A-Z of Australia Living

A-Z of Australia Living

Moving to another country and living day-to-day life makes your realise the quirks of life abroad that you'd often miss if you were just on holiday somewhere. Here are the ABC's of my experience of living in Queensland, Australia so far. Some of them are not so weird, but some of them I still find utterly strange!

Arvo and air con- slang for the afternoon my new best friend in the baking Queensland heat.

Brothels and bogans- a common feature I've seen around and about Australia. It's odd as you don't really notice most of them, but once you know what one looks like you suddenly see them around and about. Coming from the UK where brothels are illegal, I find it so peculiar. We actually turned around and drove back past one the other day as I found it so odd, and quickly realised a lady working there was walking towards it so spectated from a distance. This probably sounds a little weird to people who have grown up with them being legal I realise! Bogans are basically chavs or red necks. 

Chook- chicken. Gives a new meaning to the Yorkshire saying "ey up chuck".

Doonas- A duvet or quilt. I doubt I'll have a use for one of these ever again.

Echidna- One of only 2 mammals that lay an egg instead of giving birth (the only other is a platypus)- gotta love Stephen Fry on QI for fun facts .


Fifo- Fly in fly out work. Perth is full of FIFO workers due to all the mining in Western Australia. It's a funny idea flying to work.

Golden Gaytimes- Ice cream lollies.

Golden Gaytimes

Heat- Something I've had to try get used to (but failing pretty badly). I think I'm somewhat acclimatising, but as soon as it hits the mid 30's I'm pretty much done for!

Ice- A requirement in every drink. I don't drink anything without it (apart from tea of course). Talking of tea I've managed to locate Yorkshire Tea in the supermarket Coles

Jumbuck- A sheep made famous in Waltzing Matilda (the unofficial national anthem of Australia).

Kangaroo scrotum's also referred to as 'truck nuts'- I kid you not, I've seen so many of these 'souvenirs' underneath people's cars on the tow-bar- odd... very odd.

kangaroo scrotum car

Lamington- An Australia cake covered in chocolate sauce and then desiccated coconut- yum!

Mate- I often get called 'mate' now- in Britain you seem to only get referred to this as a guy.

Nipper- A young person/child.

Oiled; Drunk, intoxicated.

Possum- The creatures (most Australian's refer to them as pests) that have already managed to dent our new car- annoying!

Queenslanders- A type of house common around Queensland surprisingly; generally wooden-clad and have a balcony deck around. An Australian equivalent of a Victorian house in the UK and regarded as 'old-fashioned' and 'vintage'.

Roo bars- Many 4x4 vehicles (and small cars actually) have these bars on the front of cars so that damage isn't done to the car in the event of driving into a kangaroo. 

Snags and snakes and sex shops- Sausages are the staple BBQ food and snakes are something I've seen one too many times and of all places in a Domino's car park off a main highway. Sex shops are EVERYWHERE, seriously. And they all seem to be multicoloured.

Thongs- Definitely already had some embarrassing moments getting this confused.. although I've worryingly started to adopt the term instead of 'flip flops'.

Utes- A vehicle that so many Australians seem to drive.


Vegemite- Basically a bad version of Marmite. 

Woop woop- An isolated place; "oh I just live down in woop woop".

Xxxx- Queensland's famous beer.

Yobbo- Basically someone you wouldn't want to cross paths with. Aggressive and anti-social.

Ziff- A beard- although i'm yet to hear this in person yet!

What quirks have you experienced travelling or living abroad? Are brothels legal where you live? Am I the only one who finds it odd?


  1. Ha Thongs. Before moving to Australia, I was trying to decide how many pairs of shoes I should take with me and someone told me "people just wear thongs in Sydney all the time," and I thought "huh?"

  2. I don't really have experience with any of these things. I need to get myself to Australia, clearly! x

  3. My sister is in Australia at the moment, so I'll need to run a few of these past her and try and impress her with my knowledge of Aussie local speak :-)

  4. Haha, I'm sure your sister will be impressed with your Aussie slang!

  5. You should definitely make your way over to Australia sometime Amanda! I'm sure you'd love it x

  6. I'm still getting my head around thongs (this sounds weird on a few levels). I've definitely lived in them though since arriving!