Macquarie Dictionary


Good, old-fashioned hard yakka

The word yakka means hard work, especially manual labour. This has been Australian slang since the 1880s but is one of many words we have in Australian English to originate from an Aboriginal language.

Yakka comes from yaga from the Aboriginal language Yagara, from the southern Queensland region.

The old man come up the hard way but his kids’ll always have plenty others to do the hard yakka. –MARY DURACK, 1959.

It is now most commonly found in the collocation hard yakka, or in the phrase all yak and no yakka, used to describe someone who’s always talking about what they’re going to do instead of doing it.

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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