Slang is common, but it is not necessarily 'good English'. Some of it can be offensive. Sometimes the words themselves are offensive. Sometimes they can be offensive because of the way they are said.

It is good to understand slang, but you must be careful with using it. You may offend someone without knowing if you use the wrong tone.



(I) International
(Oz) Australian
(UK) British

Ace(I) excellent! (She’s an ace teacher.)
Aggro (Oz) aggressive (He gets really aggro when he drinks too much.)
Airy fairy (I) lacking substance (Her arguments are airy fairy. They are not convincing.)
All-nighter(I) party that goes all night / drinking session that goes all night (What’s wrong with you? You look like you’ve had an all-nighter.)
All over the shop(UK & OZ) disorganised (She can’t concentrate. She’s all over the shop.)
Ankle-biters(Oz) babies/young children (Paul and Mary have got two ankle-biters.)
As right as rain – good, no problem (I’m feeling much better thank you. I’m as right as rain.)
Awesome(I) great! Excellent! (Tom Cruise’s new movie is awesome!)

Babe (I) beautiful young girl (She’s a real babe.)(DISRESPECTFUL)
Bad news(I) troublesome person (Stay away from those men, they are bad news.)
Bag of bones (I) very thin person (To be a female movie star these days you have to be a bag of bones!)
Balls up
(UK& Oz) a mess (I made a balls up of my exam!)
Bamboozle(I) to confuse (I couldn’t understand the directions. I was really bamboozled.)
Barbie (Oz)
barbecue (We’re having a barbie tomorrow. It’d be lovely if you could come and join us.)
Barf(UK & OZ)
to be sick/vomit (He drank too much and then barfed all over the back of the car!)
Bastard - (I) a man who does something unfriendly or unpleasant (He won a lot of money at the casino and didn't give any to his children. What a bastard!) (OFFENSIVE)
Bat for both sides (UK & OZ)
bisexual (She bats for both sides.)
Bathers (Oz)
swimming costume / swim suit (Bring your bathers and we’ll go for a swim.)
Bees knees – the best (The way Sam talks about his soccer matches, you’d think he was the bees knees.)
Belly-ache(I) to complain (Don’t worry about him. He’s always belly-aching about something.)
Belt up(UK & OZ)
be quiet (I wish those kids next door would belt up.)
Better half
(UK) wife or husband (I’m not sure if we can come to the party, I think it’s okay, but I’ll have to check with my better half.)
Bimbo(I) an attractive woman who is not very clever (She’s a real bimbo.)
(UK & Oz) a woman (She’s a great bird.) (OFFENSIVE)
an unpleasant woman (I don’t like her much. She’s a bit of a bitch.) (OFFENSIVE)
Bit on the side (UK & OZ) to have a sexual relationship with someone who is not your usual partner (I think he’s getting a bit on the side.)
Blabbermouth(I) someone who can’t keep secrets (Be careful not to tell her too much. She’s a real blabbermouth.)
Bloody(I) adjective used to make expression of anger more intense (Which bloody idiot put the ice-cream in the fridge instead of the freezer?) (OFFENSIVE)
Blow your top(I) lose your temper / become very angry (Her dad blew his top when she said she was getting married.)
Bob’s your uncle – it can be done easily (Just put the dinner in the microwave for 2 minutes and Bob’s your uncle!)
Bonehead(I) a stupid person (Ralph’s a real bonehead.)
Boobs(UK & OZ)
breasts (She’s got huge boobs.) (OFFENSIVE)
Booze(I) alcohol (I’m going down the pub to get some booze. Back in a few minutes.)
Botch up(I) a job done poorly / make a mistake (There was a botch up at the airport and my plane was delayed for two hours.)
Brekky (Oz)
breakfast (Have you had brekky yet?)
Bugger all (UK & OZ)
nothing (There’s bugger all we can do about it!)(OFFENSIVE)
Built like a brick shithouse(Oz)
a big strong man’s body (He’s built like a brick shithouse.)
Bullshit (I) a lie (That’s bullshit! Brad Pitt did not have a sex change!)(OFFENSIVE)
Bust your guts (I) to work very hard (Arnold bust his guts to get into his medicine course.)

