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Favorite Australian Slang: Where People Come From

This post is part of a series on my favorite Australian slang. Be sure to check back for more, or subscribe to my RSS feed to receive updates in your reader automatically.

pomWhether you’re an American, a Brit, a Queenslander or a South Australian, the Aussie language probably has a slang word for you. Here is a list I’ve put together for some that I’ve found, but please don’t hesitate to help me build this list!

Cane toad: A person from Queensland.
This obviously comes from the fact that the cane toad epidemic started in north Queensland, and has now spread over to entire state.

Cockroach: A person from New South Wales.
If you can tell me why this is so, I’ll give you a gold star. Is it because of Sydney being here, it being a big city, and therefore crawling with a few cockroaches?

Crow eater: A person from South Australia.
Again, gold star to those who can explain this origin to me. Crow eater, really? Are there a ton of crows in South Australia?

Pom, Pommy or Pommie: A person from England.
There are several explanations for the use of Pom for Englishmen, all worth pointing out. Some have said that it refers to Prisoner of Mother England, or P.O.M.E. Others say that it has to do with English tourists coming to Oz and getting sunburned the color of a pomegranate. Yet another is the idea that pomegranate was rhyming slang for immigrant.

Seppo, Yank: A person from America.
Now Yank I can understand, but seppo? I had never heard it until another American friend encountered it in the outback. I guess it comes from “septic tank” which might be the rhyming slang for yank.

Sandgroper: A person from Western Australia.
There’s plenty of sand in Western Australia, I’m sure. The groper part is what I’m not sure of.

Sheepshagger, Kiwi: A person from New Zealand.
I would personally never use the term “sheepshagger”, but this obviously comes from the copious number of sheep that inhabit that country. Kiwi comes from the weird little bird that also lives there.

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