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The Australian National University

Additions to the Australian lexicographical record

James Lambert

In terms of Australian lexicography there have only been a few works on historical principles. The first of these was Morris' Austral English of 1898 – much of which was incorporated into the Oxford English Dictionary and its supplements, which for many years was the primary source for historical lexical information regarding the Australian idiom. Then came Wilkes' Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms in 1978 (and now into its fourth edition). All of these were largely superseded by Ramson's Australian National Dictionary in 1988. This is now the primary source, though it still needs to be supplemented by the various editions of Wilkes, who draws his boundaries for what an "Australianism" is with a different pen. In addition to these Gary Simes' Dictionary of Australian Underworld Slang of 1993 provided numerous predatings as well as well-researched entries on a number of terms hitherto unrecognised as Australian in origin.

During 2003-4 I was engaged upon writing the Australian entries for the New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (forthcoming 2005) for the publishers Routledge. This required 4000 entries with date of first occurrence and supporting citations. Only words that were in use after 1945 were of interest; terms that had dropped out of usage before that time were not included. In order to do this I embarked on a reading program and amassed a citation collection of over 35000 records, upon which I could base my entries. As would be expected I happened upon a number of odd pieces of information that can be added to that which is represented in the various historical works mentioned above.

I was fortunate enough to "inherit" a handwritten citation collection from Ted Hartley. In 1944 Hartley authored a glossary of prison slang which was discovered amongst the papers of Kylie Tennant by Gary Simes. This glossary was reproduced, along with another, in Simes' Dictionary of Australian Underworld Slang (1993). However, Hartley had also read widely in Australian literature and had his own citation collection based on this reading. When Hartley passed away in 2001 this citation collection was only one small item of a large collection of material that was to be sold off by the executor of his will. It was offered to a book dealer named Peter Tinslay who declined to take it on the grounds that he could not envisage any commercial value for it. As luck would have it Peter was a personal friend of mine and so was able to say that he knew of a person who might be interested in taking the citation cards. My oath he did! In fact, as the executor explained to me, since he hadn't been able to sell the collection, if I had not taken them then they would have been consigned to the tip! The thought of all those citations, collected by a true enthusiast, selected by a true blue Aussie slang speaker, painstakingly handwritten and diligently maintained over a period of years, ending up as landfill – well, it doesn't bear thinking about.

The Hartley collection does have some drawbacks. Firstly, Hartley's handwriting is chicken scratch of the highest order, and deciphering it is a type of torture. My own hand is pretty poor, and far be it from me to judge too harshly, but, it really has to be seen to be believed. Secondly, Hartley did not include on his citation cards the year of the edition he used. This means that the page numbers given are a bit iffy. That is, if you happen to have the same edition, then all is okay, but if not, then the page numbers most probably won't match up. I assume that Hartley had the necessary information either written down somewhere, or that he still had the books themselves, but alas, the information did not come down to me. This is of course only a minor problem – anyone who really wants to track down one of Hartley's citations can guesstimate for the edition they have, search through different editions, or simply read the entire text.

I have since passed the Hartley collection onto the Australian National Dictionary Centre where it will be kept as a separate collection.

In some ways the Australian National Dictionary has become the central repository of lexicographical quotations for Australianisms. No doubt the next edition will incorporate all new findings revealed in Simes' work, and also those appearing in the later editions of Wilkes. So much the better if all relevant information is available in one reference work.

 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

Aboriginal Act n. any of various legislative acts concerning the control of the Aboriginal population by government.

1975 Xavier Herbert Poor Fellow My Country 184 'You're well aware that no Aboriginal person is allowed to go anywhere without the permission of a Protector. By transporting the boy without that permission, you've committed an offence under the Aboriginal Act.'

1978 M.J. 'Chap' Burton Bush Pub (1983) iii. 24 [S]erving or permitting to be served a native Aboriginal, a person under the Aboriginal Act, or a drunken person, or a person under the age of twenty-one, all figured on a list of traps for the unwary publican.

1994 Herb Wharton Cattle Camp 183 Lotta them black fellas they had there under the Aboriginal Act worked for nothing, almost.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

Act, the n. the Aboriginal Act.

1963 Wal Watkins Race the Lazy River (1972) i. 17 'He ought to be put under the Act, so he can't buy a drink.'

1994 Herb Wharton Cattle Camp 4 If an Aborigine was placed under the Act, it meant that they were totally controlled by the government's local agent.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

Anglo adj. of Anglo-Australian heritage.

1982 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #3 4/2 For a long time Anglo dominance in the playground seems to have been the norm[.]

1983 Robert Drewe The Bodysurfers 52 [H]e was regarded by the school's Latino and black drug and weaponry entrepreneurs as an egregiously unhip Anglo novelty.

1985 Alma Aldrette in Joseph's Coat 34 Mrs Castellanos thought that these Anglo girls were young and cheap.

1992 Sydney Star Observer 21 Feb 7 Material in the campaign includes photographs of a muscle man with a drag queen on a motorbike, an Anglo leatherman carrying a young Asian man[.]

1993 Sun-Herald 19 Sep 119 But my family moved to an Anglo suburb when I was 10.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

Anglo n. a person of Anglo-Australian heritage. Hence, the English language.

1982 Gerald Sweeney Invasion 139 No one seemed to notice the bulk exodus of Australian Anglos.

ibid., 115 'To this day, they actually think we give a damn about them. Because they're white and speak Anglo.

1985 Alma Aldrette in Joseph's Coat 21 To be equal to or better than the Anglos.

1987 Sydney Morning Herald 28 Aug 1 At her children's school, the Greek boys congregated in opposition to the so-called 'Anglos'.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

arse n. a fool; a 'dickhead'.

1944 Lawson Glassop We Were The Rats III. xl. 231 'You mean you'll act the silly arse and go out and get yourself killed?'

1988 Clive Galea Slipper xxi. 145 'I've fallen for the oldest worn-out trick in the book and if it hadn't been for Greek Tommy I'd have gone on making a complete arse of myself,' he realised, as he tossed and turned.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

ash v.t. to rid (a cigar or cigarette) of ash. Also, v.i., to drop cigar or cigarette ash (onto something).

1930 Lennie Lower Here's Luck viii. 38 'Gee! I remember once,' she said, ashing her cigarette on my coat-sleeve, 'he blew up a balloon and sat on it.'

1935 Frederick J. Thwaites The Melody Lingers xvii 256 Dale was silent for a moment, then he ashed his cigarette with a hand that trembled slightly.

1953 [C.A. Wright] Caddie: A Sydney Barmaid (1966) x. 43 He walked slowly over to the grate and ashed his cigarette.

1961 Kenneth Cook Wake in Fright ii. 52 He realized that he was standing staring at her and he sat down quickly, making a business of ashing his cigarette.

1969 Frank Moorhouse Futility and other animals 19 I carefully ashed my cigarette on the bed post, wondering what to say.

1978 C.J. Koch The Year Of Living Dangerously ii. 35 Hamilton ashed his cigar, and studied the end of it for some moments without speaking.

1989 'Dame Edna Everage' My Gorgeous Life 98 'Roy, get our coronation ashtray for Leslie prithee, or he'll be ashing all over the carpet.'

1990 Ignatius Jones True Hip 127 Women whose clothes are obviously Works of Art - Heaven help you if you laugh hysterically when someone ashes on them and they catch fire.

1996 Sponge Magazine (Sydney) [32]/2 She wanted a cigarette just so she could ash on the deodorant.

2003 The Chaser (Sydney) Nov 3/4 It has now been revealed Melbourne was only awarded the Games after the Australian representative ashed his cigar in the eight hour of the otherwise silent Bidding Auction.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. This seems a strange word to be an Australianism since it is not slang, and the practice itself is in no way unique, nevertheless, it appears that this verbal use is not present in other Englishes.

 

the Ashes n. the trophy played for by Australian and England in test cricket.

1882 Bulletin 9 Dec 13 [Ivo Bligh] hoped before concluding their tour, to be able to regain the revered ashes of English cricket which had been laid on the shelf in England by the Australian Eleven.

Notes: Predating AND 1883.

 

Aussie n. a pizza with bacon (or ham) and eggs.

1992 Casa Cordobes Pizzeria menu (Sydney) aussie ..... $12.90 $15.90 $18.90 (Bacon and Egg).

2004 Eat-A-Pizza menu (Darwin) aussie: Onion, Bacon & Egg.

2004 La Venezia Pizza menu (Kingston) aussi: [sic] bacon, eggs, onion, tomato & cheese.

2004 Mojo's Weird Pizza menu (Melbourne) aussie: Ham & Egg.

2004 Pedro's Pit menu (Melbourne) aussie: tomato, cheese, ham, bacon & egg.

2004 John's Pizza menu (Coober Pedy, SA) aussie: Tomato, cheese, ham, egg, bacon.

Notes: Although a standard item of pizzeria cuisine throughout the entire country, this little gem seems to have entirely escaped the notice of lexicographers.

 

Australian n. a pizza with bacon (or ham) and eggs.

1992 Cyclopes Pizza menu(Sydney) australian ..... $8.50 $11.00 $13.70 Tomato, Cheese, Ham, Egg, Onions.

1992 Dulwich Hill Pizza menu (Sydney) australian: Ham, Onion, Egg, Double Cheese.

2004 Normanville Fish Shop & Pizza menu (SA) australian: Ham, Bacon & Cheese.

Notes: See above.

 

Australiana n. a pizza with bacon (or ham) and eggs.

1992 Torino Pizzeria menu (Sydney)australiana: Bacon, Egg, $8.60 $9.40 $12.00.

1992 Benito Pizza menu (Sydney)5 Australiana: Bacon, Onion, Egg.

2004 Crows Nest Pizzeria, Kebabs & Pasta menu (Sydney)australiana: Ham, onion and eggs.

2004 Pizzeria Rio menu (Sydney)Australiana: Ham, bacon, onion & egg.

Notes: Mock-Italian; see above.

 

Australianese n. Australian English or slanguage.

1978 Patsy Adam-Smith The ANZACS x. 102 Anzac burial parties greeted the enemy with odds and ends of Arabic phrases, and with Australianese that must have been incomprehensible to them.

Notes: Postdating AND 1965.

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babbling brook n. a cook.

1905 Duke Tritton in John Meredith Learn To Talk Old Jack Lang 15 No doubt about it, my Mary is a bottling babbling brook.

Notes: Predating AND 1913.

 

back of beyond n. remote area.

1879Catherine Helen Spence Handfasted V. vii. 320 'No but I mean the finding out of relatives and friends at what Papa would call "the back of beyond". That was quite a new experience.'

Notes: Predating AND 1888.

 

bag of fruit n. rhyming slang for 'suit'.

1924 Gilbert H. Lawson A Dictionary of Australian Words and Terms 11 bag of fruit – A suit.

1965 John O'Grady Aussie English 13 bag of fruit. A suit. An abomination which, with a tie, is still worn in Australia, even in summer. But the further north you go, the fewer will you see. And right up 'the top end', it would be difficult to find a man who owns one.

1984 'Ken Oathe' The Real Australian Bloke's Guide To Survival 19 For weddings, christenings and funerals he's got the maroon bag of fruit and the shiny, copper-coloured Raoul Merton lace-ups

1991 Rex Mossop The Moose That Roared xi. 137 Imagine the problems he presented to the French who were trying to make some sense of 'tip the bucket', 'bag of fruit' and 'tit for tat'.

1994 Rex Hunt Tall Tales - and True 94 'I had to wear this bag of fruit to get into the member's,' I told them.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

bagman n. a bookmaker.

1953 T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake vi. 98 'If I meet any bagmen on the way, I'll themm 'em where to come.'

1956 Vince Kelly The Bogeyman xiv. 182 They had worked up a good connection with punters, who were enticed by the offer generally of a point above the odds being shouted in the ring by the registered bagmen.

1966 James Holledge The Great Australian Gamble xiv. 140 At the end of the day Mr. Wilson, who had kept betting and doubling up, had accumulated liabilities of £2000 with the bagman.

1981 Gerald Sweeney The Plunge xiii. 173 'They will want specimen original signatures of the bagmen.'

1995 Crackers Keenan Australia's Funniest Racing Yarns (2003) xvii. 113 One thing about the bagmen, they'll always tell you when they've lost.

Notes: Not in AND – except as bracketed citation 1972. The AND does record the other meaning of "bookmaker's clerk".

 

bags v.t. to reserve by making the first claim.

[1924 Mary Grant Bruce Billabong's Daughter ii. 45 'Jim wanted to tell you, but I said it wasn't fair,' said Wally laughing. 'It's quite enough for you two to own him, so I bagged telling the story.']

1944 Lawson Glassop We Were The Rats III. xxxv. 198 'To show you I trust them I'll go first.' 'No, you won't,' said Eddie quickly. 'I bags first.'

1965 Randolph Stow The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea vi. 76 'I bags going in the transport,' he shouted, listening still to the sea, distantly praying.

1974 Phillip Adams The Unspeakable Adams 53 Bags: Not to be confused with school bag; a method of staking a claim as in 'I bags that'.

1976 David Ireland The Glass Canoe 103 'Bag's first shot.'

1981 Weekend Australian 7-8 Mar Magazine 4 Someone must tell him the only thing wrong with Gunston's Australia is Gunston. Bags you do it.

1998 Phillip Gwynne Deadly Unna? xv. 114 'Didn't think you was coming,' said Dumby. 'But I bagsed you this chair just in case.'

2003 Sydney Morning Herald 15 Mar Good Weekend 13/2 In our house, whoever got a chair first could keep it for the whole night provided they said 'I bags this' if they went to the toilet or answered the door.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

bar, it's all over ~ the shouting phr. it is over for all practical purposes.

1951 Dal Stivens Jimmy Brockett 76 Just as I thought, it was all over bar the shouting.

1953 Nevil Shute In the Wet 321 'Iorwerth Jones' Government has resigned,' she said, 'or it's resigning now. It's all over bar the shouting.'

1969 Alexander Buzo Norm and Ahmed (1973) 12 'I always played fair, but if they ever mucked me about, biff! Send for the cleaners. All over bar the shouting.'

1971 Frank Hardy The Outcasts of Foolgarah xii. 166 It was all over bar the shouting, but they wrangled on until late afternoon.

1973 Kit Denton The Breaker 246 'Well, it's all over bar the shouting, you fellows. What are you going to do when they've apologized and let you out?'

1975 Xavier Herbert Poor Fellow My Country 1253 'Looks as if it's all over bar the shouting.'

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

beaut adv. excellently, splendidly.

1969 Geoff Wyatt Saltwater Saints v. 105 She danced real beaut, as Danny said, and had a certain flair for challenging looks, which are there to be challenged.

1981 Paul Radley Jack Rivers and Me 162 'You sang beaut tonight, Muriel. Better'n Maureen.'

1982 Nicholas Hasluck The Hand That Feeds You 156 'Picture frames burn beaut', he said.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

beaut int. excellent!

[1953 Nourma Handford Carcoola Holiday ix. 146 'That's gidgee, not bad. I must get you some ring gidgee. I know a bloke in town who can make anything out of it. Beaut. You'll like it.']

1971 Frank Hardy The Outcasts of Foolgarah 89 'Beaut, Florrie, you always were handy with the pen. Who'll we send it to?'

1985 Barry Dickins What the Dickins 140 You check the lamb; done to a turn. Cut off a bit. Beaut, beaut. It's ready now.

1991 Tim Winton Cloudstreet 287 Rose felt her cheeks glowing. Beaut!

Notes: The AND notes that beaut can be used as an exclamation, but its earliest citation is from 1981.

 

billy n. a bong for smoking marijuana.

1994 Ad News 28 Jan 19 Billy - Vessel for marijuana consumption.

1996 Underground Surf Aut 14 Most surfers don't choose these destructive options: in fact, we're a pretty mellow crew who rarely indulge in anything more than the occasional beer or billy.

1996 Revolver (Sydney) 12 Nov 21/1 Where's the remote, pass me the billy.

Notes: A new application of this classic Australianism.

 

black guts n. the stomach.

1978 Robbie Cass High Jinks Down Under 124 I better shoot through quick. Those creeps might get a few more beers into their black guts and decide to come back for another go.

1979 Derek Maitland Breaking Out 304 'Cheers! "Get it into your black guts", as my father used to say when he partook of alcoholic beverages.'

1986 Frank Hardy Hardy's People 86 He pulled two tinnies out of his Esky, opened them and gave me one. 'Get that into your black guts,' he demanded.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. I suspect that this is probably quite a bit older, possibly dating back to the 1950s.

 

black stump n. remote area.

1953 Nourma Handford Carcoola Holiday 207 'I reckon a boss gets his reputation in depression times and every crow and every water carrier this side of the Black Stump knows old McCairn's not a bad bloke.'

Notes: Predating AND 1957.

 

blowey n. a blowfly.

1902 Barbara Baynton Bush Studies 78 'No blowey carn't get in there, eh?' the dog looked at the meat uncritically, but critically noted the resting place of two disturbed 'bloweys'.

Notes: Predating AND 1916.

 

blue v.i. to fight.

1962 Criena Rohan The Delinquents 85 'Shit! you're a mess, kid,' she said. 'You can go. I'll give you that; but you have to spot too much weight. You're too titchy to blue on.'

Notes: Predating AND 1969.

 

blue v.t. to squander.

1874 Marcus Clarke His Natural Life 50 'Vater!' cried the little cockney. 'Give us a drop o' vater, for mercy's sake. I haven't moist'ned my chaffer this blessed day.' 'Half a gallon a day, bo', and no more,' says a sailor next him. 'Yes, what have yer done with yer half-gallon, eh?' asked the Crow derisively. 'Someone stole it,' said the sufferer. 'He's been an' blued it,' squealed someone. 'Been an' blued it to buy a Sunday veskit with! Oh, ain't he a vicked young man?'

Notes: Predating AND 1881.

 

bolt n. an escape, a flight.

1812 James Hardy Vaux glossary: A sudden escape of one or more prisoners from a place of confinement is termed a bolt.

Notes: Predating AND 1838.

 

boggabri n. any of various plants.

1907 Barbara Baynton Human Toll (in The Portable Barbara Baynton)xiv. 273 'She wants me t' go 'untin' fer boggabri down on ther billabongs,' she complained to Ursula.

Notes: Interdating AND 1893 <> 1959.

 

Bondi cigar n. a piece of human excrement floating in the water.

1996 Tracks (Sydney) Jun 35/1 Out in the surf, discretely sprinkle a handful of Imitation Turd Pellets around the take-off and watch the reaction of your fellow surfers as the pellets expand into realistic-looking Bondi cigars!

1997 Sydney Morning Herald 8 Nov Good Weekend 31 Australians outside the brown zone of the Bondi cigar seem remarkably sanguine about the continued pumping of sewage and domestic waste water into our seaways.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

bonza noun a variety of apple.

1999 Sun-Herald 28 Feb Tempo 20 She'll be apples! [heading] ...Bonza: Good eating, crisp, red apple. Harvested April-May.