Chicken(I) to be scared of something/cowardly – usually used by children (You’re too scared to run across the road. You’re a chicken!)
Chill out(I) to relax (Here have a drink and chill out a bit.)
Chow(I) food (Let’s go and get some chow.)
Chuck up(UK & OZ) to vomit (He drank to much beer and chucked up.)
Chunder (Oz)
to vomit (He drank too much again and chundered again!)
Ciggy(UK & OZ)
a cigarette (Have you got a ciggy? )
Clapped out (Oz)
broken or not working well (He bought a clapped out old volkswagen. He’ll never get it to work!)
Coke (I) cocaine (There was a lot of coke at the party.)
Cool(I) excellent (Mary: There’s a party at Jim’s place on Saturday. Sue: Cool!)
Cop (I) policeman/woman (Be careful when you drive tonight. There are a lot of cops on the road!)
Cop it(UK & OZ) to get into trouble (I better leave now. I’ll cop it if I get home late.)
Cop shop (Oz)
police station (Where’s the nearest cop shop?)
Couch potato (I) lazy person who watches TV all the time (Teenagers turn into couch potatoes during the school holidays!)
Cow(UK & OZ) a horrible woman (Sally’s a real cow!) OFFENSIVE
Crackpot(I) a crazy person (There are some really strange religions and cults. Some of them are crackpots.)
Crap(I) nonsense, rubbish / faeces (Don’t listen to him. He talks a lot of crap.) OFFENSIVE
Creepy crawly (Oz)
an insect, especially a spider (I don’t like going into the garage, it is full of creepy crawlies.)
Cut the crap(I) stop talking nonsense (Cut the crap!)

Dilly dally (I) to be slow (Don’t dilly dally. We’ll miss the start of the movie if you don’t hurry up!)
Dog - (I) an unattractive woman (She’s a dog.) OFFENSIVE
Dog’s breakfast
(UK) to mess something up (I made a dog’s breakfast of my exam. I’m sure I failed.)
Dope (I) a stupid person / a drug (Bill’s a bit of a dope. / Mary smokes dope.)
Do the dirty on(I) to cheat or to betray someone (Sam’s doing the dirty on Bill. He’s not going to pay him for all the work Bill did on his house.)
Double Dutch(I) something you can’t understand (I tried to read a legal document the other day, it was double Dutch. I couldn’t understand a word!)
Down under(I) Australia (She lives down under.)
Drag queen(I) a male who dresses in women’s clothing (There are a lot of drag queens at that pub.)
Drama queen(I) someone who always creates problems (Mary is a drama queen. She’s always in the middle of some major problem.)
Drip(UK & OZ) a stupid person (John’s a real drip.)
Drop dead (I) go away (I am not interested in you. Drop dead.)
Drunk as a skunk (Oz) very drunk (Alan drinks too much. He is often as drunk as a skunk.)
Dyke (I) a lesbian (Dykes go to that hotel.)(OFFENSIVE)

Elbow grease(I) to work hard (Put some elbow grease into it!)

Fag (UK & Oz) cigarette (Have you got any fags?) / (UK) Also a homosexual. (Paul's a real fag!) (OFFENSIVE)
Fairy(I) homosexual (Dave’s a fairy.)
Fat chance (I) no likelihood of something happening. (Fat chance! I’ll never get an A at school!)
(UK & Oz) someone with fleas – usually used for dogs (Spot’s a fleabag, but he’s a great dog!)
Flip one’s lid (I) to become very angry (Dad flipped his lid when I got home at 2am.)
Forty winks (I) a short sleep (I'm really tired. I have to be at work in 2 hours. I might just grab 40 winks.)
Freebie (I) something given for free (Did you buy the latest Dolly magazine? They’re giving out freebies.)
Freeloader (I) a person who takes but doesn’t give (John is a bit of a freeloader. He always stays at our house, but never gives us anything or does anything in return.)
Fruitcake(I) crazy person (Mabel’s a bit of a fruitcake.)

