Since I’ve already had to clarify a number of the finer points of Australian slang to my fellow attendees, I thought I would solve the general problem and simply post a helpful dictionary that translates some uniquely Australian words and usages into standard American English.
Also, this thing on the right is called an ibis. It’s not venomous.
Flat white – Try this at least once while you’re here, preferably prepared by a highly skilled barista at one of the better cafes. It’s similar to a latte or to a cappuccino without the foam, but there are important differences.
Long black – Australian version of the Americano, a bit stronger and with crema. It’s the closest you’ll get to a cup of filtered drip coffee, if that’s your thing.
Short black – If you want a standard espresso, order a short black.
Thongs – Sandals, or flip-flops. The highest level of dress code in Australia is “no thongs”.
Togs – Swimwear.
Esky – A cooler; the place where you store your beer to keep it cold while you’re getting pissed at the beach.
Pissed – Drunk; the state that a nontrivial fraction of people are in because it’s legal to drink at the beach.
Sunnies – Sunglasses.
Mozzy – Mosquito. Usually not a problem at the beach because there is almost always a breeze.
Schooner – (SKOO-ner) A medium-sized glass of beer.
Jug – A pitcher of beer.
Shout – To buy a beer for someone, or a round of beers for your table.
Skol – To chug a beer. Usage: “Hey Robbo, if you skol that schooner I’ll shout you a jug.”
Hotel – In addition to the standard meaning, a hotel is a particular style of pub. It usually has high occupancy and a limited beer selection (though this is starting to improve as craft beer is finally catching on here).
Football – see “Footy”.
Footy – Rugby. It comes in several varieties, with League and Union being the two most popular varieties.
Gridiron – American football. Not generally watched much down under.
Cricket – An inscrutable game that takes 5 days to play. I think the only way you could like this game is to have the British invade, conquer your land, and occupy your territory under their colonial yoke for at least a few generations. That seems to be how everyone else got into it.
Rooting – Do not make the mistake of saying that you are “rooting for team X”; in Australia, rooting is slang for having sex.
Arvo – Afternoon.
Bickie – A cookie or biscuit.
Brekkie – Breakfast.
Fair dinkum – The closest translation is probably “for real”. It’s used to express the sentiment that you’re not deceiving the listener or exaggerating your claims.