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Decoding Aussie slang: 5 essential phrases

November 28, 2017

One of the coolest things about travelling to a new country is learning the local lingo. It can also be one of the most confusing things once you arrive.

You’ll find yourself raising your eyebrows in confusion a fair bit when you start chatting with Australian locals in particular. What on earth is a cuppa? And what do your new friends mean when they ask you to meet them this arvo?

No need to fear, we’re here to get you started. Below are five of the most common Aussie phrases, what they mean and how to use them.

Brush up on some Aussie slang terms en route to your study abroad adventure.Brush up on some Aussie slang terms en route to your study abroad adventure.

1. Cuppa

Somehow the Aussies have managed to condense four whole words into one tiny phrase. When someone asks you if you’d like a cuppa, they’re really asking if you’d like a cup of tea. Since the days of British colonisation, Australians have loved a nice hot brew. Here’s a typical conversation snippet:

“Hey mate, want to come over for a cuppa tomorrow?”
“Of course! I’ll bring some biscuits.”

2. Arvo

Why use three syllables when you could use two? Shortening words is a recurring theme for Australians and ‘arvo’ is no exception –  a slang term for afternoon. Not to be confused with the ever-popular ‘avo’ (short for avocado), you’ll hear people throwing around the word quite a bit. Example:

“Are you going to Sarah’s this arvo? Should be a good time!”

3. Thongs

No, your new friend isn’t asking you to go underwear shopping, we swear! Aussies call sandals or flip flops, thongs. So when your friend says:

“Hey! Want to head over to the shops to pick up some new thongs?”

Wipe that confused look off your face and head over to the mall for some summertime shoes!

4. Maccas

Late night trips to Maccas are a staple in Australia. Home to cheap burgers and the infamous Golden Arches, you’ll likely find yourself at McDonald’s with your mates quite a bit during your stay.

“Who’s craving a bit of Maccas tonight? Let’s go, mate!”

5. Mozzies

Unfortunately, this isn’t an abbreviation for mozzarella sticks. It’s a slang term for the pesky insects that always seem to be buzzing in our ears during summer months. Aussies refer to mosquitos as mozzies. So, if you hear someone going on about the mozzies being out and about, it’s probably best to grab that mosquito spray.

“Man, I have so many mozzie bites from hanging out on the beach last night!”

Before you head off on your study abroad adventure, it might be wise to brush up on some Australian lingo! That way, you’ll be able to follow local conversations easily.

For more tips on preparing for your journey, download the Cohort Go Study Abroad Survival guide today!

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