Australian English is a major variety of the English language, spoken everywhere in Australia.
Although it has no official status in the Constitution, Aussie English is the country's de facto official language and is the first language of the majority of the population.
It differs from other varieties of English in vocabulary, accent, pronunciation, register, grammar and spelling and has developed along a different track to British or US English, with some vocabulary of its own.
There are particular words and phrases that are uniquely Australian, meaningless to many from outside the country, but part of what binds Aussies to each other.
The history of Aussie English reflects the history of the country as a whole — Aboriginal words, convict slang and words from various migrant groups have all been assimilated.
Aussies love colloquialisms and word plays. The results are often very funny, picturesque, and robust. By using this dictionary you will have a better understanding of the aussie personality and the aussie sense of humour.
It requires a healthy tolerance, a creative mind, and a sense of the absurd.
Long before a word of English was ever spoken in Australia, the Aboriginal languages were heard all over the continent. Each Aboriginal grouping has its own language, but those languages spoken close to what later became the main centres of European population were those which have had the most influence on modern Aussie English.
Commonly used Aboriginal words include many animal names, such as kookaburra, koala, wallaby and dingo.
Many Australian place names are Aboriginal — the capital Canberra is so‑named because it means ‘meeting place’.
Other Aboriginal words common in Aussie English include yakka, meaning work–normally used as part of the phrase hard yakka, and cooee, first used by Aboriginal people calling each other through the bush.
Aboriginal words are likely to have been absorbed into Aussie English as local leaders from both native groups and colonists tried to find some tentative common ground; and as the new arrivals sought to find names for the strange new things they were seeing.