13 Words And Phrases Australians Use Differently Depending On Where They Live

Getty Images. Does it get much more Aussie?

Australia, the world’s largest island, celebrates its national day this weekend.

Despite sharing no border with another country and the attendant cross-pollination of language that normally results, there’s a surprisingly broad range of ways Australians speak around the wide brown land.

Whether you’re a “cockroach” from NSW, a Queensland “cane toad”, a WA “sandgroper”, South Australian “crow-eater”, a “Taswegian” from Tasmania or a “top-ender” from the Northern Territory, we all have a habit of creating our own slang for words and phases with virtually the same meaning.

Inspired by Business Insider’s recent examinations of the various sayings in US states, we’ve compiled a list of expressions that are completely different but mean the same thing depending on where you’re from.

Sourcing phrases from Wikipedia, Byronit.com, The McCrindle Blog, australiandictionary.net and some our our own interstate contacts, here is what we found.

Being busy.

QLD – “I’m busier than a cat burying shit on concrete.”
NSW – “Running around like a chook with my head cut off.”
VIC – “Busy as Bourke street in the rush hour.”
WA – “Running around like a blue-arsed fly.”
NT – “As flat out as a lizard drinking.”

Someone not very bright

QLD – “A few roos loose in the top paddock.”
NSW – “A sandwich short of a picnic.”
ACT – “The lights are on but no one’s home.”
VIC – “A stubby short of a six pack.”
TAS – “Balmy as a bandicoot.”
WA – “Ninepence short of a deener.”

What you wear going swimming.

QLD – “Togs.”
NSW – “Cozzies.”
ACT – “Swimmers.”
VIC- “Bathing Suit.”
SA – “Swimming Costume.”
WA- “Bathers.”

Somebody who is mad or crazy.

QLD – “He’s got the Darling pea.”
NSW – “She’s as mad as a cut snake.”
VIC – “They’re going off like a frog in a sock.”
SA – “He’s gone round the bend.”
NT – “She’s gone troppo.”

The afternoon.

QLD – “Sarvo.”
NSW – “Arvo.”
SA – “Aftie.”
TAS – “Arvie.”
WA – “Arve.”

Buying processed meat from a local grocery store.

QLD – “I’m getting some windsor from the milkbar.”
NSW – “I’m getting some devon from the corner shop.”
SA – “I’m getting some fritz from the convenience store.”
WA – “I’m getting some polony from the deli.”
TAS – “I’m getting some luncheon meat from the general store.”

Someone uncultured.

QLD – “He’s a Bogan.”
NSW – “He’s a Westie.”
VIC – “He’s a Yobo.”
WA- “He’s a Boonie.”

Riding on a friend’s bike handlebars.

QLD – Riding “barie.”
NSW – Riding “double.”
ACT – Riding “doubler.”
SA – Riding “dinky.”
TAS – Riding “double-dink.”
WA – Riding “dink.”

Far away.

QLD – “Woop Woop.”
NSW – “Back of Bourke.”
ACT – “Never Never.”
WA – “Beyond the Black Stump.”

True or genuine

QLD – “You Bewdy”
SA – “Dinky-Di”
NT – “Ridgie Didge”
“True Blue” and “Fair Dinkum” are nationally recognised phrases.


QLD – “Fag”
NSW – “Ciggie”
VIC- “Dart”
TAS – “Gasper”
WA – “Smoke”


QLD – “Dunny”
NSW – “Loo”
VIC – “Toot”
WA – “Thunder Box”


NSW – “Tooheys”
VIC – “A Green One”
NT – “Darwin Stubby”

Have a great Australia Day weekend, ya drongos.

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