No worries is an extremely versatile slang, often used by laid-back hippies and surfer dudes.
The term which is often heard in Australia can mean “don’t worry about it”, “that’s alright” or “sure thing”. It can also mean “you’ll be fine”, “you’re welcome” or even just “okay”.
Whatever it is, there is absolutely no problems and no worries. Just go with the flow.
It is very often used by Australians, and strengthens that laid-back, chill vibe they associate themselves with.
Contrary to many other countries, there is no strict line between colloquial and professional speech between Australians, so one might be surprised to hear slangs such as “no worries” in professional situations.
The usage of such slang terms displays friendliness and approachability.
Origin of the term
The earliest documentation of the slang term is in the book When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures by Richard D. Lewis in 1966, where he states that such expressions define the national character of Australians.
It was likely derived from similar phrases such as “do not worry about it” or “nothing to worry about”.
Spread of the term
Although originating from Australia, the phrase soon made it to its neighbor New Zealand, they too still use the term today.
The slang term was referred to as the Australian “national motto” in 1978, and again in the 2006 work Diving the World by Beth Tierney.
In one of the languages of Papua New Guniea, Tok Pisin, we find a similar expression “no waris”, directly taken from the Australian slang.