Macquarie Dictionary


A ton of brickies

Eat a spoonful of cement and harden up because brickie is our word of the week. A brickie is a bricklayer. This piece of Aussie slang has been around for yonks and was recorded as early as 1900. You might say that brickie has cemented its place in the Aussie lexicon. You could even consider it a foundational word. Ok, enough.

Aussies love to invent slang names for tradespeople, so the rest of this blog is an ode to tradies: those bright vested, Ute driving heroes who stuff your post box with fridge magnets.

Erratically flashing light in the hallway of your apartment complex? Could be a ticking timebomb or a dim bulb. You’ll need to call a sparky to find out. That’s an electrician.

Things backed up down there? No, not down there, a bit lower. If so, you’ll need to call a turd strangler, or as they’re sometimes known, a plumber. Beware the blackjack merchant. That’s a bad plumber, one who disguises their shoddy work with much blackjack.

Carpenters don’t escape either. They are affectionately known as chippies and less affectionately known as wood butchers. Dentists on the other hand, are known as fang carpenters.

Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.

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