Appendix:Australian English terms for people

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Australians use a variety of colourful terms to refer to people. These terms may indicate such things as the person's ethnicity, the place where the person resides, the social status of the person, the person's behaviour, etc. In recent times a significant number of these terms and phrases aren't in common use by the majority of Australians, and are more specifically used by older generation Anglo-Australians, whilst some phrases and terms aren't used outside of the younger age-groups. Many of these words occur in other English dialects, especially New Zealand English, whilst others are unique to Australian English. Some terms are unique specifically to states or territories, even to cities, while some aren't used outside of external territories, such as Norfolk Island. The following are some examples:

General[edit]

  • ambo - an Ambulance Paramedic.
  • ankle biter – small child
  • arse kisser, arselicker, bumkisser, bumsniffer and brown-noser – refers to people who "suck up" to authority figures, which is fundamentally opposed to Australian hostility for authority figures.
  • bastard /ˈbɑːstə(r)d/ – general purpose designation for a person or persons, may be either a term of endearment or an expression of hostility or resentment. It has sometimes been called "the great Australian endearment", but can also be an insult; interpreted according to context. Calling someone "a silly bastard" is affectionate: calling them "a stupid bastard" is a serious insult. According to a cricketing anecdote, during the "Bodyline" series of 1932–33, the England captain complained to the Australian captain, Bill Woodfull, that an Australian player had called one of his players a bastard. Woodfull supposedly turned to his team and said: "Which one of you bastards called this bastard's bowler a bastard?" When the English Captain, Douglas Jardine, brushed a fly from his face a voice from the crowd called out, "Jardine, yer pommie bastard, leave our flies alone!"
  • battler – a socially–respected, hard–working Australian who is struggling to "make ends meet", because their income is only just enough to survive on; someone working hard and only just making a living
  • billy lid – a child; from rhyming slang (rhyming with kid)
  • bird – a female, (being driven out by the American word chick)
  • bloke – generic term for a man (also common in British English); This word can either refer to a stereotypical male (e.g. interested in masculine pastimes, such as drinking, cars and sport, is insensitive etc.) he's such a bloke (he is a typical man), or can be used to refer to men in general he is a top bloke (he is a good person).
  • blobhead
    • an idiotic person
    • an arrogant person
    • a person with a large head
  • bludger – originally, one who lives off the earnings of prostitution: in Australian usage, a lazy person, a layabout, somebody who always relies on other people to do things or lend him things; see also dole bludger
  • Blue – traditional Australian name of anyone with red hair – particularly common in the Army, but also used in wider society. Richard Branson's airline operation in Australia is therefore officially named Virgin Blue in reference to its red planes. Can also refer to someone's blue cattle dog.
  • blue – a fight or argument.
  • bogan – a term used for a lower class white Australian, similar in meaning to the US term trailer trash or the British chav. Seems to have originated in Melbourne before spreading throughout the country after being used in Melbourne–produced television programmes. Other alternatives include westie (in Sydney) , bevan (in Queensland) , booner in Canberra and chigger in the northern suburbs of Hobart. The stereotypical bogan is a low–income earning male who spends his days slacking. He takes little pride in his appearance. He is generally unshaven, has a mullet and dresses in singlets, flannelette shirts and thongs. He also passionately drives a ute or an older car model; younger bogans can be a type of hoon. Bogans tend to be associated with alcohol, particularly cheap beer or goon (cask wine). Ocker is a similar term, but bogan is more derogatory. Tradesmen on high wages as a result of the mining boom are known as "CUBS'. i.e. Cashed Up Bogans
  • bomb thrower – one's wife; Aussie women have a knack of "hurling a bomb" into a delicate situation and really blasting a bloke, especially if the bloke is on the back foot with them
  • boofhead – idiot, can also refer to someone with big hair
  • bounce – a bully
  • bub – baby
  • bushie – someone who lives in the Bush
  • bush pig – an unnattractive or redneck woman from the country. Any unattractive female.
  • Cadbury (sometimes Cadbury's, Cadbury Kid) – someone who gets drunk very quickly. From a series of commercials (the most famous starring Julius Sumner Miller) for Cadbury milk chocolate claiming each block contains "a glass and a half of full–cream dairy milk", the implication being the "Cadbury" can't hold more than a glass and a half of beer.
  • chink - word for someone of Chinese descent, from the World War 2 era. It is now considered a pejorative.
  • chook – a chicken.