2001 Sun-Herald 21 Jan Tempo 12 There are around 7,000 different types of apples grown around the globe and in Australia the most popular varieties are red delicious, jonathan, braeburn, bonza, pink lady, golden delicious, fuji, gala and granny smith.

2004 www.batlowapples.com.au/barrel/body.asp The Bonza apple originated in Batlow and was cultivated by chance over 25 years ago . The Bonza variety has a green/cream background colour with a 50-60% red blush. The variety is characterised by a very white firm flesh with a sweet flavour, and is particularly good for cutting and in salads as it tends to keep its colour after being cut. Bonzas are available from early March through to early September.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

boofhead n. a person with an oversized head; hence, a fool, idiot, dimwit.

1941 Baker

Notes: Predating AND which quotes Baker 1945. A number of examples of this nature – where a term is recorded earliest in Baker, but it appears in an earlier edition of Baker – are recorded in this paper, and some have been noted by Simes.

 

boofheaded adj. fat-headed; dimwitted.

1942 Lennie Lower Lennie Lower's Annual: A Side Splitter 9 I could have thought of three or four snappy comebacks to a boof headed remark like that.

Notes: Predating AND 1965.

 

booze hound n. a drunkard.

1905 Duke Tritton in John Meredith Learn To Talk Old Jack Lang 14 I can go into the rubbity dub and have a lemonade, breasting the near and far with booze hounds drinking Tom Thumb, young and frisky, oh my dear, or Huckleberry Finn[.]

Notes: Predating earliest US usage in Lighter 1911.

 

boss n. the owner or man in charge of a large rural property

1895 A.B. Paterson in Collected Verse 42 'We will show the boss how a shear blade shines / When we reach those ewes,' said the two Devines.

1902 A.B. Paterson Rio Grande and Other Verses 84 But, Boss, you'd better not fight with me – it wouldn't be fair nor right.

1902 Barbara Baynton Bush Studies 105 'Boss in, Lizer?'

1905 in Stewart and Keesing Old Bush Songs 181 The boss is expected home by the next mail / And the missus, confound her and dang her, / Of course with her husband is sure to prevail; / What woman could not in her anger?

1925 Erle Cox Out of the Silence 253 'So I pipes up and asks if the boss is at 'ome.'

1936 John C. Downie Galloping Hoofs vii. 145 Mildred and Bill were going with the Boss and Missus by car[.]

1938 Xavier Herbert Capricornia 149 When Morris Hughes came in with the news he merely said, 'Big fella war him finis, Boss. Missus him say you come longa house for makim friend.'

1947 Ion L. Idriess Over the Range i. 5 Above all, she must not tell the boss of any little irregularity she may see.

1959 Arthur Upfield Bony and the Mouse (1961) vi. 50 'Look, the boss is all right.'

1962 Joan Lindsay Time Without Clocks (1979) 61 The man who came to fix the tank or to see the Boss about the sawbench or the dog tax ended up with tea at the large wooden table.

1965 Frank Dalby Davidson Wells of Beersheba 179 Mrs Vachell came to the door. 'G'day, missus,' said Tom, friendlily. 'Where's the boss?' It was the time-honoured salutation and question.

1978 M.J. 'Chap' Burton Bush Pub (1983) xi. 104 'The boss came in about six o'clock and seemed quite happy for me to stay for a meal.'

1982 Les A. Murray The Vernacular Republic 75 'The boss at home, Missus?'

Notes: Not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND. Country properties are generally run by the "missus", who has control of the homestead, and the "boss", who has control of everything else. I believe it to be a particularly Australian application of both of these words.

 

bowlo n. a bowling club.

1986 Tracks (Sydney) Feb 3/4 Next, it's off to the local, pub or bowlo[.]

2004 LGnet - Local Government Network website (www.lgnet.com.au) Some people reckon the Queen shouldn't run the country because they never see her down at the Beresfield Bowling Club. But if the Queen lived in Australia, she would spent every night down at the Bero Bowlo and she would win heaps of meat trays.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

bowyang n. used as a symbol for manual labour.

1944 Sunday Telegraph 13 Feb 4 Mr Taylor said yesterday that the Labor Party had progressed to the stage where brains, and not bowyangs, should be regarded as the badge of the workers' representatives.

Notes: Predating AND 1951.

 

breast v.t. to approach (a bar).

1905 Duke Tritton in John Meredith Learn To Talk Old Jack Lang 15 I can go into the rubbity dub and have a lemonade, breasting the near and far with booze hounds drinking Tom Thumb, young and frisky, oh my dear, or Huckleberry Finn[.]

Notes: Predating AND 1909.

 

Brisso n. Brisbane, Qld; a person from Brisbane. Also, Briso, Brizzo.

1972 John O'Grady It's Your Shout, Mate! vi. 69 'Was you in Brizzo when that Melbourne mob took it over?'

1984 Sandra Jobson Blokes 66 'G'day there, Briso Wankas!'

1985 Phil Jarratt Surfing Dictionary 12 Brizzoes are actively discouraged from leaving the city limits on weekends by such measures as slashing the tyres of their panel vans.

1985 Tracks (Sydney) Oct 5 Firstly, to mother fucker fraud fighter from Brisso (what a dump)[.]

1987 Tracks (Sydney) Dec 5/1 Well, the Sunshine and Gold Coasts have their 'Brisoes', Sydney has their 'Westies'.

1996 Underground Surf Aut 20/3 Call your macho festival 'Brissos suck more piss than Bondi backpackers' and get XXXX to sponsor the whole bash.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. When referring to a person this is a common derogatory term used by Sunshine and Gold Coast residents who resent Brisbanites visiting their local areas.

 

Brissy n. Brisbane.

1960 J.E. Macdonnell Don't Gimme the Ships v. 75 'Did I ever tell yer,' Splinter asked, 'about that night in Brissy when me an' the Baron crashed the wardroom party...?'

1966 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language (2nd ed.) iv. 90 Thus, although Brissie is

the common spelling of the hypocorism for Brisbane it is always pronounced as though the spelling were Brizzie.

1974 Thea Astley A Kindness Cup 78 'She's made me a grand-dad three times over. In Brissy now, happily married and all.'

1990 Sam Watson The Kadaitcha Sung 16 'All we do know is that old Ed just keeps telling the doctors in Brissie that he's got a burn that won't go away.'

1996 Slam Apr 26 Of course, Brissy's not everyone's cup of tea.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

brown n. a brown snake.

1978 M.J. 'Chap' Burton Bush Pub x. 88 'Besides you need some plonk about the place, especially in the summer when them tigers and browns are about.'

1981 Jack Bennett Gallipoli iii. 65 'Tigers, browns, death adders,' said Archy[.]

2004 The Age (Melbourne) 19 Aug Green Guide 3/4 I have pulled really great hormone growth gear from a deadly brown I have tethered to the Hills Hoist in the backyard.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. The AND covers the elliptical usage of tiger = tiger snake (see tiger below), but not the brown.

 

bungy adj. in ill health.

1902 Barbara Baynton Bush Studies 57 She'd have bungy eyes, if she didn't. If she was asleep, why did she not close them?

1907 Barbara Baynton Human Toll (in The Portable Barbara Baynton) xiv. 265 'Missus, if you was t' cut 'ome like blazes, and clap a bit er raw meat on your eyes, they woulden' go black nur bungy.'

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND – but is it just a Bayntonism?

 

burn n. a cigarette.

1960 J.E. Macdonnell Don't Gimme the Ships ix. 132 'Hiya, cobber. Have a burn?' Windy shook his head at the proffered packet.

Notes: Predating US usage in Lighter 1971.

 

bush woman n. a woman who lives in the bush; a woman accustomed to the harsh life of the bush.

1898 Edward Dyson Below And On Top 'The Whim Boy' [Project Gutenberg] This meant a walk back of eleven miles 'by moonlight alone,' but Jem was superior to all feminine weaknesses, and too thorough a bush-woman to let a trifle like that trouble her.

1901 Henry Lawson Joe Wilson and His Mates 'Water Them Geraniums' 69 Most bush-women get the nagging habit.

1917 Barbara Baynton Trooper Jim Tasman (in The Portable Barbara Baynton) 92 I saw all those silent bush women. Early pioneers, who had left father and mother, and sister and brother and friends, to face the great unknown as mate to their man[.]

1936 John C. Downie Galloping Hoofs 124 Many bush women are left at the little boundary camps, hundreds of miles from their nearest neighbour, while their menfolk are away for weeks or even months, on end, working cattle or prospecting for gold.

1959 Mary Durack Kings in Grass Castles xii. 123 Grandmother considered herself lucky to have had a white woman with her at a time when many bush women had no help at all.

1975 Xavier Herbert Poor Fellow My Country 495 'I presume you meant he wants just a bush-woman for a wife. They do say, you know, that the trouble between him and his ex-wife was that she wanted to be the lady, and he wouldn't be in it.'

1983 Rocky Marshall in New Axe Handle 79 Grandmother was reared in the bush under primitive pioneering conditions. Dad chided that she had cut her teeth on stirrup leather. She was a top rate horse handler and bushwoman.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

but adv though.

1898 Edward Dyson 'A Visit To Scrubby Gully' in Below and On Top [H]e worked on steadily, uncomplainingly, till the boy with the unique freckles came hurrying in with the intelligence that the old horse was 'havin' a fit'r somethin'.' Jeans did not swear. He said 'Is he but?' and put aside his harness, and went out, like a man for whom life has no surprises.

Notes: AND first two citations are 1853 then 1938 – which is a big gap, over 80 years. However there is some dubiety about the 1853 cite since it is unquestionably ambiguous. The text runs "The hero of (not a hundred fights, but) Whitechapel..." which can obviously be read two ways. This Dyson citation from 1898 is unambiguous, plugs the gap a bit, and lends some support to the 1853.

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cactus, in the phr. in a bad way.

1941 Baker

Notes: Predating AND (citing Baker 1943). See note at boofhead.

 

Calcutta sweep(s) n. a type of sweepstakes run on horseraces. See first citation for explanation.

1896 Nat Gould Town and Bush xiv. 223 Calcutta sweeps are often drawn on the race, at the principle hotel in town, the night before the event is run. The names of the horses are drawn by the chairman, each subscriber having put in a pound share. The horses are then put up for auction. Suppose a man draws Daylight; he has paid a pound into the sweep; if Daylight is favourite for the race, perhaps he will be run up to ten pounds more before he can buy his horse in, or he may let it go if he so desires. If Daylight is a rank outsider, the drawer may feel inclined to sell at any price in order to get rid of it.

1933 Samuel Griffiths A Rolling Stone on the Turf vii. 113 At that time most of the betting on races was done through the Calcutta sweeps held over-night on all of the events to be decided next day. These sweeps each ran into thousands of rupees, and the owners naturally tried to buy their horses at the best possible price.

ibid. xii. 199 If you should receive a circular relating to a 'Calcutta sweep' on the Viceroy's Cup or English Derby, addressed from 'Chandernagore, India', the best thing you can do with it is to promptly consign it to the waste-paper basket.

1933 Raymond Spargo Betting systems Analysed 56 Who among us – even the greatest antagonist of gambling – could resist the first prize ticket in "a certain Tasmanian consultation," the Golden Casket, State lotteries or the colossal Calcutta sweep?

1977 Hugh Buggy The Real John Wren 147 About this time, by a decision of justice Hood, Calcutta sweeps were made illegal in Melbourne, while Police Inspector Laurence Gleeson startled the righteous by declaring that the big racecourses were infinitely worse in fostering gambling than the pony courses.

1981 Murray Pioneer 25 June 6 Mr. Pfeiffer said other major projects included raising $765 from a Golf Day; $830 from a Calcutta Sweep and the erection of SA, Victorian and NSW border signs on the river bank.

1982 Joe Andersen Winners Can Laugh viii. 115 The Bellbird Gold Cup was run in two divisions and it was decided to run two Calcutta Sweeps on them.

1995 Crackers Keenan Australia's Funniest Racing Yarns (2003) xvi. 102 So I went back up the bush but my step-uncle had organised a Calcutta on Cup Eve[.]

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. As the citations from Samuel Griffiths show, this practice originated in India during the British occupation, but according to Kingsley Bolton's Accent database, which has 25 million words of the Times of India, the term is no longer used there. Commonly shortened to Calcutta.

 

captain n. the person shouting drinks.

1953 Sidney J. Baker Australia Speaks 137 captain, the leader of a company of drinkers, especially one who assumes the privilege of paying for others' drinks.

Notes: Predating AND 1961. See note at boofhead.

 

carol v.i. of the Australian magpie, to make its characteristic call. Hence, the verbal noun, carolling.

1932 Ion L. Idriess Flynn of the Inland vii. 55 [A] magpie carolled joyously: crickets were
singing their hearts out.

1933 G.B. Lancaster Pageant I. vii. 120 Coming home through a dewy morning of bush scents and magpie carolling Mab had been stimulated into a decision.

1954 Judah Waten The Unbending 22 Birds called and magpies carolled and quarrelled.

1955 Alan Marshall I Can Jump Puddles v. 47 Sometimes it raised its head and bellowed hoarsely, and carolling magpies ceased their song and flew hurriedly away.

1960 Sutton Woodfield A for Artemis xvii. 168 Only the big river gum had birds in its hair; the carolling magpies who love the wind and high weather.

1965 Frank Dalby Davison The Wells of Beersheba 229 A magpie carolling from the top of a dead gumtree.

1975 Xavier Herbert Poor Fellow My Country 977 The sound of the water was like laughter, in which was faintly mingled music, which was the carolling of butcher-birds somewhere back amidst the limestone masses.

1977 Helen Garner Monkey Grip 245 The absent-minded carolling of magpies dropped out of the pine trees half a mile away.

1983 in New Axe Handle 43 From the lofty branches of a gum tree a pair of magpies carolled their greeting.

1985 Hyllus Maris and Sonia Borg Women of the Sun 167 Magpies were carolling; a kookaburra sat perched on the lowest branch of a tall tree and studied her, head cocked to one side.

1987 Rodney Hall Kisses of the Enemy IV. lxxxii. 477 Magpies carolled mocking Amens.

2000 Michael Morcombe Field Guide to Australian Birds 312 Australian Magpie...Voice: strong rich and varied carolling, with notes ranging from high and clear to deep and mellow.

2004 Sydney Morning Herald 28 Sept 14/4 Along with their distinctive appearance and cheeky nature, magpies are most famous for their calls, especially their carolling which has been measured by Kaplan at up to 127 decibels – similar in noise to a motorcycle in full pelt. Carolling is the magpie's answer to almost every property dispute.

Notes: Not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND. The Australian magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen, has a wide variety of calls, including alarm signals and subdued sub-songs – however, the term carol is reserved for its well-known beautiful vocalisations commonly heard at dawn and dusk. As lovely as they sound to humans, to other magpies they are a territorial warning. The use by Xavier Herbert for the grey butcherbird's call is probably a once-off.

 

centre n. (in two-up) the bets placed with the person spinning the coins.

1911 Louis Stone Jonah 160 He threw the kip and the pennies into the centre, and took his place on a low seat at the head of the ring.

Notes: Predating AND 1931.

 

Chinaman, must have killed a phr. a phrase noting bad luck.

[1910 Henry Lawson The Rising of the Court 299 'What have I been up to?' 'Killin' a Chinaman. Go to sleep.']

1930 Vance Palmer The Passage 272 'But my luck's out – I must have run over a Chinaman some time or other.'

1951 Dal Stivens Jimmy Brockett 184 'You're restless, Jimmy,' Nan said, teasing me. 'Have you killed a Chinaman?'

1982 Joe Andersen Winners Can Laugh v. 58 Superstition plays an important part in the life of the racing fraternity. The sighting of an oriental person before, during or after placing a bet is always regarded as a sure sign that fortune will smile on you. (A run of bad luck is usually attributed to the killing of one by the unlucky punter.)

1995 Paul Vautin Turn It Up! 62'You've heard the expression, 'You must have killed a Chinaman,' well I'm so out of luck that I reckon in a past life I must have been a tank driver in Tiananmen Square or something because I must have got dozens of 'em.'

1996 Tracks (Sydney) Jun 81/4 Young American Hank Mills wins the Rip Curl Pro Trials from Chris Davidson and the luckless Nick 'I killed a Chinaman' Wood.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

chock-a-block adv (of a man) in flagrante delicto.

1969 Alexander Buzo Rooted 85 Bentley: How do I know? I walked in on them, mate. Richard: And Simmo was... Bentley: Chock-a-block.

Notes: Predating AND 1971.

 

choof off v.i. to leave.

1972 Arthur Chipper The Aussie Swearer's Guide 77 get off my back: Like choof off, this is a good dismissal phrase when someone is rubbishing or poking borak or slinging off at you.

Notes: Predating AND 1977.

 

chook raffle n. a raffling of a chicken for fundraising.

1971 Sunday Australian 28 Feb 23/10 Chook raffles in pubs – and clubs – are the basic means of finance; at a profit of no more than $2.20 a raffle, a lot of chooks are won and lost to provide a club with the bulk of it's income.

Notes: Predating AND 1979.

 

chunder n. vomit.

1953 Sidney J. Baker Australia Speaks 169 chunder, a noun, vomit.

Notes: Predating AND 1960. See note at boofhead.

 

clacker n. the anus; the backside.

1960 J.E. MacDonnell Don't Gimme the Ships ix. 135 'Come on then up there, off your clackers!'

1994 Rex Hunt Tall Tales - and True 79 And it still hurts to think of his size 12 boots right up my clacker.

1995 Paul Vautin Turn It Up! 95 Someone tell me one thing that's good about sand. It gets so hot sometimes you can't even walk on it, it gets into your eyes when it's blowy, it gets stuck to the hairs on my back, it gets up your nose, in your ears and of course, worst of all, it gets up your clacker.

2001 Sydney Scope Magazine Feb 2/2 [S]he relentlessly interrogates notions of immutable identity AND takes a great big red ribbon out of her clacker.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. Probably from the clacking sound when farting.

 

clock n. a one year prison sentence.

1941 Baker

Notes: Predating AND 1950. See note at boofhead.

 

cockroach n. a lump of brown sugar.

1907 Barbara Baynton Human Toll (in The Portable Barbara Baynton)iii. 163 'I will, for if she done a thing like that she deserves a real good cockroach,' said Fanny, groping in the sugar basin for a lump.

Notes: Interdating AND 1903 <> 1921. I should add that both my mother and my grandmother used this term and I remember being given a cockroach in the 1970s. Such lumps are rarely found these days – the art of sugar refining must have progressed over the last few decades.

 

connie (agate)n. a type of playing marble made from agate.

1894 Ethel Turner Seven Little Australians vii. 101 He lost ten, exclusive of his best agate, fought a boy who had unlawfully possessed himself of his most cherished 'conny,' and returned home with saddened spirits an hour later, only to find as he went through the gate that he had lost Aldith's dainty little note.

1916 Norman Lindsay in The Comic Art of Norman Lindsay 211 Teacher: 'Well, what's the matter now?' Small Boy: 'Please, I've swallered Brown's conny agate, an' he wants it back.'

