Australian Jargon in the Workplace

05/12/21

When English isn’t your native language, you may find entering the Australian workplace confusing as often Australians use ‘jargon’ or ‘slang’ in everyday conversations, including in the office.

This presents a unique language challenge for graduates. And is something you should get acquainted with before your first day so you understand, and can potentially, use a few colloquial phrases yourself!

Performance Education’s guide to the top Australian jargon/slang phrases used in the workplace:

1. Get your ducks in a row

Meaning: Be organised.
Example: I’m going to get my ducks in a row before the meeting this afternoon, so I’m prepared and across everything that needs to be achieved.

 

2. Circle back

Meaning: To come back to or reconsider.
Example: I want to circle back to my original point on the program’s structure.

 

3. Think outside the box

Meaning: A metaphor meaning to think differently, unconventionally or from a new perspective.
Example: In a challenging situation sometimes it’s necessary to think outside the box.

 

4. Grab a cuppa

Meaning: Let’s sit down together in an informal setting and have a cup of tea.
Example: Let’s grab a cuppa & work through the presentation together.

 

5. My week’s Chocka Block

Meaning: Chocka Block is slang for being ‘very full’ or ‘busy’.
Example: This week is already chocka block for me, we’ll have to organise the meeting next week.

 

6. Touch base

Meaning: Briefly make or renew contact with someone.
Example: I will touch base with you after lunch to go through the to do list.

 

7. Going forward

Meaning: A progression in time from the present; the term suggests a continuing and progressive movement.
Example: Going forward, I would like to allocate 15 minutes at the end of our team meeting to type up my notes.

 

8. Giving it 110%

Meaning: An expression that is defined as giving all that you’ve got, plus more.
Example: I will give it 110% to have the task completed on time.

 

9. Close of play

Meaning: The end of the trading day, office hours (i.e. 5.00pm) or the point when trading ceases.
Example: I will have that report done by close of play.

 

10. It’s on my radar

Meaning: In a person's awareness.
Example: Don’t worry, it's on my radar – I’ll have the project finished for the deadline next week.

 

11. At the end of the day

Meaning: When everything is taken into consideration.
Example: At the end of the day, if the customer is satisfied with the service, we have done our job properly.

 

12. It’s a no-brainer

Meaning: The decision is so obvious or easy, it requires little or no thought.
Example: When you’re given the opportunity to take on extra duties in your position, it’s a no brainer as it offers the opportunity to learn new skills.

 

13. Arvo

Meaning: A shortened reference of the word ‘afternoon’.
Example: I’ll see you in the meeting later this arvo.

 

14. It’s a win-win situation

Meaning: A situation or outcome where everyone comes away happy.
Example: When offering a special promotion, it’s a win-win for all parties - the client gets a great deal, and the company gets a new client.

 

15. No worries!

Meaning: Another way of saying ‘No problems’, ‘That’s all right’ or ‘Do not worry about that’, it can also mean ‘Sure thing’ or ‘You’re Welcome’.
Example: No worries, we can get it done tomorrow.

 

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