Know your context!
Knowing your audience and considering the context of your speech is necessary to correctly lead your listener with your words.
I recently spoke with a client, who highlighted the huge difference that context can make. And when I say context, I mean everything. Business. Casual conversation. Presentation. Country. What you were talking about 5 minutes ago. All of it can have an impact on how your words are interpreted.
In this case, the phrase was shit kicker - someone who is charged with menial tasks for employment. Not doing anything important? You’re a shit kicker (apparently).
As a city boy, growing up in Markham/Toronto and moving to Vancouver, I have never heard the term before. Using that slang around me isn’t going to communicate your point clearly.
Furthermore, for me, shit kicker makes me think shit disturber or kicking the shit out of someone - neither of which are positive or neutral terms.
shit disturber (Canadian slang) - Someone who aggressively and actively agitates or escalates a situation, dialog or event.
kicking the shit out of someone - to attack someone physically in a very violent way.
Now, the moral of the story isn’t to teach you a new idiom or slang.
The moral is that I, as a native English speaker, did not know what shit kicker meant. It is not a word I use, nor is it a word I’ve heard before because I don’t live in Australia and I’ve lived my life in a city.