8 Australia's Drinking Slangs To Improve Your Boozy Vocabulary
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Apart from its dazzling beaches and varied wildlife, Australia is renowned for its unique culinary creations. The country is thought to be the birthplace of several universally beloved foods, including the sinful chocolate-coated biscuits, Tim Tams, and the pungent and polarising spread known as Vegemite. Additionally, the country is also credited with inventing numerous enticing and lip-smacking alcoholic beverages and cocktails, such as the rejuvenating ginger beer and the succulent appletini.

It’s quite clear that Aussies take their food and drink culture seriously. In fact, they have even crafted an entire secret language around their drinks, which comprises funny, often confusing, and occasionally raunchy slang terms, namely “grog” and “chardy.” While these terms may seem confounding to an outsider, they are par for the course among local Australians and are frequently used during parties and get-togethers in reference to drinks; they help enhance the spirit of gaiety and community.

Let’s explore some of these terms to ensure that you aren’t at a loss should you ever find yourself in an Aussie pub or bar.


Plonk is one of the most popular Aussie drinking slangs that is believed to have been inherited from the British. This term was initially used to refer to cheap, encased wine. Over time, this term evolved, and presently, it is used in relation to any cheap alcohol and not just wine. Some theories suggest that this term is derived from the sound a beverage makes when it lands at the bottom of a glass; however, contrasting theories suggest it was born out of a mistranslation of the French “Vin Blanc,” meaning white wine.

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Goon Sack

Cheap booze seems to be a trend in Australia, with goon sack referring to a cheap variety of boxed wine that is native to the country. Goon sacks are basically large and disposable silver foil bags that are filled with a minimum of a litre of wine. The goon sack is deeply entrenched within Aussie culture; being cheap and portable, it is easy to access and carry around. Several drinking games, including Goon of Fortune and Goon Layback, have also been invented around this iconic boxed wine.


The concept of “shout” is cherished in Australian culture as it helps engender a spirit of camaraderie and community. At a bar or a party, when someone asserts, “It’s my shout,” it indicates that they are going to purchase rounds of beer, wine, or any other alcohol for the people present in their respective party or group. In this way, the shout showcases the value of inclusion by ensuring nobody is left in the cold with an empty glass for long periods of time.

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This term can be traced back to the British Royal Navy officer, Admiral Edward Vernon. Vernon was fondly referred to as “Old Grog” owing to his signature grogram-fabric coat. Vernon was also notorious for directing his sailors to dilute their rum. Therefore, the act of diluting or watering down rum came to be associated with Vernon, aka Grog, and the slang term “grog” was adopted in common drinking parlance as a result. Today, this term is used in reference to diluted drinks in general, not just rum.


The meaning of this slang term may be quite obvious to wine enthusiasts, particularly those who savour bubbly and effervescent Chardonnay. You guessed it, right! “Chardy” is nothing but a playful contraction of Chardonnay. The phrase “I’ll have a glass of chardy, please” is quite common in Australia, with locals preferring to indulge in this rich sparkling wine at picnics, parties, brunches, night-outs, and in several other social and intimate settings.


Before the 1970s, Aussies referred to buoyant parties as “shivoos,” and while the exact origin of this slang term hasn’t been pinned down yet, several theories persist. Some believed that the word was a cheeky spin of a couple of French words—“chez vous” for “your place” or “shivaree” for “a serenade of rough music.” However, naysayers of this theory linked the word to British naval slang, believing it was used to signify a booze-filled skirmish or altercation.


This drinking slang is connected to beer, with Aussies famously referring to the act of breaking open a beer can as “tinnie.” The “tin” in “tinnie” is obviously a reference to tin, which is another name for a can. Beer is beloved in Australia as a refreshing and exhilarating beverage; therefore, the sound of a tinnie being opened is sure to lift one’s mood and enliven the overall atmosphere in anticipation of the boozy good times ahead.

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This one is quite obvious, isn’t it? This is the place you head to when you want to purchase an enriching bottle of Chardy or an economical helping of Plonk. Thus, the term “bottle-o” stands for a bottle store or a liquor shop. Aussies, for the most part, are drink-loving people, so this term is thrown about quite casually by the locals when discussing where they prefer to buy their supply of booze from.