1948 Ruth Park The Harp In The South xxi. 215 'And you had three marbles in a flour bag, a yeller connie, and a sort of stripy white one, and a big clay one[.]'

1976 David Ireland The Glass Canoe 103 'Mine's the blood alley.' 'No it's not, yours is the connie agate.'

1980 Clive James Unreliable Memoirs ii. 19 My collection of marbles consisted mainly of priceless connie agates handed down by Grandpa.

ibid. Years older than I, Mick dated up clay-dabs against my connies.

Notes: Predating AND 1966 (citing Baker). Plus some extra evidence. These marbles were generally considered to be the premier marbles.

 

cracker, not worth a phr. entirely worthless.

1942 Gavin Casey It's Harder for Girls 126 'He's got guts, anyway,' said Sayers. 'I didn't think he was worth a cracker.'

Notes: Predating AND 1953.

 

crib v.i. to cheat by encroaching over the line when shooting in marbles. Hence, the verbal noun, cribbing.

1974 Phillip Adams The Unspeakable Adams 50 Fannany-wacking: Cribbing at alleys.

1985 Cathy Hope Themes from the Playground 3 Our rules included no 'fananny wacking', fudging or cribbing. Fananny wacking is pushing your hand forward as you fire. You have to keep your hand still. You weren't allowed to 'crib' over the line.

2004 Australian Word Map (www.abc.net.au/wordmap) Part of the litany at the beginning of a game in primary school in Melbourne in the early 60s. You'd warn the opposing player by saying 'No cribs' or 'No cribbing'.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

crook adv. badly.

1959 Arthur Upfield Bony and the Mouse vi. 48 'He was in my hair, but not that crook that I'd bump him.'

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

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dart n. a scheme or idea.

1947 Norman Lindsay Halfway to Anywhere v. 79 'Trucking's my dart too.'

Notes: Postdating AND 1918 – but referring to late 19th century.

 

day int. an abbreviated form of G'day.

1902 Barbara Baynton Bush Studies 118 'D'y ter yous,' said Alick, blinking his bungy eyes, and smiling good-naturedly at the parson and at the grazier.

1903 Joseph Furphy Such Is Life 9 ''Day, chaps,' said Rufus, as he joined us.

1903 'Steele Rudd' Our New Selection (1984) 182 'G' day,' Dad said. ''Day.'

1907 Barbara Baynton Human Toll (in The Portable Barbara Baynton)vi. 188 The again he smiled, till a dusty swagman dumped down his heavy swag beside the bar, and fixed his seeing eye steadfastly on the rotund proprietor, then greeted, 'Day, mate.'

1938 Norman Lindsay Age of Consent iii. 19 'Day,' he said, to break the suspense of being looked at. 'Day to you,' said the trooper.

1957 'Nino Culotta' They're A Weird Mob viii. 107 'Gooday,' Joe said. 'Day.'

1959 Arthur Upfield Bony and the Mouse (1961) vi. 45 'Day, Nat,' he greeted Bony[.]

1966 Graham McInnes Humping My Bluey 140 'Day, Young,' he said. 'How about a cuppa for me?'

1975 Xavier Herbert Poor Fellow My Country 159 ''Day, Ned...'Day, Missus...Well, here she is, Lady Lindbrooke-Esk, Lord Vaisey's intended.'

Notes: Not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

deadshit n. an objectionable person; a fuckwit.

1961 Geoff Mill Nobody Dies But Me (2003) 122 'And you can tell him if he don't come up with some cash I'll trace the deadshit through the Red Cross and leave a little bundle of bloody joy on his doorstep, quickfuckinsmart.'

1971 Alex Buzo Macquarie 58 'The revolution, you dead shit.'

1979 Derek Maitland Breaking Out 83 'Ratbags!' Bert drawled. 'dead-shits, the bloody lot of you.'

1983 Helen Garner & Jennifer Giles Moving Out 113 'Jesus, what a pack of dead shits', she said, in disgust.

1987 Kathy Lette, Girls' Night Out (1995) 106 As I slammed the drawers of the filing cabinet, I told Aussie where I kept him filed – under D for deadshit.

Notes: Not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

dead 'unn. a horse deliberately ridden to lose.

1877 J.S. James The Vagabond Papers (2nd series) 128 There were outlawed black-legs, men who subsist by getting up sham 'sweeps', or laying against 'dead 'uns'; amongst their number, some who have broken all laws human and divine, and should be hounded from society of even ordinary vicious men.

Notes: Predating AND 1896.

 

death adder, to have ~ in your pocketsphr. to be stingy.

1944 Lawson Glassop We Were The Rats II. xx. 118 'Why doancher buy a drink? Get them death adders outa ya pockets.'

1951 Dal Stivens Jimmy Brockett 230 Fuller was meaner than Dargan, if that was possible. He had death adders in his pocket.

1965 John O'Grady Aussie English 53 If you won't put your hand in your pocket, you have 'death adders in your kick', and are afraid of being bitten. Characters with death adders in their kicks are 'lousy bastards'.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

dickhead n. a fool.

1974 Barry Humphries A Nice Night's Entertainment 147 They'll stitch you up, stick it up you and take you for a dead-set dickhead.

Notes: Predating AND 1976. Note however that since AND was published in 1988 this term has been further pushed back in the US to 1962, as recorded in Jonathan Lighter The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, and thus is probably not an original Australianism.

 

Dickless Tracyn. a female cop.

1977 Jim Ramsey Cop It Sweet! 28 dickless tracy: Woman policeman.

Notes: Predating AND 1980.

 

dilly n. an aboriginal traditional bag.

1828 Journal of Charles Frazer in Aboriginal Pathways (1983) 77 [A] DILLY or luggage-bag such as females carry, made of leaves of XANTHORRHAEA, and strong enough to bear any weight.

Notes: Predating AND 1830. From an unverified citation card of Ted Hartley's.

 

dinky adj. fair, reasonable; dinkum.

1942 Sun 17 Feb 4/3 Smith, on being sentenced to three months gaol, said: 'If the Japs come a man might get a fair, dinky go.'

Notes: This uncommon abbreviated variant of dinky-di is not recorded elsewhere.

 

dip your eye phr. piss off, get fucked.

1952 T.A.G. Hungerford The Ridge and the River 175 'I might go back to it for a while. I'll wait till some rich old harlot trots in and starts to chuck her weight around, and then I'll just key her up, good and hard. I'll say, "Listen, missus; you go and dip your eye!" and then I'll blow. Oh boy, can't you see her?'

1953 T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake ii. 23 'Dip your eye!' Charlesworth called after them as they walked away.

1954 T.A.G. Hungerford Sowers of the Wind xvi. 187 'Oh, dip your eye!' Stewart told him testily.

1972 Bruce Beresford and Barry Humphries The Adventures of Barry McKenzie [film] 'Go and dip your left eye in hot cocky cack.'

Notes: Not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND. Despite the fact that most of the evidence presented here is from T.A.G. Hungerford, I believe this to be a genuine Australian expression.

 

do v.t. to drink an alcoholic drink.

1911 Louis Stone Jonah 41 'Gawd, I'm dry,' said Chook, yawning. 'I could do a beer.'

1979 Sam Weller Old Bastards I Have Met 22 'Could you do a cold stubbie?'

Notes: Postdating AND 1899. Note that AND also labels this obsolete – which is incorrect. It is very much still alive colloquially.

 

dob in v.t. to inform against someone.

1954 Eric Lambert The Veterans xiv. 206 'It'll do no good abusing Lucky, or dobbing him in.'

Notes: Predating AND 1955.

 

Domainiac n. a vagrant of Sydney's Domain.

1933 Ernest O'Ferrall Stories by "Kodak" 78 'I remember an abject jobbing gardener (he was a partially reformed Domainiac) who used to infest the garden of a friend's house[.]'

Notes: Postdating AND 1903.

 

doodlem-buck n. See citation at toodlembuck.

 

doof n. pumping dance music.

1996 3-D World (Sydney) 1 Apr 44/1 'It also gives me a chance to put music together in a way where there's room for space and atmospherics instead of relentless 'doof'.'

1998 Sydney Morning Herald 27 Mar 14 'Doof ' is a sound and a culture, not just some nerdy fashion statement. How could you miss the sonic origins of the word 'doof '? Try saying 'doof doof doof doof ' out loud to yourself and you'll get the beat. Anyone who knows that joyously anarchic, energising, trance-ey sound which reverberates periodically throughout inner-city warehouses and brickpits, and at various rural haunts, can attest to doof's rhythmic and spiritual dimensions.

1998 Sydney Morning Herald 21 Jun 17 Sharing a house are 'clubber' Mark McKenna, 22, 'Goth' Steven Haynes, 19, and 'doof feral' Leiziah Restall, 21.

ibid. Doofs are another term for dance-club ravers, goths dress like members of the Addams Family and crusties are also known as ferals, or New Age hippies.

1998 The Big Issue 7 Sep 6/2 Over the past few years, 'doof' (as in techno: 'doof, doof, doof') music has begun to feature.

1999 Three D World (Sydney) 17 May 64 What's the best thing about Sydney? The Doof scene keeps getting bigger.

2001 Sydney Scope Magazine Feb 2/1 Scope sunnily affirms that Gras province populated by rhinestones, daquiri fuelled parody and too-convivial doof.

Notes: A new Australianism. Occasionally does service to mean 'a clubber' – but this is not the common meaning.

 

doofer n. a dance music aficionado.

1998 Sydney Morning Herald 27 Mar 14 Doof crew are a motley crew, but many doofers' passions are directed as much at social and environmental transformation, as at the pursuit of funky clothing which is apparently doof's most visible attribute.

Notes: A new Australianism. Rare.

 

drey n. the nest constructed in the branches of a tree by the common ringtail possum, Pseudocheirus pereginus.

1981 RGB Morrison A field guide to tracks and traces of Australian animals 154 Ringtails build large breeding nests called dreys in trees.

1994 Northern Herald 15 Sep 23 'It's not an empty bird's nest, it's actually what we call a drey and that's where they live.'

2001 Peter Menkhorst and Frank Knight A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia 96 [I]n s. of range shelters in large spherical drey constructed of shredded bark, leaves and twigs in dense shrubbery[.]

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. Local application of the term for the nest of a squirrel. Although the structures are essentially similar in construction and use, this is merely the result convergent adaptation to similar conditions – squirrels are placental rodents, and possums are marsupials. Ringtails also commonly nest in tree hollows lined with leaves. Presumably citational evidence dating back some decades should be able to be found.

 

drug-fucked adj. severely affected by drugs.

1996 Captial Q Weekly (Sydney) 29 Mar 11/1 Three hundred drug-fucked and horny gay men, 200 of them visiting Americans, are invading Club Med[.]

1996 Captial Q Weekly (Sydney) 21 Jun 9/3 If you're really drunk or drug-fucked, this is all going to be a very expensive blur.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

drum, run a phr. (of a racehorse) to run a winning race, as tipped or expected.

1933 Raymond Spargo Betting Systems Analysed 44 'Wot did I tell yer! Wasn't it a put up job the last time? Couldn't run a drum in a field o' goats an' now 'e licks class company!'

Notes: Predating AND 1942.

 

duck's guts n. something superlative.

1994 Senate Hansard 9 Nov Senator Ellison: This is the ducks guts, as we term it in Western Australia.

2000 June Factor Kidspeak 65 This new gadget's just the duck's guts.

2002 Larry's Aussie Slang and Phrase Dictionary (www.angelescity.com/aussie_slang.html) the Ducks guts - some things really great (don't ask me why).

2004 Uteman website (www.uteman.com.au) Anyone interested joining a ute club with a base in Deniliquin.Im thinking about starting one . No yank stuff as stickers or names has to be true blue on the uterus. 'Ducks Guts Ute Club'.

2004 oral citation 23 May 'So this is s'pose to be the duck's guts, is it?'

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. Aussie version of the ant's pants, cat's pyjamas, etc.

 

duds n. trousers or pants.

1924 Gilbert H. Lawson A Dictionary of Australian Words and Terms 11 duds – Trousers.

1973 Ribald (Sydney) #45 2 'I succeeded in wriggling out of me duds and took off my T-shirt.'

1977 Jim Ramsay Cop It Sweet 33 duds: Trousers.

1981 David Foster Moonlight xviii. 168 By one they are sitting on the coach wearing cabbage tree hats, crimean shirts, moleskin duds, leather belts and blucher boots.

1992 'Roy Slaven' (John Doyle) Five South Coast Seasons 27 'The bloke was sitting in the driver's seat when I got back, duds around the ankles and clearly on the tool – bold as brass.'

Notes: a restriction of sense that appears only in Australia (according to other historical dictionaries at least). Hence as a verb: to pull down someone's pants as a prank; to pants.

1992 'Roy Slaven' (John Doyle) Five South Coast Seasons 64 'So, thinking he was just shy, I thought I'd help him out and dudsed him and linked him up to the train, so to speak.'

 

dumpty n. a toilet or dunny.

1945 Norman Lindsay The Cousin from Fiji i. 14 'I will say Grandma's pretty good sport, locking herself in dumpties and blurting out all that hot stuff at dinner.'

Notes: Predating AND 1965 (incidentally, also from Norman Lindsay).

 

dry as a ... phr. of land, arid; of a person, parched.

1946 Kylie Tennant Lost Haven xiv. 218 With a tremendous clattering and roaring they got under way again, and climbing mightily down man-holes and peering about in her midriff, Alec shouted that the "old lady" [the engine of a punt] was as dry "as a stripped cow."

1953 Nourma Handford Carcoola Holiday iii. 42 The pastures, he said, between here and Princess Creek, were over six feet high and as dry as a westerly.

1955 Mary Durack Keep Him My Country 269 'We better shift them cattle, Stan. She's as dry as a bird's arse[.]'

1966 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language (2nd ed.) iv. 90 dry as a bird's arse, extremely dry.

ibid. dry as a sunstruck bone, utterly parched.

1968 Barry Humphries The Wonderful World of Barry Mackenzie [71] 'It's just that Mitgi's got more amber fluid than she can use and few of me mates who come from the better class of Australian home are as dry as the proverbial nun's nasty, as they say in the classics!!'

1971 Barry Humphries Bazza Pulls It Off [1] 'Oh Kevie, mein liebling – vot about ein swift frostie for your little disciple? I'm as dry as a nun's nazi!'

ibid. [glossary] kookaburra's khyber, as dry as a. A condition of the throat prior to the ingurgitation of ice cold lager

1972 Bruce Beresford and Barry Humphries The Adventures of Barry McKenzie [film] 'I really needed that, I was as dry as a dead dingo's donger.'

1983 Nadia Wheatley Five Times Dizzy 60 Mureka's throat felt lumpy and buring but all the bubblers in the park were as dry as the Simpson Desert.

1986 [Richard Beckett] The Dinkum Aussie Dictionary 22 Dry as an old lady's talcum powder: The feminist version of an offensive phrase used by males, i.e., 'dry as a nun's nasty'. The bisexual phrase is 'dry as a dead dingo's donger'. All three expressions mean that the person in question is in desperate need of an alcoholic drink.

1986 Bill Hornadge The Australian Slanguage (2nd ed.) 79 dry as a Pommy's towel.

ibid. 86 Me mouth is as dry as the bottom of a birdcage.

1987 Kathy Lette Girls' Night Out (1995) 120 It's as dry, as he would say, as a Pommy's bath towel.

1989 Sydney Morning Herald 2 Oct (Guide) 9s What is surprising is that not once in this half hour does Lisa utter words such as 'strewth' or 'bonza' or 'I'm as dry as a dead dingo's donger'.

1991 Tim Winton Cloudstreet 34 The room soaked her up and the summer heat worked on her body until its surface was as hard and dry as the crust of a pavlova.

1992 Rod Marsh Two For The Road 31 For a start there's the No. 1 man, the doyen, Richie Benaud. He's got a sense humour about as dry as the throat of a man lost in the Great Sandy Desert for a fortnight.

1994 Sydney Morning Herald 15 Feb 3 A member of the editorial board of the Macquarie Dictionary, Mr David Blair, said that there would be no apology and no removal of the phrases. The offending phrases included 'Dry as a Nun's c---' and 'Dry as a Nun's nasty', and 'Cold as a nun's tits'.

1994 Telegraph Mirror 16 Feb 11 Perhaps the final word belongs to Australian actor and author Barry Humphries, who admitted yesterday to inventing the phrase 'dry as a nun's nasty' for use in the cartoon strip.

Notes: None of these appear in AND. Wilkes records the Pommy's towel/bathmat version from 1981, 1982, 1983. Championed and partially popularised by Barry Humphries. The Tim Winton and Rod Marsh offerings are merely literary and do not exist as independent colloquialisms.

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eat, so hungry I could eat ... phr. jokey, hyperbolic, colloquial expressions of hunger.

1948 Joseph Furphy The Buln-Buln and the Brolga [Project Gutenberg] "I spoke up. 'Yes,' says I; 'and at the present moment he could eat a horse, and chase the rider for his life!'"

1972 Frank Hardy Legends From Benson's Valley 160 'Are you hungry?' 'I could eat a maggoty horse, so long as there was sauce on it.'

1982 Nancy Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 118-9 Threatened with such unappetising dishes it is an advantage to be so hungry that. 'I could eat a hollow log full of green ants' (a distinctively northern New South Wales or Queensland expression), or 'I could eat a horse and chase the rider.' 'I could eat the bum out of an elephant' 'I could eat a baby's bottom through a cane chair.'

1985 'Sir Les Patterson' The Traveller's Tool (1986) xii. 79 I've been suddenly that hungry I could eat a baby's bum through a cane chair.

ibid. 78 I could eat the crutch off a low-flying emu.

1993 Hugh Lunn Fred & Olive's Blessed Lino 106 After everyone started the day well with Kinkara tea from Olive's best cups on the front verandah, Uncle Les arrived saying: 'I'm so hungry I could eat a horse and chase the rider.'

Notes: These phrases not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

emma – see entry for imma.

 

euchre v.t. to destroy or ruin; to trounce.

1914 'Lance Corporal Cobber' The Anzac Pilgrim's Progress 14 It's Kaiser Bill that's called the tune – he's sworn to euchre John / By sittin' on the Empire that the sun can't set upon.

1983 T.A.G. Hungerford Stories From Suburban Road 66 The hole you blew the yolk and the white out of had to be as small as possible, and the bigger it was the less the egg was worth to you, or as a swap. Sometimes you blew the whole end out of an egg, and that euchred it, of course.

Notes: Predating and postdating AND 1974. Such an early date is not unreasonable since the adjectival form euchred 'finished, exhausted, fucked' has been dated back to the 1930s.

 

eyedrop n. a game played with marbles (see citations).

1933 Norman Lindsay Saturdee (1977) iii. 41 Enraged at this proposal to fub off such stuff on honorable milkies, Waldo snatched them up and threw them out of the ring; for which act of valuation Bulljo downed on Waldo's bag, picked out his largest French agate and threw it in the pond. It was done; a crime of the first magnitude. Waldo could not believe his eyes; this flight of a treasure plomp into the centre of the pond. His eyedrop taw, his most priceless possession, gone, gone for ever!

