australian sayings


There are so many things to look forward to when visiting Australia. Aside from the breathtaking beaches, the out-of-this-world beers and of course the world famous kangaroos, Australia is a fantastic place to visit.

Another thing that a lot of travellers consider as a plus is that in Australia, the language is English. You don’t have to spend the time to learn certain phrases and terms to make communication achievable.

However, we are here to tell you that even if you consider yourself a master of the English language, you might have a hard time understanding the sayings that are shared in this country.

Australian Sayings

So, here are eight Australian sayings that are commonly used which make no sense to native English speakers.

  • My shout
  • No worries
  • Fit as a Mallee bull
  • Flaming Galah
  • Lower than a snake’s belly
  • You little ripper
  • A face like a dropped pie
  • May your chooks turn into emus and kick your dunny down

My shout

If you have an Aussie friend, chances are, you have heard this phrase a lot after a meal in a restaurant or even a simple chug at the bar. As an English speaker, you might think a lot of things since the phrase makes no sense at all. But you should be glad when an Australian says it because this means, that he or she will pay for the food or drinks.

No worries

This phrase might be the most understandable among the list since it technically means what you understand. No worries is a common term heard all around the corners of Australia and would seem to be a pretty universal one. Translated into multiple meanings like sure, you’re welcome, that’s alright, and don’t worry, the term can be used in multiple scenarios. You might find it useful for your Australian visit, as well.

Fit as a Mallee bull

Eyebrows are sure to frown and crumble when you would find yourself hearing this saying. Aside from the problem of whether this was an accent or not, Mallee bull just has too much L’s and E’s. We don’t even know what a Mallee bull is!

Not to be confused with male bulls, Mallee is a part of Australia that produces beef. Within that location, the cattles and cows are subjected to harsh environments that demand the cattle to be sturdy and tough.

It is a term that is primarily used to describe a fit and in tip-top condition person. Regardless of sex, this term is used freely. It’s the thought that matters really. If ever you find yourself being described as such, then a well deserved flustered blush would do.

Flaming Galah

There are so many Australian sayings and phrases that are used to describe a person in a lighter term. Flaming Galah is one of the Australian sayings that can be used to describe a person who is clumsy or simply just a stupid individual. This term was coined by the famous Alf Stewart in the famous soap opera Home and Away. In this soap opera, the character of Alf Stwart just simply used the term flaming and then added an animal with questionable traits to describe another person. The flaming Galah is one such saying that has become a part of every person’s high-school and college life.

Lower than a snake’s belly

Now, let us take the time off and think of where and how low a snake’s belly is. Now, take your time to think about what this Australian saying means. If you guessed a person with really low moral standings, then you guessed right. A person who is lower than a snake’s belly would be better described as a person with an unpleasant personality. Most of the time, the phrase would be used for people who would sell their soul for money. And keep in mind that no animal in the world has a belly lower than a snake’s.

You little ripper

No, no, no. This saying is not what you think it is. So turn that frown upside down and be delighted because this is the saying that every grandmother would say when she sees her grandchildren.

You little ripper is an expression of endearment and delight. You might have experienced the time when your little cousin or nephew came at you, gave you and told you an adorable story accompanied by their cute voices, that right there is a perfect time to use this saying.

A face like a dropped pie

Insults are generally worldwide, and saying that a person is ugly is one of the many ways to attack a person. To put things in a better perspective, have you ever seen the mess a dropped pie looks like?

That would at least take a few minutes to clean. Imagine that the splattered and messed up pie is your face. If you have a face only a mother could love, then chances are, you might hear this term a few times or two. But you shouldn’t worry since this term is generally used between close friends and relatives. So unless you are really close to a person to spout jokes, then you should not use this saying at all.

May your chooks turn into emus and kick your dunny down

The saying is generally used to wish somebody bad luck. When translated into a more understandable term, the phrase ‘may your chickens be turned into emus and kick your toilet down’ comes out.

Now, you might be overwhelmed by the sudden influx of words you do not know when you hear this, but you should probably try to understand why they would say such awful words.

Breathe in, breathe out. Now you are a step closer to finally calling yourself an Ozzie. This list of Australian sayings is probably one of the best ways to describe the difference between American English, British English and Australian English. We both know that the American English and British English are worlds apart but at arm’s length. The Australian English is the same. You might find yourself overwhelmed by the pronunciations and such, but you will be alright. And now that you have learned some of our secrets, you’ll have an easier time in Australia.