19 Americanisms I Lost When I Moved to Australia

Australia United States
by Anna Maria Halkiotis Nov 1, 2015

1. “You’re welcome.”

Aussies won’t say you’re welcome, instead you’ll hear “no worries mate” or “it’s alright.”

2. “I’m so spent right now.”

When you want to express how tired you are, switch it up to, “I’m so knackered right now.”

3. “I’m going on vacation to Bali for three weeks.”

Down under you’ll hear people say, “I’m going on holiday to Bali for three weeks.”

4. “Mickey Ds”

It’s all about the Maccas in Australia, even on the commercials. It’s uncommon to hear people call it McDonalds.

5. French fries vs. chips

In Oz, french fries are chips and chips are crisps. Get it?

6. “Who wants in?”

The closest Australian translation here would be, “Hey mate, you keen on…?”

7.“I love arugula salads.”

“I love rocket salads.” Arugula comes from the Italian word rucola, and in Australia, they call it rocket.

8. “There were tons of people at the bar last night.”

Change it up here to “there were heaps of people at the bar last night.”

9. “Buddy, pal.”

It’s always mate, in Aussie. You can call anybody mate, and you can pretty much put mate at the end of any sentence, mate. For instance, “There were heaps of people at the bar last night, mate.”

10. “How ya doin?”

To greet someone in Australia you would say, “How ya goin’ mate?” Or even, “G’day mate.”

11. “Do you have change for a $50 bill?”

An Australian would instead ask, “Hey mate, do you have change for a $50 note?”

12. “I went to New York for college.”

In Aussie it’s, “I went to New York for uni.” Shortening words is a big part of Australian slang.

13. “I’m from America.”

Australia has a huge backpacker community, so it’s more polite to say, “I’m from The US” or “I’m from The States,” because people from North, Central, and South America proudly claim to be from The Americas just as well.

14. “I love how the leaves change color in the fall.”

Instead: “I love how the leaves change color in autumn.” Aussies never say fall.

15. “My friend’s bachelorette party was tons of fun.”

You wouldn’t hear bachelorette party. Oh no, coming from an old British phrase like many of Australia’s terms, you would hear, “My mate’s hen’s night was heaps of fun.”

16. “Congratulations, good for you!”

“Good on ya mate.” A very popular phrase in Australia, people say this when they hear good news, or they want to congratulate someone. But it’s also used sarcastically amongst friends, for instance if a friend stumbles when he/she is drunk you can say, “Good on ya mate!”

17. “Barbeque.”

Another example of shortening words to make Australian phrase, a barbeque is more often called a barbie.

18. “What are you doing for Australia Day?”

“What’ya doin for straya day, mate?” Australians will say, Straaaya when they want to refer to their country.

19. “Thanks.”

“Cheers, mate.” Cheers is often times replaced for thanks, mostly in casual situations, for instance after your bartender serves you your favorite beer.

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