Gander (I) to have a look (Have a gander at this.)
Gay (I)
homosexual (Many gays live in this part of town.)
Gee gees(UK & Oz)
horses – children’s usage / horse races - gamblers usage (Can we look at the gee gees mummy?)
Get away with murder (I) to do something wrong and not be punished (Many politicians are corrupt. They get away with murder.)
Get nowhere fast (I)
make no progress (I’m trying to clean the kitchen, but I’m getting nowhere fast.)
Give someone the boot – to fire some from their job or to end a relationship with someone. (My engagement is over. I gave Andrew the boot.)
Go apeshit(I)
get angry (Bruce went apeshit when I told him I wanted a divorce.)
Goss (Oz)
abbreviation of gossip (I heard that Mary and Phil aren’t talking anymore. What’s the goss?)
Grotty(Oz) dirty (His house is always grotty.)

Hair of the dog (UK & Oz)
have some more alcohol when you feel ill in the morning from drinking too much the night before. (You look terrible! What you need it some hair of the dog. You’ll feel much better!)
Ham fisted(I)
clumsy (I don’t like his style of writing at all. It is really ham fisted.)
old clothes passed down from other people (I come from a large family and I am the youngest. When I was growing up I never had new clothes. I always wore hand-me-downs.)
Hang a left/right (UK & Oz)
turn left/right (My place is easy to find. When you get to the station hang a left into Market street and a right into George street. My house is the second on the right.)
Hang out(I) to stay somewhere to pass the time (A lot of teenagers hang out at shopping malls.)
Happy as Larry(UK & Oz)
very happy (Sue: Does John like his new job? Bruce: Yes, he’s as happy as Larry.)
Headcase(I) a crazy person (Malcom’s strange. He’s a real headcase.)
Heebie-jeebies - (I)
an uneasy or nervous feeling (I don’t like Frank. He gives me the heebie-jeebies.)
Here’s mud in your eye(I) an expression of good wishes prior to drinking – a toast (Here’s mud in your eye.)
Hit the hay(I)
go to bed (It’s late. I think I’ll hit the hay.)
Hit the road(I)
begin a journey or leave (We have to hit the road at 5am tomorrow morning. We’ve got a long way to go.)
Hit the sack (I)
go to bed (Good night! I’m going to hit the sack.)
Hole in the wall (Oz)
an automatic teller machine (I’m going to go to the hole in the wall to take out some money.)
an attractive male – (Brad Pitt is a hunk.)

Icky (Oz)
a sticky or distasteful thing (I don’t like babies. They’re really icky.)
Inside job(I) a crime committed by people who work inside the organisation that is affected (Over one million dollars was stolen from a vault at IBM. The police think it was an inside job. [ie, police think IBM employees took the money.])
In the altogether(UK & Oz)
naked (I walked into the bathroom and Sarah and Sam were there in the altogether. I was so embarrassed!)

Jitters(I) severe nervousness (I’ve got the jitters about my wedding on Saturday!)

Keen as mustard (Oz) very enthusiastic (Jake is very excited about his new job. He’s as keen as mustard.)
Keep your hair on(UK & Oz)
stay calm (Don’t panic. Keep your hair on. [used when someone is panicking.])
Kick in(I) begin or contribute (If we all kick in for a Alan’s birthday present, we should be able to get him something really nice.)
Knock it off(UK & Oz)
to steal something / to stop something (Knock it off! Stop fighting!) (She knocked that dress off from the department store.)
Knuckle sandwich(UK & Oz)
to punch someone (Bruce gave Sam a knuckle sandwich.)

