How to speak Australian

I think I am going to head over to Maccas and get myself a sanger and a cuppa tea. And I have got to finish this preso fast if I need to go to Woolies to stock up on brekky groceries

Sounds like I have gone bonkers, or am I just randomising words to throw you off? Na-uh. This is colloquial talk in the land down under. Welcome to lesson 101 on How To Speak Australian :)

The most popular Australian suffix to make any word a diminutive is to end it with IE/Y, so Breakfast becomes brekky, Football becomes footy, Track-pants become trackie, University becomes Uni. This rule pretty much covers all the majorly used words here and the possibilities are endless; preggie (pregnant), ciggie (cigarette), smokie (smoke), Woolies (Woolworths), sickie (sick leave), lovie (love), cardie (cardigan), lippy (lipstick), sunnies (sun-glasses), so on, and so forth.

How to Speak Australian

Another popular suffix is the letter O. Sample journo (journalist), aggro (aggressive), avo (avocado), doco (documentary). But here comes the funny part, using the same suffix, afternoon becomes arvo, registration becomes rego, presentation becomes preso, train station becomes traino! Don’t ask me why, I didn’t make the rules!

IE/Y/I and O pretty much cover the entire spectrum of Aussie diminutive speak, but there are other suffixes like A, ZA, and ER, that give words like sanger and sanga (sandwich), cuppa (cup), Maccas (McDonalds), ta (thanks), checkers (nun-checkers), but these are far & few between. The ZA suffix shortens names generally, so Sharon becomes Shazza, Barry becomes Bazza, Jeremy becomes Jezza!

If you are wondering, to what extent this love for slang extends to, well, they even have nick names, oops, nickies, for their states. Each of the Australian territories has a slang name, sometimes more than 1, attached to it.

How to Speak Australian4

Well, we have got to give it to these guys, after all, they even call their country OZ and themselves Aussies!

To take you through the most popularly used diminutives, and the nicknames for each of the Australian territories, I have prepared a visual snapshot, for your easy travel and entertainment reference.

And here is the link:

 Save it! Use it! Share it!

That’s all the Aussie lesson for the day. Ta, I am out of here!


my naturally super-observant skills 


6 thoughts on “How to speak Australian”

  1. Haha! The infogram is fun! Where does “Aussie Aussie Aussi.. oi oi oi” fit into the scheme of things mszknowitall?


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