When moving to a new country language can be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome but now a new study says that in Australia speaking slang will help with integration.

According to the study by researchers at the Australian National University using Australian slang words like 'ambo', 'uggies' or 'mobes' increases your likability among fellow Australians.

But a bit of effort is needed beyond just learning the words as lead researcher Dr Evan Kidd said the use of slang only made you more likeable if you use an Australian accent.


"Using slang seems to promote common ground between the speakers. People use them if you want to indicate social closeness with each other," said Dr Kidd, from the ANU Research School of Psychology.

During the study participants interacted with an actor who either would or wouldn't use a series of shortened Australian slang terms. Participants were then asked to rate how much they liked the actor. It showed that if the actor used the slang, the participant liked them more.

The same experiment was then conducted with an Australian raised actor of Asian descent, who would use either an Australian accent or a foreign one. When she used slang in her Australian English accent they liked her more. However, if she used slang in a foreign accent it didn't change the amount they liked her.

Dr Kidd said the results suggest slang words only have positive effects if you are a member of Australian culture, as indicated by your accent.

The study also uncovered some other interesting traits. For example, older Australians are likely to shorten words with an 'ie' sound, or an 'o' so truck driver becomes 'truckie' and ambulance becomes 'ambo'.

This contrasts with younger Australians who will clip words to the first one or two syllables, or shorten with an 's' sound. For example mobile phone becomes 'mobes', and maybe becomes 'maybes'.

Dr Kidd said speakers of Australian English use more shortened slang terms than any other variety of English, and that in most nations this type of language is used in very specific circumstance.

"In British English, this language will be used mostly for baby talk. In Australian English you will use it in a greater amount of circumstance. You hear it everywhere, you see it in newspaper headlines, news readers use it, politicians use it. It's an entrenched part of our vernacular," he explained.