A Brief History of How Aussies Say Hello


A myriad of salutations have been embraced by Australians through the years, from the traditional Aboriginal ‘G’day’ to the more contemporary ‘Hey there’. Believed to be an anglicised version of ‘gudiyari’, which translates to ‘hello’, this greeting has been used by Indigenous Australians for centuries and only recently gained traction among non-Indigenous Australians.

Apart from ‘G’day’, other popular Australian greetings include ‘Crikey!’, usually uttered in moments of surprise or excitement, and the casual inquiry of ‘How ya goin?’. Other less common terms are ‘G’day mate’, a friendly farewell as well as informal greeting, and the Australian slang term ‘Strewth!’, typically expressed when one is in disbelief or shock.

It’s important to take into account that each salutation carries its own cultural significance, so if you happen to find yourself in Australia, take some time to explore its varied range of sayings—you never know what kind of conversations you might spark up!



Australian salutations have a captivating past. Tracing back to the 1800s when the first British colonists touched down, the accepted “G’day” was a merger of two words: “Good day”. As time passed, it developed into the more popular phrase “G’day mate”, now an integral part of everyday Australian dialogue. Nowadays, many Aussies also opt for slang like “Hey!” or “Hiya!” when conversing with acquaintances and mates alike.

– Exploring the History of Greeting Customs in Australia

Greeting customs in Australia have been a source of intrigue for generations. From the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to the influx of European settlers, Australians have developed an array of unique ways to greet one another. Examining these practices can offer us a glimpse into our shared past and how different cultures have blended together throughout history.

The earliest known inhabitants of Australia were the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who had a multitude of traditional salutations. These spanned from simple nods or handshakes to more intricate rituals such as touching noses or exchanging gifts. While many of these customs are no longer practiced today, some remain in certain parts of the country.

European settlers started arriving in Australia in 1788, bringing with them their own methods for greeting each other. Generally speaking, these were more formal than those used by Indigenous Australians, with handshakes being the most popular form. Nonetheless, some settlers adopted traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander habits such as touching noses or exchanging presents as a sign of respect.

Nowadays, Australian greetings vary depending on where you are situated in the nation. Handshakes are still accepted but hugs are also becoming increasingly commonplace among friends and family members alike. Additionally, there is an increasing trend towards using nicknames rather than full names when addressing people informally; this is particularly true among younger generations who often use terms such as ‘mate’ or ‘buddy’ instead of Mr., Mrs., or Miss when conversing with each other.

Exploring the history behind our greeting customs can provide us with insight into how different cultures have interacted over time and how our society has grown since its inception centuries ago. Through understanding our shared past we can bridge gaps between different groups and create a more inclusive environment for all living here today.

– The Evolution of Aussie Greetings Over Time

A long-standing culture of jovial salutations has been a part of Australia’s identity for centuries. From the traditional ‘G’day mate’ to the more modern ‘Howdy’, Aussies have developed an array of expressions to express their friendly nature and national pride.

The earliest known Australian greeting can be traced back to the 1800s, when settlers began using the term ‘Good Day’. Soon after, ‘G’day’ became a popular way of saying hello in the mid-1800s and is still used today. Additionally, around the late 1800s, the phrase ‘Howdy’ was introduced from an American expression meaning ‘how do you do?’.

In recent years, other slang words such as ‘Crikey’, ‘G’day cobber’ and ‘Bonzer’ have become increasingly common amongst Australians. These terms are often used humorously or informally as greetings, with some even substituting traditional swear words.

Australia’s custom of warm greetings remains strong despite its evolution over time. Whether it’s a simple ‘Hello’ or an affectionate ‘G’day mate’, Australians continue to use their unique expressions to show hospitality towards one another.

– Investigating Traditional Aboriginal Greetings and Their Influence on Modern Aussie Culture

The intricate and elaborate customs of traditional Aboriginal greetings have left an indelible mark on the way Australians interact with one another today. These greetings were distinct from those used in the western world, often involving physical contact such as handshakes or touching, as well as poetic expressions of respect and friendship. They were not only a part of everyday life for Indigenous Australians, but also featured prominently at social gatherings, like corroborees.

