Appendix:Australian English rhyming slang

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List of Australian rhyming slang in common use.[edit]

The following is a list of well-known (to Australians) examples of Australian rhyming slang. It is not intended to be comprehensive.

Many terms are based on popular culture, and so the cant is constantly updated according to changing fashions. The terms listed here are well-established.

  • 3 KZ - "head", after former Melbourne AM radio station (now Gold-FM)
  • Adrian Quist - "pissed", i.e. drunk. Now rarely heard. Named after a well-known Australian tennis player of the 1930s and 1940s. Usually replaced now by "Olivers", from Oliver Twist.
  • Al Capone - "telephone". Strangely enough not used in US English. Also, someone who is always talking on his mobile phone is called Elliot, as in "Elliot Ness on the Al Capone".
  • Asafa Powell - "towel". Named after the former 100m Jamaican sprinter and world record holder.
  • Austin Murphy - "Wrong".
  • bag of fruit – "suit" of clothes.
  • barry - "shocker", a poor performance, from the Australian comedian and actor Barry Crocker.
  • Barry Beath - teeth
  • Billy Hunt - "cunt", a stupid person, from the Australian cricketer who played in the first test against England in the 1930s. Similar to Cockney rhyming slang "berk" from "Berkeley Hunt". Also, Rex Hunt, after the famous Australian media personality and fisherman. See also "dropkick" below.
  • billy lids - "kids". Also tin lids (also Cockney rhyming slang.) or, more rarely, saucepan lids. Tin Lids was used by Jimmy Barnes' four children as their recording name.
  • Blundstone (boot) - "ute", utility vehicle, a tradesman's vehicle, from a popular brand of workman's boots.
  • boat race - "face".
  • Bob Hope - "soap". Goes with "Davey Gower" & "Asafa Powell". Bob Hope was a famous American comedian.
  • bread crumb - "bum", a derelict.
  • Bugs Bunny - "money"
  • Burke and Wills - "dills", after the names of the Australian explorers Burke and Wills who died in the Australian outback. Often confused with Cockney rhyming slang "berk" from "Berkeley Hunt".
  • butcher's (hook) - "crook", ill, unwell; also, "look".
  • captain - "look", from Captain James Cook, as in "Having a good captain, are ya?"
  • Charley Wheeler - "sheila", Australian slang for a woman. After the famous Australian painter w:Charles Wheeler.
  • cheese and kisses - "missus", wife.
  • china plate - "mate", friend, compatriot. Also Cockney rhyming slang; usually shortened to "china".
  • Chris Mew - to "spew", former AFL footballer for Hawthorn.
  • coffee scroll - "Moll", loose or promiscuous woman. Sometimes shortened to "coffee"
  • 'comic cuts or comics - "guts"; no longer in common use.
  • Dad 'n' Dave - "shave". From the famous comic characters created by Steele Rudd.
  • Dapto dog - "wog", someone of Mediterranean or eastern European descent.
  • Darby and Joan - "all alone"
  • Davey Gower - "shower"; named after former English cricket captain David Gower.
  • dead horse or race horse – tomato sauce
  • dig in the grave – "shave".
  • dog and bone - "phone".
  • dog's eye - "pie".
  • dog's eye with dead horse - meat pie with tomato sauce.
  • dropkick (and punt) – a stupid person; originally a despicable person, a "cunt". Refers to two types of kick in football.
  • eau-de-Cologne - "phone", after a deodorant that was popular in the 60s and 70s, often shortened to 'oadie'.
  • Edgar Britt - "shit", after the name of a famous Australian jockey.
  • Fiddly-did - "quid", after a one pound note. Not used since decimal currency was introduced in 1966.
  • frog and toad - "road", such as in the phrase "hit the frog 'n 'toad" (that is depart). Also Cockney rhyming slang.
  • Gary Ablett - "tablet", after the 17 year old girl who ended up dead in Gary Ablett's bed.
  • Gary Jack - "back", after the name famous Australian Rugby League player.
  • Germaine Greer - "ear", after the women's rights activist, commentator and author.
  • ginger (ale) - "tail", as in "Get off me ginger!" (stop following me), or "a swift kick up the ginger".
