Posted By John

Back in 1912 British immigrants to Australia were called pommygrants. This may have been because their complexion reminded Aussies of the colour of red pomegranates. That was abbreviated to pommy and pom.

However, some will argue that it stands for Prisoner Of Mother England, but we won’t comment on that. It helps to have to have a sense of humour when talking to an Aussie.


Aussie person from Australia, an Australian. Pronounced Ozzy not Ossie.
Bushie person from in rural Australia
Cockroach person from New South Wales (said with humour)
Crow-Eater person from South Australia (said with humour)
Banana Bender person from Queensland (said with humour)
Cane Toad person from Queensland (said with humour)
Sandgroper person from Western Australia (said with humour)
Apple Eater person from Tasmania (said with humour)
Taswegian person from Tasmania (said with humour)
Kiwi person from New Zealand, a New Zealander
Pommy or Pom person from England (said with humour)
Brit person from England
Yank person from the USA (said with humour)
Septic Tank person from the USA (said with humour)rhyming word with Yank
Seppo person from the USA (said with humour), play on Septic Tank. Also another word for the person who empties the dunny or septic tank.
Ambo ambulance officer
Firee fire fighter, fireman. Also spelled fire-ie.
Bushfire Brigade volunteer fire fighting organization
Nipper young surf lifesaver
Journo journalist
Newsreader person who reads the news on TV or radio. News anchor (USA and Canada)
Compere emcee of a program or event
Muso musician
Busker person who performs (busks) for donations usually on sidewalks. Mostly musicians and singers.
Gabster radio talk show host
Showie person working in a travelling carnival. Carnie in the USA.
Spruiker person whose job it is to speak loudly to passers-by to advertise and solicit customers for a business
Solicitor lawyer, attorney
Pollie politician
Greenie environmentalist
Greens member of the political Green Party
Battler someone without much luck in life and always has to struggle
Reffo refugee
Biker person who rides a motorcycle
Bikie member of a motorcycle gang
Swagman a drifter (person without a permanent place to live) who carried his swag as he travelled the country on foot looking for work. He was a common sight during the depression of the 1890’s and 1930’s.
Tall Poppy successful person often a target of jealous remarks
Bluey nickname for a person with red hair
Curly nickname for a person with a bald head
Duck’s Disease what a short person has
Lofty nickname for a short person

Oldies, wrinklies and old dears are rather descriptive of our oldest generation. At the other end we have ankle biters and rug rats.

Sometimes the slang we use is a bit too descriptive. Take “fang carpenter”. Shows a bit of our famous Aussie humour, but it’s probably not something you’d want to hear your own dentist called when you’re waiting in his office.

Bloke a man
Sheila a woman
Trouble and Strife wife (rhyming slang)
Mum mother
Ankle Biter young child
Rug Rat baby
Sprogs offspring, children
Tin Lid kid (rhyming slang)
Schoolie holidaying student after completing final year exams. Not to be confused with schooie which is a schooner of beer.
Oldies parents
Poppy grandfather
Rellies relatives
Mate friend, buddy
Cobber close friend, mate
Old Dears senior citizens or your parents
Wrinklies senior citizens
De Facto man or woman living together as husband and wife, but not married
The Don Sir Donald Bradman, considered the best cricket player
ANZAC member of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
Digger Australian soldier
Salvo, Sal, Sallie person from the Salvation Army
Vinnie’s St. Vincent De Paul’s (charity thrift stores)
Larrikin a rowdy, irresponsible person
Boofhead friendly term for someone who is not too smart
Galah foolish person also a pink and grey parrot
Dill a simpleton or stupid person, also a herb
Dobber person who told what you’ve been up to, usually something bad
Drongo stupid person. A drongo footballer would run the wrong way.
Show Pony appearance is more important than ability to this person
Sook cry baby, timid and shy cowardly person
Stickybeak nosy person who does not mind their own business
Wanker male that’s really stupid but thinks he’s the greatest
Winger person who complains constantly (whinge)
Dag unfashionable person
Yobbo an uncouth person
Ocker uncultured person, an Aussie who likes beer, sports and women (usually in that order)

The names we give ourselves are probably some of the most colourful slang we use every day such as chippie, garbo and polly. Speaking of polly, our American friend, Sara, was watching the news on TV and asked what was all the fuss about the birds. Watching the same show, we didn’t see any story about birds. She said it was something about a polly. We explained that polly was short for politician.

Sara was surprised that the newsreader would use slang in

Casual Worker someone who works part time or as temporary help
Jackaroo male station hand
Jillaroo female station hand
Stockman person who tends livestock on horseback. (Cowboy USA)
Cow Cockie dairy farmer
Fruit Cockie fruit farmer
Greengrocer person who sells fruit and vegetables
Milko milkman
Offsider assistant or helper
Chippie carpenter
Sparky electrician; also called a leckie
Brickie bricklayer
Postie postman, mailman, mail delivery person
Trolly Dolly airline hostess

reading the news. A few minutes later she told us she thought polly was a good name for politicians. American pollys often squawk and talk about things they don’t understand.

Maybe that IS why we call ours pollys. A few we know fit that description.

Next time you’re flying overseas, try calling an American airline hostess a “trolly dolly”. It may be humorous, but it’s probably not a politically correct way to address the ladies.

Fang Carpenter dentist
Chemist drug store, pharmacy. Also person filling prescriptions. In the USA the place is called a pharmacy, while the person is called a pharmacist.
Trucky driver of large trucks
Umpie umpire
Wax-head surfer
Wharfie dockside worker, longshoreman
Garbo garbage collector (American); dustman (British)
Dunnyman person who empties toilet cans where there is no sewer connected
Seppo person who empties the dunny or septic tank. Also another word for an American (said in humour)
Bushranger outlaw
Duffers thieves, i.e. cattle duffer (cattle thief)
Hoon hooligan
Mongrel despicable person
Ratbag rascal; rogue; person who has non-conforming behaviour. Can be used with humour said to a friend.
Bludger person who won’t work, extremely lazy
Dole Bludger person who avoids work preferring to live on welfare
Crim criminal
Dip pickpocket

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