“Aussies have corrupted the English language”

– said a Brit sat next to me on the flight to Melbs a few years ago.

And he’s right. But Aussie slang is heaps good, hey.

Plus, they luuuuuuv abbreviating everything and put weird acronyms on everything as well.

So, if certain things, names, places, expressions I’ve been using on this blog and related to the Australian music scene sound like Chinese to you, you’re not alone. Here’s a handy wee list with explanations and further references (if appropriate or available). I’ll do my best to update it regularly.


A. B. Original (Always Black, Original) – a politically charged and socially conscious duo of Indigenous rappers, Briggs and Trials.

Acca Dacca – what Aussies call AC/DC.

Am I ever gonna see your face again? – a rock song by The Angels, famous because of the audience response to it “No Way, Get F***ed, F**k Off”.

AO (Australian Open) Live Stage – one of the events happening during the Aus Open; live bands playing every night of the tournament.

APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) – Aussie music industry body responsible for public performance royalties.

AMCOS (Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society) – Aussie music industry body in charge of the “mechanical”/reproduction royalties.

ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) – Aussie music body in charge of licensing and royalties.

ARIAs (ARIA Awards) – Aussie equivalent of the Grammys or Brits.

ARIA charts – Aussie national charts, something like Billboard in the US.

ARIA Hall of Fame – Aussie equivalent of the American Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame.

Australian Music Vault – a sort of museum/experience narrating the history of Aussie music with various exhibits showcasing different genres, artists and historic developments; housed in the Arts Centre building in Melbourne.


Bad Apples Music – an Aboriginal owned, Melbourne based record label, supporting mostly Indigenous artists.

Baker Boy – real name Danzal Baker; an Indigenous hip hop artist from NT (the Northern Territory), rapping in both English and his native Yolŋu Matha language.

Banger – a hit or an awesome song.

Bourke Street Mall – pedestrian/tram only strip between Elizabeth and Swanston Streets in Melbourne, famous for big department stores and amazing buskers; check my blog post about it here.

(Adam) Briggs – an Indigenous rapper, half of the A. B. Original hip hop duo and founder of Bad Apples Music record label.


Darryl Braithwaite – an iconic Aussie singer with a career spanning decades, author of the famous song The Horses who has won numerous national music awards.

Deadly – cool or awesome, used frequently by the Aboriginal folks.

Didge – short for didgeridoo, called yidaki in the Aboriginal language; check my post about it here.

DKLM (Don’t Kill Live Music) – a 2019 Sydney rally organised to express the industry’s disagreement with the NSW government laws, imposing additional unfair regulations and requirements on music festivals in the state.


Freo (Fremantle) – Perth’s suburb where most gigs and cultural things happen.


GiggedIn – a subscription platform that offers monthly flat rates for going to gigs.

Groovin The Moo (GTM) – one of the Aussie festivals with legs in every state.

Gurrumulfull name: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu; the most commercially successful and world-famous Indigenous artist and multi-instrumentalist, known for his soft voice and playing the guitar in a particular way.


Legend – awesome, cool (referring to a person).

Like A Version – a radio segment aired by Triple J every Friday, similar to the BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, in which the invited artists perform their original song and a cover; check my post about the segment here.

(Sydney) Lockout laws – strict regulations imposed by the NSW government on entertainment establishments in Sydney in 2014, aimed at reducing alcohol-fuelled violence.


Melbs (or Melb) – Melbourne.

Mate – pretty much anybody Down Under, like a random doctor that does your check-up, your father, the police officer who just pulled you over, your girlfriend when she’s driving you mad, your boss when you’re in the pub and at the office, the butcher from the shop next door, a passer-by, Nick Cave, the shitty sound engineer from the venue you played last night, and most of all, any of your friends.

Music Victoria – the VIC (Victoria) state peak body for music.

Muso – a (mostly non-professional) musician.


Patron – somebody that purchases something at a venue, i.e. food, drink, a ticket to a gig etc.

Punter – spectator in the music fan context.


Sideshow – acts coming to play festivals often announce additional gigs in big cities called sideshows.

SLAM (Save Live Australia’s Music) – a rally that took place in February 2010 as a response to the VIC government’s liquor licensing laws.

Splendour In The Grass (SITG) – one of the famous Aussie festivals that takes place in Byron Bay in NSW every July.

St Kilda Festival – the biggest free music, arts and culture festival in Australia that takes place in Melbourne’s beachside suburb of St Kilda every second Sunday in February.


The Tote – one of Melbourne’s historic live music venues that fell victim to liquor licensing laws imposed by the Victorian government in 2010 causing the SLAM movement to emerge.

triple j – a government-funded, influential national radio station, part of the ABC family, especially popular amongst younger generations and supporting mostly Aussie music.

triple j Unearthed – Triple J’s initiative where artists can upload their music independently to a website and receive professional reviews and national airplay; it has helped discover and kick off the careers of some now-famous Aussie artists, i.e. Flume.


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