It's important to note that the frequent use of these terms is mostly left to our native ‘bogans’ (a.k.a 'uncultured swine'). These days, in most cities, correct names for food and drink are used (unless the nickname is used ironically). But, it can be fun to use the slang terms, so go for it!
Arguably one of the most important terminologies to be familiar with before your trip is 'froffy' (spelling variations include ‘froffie’ or ‘frothy’) referring to a cold beer. The name may seem fairly self-explanatory; it's referring to the froth or head on a cold, freshly poured beer. Other beer nicknames to be aware of are ‘stubby’ referring to bottles of beer and ‘tinny’ referring to a can of beer.
Froffy — Photo courtesy of Greg Grossmeier
Different terms are more prevalent in different states, but for those in Melbourne for the Australian Open, be ready to keep your eyes peeled for pub specials on ‘froffys.’ You may also come across the word ‘grog’ in pubs; this simply refers to alcohol in general. There's a colorful array of other colloquial terms for alcohol, but none that should be repeated here.
If it’s lunch time and you’re feeling a bit peckish, you may pass a store selling 'sangas.' If so, pop on in and ask for one with cheese and vegemite. The word 'sanga' is Aussie slang for a sandwich; not sure when or how the letter ‘g’ became involved, although one can assume it was adopted from the common mispronunciation of sandwich as ‘sangwich.’
If the thought of a sanga doesn’t overly excite you, then you may be more enticed by a ‘snag’ (Aussie slang for sausage, not 'Sensitive New Age Guy'). Sausage meat is very different from hot dog meat. Both have their merits, but there's nothing more delicious than a smoky barbecued sausage with tomato sauce (ketchup) and onions in a slice of buttered bread. Snags — Photo courtesy of Stefano A
For those of you who like a bit of fried, greasy goodness, the best thing on a scorching summer night is a picnic on the beach with a parcel of fish and chips. On the menu, among the fish selections, you're bound to see ‘Flake.’ Flake is possibly the most popular fish-and-chip order and is actually just shark meat battered and fried. It’s surprisingly soft and ‘flakey’ and not overpowering in flavor, so it makes for the perfect fish-and-chip meat.
A stadium staple when watching a game of footy or cricket (which some of you may opt to do while in Melbourne) and an all-round Aussie favorite is the humble ‘four ‘n’ twenty.’ This is simply a brand of meat pie (Australian-made) consisting of minced meat and gravy. Delicious!
Berry pav — Photo courtesy of Katie Wardrobe
And now to desserts. If you’re having tea and are offered a ‘bickie,’ this is our term for a biscuit (cookie). ‘Lollies’ are what we call candy, although the term is more specifically used for the gelatinous kind, not chocolate, cakes etc. For example, it's a ‘chocolate bar,’ not a candy bar.
Finally, the all-important ‘pav,’ short for our beloved pavlova. There is much debate as to who really invented the pav, with New Zealand holding the title. However, like most things belonging to New Zealand, Australia will claim it as their own.
A pavlova is a meringue-based dessert (shaped like a cake) topped with cream and, usually, sliced fresh fruit. It's sweet, soft, crunchy, chewy, moist and utterly delicious, so if you get the chance to try a slice. . .do it.
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