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What do they call cigarettes in Australia?

Cigarettes go by many different names in Australia. Some of the more common slang terms for cigarettes include “durries”, “darts”, “fags”, “ciggies”, “rollies”, “smokes” and “cancels”. Australians have a rich history of creating their own unique slang, and cigarettes are no exception. The use of these nicknames highlights the deep cultural significance of smoking in Australian society over the years.

In this article, we will explore the various slang terms Australians use for cigarettes and examine how these words reflect the culture and history of smoking in Australia. We will look at the origins and meanings behind the slang, as well as how their use has evolved over time. Additionally, we will compare cigarette slang in Australia to other English-speaking countries. Let’s dive in and learn more about what Aussies call their cigarettes.

Common Cigarette Slang Terms in Australia

Here are some of the most popular Australian slang words for cigarettes:


“Durries” is arguably the most common slang term for cigarettes in Australia. It’s an abbreviation of the British English word “du Maurier”, a type of cigarette brand. The term likely originated in the 1970s when du Maurier cigarettes were introduced in Australia. Even after the brand lost popularity, “durries” stuck around as a shorthand name for cigarettes in general.

Aussies often say they are “going for a durry” or “bumming durries” (bumming means asking for a free cigarette). Durries can also be described as “darts” – another slang term for cigarettes. For example, “Can I bludge a couple of your durries?” or “I’m absolutely hanging out for a dart, mate!”


As we just saw, “darts” is slang for cigarettes in Australia. This term conjures up images of the motion of throwing darts. It suggests cigarettes are small projectiles that are “thrown” or smoked quickly in a short burst.

Someone might say “Just going outside to have a couple of darts” or “Can you spare a dart, brother?” The term often features in colourful expressions like “Let’s duck out for a dart” (duck out means to sneak away briefly).


“Fags” is slang for cigarettes in both Australia and Britain. This shorthand word comes from the longer term “faggots”, which used to refer to a bunch of sticks or cigarettes bound together.

In the gay community, the word “fag” is considered an offensive slur. However, in Australia and other countries, it continues to be used as harmless slang for cigarettes. You might hear an Aussie say, “I’m completely out of fags” or “Can I pinch a fag off ya?” (pinch means to take).


“Ciggies” is an informal shortening of “cigarettes”. This playful, cutesy term gives a lighter spin to the habit of smoking. For instance, someone might say “I’m absolutely gasping for a ciggie!” to mean they are craving a smoke.

The term ciggie is often used affectionately, almost in defiance of the health risks of smoking. Friends might have a chat and share a few ciggies while enjoying each other’s company. Ciggies are part of the social bonding experience.


“Rollies” refers to cigarettes that are hand-rolled by the smoker from loose tobacco and cigarette papers. Store-bought pre-rolled cigarettes are called “tailor-mades” in contrast to roll-your-own rollies.

Back in the mid-20th century, smoking rollies was seen as economical and thrifty. Today, some smokers continue to roll their own as a matter of personal preference. Someone who is more health-conscious might switch to rollies to slowly reduce their smoking. You’ll hear Aussies say things like “I’m trying to give up the tailor-mades and stick to rollies instead.”


“Smokes” is a ubiquitous slang term for cigarettes, not just in Australia but around the English-speaking world. It’s a logical shorthand since cigarettes produce smoke. For example, “Can I pinch a smoke?” or “Let’s go outside and have a smoke.”


One more slang term for cigarettes heard in Australia is “cancels” or “cancellers”. This is believed to come from a brand called “Camels” since cigarettes arguably “cancel” your health and eventually your life. What a morbid origin! Nonetheless, Aussies sometimes talk about buying a pack of “cancels” or “cancellers”, especially in rural areas.

Origins and History of Cigarette Slang in Australia

The slang terms Australians use for cigarettes give insight into smoking culture and history in the country. Many of the words originated in the early 20th century. Smoking rates boomed post-World War I, as cigarettes were included in soldiers’ rations. Later, American tobacco companies promoted smoking as glamorous through films and ads. Cigarettes became entrenched in everyday Aussie vernacular.

The term “durries” emerged in the 1970s during a flood of European brands like du Maurier. “Darts” conjures up the image of quickly throwing darts or cigarettes. “Rollies” has its roots in economical homemade cigarettes. And “cancels” morbidly suggests cigarettes cancel out your life.

Since the risks of smoking became widely known in the 1960s, cigarette consumption has fallen. However, the legacy slang lives on. The casual nicknames for cigarettes reflect their historical integration into Australian culture and identity. The lingo is playful rather than promoting smoking.

Comparison with Other English-Speaking Countries

Similar slang terms for cigarettes are used across the English-speaking world. However, Australians have their own unique expressions too.

Common slang like “fags”, “smokes” and “cigs” appears in Britain, Ireland, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand. The specific Aussie terms “durries” and “darts” stand out.

Brits often use cigarette slang like “baccy” (tobacco), “biftas” (beef cigarettes), “coffin nails”, and “gaspers” (finishes too quickly). Americans may say “butts”, “snipes” or “bogies” (both meaning cigarette butts).

Canadians have “darts” like Australians but also their own terms like “smokeshow” (excellent) and “smoke-pero” (cigarette break). Slang gives each culture a unique linguistic identity around smoking.

The popularity of certain words over others reflects prominent cigarette brands, costs, attitudes, and more in each country. But almost universally, English speakers have creatively nicknamed these addictive little sticks!


Australians have a wide range of slang words for cigarettes reflective of a lively smoking culture. Common nicknames include “durries”, “darts”, “fags”, “ciggies”, “rollies”, “smokes” and “cancels”. These informal terms have their roots in the early 20th century rise of smoking and introduction of various global and local cigarette brands.

While smoking rates have dropped dramatically, the slang persists in Australian English. The casual lingo gives cigarettes an affectionate, humorous flair compared to their damaging health effects. Smokers and non-smokers alike use the terms without promoting the habit. And Australians proudly continue developing their homegrown cigarette-inspired expressions.

So next time you visit Australia and someone asks to “bum a dart” or “bludge some durries”, you’ll be in the know! The local slang provides a peek into the cultural history of smoking in the country. And it adds more colour and uniqueness to the way Aussies communicate. Understanding the lingo is key to blending in with locals and appreciating Australia’s lively culture.

Slang term Meaning
Durries Cigarettes (abbreviation of “du Maurier” brand)
Darts Cigarettes (like throwing a small dart or projectile)
Fags Cigarettes (short for “faggots” meaning sticks)
Ciggies Cigarettes (cute shortening)
Rollies Hand-rolled cigarettes (opposite of tailored cigs)
Smokes Cigarettes (produce smoke)
Cancels Cigarettes (cancels out your health)