Lead one up the garden path(UK & Oz)
to mislead (Jan told me Alan was going to sell his car, so I offered Alan $15,000 for it. Alan didn’t know what I was talking about. Jan lead me up the garden path!)
Leak(UK & Oz)
go to the toilet (I’ll be back in a minute. I’m just going to take a leak.) OFFENSIVE
Legless(UK & Oz)
drunk (Sam was legless again last night.)
Let one go(UK & Oz)
to fart, break wind (Ooh! What’s that smell. Someone let one go!)
Loo(UK & Oz)
toilet (Just a minute, I have to go to the loo.)
Looney(UK & Oz)
crazy person (Jack’s a bit of a looney.)

Make it snappy(I)
be quick (Yes, you can get a drink before we go, but make it snappy.)
Make tracks (UK & Oz)
begin a journey / leave (Well we’d better be making tracks. Thanks for the hospitality.)
Megabucks(I) a lot of money (Same works as a stock broker. He makes megabucks.)
Moolah(UK & Oz)
money (Got enough moolah?)
Morph(I) to change shape (He’s usually very nice, but when he starts talking about sport, he morphs into a real bore.)
musician (Sue’s boyfriend is a muso.)

Nan (UK & Oz)
grandmother (I’m going to visit my Nan on the weekend.)
an unfashionable person (Gary’s a nerd. He’s always playing on his computer.)
Nice one! (I)
an expression of approval (Nice one! That was an excellent shot! [eg. in a game of pool])
Noodle(UK & Oz)
head or brain (For heaven’s sake! Use your noodle!)
Not all there (UK & Oz)
used to talk about a crazy person or a simple person (What’s wrong with her? She’s not all there!)
Not a sausage(UK & Oz)
nothing (Jim: Did you win any money at the casino? Ann: No, not a sausage.)
Not backward at coming forward (UK & Oz)
say what you think (Mary’s not backward at coming forward. She says exactly what she thinks. She’s not at all shy!)
Not cricket(UK & Oz)
not fair (I don’t like the way he always takes the biggest helping of dinner. It’s just not cricket.)
Not give a toss(I)
don’t care (I don’t give a toss who wins the election.)
(I) a crazy person (She never stops talking. She’s a nutcase.)

Off one’s face (UK & Oz) drunk or affected by drugs (Jenny’s off her face. Has she been drinking again?)
O.J.(I) orange juice (Is there any O.J. in the fridge?)
Once over(I) inspect something (I had a look at Bill’s new car. Have you given it the once over? It’s fantastic!)
On the dole (UK & Oz) receiving unemployment money from the government (I’ve been out of work for 2 weeks. I’ll have to go on the dole soon.)
On the wagon (I) not drinking alcohol (I’ve been drinking too much lately, but I’m on the wagon now.)
Out of it(I) drunk or affected by drugs (She’s out of it again.)
Over my dead body(I) I won’t let that happen (Over my dead body! You’re not going to leave school when your 15!)

Peckish(I) a little bit hungry (I’m feeling peckish. What are we going to have for dinner?)
Piece of cake (I) easy (I can show you how to play that song on the guitar. It’s a piece of cake.)
Pig-headed(I) stubborn (She’s so pig-headed. Once she makes up her mind, she won’t change it.)
Pong(UK & Oz) a bad smell (What’s that pong?)
Poofter (UK & Oz) homosexual (Steve’s a poofter.) OFFENSIVE
Prang (UK & Oz) a car accident (Jeff had a prang in his new car.)
Put a sock in it (UK & Oz) be quiet (You’ve been talking for 20 minutes, put a sock in it!)

Queer (I) homosexual (I think those two men are queer!) OFFENSIVE

Rave(I) large dance party where people take drugs (She goes to raves every weekend.)
Retard(I) a very stupid person (Jack’s a retard.) OFFENSIVE
Rubber cheque/check(I) a cheque that won’t be honoured because there isnt’ enough money in the account (Sheila gave me a rubber check! I’m really annoyed!)
Rust bucket(UK & Oz)
an old car in bad condition (I need a new car. Mine’s a rust bucket these days.)