  • chap - see bloke
  • chucker - a person who bowls an illegal delivery in cricket.
  • cobber – early 20th century term for a friend. This term is seldom used now in Australia, although it is still often used by the British when impersonating Australians.
  • coconut – a person with dark skin who has forsaken his ethnic cultural values or people in favour of white cultural values and society. Brown on the outside, white inside. Derogatory. (Analogous to the American slang term "Oreo".) Also refers to persons of Pacific Islander origin. Can also be used for as an counter–blonde term – coconut refers to someone who is blonde on the inside but brunette on the outside.
  • conch – a conscientious person, somebody who would rather work or study than go out and enjoy him/herself; hence conchy (adj.)
  • cook – one's wife
  • crook – a person of unsound character, or criminal; That crook Kezza's ripped me off!. Can also refer to being sick (crook) "Crook in the guts" (nausea or stomach ache).
  • cunt - A word which takes on many meanings in Australia, often depends on the tone of the delivery and whether you are friends with the person. Used as a very strong insult towards another, it is considered offensive in public or polite company. In Australia cunt is frequently used between young males, and used in the following ways:
    • Someone you dislike, for this meaning the word is usually delivered in an aggressive tone e.g. "Get fucked you cunt"
    • Can be used plurally to describe a group of people e.g. "Those cunts over there" or "What are you cunts doing?"
  • Curry,curry muncher term for someone of Indian descent, comes from the stereotype that all Indians eat Curry.
  • dag – mild term for a foolish, clumsy, likably–goofy, unsophisticated, unfashionable or shabbily–dressed person. Originally a lump of wool encrusted fæces and mud dangling from a sheep's posterior. Can also mean a silly, funny, or goofy person when used affectionately. Daggy is a commonly used adjective that might also describe uncool or unfashionable clobber or other things
  • dago - a person of Italian descent. Adopted from British English vernacular during the implementation of the Snowy Mountains Scheme.
  • dickhead – an idiot, somebody who talks drivel, somebody with whom you have little patience
  • digger - a colloquial nickname for Australian infantrymen in World War One, and in modern times for all Australian Army personnel in general. Historically a "digger" was someone (usually male) who worked in the Victorian gold fields digging for gold many of whom later became soldiers digging trenches in the Great War.
  • dill – an idiot
  • dipstick – a loser, an idiot
  • der brain – an idiot, a fool
  • dero or 'derro – term for a vagrant, especially an alcoholic one (abbreviation of derelict)
  • dobber or dibber dobber – informant; from dob meaning to inform on. The saying "(Dibber) dobbers wear nappies." is commonly used by children.
  • dog – 1. a cowardly or treacherous person; Dog Act a deed by such a person. 2. A police officer or prison warder. 3. an unattractive female.
  • dole bludger – a long-term unemployed person
  • drongo – an idiot, a fool, a dope, someone who thinks they might be good stuff but is actually an idiot
  • dropkick – someone who is not successful, lazy or not fulfilling their full potential. But the more nasty meaning is that the person is a total loser.
  • durry muncher - someone who smokes, usually a lot.
  • Eastie – a term used for a upper class white Australian, a term favoured in Sydney for people who live in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.
  • Featherfoot - a detective or other investigator. Originally the dispenser of justice in Aboriginal society, who wore slippers made of emu feathers to conceal his footprints.
  • feral – a hippie, often seen at outdoor raves. "Look at all those ferals doing fire-dancing. I hope their dreadlocks don't get singed."
  • figjam – a person with a high opinion of themselves, supposedly an abbreviation of "fuck, I'm good, just ask me"
  • the filth- the police
  • fruit loop – a crazy person. To "carry on like a fruit loop" means to behave stupid and crazy.
  • fucked in the head - stupid
  • galah – a stupid person, a fool, a silly person; from the bird of the same name because of its antics and the noise it makes; often intensified as flamin' galah!. Also to denote a mentally ill person, "He's off with the galahs".
  • greenie – an environmentalist.
  • gook - term for someone of Korean descent.
  • gumby – ticket inspectors on Melbourne's public transport system. Employees of the old Public Transport Corporation wore dark green overcoats of a similar colour (being the colour generally used by the PTC) to the clay animation character of the same name. Also known as a 'grey ghost', as the coat colours have changed in recent years.
  • happy little Vegemite – person in a good mood
  • Harold A Police Officer. Used as a warning of police presence. Perth N.W. suburbs
  • hemmie- someone who gets haemorrhoids very easily; offensive
  • hoon – a thug, a hooligan, a lout, especially one in command of a hotted–up motor vehicle; someone who drives a car in a recklessly fast or dangerous manner, similar in meaning to boy racer, but less specific in age or gender