1945 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language 204 Games played include any-every, big ring, littlering, follow on, eyesie and eyedrop.

1954 in The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #22 21/2 EYE DROP ... Draw a ring with marbles in it; drop one marble from eye-height to hit one marble out of the ring.

1992 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #22 11/1 Marbles in season, which came with mysterious regularity and then died away – three games only at Caboolture – 'Ring', 'Holes' and 'Eyedrop'.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. In the Lindsay citation it is presumed that the 'eyedrop taw' is the one used for playing eyedrop.

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fair go n. a fair contest in fighting.

1934 Norman Lindsay The Cautious Amorist 177 'Your temper's up and now you're talkin',' approved Pat. 'What the pair of you needs is a fair go face to face will ease your hearts an' feelin's.'

1942 Gavin Casey It's Harder for Girls 169 The chaps in the bar were all yelling out advice, and they all reckoned that if Winch was a man he'd put the pots down and have a fair go.

1961 Frank Hardy The Hard Way 106 Old Sid ran to his car and came back brandishing the cranking handle. Suddenly, the knot of people broke up and scuttled into groups. 'I'll kill the commo bastard,' one of Healy's men shouted, shoving his way towards me. The young man gently lifted his girl's hand from his arm, confronted the would-be basher and said: 'Give him a fair go.' Healy's man threw a punch, the young worker dodged and crashed his fist into his face with a dull crunch.

Notes: Postdating AND 1927. The AND defines this as 'an equitable contest', but I don't think this captures the sense entirely as it specifically refers to fighting.

 

fanannywhacking n. cheating in various children's games, especially marbles (see citations). Hence, fanannywhacker, a person who cheats.

1974 Phillip Adams The Unspeakable Adams 50 Fannany-wacking: Cribbing at alleys.

1977 Jim Ramsay Cop It Sweet 40 fanannywhacker: A marble.

1982 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #3 4/1 Children would crouch down to make sure there was no 'fenannywackin' as 'cheating' was called[.]

1985 Cathy Hope Themes from the Playground 3 Our rules included no 'fananny wacking', fudging or cribbing. Fananny wacking is pushing your hand forward as you fire. You have to keep your hand still.

2004 Australian Word Map (www.abc.net.au/wordmap) [T]he marble (or 'alley') should be propelled from the stationary fist by a flick of the thumb – fanannywhacking is when the player moves the whole forearm to gain advantage. (Spelling uncertain) (Used at Hartwell State School in the early 1960s): I saw that! You're a fanannywhacker!

ibid. Fanannywhacking was definitely moving the hand while firing, i.e. half-throwing. Cribbing by moving forwards from where the marble should have been was called 'finagling' – Melb. eastern suburbs, 1960s.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. The 1977 citation could be a poor definition based on a misunderstanding. The highly variable spelling is a result of it being a spoken rather than written word.

 

fan-tan n. a gambling game.

1951 Dal Stivens Jimmy Brockett 75 It started when we run into a mob of Chinks coming out of a fan-tan joint.

1956 Vince Kelly The Bogeyman xi. 147 'Little tin-pot games of fan-tan and tuen-gow. Not a fine higher than a quid with two bob costs.'

1988 Peter Carey Oscar and Lucinda 298 The second room was where fan-tan was played.

Notes: Postdating AND 1937.

 

feral n. a New Age, hippie, environmentalist.

1995 Sun-Herald 1 Jan 3 To the ferals, who travel up and down Australia's east coast looking for logging protests to attend, the Federal Government's decision is appalling.

ibid. However, Sophie Whan, 23, and mother of one-year-old Obe, cautioned that such a practice was against the principles of the ferals, or 'forest dwellers', as they prefer to be called.

1996 Underground Surf Aut 62/1 The full ferals and mullheads tend to hang up the bluff more.

1998 Sydney Morning Herald 4 Apr Spectrum 7s Also dubbed Ferals or Travellers, Crusties tend to have no fixed address, which can be a problem at dole time. Crystals hang from their Kombis' rear-view mirrors, and their clothes are usually torn.

1998 Sun-Herald 21 Jun 17 Sharing a house are 'clubber' Mark McKenna, 22, 'Goth' Steven Haynes, 19, and 'doof feral' Leiziah Restall, 21.

ibid. Doofs are another term for dance-club ravers, goths dress like members of the Addams Family and crusties are also known as ferals, or New Age hippies.

1998 The Big Issue 7 Sep 6/2 These parties attracted the Ferals, who live a basic existence on the edge of society.

1998 Shane Maloney Nice Try 129 We still had our rough edges, our greatcoated winos and barefoot ferals, our ferret-faced teenage mothers and lingerie lunches, our dumb-fuck rev-heads and back-lane chop shops.

Notes: A new Australianism.

 

field v.i. to work as a bookmaker.

1960 Maurice Cavanough and Meurig Davies Cup Day xxviii. 147 He had very little time to celebrate Comedy King's success for within a few minutes he was fielding on the next race.

1966 James Holledge The Great Australian Gamble viii. 81 The suspension was then lifted and Barney Allen was able to don his satchel again and field on the famous courses in Sydney and Melbourne.

1975 Frank Hardy and Athol George Mulley The Needy and the Greedy 37 Grafter Kingsley was fielding at Boolaroo races. His bank was light and when the first three favourites won, he went broke.

1982 Joe Andersen Winners Can Laugh vi. 70 He was a registered AJC bookmaker who regularly fielded at the ARC meetings when the mood took him[.]

1988 Clive Galea Slipper viii. 64 Time seems to have passed Kembla by but at least in the fifties and early sixties the betting ring was very strong with four or five rails bookies from Randwick fielding at each meeting.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

field v.t. to make a book at (a racecourse or meeting).

1981 Gerald Sweeney The Plunge xii. 311 Next Spring, he was bound and determined, his turnover figures, his showy risk-taking, and his exposure in te media, would all combine to see him at Flemington – fielding his first Melbourne Cup on the rails.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

fifty n. half old, half new beer

1965 John O'Grady Aussie English 16 In which case, ask for a 'middy of fifty'.

Notes: Predating AND 1971.

 

fillum n. a film or movie.

1912 Bulletin 4 Apr 14/4 [T]alkin' big, and talkin' fast, and poet-like, and free, / About the noble fillums wot was inside to see!

1932 C.J. Dennis in the The C.J. Dennis Collection 109 i thort ole bills eyes wud drop out of is ed tork about them merikin gangster fillums they was sunday skool picknick cumpared to them 2 blud thursty oprers we seen

1965 D.E. Charlwood All The Green Year (1975) 101 You know – the fillum star, the one in Sins of the Fathers.

1967 Sue Rhodes Now you'll think I'm awful (1968) 71 'Saw a beaut fillum the other day.'

1985 'Sir Les Patterson' (Barry Humphries) The Traveller's Tool (1986) iii. 19 Unfortunately, thanks to a few snooping accountants and the odd ten million dollar Oz epic that was so shithouse it never copped a release, the arse has dropped out of the Australian fillum industry.

1992 Picture (Sydney) 5 Feb 55/3 Heroine fwooar-a-minute hornbag crutch-rubbing Madonna's landed a new fillum role.

Notes: Not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND. Representing a common Australian (mis)pronunciation, generally used jocularly. The earliest citation here appeared in AND under the headword spruik.

 

filth adj. excellent, terrific, wonderful.

1987 Tracks (Sydney) Dec 5/1 Ya mag is filth!

1994 Crank (Sydney) Sum 36 With they're [sic] soon to be released filth album an upcoming Australian "Big Day Out" tour.

1995 Australian 16 Mar 12 The trend among surfers until recently was to turn the dichotomy around. 'Filth' (pronounced fiwf), then, applied to anything good, as did 'goin' off (like prawns in the hot sun)'.

1996 Tracks (Sydney) Jun 12/1 It's filth to see Nick Wood and Occy making a comeback.

1996 Sydney Morning Herald 26 Aug Agenda 10 After a particularly good wave, they'll say 'filth' (pronounced fiwf), or they might describe themselves as being 'stoked'.

1998 Underground Surf Crossover (Sydney) #2 35 You could say – mmm, awesome, faaark! Stoked, too good, unreal, buuullshit, or filth, mate!

ibid. 48 Nick was doing backside snaps and getting a few cool pits and it was young Sammy who got a filth no-hand backside pit.

Notes: A new Australianism, modelled on the US wicked and sick, both of which became popular here in the 1980s.

 

filthy1 adj. excellent, terrific, wonderful; magnificent.

1987 Tracks (Sydney) Dec 5/1 Quote of the month goes to Vic Hislop for the description of the filthy noah he caught: "It's like a couple of bull stuck together." Awesome.

1987 Kathy Lette Girls' Night Out (1995) 188 'Filthy waves,' agreed Bodge. 'Classic.'

1989 Sydney Morning Herald 30 Jun 3 'Filthy' doesn't mean 'disgustingly dirty' anymore. It means great or excellent, as in 'that's a really filthy surfboard', or it was a really 'filthy day'.

1994 Crank (Sydney) Sum 22/3 Where are the filthiest chicks in the world?

1996 Tracks (Sydney) Jun 9/1 Anyway the crew of Surfrider Foundation put on a filthy day with lots of live music and a BBQ.

1998 Sun-Herald 18 Jan 29 The talent was filthy, the babes were lush and the mosh pit was going off.

Notes: A new Australianism, modelled on the US wicked and sick, both of which became popular here in the 1980s.

 

filthy2 adj. upset, enraged. Thus, filthy on, upset with.

1992 Robert G. Barrett Davo's Little Something 98 He realised that even though he was filthy on the world and screaming inside he was going to have to be a little more polite to people as time went by[.]

1995 Fatty Vautin Turn It Up! 58 Don't they get disappointed and filthy?

1995 Crackers Keenan Australia's Funniest Racing Yarns xvi. 105 Mick was filthy and served up to him in retaliation and they had a fist fight in the jockeys' room afterwards.

1997 Australian Financial Review 15-16 Nov Weekend 9 We have dirty on, but not filthy on.

Notes: A variant of the usual dirty. both of which probably owe their origin to the earlier collocations dirty look and filthy look. Although I have only collected citations from the 1990s, I am sure it is much older – I seem to recollect it from the 1970s.

 

fisho n. a fisherman or fisherwoman.

1971 Frank Hardy The Outcasts of Foolgarah 241 Hardy took as his text an unfinished poem, not perhaps entirely original but most apposite, which he understood had been written by the Manly poet, Scoopydoop Wilson, the oracle of the Fisho's Club.

1982 Bob Staines What a Whopper 45 The fishos were told their tackle would be returned to them at their local police station on the payment of a small fine.

Notes: Not recorded in Wilkes, AND.

 

flatette n. a small flat.

1943 Dominic Healy A Voyage to Venus 23

Notes: Predating AND who cite Baker 1945 (but it was in Baker 1943 as well). See note at boofhead. Unfortunately I have misplaced the text of the citation – a trip to the National Library is needed.

 

flick pass, get/give the phr. to get/give the sack

1987 Kathy Lette Girls' Night Out 27 Anyway, the bloke who got the low scores made sure we got the flick pass.
1988 Clive Galea Slipper! xxii. 155 'I could see only big trouble for myself if I didn't give them the flick pass.'

Notes: From rhyming slang, flick pass = arse (the sack). Recorded in AND from 1983 as a figurative use of flick pass, but without explanation as to meaning. This is now commonly known in the curtailed form give the flick = to dismiss, reject, get rid of. Here are some additional citations.

1982 National Times 3 Oct 45 He left school at 16, lasted eight months as a fitter and turner, but then 'I give it the flick – the boss was an arsehole.'

1988 Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 5 June TV guide 2 Benny Hill fans benefit on Tuesday on TVO when L.A. Law is given the flick for one week only[.]

1988 Sunday Telegraph 4 Dec TV guide 13 The year is 2274 and life in glassdomed city is a perpetual piece of cake for its hedonists. But the fun wheel stops dead on 30, the age for compulsory 'renewal' that, in reality, means the flick.

1990 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #18 11/2 I don't know, you get invited out to duinner on consecutive Sunday nights and return to the radio to find that 'Games we played as kids' has been 'given the flick'.

Notes: Also used as a verb = to dismiss, reject, get rid of. Note that this is quite uncommon.

1988 Clive Galea Slipper! xiii. 93 There had always been plenty of women at the club who fancied him, but he had politely turned them away until lately. Now Joe seemed less keen to flick them. He'd even taken a few out to dinner[.]

 

floatern. (in two-up) a penny that doesn't spin.

1941 Baker

Notes: Predating AND 1944. See note at boofhead.

 

fnudge v.i. to cheat at playing marbles. Also, phernudge. Hence, fnudger, one who cheats.

1974 Phillip Adams The Unspeakable Adams 50 A fnudger: A poor stylist at alleys.

1977 Jim Ramsay Cop It Sweet 40 funudger: A marble.

2004 Australian Word Map (www.abc.net.au/wordmap) phernudge: to overstep the mark when shooting at a children's game of marbles; to creep up over the agreed mark from where you play a shot: I saw you phernudge! We said no phernudging!

ibid. [Melbourne informant] I used to use this term a lot when playing marble games. Anyone caught cheating was Phernudging.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. Probably an alteration of fudge (see below). The 1977 citation could be a poor definition based on a misunderstanding (see entry for fanannywhacking, where the same error seems to occur in the same source).

 

form n. luck.

1957 Ray Lawler Summer of the Seventeenth Doll I.ii. 33 'Yeah. That's just about my form, ain't it?'

1962 John Wynnum Tar Dust vi. 77 'This same bird started pumpin' Toggle and me about getting something on the cheap. How'd you like their rotten form, eh?'

1964 John Wynnum Jiggin' in the Riggin' iii. 36 'What's the chance of picking up a cab this time of day?' 'Knowing my form, not so hot.'

1966 Ray Slattery Mobbs' Mob vi. 121 'How's his flamin' form!'

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. Baker 1966, records the expression rotten form, but doesn't seem to have noticed that form can be used independently of this collocation. An extension of horseracing parlance where form refers to a racehorse's track record.

 

fuck knuckle n. a contemptible person; a 'wanker'.

1981 Angelo Loukakis For the Patriarch xv. 155 'You stay outa this fucknuckle!' – he turned on Mawbey who looked as if he was having a heart attack.

1997 Sick Puppy Comix (Sydney) #6 5 'It's been such a long time since I've been to the beach, I've forgotten what an oily, muscle-headed, fuck-knuckle looks like.'
1997 Rants (Sydney) Oct 41 'Come on dickhead, get that shit out of there! Today, fuck knuckle!'

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

fuck truckn. a panel van used for sexual encounters.

1974 Guy (Sydney) 21 Apr 16/4 Sydney: Guy 22 bi, 8" with surf fuck truk [sic.] wants singles, couples for weekend trips up coast or quickies, enjoys adultery.

Notes: Predating AND 1979.

 

fuckwitted adj. idiotic.

1971 Jack Hibberd A Stretch of the Imagination 40 'You two-timing, fuck-witted mongrel of a slut! Open up or I'll stuff you with a fist full of broken glass!'

Notes: Predating AND 1973.

 

fudge v.i. to cheat by encroaching over the line when shooting in marbles. Also, as a noun, such a shot. Hence, the verbal noun, fudging.

[1924 Gilbert H. Lawson A Dictionary of Australian Words and Terms 13 fudge – To cheat.]

1945 in Sidney J. Baker Australia Speaks (1953) 109 In his well-known child book, "Smiley" (1945), M. Raymond has made a highly-entrertaining study of the Australian juvenile[.] Although some of the following terms belong to the general pool of Australianisms, here are sundry experssions which "Smiley" and his associates use: big ring, tor, stonks, glassy, chow, fudging, dubs (all of which are, of course, essential items in the vocabulary of any accomplished player of marbles)[.]

1970 J.S. Gunn in English Transported 60 As an example, the game of marbles has given knuckledown, fudging, and the cry of mully grubs to general usage, quite apart from its special references to stinkies, kellies, tors, and connies.

1976 David Ireland The Glass Canoe 103 'Stop fudging!'

ibid. 'Fudge! No fudges.' 'Knuckle down! Look! No fudges.'

1980 Clive James Unreliable Memoirs (1981) 34 The basic rule of marbles is that the taw must be fired from outside the ring. If the firing hand creeps inside the ring before the moment of release, it's a fudge. Mears fudged more blatantly than his helpless opponents would have believed possible.

1985 Cathy Hope Themes from the Playground 3 Our rules included no 'fananny wacking', fudging or cribbing. Fananny wacking is pushing your hand forward as you fire. You have to keep your hand still. You weren't allowed to 'crib' over the line.

1993 Hugh Lunn Fred & Olive's Blessed Lino 24 Jim didn't even have a marble bag, and I felt sorry for him because he was too busy learning ordinary English to ever know all the words you needed for marbles - like having a favourite tor, or fudging, or poison ring, or what a blood alley was.

2004 Australian Word Map (www.abc.net.au/wordmap) In Tassie, you fudged it, got caught fudging or cheating - although associated with playing marbles, also used in other areas, e.g. fudging an exam i.e. cheating in an examination.

ibid. I played marbles in the Southern Riverina in the 1940s and 1950s. We called it 'Fernannick', but knew it as 'fudge' and 'crib' also.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

fully adv. used as an intensifier.

1994 Crank (Sydney) Sum 4 We want to go tomorrow morning, so yeah, fully.

ibid. 43/2 The end bit on Slater fully reminds you that he is the leader of the pack at the moment, I won't even try to explain it, you need to see it.

1996 Linda Jaivin Rock n Roll Babes from Outer Space 115 'I like the music,' she commented amiably. 'Yeah?' said Jake, inexplicably proud, as though he'd had something to do with it. 'Fully. That's why we're here.'

2004 SBS website (www.sbs.com.au/pizza/new.php3) Pizza boys are back with a fully sick, brand new series.

Notes: A new term common amongst adolescents and young adults.

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garbage man n. garbage collector.

1940 Eric Curry Hysterical History of Australia iii. 39 Strange and unbelievable as it may seem, my garbage man appears to know all about this famous letter.

Notes: Predating AND 1944.

 

gee-gees n. the horseraces; the turf.

1963 Frank Hardy Legends From Benson's Valley 18 'You wanted to fight old Murphy – but... And we done our dough on the gee-gees.'

1966 James Holledge The Great Australian Gamble xiv. 139 '[He] likes nothing better than a little flutter on the gee-gees.'

1979 Lance Peters The Dirty Half-Mile (1989) vi. 39 'I never bet on the gee-gees.'

1988 Peter Carey Oscar and Lucinda 324 It did not matter that Dancer was a card-player
himself, or that he was not beyond a 'something on the gee-gees'.

1997 John Birmingham The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco 243 Michael Duffy (who leaves me alone and only calls to send over cheques, drugs, alcohol, tips on the gee-gees etc)...

Notes: Not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

get amongst phr. to get involved in; to engage in or partake of enthusiastically.

