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

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]

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