50 Things Only Aussie Tradies Say

G’day Legends 🤙

Aussie tradies are a unique bunch, blending skill with some of the most rediculous humour. Whether on the job site or taking smoko, there’s a language that sets these tradies apart.

So, just for shit’s and giggles, here’s a list that’ll have you nodding, or scratching your head, depending on which side of the tool belt you’re on.

1. “She’ll be right, mate”

Optimism in the face of minor setbacks

A phrase suggesting that regardless of the current difficulties, things will eventually work out. It reflects a common attitude towards life’s challenges, promoting a positive outlook and resilience.

2. “Grab me a stubby, would ya?”

Requesting an alcoholic beverage

A casual and colloquial request, asking someone to pass or fetch a ‘stubby’, which is a small bottle of beer.

3. “This weather’s a bit how ya goin’.”

Commenting on unpredictable weather

A phrase used to describe erratic or unpredictable weather patterns, encapsulating the Australian penchant for understatement and humor in daily observations.

4. “Chuck a sickie.”

Taking an unscheduled day off

This colloquialism refers to the act of calling in sick to work, typically when one is not actually ill. It highlights a casual approach to work-life balance in Australian culture.

5. “Flat out like a lizard drinking.”

Extremely busy

An expression that vividly conveys being extremely busy with tasks or activities, utilising the imagery of a lizard rapidly drinking to illustrate a high level of engagement or activity.

flat out like a lizard drinking

6. “Yeah, nah, she’s cactus.”

It’s broken beyond repair

An Australian way of saying that something is irreparably damaged or broken, using the term “cactus” to denote a state beyond repair.

7. “On the tools.”

Working, usually manual labor

Refers to being engaged in manual work or labor, highlighting the value placed on physical work within Australian culture.

8. “Let’s have a smoko.”

Time for a break

Originating from a break for a smoke, this term has evolved to mean a rest period in general, signifying the importance of taking breaks during work.

9. “She’s as dodgy as a two-bob watch.”

Something of poor quality

This phrase is used to describe something that is unreliable or of very low quality. “Dodgy” – a colloquialism for something that is suspect or fraudulent. “Two-bob” – a term that refers to two shillings in old British currency, which was use throughout Australia until 1966.

10. “Hit the frog and toad.”

Time to hit the road

A rhyming slang for hitting the road, indicating it’s time to depart or start a journey.

11. “No wuckers.”

No worries; everything is fine

A slang expression indicating that there are no problems or concerns, showcasing the laid-back Australian attitude towards resolving issues.

12. “Bit of elbow grease’ll sort it.”

Hard work is needed to fix it

This saying suggests that applying physical effort or hard work will overcome a problem, emphasizing the value of perseverance and effort.

13. “Like a bull at a gate.”

Doing something too quickly or without thought

Describes someone acting hastily or without careful consideration, invoking the image of a bull charging without restraint.

14. “Bob’s your uncle.”

It’s as simple as that

A phrase that concludes an explanation with a flourish, implying that the result or solution is straightforward and guaranteed.

15. “Mad as a cut snake.”

Very angry

An expression used to describe someone who is extremely angry, with the vivid imagery of a “cut snake” highlighting the intensity of the anger.

16. “As useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.”

Not useful at all

This humorous saying is used to describe something utterly pointless or without utility, emphasizing its uselessness in a witty manner.

17. “We’re not here to f**k spiders.”

Here to work or get the job done

A uniquely Australian phrase indicating a serious intent to work or complete a task efficiently, dismissing any notion of wasting time.

a huntsman spider on a tree

18. “Pull ya head in.”

Mind your own business

A blunt directive for someone to stop being nosy or interfering, reflecting the Australian directness in communication.

19. “Give it a burl.”

Try it or give it a go

Encourages attempting something new or giving something a try, embodying the adventurous and try-anything-once spirit of Australia.

20. “Drier than a dead dingo’s donger.”

Extremely dry weather

A vividly descriptive way to comment on the dryness of the weather, using quintessential Australian imagery to underscore the severity of the conditions.

21. “Fair crack of the whip!”

Asking for a fair chance

A demand for fairness or an equal opportunity, reflecting the ethos of giving everyone a fair go.

22. “She’s a bit rough around the edges.”

Not completely finished or refined

Describes something or someone that lacks refinement or polish but maintains a certain charm or effectiveness despite imperfections.

23. “Spat the dummy.”

Threw a tantrum

An expression denoting someone who has lost their temper in a dramatic or childish way, likening their behavior to a baby spitting out a pacifier in frustration.

24. “Like a kangaroo loose in the top paddock.”