Scam(I) a trick or con, to get money from people illegally (A teenager in America got over 2 million dollars in an illegal betting scam before the police caught him.)
Schmaltzy(I) something that causes sweet, sugary emotions (I like heavy rock music, not that schmaltzy music my parents listen to.)
See a man about a dog(UK & Oz)
go to the toilet (I’m going to see a man about a dog.)
Shirty(UK & Oz)
bad tempered (Jan is really shirty at the moment! What’s wrong with her?)
Shut your face(I) be quiet, stop talking (Shut your face!) OFFENSIVE
Skedaddle(I) go away [often used with children] (Skidaddle and give me some peace and quiet.)
Slob –(I) lazy person (Jack’s turned into a slob. He just watches TV all day!)
Small potatoes(I) a small amount of money (I can’t find a decent job. Everything pays small potatoes. I want some real money.)
Smoke(I) a cigarette (I’m out of smokes. Have you got one for me?)
Snot rag(Oz)
handkerchief (Have you got any snot rags?) OFFENSIVE
Space cadet (I) a person who is not very clever (She looks great but she’s a space cadet!)
Spew – to vomit / to be angry (He spewed all over the back of the taxi.) (Her husband was late again last night, she was spewing!)
Spot on (I) exact, correct (Her answer was spot on.)
Square eyes(Oz) someone who watches too much TV. (Hey square eyes, how are you?)
Stick in the mud(I) a boring, unadventurous person (Sam never wants to go anywhere! He’s a real stick in the mud.)
Swing both ways(Oz) to be bisexual. (She swings both ways.)

Ta (UK & Oz) thank you (Sam: Here’s your glass of water. Julie: Ta.)
Take a hike(I) go away (Hey kids! You’re too noisy! Take a hike.)
Talk the hind leg off a donkey(UK & Oz) talk all the time / be very persuasive (Jack could talk the hind leg off a donkey.)
Ta-ta (UK & Oz) good bye (See you. Ta-ta.)
Telly (UK & Oz) television (What’s on telly now?)
Thick as a brick(I) stupid (Brian’s thick as a brick.)
Thick as two short planks(Oz)
stupid (Brian’s thick as two short planks.)
Tickled pink(I) very pleased (Sandra loved the birthday card you sent her. She was tickled pink.)
can of beer (Are there any tinnies left?)

U-ee (Oz) U-turn (I missed the turn off, I’ll have to do a u-ee.)
Uni (I) university – (Mary’s almost finished uni.)

Vego (I) vegetarian (Are there any vego restaurants around here?)
Vegout(Oz) to relax and do nothing (Sometimes when I get home from work I’m so tired that I just want to vegout.)

Wacko(I) crazy person (Fred’s weird. He’s a bit of a wacko.)
Wannabe(I) a person who wants to be successful , but probably won’t be (Sam’s a wannabe. He thinks he will be famous rock star. I don’t think he’ll make it!)
Weirdo (UK & Oz) strange person (She’s really strange. She hardly ever says anything – a bit of a weirdo I think.)
Wet oneself
(UK & Oz) to laugh very hard (I almost wet myself when the principal was telling us how we should behave and he suddenly fell off the stage.)
Watchamacallit (UK & Oz) the thing whose name I can’t remember (Can you pass me the … watchamacallit?)
Whole kit and caboodle(Oz) every thing (The company is moving to a new premises. They’re moving the whole kit and caboodle.)
Whopping (I) very large (She had a whopping bruise on her leg from where she fell over.)
Wiped out(I) tired (I’m wiped out after spending the day at the beach. The sun was so hot.)

Yack (UK & Oz) to talk (My mum always yacks to the neighbours.)
Yawn (I) something that is boring (The movie was a bit of a yawn. I don’t recommend it.)
Yucky (Oz) not very nice (This curry is a bit yucky!)
delicious (This curry is yummy!)

Zonked (UK & Oz) tired (I’ve been studying so hard the last few weeks. I’m zonked!)


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