The Boys' Brigade Australia

Successfully operating youth work programs for 125 years.


Australian Words

True blue: an Australian.

Dinky di: an Australian or the genuine thing.

Aussie: an Australian.

Divvy: to divide. For example, after a client gives the nurses a box of chocolates the nurses will divvy them up. In other words the chocolates are shared amongst the nurses.

Fair go: an even or equitable opportunity .

Cotton on: to understand. For example, “S/he hasn’t cottoned on yet”. Meaning s/he does not understand.

Out of whack: not as it should be, not in alignment.

Whatever: a word commonly used by adolescents to show disinterest.

Out of luck: means something negative has happened to a person, they are out of luck when things don’t go their way or when every day events do not turn out as planned.

Having a lend: to tease or to mislead another person so as to make the other person look silly.

Pull the other one: a person will say pull the other one when they don’t believe what you are telling them.

Have your cake and eat it too: being greedy, used to describe a person who has something but wants more.

Keep your hair on: is an acknowledgment that a person is angry. One person may say to another keep your hair on which is an acknowledgment of their anger but also a request for them to calm down. It is as if when a person gets angry that the pressure of anger builds so as to blow the person’s hair off the top of their head.

Bob’s your uncle: everything will be all right, or everything will go as planned.

All righty: means a person is agreeing. For example, when a nurse asks a client to go to the shower and the client responds “ all righty”.

Good on ya mate: spoken to give another person support and encouragement. For example, a young, male client is walking, on crutches, past the nurses’ station for the first time since having his leg amputated. The doctor sees him walking past and calls out “ good on ya mate”.

Right oh!: indicates agreement as in a person saying “OK” or is used as a space filler to fill in pauses. For example, a nurse might ask a client to refrain from smoking pre-operatively. The client’s response could be “right oh”!

Your shout: your turn to pay for the next round of drinks. A ‘round of drinks’ means to buy the drinks for all of the people in the group you are drinking with.

Fair dinkum: can be used to indicate the authenticity of a story or an item. For example, “This underlay blanket is made from fair dinkum sheep skin. Alternatively people will use fair dinkum to check if another person is telling the truth, for example, one nurse says to another nurse “Did you know those antibiotics cost $53 a vial”? The responding nurse says “ fair dinkum”?, meaning does it really?

Get the drift: this phrase asks do you comprehend or understand?

Comprehendo: do you comprehend or understand?

Thumbs up: indicates that everything is all right or indicates to go ahead, carry on.

She’ll be right mate: used to say “I’m all right” or used to indicate that events will work out satisfactorily and one should not worry.

Goes through you like a dose of salts: fast acting.

Freckle past a hair: when you ask a person to tell you the time they may respond by saying “a freckle past a hair”! This means they can not tell you the time but when they look at their arm where they would wear a watch, they see a freckle and a hair.

Roger: all messages received or everything is satisfactory.

Ridgey didge: used often as a question, for example, “Are you ridgey didge”? This question is asking if one is telling the truth.

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Peter Shave (25 Jul 2006)

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