sacred site
a place of spiritual significance
They may be hills, rocks, waterholes, trees, plains and other natural features of the landscape, ranging in size from a single stone or plant to an entire mountain range. In coastal and sea areas they may include features which lie both above and below water.
Some are obvious, such as ochre deposits, rock art galleries, or spectacular natural features. In other instances they may be unremarkable to an outside observer.
They are recognised and protected as an integral part of the national cultural heritage, under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act and the Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act.
 aboriginal australia
a person from western australia
Either born in WA, or regards it as his or her home.
salute ∼ the great australian salute
to brush flies away
Also known as a barcoo salute or bush salute, it is the waving of one's hand in front of the face at regular intervals in order to prevent bush flies from landing on it, or entering one's nose or mouth.
a plant that grows in saline areas

A familiar sight over large areas of the dry desert country of Australia, it is a sprawling grey-blue shrub growing up to 3m high.
It is a long living plant, growing strongly after periods of summer rain, producing long tassels of flowering seed heads.
Aboriginal Australians collect the seeds to grind and roast to make damper.
saltwater crocodile
 The swamps, rivers and estuaries across the north are home to one of the biggest, fiercest — and perhaps most misunderstood — predators in the world.
Crocodylus porosus are the world’s largest living reptile, growing up to 6m long and weighing up to a tonne.
Protected since 1970, the population is around 100,000 in the NT alone and probably more than 150,000 Australia-wide.
aussie diminutive
the salvation army
The Army's purposes are:

 The advancement of the Christian religion …
of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole.

It is also the nickname of their op-shops.Let's go down to the salvos.
founded by william booth in 1865
sanga ∼ sanger, sambo
a sandwich
aussie diminutive
 A highly seasoned sausage, boiled and consumed at fairs, fêtes, agricultural shows and sporting events. Often covered in dead horse and served on a slice of bread or in a bread roll. Also known as a cheerios or little boys.
aussie contraction


rascal, mischievious person
school of the air
a system of schooling for children in rural and remote areas
 Pioneered in Australia in 1951 to supplement correspondence education. Teachers use high-frequency, two-way radio to broadcast lessons and communicate with students. Email, the internet, video, and fax are also used today.
It remains the most important means of education for children who have no access to school.
1 a 285 ml glass of beer in queensland
2 a medium glass of beer in south australia
 This word is understood around the country.
For more information see
beer, middy, and seven.
a flannie-clad, mullet-sporting yobbo
Australia-wide known as a bogan
Qld: bevan
NSW: westie
Tas: chigger
vic slang
instant lottery ticket
Played by scratching the ticket to reveal a prize (if won).
screamer ∼ two pot screamer
a person who has a low tolerance of alcohol
a spectacular overhead mark

Regarded by many fans of aussie rules as the epitome of skill.
aussie rules
a brief men's swimming costume
See speedos for a full set of synonyms.


secret business
ceremony and ritual that is open only to a particular group
The word business in this term is from Aboriginal English, and means ‘traditional Aboriginal lore and ritual’, and is recorded from 1907. Secret business is first recorded much later in 1986, and from it have developed terms with a more specific reference. Secret men's business for ceremony and ritual that is open only to men, and Secret women's business for ceremony and ritual that is open only to women. From the late 1990s the terms transferred into standard aussie english where they are used jokingly in non-Aboriginal contexts.

Kingswood driving is secret men's business – just like pushing a shopping trolley straight is secret women's business.

 aboriginal australian english
septic tank ∼ seppo
an american person
rhyming slang: septic tank for yank
petrol station
a seven fluid ounce glass of beer
 Throughout the country when you order a beer  you will get a seven fluid ounce glass.
See beer, schooner, middy and glass for more information.
sexual intercourse
shaggin' wagon
a panel van
 Usually set up with padded velvet, soft lights and stereo, for purposes of seduction.
See panel van for more information.
shag on a rock
someone isolated, lonely, exposed
Everyone pissed off and left me like a shag on a rock!
of poor quality, unenjoyable
The movie was shithouse.
shit house
sheep shagger
a new zealander
aussie slang first recorded in 1894
sheep's back on the …
a reference to the wool industry
On the sheep's back
The source of Australia's colonial prosperity, started by the squatters.
a girl or girlfriend, a woman
Derived either from Sile, an Irish girl's name, or Sile, Gaelic for an effeminate man or homosexual. The first written use of the term appeared in a 1928 edition of the Monitor, which reported on a Saint Patrick Day street brawl in Sydney.