In more recent times, these traditional Aboriginal greetings have been embraced by non-Indigenous Australians. This has helped bridge the cultural gap between the two communities and create a common language for communication. A prime example is “G’day mate”, which is now widely used throughout Australia as an informal greeting between friends or strangers alike. It is derived from the Yolngu greeting “Yaama” that translates to “hello” or “welcome”.

We can also see the influence of traditional Aboriginal greetings in other areas such as music and literature. Popular songs like Paul Kelly’s ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ reference traditional Aboriginal stories and customs, while authors like Archie Weller use phrases from Indigenous languages to convey deeper meanings.

It can be seen that traditional Aboriginal greetings have had a profound impact on modern Aussie culture, offering us insight into how our nation has evolved over time and why certain aspects of our culture remain so important to us today.

– How Did Australians Begin Saying “G’day”?

Ahoy there! Have you ever wondered how the unique salutation “g’day” came to be? Lurking in the shadows of Australian English since the 19th century, this phrase has now become a cornerstone of its culture.

It all began way back in 1825 in New South Wales, Australia, when the term was first recorded. Thought to have been derived from the 16th century greeting “Good day,” it was adapted by settlers and became more informal.

By the mid-19th century, “g’day” had become part and parcel of Australian English. It was used as a casual way of saying hello or goodbye, and also for expressing enthusiasm or excitement.

Nowadays, this phrase is still widely used Down Under and has spread to other English-speaking countries too. It’s seen as an amiable and informal way of greeting someone – often accompanied by a smile or wave!

And that’s the story behind one of Australia’s most beloved expressions! G’day!

– Examining the Historical Significance of Common Aussie Salutations

It’s been speculated that the saying “G’day mate” was first uttered by British settlers in Australia in the late eighteenth century. This expression was initially used as a friendly gesture between two people, but it soon became a symbol of national identity, embodying the unique culture of Aussies and allowing for recognition amongst citizens. Similarly, it’s believed that “How ya goin’?” originated from Irish immigrants who arrived in Australia during the nineteenth century. This phrase served both as an informal way to greet one another and as an expression of solidarity for those far away from home.

Generations of Australians have embraced these salutations, which are now widely recognised around the world as symbols of Aussie culture and hospitality. They’re often associated with images of beaches, barbecues, and beer – all things that come together to create a true Aussie experience!

In conclusion, these common Australian salutations have played an important role in forming our nation’s history and identity. They represent our distinctive culture and serve as symbols of friendship and unity amongst citizens both past and present.


Aussies have had a unique way of expressing a warm welcome since far back in the 1800s. How it came to be is thought to have stemmed from the Irish “Gad ye”, which was adapted by those who were banished and chose to make Australia their home. Fast-forward to now, and G’day is a common expression of friendliness throughout the country!


Some questions with answers

Q1. How did Aussies say hello in the past?
In the past, Aussies would typically greet each other with a friendly “G’day” or “G’day mate”.

Q2. How does this compare to today?
Today, Australians still use the same informal greeting of “G’day” but may also opt for a more formal greeting such as “Hello” or “Hi”.

Q3. What is the history of ‘G’day’?

The term ‘G’day’ originated in the early 1800s and was derived from an old English phrase meaning “God be with you”. It was popularized by Australian soldiers during World War I and has since become a common way of saying hello in Australia.

Q4. Is there any cultural significance to ‘G’day’?

Yes, ‘G’day’ is seen as an expression of friendliness and camaraderie between Australians and is often used as a way to show respect for someone’s presence or to welcome them into a group.

Q5. Are there any other ways Aussies say hello?

Yes, there are several other ways that Australians may greet each other such as “Howdy”, “Hey”, or even just a simple wave or nod of the head.

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