In this episode of Effortless Phrasal Verbs I’m going to teach you to use phrasal verbs with ON / ONTO / UPON like a native English speaker.
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About the AuthorI learn languages, teach Australian English, and love all things science and nature!
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By pete — 8 months ago
Watch the video here!
AE 482 – 50+ Australian Slang Words You Need to Learn
G’day, guys! What’s going on and welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
Today, we’re going to be talking about 50 different Australian slang terms you need to know. Let’s go.
- Arvo. Arvo. This is just afternoon. You might hear this, what are you doing this arvo? or What are you doing tomorrow arvo? and it just means, what are you doing this afternoon or tomorrow afternoon? Arvo.
- The Aussie salute. ‘The Aussie salute’ is what we used to refer to when someone does this, because it fly’s in their face, and they move their hand like this, because we have a lot of flies in Australia.
- To bail. If you bail on something or bail on someone or you just need to bail, it just means that you need to leave. Sorry, guys, I’ve got to bail. I have to go home. I’ve got to get dinner. I’ve got to bail. Sorry about that. Gotta bail.
- A barbie. ‘A Barbie’ is just a barbecue. So, you might have friends over on the weekend, get on the deck, get some food, put it on the barbie, cook it up, you’re having a barbie, you’re having a barbecue. A Barbie.
- Bathers. ‘Bathers’ is an incredibly common way of saying ‘swimsuit’ the gear that you wear when you go to the beach or when you go to a swimming pool, because you want to swim, you put your bathers on.
- Beauty. Oh man, what a beauty! ‘A beauty’ is something that is really good as in ‘beautiful’. It is a beauty. He got a new car. It is a beauty. What a beauty! That car is a beauty.
- A billabong. ‘Billabong’ is an Aboriginal word for a pond, a small piece of water, a small thing of water, in a dry river bed. This is a billabong. And it is also a brand of surfing gear in Australia.
- A Billy. ‘A billy’ is a tea pot usually made out of a metal tin. A tin of some kind. You put it on a campfire. You use it to heat water when you camping. A billy.
- A bludger. ‘A bludger’ is someone who is lazy and doesn’t work. If they don’t have a job or when they are working they’re incredibly lazy, they are a bludger. And you’re going to often hear this in the phrase ‘dole bludger’, which means that you are receiving government benefits because you don’t have a job. You’re a dole bludger. That guy is a real bludger.
- Bogan. Man, this is one that is hard to explain. ‘A bogan’ is someone who is usually uncouth, unsophisticated, uneducated, swears a lot, is just an unpleasant person, usually. it’s sort of Australia’s version of a redneck. A bogan. A bogan. And a bogan usually doesn’t know they’re a bogan. Everyone thinks someone else is a bogan. But bogans themselves, probably won’t say, yeah, I’m a real bogan. Okay? Bogan. Be careful how you use that Down Under.
- Booze bus. The booze bus. ‘Booze’ is alcohol. Booze. ‘A booze bus’ is a police bus that is used for breath-testing, getting your breatho, when you’re driving around in the city, wherever it is. If there’s a big bus there doing breath-tests, it’s a booze bus. Booze bus.
- A bottle-o. ‘A bottle-o’ is a bottle shop, somewhere you can buy grog, booze, alcohol. A bottle-o. Let’s go to the bottle-o later and grab some beers. She’s going to head over to the bottle-o and get some wine. I love going to the bottle-o on weekends. Bottle-o.
- Brekky. Brekky. Everyone gets up and has brekky in the morning. ‘Brekky’ means breakfast. The most important meal of the day. Brekky. Let’s grab a bite to eat. Let’s get some brekky.
- Brolly. ‘A brolly’ is an umbrella, right? If it’s raining outside, if it’s pouring, rain’s coming down, you pull out your umbrella, that is ‘a brolly’. Did you bring your brolly? Looks like it’s raining outside. Get your brolly out.
