12 Australian Slang Words to Globalize Your Word Game

Barbie word with visual

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G’day. If you weren’t aware, Australia is home to many unique slang terms and expressions. This should come as no surprise, as all regions of the world develop their own dialects and idioms. So, it should also come as no surprise that these words eventually end up in our dictionaries. From there, they end up in our favorite word games like Scrabble and Words With Friends. These are some of the most interesting Australian slang words that have made their way into the world of word games.


Scrabble score: 7 points

Words With Friends score: 8 points

Down in Australia (and some other parts of the world), “ARVO” is an informal way to say “afternoon.” It’s a common example of everyday Australian slang.

Example: “Do you have any plans today? If not, we’re heading down to the beach in the arvo. Want to come?”


Scrabble score: 7 points

Words With Friends score: 9 points

AGGRO” is a shortened form of “aggressive.” It denotes that a person or animal is acting in a violent or dangerous way.

Example: “I thought that dog was friendly, but it got real aggro when I approached it.”


Scrabble score: 10 points

Words With Friends score: 12 points

BARBIE” is code for the barbeque in Australian slang. Basically, it’s the nickname for a grill. And considering all of the delicious food that gets prepared on grills, and pet name seems appropriate.

Example: “Yeah, I’m on my way to the party. I’m just stopping by the store to pick up some extra brisques for the barbie.”


Scrabble score: 13 points

Words With Friends score: 17 points

Sometimes, you end up exhausted from your job, working out or playing a sport. You simply have no energy left. When that happens, what you are is BUGGERED. This is different from the meaning of “buggered” in the United Kingdom. Over there, it means something is messed up or you’re in trouble.

Example: “Ugh, I went for a run before coming into work today. I wish I hadn’t. I’m completely buggered now.”

Buggered definition with visualBuggered definition with visual


Scrabble score: 14 points

Words With Friends score: 14 points

Every region has its own special names for common animals. Australia is no exception. For chicken, almost everyone’s favorite poultry, a typical name that Australians use is “CHOOK.”

Example: “Did you remember to pick up the chook for tomorrow’s dinner?”


Scrabble score: 12 points

Words With Friends score: 15 points

If you have a close friend, you might have your own special term for them. In Australia, the appropriate thing to call them would be a “COBBER,” which means they are your buddy or pal.

Example: “I reckon I’ll head downtown to hang out with my cobber, Terry.”


Scrabble score: 9 points

Words With Friends score: 9 points

DAKS” is definitely a word that might confuse some non-Australians the first time they hear it. And they might accidentally use it without knowing what it means. Daks, in Australia, refer to someone’s underwear.

Example: “That poor girl over got her trousers caught on the mesh fence. It left a huge hole and her daks were showing.”


Scrabble score: 8 points

Words With Friends score: 10 points

When someone’s being especially foolish or even idiotic, and you need to call it like you see it, you can call them a “DRONGO.” You’ll find several Australian slang words describing foolish people.

Example: “Look at that drongo just standing in the middle of the road. He’s going to get hit.”


Scrabble score: 9 points

Words With Friends score: 10 points

When someone’s acting like a fool or downright idiotic, calling them a “GALAH” is an appropriate, and possibly belittling, response. The term was derived from an Australian bird called a galah, so you might say its their way of calling someone a “birdbrain.”

Example: “That galah almost set the kitchen on fire while he was cooking dinner.”


Scrabble score: 9 points

Words With Friends score: 9 points

In some cultures, “PASH” refers to romantic crushes. As an Australian slang term, it goes a step further by describing a passionate kiss or make-out session.

Example: “Ugh, I just walked in on my mom and her boyfriend having a pash in the living room.”

pash definition with visualpash definition with visual


Scrabble score: 9 points

Words With Friends score: 9 points

SHEILA” is a common way to refer to a young woman. It’s a bit of an outdated Australian slang word. An older or more traditional person might use it as a term of endearment, but someone younger or more modern might use it ironically for comedic effect.

Example: “Has anyone seen that young sheila who’s been waiting on us? I wanted to order another drink.”


Scrabble score: 8 points

Words With Friends score: 8 points

In Australia, a SOOK is a type of calf. But, when used as an Australian slang word, it refers to someone who is a crybaby, wimp or coward. 

Example: “Mate, stop being such a sook and go tell her that you want to take her to dinner.”

Sling More Slang In Scrabble

Adding some Australian slang words to your vocabulary can make your Scrabble and Words With Friends games more fun and informative, even for your opponents. The same goes for all types of slang words, which is why it is a good idea to learn more of them. You can do exactly that by studying our other collections of slang terms, such as WordFinder's New York slang, British insults and Gen Z slang lists.

Zac Pricener has been a content creator for the past eight years. He’s a bit of an all-around nerd, and he has a bad habit of working movie and TV show references into conversations whenever possible.


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