Colourful Language

In an earlier post, I listed a few of the colourful expressions you can sometimes hear in Australian conversation (see Colourful Similes, June 10, 2012). Here are a few more – both similes and idiomatic expressions – which may not have originated in Australia, but which would be understood by most Aussies.

flat out like a lizard drinking
as mad as a meat axe
all over the place like a mad woman’s breakfast
as silly as a wet hen
as boring as bat shit
as full as a boot (usually means drunk)
as full as a tick (usually relates to over-eating)
as full as a goog (either food or drink)
as full as a Bourke St tram (ditto)
lit up like a Christmas tree
as bald as a badger
laughing like a fat spider
busy as a blowie at a barbie
flat as a tack (at the limit of one’s resources; also “flat chat”)
done like a dinner (comprehensively defeated or completed)
drunk as a skunk
wet enough to bog a duck
raining cats and dogs
come the raw prawn (attempt to deceive)
off like a bride’s nightie
doesn’t know whether it’s Pitt St or Christmas (has no idea what’s going on)
gone to Gowings (gone out)
as bald as a bandicoot
a head like a racing mullet
like a shag on a rock
busier than a one-legged man in an arse-kicking contest
rough as guts
a thirst you could photograph
silly as a wheel
as dumb as a bag of hammers


About dazzlerplus

Writing about the things that interest me helps me to discover what I think. One of my loves is the Australian Outback, and I travel out there often, and when possible take friends with me.
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7 Responses to Colourful Language

  1. Jillian Cheetham says:

    Hi Rob   A fitting collection for this Aust day weekend!  Here’s another from me (relevant for PAs with difficult bosses) I’ll pop out to get him (her) a cut glass sandwich.   cheers   Jillian


  2. Jo says:

    Gosh Rob, what a can of worms you have opened!

    • dazzlerplus says:

      “Opening a can of worms” — like “muffin top” — is one of those beautifully apt expressions. As soon as you’ve opened the can, you know you’ve got a messy situation on your hands, with no chance of sealing it up again.

  3. Love it! There’s a few there i hadn’t heard before- “a thirst you could photograph” is that said often anywhere in particular or am I just the wrong age?

    • dazzlerplus says:

      I think a few of these are Outback sayings which wouldn’t often be heard in the towns or cities. So usually a photo doesn’t reveal whether the person in the picture is thirsty or not, because we city slickers are never far from a tap, so we can have a drink pretty much any time we want to, and we very seldom get seriously thirsty. But out in the back country, you can get so thirsty after a few hours rounding up cattle or ploughing a dry paddock that you can actually see it in a photo; the tongue may be hanging out, and there’s a desperate look in the eyes. The person looking at the photo is likely to say “Strewth, that bloke’s sure thirsty, poor bugger!”

      And faerygodmother, thanks for becoming a follower. You granted my wish before I even asked! That’s pretty psychic!

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