drunk. "Goog" is a variation of the northern English slangword "goggie" meaning an egg.
Greenie : environmentalist
Grinning like a shot fox : very happy, smugly satisfied
Grog : liquor, beer ("bring your own grog, you bludger")
Grouse (adj.) : great, terrific, very good
Grundies : undies, underwear (from Reg Grundy, a television person)
Gutful of piss : drunk, "he's got a gutful of piss"
Gyno : gynaecologist
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H

Handle : beer glass with a handle
Harold Holt, to do the : To bolt. (Also "to do the Harold")
Heaps : a lot, e.g. "thanks heaps", "(s)he earned heaps of money" etc.
Holy dooley! : an exclamation of surprise = "Good heavens!", "My goodness!" "Good grief!" or similar
Hoon : hooligan
Hooroo : goodbye
Hotel : often just a pub
Hottie : hot water bottle

I

Icy pole, ice block : popsicle, lollypop

J

Jackaroo : a male trainee station manager or station hand (a station is a big farm/grazing property)
Jillaroo : a female trainee station manager or station hand
Joey : baby kangaroo
Journo : journalist
Jug : electric kettle
Jumbuck : sheep

K

Kangaroos loose in the top paddock : Intellectually inadequate ("he's got kangaroos loose in the top paddock")
Kelpie : Australian sheepdog originally bred from Scottish collie
Kero : kerosene
Kindie : kindergarten
Knock : to criticise
Knock back : refusal (noun), refuse (transitive verb)
Knocker : somebody who criticises

L

Lair : a flashily dressed young man of brash and vulgar behaviour, to dress up in flashy clothes, to renovate or dress up something in bad taste
Lair it up : to behave in a brash and vulgar manner
Larrikin : a bloke who is always enjoying himself, harmless prankster
Lend of, to have a : to take advantage of somebody's gullibility, to have someone on ("he's having a lend of you")
Lippy : lipstick
Liquid laugh : vomit
Lizard drinking, flat out like a : flat out, busy
Lob, lob in : drop in to see someone ("the rellies have lobbed")
Lollies : sweets, candy
London to a brick : absolute certainty ("it's London to a brick that taxes won't go down")
Long paddock : the side of the road where livestock is grazed during droughts
Longneck : 750ml bottle of beer in South Australia
Lucky Country, The : Australia, where else?
Lunch, who opened their? : OK, who farted?
Lurk : illegal or underhanded racket
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M

Maccas (pron. "mackers") : McDonald's (the hamburger place)
Mallee bull, as fit as a : very fit and strong. The Mallee is very arid beef country in Victoria/South Australia.
Manchester : Household linen, eg sheets etc.
Mappa Tassie : map of Tasmania - a woman's pubic area
Mate : buddy, friend
Mate's rate, mate's discount : cheaper than usual for a "friend"
Matilda : swagman's bedding, sleeping roll
Metho : methylated spirits
Mexican : a person from south of the Queensland or New South Wales border
Mickey Mouse : excellent, very good. Beware though - in some parts of Australia it means inconsequential, frivolous or not very good!
Middy : 285 ml beer glass in New South Wales
Milk bar : corner shop that sells takeaway food
Milko : milkman
Mob : group of people, not necessarily troublesome
Mob : family or herd (?) of kangaroos
Mongrel : despicable person
Moolah : money
Mozzie : mosquito
Muddy : mud crab (a great delicacy)
Mug : friendly insult ("have a go, yer mug"), gullible person
Mull : grass (the kind you smoke)
Muster : round up sheep or cattle
Mystery bag : a sausage

N

Nasho : National Service (compulsory military service)
Naughty, have a : have sex
Never Never : the Outback, centre of Australia
Nipper : young surf lifesaver
No drama : same as 'no worries'
No worries! : Expression of forgiveness or reassurance (No problem; forget about it; I can do it; Yes, I'll do it)
No-hoper : somebody who'll never do well
Not the full quid : not bright intellectually
Nuddy, in the : naked
Nun's nasty, as dry as a : dry
Nut out : hammer out or work out (an agreement, say)

O

O.S. : overseas ("he's gone O.S.")
Ocker : an unsophisticated person
Offsider : an assistant, helper
Old fella : penis
Oldies : parents - "I'll have to ask my oldies"
Op shop : opportunity shop, thrift store, place where second hand goods are sold.
Outback : interior of Australia
Oz : Australia!

