Favorite Australian Slang: Phrases to Call People Unintelligent


This is part of an ongoing series of posts on my favorite Aussie slang. Be sure to check back for updates, or subscribe to my RSS feed to get updates to your reader automatically.

slangEvery culture has them – idioms that refer to people lacking a sort of mental awareness or intelligence in a funny kind of way. Think for example: “He’s a couple of fries short of a Happy Meal.” Another good one is, “He’s not the brightest crayon in the box.” Both are really good ways to talk about someone lacking brain power in a humorous tone.

Aussies are no different. I was flipping through my Aussie Slang Dictionary and came across quite a few, and here is the list:

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  • Brick short of a load
  • Couple of pies short of a grand final – This is talking about the delicious meat pies and how they like to eat them at sporting events.
  • Drives uphill with the clutch slipping
  • Few ‘roos short in the top paddock
  • Few stubbies short of a six pack – Stubbies is a slang word for bottles of beer, which you can read more about in my drinking terms slang article.
  • Got space to sell between the ears
  • If his brains were dynamite, they wouldn’t blow his hat off.
  • Lift doesn’t go all the way to the top floor
  • Lights are on but nobody’s home
  • Nothing between the ears
  • Not the full quid – A quid was the slang term for the old Aussie pound, which is now a dollar.
  • Not the sharpest knife in the cutlery drawer
  • Not the sharpest tool in the shed
  • Out for lunch
  • Sandwich short of a picnic
  • Short of numbers in the Upper House
  • Snag short of a barbie – A snag is a slang word for sausages, and barbie is a barbecue. You can’t have a barbie in Oz without some good sausages!
  • Wouldn’t know his arse from his elbow

>> If interested in learning more about the Australian language, check out my Speak Like an Aussie Guide.

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