Macquarie Dictionary


You’re so unco

This blog goes out to all the accident-prone people of the world, our fellow uncos. Unco or The Man from Unco means awkward or clumsy. Typically used by schoolkids, unco is a shortened version of uncoordinated. 

That was an unco thing to do

You’re so unco

Aussie slang is chockers with great and hilarious terms for the uncoordinated among us. Captain coordination is – ironically – as clumsy as a duck in a ploughed paddock. If you find yourself chewing on word salad in social situations, you could be described as a dorba or dorb: a stupid person, especially someone who is clumsy or socially inept.

Back in Australia’s convict days a clumsy person was called a galootan awkward, silly fellow. A great clumsy oaf. The origin of this one is a bit of a mystery. It was originally used by sailors to refer to soldiers or marines, and is first recorded in a glossary of Australian convict slang back in 1812. Its history before this is unknown.

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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