  • jack
    • a nickname for police officers used mainly in Victoria, can be used in plural, "the jacks are here".
    • used to describe a person who is lazy, or not a good team player.
  • knocker – a critical person.
  • lair – a flashily dressed young man of brash and vulgar behaviour, to dress up in flashy clothes, to renovate or dress up something in bad taste; hence lair it up meaning to behave in a brash and vulgar manner. Rare, almost obsolete.
  • larrikin – a person who is rebellious, non conformist and/or anti–authoritarian; a person who is always enjoying himself; a harmless prankster. Can be both a positive term of endearment or a negative critical observation. Traditionally, larrikanism has been considered an inherent component of the Australian character. Australian troops or "diggers" in World War One have often been highlighted as exhibiting this character, renowned as being "a bunch of larrikans", embroiled in anti-social behaviour and a very low regard for senior British officers and British High Command.
  • leb,lebo usually racist term for someone of Middle Eastern descent, even if they have no affiliation with Lebanon. Probably originated from the large number of Lebanese immigrants.
  • leso – (pronounced IPA(key): /'lez.əʉ/) a lesbian
  • maggot
    • a drunk, really drunk "maggotted"
    • a reprehensible or despicable person
    • an AFL umpire (white maggot)
  • mate – a friend. A term that is used affectionately to address friends and acquaintances ("How's it going, mate?"), to address strangers or people whose names are not known ("Excuse me, mate..."), and extravagant pleasure at seeing someone (Mate! It's beaut to see yer again!"). Also used as a noun ("He's a good mate"). Sometimes deliberately used as an expression of aggression or threat (hostile over-familiarity) directed towards a hostile or indifferent stranger (the tone of voice and context will make this usage very clear; there is no danger of confusion). The term is also common in British English in all these respects.
  • mob – group of people, not necessarily troublesome. Sometimes used in reference to Aboriginal cultural identity (eg Dharug mob).
  • Mong - basically short for 'mongoloid' referring to a person with an intellectual disability, not a person of Mongolian lineage.
  • Minda - a dergatory term for a person with an intellectual disability, used only in South Australia, derived from Minda Home, a home for people with a disability.
  • Minshie - Pron. Minsh-eye (Perth Hills) Small. A young child. As in: 'Are you going to Mundas skatepark? No. Too many minshies.' or 'Don't buy sticks from Metcalfe. They're hell minshie.'
  • missus - one's wife; referred to as "the missus" (Mrs. spelt phonetically).
  • mongrel – a despicable person, a scoundrel
  • mug – friendly insult, gullible person; for example, "Garn, have a go, y' mug."
  • Neville or Neville no Mates (alternatively "Nigel" or "Nigel no friends") – someone with no friends. "Nig'in it" means to be alone, more often deliberately so.
  • nip - term for someone of Japanese descent, comes from the Japanese word "Nippon" which means Japan. Originated during World War 2.
  • nipper – young surf lifesaver
    • – a child (as in, How many nippers you got these days?)
  • no–hoper – somebody who will never do well
  • nong or ning–nong – an idiot, a moron (used famously on one occasion by Wilson Tuckey, at that time a member of the opposition, to address Prime Minister Paul Keating)
  • ocker – an unsophisticated male blue–collar who drinks and is sports–mad, especially into footy
  • oldies – parents. "Old Man" and "Old Girl" refer to Father and Mother respectively.
  • Petrol Head - term used for a Hoon. (see Hoon)
  • piker – 1. One who does not live up to a promise or commitment. 2. Someone who doesn't want to fit in with others socially, leaves parties early
  • pissed – drunk, but can be used in the American sense to mean irritated. "Sloshed" is another drunk equivalent.
  • pissed off- angry or annoyed, as in U.S.usage 'Pissed'
  • piss locusts - a group who descend, usually without invitation, and proceed to strip one's beer fridge of its contents.
  • piss off – get lost. Also, to leave, as in 'Let's piss off. This party's shit.'
  • pom or *pommie - an Australian nickname given to English people. Somewhat derogatory in nature the term can be used in both a positive and negative context. There is a debate as to how the word came about, some believe the original term "POME" is an anacronym for "Prisoner Of Mother England" the title given to convicts sent to the early Australian penal colonies. In a reverse of circumstances Australian's joke that it is the English who are now the prisoners in their own country (mother england) as the Australian lifestyle is widely regarded as better than England's.
  • poofter, pooftah or poof – homosexual man (also common in British English)
  • ratbag – mild insult or term of affection "you ratbag"
  • rat arsed- drunk. 'I don't (couldn't) give a rat's arse' means 'I don't care'.
  • razor gang - a parliamentary committee charged with reducing government expenditure
  • reffo – refugee
