8 Strange Things Australians Say

Chatting with Australians isn’t always an easy task. Even when the conversation is based around things you both have a passion for, such as sunshine and sports, it can sound like two people speaking two different languages.

Australians love a good old abbreviation. In fact, they’ve turned it into something of a pastime, choosing to inject their own version of the English language with some creative phrases such as “selfie”. Let’s delve into a few more here in a bid to try and decipher the “English” language used by Australians.


We aren’t talking here about a doll with blonde hair. When Australians ask you if you’d like to attend a barbie, what they’re asking you is if you’d like to go to a barbecue. So buy some of your favourite meats, and prepare for a sizzling good time.


If you’re looking for McDonald’s to satisfy your craving for a Quarter Pounder, you’d be disappointed. However, if you were to look for the famous yellow ‘M’, you’d find Maccas. Even the U.S. giant couldn’t compete with the Australian’s appetite for abbreviating its name and in 2013, they renamed themselves in Australia as simply, ‘Maccas’.


Vegemite is worshipped in Australia. Although it’s hard to see why. It’s made up of leftover brewer’s yeast extra and a number of spice and vegetable additives, and is consumed on sandwiches, crackers, toast, and crumpets.

“She’ll be right”

Believe it or not, this is not men suggesting that women are right about everything. Instead, it’s a way to comfort someone. It suggests that what is wrong will ultimately be made right. If your friend is upset or your car is broken, an Australian might say “she’ll be right, mate”, in a bid to cheer you up.


While the words of Thong Song may be swirling around in your head right now, in Australia that song would imply something different to the rest of human civilisation. Australian thongs are not underwear but instead, something you wear on your feet i.e. sandals (or flip flops).


When most of the rest of the world say ‘footy’, they’re referring to soccer. In Australia, it’s different, of course. They have their own version of football so when they say ‘footy’, they actually mean Australian rules Football. Bear this in mind if an Australian ever asks you to join him in a game of ‘footy’.

Drinking out of their shoes

Also known as ‘shoey’, this is where the drinker takes off their shoe (or uses the shoe of a friend) and uses it to drink beer out of. Some view it as a good luck tradition while, alarmingly, others like the taste. It became something of a worldwide phenomenon after F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo decided to do it after winning a race.

“How ya goin’?”

Along with G’day, this is a popular way to greet someone in Australia. It simply means “how are you” or as has become slang in the U.S., “how ya doin’?’”. As usual, the Australian version makes less sense but hey.

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