For those unfamiliar with Modern Australian English (MAE), the British loan word 'Cunt' provides at least two popular meanings. While one of these is offensive, the other's best equivalent would be that of Mate or Friend.

Example: 'Johnathon you top Cunt'. - 'Johnathon you are a top Mate'

But note, usage such as 'Johnathon is one of my Cunts' is not valid.

What is the origin of the usage of Cunt as reference to a Mate?

  • 1
    I wasn't familiar with this usage of that word, so unfortunately I can't answer your question. I have edited the titleslightly to censor the obscene word; this is an established policy of the SE network. I'm curious why you refer to "cunt" as a British loan word--how is it any more a loan than the rest of Australian English?
    – herisson
    Aug 5, 2016 at 6:05
  • @sumelic as opposed to an American English loan word, such as 'sick' ie 'Sick one!'. Aug 5, 2016 at 6:10
  • 9 Outrageous Words That Are Said Every Day In Australia / buzzfeed.com/bradesposito/…
    – user66974
    Aug 5, 2016 at 7:05

1 Answer 1


Cunt appears to be a productive term also in other dialects and contexts:

  • A word which takes on many meanings in Australia, often depends on the tone of the delivery and whether you are friends with the person.

  • Used as a very strong insult towards another, it is considered offensive in public or polite company. In Australia cunt is frequently used between young males, its meaning can change based on tone but if commonly used in the following ways:

    • Someone you dislike, for this meaning the word is usually delivered in an aggressive tone e.g. "Get f...k you cunt"
    • Can be used plurally to describe a group of people e.g. "Those cunts over there" or "What are you cunts doing?"
  • It is also often given a prefix of: mad- (term of endearment for a fun loving, careless person with little regards to social convention), loose- (person who is out of control and has no regard for social convention, commonly a term of endearment), gay- (offensive term that questions masculinity) or shit- (offensive term denoting someone that the user does not like).

Its slang usage might derive from the extension of the Australian connotation of "bad person" when used with a positive adjective or a friendly, affectionate tone.
From Wikipedia:

  • The Macquarie Dictionary of Australian English gives "a contemptible person". When used with a positive qualifier (good, funny, clever, etc.) in Britain, New Zealand, and Australia, it can convey a positive sense of the object or person referred to.


  • CUNT: THE MOST IMPORTANT AND FREQUENT WORD EVER USED BY ANY AUSTRALIAN. The word cunt is not used literally. You can never ever never use the word as a slang term for vagina aka pussy. A cunt in Australia is basically any person. You can call your mates, enemies, strangers, your dog, your mail man, your mum etc a cunt. Most commonly substituted word for “mate”. NOT OFFENSIVE!

Variations of Cunt:

  • Sick cunt : A legend Dumb cunt: Stupid person Mad cunt: An awesome person Hard cunt: A party lover, loves to drink and get fucked up; fearless Soft cunt: Opposite of a hard cunt. Dog cunt/Animal cunt: An unfavourable person Cooked cunt: A tired person or someone who’s high

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