25 Words I’ve Heard Australians Shorten

I’m sure we’re all guilty of shortening words occasionally. I know I do it, and where I’m from, some words are shortened so badly, it doesn’t even resemble the original word!

Australians are good at it. Really good at it.

For example, you’ve all heard of the term ‘Aussies’ I assume? Well, that’s just an appetiser. Below are some of the best ones I’ve heard while I’ve been here….brace yourself if you’re not Australian!

Abos: referring to Aboriginal people (usually derogatory, so usage is not advised).

Ambos: referring to ambulance drivers.

Barbie: a Barbecue, (and no, I’ve never heard an Australian say, ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie.’ They’re more likely to ask for a ‘snag’).

Beaut: beautiful.

Blowies: annoying flies, that are more prevalent in spring, and can cause great discomfort and death to sheep, if they’re not treated.

Chook: a chicken.

Classies: when I emailed asking about the classified ads on local television, this is what the girl called them.

Esky: an insulated cooling box for food and drinks, I’m assuming has something to do with Eskimo’s.

Firies: referring to fire fighters

Garbo: a garbage collector.

G’day: Good day.

Maccas: McDonald’s restaurant.

Mozzies: This is probably the first one I remember hearing and asking what it meant. It refers to mosquitoes.

Postie: a postman.

Rellies: the guide for the caves I visited in Tasmania, used this to refer to her relatives.

Roo: a Kangaroo, obviously.

Salvos: the Salvation Army, usually referring to the charity shop.

Servo: a service/petrol station.

Sidies: what a hairdresser said, when referring to my sideburns.

Smoko: any break time taken during working hours, probably taken from ‘smoke break’.

Sunnies: sunglasses.

Surfies: people who surf a lot.

Tassie: Tasmania.

Ute: Utility vehicle, or what other’s call a pickup truck.

Vinnies: St. Vincent De Paul’s Charity shop.

So there you have it. I’m sure there are more I’ve heard. Sometimes I take a few seconds to realise what has been said, but I’m constantly listening carefully for more.

Have you got any? Bear in mind, this isn’t all the slang words I’ve heard, just the words which are clearly shortened from the original. I could tell you what it is to be ‘crook’ (or have a ‘wog’), or what you’re supposed to do when told to “BYO”.

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