From 'Battered Sav' To 'Bogan': The Aussiest Words Added To The Australian National Dictionary

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Today, the Australian National Dictionary received its first update in 28 years. More than 6000 Australian words, phrases and idioms have been added, including 'battered sav', 'chiko roll', 'babyccino', 'goon bag' and 'bogan'. Here are some official "dinki di" phrases that made the cut.

More than 6000 new Australian words and phrases have been officially recognised with the release of the second edition of the Australian National Dictionary. Published by Oxford University Press Australia and New Zealand (OUP) and compiled by the Australian National Dictionary Centre at The Australian National University, the tome is the primary repository of Australian English and the custodian of words and phrases unique to Australian history and culture. (It says here.)

This is the first time that the dictionary has been updated since 1988. In addition to Australian English, the update also recognises more than 100 words from Indigenous languages. Check out a list of some notable words below:

Indigenous words

Akudjura (a bush tomato), bilma (a clapstick), bunji (a mate), dayang (a heath mouse), gubinge (a kind of plum), jarjum (a baby or young child), kumanjayi (a substitute name for a person who has died), migaloo (a white person), minga (a tourist), rakali (a water rat), tjukurpa (the Dreaming), yidaki (a didgeridoo).

Other terms derived from Indigenous culture include: deadly, Invasion Day, secret women’s business, songline, welcome to country.

Food and drink

Babyccino, battered sav, boston bun, chateau cardboard, chiko roll, chocolate crackle, copha, dagwood dog, Devonshire tea, fairy bread, goon of fortune, kransky, long black, neenish tart, nibblies, short soup, snag, snot block.

Terms for people

Bogan, bronzed Aussie, bush baptist, callithumpian, chardonnay socialist, checkout chick, firie, grey nomad, Mexican, Mrs Kafoops, mungo, pube, ranga, rurosexual, saltwater people, seachanger, seppo, skip, tradie.


Aspirational voter, branch stacking, captain’s pick, economic rationalism, Hawkespeak, Howard’s battlers, how-to-vote card, keep the bastards honest, micro party, mortgage belt, negative gearing, scrutineer, small-l liberal, tent embassy, true believer, two-party preferred, wombat trail.

Phrases and idioms

I don’t know if I’m Arthur or Martha; your blood’s worth bottling; do a Bradbury; carry on like a pork chop; couldn’t run a chook raffle; a cup of tea, a Bex, and a good lie down; dry as a dead dingo’s donger; happy as a bastard on father’s day; straight to the pool room; it would kill a brown dog; stacks on the mill; he wouldn’t know if a tram was up him unless the conductor rang the bell; he wouldn’t work in an iron lung.

Regional words

Jennings German (ACT), houso (NSW), stubloon (NT), goose club (Qld), double-cut roll (SA), yaffler (Tas), hook turn (Vic), skimpy (WA).

In all, the second edition of the Australian National Dictionary now includes definitions and the history of 16,000 words and phrases unique to Australia.

“It is vital that these words be recorded. If language is a definer of nationhood and the character of a people, then this new edition illustrates what it means, in words, to be Australian,” OUP's managing director Peter van Noorden said in a statement.

[Via Australian National Dictionary]


    Food and drink

    ... battered sav ...

    Come on, everyone knows that the Battered Sav is a gymnastics floor routine maneuver, not a food.

    I'm from Tas and I have never heard the term yaffler. Just had to look it up on google.

      I haven't either i know the word as i have heard it used many times, but seems a bit weird.

    Im all for expanding my vocabulary but this just goes to show it cant be that hard to get a word / phrase published in the dictionary.
    -1 humanity :(

    I'm pretty sure 'Mexican' should have been in the dictionary before.

      'Mexican' is the name given to Victorians by people from Queensland or NSW. But good on you for logging in with a smug comment anyway :)

    The one part that irks me about the Aboriginal words is that there are something like 150 different dialects with 150 of those in daily use at the start of the 21st century with 50 of those likely to die.

    The Wurundjerri word for language is Warrung, the Noongar word for language is Wangkininy

    One people has won with these words being recognised, and all the other 149 peoples or so miss out.

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