Aussie Jargon



The writer in me loves the words, and the actor in me loves the accent. And because I’m an actress accents are lots of fun for me, and come relatively easy. British and Irish are in me head by default, it seems, and I can turn either of those on or off like a spigot. But I could not get the Aussie accent quite right—it’s so similar to British, yet so different. Until… (now you have to understand, there is ALWAYS some stream of thought or “conversation” running through my mind, even if it’s commentary on traffic or the clouds passing overhead) So, one day I was driving along and realized I was thinking in a fair dinkum Aussie accent. And I had to wonder why. Turns out, it was because I had been watching a series (DVD, back to back episodes) on the tellie where most of the actors are Australian! Just hearing it spoken consistently, it “implanted” in my brain, and voila! there it was! (hmmm, isn’t there a Scripture to that effect? But that’s another topic entirely!) oh, and writing this post? Yeah, I’m thinking in strine now!


So without further ado, I’ve a little story for you:




Here are some more Aussie terms and phrases that I thought were particularly fun.




A word of caution. Note the last word listed in the red box above: root. It apparently does NOT mean the same thing down under as it does in America. Neither cheer on nor a tuber that grows underground; you don’t want to be “rooting” your rugby team on, as it could prove rather embarrassing. That said, I’d venture to caution that if you travel to Australia, or any other country for that matter, be prepared to stick your foot in your mouth. I don’t reckon there’s any way to know every.single.slang.term or phrase there is. Even if you’ve a personal guide, it’s not likely you’ll get a thorough run down on what not to say.

I’d like to give a huge shout out to three Australian writer friends, Autumn Macarthur, Andrea Grigg and Karen Shravemade, who “proofed” my little soliloquy for proper use and authenticity. And caught what would have been an egregious error and embarrassment. (note my caution above!) And my apologies to the Australian people at large for abusing your language with my iffy accent!

Ta a million for allowing this Yank to play Aussie for a few minutes!


Without looking, which of the Aussie terms did you recognize?


Choose three (or more) terms from the list that catch your eye, and write a scene using those terms.

ME - 041115

“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!

Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013. She resides in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1988. Besides Tessa, she has Clara Bess, book two in her unsavory heritage series. She is currently working on Cissy, the third and final book in the series. It will be released in June of this year.


Come visit me at:

Aussie jargon, Aussie speak, Aussie accent, Farscape, Down Under, fair dinkum, yank talking aussie,


10 thoughts on “Aussie Jargon

  1. lol. My daughter & I have really been enjoying the H2O and Mako Mermaid tv shows on Netflix/Hulu. We’ve watched a few others since we enjoyed them and even branched out to a British show. And we rarely hear something we don’t understand. 😉 But I recall loving some other Australian shows as a teen, too – Ocean Girl and Spellbinder.

  2. Robin, thank you for this fascinating post! I recognized the terms “barbie” and “walkabout”. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  3. thanks Caryl! i could have written SO much more! but word limit and time limit—and a very weird week—pretty kept me to this much!
    you have a great weekend too!

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