Idioms are unique, fixed expressions that are natural for native speakers but devilishly difficult to translate from one culture to another. In fact, in English many idioms are often unique to a country and following list of Common Australian Idioms should give you some insight into some of the most common idioms used Down Under.
To talk the legs off an iron pot
Someone who talks a lot or excessively.
- My grandpa can talk the legs of an iron pot.
Note: ‘Talk the legs off an iron chair’ is also used and means that same thing.
To pull somone’s leg
To trick or to fool someone.
- I don’t believe what you are saying. You’re pulling my leg!
Note: this is also a way of saying to someone that they are joking.
Piece of cake
Something that is easy to do.
- That maths test was a piece of cake.
To spit the dummy
To throw a tantrum and lose one’s temper. Often accompanied with an outburst of anger. The phrase to ‘have a hissy fit’ is similar.
To feel under the weather
To say that someone is tired, weak, sick or unwell.
- I am feeling under the weather. I cannot be bothered going to the gym to workout today.
To hit the nail on the head
To get something right or to do something very effectively and efficiently.
To speak of the devil
This phrase is said when someone appears just after you have been talking or speaking about the same person.
To hit the road
To leave, depart or to begin a journey.
- We will be waking up early tomorrow, as we need to hit the road before sunrise.
Note: In Australia, it is common to say this as you depart on a journey, adventure or road trip.
Beat around the bush
When someone is talking and doesn’t get straight to the point.
- Stop beating around the bush and tell me what you want!
Note: The opposite expression is ‘to cut to the chase.’
Visit our Different Englishes page for extra practice!