- A buck. ‘A buck’ is a dollar in Australian English. A buck or bucks. How much is that, mate? About 50 bucks. Can you spare a few bucks, mate? I’m out. I need a few bucks to grab some beer from the bottle-o. Buck or bucks.
- Budgie smugglers. ‘Budgie smugglers’ are speedos or male bathers that are usually very small, sitting around the crutch area of a man, and because his genitals look like… a budgie, the bird, being put inside of a sack, it’s often referred to as ‘budgie smugglers’. So, yeah… Be careful how you use that one in Australia. But people will laugh if you say, that guy’s got some nice budgie smugglers. Tony Abbott does not look very good when he’s wearing his bloody smugglers. Budgie smuggler.
- The Bush. ‘The Bush’ is anywhere that is away from civilisation in Australia. If it is away from a city, away from a town, there is forests, there’s desert, whatever it is, it is isolated areas of country Australia. The Bush.
- Cab sav. This just stands for Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a type of red wine in Australia. So, we get lazy. We don’t want to say, let’s go and get a Cabernet Sauvignon. We’ll say, let’s grab some cab sav. I love good cab sav on the weekends after brekky.
- Cactus. If something is ‘cactus’, it’s broken. It doesn’t work anymore. The car broke down. It’s cactus. If you’re ‘cactus’, it means you’re tired. I’ve been working all day. I’m cactus. Cactus.
- Choc-a-bloc. If a place is ‘choc-a-bloc’ it is that it is completely full. So, you’ve gone to the location, there are people everywhere, you can barely move, the place is choc-a-bloc. Or maybe the fridge, you’ve got a fridge full of food, full of beer, whatever it is. It’s choc-a-bloc full of beer, choc-a-bloc full of food. Choc-a-bloc.
- Choccy biccy. You get a two for one here, guys. ‘A choccy biccy’ is a chocolate biscuit. So, we can often use ‘choccy’ to refer to anything that’s chocolate, and we can often use ‘biccy’ to refer to a biscuit. Would you like a choccy biccy? Nanna’s got some choccy biccies just for you, mate. Choccy biccy.
- A chook. ‘A chook’ is a female chicken, but you’ll often use it on someone sort of as a term of endearment, if they’re being a bit… I don’t know, if they’re a bit scared to do something. Ah, don’t be a chook! That guy’s a bit of a chook. She’s a bit of a chook. A chook.
- Chrissie. This one’s probably pretty obvious. Christmas. What are you doing this Chrissie? Are you going to celebrate Chrissie with your family? Chrissie. Everyone loves Chrissie, everyone loves Santa Claus. Chrissie.
- A ciggy. ‘A ciggy’ is a cigarette. That guy loves smoking a pack of ciggies every single day. He’s obsessed with smoking ciggies. Ciggy.
- To get clucky. To get clucky. Now, obviously, men can’t get clucky, women get clucky, and it means to get maternal. So, if someone is thinking about having children or they see children and they’re like, Oh I love kids! They are getting a bit clucky. And the idea here is that they are like a chook that is about to lay eggs and have baby chickens. Clucky.
- Cobber. ‘A cobber’ or ‘old cobber’, that guy, that cobber. It just means good friend. So, you might hear guys from time to time use this in Australia to refer to mates. How’s cobber going? What’s up with old cobber? Cobber.
- A coldie. ‘A coldie’ is just a cold beverage. Could be a beer, could be a coke, whatever it is that’s a cold drink. It is a coldie.
- That leads me to this one, ‘A cold one‘. Same thing, a cold drink, a cold one. Give us a cold one. I might grab a cold one out of the fridge. I’m parched. Really need something to drink. Give us a coldie.
- A cop or copper, or cops, coppers. This is a policeman or the police. There’s lots of cops on the roads today. They are using booze buses and they’re trying to bust anyone is drunk driving. Cops or coppers. That guy’s a cop.