…many a piteus Sheila stood wiping the gory locks of her Paddy.

It is basically a bloke's word; women on the whole do not use it. Some men seem to think it is a neutral word, rather than a derogatory one, and formerly this may have been the truth, but nowadays women in general don't much like being called sheilas. Don't call me a sheila!
first recorded in 1828
dubious, underhanded
shoot through ∼ like a Bondi tram
make a hasty departure
 Two trams typically left the Sydney CBD for Bondi together, the first an express tram which would shoot through from Darlinghurst to Bondi Junction.
aussie slang since 1945
turn to buy
Usually a round of drinks.

The etiquette of a shout

  • Immediacy Never accept beer if you do not intend to shout on that evening. Shouting "next time" is not acceptable no matter how much interest is involved.
  • Reciprocal Even worse than the previous rule is accepting beers from the drinking party and then just buying one for yourself when it is your turn.
  • Consistency Changing drinks on people during a shout is considered poor form. I.e., shouting everyone VBs then asking for a "boutique" beer on the return leg.
  • Accountability Knocking over someone else's beer will only be tolerated if there is a full replacement on the table.
    In some mining communities, the spilling of ones beer requires the guilty party to receive a punch in the arm from all other members of the party which could be up to 60 people.
  • Egalitarian No matter how much money is earned by each of the party members, or where their money came from, the same shouting rules apply.
  • Free will The order of the round is determined by each individual volunteering that it is his/her shout. Fellow members should not never have to remind an individual of their obligations to the group. They will only do so in the event of a breach.
  • Abstaining From time to time an individual may wish to stop getting drunk. Ideally, they should wait till the completion of every group member's rounds before abstaining from future rounds.
    If it is essential that they abstain mid-round, they should request a non-alcoholic beverage. This ensures that the first volunteer is not punished for putting their hand up first.
    It ensures group equality and it also ensures that the person buying the next round does not feel like a bludger by being remiss in their obligations.
  • Gender neutral Should a women be given a drink that has been purchased in the course of buying a round, she is subsequently part of the round. All the previous rules thus apply. A round can consist of only two people.
an admonishment that one has more intelligence than another assumes
I'm not stupid, I didn't come down in the last shower!
show pony
someone who tries hard, by his dress or behaviour, to impress those around him


a period of sick leave, often one day
Usually with the implication that there is insufficient medical reason for the absence from work. Surf's up! I'm chuckin a sickie
boast, brag
to consume a drink – usually alcohol
Drunk in a single draught without taking a breath.
a carton of beer
 Usually containing two dozen of either stubbies or cans.
a veranda, porch, or outbuilding
Used for sleeping accommodation, especially during hot weather that encourages people to sleep in a sheltered area that might receive cooling night breezes. Sometimes it may be enclosed with windows or walls, eventually becoming a permanent extra bedroom.
aussie slang first recorded in 1915
slouch hat
australian military headdress
 Since its inception more than a century ago, the slouch hat has become one of the most distinctive and defining items of Australian clothing. It is made with rabbit-fur or wool felt and has one side of the brim pinned to the side. It has been suggested the pinning made it easier to sling a rifle over the soldier. While that may have been the case, other countries never felt the need to pin one side of their hats to the side in order to sling a rifle over the shoulder. In other words, although the need to sling a rifle over a shoulder was not unique to Australia, no other countries decided to have their soldiers wearing the hat in such a way.Perhaps the Australian soldiers pinned the hat because they put pragmatism over style. Alternatively, military commanders might have encouraged the hat to be pinned because it distinguished Australian soldiers from other soldiers in British allied forces. This distinguishment helped build a unique social identity of the Australian soldiers, which was good for morale.
a cook's assistant or kitchen hand
aussie slang
a brief men's swimming costume
See speedos for a full set of synonyms.
a break from work for a smoke, coffee, tea, etc.

