Slang Around the World

English is one the most utilized languages around the world. But just because we may speak a common language does not mean that they are exactly the same. Each of those countries speaks their own version of English that is native to that country. This may include changes in pronunciation, spelling, verb tense, and new slang! To make it easier to transition from one form of English to another while abroad, here are a some unique slang terms from different countries, and what they stand for in American English.


  • “Arvo”- Afternoon
  • “Fair Dinkum”- Someone who is true, real, or genuine
  • “Mozzie”- Mosquito 
  • “Ripper”- Really great
  • “Ta”- Thank you
  • “Togs”- Swim suit 
  • “Barbie”- Barbecue 


  • “Smashing”- Terrific
  • “Rubbish”- Garbage or something someone says that is deemed incorrect/negative
  • “Horses for courses”- To each his/her own
  • “Grub”- Food
  • “Gander”- To go have a look around
  • “Chuffed”- To be very pleased about something 
  • “Brill”- When something/someone is brilliant or cool


  • “Keener”- To be extremely studious 
  • “Kerfuffle”- Commotion or fuss
  • “Toque”- A knitted cap worn in winter, or just a beanie
  • “Whitener”- Non-dairy coffee creamer
  • “Runners”- Athletic/street tennis shoes
  • “Shookum”- Something great, fantastic, or good
  • “Chesterfield”- The floral couch in your grandparents home


  • “Gaff”- Another word for someone’s house
  • “Jacks”- Toilet 
  • “Press”- Cupboard or closet 
  • “Gas”- Someone has a great sense of humor 
  • “Dote”- Someone that is cute or adorable 
  • “Jammy”- Someone who is very lucky 
  • “Eejit”- Someone who is a fool, this is used in a funny/mocking manor, not malicious 


  • “Breaks”- Trousers/pants 
  • “Braw”- Brilliant or good
  • “A Piece”- A sandwich 
  • “Scunnered”- Bored or fed up with something/someone 
  • “Wean”- A child
  • “Baffies”- Slippers
  • “Scullery”- Kitchen

New Zealand

  • “Jandals”- Flip Flops
  • “Macca’s”- McDonald’s
  • “Buggered”- Very tired
  • “Jumper”- Jersey or sweatshirt 
  • “Chilly bin”- A cooler to keep food or drinks cold 
  • “Fizzy drink”- Soda pop
  • “Hot chips”- French fries 

Happy traveling, we hope these phrases and words help you adjust to your host country’s English language!


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