- Crikey! Steve Irwin loves this one. Crikey! ‘Crikey’ is just an expression to show surprise, enthusiasm, excitement. Crikey! Wow, that looks amazing outside. Crikey! Crikey! It’s hot outside. Crikey! There’s a croc over there. Crikey!
- A croc. ‘A croc’ is a crocodile. Crikey! There’s lots of crocs in that river. Don’t go swimming at the beach, mate. There’s crocs everywhere. It’s dangerous. Crikey! Crocs.
- To be crook. If you are crook, it means that you’re sick, it means that you’re ill, it means that you’re under the weather. I’m feeling a bit crook today. I might skip work. I’m feeling the weather. I’m feeling crook.
- A dag. Literately, ‘a dag’ is the poo that hangs from a baby sheep’s tail before the tail’s been removed. However, we never use it that way. Any time someone calls you ‘a dag’, it is a term of endearment to say you’re a wee bit silly, or that you are a bit of a nerd or a geek, you’re a bit unfashionable with wearing something. You’re a dag, right? So, if I was wearing a silly hat, so if I was wearing a silly hat someone might say, take that hat off. You look like a dag. A dag. Don’t be a dag, mate.
- Your daks. Your ‘daks’ are your trousers, your pants, or even your underwear. So, someone daks you, they pull your pants down, but they might refer to their pants as ‘daks’ the themselves. Where are you daks, mate? How come you just wear a budgie smugglers? I lost my daks. Daks.
- Deadset. If someone ‘deadset?!’, it’s that they’re asking, is that real? Is that true? Are you serious? Deadset? But you can also use this as a way of describing something as being authentic or true. Man, that guy is a deadset legend. That is a deadset awesome car. Deadset.
- Devo. If you’re ‘devo’, you’re devastated. So, I went outside the other day, had my brolly, the brolly broke, and I was devo. I was devastated. Devo.
- A drongo. If you’re ‘a drongo’, it’s that you’re a bit of a fool or an idiot. I don’t like that girl. She’s a bit of a drongo. That bloke over there is really strange. He’s a bit of a dag, but actually, you know what? Even worse than that, he’s a drongo. That guy is a real drongo. Don’t you drongo, mate.
- A dunny. ‘A dunny’ is a toilet. I’ve got a dunny. I’m busting. I need to go the dunny. Is there a dunny near by? Dunny. That’s a really good money use. A dunny. And if you go camping and you find a dunny where it doesn’t flush, it’s just a hole in the ground with a dunnie on top, that’s ‘a drop dunny’. Dunny.
- An esky. ‘An esky’ is something you put your cold drinks in. It’s an insulated container for cold drinks. An esky. You’ll often take these to barbies in order to keep you drinks cold so that you can have a cold one or a coldie whenever you want. Esky.
- Fair dinkum. ‘Fair dinkum’, this is a way of saying, Honestly? No kidding? Are you serious? Really? Fair dinkum. Yeah, honestly. Yeah, fair dinkum. Did that guy really steal that car? Yeah, he did. Fair dinkum? No kidding? serious? Fair dinkum. But you can also use this one sort of like ‘deadset’ when describing someone. That guy is a deadset legend. That guy is a fair dinkum legend. He’s true, he’s authentic, he’s fair dinkum.
- A flanno or a flannie. This is a flannelette shirt. Not really much else to say. If you’re wearing ‘a flannie’ or ‘a flanno’, you’re wearing a striped or crossed flannelette shirt. Flanno. Flannie.
- A frothy. ‘A frothy’ is a beer. When you open that beer, a coldie or a cold one, and the froth comes out of it, it’s a frothy. Grab us a frothy, mate. Grab us a frothy out of the esky. I’m after cold frothy. Ah, that’ll hit the spot. Frothy.
- G’day. ‘G’day’ is pretty self-explanatory, and I’m sure you probably already know what this is. Use it! G’day. G’day. Hello. How are you? What’s going on? G’day, mate. G’day, mate. And definitely use ‘mate’ if you’re talking to guys and it’s an informal situation. G’day, mate. How’s it going? G’day!
