An Insider’s Guide to Aussie Abbreviations

If you follow my blog at all then you are aware that I spend all of my time surrounded by my Aussie co-workers and bosses in the confined spaces of the boat.  While we may all be technically speaking the same language, many times I’ve needed a translation or two.  The one thing that has really struck me about Aussie slang is how many abbreviations they use- it’s on a whole new level.  Here is a list of some of the most commonly use abbrevs (get it? I shortened ‘abbreviations’… it’s funny, laugh) that I have heard:

ta– short for “thank you”, this one used to annoy the crap out of me until I learned that it is taught to small children who still can’t fully enunciate ‘thank you’ and has simply made it’s way into mainstream slang.  I can get behind creative ways to teach good manners so it’s a-ok in my book.

arvo– short for “afternoon”, this one actually still does bug me a bit, but only because there is no ‘v’ in afternoon and the ‘r’ seems like it would come after the ‘v’ anyway. I don’t know, maybe I’m getting too technical; it is slang after all.

“meet you for shrimp on the barbie in the arvo, mate!”

devo– short for “devastated”. You’d actually be surprised how often people are “devo” here in Oz.  Maybe they should say “bummo” (bummed) or something because I’m pretty sure “devastated” should be reserved for deaths or unrequited love or something like that and not the bottle-o being closed, right? which brings me to….

bottle-o– short for “bottle shop”, which means “liquor store” for all my American friends.

Macca’s– the famed golden arches, “McDonald’s”.  In fact, all McDonald’s in Australia are actually changing their name to “Macca’s”.  True story: I’ve never heard an Aussie call it “McDonald’s”.  Also a true story: I’ve never eaten more McDonald’s in my life than I have while living in Australia.


“I got so pissed last night, I feel like shit this morning.  Let’s get some Macca’s brekky.”

brekky/brekkie– short for “breakfast”.  Although let’s be honest, it’s the same amount of syllables, so really what’s the point?


capo– short for “capsicum”.  Once again, for all the ‘mericans out there, that means “bell pepper”.

avo– short for “avocado”.  I think that’s pretty much it on that one.

Freo– short for “Fremantle”.  Even cities get fun nicknames!

Rotto– short for “Rottnest”, as in Rottnest Island.  Another place with a nickname!


That’s all I’ve got for you right now, but I’ll be adding more Aussie slang for your enjoyment in the near future. Until then, g’day mates!


20 responses to “An Insider’s Guide to Aussie Abbreviations

  1. Haha love it Arielle! I can just hear those sexy Aussie accents through your quotes. Though I do recognize some slangs like “ta” and “brekkie” – they say that in the UK too. Crazy for “Macca’s” though!

    • Haha thanks Aggy! I often have to stop them and have them spell things out because I can’t even understand it correctly. I didn’t know ‘ta’ was from the UK though- although I’m not surprised because they share a lot of the same slang!

  2. I thought Americans were bad about slang until I met Aussies and Kiwis… They cut everything done. I definitely didn’t know these though, I like Arvo best.

    • Same! It’s definitely worse here though. For Christmas last year my bosses even gave me an Aussie slang dictionary as a joke because I was always asking for translation! Too funny. I don’t know why, but I actually can’t get behind ‘arvo’. I think it might be because it doesn’t sound natural coming from an American accent. We pronounce our “r”‘s too prominently!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s