A Beginner’s Guide to Aussie Humour

Have you ever found yourself wondering if your Aussie friends are making fun of you?

Or have you wondered why your Aussie work colleagues would imply that they themselves are lazy, slobs or downright incompetent?

Don’t worry; you’re not alone! Welcome to the quirky world of Australian humour – situated somewhere in the middle of British and American sensibilities, with a dash of modesty and anti-authoritarianism thrown in.

Australian’s unique strain of humour (combined with the accent and the slang), has been bewildering visitors for decades. Here are a few pointers to help you navigate the murky waters.


“Nice haircut, did you get run over by a lawnmower?” – An Australian talking to a friend.

There aren’t many cultures where making fun of someone is a sign of friendship, but Australia is one of them.

In some cultures, the idea of ‘saving face’, that is, preserving the dignity of others is priority no.1, and you wouldn’t dream of making fun of a friend or family member.

But it can’t be said that the same holds true in Australia. Australians might make fun of someone’s bad habits, like being late or being messy, they might even play a few practical jokes on really good friends. It’s all a part of building rapport and showing trust.

In some ways, being comfortable enough with someone to make a joke at their expense is in itself, a signal of mutual respect, equality and closeness.

For examples check out:

Hamish and Andy (Comedians)

The Project (TV show)

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