- A galah. Now, this one isn’t that common anymore. I used to hear this when someone was talking about a stupid person. That guy’s a bit of a galah. This is a parrot in Australia. It’s pink and grey. It’s a pink and grey parrot. A galah. And they tend to be stupid birds. So, if you call someone ‘a galah’, it’s kind of a polite way of calling someone an idiot. That guy is a real galah. What a galah!
- Get stuffed! If you tell someone to ‘get stuffed’, it’s that you’re telling them, in a polite way, ‘screw you’. So, you could use this usually in anger to tell someone to go away or as an expression of contempt. If someone says something to you, you’re an idiot. You might say, ‘get stuffed!’. If someone says you’re flannie’s is a bit weird, it looks strange, you might tell them, ‘get stuffed!’. Get stuffed, mate. Get stuffed.
- Can’t be stuffed. This is another good one. If you ‘can’t be stuffed’, this means you can’t be bothered. Mate, can you come over here and help me with that? Ah nup, can’t be stuffed. Sorry, mate, can’t be bothered. I can’t be stuffed.
- Going off. If something is ‘going off’, usually a party or some kind of social event or gathering, it means that it is incredibly busy with lots of people and it is in full swing. So, it is incredibly enjoyable. This party’s going off. Things’re going off. Wow, stuff over there at the shops is going off! There are people everywhere. It’s chockablock. It’s going off!
- Good on ya. This is a common one. Good on ya, mate. Good on ya. And it just means ‘Well done’. You did a good job, mate, at work, that was amazing. What you did was great. Good on you! But you could also use this sarcastically. So, I imagine someone said, Pete’s so dumb, he doesn’t know how to tie his own shoelaces. I might say, yeah, good on ya, mate. Good on ya!
- Goon. Oh my God. Good. ‘Good’ is one of the most famous inventions that young university students tend to love in Australia and it is a plastic sack with wine in. It his cask wine. So, if someone says, oh, I brought some good to the party, the party that’s going off, they’re talking about a sack of wine. Goon. Goon. And it’s incredibly cheap. Let’s get some goon, mate. I think it’s like five bucks at the shops. Goon.
- Hard Yakka. ‘Hard yakka’ just means hard work. I’ve been working all day, I’ve been putting in a lot of hard yakka at work. If you want to work as a builder, it requires a lot of hard yakka. Hard yakka.
- The last one, guys. Heaps. Heaps. This just means loads, lots, many. Okay? There’s heaps of people outside. It’s choc-a-bloc outside. There are heaps and heaps of people there. It’s really hot outside. It’s heaps hot. You might hear people say that from time to time, meaning it is really something, it is really hot, it’s heaps hot. It’s really good. It’s heaps good.
So, that’s it for today, guys. Don’t forget if you would like to learn Australian English, check out theAussieEnglishPodcast.com. You can download this on your phone. You can listen on your computer. You can read the transcripts from the podcast on your computer. This is the number one podcast for anyone wanting to learn Australian English.
I hope you enjoy those slang terms, guys. I hope that you get to use them in real life.
And I reckon and try and use it in a comment below and see how you go.
Don’t forget too to hit subscribe, hit that Bell notification button if you would like to say today with all the new videos as they come out.
Anyway, until next time, guys, catch you later. Peace.
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By pete — 2 years ago
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Pronunciation: Contracting IS – He is, She is, It is = He’s, She’s, It’s
G’day guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today we’re going to concentrate on contracting the word “Is” onto the pronouns “He”, “She” and “It”. So, “Is” is the second person singular form of the verb “To be” in the present tense”.
So, we’ll do a little listen and repeat exercise here guys where I’ll say “He is” and “He’s” five times, then “She is” and “She’s” five times, and then “It is” and “It’s” five times. You can treat this as a simple listen and repeat exercise where you try and mimic and say everything exactly how I say it. And if you want to take it to the next level you can anticipate the contraction and contract the form of “He is” to “He’s”, “She is” to “She’s”, and “It is” to “It’s” before I do it. So, after the first sentence each time. Anyway, let’s get started.
Listen and repeat:
He is – He’s x 5
She is – She’s x 5
It is – It’s x 5
So, now let’s do a substitution exercise guys where as you usual I’ll say a series of different sentences in this case using “He is”, “She is” and “It is”, and I want you guys to contract each of these sentences into “He’s”, “She’s” and “It’s” where you hear those words used in the sentences. If this is a little too advanced at this stage just treat it like a listen and repeat exercise guys, and the more you do it the better you’ll become and it will become more natural. So, let’s go.
He is hungry.
She is unwell.
It is hot today.
It’s hot today.
It is time to head home.
It’s time to head home.
She is an amazing surfer.
She’s an amazing surfer.
He is always late to work.
He’s always late to work.
She is asking if it is for sale.
She’s asking if it’s for sale.
She is obsessed with horses.
She’s obsessed with horses.
It is what I’ve always wanted.
It’s what I’ve always wanted.
He is hoping that she is single.
He’s hoping that she’s single.
He is acting like he is in charge.
He’s acting like he’s in charge.
He is my favourite footy player.
He’s my favourite footy player.
It is exactly what he is wanting to buy.
It’s exactly what he’s wanting to buy.
So, that’s it for this episode guys. Keep practicing these contractions. Listen to this episode until you guys get it naturally, until you can say these contractions without thinking about it and your English is only going to improve. See you in the next episode guys.
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By pete — 3 years ago
In today’s episode I teach you guys the expression “To Be As Blind As A Bat”, what it means, how to use it and then we go through some exercises.
Download the full PDF transcript here.
Ep056: Expression – To Be As Blind As A Bat
G’day guys and welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
Here is another expression, another idiom, another phrase that involves animals, and today’s phrase involves the animal “a bat” or “bats”, and it is “To be blind as a bat” or “To be as blind as a bat”. So, you don’t have to say that first “as”. You can just say “to be blind as a bat”, but you can also say “to be as blind as a bat”. Either’s ok, again this is the kind of phrase that is used all over the world in English. It’s not just Aussie English. It’s used by people in England, by people in New Zealand, America, Canada, wherever it is that English is spoken this is a common phrase you will hear.
So, what does, “To be blind as a bat” or “to be as blind as a bat” mean? This phrase means to have very very poor eyesight. So, ironically bats aren’t blind, but there is this kind of… there is this kind of thought that they can’t see because these guys rely on echo-location to capture their prey and to move around at night. I should say that some bats, not all bats but some bats, rely on echolocation, and yes, those that do rely on echolocation have reduced eyesight but they can still see. But there is a large group of other bats, which are namely fruit bats, for example, there are a lot of those in Australia and they don’t use echolocation and thus have really good vision because they can’t navigate through the world using sound. So, they have to use their eyes. Anyway, getting sidetracked.
Um… so, “To be blind as a bat”. Let’s explain a few of these words.
“To be blind” means to be unable to see. So, if you’re unable to see you’re visionless, you’re without vision, you’re sightless, without sight. You could be visually impaired where you’re not necessarily completely blind but you can’t see very well. So, that’s the word “blind”, “blind”.
The word “bat”. The word “bat”. It’s a mammal. It’s a nocturnal mammal. So, these guys are mostly active at night. That is what the word nocturnal means. And they’re capable of flying. So, I’m sure all of you if you know the story of Dracula, the vampire, will know what a bat is. It’s what Dracula turns into and flies away, a vampire bat. Um… so they have membranous wings. They have wings that are like membranes. So, a membrane is a very very thin um… tissue. So, in the case of the bat it’s its skin. A thin membrane that goes from its fingers to its limbs and it uses this membrane to spread its wings out and be able to fly. And, yeah, these guys are really cool. I love them. They’re all over Melbourne. Both fruit bats and smaller, what we call, microbats in Melbourne that make the [bat chirping sound] sounds. What you will hear out at night. There’s a few species that you can hear. And the really really cool thing about these bats is that you can actually hear when they’ve caught something. So, I love this fact. When they’re just trying to navigate around and fly, you know, and avoid running into… well not “running” but flying into trees, they make a more spread out sound of just [bat chirping sound]. That kind of spread out sound. But when they finally hear, they actually use this sound to bounce off things and come back to them so they can “see” around where they’re going. When they used this sound and find insects such as, moths or beetles or flies, anything that’s flying around, they speed up. So, they speed up these sounds, these little [bat chirps] so that they can tell which direction this animal is moving in so that they can follow it and hunt it down and then grab it with their wings and their legs. And so, you’ll actually hear these guys make this kind of slow all the way up to speedy speedy speedy sounds and then suddenly go back to the slow ones again, and that means that they’ve caught something. So, you’ll hear like a [bats chirping] kind of sound. It’s really cool. And so, if you hear that you’ll know that there’s bats around for one, and secondly you’ll know that they just caught something. So, one of them’s just caught a moth and eaten it and then kept flying away. Anyway, sidetracked again.
When would you use this expression? “To be as blind as a bat” or “to be blind as a bat”. It’s just anytime you want to talk about or refer to or mention someone or something that can’t see very well or see at all. So, you could say “without my glasses I’m blind as a bat”. So, it’s an exaggeration. You’re obviously not blind because you can use glasses. You wouldn’t be using the glasses if you were completely blind, but it’s to sort of suggest you can’t see very well. So, you could also say um… “My nanna’s starting to lose her vision, my grandmother she’s starting to lose her vision and she’s blind as a bat these days”.
So, let’s do some exercises. We’ll conjugate these exercises today guys to practice these pronouns and conjugate the verbs. The first sentence is going to be “I was blind as a bat” and then I’ll conjugate it through:
I was blind as a bat.
You were blind as a bat.
He was blind as a bat.
She was blind as a bat.
We were blind as a bat.
They were blind as a bat.
You could probably also say, “We were as blind as bats” or “they were as blind as a bats”. So, you make it plural if you want. Both are ok. I don’t really see a… anything weird there. I would understand exactly what you meant. The second example is going to be the sentence, “Without my glasses I’m as blind as a bat”, and we’ll conjugate through that.
Without my glasses I’m as blind as a bat.
Without your glasses you’re as blind as a bat.
Without his glasses he’s as blind as a bat.
Without her glasses she’s as blind as a bat.
Without our glasses we’re as blind as bats.
Without their glasses they’re as blind as bats.
Without our glasses we’re as blind as a bat.
Without their glasses they’re as blind as a bat.
You’ll notice their guys, when I say “he’s” or “She’s” and it ends with that “Sss” sound before the next word “as”, um… I kind of just say “heeses” and “sheeses”. I don’t really say “as” very well. I just kind of swallow it onto the end of “he’s” and “she’s”. So, I’ll say those again:
He’s blind as a bat.
She’s blind as a bat.
He’s blind as a bat.
She’s blind as a bat.
So, it’s a real “heeses”, “heeses”, “heeses”, “sheeses”, “sheeses”, “sheeses”. Just one more thing to practice pronunciation wise that will make your fluidity of spoken English improved, and hopefully if you hear people say this kind of stuff and swallow these words you’ll know exactly what they’re saying when you hear it.
So, I hope you’ve liked this episode guys. Remember jump on Facebook, let me know what you think, and if you’ve been liking these um… episodes and the podcast in general then please feel free to leave a review on iTunes, ‘cause it helps get the podcast out there, find more listeners and get bigger. And I just want to keep helping you guys as well as other people. So, until next time guys, have a good one!
If you liked this expression episode guys then please jump over here and check out all the other Aussie English expression episodes to help you improve your Aussie English.
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