What is a galah in Australian slang?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

In Australian slang, a galah refers to someone who is considered a fool or an idiot. The term originated from the bird of the same name, known for its perceived stupidity. The figurative sense of calling someone a galah has been in use since the 1930s.

The galah is a type of cockatoo native to Australia, recognized for its distinctive pink and grey feathers. While the bird itself is not actually unintelligent, its behavior and sometimes comical actions have led to the association with foolishness.

When Australians use the term galah to describe a person, they are typically implying that they are acting foolishly or making silly mistakes. It is often used in a light-hearted or playful manner, but can also be used more seriously to criticize someone’s actions or decisions.

For example, if someone is constantly making careless errors or saying something foolish, they might be affectionately referred to as a galah. Similarly, if someone does something particularly illogical or makes a fool of themselves, they may be labeled a galah.

It’s worth noting that the term galah is not necessarily meant to be derogatory or offensive, but rather a colloquial way of expressing bemusement or disbelief at someone’s behavior. It is a common slang term used in everyday conversation among Australians.

A galah in Australian slang refers to a fool or an idiot. It is a playful way of describing someone’s foolish actions or behavior, drawing on the perceived stupidity of the galah bird.