  • ginger beer – "engineer"; also "queer" (homosexual) in Cockney rhyming slang.
  • goanna - "piano" (pianner).
  • good cheer - "beer"
  • Gregory Peck - "cheque"
  • half-back flanker - "wanker", after a position in Australian rules football
  • hammer (and tack) - "back"
  • Harold Holt or Harry Holt - salt (no longer commonly used but still understood by most Australians). Also, to "bolt", disappear or depart quickly (as in to do a/the Harold (Holt)); referring to the Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt who disappeared while swimming at a beach in 1967.
  • hey diddle diddle - "middle", particularly in Australian rules football
  • horse's hoof - "poof", a homosexual
  • hugs 'n' kisses - "missus"
  • jack in the box - "pox" (venereal disease).
  • Jack the dancer – "cancer"
  • James Hird - "turd"
  • Jimmy Britts - "shits", either diarrhoea or annoyance.
  • Joe Blake - "snake"
  • Johnny Raper - "paper", a newspaper, from the Australian rugby league footballer Johnny Raper.
  • knees - "please"
  • Khyber Pass - "arse". often abbrev. such as "he needs a damn good kick up the Khyber"
  • Les Kiss - "piss", from former 1980s Australian rugby league international Les Kiss.
  • loaf of bread - "head".
  • meat pie - "try", a score in Rugby football
  • monkey's fist - "pissed",
  • Moreton Bay Fig - "wig", after the type of tree.
  • Noah's (Ark) - "shark".
  • nuclear sub - "pub",
  • Onkaparinga - "finger", after the place in South Australia and blanket manufacturer.
  • optic, optic nerve - "perve", leering look, as in "Eh, china, have an optic at that sheila!"
  • Oxford scholar - "dollar"
  • Pat (Malone) - "own" (alone), as in "left him on his Pat Malone".
  • Polly Waffle - "brothel", from the proprietary name of a chocolate bar.
  • pork pie, porky pie or porky - "lie", typically a white lie, as in "When I looked into it I realised the whole story was a porky pie". Also Cockney rhyming slang.
  • red hots - "trots", that is, trotting horse races, or diarrhoea.
  • Reg Grundys - "undies", underpants, from Reg Grundy, well known Australian television producer, sometimes also "Reginalds".
  • rock and roll - "dole", unemployment benefit, social security payment, as in "He won't work in an iron lung as long as he can get on the rock 'n' roll."
  • Ronny Coote - "root", slang for sexual intercourse.
  • rubbity or rubbity-dub - "pub". Also Cockney rhyming slang.
  • sandshoe - "thank you".
  • sausage roll – "goal", as in team sports.
  • scotch tape - "rape", generally used in shortened form "scotch".
  • septic tank (or seppo) – "yank", slang for American.
  • sky rocket – "pocket".
  • snake's hiss – "piss", as in "I'm busting for a snake's."
  • steak and kidney - "Sydney".
  • Spanish dancer - "cancer".
  • Stuey Dew - "spew", after former AFL footballer for both Port Adelaide and Hawthorn.
  • Stuey Diver - "fiver", five-dollar (originally five-pound) note.
  • sway and swerve - "perv" (see above)
  • swing and a miss - "piss", from American baseball terminology, as in "Time for a swing and a miss."
  • tea leaf - "thief". Also Cockney rhyming slang.
  • tin tank - "bank".
  • trouble and strife – "wife". Also Cockney rhyming slang.
  • Uncle Gus - "bus"
  • Uncle Merv - "perv"
  • Wallaby Ted - "rooted" (Roo-Ted), tired from strenuous activity.
  • Wally Grout - "shout", to buy a round of drinks, from the Australian cricketer by that name, as in "It’s your Wally". Depending on context, it could also mean "stout" or "snout".
  • Warwick Farm - "arm", from the racecourse in Sydney, as in "He grabbed her by the Warwick Farms".
  • Westpac banker - "wanker".

Rhyming slang is often used in an abbreviated form, such as "Go and grab some bugs", meaning "bugs bunny", which rhymes with "money"; or "Stick that in your sky", meaning "sky rocket", which rhymes with "pocket".

As an example, "Hello friend, here is the money I owe you, put it in your pocket, and give it to your wife" could be expressed as "'ello china, got some bugs for ya, sky 'em - give 'em to ya cheese."

See also[edit]