A Lighthearted Look at Australian Slang in the Events Industry

4 min read
A handy guide for international event delegates
Aussie Slang can be tricky to understand for non-Australian guests, or guests with English as a second language. Too easy – or no worries, as we say Down Unda. Give ’em The Glossary of Aussie Slang and they’ll be right as rain.

  1. The Lingo of ‘Straya
  2. The Invention of Strine
  3. Aussie Strine for Event Managers

A lighthearted look at Aussie slang for events Click To Tweet

The Lingo of ‘Straya

Or, The Language of Australia

First, a bit about Aussie English and how it came to be. Australia started out as a penal colony, settled by the English with convicts from cities like London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle. The Aussie accent is a descendant of dialects in these areas.

Along with the Aussie accent comes a slew of quirky expressions that often reflect the irreverent, anti-authoritarian attitudes of early white settlers and convicts.

Chuck a Sickie
To feign illness in order to get out of work.
Not in an Event Planner’s vernacular. Who has time for a sickie?

Early Aussie convicts had a tough time in prison. The harsh conditions imposed on them and the burning hot sun were far from kind. Imagine stealing a loaf of bread and being sent to a remote country impossibly far from home. Crikey! Once you got the hell outta there you’d be cursing any form of authority for the term of your natural life…

Workers and free settlers enjoyed their new sense of freedom away from the rigidity of British life back home, and they too developed a healthy disrespect for superiors.

A try-hard.
Did ya see the shirt on that guy? What a tosser.

Thus was born the irreverent Aussie culture.

See The Aussie Slang Glossary Now

If ya chuck a sickie in Event Industry ya might get called a tosser... How to handle Aussies and their lingo. Click To Tweet

The Invention of Strine

No discussion of Aussie language is complete without mentioning Alistair Morrison, the inventor of ‘Strine’. In 1964, Morrison was inspired to invent ‘Strine’ after hearing that a Sydney customer at a book signing asked a visiting British author the price, saying “Emma Chisit?” Thinking it was the customer’s name, the author autographed the book, “To Emma Chisit.”

It inspired Morrison (bloody larrikin!) to apply for copyright of a song called

‘With air chew’

Translation: ‘Without you’.

He went on to write a best-selling Strine-English phrase book, Let Stalk Strine.

Source: Australian Archives

Show me the glossary

If ya don't get what an Aussie's saying, blame Emma Chisit, unwitting founder of strine. Click To Tweet

Aussie Strine for Event Managers

Truth be known, most Event Managers know a fair whack of Strine, even if they themselves don’t say ‘G’day mate!’ to everyone they meet. The challenge is for overseas delegates and other non-Strine English speakers to make sense of such phrases as:

  • “Sorry mate, the missus has been crook and we’re short on staff.”
  • How on earth would they know that ankle biters are children?
  • What’s the taxi driver doing? He said he’s going to “Chuck a Uey.”

Why not pop a copy of the Glossary of Modern Aussie Slang into their welcome pack? Give ’em a squizzy at our unique lingo Aussie. Bloody oath. They’re gonna flamin’ love it!

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Gav George

When his school music teacher loaned him a cassette tape (yes, he's that old) of a fusion band, Gav entered the jazz world after years of classical music training. He was lucky enough to play with some of the greatest living jazz musicians and toured key festivals. Then Enhance founder Alison Clarke called on Gav to work on the company's marketing. This led him to his new passion of… marketing! Gav oversees Enhance's marketing initiatives, gets a kick out of connecting with clients and unearthing new talent. Gav still has that cassette tape, so if his music teacher reads this, please get in touch so he can return it.

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