  • rellie or relo – a family relative
  • ricer - term for someone of East Asian descent, derived from the stereotype that all Asian eat rice.
  • Rodeo-Goers, Rednecks - phrases used by city people mocking people who live in the country.
  • root – verb for sexual intercourse.
  • root rat – a sexually active and promiscuous person; a person always on the lookout for a sexual liaison.
  • Salvo - a member of the Salvation Army, their own slogan is "Thank God for the Salvo's"
  • scab
    • – a union worker who goes to work when the company is on strike.
    • – a non–union worker that breaks picket lines
    • – One who is tight with money or possessions. (S/he's a bit scabby)
    • – to scab: to beg friends/family for money or other goods ('can I scab a Tim-Tam off you, mate?')
  • Scott or Scott no Mates - someone with no friends. i.e 'He's got no mates'
  • scrag – an unattractive woman; rough or unkempt woman. Often refers to sexually promiscuous, lower class women, or can be used as an insult synonymous to "slut" or "tart".
  • screamer – a party lover; see two pot screamer or one pot screamer. Also a term once used to describe a spectacular mark in Australian Rules Football.
  • servo – service station, sometimes referred to as a petty or petty station (petrol station)
  • shark biscuit – somebody new to surfing; also a name for a boogie board rider as they look like a little piece of meat on top of a biscuit (bite size for a shark)
  • sheep shagger – a person from New Zealand
  • sheila – term for (young) female in the same sense as a bloke is a male: also used in New Zealand English; not as common as in former years being driven out by the American word chick
  • show pony – someone who tries hard, by his dress or behaviour, to impress those around him
  • sickie – a sick day off work. To "chuck a sickie" means to take a day off work sick, not necessary to actually be sick, but just use it as an excuse for a day off.
  • silvertail – One possessed of great wealth and power, not necessarily displayed ostentatiously.
  • slapper – same as the British English term – means a slut.
  • slurry - a promiscuous young woman, similar to slut or skank.
  • sook – (rhymes with "book") (n) someone who acts in a timid crybaby manner; a petulant, soft or tame person; (v) to be petulant, She's sooking again; hence sooky (adj.); inoffensive; can also be applied to animals
  • soft – someone with low alcohol tolerance levels
  • spanner – a derogatory remark similar to tool; for example, "That bloke's an absolute spanner."; from spanner, a tool used for adjusting bolts (as in British English, equivalent to the North American wrench)
  • spunk – a sexually attractive female or male. This usage can inadvertently cause outrage among British people to whom "spunk" is slang for semen.
  • sprogs – children. "They've got a coupla sprogs". Can also be slang for semen.
  • stickybeak – a snoop, a nosy person, cf. British English "noseyparker". Also used as a verb "to stickybeak"
  • surfie – member of a subculture dedicated to surfing
  • swamp donkey - a deeply unattractive female
  • tacker – a child
  • tall poppy – a person who achieves much, but through that achievement becomes terribly conceited
  • thong - an Australian word for the type of summer shoe, the flip-flop
  • tightarse - a spendthrift/scrooge or someone who is tight or strict
  • tired eyes – a gullible person
  • toe cutter - a usually intimidating person who deals with those who have "stepped over the line"
  • tool – an idiot or imbecile
  • tosser - similar to 'tool'. To 'have a toss' means to masturbate
  • true blue – patriotic Australian
  • two–can Sam – someone who get drunk very quickly. Reference to the mascot of Fruit Loops breakfast cereal Toucan Sam.
  • two pot screamer – someone who gets drunk very quickly. "Pot" is the term used in Victorian and Queensland pubs for a 285 ml (10 ounce) beer glass. See also Cadbury
  • unco - uncoordinated, clumsy "that was so unco"
  • vego – (pron. vejo) vegetarian, vegan
  • wanker – a term used to insult; to "have a wank" means to masturbate.
    • – a person with an inflated sense of importance, value or ability, particularly one who takes much pleasure from their inflated sense of worth
  • westie – a person who lives in the Western Suburbs of Sydney (a Sydney term)
  • whacker or whacka – an idiot; somebody who talks drivel; somebody with whom you have little patience; a dickhead
  • woftam - someone who is worthless, i.e. "A Waste Of Fucking Time And Money"
  • wog – person of Mediterranean origin. A milder insult than the same word in the UK and perhaps elsewhere.
    • – Sometimes used in a similar way as mate, but this is generally only acceptable between people of Mediterranean origin.
  • wombat – somebody who eats, roots (has sex), shoots (ejaculates) and leaves (departs). A term to describe a selfish male. This is a clever play on words as roots, shoots and leaves are the actual parts of a plant that wombats might eat
  • wowser – straight–laced person, prude, puritan, spoilsport
  • wuss – coward; nervous person or animal
  • yobbo or yob – an uncouth and/or unkempt male, possibly participating in the commission of petty crimes; also used in British English