P

Paddock : see 'long paddock'
Pash : a long passionate kiss; hence "pashing on"
Pav : Pavlova - a rich, creamy Australian / New Zealand dessert
Perve (noun & verb) : looking lustfully at the opposite sex
Piece of piss : easy task
Pig's arse! : I don't agree with you
Piker : Someone who doesn't want to fit in with others socially, leaves parties early
Pink slip, get the : get the sack (from the colour of the termination form)
Pint : large glass of beer (esp. in South Australia)
Piss : beer. Hence "hit the piss", "sink some piss"
Plate, bring a : Instruction on party or BBQ invitation to bring your own food. It doesn't mean they're short of crockery!
Plonk : cheap wine
Pokies : poker machines, fruit machines, gambling slot machines
Polly : politician
Pom, pommy, pommie : an Englishman • See the complaint about "Pom" etc.
Pommy bastard : an Englishman (see also 'bastard')
Pommy shower : using deodorant instead of taking a shower
Pommy's towel, as dry as a : very dry - based on the canard that Poms bathe about once a month
Porky : Lie, untruth (pork pie = lie)
Port : suitcase (portmanteau)
Postie : postman, mailman
Pot : 285 ml beer glass in Queensland and Victoria
Pozzy : position - get a good pozzy at the football stadium
Prezzy : present, gift
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Q

Quid, make a : earn a living - "are you making a quid?"
Quid, not the full : of low IQ. [Historical note: 'quid' is slang for a pound. £1 became $2 when Australia converted to decimal currency]

R

Rack off : push off! get lost! get out of here! also "rack off hairy legs!".
Rage : party
Rage on : to continue partying - "we raged on until 3am"
Rapt : pleased, delighted
Ratbag : mild insult
Raw prawn, to come the : to bullshit, to be generally disagreeable
Reckon! : you bet! Absolutely!
Reffo : refugee
Rego : vehicle registration
Rellie or relo : family relative
Ridgy-didge : original, genuine
Right, she'll be : it'll be all right
Right, that'd be : Accepting bad news as inevitable. ("I went fishing but caught nothing." "Yeah, that'd be right.")
Rip snorter : great, fantastic - "it was a rip snorter of a party"
Ripper : great, fantastic - "it was a ripper party"
Ripper, you little! : Exclamation of delight or as a reaction to good news
Road train : big truck with many trailers
Roadie : a beer you buy to take away with you
Rock up : to turn up, to arrive - "we rocked up at their house at 8pm"
Rollie : a cigarette that you roll yourself
Roo : kangaroo
Roo bar : stout bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroos (also bull bar)
Root (verb and noun) : synonym for f*ck in nearly all its senses: "I feel rooted"; "this washing machine is rooted"; "(s)he's a good root". A very useful word in fairly polite company.
Root rat : somebody who is constantly looking for sex.
Ropeable : very angry
Rort (verb or noun) : Cheating, fiddling, defrauding (expenses, the system etc.). Usually used of politicians
Rotten : drunk - "I went out last night and got rotten"
Rubbish (verb) : to criticize

S

Salute, Aussie : brushing flies away
Salvos, the : Salvation Army, bless them
Sandgroper : a person from Western Australia
Sanger : a sandwich
Sav : saveloy (see also "fair suck of the sav!")
Schooner : large beer glass in Queensland; medium beer glass in South Australia
Scratchy : instant lottery ticket
Screamer : party lover; "two pot screamer" - somebody who gets drunk on very little alcohol
Seppo : an American
Servo : petrol station
Shag on a rock, stands out like a : very obvious
Shark biscuit : somebody new to surfing
She'll be right : it'll turn out okay
Sheepshagger : A New Zealander
Sheila : a woman
Shit house (adj.) : of poor quality, unenjoyable ("this car is shit house", "the movie was shit house")
Shit house (noun) : toilet, lavatory
Shonky : dubious, underhanded. E.g. a shonky practice, shonky business etc.
Shoot through : to leave
Shout : turn to buy - a round of drinks usually ("it's your shout")
Show pony : someone who tries hard, by his dress or behaviour, to impress those around him.
Sickie : day off sick from work (chuck a sickie = take the day off sick from work when you're perfectly healthy!)
Skite : boast, brag
Skull/Skol (a beer) : to drink a beer in a single draught without taking a breath
Slab : a carton of 24 bottles or cans of beer
Sleepout : house verandah converted to a bedroom
Smoko : smoke or coffee break
Snag : a sausage
Sook : person or animal who is soft, tame, inoffensive. Hence sooky (adj.)
Spag bol : spaghetti bolognese
Spewin' : very angry
Spiffy, pretty spiffy : great, excellent
Spit the dummy : get very upset at something
Spruiker : man who stands outside a nightclub or restaurant trying to persuade people to enter
Sprung : caught doing something wrong
Spunk : a good looking person (of either sex)
Squizz (noun) : look - "take a squizz at this"
Standover man : a large man, usually gang-related, who threatens people with physical violence in order to have his wishes carried out.
Station : a big farm/grazing property
Stickybeak : nosy person
Stoked : very pleased
Stonkered : beaten, defeated, cornered, perplexed
Strewth : exclamation, mild oath ("Strewth, that Chris is a bonzer bloke")
Strides : trousers
Strine : Australian slang and pronunciation
Stubby : a 375ml. beer bottle
Stubby holder : polystyrene insulated holder for a stubby
Stuffed, I feel : I'm tired
Stuffed, I'll be : expression of surprise
Sunbake : sunbathe
Sunnies : sunglasses
Surfies : people who go surfing - usually more often than they go to work!
Swag : rolled up bedding etc. carried by a swagman
Swaggie : swagman
Swagman : tramp, hobo
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T

