Can You Tell Australian from UK Slang?

By: Isadora Teich
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Most of us have been able to pick up a bit of UK and Australian slang from watching television. Do you think you know enough about the differences between the two to ace this quiz? Let's get started to find out.

G'day mate. Are you into some shrimp on the barbie, or would you rather have some fish fingers and custard? Yup, we mixed things up there, but that's the theme of this quiz, right?

Slang exists in every language and culture. According to the definition of the word "slang," it is a collection of, mostly spoken, words that are very informal and that may be limited to a particular context or group of individuals. This means that even UK and Australian slang will vary according to age, geography, culture, and even interests. 

Some slang has been relatively persistent throughout the ages, but some has come and gone according to fads. And, just because some of us have a hard time deciphering the difference between the UK and Australian accents, does not mean that the slang used by each of these peoples are similar because that is not necessarily the truth.

So, if you think you can hang with the slang of the UK and Australia, take this quiz to test your knowledge.

Where can you listen to "Accadacca"?

The most famous band from Australia is AC/DC, and Australians are incredibly proud of it. They call the band Accadacca.

In which country might someone tell another person to "bugger off"?

If someone in the UK tells you to "bugger off" they want you to go away. You better leave them alone quickly.

Where might a person be "knackered"?

This slang phrase is incredibly common in the UK. It means extremely, devastatingly tired.

In which country might you hear an "ambo"?

"Ambo" is Australian slang for ambulance. It is used to refer to both the vehicle and the driver interchangeably.

Would an Australian be likely to call someone a "skive"?

UK slang is full of insults, including "skive." Someone who is a "skive" is considered lazy or useless.

Where can you eat at "Macca's"?

Australians often shorten words in ways surprising to English speakers from other countries. "Macca's" is their nickname for McDonald's.

In which country might you go "see a man about a dog"?

This classic UK slang can be used as a generic excuse for leaving any situation. It also hides your destination.

Where might you get pulled over by a "coppa"?

The original English word "copper" has become "cop" in America and "coppa" in Australia. This is what police officers are called most often in Australia.

In which country can you buy "petty"?

What is called "gas" in America is called "petrol" in a number of other English-speaking countries. In Australia, "petrol" has become "petty" among young people.

Where would locals use the word "tosh"?

This is common UK slang. If something is described as "tosh," it is considered total nonsense.

In which country might a person "know their onions"?

This UK slang phrase means to know a lot about a subject. For example, an Egyptologist would know her onions about Ancient Egypt.

Where is "arvo" a time of day?

"Arvo" is Australian slang for "afternoon." An Australian person might say "I'm busy this arvo."

Where might a person be "chuffed"?

This common UK slang word means to be very pleased with something. You might say, "She was very chuffed about the holiday sale."

Where is Australia called "Straya"?

While English speakers from most parts of the world refer to Australia by its full name, native Australians rarely do. They call it Straya.

Would someone from the UK describe a person as "gobby"?

This is a very UK insult. Someone who is "gobby" is offensive, loud and rude.

Would someone from the UK say that another person has "lost the plot"?

There are a number of ways to say someone has gone crazy in UK slang, including calling them "batty" and "barmy." You can also say that someone has "lost the plot."

In which country might a person be "minted"?

This is UK slang. To be "minted" means to be extraordinarily wealthy.

In which country is rugby called "footy"?

This one can be a little confusing. What Australians and Americans call "soccer" the rest of the world calls "football." What the rest of the world calls "rugby," Australians call "footy."

Where can you drink "plonk"?

In the UK "plonk" refers to bad red wine. This wine is generally incredibly cheap.

Where can you work as a "garbo"?

This is Australian slang for a garbage man or garbage truck driver. "Garbo" works for both.

In which country might you catch someone "telling porkies"?

This UK slang comes from old cockney rhyming slang and means to tell lies. "Porkies" comes from "pork pies" which rhymes with "lies."

Where can you eat a "biccy"?

"Biccy" is short for biscuit in Australia. The word "biccy" can apply to crackers, cookies or similar treats eaten with tea.

Where might someone be "snookered"?

This is common UK slang. Someone who is "snookered" is in a bad and possibly even completely hopeless situation.

In which country can you post on "Facey"?

In Australia, Facebook is often referred to as "Facey." This nickname is mostly used by younger people.

Would an Australian be likely to say that they've got the "collywobbles"?

"Collywobbles" is UK slang. It refers to an upset stomach brought on by stress, nervousness or anxiety.

Where can you type a paper on a "lappy"?

"Lappy" is a shortened slang word for "lap top." It's a nickname many Australians use.

In which country might someone "throw a spanner in the works"?

This UK slang phrase refers to making mistakes. Someone who has "thrown a spanner in the works" has made a massive mistake.

In which country might a person be described as "all mouth and no trousers"?

This UK slang phrase is used to describe someone who talks big or brags a lot but can't actually back it up. For example, a Brit might say "Ignore him. He's all mouth and no trousers."

You'll find "musos" in pubs in which country?

In Australia, any musician who plays at their local pub is called a "muso." They often play in exchange for a small amount of money and free beer.

In which country might someone have a "crusty dragon"?

This is some classically odd UK slang. A piece of snot or booger can be referred to as a "crusty dragon."

In which country can you work as a "postie?"

In Australia, postmen are often called "posties." They deliver packages and letters like they do everywhere else, but they have a cute nickname in Straya.

Where might you hear someone call tobacco "baccy"?

In the UK, it is not uncommon to hear someone refer to tobacco as "baccy." This is classic UK slang.

In which country might two people have a "chin wag"?

Two people from the UK might have a chin wag. It just means they are having a friendly chat.

Where might someone be "devo"?

"Devo" is short for "devastated" in Australian slang. It's often used in exaggeration.

In which country can you eat an "avo"?

In Australia, avocados are often referred to as "avo." Australians love toast with Vegemite, avo, and cheese on it.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes