Mastering the Australian Workplace: Slang


In Australia, there’s a slang term for almost everything. If you’re here as an international student, this may make many conversations difficult to follow – particularly in the workplace. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of common Australian workplace slang phrases and terms, so you can be prepared!


eg. ‘See you this arvo!’


A lazy person, someone who avoids work.
eg. ‘He never does any work – he’s a total bludger.’

Chocka block

Full of something.
eg. ‘The warehouse was chocka block full of boxes.’

Chokkie or Choccy

Another term for chocolate.
eg. ‘Would you like a chokkie?’


Another term for chicken.
eg. ‘I might grab a chook for dinner.’

Chuck a sickie

To call in sick for work, particularly when you aren’t actually sick.
eg. ‘I’m going to chuck a sickie tomorrow.’


A silly or unsophisticated person.
eg. ‘My dad can be a bit of a dag.’


To be certain of something.
eg. ‘I am deadest on going to the concert.’


Australian Rules football.
eg. ‘Did you watch the footy last night?’


Something obvious or requiring little thought.
eg. ‘I love this author, so buying their new book was a no-brainer!’


McDonalds fast food restaurant.
eg. ‘I might buy some Maccas for lunch.’

Scoot over

Asking someone to move over or to the side.
eg. ‘There’s not enough room for me to sit here – can you scoot over?’


A short break from work to have a cigarette.
eg. ‘I’ll be back in 10 minutes – just going to go for a smoko.’


To have a look at something.
eg. ‘When you finish that project, do you mind if I have a squiz?’


A nosy person, someone interested in other people’s business.
eg. ‘He keeps asking me questions about my life – he’s such a stickybeak!’


This term has two meanings: (1) To be full; (2) To ruin something.
eg. (1): ‘I ate too much food – I’m stuffed.’
eg. (2): ‘Oh no! I’ve completely stuffed up this assignment!’


A term used to refer (usually) to an object, when you don’t remember its name.
eg. ‘I put the thingo on your desk.’

Touch base

Have a quick conversation with someone, often about a particular topic. Can also mean to catch up with someone.
eg. ‘Hi, I just wanted to touch base about your recent proposal.’

Win-win situation

A situation where all parties are benefited.
eg. ‘The business sold their product, and the buyer got something they always wanted – it was a win-win situation!’


Check out this great video to learn some more Aussie slang!

Are there any other weird and wonderful examples of Australian slang that you’ve come across? Why not share this post with your mates and see what terms they’ve encountered!

If you’re interested in getting more formal English language assistance, visit UTS:HELPS in Building 1, Level  5, Room 25 (CB01.05.25).

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

By Mia Casey

By Mia Casey


Mia is a Sydney-based copywriter and content creator, who ran the UTS Careers Blog for five years since its conception in 2016.
Her freelance work focuses on branding development and helping companies create a cohesive identity narrative tailored for each of their platforms.
She enjoys piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.