Dollorydoos and Other Funny Money Names from Australia

The Australian Dollar is the fifth most traded currency in the world (behind the US Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen and the British Pound). The first paper notes were issued in only 1966, but by 1998 they’d already moved ahead with their first polymer banknotes.


It was in Australia that the modern polymer banknotes were developed. This was done by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) with Australian research organisations. All their banknotes are now made from long lasting polymer material.


While nowadays many Brits dream of migration to warmer places such as Australia. In the 1700’s the prospect of moving there was less rosy. In 1740 the population of England had risen quite sharply and London was overcrowded. With high unemployment, and few prospects, no internet, but lots of free gin and some very strict laws, many people were being arrested and imprisoned.


Prisons were overflowing, while the death penalty was imposed for crimes from grand larceny to stealing a rabbit from a warren. Lawmakers decided that a more humane, alternative to the death penalty ought to be introduced and transportation to distant Australia was the answer.


From 1788 to 1868 approximately 162,000 convicts were transported, 20% of whom were female.  Today there is pride for many Australians who are descendants of convicts. Some became hugely positive influences on society and business, such as philanthropists William Bland and Samuel Terry.


In Australia, the Five Dollar note alone has at least fourteen nicknames. Like in the UK, it is called a “fiver”, but other names include “a Fairy Floss”, a “Galah”, a “Skydiver”, a “Pink Lady”, or a “Pink Snapper”. Many of the notes nicknames come from its pink colour, so of course it’s also call a Prawn, or a Piglet & Rasher.


The blue ten dollar note is mostly nicknamed after the colour too, a “blue swimmer”, a “blue tongue” or a budgie. It’s also called a blueberry on a plate, blueberry sorbet or blueberry cake.


The fifty dollar note is called a Pineapple, and a hundred dollar note a ‘jolly green giant” or a lime or even a ‘green tree frog’.


In fact, the quirky Australians refer to their dollars in many more colourful  ways from a ‘Clunky Silver Echidna’ for their five cent coin;  to a “Pav”, short for Pavarotti for a tenner (tenor). Most usually, any number of dollars can be called Dollorydoos – all in all – you’d be hard pressed to find a nation with more funny names for their currency.