Work related terms[edit]

  • ambo – ambulance driver
  • AJ – short for Army Jerk. Used to refer to a soldier, usually derogatory. "The pub was full of AJs."
  • beak – a magistrate or judge, now becoming obsolete.
  • bricky or brickie – short for bricklayer, c.f. "blocky" (blocklayer)
  • Brown Bomber – a parking inspector in Sydney characterised by their brown uniforms.
  • bushranger – a highwayman (colonial–era word now only used to describe historical figures)
  • chalkie – a school teacher, bookmakers clerk
  • check out chick – a female cashier in a supermarket, term has become more gender neutral in recent times.
  • chippie – a carpenter
  • choco - an army reservist (derogatory - mostly used by regular army soldiers). Comes from "Chocolate Soldier" and implies the person melts under pressure.
  • cockie – the spotter in a permit situation; construction term; for example, in a confined space where people are working the cockie waits outside the entry point and maintains communication with the people inside, if they get into trouble, then the cocky (skwarks) raises the alarm so others know
  • cockie/cocky – a farmer, eg. cattle cocky (small scale farmer)
  • copper- a policeman/policewoman
  • cut lunch commando – an army reservist, normally referred to as a choco by regular army soldiers
  • digger – an Australian soldier
  • dole bludger – a person living on social security who does so by choice, that is who actively chooses to be unemployed
  • firie – a firefighter
  • fisho – a fishmonger
  • forkie – a forklift driver
  • fossicker – a prospector, e.g. for gold
  • garbo or garbologist – a garbage collector. More specifically, the men who ran behind the garbage truck, picking up the garbage bins from the kerbside and emptying them into the truck. Now made obsolete by machines which do the same thing with a pronged implement.
  • jackaroo – a male trainee station manager or station hand (a station is a big farm/grazing property)
  • jillaroo – a female trainee station manager or station hand
  • Joe the Cameraman any near–anonymous cameraman who films an event for a media organisation.
  • journo – journalist
  • milko – milkman. Also known as the milky in some states.
  • medico - physician.
  • mermaid - used by truck drivers to describe RTA inspectors "cunts with scales".
  • offsider – an assistant, helper
  • party room – group of members of parliament belonging to the same party, equivalent to parliamentary party (in British English). Caucus is used only to refer to the parliamentary members of the Australian Labor Party.
  • pig – a police officer, usually derogatory.
  • pollie – a politician
  • postie – postman, mailman
  • public servant – government employee, or (in British English) a civil servant. Originally a euphemism for British convicts transported to Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries.[1]
  • salvo – a Salvation Army officer
  • Salvos, the – Salvation Army
  • sparky – an electrician
  • spruiker – man who stands outside a nightclub or restaurant trying to persuade people to enter
  • standover man – a large man, usually gang–related, who threatens people with physical violence in order to have his wishes carried out
  • swagman or swaggie – a tramp, a hobo
  • towie – a tow–truck operator or ski–lift operator
  • truckie – a truck driver
  • wharfie – wharf labourer or stevedore
  • weekend warrior – army reservist