Not thinking clearly

A humorous observation that someone is behaving irrationally or is confused, using the image of a disoriented kangaroo to illustrate their state of mind.

kangaroo in a paddock

25. “Not the full quid.”

Not very smart

Implies that someone may not be very intelligent or is lacking in common sense, using the old Australian slang for a pound or dollar to measure their mental capacity.

26. “As rare as rocking horse shit.”

Extremely rare

An expression highlighting the extreme rarity of an item or situation, employing absurd imagery to underscore its scarcity.

27. “Wouldn’t know if it was Woolloomooloo or Wednesday.”

Completely clueless

Indicates a profound level of ignorance or confusion, humorously suggesting someone wouldn’t recognize the difference between a place and a day.

28. “As tight as a fish’s arse.”

Very stingy

Describes someone who is extremely frugal or unwilling to spend money, using a colorful metaphor to emphasize their tightfistedness.

29. “Up at sparrow’s fart.”

Up very early in the morning

Refers to waking up at an exceptionally early hour, likening it to the early rising habits of sparrows.

30. “Full as a goog.”

Very full, usually after eating

An expression used to describe a feeling of being extremely full or satiated, often after a large meal.

31. “Going off like a frog in a sock.”

Very active or energetic

Used to describe someone or something that is extremely lively or energetic, with the imagery of a frog’s unpredictable movements in a confined space.

32 “As busy as a one-armed bricklayer in Baghdad.”

Extremely busy

A hyperbolic way to describe someone who is extremely busy or overwhelmed with tasks, emphasizing the intensity of their workload.

33. “Couldn’t run a piss-up at a brewery.”


Indicates a lack of skill or competence, humorously suggesting that someone couldn’t manage a simple task.

aussie man drinking a beer at a pub

34. “Doesn’t have a brass razoo.”

Very poor

An Australian saying indicating that someone is extremely poor or lacking in financial resources, using the colloquial term “brass razoo” for money.

35. “I’ll be there in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.”

I’ll be there quickly

A promise to arrive promptly, using a quaint and picturesque expression to indicate speed.

36. “Like trying to herd cats.”

An impossible task

Describes an attempt to control or organise a situation or group that is inherently uncontrollable, highlighting the difficulty of the task.

37. “You’re not wrong.”

Strong agreement

A way of expressing strong agreement with someone’s statement or opinion, affirming the correctness of their observation.

38. “Throw a spanner in the works.”

Cause a disruption

Refers to causing a problem or interruption that hinders progress, using the imagery of a tool being thrown into machinery.

39. “Rack off.”

Go away

A blunt command for someone to leave or remove themselves from a situation.

40. “Spit the dummy.”

Get very upset

A colloquialism for becoming suddenly or excessively angry or upset, likening the outburst to a baby spitting out a pacifier.

41. “You beauty!”

Expression of joy or approval

An exclamation of happiness or approval, celebrating a positive outcome or piece of good news.

42. “Have a Captain Cook.”

Have a look

Invites someone to take a closer look or inspection, using rhyming slang for “look” based on the famous British explorer.

43. “Chock-a-block.”

Very full or crowded

Describes a space or container that is completely full or crowded, often to the point of overflowing.

44. “Having a lend of me?”

Are you joking?

A skeptical query as to whether one is being teased or deceived, questioning the seriousness of the other’s statement.

45. “More front than Myers.”

Overly confident

Critiques someone’s boldness or audacity, comparing their demeanor to the expansive shopfronts of the well-known Australian department store chain.

46. “Off like a bucket of prawns in the sun.”

Leaving quickly

A vivid metaphor for departing swiftly, evoking the urgency one might feel to move away from something as unpleasant as spoiling seafood.

bucket of prawns

47. “Tell him he’s dreaming”

Not offering a fair deal

A famous line from the Australian film “The Castle,” released in 1997, now it’s a humorous and succinct way to describe someone’s expectations as unrealistic or their aspirations as overly optimistic.

48. “As happy as Larry.”

Very happy

An expression of contentment and joy, suggesting a state of happiness without a care in the world.

49. “Like a rat up a drainpipe.”

Doing something very quickly

Describes someone moving with great speed or haste, likening their rapid movement to that of a rat scurrying up a drainpipe.

50. “It’s gone walkabout.”

It’s lost or disappeared

An explanation for something that is missing, employing an Indigenous Australian term that refers to a journey of spiritual significance, adapted here to mean something lost or unaccounted for.

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David List

G'day ya LEGEND! I'm an Tradie of almost 20 years (sparky to be exact), who started to make videos on YouTube, TikTok and LinkedIn, as a way of passing on my knowledge. One thing lead to another and I realised I could make more impact helping Tradies with my own business. So, LIST Media and Trade Magnet were born! Helping Tradies Convert with Online Content.

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