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‘Sheila’ has been crowned Australia’s most annoying slang word, with ‘Crikey’ coming in at a close second

These days, slang is an integral part of casual conversation between friends, family, co-workers and even strangers on social media.

Australians have managed to turn slang creation into an artform, often seeing a word cut in half and slapping an ‘O’ or ‘A’ at the end of it (Thommo, smoko, Bazza, Shazza, you get the drift…).

But even while we like to shorten our language for the sake of efficiency, some of our most commonly used slang words are also our most despised ones.

A survey of 1,500 Australians conducted by language learning platform Preply reveals the 10 most annoying slang words in the Aussie vernacular.

In the number one spot for worst Australian slang word is ‘sheila’, a word that has been used for eons to refer to a woman or female. Often the word is used in some kind of sexist remark like “She’s a good lookin’ sheila; I wouldn’t mind doin’ ‘er”. Other times it is the name given to pitbull terriers.

In second place is ‘Crikey’, which also happens to be the name of a popular Australian online magazine. While 32% of respondents disliked ‘sheila’ most; 23% said they disliked ‘Crikey’.

Also in the top 10 most annoying slang words are the disgusting sounding ‘cake hole’ (to mean a mouth); ‘in the nuddy’ (to be naked); and of course ‘bogan’ when referring to an uncultured or unsophisticated person.

Other more harmless words appear in the top ten, including ‘brekkie’, ‘bonzer’ and ‘barbie’ but overall it seems Australians dislike most of the words we adopt for the sake of ease, making things efficient but often uncomfortable.

It seems there are others that ought to have made into the least-favourite list, words like ‘deadset’ and ‘drongo’, and phrases like ‘no wuckin’ forries’ but then these terms have started to be phased out of our vernacular since about, oh, 1980!

And don’t get panicky the next time you’re having a conversation with an Aussie pal, thinking you might say the wrong thing, because in the end, mate, she’ll be right.

Antonino Tati


For more disliked Aussie slang words, check out the article here.


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