Nicknames according to State/Territory of origin[edit]

Australian Capital Territorians[edit]

New South Wales people[edit]

  • Beach kid, Beaches kid - used refer to other young people from the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
  • Bulldog - a supporter of the NRL Bulldog team
  • Cockroach – a New South Wales person. Popularised by the Queensland rugby league identity Barry Muir (b. 1937). Consequently, in State of Origin rugby league matches between Queensland and New South Wales, the teams are informally known as the Cane Toads and the Cockroaches.
  • Coastie - Someone from the Central Coast of NSW.
  • Eastie - a person from the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney; used in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, also refers to anyone who lives on the NSW coast line by people from inland NSW.
  • Novocastrian – Person from Newcastle, NSW
  • New South Welshman – someone from New South Wales
  • Rabbito - a supporter of the NRL Rabbitoh's
  • Southie anyone from South Sydney, or anywhere south of Sydney itself if used by people from Sydney.
  • Sydney–sider – someone from Sydney
  • Welshie – someone from New South Wales
  • Westie - Someone from the Western Suburbs of Sydney, also can refer to anyone living west of the persons local area ie. Inner West or outside Sydney (eg. Bathurst)

Queenslanders[edit]

  • Banana bender – a Queenslander, since Queensland is a major banana–producing region
  • Cane toad – a Queenslander; since the state was where the troublesome amphibian species was introduced
  • Deep North – Queensland, especially North Queensland; Used by New South Wales people as a derogatory term in the same way the Americans use the phrase Deep South
  • Wetback – loan word from American slang; used by Queenslanders in the same manner as Mexican (derogatory)
  • Piss drinker – a Queenslander; referring to current plans to introduce recycled water for potable use in Queensland
  • Down South - a Queenslander from the Brisbane & most southerly regions of the state. Used by North Queenslanders.

Northern Territorians[edit]

Western Australians[edit]

  • Sandgroper – a Western Australian. Originally insects from the Cylindrachetidae family, many of which are found in WA. Probably also a reference to the sandy soils of the Perth region. Popularised by Henry Lawson.
  • Perthonality – an upper class resident of the western suburbs, particularly someone who is involved in the Perth media and social scene.
  • Whenwe - A white immigrant from Kenya, usually living in Kalamunda , who starts a conversation with 'When we were in Kenya...'
  • WhaWa - A Western Australian who is working interstate who habitually begins sentences with "In WA" convinced in that WA not only does it better but knows it better too.

South Australians[edit]

  • Crow eater – a South Australian. Possibly from the piping shrike, the crow–like faunal emblem of the state. Another common theory is that early European settlers were forced by hunger to eat crows.

Victorians[edit]

  • Vic – A Victorian. Note: South Australians like to say 'Let's kick a Vic!', particularly at sporting events.
  • Melburnian – Someone from Melbourne.
  • Mexican – Used by New South Welshmen and Queenslanders to refer to people from Victoria, in reference to the fact that Victoria borders New South Wales' south in same the way that Mexico is south of the US
  • Westie - Someone from the Western Suburbs of Melbourne
  • Wetback - Used by some people from NSW because Victorians cross over the Murray river to get to NSW

Tasmanians[edit]

  • Taswegian or Tasmaniac – a Tasmanian; jocular
  • Double header – based on the jibe by "mainlanders" that Tasmanians have two heads. Often if someone says they are from Tasmania, a mainlander will ask if he/she has a scar on his/her shoulder, resulting from the second head's being amputated.
  • Apple Islander
  • Inbred(s) - a derogatory term used by mainlanders, pertaining to the "joke" that tasmania is so isolated and un-populated, that anyone born/living there has to be a child of related parents.

General[edit]

  • Eastern States – term used by West Australians and South Australians to refer to the rest of Australia; a common derivation is Eastern Stater.
  • Mainlander – term used by Tasmanians to refer to people from the rest of Australia.
  • Mexican – usually used to indicate a Victorian, due to the fact that Victoria is south of the border from New South Wales, Queensland and the territories, but also used by Queenslanders to refer to people from both New South Wales and Victoria (states south of Queensland). Strangely, South Australians also use this term (very rarely) to refer to Victorians, even though Victoria is east of the border from SA.
  • The North Island – term used by Tasmanians to refer to the rest of Australia.
  • Over-homer - term used by West Australians to describe people from the rest of Australia; from a habit of saying "Over home we ..."
  • Skip – term used by Australians of European origin (chiefly Greek and Italian) referring to white Australians, based on Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. Also, convict is used, referring to Australia's former status as a penal colony.

Terms or nicknames for ethnicities[edit]

Many of the following terms are considered derogatory or offensive to the described ethnic group. Many terms are derived from the Australian habit of using diminutives, and are not necessarily offensive in their use. Some terms, for example "gypo", have been reclaimed by some ethnic groups to refer to themselves and have become acceptable in certain settings when used without derogatory intent.

