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Top 10 Australian-isms in the Mad Max franchise

To celebrate 45 years since Mad Max roared onto Australian screens, recharge your vocab as we return to the Wasteland in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.

In 1979, George Miller’s apocalyptic, dystopian, western epic left an indelible mark on the box office. And five films, novels, video games, comics, and 45 years later, Mad Max shows no sign of slowing down.

With high-octane action sequences, epic car crashes, and unique production style, the Mad Max universe is littered with Australiana. From a sand-bogged Sydney as Tomorrow-morrow land to Max’s legendary Ford Falcon XB GT and the Feral Kid’s silver boomerang, the Wasteland is filled with Aussie icons (including a famous face or two).

So, before we hit the road again, here’s our top ten Aussie idioms from the franchise.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga pulls into cinemas from 23 May 2024.

1. “Fang it!”
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Whether evading the Buzzards, or in pursuit of your prey, you fang it.

Translation: make haste; drive really, really fast.

2. “It’s the duck’s guts!”
Mad Max (1979)

Phase 4 heads! 600 horsepower through the wheels! The new supercharged Interceptor is meanness set to music, and Goose is very excited.

Translation: the bee’s knees, the cat’s pyjamas, the bomb; it’s the best, outstanding.

3. Rev-head
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

One of the many specialisations available as an aspiring War Boy in the cult of V8.

Translation: a car and car-sport enthusiast; mad driving skills.

4. Toecutter
Mad Max (1979)

Leader of the nomad bikers that terrorise Highway 9 with fabulous hair and a wicked sense of humour. Menacingly embodied by the late Hugh Keays-Byrne.

Translation: a standover man; a criminal who enjoys torturing his own.

5. Dinki-Di Meat & Vegies
Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior) (1981)

Resources are low and fresh food is scarce, but you don’t have to go hungry in the Wasteland with man’s best friend’s favourite brand.

Translation: Dinki-di - loyal, genuine, true; A trusted brand of dog food, suitable (?) for human consumption.

6. The Doof Warrior
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

With scorching riffs and a fire-breathing axe, Coma-Doof Warrior is lead guitarist of the War Boy band and rider of the Doof Wagon. Played with reckless abandon by musician and actor iOTA.

Translation: warrior of the doof - an onomatopoeic term for electronic music with a heavy bass typically in 4/4 signature.

7. Mudguts
Mad Max (1979)

A scrawny member of Toecutter’s gang with a questionable affection for mannequins. Creepily portrayed by David Bracks.

Translation: a hollowed-out termite mound; a person with diarrhoea; a term of endearment.

8. Dag
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Immortan Joe’s ‘wife’ and insulter of men*, played by the decidedly undaggy Abby Lee.

Translation: a lock of matted wool that hangs from the hindquarters of a sheep; ockerism for an unfashionable person; a term of endearment.


Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

If my insta-poll is anything to go by, the Australian history of the Dag’s favourite insult is hotly debated, but we’ve claimed it as our own. 

Translation: from German – a snake; a penile appendage; a disagreeable person.

9. “Kick her in the guts/Kick it in the guts/Rip the guts out of it!”
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) | Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior) (1981)

*see Fang it!

Translation: give it everything you’ve got; drive really, really fast.

10. “No worries!”
Mad Max (1979)

An Australian classic suitable for any occasion – evading nomad bikers, being chased by nomad bikers, being caught by nomad bikers.

Translation: no concerns, not a problem; I am, in fact, deeply worried.

Ride shotgun with Mad Max and crew now on Stan, Netflix, Binge and more.