Get the Guff…Aussie Lingo 101

Australia stub

Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

G’day mate!

A couple a sheila’s, through the bush telegraph, asked me to give them the guff on some Aussie lingo. There are lots of sheila’s out there with missionaries who are in the outback and have gone walkabout. They want to gobsmack their missionary when they get home with a real Aussie g’day.

It’s here that you will get the guff on some dinky di Aussie lingo. There are some bonza words and sayings that will definitely impress your mates. So, if you are within cooee of someone, sheila or bloke, and you’re not out the back o’ Bourke somewhere, then ‘ave a go, because she’ll be right once you practice a little. You may want to use the bush telegraph to let your cobba’s know about this, because it’s fair dinkum! But be careful you don’t get too ocker and come off sounding like a yobbo.

Did you get that?

If not then here is the translation:

This post was prompted by a couple of requests on the LDS Missionary Mums Email Group, to share some of the more common Australian terms – the lingo. Many of the missionary mums I talk with there have missionaries serving in Australia, and love to be able to welcome their missionary home with banners and signs with Aussie sayings on them.

So I thought it would be fun to share some of these sayings here. I have broken them down into two groups. Sayings that are more commonly used, day to day, and sayings that are used less, but are iconic in nature – unless maybe if you come from the outback.

However, let me preface this by saying that it is all purely in my opinion.

For those of you who don’t have missionaries serving in Aus, then you may just get a kick out of reading some of these. If you have an Aussie friend somewhere, you could even try one or two out on them.

More commonly used lingo:

Bloke – male, man, guy. “He’s a nice looking bloke”
Aussie (pronounced Ozzie) – An Australian. “I’m an Aussie”
Aus (pronounced Oz) – Australia for short. “I come from Aus”
Mate – friend, companion. “He’s me mate”
No Worries! – That won’t be a problem, all is good. “No worries mate, I can do that”
G’day – Hello. “G’day mate”
Buckley’s – You don’t have a chance. “You’ve got buckley’s”
All good – Everything is ok. “It’s all good here”
Arvo – Afternoon. “I’ll come over this arvo”.
Crook – sick or ill. “I am feeling a bit crook”.
Ear bash – talk too much. “That bloke can really ear bash”
Relo’s – Relatives. “All the relo’s are coming too”
True Blue – the real thing. “That story was true blue”
Dinky Di – the real thing. “He’s a dinky di Aussie”
Avos – Avocados. “I love a bit of avo on my sandwich”
Back o’ Bourke – a very long way away. “It’s way out the back o’ Bourke”
Bingle – car accident. “I got into a bit of a bingle today”
Gobsmacked – stunned, amazed, in awe. “I was totally gobsmacked by what she said”
Chook – chicken. “We’re having chook for dinner”
Crankey – angry, upset, annoyed. “He made me really crankey”
Footy – Australian football. “Let’s watch the footy”
Good on ya – Good job, well done. “Good on ya mate”
Macca’s – McDonalds. “Let’s go to Macca’s for dinner”
Shonky – a bit suspect, a bit dubious. “That car looks a bit shonky”
Snag – Sausage. “Snags for dinner tonight”
Barby – A Bar-B-Q. “Put another snag on the barby will you?”
Sunnies – Sunglasses. “I need my sunnies, it’s too bright”
Thongs – Cheap rubber backless sandals, flip flops, jandals (not underwear). “Will they let me wear thongs?”
Get the guff – Know what is happening, what’s the latest news. “If you want to get the guff, then ask me”
Togs – Swimming suit, swimmers, bathing costume. “I’ll just put my togs on”
Outback – The rural or country area. “He comes from the outback”

Less commonly used lingo:

Sheila – female, women, girl. “She’s a nice looking sheila”
Bonza – Great, fantastic. “I met this bonza sheila today”
Beauty Mate (ripper, grouse) – That’s fantastic, good job! “Beauty mate, all good”
Cobba – Friend. “He’s a cobba”
Fair dinkum – that’s the truth. “Was he fair dinkum about it?”
ave a go mate – Why don’t you try it out. “Just ‘ave a go mate”
She’ll be right – Everything will be all right. “She’ll be right once we get going”
Bush Telegraph – local gossip network, grapevine. “I heard it on the bush telegraph”
Gone walkabout – lost, or can’t be found, taken off. “I can’t find her right now, she must have gone walkabout”
Within cooee – within hearing distance. “Try to stay within cooee of me”
Ambo – Ambulance. “Someone call the ambo”
Galah – stupid, silly person. “Ah, ya silly galah!”
Hooroo – Goodbye, see you later. “Hooroo, see you soon”
Ocker – Someone so Australian that it even embarrasses an Aussie to be around them. “He’s real ocker”
Yobbo – an uncouth, sloppy, rude, person. “He’s a bit of a yobbo”

I finish this list of sayings with the suggestion that there are many more Aussie colloquialisms. I have not included all of them as you would probably get bored by the end of it.

If you have any others that you would like to add here then feel free to do it through the comment box below. If you think I got it wrong somewhere then I would be happy to hear about it too.

A Mother’s Mission

Our family has a long history of missionary service in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). With the first LDS missionary arriving on the shores of this great country of Australia in the 1850’s, we are proud to have since contributed to that written history.

My husband’s aunt was the first full time missionary in our family. Back in the 1950s, she set the example for generations to come.

Both my husband and myself served proselyting missions: He in the Philippines Manila Mission (1975-77), and me in the Australia Perth Mission (1980-82). Over the years, our extended family has contributed to the worldwide LDS missionary force with close to 50 individuals serving variously in all four corners of the world.

Along with my daughter, who is currently serving (Apr ‘11-Nov ‘12),  we have also had recently three nephews serving in the Sydney Australia Mission, Ghana Africa Mission, and Milan Italy Mission.

The highlight of that contribution by our family would have to be when my husband’s brother recently served as Mission President over the Australia Perth Mission. He initially served there as a 19-year-old proselyting missionary back in 1977-79. So to be able to go back and preside over your own mission, some 30 years later, would have to be one of the greatest honors for an individual.

With all this experience, you might say that I would have all the answers. But from my seat, as I type this narrative, I keenly feel the difference between serving a mission and being a family member at home supporting a missionary.

My daughter is the first of my four children to make this commitment. How deeply I feel the need as a mother to ensure that she makes the most of the time she has out there. This is my current mission.

While I have a rich missionary heritage to draw from, I decided to start this blog so I could, not only share my experiences along the way, but, as the blog title suggests, create a meeting place where like minded mums and families can come to share and talk all things ‘missionary’ – after all, there are well over 50,000 of you out there.