1951 Dal Stivens Jimmy Brockett 252 'I've got a girl,' he said, blushing. 'I'm thinking of marrying her.' 'That's good, brother,' I said. 'But you get amongst it, too, don't you?'

ibid. iii. The workmen walked round the puffed-up mound, rolled cigarettes and read some of the inscriptions on the wreaths. 'Jimmy, with love from Helen,' the tall workman read out aloud. 'Bloody girl friend, I suppose.' 'He got amongst it.' 'Here's one with 'Nan' on it.'

1962 John Wynnum Tar Dust ii. 25 'Let's wait until a few more of our mob smell out this bin, then we'll get among 'em.'

1969 Alexander Buzo Rooted (1973) 91 'That's the spirit. Get out there and get amongst it.'

1970 Suzy Jarratt Permissive Australia viii. 154 Exclusive range of bawdy classics available now! Titles include 'The Great Farting Contest' – the battle between Lord Windamere of Britain and Paul Boomer of Australia – and 'Bang Away Lulu.' Get amongst them while they're hot! Be a riot at your next wing ding!

1982 Bob Staines Wot a Whopper 56 One local identity decided he would get amongst them and, armed with a very thick line and live mullet, he heaved it out with all his might.

1990 Sam Watson The Kadaitcha Sung 196 I'm going to get amongst them gumbey in there. I got to get a scrape soon, Boy.

1992 Tracks (Sydney) Oct. 137 Apart from that, quite a few Queenslanders have been doing the traditional winter bolt to Indo to get amongst some tropical juice.

1996 Australian Snowbaording News Apr 6/2 Get amongst 'em Quinnos.

Notes: Not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND. Rarely in the past tense.

 

gin around v.i. to muck about.

1979 Sam Weller Old Bastards I Have Met 36 For instance, if some old bomb shack is in the road of progress, stick the dozer in. But if anyone starts ginning around with that little chruch just off King George Square in Brisbane, I'll fight.

1982 Nancy Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 149 In the 1950s a Thursday Island grandmother of
Sri Lankan/Anglo-Saxon descent, who was born at about the turn of the century, had some unusual expressions. To someone 'flapping around' or over-reacting: 'Stop ginning around!' 'You're like a gin in bloomers!'; 'You're carrying on like a gin at a christening!'

2001 James and Robert's personal website (www.jamesandrobert.com) At last, after months of ginning around my secondment to London came through.

2004 Track T'van website (www.carsandcaravans.com.au) From the time, I climbed out of the four wheeler to the time we had the unit fully erected and were ready to hit the hay was less than six minutes! That included, as you'd expect, a bit of ginning around trying to find the right internal pole and figuring out how things were undone or done-up.

Notes: Not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND. Based on the typical racial slur that Aboriginal women are inveterate time wasters.

 

glassie n. a glass playing marble.

1927 The Kid Stakes (film) 'Get Hector out about six o'clock in the mornin' and I'll give you a glassy and six stinkies after the race.'

1933 Norman Lindsay Saturdee (1977) xii. 124 'Give yer a game of alleys, glassies up,' challenged Pigeon.

1945 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language 204 Marbles of one kind or another are known to Australian children as bottleys, bottle-ohs, cornies, cornelians, chows, dakes, doblars, conks, commos, stinkies, stonkers, dibs, peewees, glassies, immas and smokies.

1984 David Malouf Harland's Half Acre iii. 94 [There was] a collection of marbles in a chamois bag from which he let me choose, every now and then, a glassie or a glazed taw.

1985 Cathy Hope Themes from the Playground 3 The Glassie was one of the cheapest marbles.

ibid., The ones that came out of lemonade bottles were known as Glassies too. They weren't highly prized because you could get a lot of them.

1989 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #17 7/2 Then there was Glassies from the lemonade bottles, Agates, Stonks which were made from clay and, rarely in my time, Tombowlers.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

go v.t. to attack or fight (someone).

1924 Gilbert H. Lawson A Dictionary of Australian Words and Terms 13 go him – To want to fight.

1945 Robert S. Close Love Me Sailor 149 I was itching to go him.

1957 Ray Lawler Summer of the Seventeenth Doll 24 'Well, that did it. Roo went him and it was on, cane knives and the lot.'

1972 David Williamson The Removalists 66 'If you're looking for someone to arrest, then go him.'

Notes: Not recorded in AND.

 

go v.t. to use or utilise – in the construction go the ....

1944 [in Wilkes/AND – see Notes]

1955 D'Arcy Niland The Shiralee 51 'They reckon he can go the knuckle, too, but I've never seen him fight.'

ibid. 137 'We're skinned out. Unless we go the knock on the kitchen table.'

1985 Barry Dickins What the Dickins 42 In they go, and out they come, and the whole family goes the fang!

1993 The Australian 3 Dec 1 [heading] Barry goes the biff on CD books.

1996 Tracks (Sydney) 43 Some things are the same at surf contests the world over: the chicks do aerobics ... And the blokes go the big optic nerve.

Notes: Both Wilkes and AND record the phrases go the knuckle and go the grope, but the formula can be used with other nouns.

 

go v.t. to eat or drink (a specified item).

1949 Jon Cleary The Long Shadow (1968) vi. 45 'Reckon you could go an ice cream?'

1957 'Nino Culotta' (John O'Grady) They're A Weird Mob (1958) iv. 46 'Yer could go a feed, couldn' yer?'

1993 Tim Winton Lockie Leonard: Scumbuster 70 'I could really go a cuppa,' said Lockie.

Notes: Not recorded in Wilkes, AND.

 

go v.i. to fight.

1962 Criena Rohan The Delinquents 85 'Shit! you're a mess, kid,' she said. 'You can go. I'll give you that; but you have to spot too much weight. You're too titchy to blue on.'

1988 Clive Galea Slipper xxii. 151 'You blokes go all right,' one of them said, 'that was a bloody good fight.'

Notes: Not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

go off v.i. of a racehorse, to make a proper run in a race after being previously held back to give an impression of poor form in order to obtain good odds.

1936 Tom Ellis The Science of Turf Investment iv. 33 Of course, that fact of having a horse whose form has been kept 'under cover' does not mean it is a certainty when it is ready to 'go off.'

Notes: Predating AND 1941 (citing Baker).

 

go off v.i. to be raided by the authorities.

1956 Vince Kelly The Bogeyman vii. 99 '[T]he S.P. man and the man or woman who sells a few drinks under the lap are fair game for the pimp. The one's who don't go off have to pay.'

Notes: Predating AND 1962.

 

goodoh adj. all right; in good health.

1905 Duke Tritton in John Meredith Learn To Talk Old Jack Lang 12 I felt goodoh when I came out and dried myself with the Baden Powell.

Notes: Predating AND 1914.

 

gook n. a person of South East Asian extraction.

1969 Michael Peters Pommie Bastard viii. 178 We're going to push those God damn Gooks across the 38th parallel.

1981 Gerald Sweeney The Plunge (1989) xii. 320 [A] tide of gooks swept down upon him, waving $50 bills and wanting nothing else but Minuetto.

1995 Christos Tsiolkas Loaded (1998) 142 [T]he skip sticks with the skip, the wog with the wog, the gook with the gook, and the abo with the abo.

Notes: Originally US slang from the Korean War, whence it made its way to Australia with returned servicemen and women. In the US it can be applied to Indians, Papua New Guineans and Pacific Islanders as well as oriental peoples – in Australia it only refers to oriental people. A similar restriction of meaning can be seen below at the entry for wog.

 

gone to Gowings phr. really gone.

1966 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language (2nd ed.) xi. 231 Some localized samples: M.B. or to suffer from M.B. (the initials represent Melbourne Bitter) and gone to Gowings (Gowing Bros. Ltd. is the name of a Sydney firm). All mean drunk.

1977 Jim Ramsay Cop It Sweet 40 gone to gowings: pec[uliar to]. Sydney. Hopelessly beaten or outclassed.

1982 Nancy Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 118-9 If I say a person is too stupid to know 'whether it is Thursday or Anthony Horderns', or that, being astray as to wits she has 'gone to Gowings' my words only have meaning if my auditor understands that these are famous Sydney shops. Furthermore, 'gone to Gowings' may not have much impact on people too young to remember a long-continued advertising campaign of which 'gone to Gowings' was the slogan.

Notes: Colloquial usage of an advertising slogan for a Sydney retail firm. Essentially just an intensifier for the word gone – in any of its formal, colloquial or slang senses. Not in AND. There is an entry for this phrase in Wilkes, but he only adduces two citations, and these actually refer to the advertising slogan, rather than the colloquial usage. Note that all the citations here are secondary sources (and there are more to be found) – primary evidence seems elusive.

 

gramma n. a type of pumpkin.

1866 Henning Letters 97 Plum-pudding, roley-puddings made of gramah-jam, beefsteak pies and puddings I am quite clever at.

1960 Rumsey Seed Catalogue (Sydney) GRAMMA – TROMBONE, thick flesh, special strain for market 2/8 [1 oz.]

Notes: Predating AND 1964.

 

great outback n. the outback, romanticised.

1930 Frederick J. Thwaites The Broken Melody 56 They rose, and, with Mr Bryce's hand resting on Cooper's shoulder, they crossed the busy street. Strange that these two men, both brothers of the great Outback, both lovers of their country, should be thrown together so.

Notes: Predating AND 1936.

 

grog, on the phr. on a drinking binge.

1946 Kylie Tennant Lost Haven iv. 66 He had been pleased to see her, 'the cows bellering their heads off, as if they'd been on the grog and got a headache themselves, and me, I could low like that and take a pleasure in lowing, if it weren't that the roof of me mouth's gone to blazes.'

Notes: Predating AND 1959.

 

grog up v.i. to binge drink.

1955 Alan Marshall I Can Jump Puddles xxiii. 178 "It's the kid who never sees men grogging up who takes to it when he grows up."

Notes: Predating AND 1956.

 

grommet n. a young surfer. Also grom, grommie.

1985 Tracks (Sydney) Oct 82 And nothing shits a Hell Crew grommet more than a flashing wow from Coogee in a fluoro.

1986 Sydney Morning Herald 28 June Good Weekend 16 For those not fully au fait with surfing language, a grommet is a young and dangerously keen surfer - often bespattered with freckles, known to wag school occasionally when the waves are good and regarded by more mature boardriders as a pestilence.

1992 Tracks (Sydney) Jun 16 She's the kind of girl that every pubescent grom dreams for (and a few adults we know too!).

1992 Tracks (Sydney) Oct 18 More importantly, by presenting a safe image, the groms are helping to show the straights and old fogies who are down on surfing that it is populated by sharp-thinking athletes.

1993 Tim Winton Lockie Leonard: Scumbuster 106 'I hear she's a hot grommet. Better than you, maybe.'

1996 Underground Surf Aut 18 An army of gremlins fronted – the crew signed on and the groms bailed – the beers flowed and the rest is shoptalk.

ibid. 22 It's a simplistic question and puerile in the extreme, but that's the way grommies think and that's also the way I like to answer them.

1996 Tracks (Sydney) Jun 29/1 Nothing unlike when you're a grommet getting poled!

1997 Tim Winton Lockie Leonard: Legend 4 Because, you see, as any grommet knows, there are fins and there are FINS!

1998 Sun-Herald 25 Oct SundayLife! 32 Spring may bring with it the grommets, the Brits and the goat boats, but then, there's always a wave, somewhere.

1998 Underground Surf Crossover (Sydney) #2 48 He's a hot grommie who has all the moves and a sick style.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

gum tree n. a eucalyptus tree.

1770 James Cook, Journal 1768--71 viii. Here are but few sorts of Trees besides the Gum tree, which is the most numerous, and is the same that we found on the Southern Part of the Coast, only here they do not grow near so large.

ibid. The Woods do not produce any great variety of Trees; there are only 2 or 3 sorts that can be called Timber. The largest is the gum Tree, which grows all over the country; the wood of this Tree is too hard and ponderous for most common uses.

Notes: Predating AND 1789.

 

gunna phr. going to.

1944 Lawson Glassop We Were The Rats II. xix. 106 'mick,' he said, 'I'm gunna be a father.'

Notes: Predating AND 1950.

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hambonen. a male striptease act.

1964 Martin Sharp in Oz Feb [A]nd then Phil did this king hambone on the kitchen table and ran round the house in the raw ripping the gear off all the birds[.]

Notes: Predating AND 1966.

 

hammer n. heroin.

1986 Frank Hardy Hardy's People 105 They just seem to think that they are just ordinary people silling hammer (as they call heroin).

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

handbag n. a woman's male escort to a social engagement.

1967 Sue Rhodes Now you'll think I'm awful 70 And every true bitch knows the value to her social standing, of the type of men best described as 'handbags'. They're lovely to look at, beautifully dressed and totally brainless.

1968 Sue Rhodes And when she was bad she was popular i. 15 I didn't really want him, but he made a nice handbag and the fact that she couldn't get a look-in nearly drove her mad.

1984 Kathy Lette Girls' Night Out 181 'You're training me to become a human handbag that you can take on your arm to premi?res and dinner parties.'

1996 Sydney Morning Herald 22 Jun 17/1 Like the time she described James Packer as a 'handbag', something that apparently made him unhappy.

Notes: Predating Wilkes citations from the 1980s, which however cover various other senses. The 1984 quote doesn't seem fully lexicalised.

 

Happy Jack n. a babbler (bird)

1979 Sam Weller Old Bastards I Have Met 14 All her mates were fluttering around her and clucking around like a flock of 'Happy Jacks' and Terry raced to the phone and rang the Ambulance.

Notes: Postdating AND 1961.

 

hard casen. a strong-willed and individual person; an eccentric and amusing person; a character

1877 J.S. James The Vagabond Papers (2nd series) 92 There was one 'hard case', however, a man who had been continually drinking, who was deaf to advice given to him to take the pledge.

Notes: Predating AND 1892.

 

hop in for your chop phr. to take your fair share.

1954 Eric Lambert The Veterans i. 16 'Hop in for your chop. Make 'em give you everything you're entitled to.'

Notes: Predating AND 1968.

 

hoppo-bumpo n. a children's game (see citations). Hence, as a verb, hoppo-bump.

1974 Phillip Adams The Unspeakable Adams 51 Hoppo-Bumpo: A game played by hopping around on one leg, using folded arms as bumper bars.

1983 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #4 4/1 Many of the games had

delightful names. There was one called 'hoppo-bumpo', naturally enough a combination of hops and bumps[.]

1989 'Dame Edna Everage' My Gorgeous Life 80 We saw the barefoot urchins playing knuckles and hoppo-bumpo on the scarred bitumen roadway[.]

1998 Shame Maloney Nice Try 263 The boys were hoppo-bumping each other, acting the goat, while the girls maintained an air of superior indifference.

1998 Sydney Morning Herald 7 Feb 38 The hoppo bumpo that has characterised this week has served the purpose of sifting the main points of view, which will now be further ground down in the back rooms by the members of the resolutions committee.

1998 Life. Be In It. Games Manual 17 Hoppo Bumpo. Description: Each participant stands on one leg, holding the other foot in his/her hand. On the signal to start, participants balancing on one leg hop about trying to knock other participants off balance.

2004 Australian Word Map (www.abc.net.au/wordmap) [It is a] game hopping on one leg & attempting to knock over other players – last man standing wins: Let's play hoppo bumpo.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. According to Australian Word Map informants, this term dates back as far as the 1940s, and seems to have been more common in Victoria. The second 1998 citation shows a figurative use.

 

hornbag n. a sexually attractive person.

1981 Barry Humphries A Nice Night's Entertainment 189 Of course I love you, horn-bag. Just get up here, pronto, or I'll start without ya.

1992 Picture (Sydney) 5 Feb 55/3 Heroine fwooar-a-minute hornbag crutch-rubbing Madonna's landed a new fillum role.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

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imma n. a coloured glass playing marble. Also, immo, emma.

1945 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language 204 Marbles of one kind or another are known to Australian children as bottleys, bottle-ohs, cornies, cornelians, chows, dakes, doblars, conks, commos, stinkies, stonkers, dibs, peewees, glassies, immas and smokies.

1953 Sidney J. Baker Australia Speaks 109 Other, mainly indigenous, offerings include: imma, dib, stonky, tom bowler and put the moz on.

1983 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #4 3/2 Other popular games were 'alleys' – in this we used 'stonks', 'agates', 'emmas' and 'reels' – and tops.

1985 Cathy Hope Themes from the Playground 3 An Immo was made to look like a Real but you could tell because an Immo broke easily and chipped differently. You could buy 5 Immoes for one penny.

1989 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #17 7/2 Next came the Imma, obviously immitation real. Immas looked like Reals but the shrewd boy was never fooled.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. From imm(itation) + -o or –a. These were 'glass' marbles that looked like genuine marbles made from 'agate' or 'marble' – see entry for real below.

 

improve, on the phr. improving.

1943 Baker

Notes: Predating AND who cite Baker 1959. See note at boofhead.

 

Indo n. an Indonesian; Indonesia. Also, as an adjective, Indonesian.

1954 Betty Jeffrey White Coolies (1959) xxiii. 137 She dressed herself quickly and went off with it to the Indos in Hut 11.

1966 Baker xvii. 368 Indo, Indonesia(n). This word was mainly used by Australia's "yellow Press", beginning in 1958, to fit headings. After a flirtation with it, the Melbourne "Sun-Pictorial" converted it to Indon.

1978 C.J. Koch The Year of Living Dangerously ii. 36 'The Indos don't take much notice of me – they think I'm a local.'

ibid. v. 61 'You never know who's watching in the Hotel – and the Indo. newspapers are always running articles on the white men's vice den here.'

1992 Tracks (Sydney) Oct 131 Indo is also in the midst of its off season, but I've been there at the same time of the year and if you get up early to beat the winds you will still score excellent waves.

ibid. 19 If you're a veteran Indo traveller, steeled in the forge of bigger barrels, you probably wouldn't bother with this wave, although you could slip out for a few turns to break the boredom.

1996 Tracks (Sydney) Jun 33/3 Of course being Indo the waves are perfect[.]

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND (which gives Indon, much less common). Note that the 1954 citation contradicts what Baker says about the word.

 

Indon n. an Indonesian.

1966 Baker xvii. 368 Indo, Indonesia(n). This word was mainly used by Australia's 'yellow Press', beginning in 1958, to fit headings. After a flirtation with it, the Melbourne 'Sun-Pictorial' converted it to Indon.

Notes: Predating AND 1972. See note at boofhead.

 

iron lung, wouldn't work in an ~ phr. (someone) is terribly lazy.

1971 Frank Hardy The Outcasts of Foolgarah vii. 79 Even the most primitive societies protect, succor and shelter the aged, but not so the affluent society with the principle of he that cannot work neither shall he eat (except Silver Tails who wouldn't work in an iron lung).

1985 'Sir Les Patterson' The Traveller's Tool vi. 42 Sometimes I work a twenty-four, twenty-five even a twenty-six hour day, but try telling that to a Pom who wouldn't work in an iron lung!

1991 Sunday Herald Sun (Melb.) 1 May 13 Funny, at that end of the scale, the cry is: 'That lot wouldn't work in an iron lung. Pass the cognac and organise a recession after lunch, Simpkins. That'll teach the commo bludgers a lesson.'