  • ABC - Australian Born Chinese, a person who is ethnically chinese but has had several generations of family born and bred in Australia or Chinese Australian. The acronym is commonly used to refer to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  • Abo, boong, coon or blackfella, also abo–coona–boong–originie – an Indigenous Australian person; boong, coon, and abo are considered offensive; blackfella is an informal term mainly used in regional and outback areas by both Indigenous and non–Indigenous people
  • Anglo – generic term for an Australian of English or other Scandinavian descent. It´s used as synonym of Aussie or True Australian. May be offensive to people of Celtic descent.
  • Anglo-Scandinavian – media/academic term for an Australian of Nordic descent
  • Asian – usually East or Southeast Asian (rather than South Asian, as in British usage)
  • Aussie (pronounced: IPA(key): /ɔzi/) – an Australian
  • Black Arab - North African immigrants - specifically Sudanese - highly derogatory
  • bros - slightly derogatory term for a group of Islander males.
  • Camel jockey – offensive slang for an Arab or other person of Middle Eastern origin
  • caramello koala - term used to describe a person of Mauritian-Creole, Anglo-Indian, or Burgher Sri-Lankan descent who aren't quite black, and aren't quite white.
  • Chink or chinger or choonk – a person of East Asian descent, once used specifically for Chinese people, this is now used in a more general sense to refer to Asians (offensive)
  • Choco or Chocco – any person of significantly darker skin, including Indigenous Australians, diminutive of "chocolate frog" (a popular small bar of chocolate shaped like a frog), rhyming slang for wog.
  • Clog Skippy – a person of Dutch descent.
  • Coconut - a person of Pacific Islander descent.
  • Curry – a person of Indian descent (from the traditional Indian dish). Variants include 'Curries' and 'Curry Muncher'.
  • dago - person of Spanish-European descent. (English origin)
  • ding - an Italian (Western Australia). In general use and not in the least offensive.
  • Darth-Vaders - name for Muslim women that wear the veil
  • Filo (pronounced: IPA(key): /fɪləʉ/) – a person of Filipino descent.
  • FOBS - originally used to call Asian immigrants (FOB stands for 'fresh off the boat') but in recent times is used to describe Samoans, Maoris and other Islanders.
  • Gook – taken from the American military slang term from the Korean War refering to people from east Asia. (In the Korean language the word "gook (국, 國)" general means "nation", e.g. Han-gook: Korea; Mi-gook: America (literal translations of "Mi-gook" is "beautiful county". The name is derived from Chinese transliteration of "America"). Now applied to Asians mainly of Vietnamese origin. Highly offensive. (A borrowed term from American military slang brought to Australia from those who served in the Vietnam War with American soldiers) Hence 'Gook deli' a small general store or lunch bar run by a Vietnamese.
  • Gypo or gipo (pronounced: IPA(key): /dʒɪpəʉ/) – a person of Egyptian descent; may be offensive
  • Indo - Person of Indonesian origin. Not usually offensive, term is often used by Indonesian student community to refer to themselves.
  • Italipino - Originally of mixed Italian and Filipino descent. Generally not offensive
  • Kiwi – a New Zealander, not generally offensive.
  • Indian – a person from the Indian sub–continent (including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangaladesh as well as India); Australians sometimes use this somewhat generic term (as British people use "Asian" for people from the same region) to distinguish them from east or south–east Asians. Curry muncher or curry (abbreviated) is another term used but is generally considered offensive.
  • Jap or Nip – an Asian person of Japanese descent. The term Nip is sometimes used to describe a person of general Asian appearance. Both of these words are simply shortened terms for Japanese (Nip is a diminutive of Nippon, the Japanese word for Japan). Both are generally considered offensive.
  • Lebo or leb – a person of Lebanese descent. Considered offensive by some. See: Lebanese Australian.
  • Maco – (pronounced: IPA(key): /'mæs.əʉ/) a person of Macedonian descent. May be regarded as offensive.
  • Mail order bride a woman of Oriental origin, usually Filipina, married to a white Australian, elderly and previously married to an Australian white woman. Such relationships often originate from classified ads in suburban newspapers
  • muzza/muzzette - derogatory term used to describe a male/female person of Lebanese, Italian, Greek, Albanian, Maltese, Cypriot, Croatian or Macedonian descent who frequents nightclubs and raves, boasts about drug use and wears trendy fluorescent-clubbing-styled clothing. Also notorious for being self-concious of how their usually heavily gelled hair looks.
  • New Australian1950s term for immigrant, usually from continental Europe, becoming obsolete.
