Australian Words and Phrases I often encounter in everyday life: A quick read for migrants to Australia

These are the Australian words and phrases I encounter in everyday life. I learned them in everyday conversations, advertisements, newsletters and invitations.

view from picnic point
G’day mate!


Arvo – afternoon

I encountered this in a text message. See you this arvo.


Barbie – barbecue

Let’s have some barbie.

Bloke – man or guy

Did you see that bloke out there? He is huge!

Bottle-shop – liquor shop

The wine costs $10 at the bottle-shop.


Bush- the Outback, anywhere that isn’t in town

I think we are lost. The GPS led us to the bush!

BYO – Bring your own

Brekkie – short for breakfast

Let’s have brekkie at Macca’s.

Bring a plate– share some food, bring your own food

The meeting is at 4 pm, bring a plate.

close up face of a boy
Please bring a plate on my birthday.


Chook – a chicken

The chook tastes good!


Ekka – the Brisbane Exhibition, an annual show of animals, goods and rides galore

I really wanted to go to the Ekka!



Fairy floss – cotton candy

Fairy floss booths are often seen in school fiestas and holiday events.

Freddo – a frog character on one of the small wrappers of Cadbury chocolates

Let us sell some freddos for fundraising.

freddo chocolateG

G’day – This means good day but it is used to greet someone like Hello.

G’day is often the word I hear every time a bloke greets me. 

Gold coin donation – $1 or $2 donation

In fundraising events, the entrance is a gold coin donation.

Grog – liquor, beer

They drank too much grog at the party.


Joggers- rubber shoes, running shoes

Don’t forget to bring your joggers for P.E.


Kindy – Kindergarten

I enrolled my son in Kindy.


Lollies – sweets, candy

Too many lollies are not good for your teeth.


Macca’s – Mcdonald’s

I want to eat a happy meal at Macca’s.

Mate – buddy, friend

What is going on mate? Are you all right?

Mozzies – mosquitoes

Wear insect repellent! There are so many mozzies out here!


No worries-  expression of forgiveness or reassurance

Oh, I am sorry. I cannot come to your party. Answer: No worries.

This is my favorite expression because it calms me.


Oz – Australia

On a t-shirt: I love Oz.


Pavlova – rich, creamy dessert with strawberries, kiwi, raspberries and other fruits on top

Pavlova is a dessert worth trying. It is a meringue with fruits and cream on top.

Prawn – use prawn not shrimp. I don’t hear Australians say shrimp at a seafood market.

A kilo of prawns is worth $11.


See you later – expression after talking to them

The bloke at  the cash register said, “ See you later.”  I took that seriously. In my mind I was thinking:  Why will the man see me later? Does he know my address? Is he a stalker? I learned it was just an expression.

State of Origin – It is an epic rugby league football battle between Queensland Maroons and New South Wales Blues.  The games are really awesome!

Sunnies – sunglasses

Wear your sunnies not just to be cool but to protect your eyes.


Togs – swimwear

Don’t forget to bring your togs for your swimming lessons.

two boys doing karate kick at the beach
Togs in Summer!

Tradie – tradesman

We need a tradie to fix the roof.

Tuckshop – canteen

Students get their snacks and lunches at the tuckshop.


Ute- pick-up truck

The ute was used to deliver the sofa bought from a garage sale.


Vinnies – St. Vincent de Paul’s, charity thrift store

 Families starting a new life in Australia can buy second-hand goods at Vinnies.


What do you reckon? – What is your opinion?

Do we need to serve more drinks? What do you reckon?

 Do you want to learn more Australian words and phrases? Click here.