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

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jackeroo n. a white man living away from settlement.

1840 Lieutenant Gorman to Colonel Secretary Thomson ADNSW (Ref. 4/2539.21) 30 Mar We found one man belonging to the Duke of York's Tribe, that appeared to have got a few grains of small shot about the forehead and chest, and on inquiring from him how he got wounded, he said the Jackeroos (meaning the Missionaries) had fired on him and others who were crossing a swamp near their gardens.

Notes: Predating AND 1845. From an unverified citation card of Ted Hartley's.

 

jelly blubber n. a jellyfish.

1943 ABC Weekly 1 Mar 22/3 I listened to little oral essays on jelly blubbers, men-o'-war, sea slugs, blue-bottles, giant crabs, and even prawns[.]

Notes: Predating AND 1980.

 

jenny wren n. a female blue wren, or a male blue wren in non-breeding plumage.

1917 Henry Handel Richardson Australia Felix vi. 115 But Rogers had married beneath him, and the sight of the pursy upstart – there were people on the Flat who remembered
her running barefoot and slatternly – sitting there, in satin and feathers, lording it over his own little Jenny Wren, was more than Mahony could tolerate.

1975 Every Australian Bird Illustrated 188/1 And although the male in all his blue glory is the most eye-catching member of the family, his wife and daughters, the Plain Janes or Jenny wrens, though less glamorously plumaged, have their own quiet appeal.

1975 Malcolm McNaughton Australian Birdlife Illustrated 50/2 Female Superb Blue Wrens lack the bold pattern and colour of the male. They are often referred to by the common name of "Jenny-wren".

Notes: Not recorded as an Australianism so far. The OED records this as a nursery term for the European wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), a small, brown bird with no distinction between males and females. In Australia the most common wrens first observed by colonists would have been certain species of the family Maluridae. These superficially resembled the European wren, except for breeding males, which had bright blue plumage and were hence called blue wrens. The females were distinguished from the males as jenny wrens. Unknown to the casual observer, male blue wrens are also mostly brown when not in their breeding plumage. In the field they are only able to be separated from females by an expert, and so the term jenny wren also gets applied to non-breeding males. Actually, the two commonest species to which the usage would apply are the superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) and variegated fairy-wren (M. lambertii) – though, nearly all female and non-breeding malurids are plain brown and so could reasonably be called jenny wrens. According to Baker (1945, p.211) jenny wren is also applied to the white-fronted chat (Ephthianura albifrons), and the CSIRO's An Index of Australian Bird Names, 1969, also notes its application to the speckled warbler (Chthonicola sagittata). Neither of these uses seem to be very common.

 

Joes n. the willies.

1985 'Sir Les Patterson' The Traveller's Tool vi. 41 Boy oh boy, that word 'relationship' gives me the Joes, especially if it is called a 'caring relationship.'

Notes: Postdating AND 1955.

 

John Hop n. a cop.

1905 Duke Tritton in John Meredith Learn To Talk Old Jack Lang 15 It is hard to believe that two years ago I was humpin' the drum with you, spending all my Oscar Asche on mud and ooze, and two-up, fighting and brawling, stoushing John Hops, getting run in and spending a few days in the cooler, pinching the squatter's lambs when we were out of meat, jumping the rattler and acting all round like a pair of half witted clowns.

Notes: Predating AND 1907.

 

Johnny Raw n. a 'new chum'.

1827 The Australian 17 Oct I remember reading in London an impudent fabrication called an account of Van Diemen's Land, in which that Island was called an earthly Paradise, and a good deal more of the same stuff, for the base purpose it is believed, of inducing some ten or a dozen ignorant Johnny Raws in London to pay their passage money to the author.

Notes: Predating AND 1840. From an unverified citation card of Ted Hartley's. Page number not given.

 

journo n. a journalist

1966 Baker xvii. 367 The Journos (a Sydney name for its Journalists' Club).

Notes: Predating AND 1967. This nickname implies the term 'journo' existed. See note at boofhead.

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kangaroo v.t. to squat above a toilet seat

1941 Baker KANGAROO A S***: To defecate while sitting on one's haunches.

Notes: Predating AND 1955. See note at boofhead.

 

knockabout n. a rouseabout.

1865 'Rolf Boldrewood' Shearing in the Riverina 26 So far is he from participation in the general holiday that he finds the store thronged with shearers, washers, and 'knock-about men,' who being let loose, think it would be nice to go and buy something pour passer le temps.

1888 'Rolf Boldrewood' Robbery Under Arms 93 We'd had a couple of knockabouts to help with the cooking and stockyard work.

Notes: Predating AND: attributive use 1867, and concrete use 1893.

 

knuckles n. a children's game (see citation 1990).

1974 Phillip Adams The Unspeakable Adams 51 Jacks: A game played with meat-knuckle bones. Knuckles: A more violent game with one's own knuckle bones.

1989 'Dame Edna Everage' My Gorgeous Life 80 We saw the barefoot urchins playing knuckles and hoppo-bumpo on the scarred bitumen roadway[.]

1990 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #18 14/2 Another game I was subjected to with my brother was called Knuckles. This involved holding out a fist knuckles up and having my brother hit them with his fist as hard as he could. I was not allowed to pull my fist back unless he took a swipe. If he just twitched his wrist and I, in sheer fear, retracted my fist, he was allowed a free swipe.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

kurrajong n. the native tree Brachychiton populneus.

1797 HRNSW 339 One ropemaker and one assistant. Making of cordage out of currajong.

Notes: Predating AND 1801. From an unverified citation card of Ted Hartley's.

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lairise v.i. to play the lair.

1945 Baker vi. 119 lair a person who overdoes his dressing and behaves crudely or ostentatiously, whence lairiness, and lairize or lairize around, to act as a lair or to show off.

Notes: Predating AND 1953. See note at boofhead.

 

lamb down v.t. to squander.

1888 Australia's First Century 644 He partakes himself to a public-house. Arrived there, he hands his cheque to Boniface, and proceeds to 'lamb down' its amount, and the public-house loafers indulge in the luxury of a several days 'drunk'.

Notes: Predating AND 1899. From an unverified citation card of Ted Hartley's.

 

Leb n. a Lebanese person. Also Lebo, Lebbo.

1994 Helen Barnes The Crypt Orchid i. 15 'Like, I'm walking down the street the other day, broad daylight and this ugly Leb in a Monaro starts kerb crawling.'

1996 3-D World (Sydney) 1 Apr 40/1 Now people see this Leb and they wonder what's my stature[.]

2000 June Factor Kidspeak 126 lebo n a Lebanese person, or more generically any Arabic-speaking person also: leb, lebbo. Used derogatively by outsiders but may be used proudly by those who identify themselves as Lebanese.

2003 ABC Online website (www2b.abc.net.au) What have we got? Lebo's; WOGS; Spicks; Poms...

2003 Woglife website (www.wog.com.au) I can tell by your name your a Lebbo, and if i was a Lebbo i would be assamed to have in the Lebbo comunity!

2004 Trance Addict website (www.tranceaddict.com) man i swear the world must be about 10 yrs behind australia we called them wogs or lebs (racial slurs for their general ethnicity) and everything was 'fully sick bro'[.]

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. Despite the late dates for these terms, they were in common us in Sydney (which has a large Lebanese community) from the 1970s. When directed at people it is primarily a racial slur, though June Factor is correct regarding the amelioration of the term within the Lebanese community – a parallel case with wog (see below).

 

Leb adj. Lebanese. Also Lebo, Lebbo.

1995 Christos Tsiolkas Loaded (1998) 35 Fucking Lebo men, my sister spits out.

2003 Woglife website (www.wog.com.au) I can tell by your name your a Lebbo, and if i was a Lebbo i would be assamed to have in the Lebbo comunity!

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. See notes above.

 

lezzo n. a lesbian.

1941 Baker

Notes: Predating AND 1945 (citing Baker). See note at boofhead.

 

liquid lunch n. beer for lunch.

1964 Barry Humphries A Nice Night's Entertainment (1981) 80 We kicked off with a liquid lunch[.]

Notes: Predating AND 1969.

 

loan, have a ~ of phr. to deceive or tease.

1888 in Stewart and Keesing Old Bush Songs 80 You'll scarcely live a six-months; if you do, then beggar me! / The advice of a jackeroo – not long from the old countree – / The squatters here, 'tis very clear, have had the loan of me.

1902 A.B. Paterson Rio Grande and Other Verses 122 'That's the way to get in, / But I reckon I'd better be quiet, or / They'll spiflicate me' – / And he chuckled, for he / Had the loan of the circus proprietor.

Notes: Predating AND 1903.

 

longa prep. near, by.

1877 H. Head in Stewart and Keesing Australian Bush Ballads (1955) 104 We saw her no more from that day, / But papa, having tasted a drop, / Said, 'Long time yet me no pull away, / Me like longa whitefellow stop.'

Notes: Predating AND 1879.

 

lurks and perks phr. dodges and perquisites.

[1965 John O'Grady Aussie English 67 If you want your share of perks, / Learn the ropes, and all the lurks.]

1971 David Ireland The Unknown Industrial Prisoner 248 Perhaps it was the aches and pains of the flu or the accumulation of the feeling that because he did his work he missed all the lurks and perks others enjoyed.

Notes: the AND does not record this rhyming phrase other than in a sole citation from 1980. It has been in common use since the 1970s.

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magsman n. a raconteur.

1924 Gilbert H. Lawson A Dictionary of Australian Words and Terms MAGSMAN – A talkative person; a deceiver.

Notes: Predating AND 1935. The text of this little pamphlet-sized dictionary is identical to that used in the much-quoted 1924 list of slang from the Sydney Truth newspaper, 27th April. The list formed part of a competition ran by the Direct Hosiery Co. Until now the identity of the author of this minor, but nonetheless important, piece of Australian lexicography has gone undiscovered.

 

marvel n. an impressive person.

1903 Joseph Furphy Such Is Life 98 'Rory, you 're a marvel,' I remarked with sincerity.

1926 Katherine Susannah Prichard Working Bullocks 100 'You should see Niel Hansen now he's in training. He's a marvel...be champion of the State yet.'

1940 Christina Stead The Man Who Loved Children VI. i. 137 The children lounged or sat and stared at Auntie Jo with admiration. She was a marvel to be able to tell off a bank manager, a landlord, and to own two houses of her own.

1946 Kylie Tennant Lost Haven ii. 44 'Now that you've got this all off your chest about what a
marvel you are, giving me another chance...'

1950 Frank Hardy Power Without Glory II. vii. 306 He determined that this was one occasion when he would let opportunity pass him by; but a man had to admit she was a bloody marvel. She had four kids, yet she'd stand up beside women ten years younger and without a kid to their name. How old would she be? Near forty, for a moral! A bloody marvel!

1956 Kylie Tennant The Honey Flow ii. 33 'You know your dad's a bloody marvel,' Blaze would say, enviously.

1965 Randolph Stow The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea xi. 153 'You may laugh,' Rick said, 'but I think I'm a bloody marvel.'

1974 Alvin Purple vi. 79 'Doc,' I laughed, 'you're a bloody marvel.'

1977 Colleen McCullough The Thorn Birds 8 'She's a bloody marvel, Meggie,' he murmured, his face nuzzling into her hair.

1986 [Richard Beckett] The Dinkum Aussie Dictionary 36 Marvel: As in the statement, 'You're a bloody marvel; I hope they can breed off you.' A sarcastic remark directed at someone who has buggered things up.

1992 Robert G. Barrett Davo's Little Something 55 'You're a bloody marvel,' muttered Davo, getting a bit pissed off at Eddie's lairising[.]

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

mental n. a tantrum or fit of anger; any kind of fit.

1979 Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette Puberty Blues 51 'Hi Deb. What happened?' 'He cracked a mental.'

1983 Kerry Cue Crooks, Chooks and Bloody Ratbags (1988) x. 193 'Do ya wanna go down to old Doc's and watch him do a mental?'

1986 Tim Winton That Eye, The Sky II. ix. 83 'Henry chucked a mental,' I say, 'down by the bridge.' 'It was a fit.' 'Is he an apoplexic or whateveritis?'

1987 Kathy Lette Girls' Night Out (1995) 84 That's why she hadn't cared about him toughing her. And why the Chihuahua had chucked a mental about being called a poofter.

1993 Tim Winton Lockie Leonard: Scumbuster 79 'Anyway, I'm leaning over having a perv at a Tracks mag when - whoosh - out comes fifty litres of snot and ocean all over the magazine rack. I had to buy the surf mag and two Women's Weeklys. The guy chucked a mental.'

Notes: Not recorded in Wilkes, AND.

 

mia mia n. a temporary shelter (non-Aborig. use)

1932 Leonard Mann Flesh in Armour (1944) vii. 47 Others of the robuster, more energetic, sort, had somehow improvised little huts and mia mias.

1958 Eve Langley The Pea-Pickers i. 85 Karta Singh's motley crowd of pickers who had been lying around under bags and mia-mia's for the past month were coming down through the peas, snatching them up in thousands.

Notes: Interdating AND 1924 <> 1984

 

Mickey Mouse adj. rhyming slang for grouse.

1975 'Bluey' Bush Contractors xxxvii. 373 'This must be it for sure' Dave said 'Look at it' He picked up a piece of ore. 'Wowie, it's the Mickey Mouse gear, fur coat.'

1977 Jim Ramsey Cop it Sweet!

1981 The Macquarie Dictionary

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

missus n the woman of the house on a rural station.

1889 'Rolf Boldrewood' Robbery Under Arms 305 'The missus must ha' been awful frightened, and the young ladies too.'

1899 'Steele Rudd' On Our Selection 37 'Leave me alone when I'm chopping wood for the missus,' the man answered, then smiled and muttered to himself.

1903 Joseph Furphy Such Is Life 369 'S'pose you 'll have to go,' says the missus – for the bosses was both away at another place they got.

1905, 1936, 1938 see citations at boss.

1915 Norman Lindsay The Comic Art of Norman Lindsay (1987) 200 The Boss: 'Well, Jacky, I'm off to the war.' Jacky: 'Righto, Boss. You not come back, I mind missus for yer.'

1947 Ion L. Idriess Over the Range xxii. 208 I thought there might be trouble with the missus if I engaged a one-time murderer as nursemaid.

1958 Olaf Ruhen Naked Under Capricorn xii. 182 Marriner's suspicion was that now the men were back at the homestead and camp life was over for a month or two, Activity resented the new house and 'the Missus.'

1965 see citation at boss.

1967 Jean Brooks The Opal Witch (1970) ix. 59 'What – because of Sid? Don't be silly.' 'No. 'cos of the missus comin' back.'

1982 see citation at boss.

1994 Herb Wharton Cattle Camp 76 The cowboy's boss was usually the missus[.]

Notes: See notes at boss.

 

mob n. a group of people sharing the same identity.

1831 The Australian 6 Jun 525/5 In this scene will be introduced the celebrated comic pas deux by Dusty Bob and Black Sal, and a characteristic reel by the whole mob.

Notes: Predating AND 1848. From an unverified citation card of Ted Hartley's.

 

mongrel n. a despicable person.

1902 Barbara Baynton Bush Studies 97 'Well some of these days I'm goin' down ter Sydney,' he continued, 'an' I'll collar thet one 'cos it's a good likerness of ther 'orses – you'd know their 'ide on a gum-tree – an' that mean mongrel never paid me ther five bob.'

1903 Joseph Furphy Such Is Life 13 'O, go an' bark up a tree, you mongrel!' replied the war-material, with profusion of adjective. 'Fat lot o' good tailin' you up!'

1913 Norma Lindsay A Curate in Bohemia i. 4 One sorely tried person had left this cryptic statement, 'Liar and slave, strikes him!' and fled in anger. Others were content with such simple epithets as, 'Mongrel,' 'Procrastinator,' 'Hound of Crete!'[.]

1917 'Henry Handle Richardson' Australia Felix 306 'And I should feel it my duty to do the same again to-morrow; though there are pleasanter things in life, Mary, I can assure you, than informing a low mongrel like Ocock that his wife is drinking on the sly.'

1923 D.H. Lawrence Kangaroo [Project Gutenberg] One evening Sharpe was called out from the drawing-room: detectives in the hall enquiring about Somers, where he got his money from, etc., etc., such clowns, louts, mongrels of detectives.

1933 John Truran Where the Plain Begins II. i. 140 'But I come out of it as soon's there was a job offerin', even though it meant crawlin' about the roads after sheep, along of a mongrel like you.'

1948 Joseph Furphy The Buln-Buln and the Brolga 'What's your name, you mongrel?' says the magistrate to me.

1954 Judah Waten The Unbending 273 'We don't want to listen to your filthy talk, you Catholic mongrel,' an irate Orangeman shouted from the fence.

1963 Frank Hardy Legends From Benson's Valley 29 'What's the use of arguing with the old mongrel,' Arty MacIntosh said as if money no longer mattered.

1971 Wal Watkins Andamooka xi. 112 'Close your bar,' he said. Janosh stared at him. 'You're a mongrel.'

1984 David Malouf Harland's Half Acre 176 I put my shirt on that mongrel, 'e was nipped at the post.

1993 Tim Winton Lockie Leonard: Scumbuster 44 He was a mongrel breed, you could say, but not a mongrel of a bloke.

1995 Marianne Wood Just A Prostitute 52 'That mongrel used me up fast, but I still can't get him out of my system.'

Notes: Predating AND 1919, and interdating 1919 <> 1954. And some postdating 1974, as well.

 

mongrel adj. despicable, dreadful, terrible.

1896 Henry Lawson 'His Country After All' 'Why, it's only the mongrel desert, except some bits around the coast. The worst dried-up and God-forsaken country I was ever in.'

1907 Henry Lawson The Romance of the Swag 270 'Now, look here, you mongrel parson!' he said.

1961 Geoff Mill Nobody Dies But Me (2003) 8 He sent off a raging memo to the mongrel warrant officer in charge of our marine section[.]

1965 William Dick A Bunch of Ratbags vii. 98 'That'll fix him, the mongrel Jew.'

1967 J.E. MacDonnell Dit Spinner ii. 53 To George everything was 'mongrel'. He opined that he wanted his mongrel head read for joining this mongrel outfit, while at the same time he was looking forward to his mongrel leave; and (privately) loved his mongrel life aboard this mongrel ship.

1973 in Bill Hornadge The Ugly Australian (1975) 113 'You rotten, bloody, poofter, commo, mongrel bastard.'

1975 Xavier Herbert Poor Fellow My Country 1426 Pat turned on them, brandishing his crutch, roaring, 'Shut up yo'selves, you mongrel bastards, and give her a go!'

1989 Allan Skerman Beyond Indigo 381 'Get out while your luck's in, you mongrel bastard.'

1990 Sam Watson The Kadaitcha Sung 96 'By gee I be glad to get out of here, it's a real mongrel bloody place.'

Notes: The AND doesn't have a separate entry of the adjectival use of mongrel, instead preferring to state merely "Also, attrib. and transf." – however, the citations here suggest that it should be promoted to full adjectival status in the next edition.