An institution symbolic of working culture, and even of workers' rights.
The Industrial Relations Commission has arbitrated cases of industrial action over workers' entitlement to a smoko, so nowadays even non-smokers can take a smoko break.
a sausage
Probably from British (mainly Scots) dialect meaning a morsel or a light meal.
aussie slang since 1937
one who is soft, inoffensive


spanner water
very cold water
Because, of course, it tightens the nuts, especially for icebergs.
aussie slang since the 1930s
a spectacular overhead mark

Regarded by many fans of aussie rules as the epitome of skill.
aussie rules
a brief men's swimming costume
There are a host of terms for tight-fitting (and revealing) men's swimwear:
sluggos, cock jocks, CJs, DTs, dick togs, dick daks, racers, scungies
See budgie smugglers for more. a trademark used generically
very angry
to vomit
spoon, knife and fork
splaydIn addition to an overall spoon shape with four fork tines, it has two hard, flat edges on either side, suitable for cutting through soft food.
They often have a geometric rather than rounded bowl, with two longitudinal folds in the metal.
The Splayd has medical uses, having been recommended as a solution for feeding difficulties following or during treatment of the arm. It was a popular wedding gift in Australia in the 1950s and 1960s.
created in sydney by william mcarthur in 1940
someone employed to verbally encourage potential customers
caught doing something wrong
spit the dummy
have a tantrum
sport ∼ a good sport
fair minded person
A good sport is anyone easy to get on with, one who will be in anything.
a person of either sex who is regarded as sexually attractive
someone who settled on crown land
One of a group of rural landowners, either free settlers or ex‑convicts, who first took up Crown land in order to graze livestock without government permission.They gained its usage by being the first (and often the only) settlers in the area with a lease or licence and became rich and influential, especially on the sheep's back. colonial era term recorded in 1825 The term soon developed a class association, suggesting an elevated socio-economic status and entrepreneurial attitude.
By 1840 squatters were recognized as being amongst the wealthiest men in the colony of New South Wales, many of them from upper and middle‑class English and Scottish families.
Eventually the term came to refer to a person of high social prestige who grazes livestock on a large scale without reference to the title by which the land was held. The term is still used to describe large landowners, especially in rural areas with a history of pastoral occupation.
Hence the term, squattocracy, a play on aristocracy.
recorded in 1841See bunyip aristocracy for a related term.
squirrel grip
to grab and crush someone's testicles
To go the squirrel is the practice of gripping another player's testicles in a scrum, maul or tackle in either Rugby League or Rugby Union and is in common use throughout NSW, Qld and the ACT.
rugby slang
a look
Take a squizz at this.


accident, crash, fall
lots of something
Come over, I've got stacks of beer.
stack on a blue
become extremely angry
a nosy person
one who causes trouble
very pleased
I'll bet you're stoked with your new car.
originally surfie slang
stolen generation
aboriginal children who were taken from their families
From 1883–1969 thousands of Aboriginal children were placed in institutions or fostered with white families.
 aboriginal australia
perplexed, defeated, cornered
a fight or brawl
Hence, an argument or altercation.
Used by soldiers to refer to war or a battle.
WWI was commonly known as The Big Stoush.
aussie slang since the 1890s
god's truth!
Strewth! That bloke's got no strides on! a mild oath in strine
aussie slang and pronunciation
Do you have a Gloria Soame? What is an egg Nishner?
What are sex?
And can you tell me where checque etcher londger ray?
Professor Lauder knows the answers!
a short, squat beer bottle
A stubby of XXXX beer With a capacity between 330375ml.
The bottle is stubby (short and thick) in comparison with the tall and slender 750ml beer bottle.
Invented in 1965.
The expression a stubby short of a sixpack, recorded from the late 1990s, means very stupid; insane’. It combines the Australian stubby with the borrowed American sixpack (a pack of six cans of beer), demonstrating how readily Australian English naturalises Americanisms.
See also Darwin stubby
a pair of short pants
1 very tired
2 broken
a seat
Bus driver welcoming a passenger:
Grab a stump!
in a bad mood, being difficult
suicide season
a feeling of oppression during the approach of the wet season
Afflicts residents of the top end during the build-up to the wet season and marked by an increase in heat and humidity, causing tension and irritability.
Also called mango madness or simply troppo.
people who go surfing
That bloke looks pretty suss.
suss it out
check something
Something's wrong, I'll go and suss it out.
1 the possessions of one travelling, usually on foot in the bush
2 the blanket-wrapped roll carried by a swagman
swagman ∼ swaggie
an itinerant worker or a drifter
it's the

Illustrated Dictionary of Australian English