‘Strine’ – A Beginner’s Guide to Australian English

You could be forgiven when first arriving in Australia that we speak a completely different form of the Queen’s English than any other English speaking nation on earth. In fact, we have our own version of the language, affectionately known as “Strine”.

Strine is a result of speaking very quickly and running the words together. Examples include:

avva nysweegend” which translates to ‘have a nice weekend’ and “beeg yors – I din eerya” which translates to ‘I beg your pardon, I didn’t hear you.’

Strine was a term originally used in the mid 1960’s and was the subject of humorous columns published in the Sydney Morning Herald . Alastair Ardoch Morrison, under the Strine pseudonym of Afferbeck Lauder (which is strine for “Alphabetical Order”), wrote a song “With Air Chew” (“Without You”) in 1965 followed by a series of books – Let Stalk Strine (1965), Nose Tone Unturned (1967), Fraffly Well Spoken (1968) and Fraffly Suite (1969). An example from one of the books: “Eye-level arch play devoisters” (“I’ll have a large plate of oysters”).

Here’s a few examples thanks to the websites strine.org.uk:

Strine – “Dja getny b’tydas fer dinner t’noite, maam?” “Air Aw did”

Translation: “Did you get any potatoes for dinner tonight, mum?” “Yes I did.”

Strine – “Cown! We ‘evn’ god ool dye!

Translation: “Come on! We haven’t got all day!”

Strine – “Doosa fiver, mite, wea?”

Translation: “Would you please do me a favour, mate, will you?”

Strine – “G’dye Spawt, hey gaan?”

Translation: “Good day, sport, how are you going?” (“sport” is another word for “mate”)

Strine – “Thirdy dies hes S’ptember, Ypril, June en’ November. Oola rest ‘ev thirdy one. Cep’ Febry witches twenny ite en’ twinny noine onna leap year.”

Translation: A rhyme in which Australians remember how many days in each month


Good luck, and when in doubt, say “watcha torkin’ abowt?