 

moral certainty n. an absolute certainty.

1803 Sydney Gazette 16 Oct 3/1 However NUMEROUS the houses in town may be yet one moral certainty exists that they are no longer NUMBERLESS.

Notes: Predating OED 1868.

 

mosh game n. a type of gambling game.

1956 Vince Kelly The Bogeyman ii. 23 In that role of Joe Chuck was to get the information that enabled him to plan raids on two-up schools, mosh games, opium dens, and other activities that had successfully defied the law.

Notes: Postdating AND 1934

 

mug copper n. a police officer.

1949 Jon Cleary The Long Shadow (1968) v. 40 'And I'm not going to be chucked out on my neck to let some bloody mug copper move in on it!'

1953 [C.A. Wright] Caddie: A Sydney Barmaid (1966) i. 5 The police departed, leaving a group of women standing outside the pub, calling out their opinions of the mug coppers, and that ditry bitch in there, meaning the Missus.

1956 Vince Kelly The Bogeyman ii. 25 'Go on, Louis! Bite the bloody mug copper!'

1963 Bernard Hesling The Dinkumization and Depommification of an artful English Immigrant 116 'Now would I, with the whole of King's Cross to choose from, pick out a heavyweight mug copper?'

1969 Alex Buzo Norm and Ahmed 31 'Mind you, though, if a mug copper ever started pushing me around, I'd job him good and proper, no risk about that.'

1978 John Hepworth John Hepworth: His Book 164 Apart from sharing the nationwide constabulary sensitivity to being called 'mug coppers' or 'wallopers', the Canberra fuzz are particularly touchy about two things.

1996 Sydney City Hub 4 Apr 5/2 My father was already doing some anticipatory laughing, as Roy went on, 'and this mug copper comes up, and starts having a go at him.'

Notes: Not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND. The implication is that all police officers are stupid bastards.

 

mug lair n. a fool with tickets on themself.

1944 Lawson Glassop We Were The Rats II. xxv. 146 'Well, they're singin' an' prayin' an' hallelujahin' there for a while an' a coupler mug lairs starts ter chip 'em.'

1948 Sumner Locke Elliott Rusty Bugles 25 'You're a mug lair.'

Notes: Predating AND 1965.

 

mug punter n. a gambler on horse or greyhound racing, especially a stupid one.

1966 James Holledge The Great Australian Gamble vi. 58 For all that the hard-headed businessman was in no danger of developing into a mug punter.

1969 Wilda Moxham The Apprentice (1991) xii. 133 'I'm just another mug punter far as he knows, mind.'

1986 Frank Hardy Hardy's People 13 Truthful Jones definition of a mug punter: 'The bloke who put his last $100 for the place on an odds-on favourite, it ran third, paid a money back dividend – and he lost the ticket.'

1993 TV Week (Sydney) 13 Feb 24 Mind you, there have been a lot of tears and muttered curses as well – from mug punters who put their beer money on the 'red-hot, dead-cert, sure-fire' tips these boys purport to have the mail on every week.

Notes: Not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND. From the bookmakers' perspective, all punters are mug punters! The OED records a sole citation of this compound from British crime writer Edgar Wallace from 1922, and according to Google the term is alive and well and living in the UK.

 

mull v.t. to prepare marijuana for smoking, generally by cutting it up with scissors in a mull bowl and usually adding tobacco, or sometimes other herbs. Also, mull up.

1985 Tracks (Sydney) Oct 7 Method: Mull all herbs (dry mix). Sprinkle on preheated hash.

1986 Tracks (Sydney) Feb 17 He made some waves into foam, / while his girls back at home / mulled up the rest of the hash.

1987 Kathy Lette Girls' Night Out (1995) 15 He would like his women wild. Mull up.

1997 John Birmingham The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco 215 I remember there'd been so much shit to get through that we'd stopped bothering to mull it up.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. The form mull up can be used intransitively as well. Etymologically an extension of mull 'to heat, sweeten, and spice wine for drinking'.

 

mull n. marijuana; marijuana prepared for smoking.

1987 Tracks (Sydney) Dec 23/4 'They said if I didn't smoke their two ounces of heavy-duty mull, man, then they'd kill ... er ... they'd kill you, Boss!'

1988 Tracks (Sydney) Feb 3/3 There are still many pockets of resistors that convince themselves that a good mull before a surf is the only way to go[.]

1989 Opus May 22 Got some filters, or there's some mull on the coffee table.

1990 Advertiser (Adelaide) 12 Jan 10 The Marijuana Users Legalisation Lobby (MULL) believes that legalising drug use will: destroy the black market...

1992 Tracks (Sydney) Oct 13 The amount of mull you guys pack in is amazing. Ever since I gave up the mull, my surfing has jumped to new heights.

1996 Underground Surf Aut 62/1 The guys up there are really committed travelling surfers, so they're not big on the mull.

1996 Linda Jaivin Rock n Roll Babes from Outer Space 124 Tristram pinched some mull between his fingers and examined it closely.

1997 Rants (Sydney) Oct 27 I felt like a royal fuckwit re-entering the house for the mull.

1997 John Birmingham The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco 204 He'd swapped a jaffle maker and a curling wand from Jordan's place for a small stick of mull and a bottle of Stone's green ginger wine.

1999 Robert G. Barrett The Wind and the Monkey 118 Kick back, maybe smoke some of that mull that turned Kastrine Kreen into a serial rapist and get into a bit of music.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

mull bowl n. a bowl used to prepare marijuana for smoking.

1992 Andrew McGahan Praise xxxiii. 193 Then he rolled his fingers round in the mull bowl.

1995 Harrison Biscuit The Search for Savage Henry 60 There were a few flecks left in the mull bowl[.]

1997 John Birmingham The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco 119 They both meandered off into the house to see if they could scrape up the fixings from last night's mull bowl leftovers.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

mullhead n. a marijuana addict.

1988 Tracks (Sydney) Feb 3/3 I believe that the tide is turning and as this generation of surfers becomes tomorrow's adults they will leave the drugs to the westies and the surfing 'mull-heads' will become a dinosaur.

1996 Underground Surf Aut 62/1 What sort of crew do you have up there? There'd be a lot of mullheads, wouldn't there?

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

munjon n. an Aboriginal living traditionally.

1947 Ion L. Idriess Over the Range ii. 6 Davey was a smart young aboriginal who, only three years before, had been a munjon (wild bush blackfellow).

Notes: Predating AND 1948.

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nags, the n. the horseraces.

1964 George Johnston My Brother Jack vii. 123 'So I could still send Mum her money and have enough for smokes and a schooner or two and five bob each way on the nags of a Saturday.'

1972 Judah Waten Season of Youth 32 I just couldn't go up to people and talk them blind about Ernie's tips. I didn't know anything about the nags and I'd only look silly if I tried to palm myself off as an expert.

1993 TV Week (Sydney) 13 Feb 24 Aside from their failings as tipsters, two more affable blokes you wouldn't find. They like their job, and each other, have a yarn for every occasion and share a deep love of all sport – including the nags.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

Naussie n. a New Australian.

1953 Sidney J. Baker Australia Speaks vii. 224 The colloquial form Naussie has now developed.

1954 Josef Holman As I See Them (The Aussies and the Naussies) 67 But, as the majority of people say, you can't judge the lot by an individual (though they do judge us by the 'bad' Naussies).

1966 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language (2nd ed.) x. 215 Naussie, a New Australian.

1977 Jim Ramsay Cop It Sweet! 62 naussie: New Australian, migrant.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. A delightful portmanteau word that never really caught on. But, worth recording nonetheless.

 

near enough phr. that will do.

1910 C.E.W. Bean On the Wool Track iii. 23 But he also acquired a terrible habit of leaving a thing when it is 'near enough'.

1934 Thomas Wood Cobbers xv. 176 They're near enough; they'll do; like so many other things in Australia.

Notes: Predating AND 1939.

 

nick v.i. to move quickly.

1894 Ethel Turner Seven Little Australians xii. 153 'Meg could talk to father,' Bunty said, 'and Pip could keep teasing General till Esther would be frightened to leave the room, and then me and Judy would nick down and have a run, and get back before you let them go.'

Notes: Predating AND 1896 (incidentally, also Ethel Turner)

 

niner n. a nine gallon beer keg.

1957 'Nino Culotta' They're A Weird Mob viii. 107 'There will be many men at this party?' ''Bout thirty or forty, if they all turn up.' 'Who's bringin' the niners?'

Notes: Predating AND 1960.

 

nobblerise n. to drink nobblers of spirits.

1924 Gilbert H. Lawson A Dictionary of Australian Words and Terms NOBBLERISE – To drink frequently.

Notes: Postdating AND 1899. This isn't much of a citation as it is merely a secondary source. Nevertheless, it suggests that the term perhaps still lingered as late as the 1920s.

 

nog/noggy n. a Korean; hence, an oriental person.

1953 Sidney J. Baker Australia Speaks vii. 178 The most notable neologisms from Korea have been nog and noggie, applied to a South Korean native[.]

Notes: Predating AND 1969 (nog) and 1954 (noggy). Baker gives his source for this information, namely the 1952 West Australian (Perth) 13 May 1/3-4. The AND can be forgiven for missing these as the the terms were omitted from the index of Baker's book.

 

nudge, give it a phr. to get stuck into the booze.

1953 Sidney J. Baker Australia Speaks vii. 171 nudge. – Used with relation to drinking, e.g. give it a nudge, nudge it, to drink alcoholic liquor.

1961 Robert S. Close With Hooves of Brass v. 48 It was clear they had been giving the grog a nudge.

1962 W.R. Bennett Night Intruder iv. 73 'It's about time we gave it a bit of a nudge! That's one of the drawbacks with this flamin' night racket – interferes with a bloke's grogging.'

Notes: Predating AND 1966 (citing Baker – see note at boofhead). Hence, the following:

 

nudge v.t. to drink (alcohol).

1953 as above.

1963 Len Such A Yen for Yokohama v. 57 Then I went to dig the Fourth mate out. He had come to life and had some whisky so we nudged it with milk.

1985 'Sir Les Patterson' The Traveller's Tool (1986) iv. 26 Gwen had never been much of a drinker, though her Aunty Kath who's a nun, really used to nudge the turps[.]

Notes: Not recorded in Wilkes, AND.

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off adj. disgusting or revolting; also, unfair, 'slack'.

1986 Simon French All We Know (1988) ii. 8 They're really off, those things. That's why I like them.

1987 Jenny Pausacker What are ya? xi. 70 'I reckon it's a bit off, kids like us making out we're Toorak types[.]'

1987 Kathy Lette Girls' Night Out (1995) 85 They gawped at the derros and prostitutes and drooled, 'Do something off. Go on.'

1988 'Kylie Mole' (Maryanne Fahey) My Diary 3 Imagine that, cleaning the house on your own birthday! I reckon that is off.

1990 Sun-Herald (Sydney) 18 Feb 128/4 off, foul, gross and vom (all mean horrible).

1996 Linda Jaivin Rock n Roll Babes from Outer Space 99 That's fucken off. What's so special about Earthlings anyway?

Notes: Not recorded in Wilkes, AND. Especially common amongst schoolkids and adolescents.

 

one n. a drink of beer.

1916 C.J. Dennis The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke I meets 'im Choosdee ev'nin' up the town. / 'Wot O,' 'e chips me. 'Kin yeh keep one down?' / I sez I can.

1921 John O'Brien Around the Boree Log 93 Up the spout and ringin' bells / As 'Teddo Wells, deceased'; / Never noticed up the town, / Never asked to keep one down – / Groomin' for the priest.

1924 Gilbert H. Lawson A Dictionary of Australian Words and Terms 28 stop one – To take a drink.

1929 Katherine Susannah Prichard Coonardoo (The Well in the Shadow) xxix. 178 'Hi, Dick,' he called, 'could you stop one?' 'Too right,' the stranger's voice sang out. He slouched into the kitchen; his keen hungry eyes travelled to Coonardoo. 'How about it, Coonardoo?' Geary held the bottle over a glass invitingly.

1936 Andrew Russell Gone Nomad 78 Then, jerking his fingers knowingly, 'I s'pose yer could stop one?' I could. I needed that rum.

1937 Frank Clune Dig: A Drama of Central Australia iv. 15 Despite the fact that Dost Mahomet and his merry men could not speak the Queen's English, as it was spoken in Melbourne, they well understood the meaning of the old colonial phrase, 'Can you keep one down?'

1959 F.B. McCann Medicine Man 176 I ventured to suggest that he might be able to 'keep one down' and nearly collapsed when he replied, 'Thanks, mate, but I'd better not.'

Notes: Predating AND 1945. Two questions common among Australian drinkers since the 1910s have been "Can you keep one down?" and "Can you stop one" – both of which entail the same meaning.

 

on for young and old phr. of a fight, unrestrained.

1947 John Morrison in Stories of the Waterfront 69 'Spare me days, Plug started something when he bought that kid the ice-cream! It's on now for young and old. Half the wharf-crowd's running up and down the gangway with ice-creams.'

Notes: Predating Wilkes 1951.

 

optic nerve n. rhyming slang for 'perve'. Also, shortened to optic.

1974 Barry Humphries A Nice Night's Entertainment 146 If you like grouse gear, take an optic at these three big performers just come in the yard.

1977 Jim Ramsey Cop It Sweet! 66 optic nerve: rhym. perve.

1985 'Sir Les Patterson' The Traveller's Tool (1986) ix. 67 She locked the door too and after taking a quick optic at some of the literature on my locker, I realised I'd been doped up and bunged into the Betty Ford Foundation.

1992 Tracks (Sydney) Oct 28 However, we do like to encourage free enterprise and we want you to be able to rent the tape out to your mates so they can have an optic nerve on female lead Lori Petty[.]

1996 Tracks (Sydney) Jun 43 [caption] Some things are the same at surf contests the world over: the chicks do aerobics ... And the blokes go the big optic nerve.

Notes: Not recorded in Wilkes, AND.

 

op shop n. an opportunity shop.

1976 Phillip Adams The Unspeakable Adams 127 Or else they rematerialise in a sort of transcendental op-shop, a purgatory for possessions.

Notes: Predating AND 1978.

 

Orstalia n. Australia

1904 E.S. Emerson ("Milky White") in Stewart and Keesing Australian Bush Ballads (1955) 252

Notes: Predating AND 1918. It should be noted that this very citation does appear in the AND entry, mis-dated as 1955. Here, also, are some further examples:

1929 C.J. Dennis in The C.J. Dennis Collection 43 i was ixcited enuf on saterdy an i shud ave rit you then an sung me peens of joy on orstralias victry

1933 Ernest O'Ferrall Stories by "Kodak" 56 'They don't give a man a charnce in Orstralia!'

1956Arthur Upfield The Battling Prophet 77 'Greatest disaster that ever happened to Orstralia, that fortune-telling, star-gazing crook.'

 

Orstalian n. Australian

1929 C.J. Dennis in The C.J. Dennis Collection 34 wot sort of umpirin do thay cal that the man sittin nex me will git wot es lookin for if he dont stop chipin the orstralians

1932 Leonard Mann Flesh in Armour (1944) i. 15 'Another of these Orstrilians drunk as usual in the sort of company to be expected, a young trollop off the streets.'

1980 Shirley Hazzard The Transit Of Venus xv. 125 The Major said languages were unusual in an Orstrylian.

Notes: Predating AND 1948. Plus further examples.

 

oval v.t. to bend the ring of a leg-iron into an oval, in order to effect an escape.

1798 William Noah A Voyage to Sydney in New South Wales in 1798 & 1799 18 December 1798 Saturday 1st Instant Moderate & Fair Nothing remarkable Sunday 2nd Do.... Do thro some tales being told a fresh Disturbance arose every Man Examin'd & Several of the Basils of the Irons being found Ovald they was fresh Iron'd Handcuff'd and Shackeld two and two.

1874 Marcus Clarke His Natural Life 132 Having come to this resolution, the next thing was to disencumber himself of his irons. This was more easily done than he expected. He found in the shed an iron gad, and with that and a stone he drove out the rivets. The rings were too strong to be "ovalled",* or he would have been free long ago. [footnote: * "Ovalled" is a term in use among convicts, and means to so bend the round ring of the ankle fetter that the "heel" can be drawn up through it.]

Notes: Not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND. A long obsolete piece of genuine convict slang.

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pack-rape n. rape by a gang of men in succession.

1970 Suzy Jarratt Permissive Australia i. 28 Their motor bikes are ugly and dangerous. So are they. Rockers' kicks come from pack rape and wanton destruction.

Notes: Predating AND 1976.

 

panic merchant n. an inveterate panicker.

1962 W.R. Bennett Target Turin vi. 105 'I reckon he's a real panic merchant,' grunted Storm. 'He's been scared stiff ever since the briefing.'

1966 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language (2nd ed.) x. 214 panic merchant, one who gives
way to panic in any situation of alarm[.]

1969 Wilda Moxham The Apprentice (1991) i. 4 The old geezer would be as good as new today if he hadn't shone a torch on Dicky, who, as it turned out, was a panic merchant.

1975 Xavier Herbert Poor Fellow My Country 13 A couple of egrets and a blue crane rose from the timber of the creek and came sailing to take a look at him, to swing away croaking contempt for such panic-merchants as took for the Old One or a henchman of his one small boy who wasn't even properly black.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

pash n. a passionate kiss or kissing session.

1962 W.R. Bennett Target Turin iv. 74 'Get a load of the pash-session! Somebody's on a good wicket there.'

1964 Dymphna Cusack Black Lightning ii. 52 The last pash party I went to, and I mean the last, for after that I let Legal accept, and just didn't arrive.

1967 Len Riley The Kings Cross Racket 114 'Come on, baby, give your blue-eyed blond boy a pash.'

1979 Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette Puberty Blues 23 You'd go out with the gang to a party and when everyone else paired off, he'd lead you outside for a pash on the front fence, or a 'finger' behind the Holden, or a 'titoff' down the other end of the hall nearly in the linen press.

1998 Phillip Gwynne Deadly Unna? x. 59 Got a pash in the bushes.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

pash v.t. to kiss passionately. Also, pash off.

1979 Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette Puberty Blues 104 Wayne pashed me off and I got out of the car.

1996 Sydney Star Observer 9 Feb 28/1 For the record, Harriet's seduction was unsuccessful, and she then went and pashed Noel Ferrier, leaving her chewing gum in his mouth.

1996 Linda Jaivin Rock n Roll Babes from Outer Space 95 Their way took them past a small park, a large hospital and onto Oxford Street, where Earth boys stood in the doorways of pubs pashing off other Earth boys, and Earth girls knit their fingers together in lust.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. Actually, to pash off is to kiss someone to satiety.

 

pash v.i. to engage in passionate kissing. Also, pash off and pash on.

1983 Kerry Cue Crooks, Chooks and Bloody Ratbags (1988) v. 71 For entertainment, they packed the back seats of the Shire Hall each Saturday night to watch the flicks and 'pash on' as soon as the lights went out.

