Well that’s a bit rude

People bag out Buzzfeed.com, but I reckon it’s pretty funny. I cacked myself at its The 100 Rudest Effing Things Australians Say post yesterday.

I remember studying Australian slang in 3-unit English for the HSC – the pinnacle of my academic achievement – and being blitzed by the colourful vernacular. I mean, what other country describes someone who’s a bit out-there as being “a sandwich short of a picnic” or “mad as a cut snake” or as having a “roo loose in the top paddock”?

But teen me would have been horrified by the Buzzfeed article.

I was a prim and proper little thing back then, no potty mouth for me.

I went to Baptist Sunday school and had a straight-laced dad, who famously tore up my copy of RAM magazine because it had swear words in it … cue gales of teenage tears and wails of horror that Neil Finn had been ripped in half.

Then I became a journalist.

The funny thing about journalists is that despite them having the widest vocabulary of all professions and not being able to swear in the stories they write every second word out of their mouth is “fuck.”

I got with the program pretty quickly. (Though I still NEVER EVER swear in front of my Dad … and spent my whole marriage kicking my husband in the shins under the table when he did.)

So I find the endless ways the “f” word and other expletives can be used as expressions quite entertainingly creative.

The Buzzfeed article includes gems such as

“Why are you on compo?”
“I slipped on a hot chip at Oporto and went arse over tit.”


“Pig’s arse”: Australian for “I beg to differ”.





Ah, such a romantic vernacular!



“Is that spoof on your tracky-daks?”
“Nah just Yoplait Go-Gurt.”


“Get a dog up ya”

It means “Insert a dog into your rectal cavity.”


“Oi fuck face”

A traditional Australian greeting.

The dry delivery kills me.

Does any other language contain such colour? I expect the English have similarly amusing expressions without the expletives.

What’s your favourite Aussie expression?

Song of the day: The Angels “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” (Live!)







8 thoughts on “Well that’s a bit rude

  1. “Are you taking the piss, or what?!”and “Don’t come the raw prawn with me, mate!”…these were fighting words!

    I have a copy of The Dictionary of Historical Slang that I purchased in the UK about 40 years ago, a massive paperback that has the etymology of just about every swear word you can think of. A fascinating read…

  2. Jounalists and Australians and fuck – I have a friend who is a journalist (another one!) who covered the trucky blockade of Canberra (the old one, not the recent one). He saw some truckies gathered around a lifted cab, tinkering with the engine, and went over. He asked what was happening. The way he puts it “I got THE quote that summed up the entire thing, the blockade, the arguments, the attitude, how they viewed what was happening politically, the lot. And I couldn’t use it”
    One of the men, without looking up from the engine, had summed it all up – “the fucking fucker’s fucking fucked”.
    English is a rich and varied language. Australia proudly adds to that variation, and part of that variation is to use one expletive in multiple forms for an entire sentence (I don’t count the definite article). It’s a feat. Of some kind.

    • Did he really? Well that’s a bit cool. I hadn’t thought about whether I don’t trust people who don’t say the F word. I sometimes find myself a bit sensitive about youths who think it’s appropriate to repeatedly snarl near small children.

  3. Yeah, I love “What do you think it is, Bush Week?” and I personally can’t go past Alf from Home and Away’s “Ya Flamin’ Galah!’. Very fond of Aussie slang and the varied use of the F word to explain so many other things and concepts.

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