  • Noomsie, Noompsy - Highly derogative; word used to describe people who are particularly dark skinned. Namely Sudanese Immigrants, dark Mauritians and Aboriginals.
  • Ocker – (pronounced oka) an uncouth person exhibiting exaggerated elements of stereotypical Australian behaviour. May be regarded as offensive depending on context.
  • Paki – term used to describe a person from Pakistan (or sometimes the Indian sub–continent in general). May or may not be offensive; the term was used during the 1990's on television advertisements promoting cricket matches between Australia and "the Paki's and the Poms". Australians visiting the UK are generally quite shocked that referring to a person from Pakistan in this way is most definitely offensive outside Australia.
  • Pommie – (also pom, pommy or pommy bastard) a word for an English person. Generally regarded as being mildly derogatory, but sometimes also used offensively. The true origin of this term is somewhat obscure, and several theories abound. The Macquarie Dictionary states that it is a contraction of pomegranate, which was rhyming slang for immigrant ("imme–granate"). (See also fake etymology. Another common explanation is that "pom" originated as a term for British convicts sent to Australia; that is, as an acronym for "Prisoner of Mother England". However, the latter theory is not accepted by lexicographers.) The expressions pommy shower – "using deodorant instead of taking a shower" and as dry as a pommy's towel – "very dry" are based on the canard that English people bathe about once a month.
  • Reffo – someone who has moved to Australia as a refugee. Offensive.
  • Saffa – A South African person, especially used by Australians who have lived in the UK.
  • Seppo – an American, from rhyming slang Septic Tank = Yank, with the connotation that said person is (just like a septic tank) "full of shit". May or may not be offensive, dependent upon context. Can simply be a shorthand for "American", particularly within the surfer subculture.
  • Sheep Shagger - a term referring to New Zealanders.
  • seth-efrikans - South-Africans: Mocking the South-African accent. Commonly used when in Rugby Test matches between the nations is being played. Often derogatory in a non-serious way.
  • scrubba - see 'Feral'.
  • Slant or slope – a derogatory term used for people of East or Southeast Asian descent. Derived from the epicanthal folds (i.e. "slanted eyes") of people from these backgrounds. During the 1990s, the related term "power point" was reported as being used by some members of the New South Wales Police for similar reasons, based on the slanted positive and negative pins on an Australian–style power point. "Slope shop" refers to a Chinese takeaway. "Shoelace" is sometimes used (can blindfold a slope with a shoelace). Highly offensive.
  • Skip or skippy – a (sometimes derogatory) term for a native-born white Australian. Chiefly used in large cities by young people of Southeast European or Asian descent as a comeback to Wog. Probably a reference to the famous 1960s children's television programme Skippy the Bush Kangaroo which featured a predominantly Australian cast.
  • South Sea Pom – slang for a New Zealander
  • Spicano, Chicano, Latino - Used to describe people of South and Central American origin.
  • Sudo, Suda - Used to describe people of Sudanese origin, mainly derogatory towards those who roam the streets in gangs and bash people who could be 'racist'.
  • Towel Head - Highly Derogatory term used for both Hindi Indians and Muslims, usually only applied when the person it is directed at is wearing a turban or veil.
  • Turk, Turko, Ali Babar - a Turkish person
  • viet - person of Vietnamese origin
  • Weegie – A Norwegian
  • wegroe, wigroe, wigro - (pronounced "wee-grow") derived from 'negro', term used to describe white people who act black. Similar to American term 'Wigger', but can also refer to someone who generally acts-American, and not necessarily 'Black'. Predominantly a Melbourne phrase.
  • whinging pom - term used to describe people on holiday from or who have immigrated from England and complain about everything because it's "not like back 'ome"
  • WindiesWest Indians, not generally offensive. Often used to refer to the West Indian cricket team.
  • Wog – (also, offensive: Wop) derogatory, but increasingly reclaimed, term for Italians, Greeks or other immigrants from Southern Europe or the Mediterranean region. (Contrast with British usage, where the word usually refers to people of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent). However this is also used to mean a mild illness such as a cold or a "bug".
  • Yank – an American; also used in the United States, in Britain, Latin America, Asia and New Zealand
  • Yarpie – a white South African (whether Anglo–African or Afrikaner). From the pronunciation of the Afrikaans word japie, meaning "farm boy".

See also[edit]

Aus-Lebanese slang: [2]