Beach Bums: Your Guide to Aussie Beach Slang

Beach Bums: Your Guide to Aussie Beach Slang

Nothing reflects Australians’ relaxed and laid-back nature quite like the use of distinct Aussie slang. Whether you’re new to Australia or travelling through, each region has its own unique terminology for everything from objects and clothing to emotions and complex thoughts. Never fear, though! Here are our top 10 picks of Aussie beach slang that will have you speaking like a true-blue Aussie ‘beach bum’ in no time.

1. Togs/Cozzie

The Aussie word for swimwear. Whether you’re talking about trunks or a bikini, ‘togs’ is the go-to term in beach lingo in most areas. For the ladies, ‘cozzie’ is just as popular as a swimwear term. It’s a slightly more feminine version of ‘togs’. It refers to any bathing suit in any colour or style that you might see along the coast.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Swimmers, togs, or cozzies, there’s a swimsuit for everyone!
2. Budgie Smugglers

This term is what Australians use to cheekily refer to Speedos or any tight-fitting men’s swimwear that leaves little to the imagination. Think of them as the Aussie version of the European ‘banana hammock’. If that’s not your style, then ‘boardies’ (boardshorts) are a popular alternative.

3. Thongs

Not to be confused with what the rest of the world thinks this means, thongs are the most quintessential footwear for the beach in Australia. They’re flat sandals with a single strap between the big toe and second toe, and what you might know as ‘flip-flops’.

4. Ripper

When something is ‘ripper’, it means it’s impressive or excellent. It’s the perfect phrase to describe a great wave for surfing or a top-notch beach barbecue.

5. Esky

Every beachgoer knows that a day at the surf means packing plenty of snacks and cold drinks. Affectionately named after a popular brand, an ‘esky’ is any cooler that is just the right size for keeping your refreshments icy cool. It’s portable and can hold everything you need on a hot summer’s day.

6. Stubby

After a day of surfing or swimming, nothing hits the spot quite like a cold beer. A ‘stubby’ is a small bottle of beer, usually served in a group from an esky.

7. Blow-In

You might be considered a ‘blow-in ‘ if you’re brand new to a particular surfing scene or community. It refers to someone who’s not local and is just visiting the surf in that area.

Photo by Joseph Greve on Unsplash

Whether you prefer ‘boardies’ or ‘budgie smugglers’, anything goes on a surfboard.
8. Rashie

Protecting yourself from the scorching Aussie sun is no joke. A ‘rashie’ or rash guard is a close-fitting swim shirt designed to ward off sunburn and skin irritation during long hours in the sun and water.

9. Sunnies

Sunglasses are a beach day essential. Aussies commonly refer to these eye protectors as ‘sunnies’, and they’ll shield your vision as you scan the horizon for the perfect wave.

10. Prawn

Real Aussies don’t ‘throw a shrimp on the ‘barbie.’ We simply call them prawns. However, be careful calling anyone a bit of a prawn, as it can also be a playful insult. Pair your prawns with a stubby from the esky and that’s a ‘beaut’ barbie right there!

Photo by Nonik Bela on Unsplash

Forget the ‘shrimp’ – In Australia we throw prawns on the barbie

Once you embrace these terms, you will be well on your way to fitting in with the Aussie beach crowd. Remember, the best way to learn is by taking part. So, grab your togs and sunnies, and head to the shoreline. Just don’t forget the esky and thongs!


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