Tall poppies : successful people
Tall poppy syndrome : the tendency to criticize successful people
Tallie : 750ml bottle of beer
Taswegian : derogatory term for a person from Tasmania
Tea : supper
Technicolor yawn : vomit
Tee-up : to set up (an appointment)
Thingo : Wadjamacallit, thingummy, whatsit
Thongs : cheap rubber backless sandals
Throw-down : small bottle of beer which you can throw down quickly.
Tickets, to have on oneself : to have a high opinion of oneself
Tinny : can of beer
Tinny : small aluminium boat
Tinny, tin-arsed : lucky
Togs : swim suit
Too right! : definitely!
Top End : far north of Australia
Trackie daks/dacks : tracksuit pants
Trackies : track suit
Troppo, gone : to have escaped to a state of tropical madness; to have lost the veneer of civilisation after spending too long in the tropics.
Trough lolly : the solid piece of perfumed disinfectant in a men's urinal
Truckie : truck driver
True blue : patriotic
Tucker : food
Tucker-bag : food bag
Turps : turpentine, alcoholic drink
Turps, hit the : go on a drinking binge
Two up : gambling game played by spinning two coins simultaneously

U

Ugg boots : Australian sheepskin boots worn by surfers since at least the 1960s to keep warm while out of the water. Also worn by airmen during WW1 and WW2 because of the need to maintain warmth in non-pressurized planes at high altitudes.
Ugh : ugly. hence Ugg boots
Uni : university
Unit : flat, apartment
Up oneself : have a high opinion of oneself - "he's really up himself"
Up somebody, get : to rebuke somebody - "the boss got up me for being late"
Useful as an ashtray on a motorbike / tits on a bull : unhelpful or incompetent person or thing - "he, she or it is about as useful as tits on a bull" etc. etc.
Ute : utility vehicle, pickup truck

V

Vedgies : vegetables
Vee dub : Volkswagen
Veg out : relax in front of the TV (like a vegetable)
Vejjo : vegetarian
Vinnie's : St. Vincent De Paul's (charity thrift stores and hostels)

W

WACA (pron. whacker) : Western Australian Cricket Association and the Perth cricket ground
Waggin' school : playing truant
Walkabout : a walk in the Outback by Aborigines that lasts for an indefinite amount of time
Walkabout, it's gone : it's lost, can't be found
Weekend warrior : army reservist
Whacker, whacka : Idiot; somebody who talks drivel; somebody with whom you have little patience; a dickhead
Whinge : complain
White pointers : topless (female) sunbathers
Whiteant (verb) : to criticise something to deter somebody from buying it. A car dealer might whiteant another dealer's cars or a real estate salesman might whiteant another agent's property
Wobbly : excitable behaviour ("I complained about the food and the waiter threw a wobbly")
Wobbly boot on, he's got the : drunk
Wog : flu or trivial illness
Wog : person of Mediterranean origin. A milder insult than the same word in the UK and perhaps elsewhere.
Wombat : somebody who eats, roots and leaves (see also root)
Woop Woop : invented name for any small unimportant town - "he lives in Woop Woop"
Wowser : straight-laced person, prude, puritan, spoilsport
Wuss : coward; nervous person or animal

X

XXXX : pronounced Four X, brand of beer made in Queensland

Y

Yabber : talk (a lot)
Yabby : inland freshwater crayfish found in Australia (Cherax destructor)
Yakka : work (noun)
Yewy : u-turn in traffic ("chuck a yewy at the next traffic lights")
Yobbo : an uncouth person

Z

Zack : sixpence (5 cents) - "it isn't worth a zack", "he hasn't got a zack"
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