Definition of dinkum in English:



Australian, NZ
  • (of an article or person) genuine, honest, true.

    ‘a real dinkum bloke’
    and → fair dinkum
    • ‘By the time I arrived scenes reminiscent of the end of World War II were already underway, but I interrupted the spontaneous dancing to grab these quotes from dinkum Aussies who have been doing it tough.’
    • ‘It is light and satisfying, the flakiness - the result of using real butter, unbleached flour and no preservatives - is the dinkum deal.’
    • ‘It's also great fun listening out for all the dinkum Aussie accents amongst the talented cast.’
    • ‘I was getting more dinkum vernacular from the host than the callers.’
    • ‘Which was just as well, really - for as every dinkum Aussie knows, booing the Prime Minister at sporting events is the Australian way.’
    sincere, honest, truthful, unhypocritical, meaning what one says, straightforward, direct, frank, candid, open
    authentic, real, actual, original, pukka, bona fide, true, veritable, unfeigned, unadulterated, unalloyed
    View synonyms


Australian, NZ
  • Really, truly, honestly.


  • (the) dinkum oil

    • informal The honest truth.

      ‘what I am telling you is the dinkum oil’
      • ‘We were trying to find the “dinkum oil”, and we both hoped we would find it here.’
      • ‘Is that the dinkum oil?’
      • ‘You're stuck up a gum tree, and that's the dinkum oil.’
      • ‘They have the dinkum oil, and the Department of Conservation is the neighbour from hell.’
      • ‘If you want the dinkum oil on the islands, he's your chap.’
      veracity, truthfulness, verity, sincerity, candour, honesty, genuineness
      View synonyms
  • fair (or square or straight) dinkum

    • 1informal Used to emphasize or seek confirmation of the genuineness or truth of something.

      ‘Eric and his assistant are fair dinkum magicians’
      ‘‘Burt's just told me he's packing up in a month.’ ‘Fair dinkum?’’
      • ‘Or one featuring a bus using its enormously powerful and technical-sounding engine to drag a rock away so that a fair dinkum Aussie farmer can finish a fence.’
      • ‘I just regard myself as a fair dinkum, honest person.’
      • ‘That's about seven questions, Tony, fair dinkum.’
      • ‘No, fair dinkum that's what Mr Stanhope said in answer to a question from the ALP's Senator Sue Mackay who had asked how Telstra could justify the new charge, which starts in July.’
      • ‘‘It's fair dinkum, mate,’ said Don, with a straight face.’
      • ‘I'll buy you the best wedding bouquet in Ballarat — square dinkum, I will!’
      • ‘Don't worry about me; I swear to you, straight dinkum, that I am absolutely comfortable.’
      1. 1.1Used to emphasize that behaviour complies with accepted standards.
        ‘they were asking a lot for the car, but fair dinkum considering its list price’
        • ‘But to show just how fair dinkum and innocent of any charges or accusations they are - their lawyers have writs virtually flying out the door that will legally prove the media are liars and character assassins.’
        • ‘‘We have been making hard decisions to show that this guarantee is fair dinkum, that our low interest rate guarantee is fair dinkum,’ he declared.’
        • ‘Bring on a fresh face to implement the sound policies proposed in the budget-reply speech, and it will be taken as fair dinkum.’
        • ‘At Albrecht, the crowd was down, but with two neutral umpires centre stage and vital premiership points on offer, play was fair dinkum from the first delivery.’
        • ‘I think you'll most probably see a few more unless they really sit down in a fair dinkum manner and say enough's enough.’


Late 19th century: of unknown origin.