1987 Jenny Pausacker What are ya? ix. 61 Xenia bounded up to tell them that Leith had pashed on with Mark Douglas for half an hour, then gone off somewhere with him.

1988 Kylie Mole (Maryanne Fahey) My Diary 5 'Oh don't worry, yer mother and I used to pash when we were kids.'

1992 Picture (Sydney) May 6 In one of the most encouraging developments since blokes started pashing with trees[.]

1994 John Birmingham He died with a felafel in his hand ix. 198 They both came as ghosts and ended up pashing off under a tangle of white sheets on the road in front of the house.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. Actually, to pash off and pash on is to engage in prolonged kissing.

 

pashing n. passionate kissing.

1964 Dymphna Cusack Black Lightning ii. 51 A System of Numbers (One to Fourteen) gives you the clew to the amount of pashing a vergin or near vergin permits and expects.

1988 Kylie Mole (Maryanne Fahey) My Diary 99 Pashing is somethink you shood only do wif your own boyfriend[.]

1996 Captial Q Weekly (Sydney) 29 Mar 34/1 People are often left with love bites on these after a heavy session of pashing.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

pash-off n. an act of kissing.

1996 Sydney Star Observer 15 Feb 22/1 And I'd like to reiterate my volunteering to work the same-sex pash-off entry requirement booth at the party.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

pash-on n. a passionate kissing session.

1990 The Dinkum Dictionary Of Australian English 58 Pash-on. A prolonged heavy kissing, petting, groping session.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

part adv. partly descended from a non-Aboriginal race.

1953 Coralie Rees Spinifex Walkabout vii. 88 Most of the aboriginal and part-aboriginal children of Broome – about ninety at this time – went to the convent school where were no white children.

ibid. xiii. 165 On the subject of coloured or part-coloured adults we found Mr Moy thinking, in line with a lot of other people, that they should have "citizen rights" automatically[.]

ibid. xix. 276 There was no doubt about the rapid increase of part-bloods: from a few thousands in the early years of the century they had reached a total of about 30,000.

Notes: Predating AND 1959.

 

part up v.i. to pay up.

1933 [Ernest O'Ferrall] Stories by "Kodak" 54 'You part up that munney! Go on!'

1951 Dal Stivens Jimmy Brockett 44 'But they'd part up gladly if they got a run for their money.'

1971 Frank Hardy The Outcasts of Foolgarah v. 49 Then a batch of building workers, true ragged-trouser philanthropists, as it transpired, when asked to part up for the Garbos.

Notes: Interdating and postdating AND 1923 <> 1953.

 

Pat Malone, on one's phr. on one's own

1905 Duke Tritton in Meredith Learn to Talk Old Jack Lang (1984) 12 I go to roll and lurch every Sunday, and the Winchcombe Carson reckons I've got a bosker lets rejoice, and often gets me to sing hers an' hims on my Pat Malone.

Notes: Predating AND 1908.

 

pee-wee n. a small playing marble.

1933 Norman Lindsay Saturdee (1977) iii. 41 After careful consultation with his alley-bag, he selected two peewees, a chalky and a slatey, which he placed in the ring.

1945 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language 204 Marbles of one kind or another are known to Australian children as bottleys, bottle-ohs, cornies, cornelians, chows, dakes, doblars, conks, commos, stinkies, stonkers, dibs, peewees, glassies, immas and smokies.

1954 in The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter (1994) #27 10/2 Marbles' Names: Carlisle, Western Australia, 1954: Agate, Cat's Eyes, Blood Real, Tomboller, Pee-Wee, Duck's Egg[.]

1977 Jim Ramsay Cop It Sweet! 69 peewee: small marble.

1985 Cathy Hope Themes from the Playground 8 Tiddlers, Pee Wees, small marbles.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

pervy adj. voyeuristic; sexy, titillating; also, perverted.

1944 Lawson Glassop We Were The Rats xxxi. 178 'He buried his head in the warm fragrance of her bosom. So-and-so, so-and-so. It gets pervy again here.'

1948 Sumner Locke Elliott Rusty Bugles 42 'Hey Bill, have you got any more pervy stories like this one?'

1952 T.A.G. Hungerford The Ridge and the River 48 'Not pervy stuff like some of the blokes do – Rusty showed me a letter he writ to his crow and I thought what a nice sort of a bag she must be to put up with it. But that's not my line.'

1969 Frank Moorhouse Futility and other animals 26 'God, I bet there are hundreds of fat old men dying for a good fuck – or a pervy fuck that they wouldn't get from their wives.'

1974 Searchlight (Sydney) #84 5 'I think that a lot of men are too afraid to ask their wives to take part in little pervy acts, so they have to pay for it.'

1998 The Big Issue (Sydney) 9-23 Mar 33/3 The forthright male narration, the use of suspect 'scientific' figures, the lesbian 'indoctrination rituals' and the pervy camera combine to produce one of the scariest homophobic documents imaginable.

Notes: Recorded in OED2, but with only two citations (the 1944 one above, and a British English one from 1970). The term is originally Australian, and quite common here. There a number of distinct senses grouped together here.

 

phernudge – see entry for fnudge.

 

picnic n. a difficult or unpleasant experience (ironic use)

1961 W.R. Bennett Wingman xii. 120 'I know, Jimmy – but not on such a large scale as this picnic. Every available fighter-bomber and ground-attack aircraft south of the line's going to be laid on, and until further notice.'

Notes: Postdating AND 1959 (citing Baker).

 

pig-root v.t. of a horse, to toss a person by pig-rooting.

1942 Truth (Sydney) 27 Jun 2/2 'I was pig-rooted right out of the saddle, and didn't that road come up nice and quick into my face!'

Notes: Predating AND 1965. In Ted Hartley's citation collection was this quotation of a verbal use: 1880 'Rolf Boldrewood' Miner's Rights 184 'Clear out of this, you infernal yaller image,' roared the infuriated miner, 'pig rooting a man's very prospecting claim, as if it was 'old ground'.' Here the sense is, literally, 'to root around like a pig', figuratively, 'to dig the ground over'. While this is not the usual 'horse' sense, it is included as an interesting piece of early evidence.

 

ping v.t. to penalise, especially and originally in sporting contexts. Also used figuratively.

1933 Norman Lindsay Saturdee (1977) ix. 98 Moreover, he pinged Bunky Rodgers for harnessing his very own poodle to a go-cart.

1994 Sunday Herald Sun (Melb.) 1 Mar 52 As for the emergency umpires, it seems their sole purpose is to sit on the boundary and ping players for the slightest infringement.

1995 Harrison Biscuit The Search for Savage Henry 19 The letter, a mere three inch column tucked away of page five, was a brief mention of a Byron Bay law firm, Quayle and Associates, which had been pinged by the Law Society[.]

2001 Sydney Morning Herald 18 Aug 1 He said 'people who should know better have failed to ping the State governments on health and education' and this was 'a great pity.'

2003 The Age (Melb.) 24 Feb (www.theage.com.au) Coincidentally, I have found myself victimised in a very similar way: recently I was pinged for 'driving under the influence' and lost my licence[.]

2004 Official AFL Website of the Collingwood Football Club (collingwoodfc.com.au) He got pinged for holding the ball when he fought a battle single handed against four Cats, but picked himself up and won the next contest.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. Especially common since the 1990s. The 60 year gap between the first and second citations can presumedly be bridged.

 

ping v.t. to hit with a projectile; to shoot with a bullet.

1933 Norman Lindsay Saturdee (1977) xi. 113 With his blow-pipe he spattered it, and with his shot-ging he pinged it[.]

1978 Patsy Adam-Smith The ANZACS xii. 122 A Turkish machine gun right in front of our group gave us a lot of trouble. Several bombers tried to get it but they were pinged off the instant they got over our parapet.

1986 Mark O'Connor in A Bundle of Yarns 14 When one pinged him under the ear he revved up and took off after me.

1988 Murray Bail Holden's Performance iii. 243 A .303 pinged off one of his toes, that's all.

ibid. iv. 292 And not once had he noticed a bodyguard nearby. The Colonel's ideas on protection were based on unobtrusiveness. Besides, as Stan Still shrugged, no point in making Australians think their PM was anyone special. 'Who'd want to ping off a mug-politician anyway?'

1992 'Roy Slaven' (John Doyle) Five South Coast Seasons 5 [B]ut Toze was keen on wearing a dolphin suit as a means of luring the smug bludgers in close enough so we could ping them sweet as a nut.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. An extension of ping! echoic of a ricochet.

 

ping n. an attempt or 'go'; a shot.

1988 Herald (Melb.) 1 May 19 'She was near last at the 200 metres and when Robert (Heffernan) pulled her out she decided to really have a ping,' he said.

1998 Shane Maloney Nice Try 273 Twenty yards from the goal-mouth, he steadied and took a ping.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

ping off v.i. a euphemism for 'piss off'.

1979 Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette Puberty Blues 79 'Give us a game,' we whined. 'Ping off, I'm up to 17,540.'

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. Despite a paucity of evidence, this is an extremely common expression used by Australian schoolkids and adolescents.

 

pissant n. some species/genus of ant.

1898 William Thomas Letters from Victorian Pioneers 86-87 They say that 'long time after Punjil made man and woman, blacks had no fire, were very cold, and eat all flesh raw'; that some lubras went out to get food. They were with their kannan digging up murrar (piss-ants' eggs), when several snakes of all kinds came up out of the earth where they were digging; that they were terribly frightened; kept beating the snakes but could not kill them.

1973 Harold Lewis Crow On A Barbed Wire Fence xiv. 122 Food, every sort of ant quickly found and rendered inedible. The greenish black ant, known throughout the bush as the "pissant", had an unfortunate habit of falling into one's tea, and a single tiny "pissant" in a quart billy of tea rendered that tea foul-tasting beyond belief.

1978 M.J. 'Chap' Burton Bush Pub xii. 129 'I could smell her feet a bloody mile away. They smell like crushed pissants.'

Notes: So far only figurative uses of this term have been recorded, but it seems that there is a real application to be researched. One for the myrmecologists.

 

pisspot n. a boozer or drunkard.

1969 Alexander Buzo Norm and Ahmed 4 'You think I'm one of those old piss-pots who go around the place annoying decent people?'

Notes: Predating AND 1974.

 

pissed as a parrot phr. heavily drunk.

1977 Jim Ramsey Cop It Sweet! 66 pissed as a newt: Very drunk indeed. Also, pissed as a parrot.

1979 Derek Maitland Breaking Out 58 Hyphen-Hyphen let out a shrill whinny of excitement and off his chair – being pissed as a parrot by this stage.

1979 Lance Peters The Dirty Half-Mile (1989) iv. 81 Gabriel Buchanan was as pissed as a parrot.

1986 [Richard Beckett] The Dinkum Aussie Dictionary 24 As a general observation anyone who utters such a phrase can be regarded as, 'three sheets into the wind', 'pissed as a parrot' or, in plain English, drunk.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. This seems to be an Australian metaphor – not recorded in dictionaries of other Englishes.

 

Pitt Street farmer n. a city person with a country hobby farm.

1945 Baker 198 [I]n Sydney a business man with minor farming interests is called a Pitt Street Farmer.

Notes: Predating AND 1971. See note at boofhead.

 

play-lunch n. a mid-morning recess at primary school.

1962 Dymphna Cusack Picnic Races viii. 82 The scooter stopped outside the school, where shrill cries from the playground announced that the children were out for play-lunch.

Notes: Predating AND 1963.

 

plink n. booze.

1949 Ruth Park Poor Man's Orange 107 He was so far gone down the path to physical and mental ruin that no one had the heart to refuse him a drink when he came begging for one; anything came well to the Kidger, plonk, plink, metho, bombo, or just ordinary whisky.

Notes: AND cite Baker 1943, but their first "real" (primary source) cite is 1950.

 

plonk shop n. a bottle shop.

1961 Frank Hardy The Hard Way 246 'You couldn't lead an alcoholic into a plonk shop.'

Notes: Predating AND 1965.

 

point v.i. to evade work; to bludge.

1933 John Truran Where the Plain Begins II. ix. 270 'I 'aven't known yer twenty year for nothing', Martha. Y'always were a pointer, me dear, but you're not goin' to point on me. If you're crook, then so is our old 'orse, an' 'e don't miss 'is tucker any more'n you do.'

Notes: Postdating AND 1903 (point v1). Here also the agent noun pointer is recorded.

 

police pimp n. an informer to the police.

1940 Eric Curry Hysterical History of Australia xiii. 175 Actually, my dear pupils, he was a shelf, a fizgig, a top-off, or, to use more polite language, what is known as a police pimp.

1950 Frank Hardy Power Without Glory iii. 99 ''Cos we don't have police-pimps about 'ere, that's why. You Stacey, and you're a bloody nark.'

1956 Vince Kelly The Bogeyman iii. 40 Of all the low species of humanity, Ginger Lil told them, it was her opinion that a police pimp was the lowest.

1965 Colin Johnson Wild Cat Falling ii. 74 Can't trust just anyone. Might be a police pimp laying a trap.

1966 George Blaikie Remember Smith's Weekly? xv. 188 And here, suddenly, he was presented as a police pimp, an associate of gangsters, a blackmailer, and an underworld 'heeler' who had been put on the spot.

1976 Bob Ellis and Anne Brooksbank Mad Dog Morgan i. 7 'You know this Wendlan is a police pimp?'

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

poofterism n. male homosexuality.

1971 Frank Hardy The Outcasts of Foolgarah xii. 170 [H]e had never fallen into the hands of two human monstrosities like Sodomy and Gomorrah, so called by the wags of Tailboard Alley in Penbay Jail because of their propensity to poofterism and leadership of the queer quarter of the prison staff.

Notes: Predating AND 1978.

 

poofy adj. of the nature of a homosexual male; effeminate; unmasculine.

1962 John Wynnum Tar Dust ii. 22 The Petty Officer Cook's complexion was comparatively peaches and cream beside his weatherbeaten compatriots. And it was to this delicate exterior that he owed his dubious nickname. Nothing else. 'Poofy' Allen was one man in the steamer who positively encouraged seduction.

1981 Angelo Loukakis For the Patriarch iii. 29 I keep tellin' my old man I'm too old, it's kid stuff. And poofy.

1983 Bulletin 24 May 54 Man wasn't meant to sleep under slates or poofy tiles.

1987 Juke (Sydney) 14 Mar 4 However, she was advised that Australian punters would construe the name as 'poofy' and she subsequently settled on The 'Electric' Pandas instead.

1992 Tracks (Sydney) Oct 45 Trucks, or as we'd call them, poofy jacked-up utes, are the
vehicle of choice on Maui.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. The first citation is a nickname, but the context makes the sense clear. Also used in British English – so perhaps not an Australianism.

 

poon n. a dill.

1940 Eric Curry Hysterical History of Australia viii. 104 It would appear that a huge and pompous Governmental Ball was to be held at a large hall in Surry Hills (which locality, as you know, my dear little peripatetic poons, was an extremely fashionable and exclusive one in those days), and to which, it seems, both "Haggis" – or rather – Governor Macquarie and his spouse had been invited.

Notes: Predating AND 1941 (citing Baker). Presumedly a variant of the word poonce (see Simes 1993). According to media personality Clive Robertson poon was used in Perth in the 1960s to mean 'a homosexual man'.

 

prawnhead n. a fool. Hence, prawn-headed.

1961 W.R. Bennett Wingman i. 19 'Answer me, prawnhead.'

1962 'Nino Culotta' (John O'Grady) Gone Fishin' i. 14 I have often been called a mullet. Sometimes I have been called a prawn-headed mullet, although I do not know what this is. But I do not look like a mullet, and I cannot think like one.

1966 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language (2nd ed.) x. 215 prawnhead, a simpleton or fool, a pejorative.

1989 Kathy Lette Girls' Night Out (1995) 179 Prawnhead, a dentist-cum-oyster farmer, offered me something from his plate.

Notes: Predating AND 1976.

 

Presbo n. a presbyterian.

1953 Sidney J. Baker Australia Speaks 105 Presbo, Presbyterian.

Notes: Predating AND 1965. See note at boofhead.

 

Proddy adj. Protestant, commonly used in derisive compounds. Also, as a noun, a Protestant.

1948 Ruth Park The Harp In The South ii. 12 Promptly Dolour yelled back: 'Garn, yer old proddy-hopper!' She ran blithely down the street, not bothering to wonder why it was that Mr Patrick Diamond hated them all so bitterly on St Patrick's Day.

1975 Xavier Herbert Poor Fellow My Country 1328 'Good riddance. He's always been a damn nuisance. I hope he goes back to the Proddies...whatever it is he has to tell them.'

1979 Phillip Adams The Unspeakable Adams 189 PRODDY DOGS: State school children of both sexes. God did not love them enough to make the Catholics.

1983 T.A.G. Hungerford Stories From Suburban Road 21 The Catholic kids used to get together and talk about it, and even if they were your friends they made you feel as if you were just a Proddie, and got left out of it.

1986 [Richard Beckett] The Dinkum Aussie Dictionary 54 Tyke: A derogatory term for a Catholic; the opposite end of the religious spectrum to the 'Proddy dog'.

1990 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #19 1/1 Perhaps it is just as well that Guy Fawkes Day has been forgotten, along with the sectarian bitterness which used to lead children to chant about Catholic dogs (or Proddy dogs depending on your religion)[.]

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

promise, on a phr. of a man, having been promised sexual intercourse from a woman.

1960 Sutton Woodfield A for Artemis xi. 121 Cedric and the seadog scuttled after her
as if they were on a promise and mustn't lose the quarry.

1977 Jim Ramsey Cop It Sweet 73 promise, on a: Agreement to have sexual intercourse.

1979 Lance Peters The Dirty Half-Mile v. 32 'I'm on a promise from me sheila tonight!'

1986 Frank Hardy Hardy's People 87 'Collingwood will win, no worries – and I'm on a promise from Clara!'

Notes: Predating Wilkes 1971, and further examples. Apparently rejected by AND, but it appears to deserve a guernsey – unless Oxford, or someone else, has earlier British evidence as yet unpublished.

 

punt n. a gamble, especially in the phrase,take a/the punt

1958 JE. Macdonnell Alarm – E-boats! viii. 147 Bentley took what others might again have called a gamble, a punt, a chance. But for him it was a calculated risk, weighed so heavily on his side the odds against success were small.

1970 Suzy Jarratt Permissive Australia viii. 142 Lacking in-depth surveys, we can only guess at the cause. Well, I'll take a punt.

1974 Thea Astley A Kindness Cup 150 The crowd looks from Boyd to Sweetman, who cannily takes a punt on reasonableness.

1986 Murray Farquhar Nine Words from the Grave i. 20 The leak had to be in the Commission. And so, we had to take the punt.

1989 Sunday Herald (Melb.) 1 Oct. 40 One of his most famous punts was the publication of Spycatcher, which "made me very unpopular with Mrs Thatcher but that didn't worry me for one moment", he says with some satisfaction.

1995 Harrison Biscuit The Search for Savage Henry 69 'I really think it's a better punt than setting Mike onto the abos.'

Notes: Predating AND 1965 (citing O'Grady Aussie English). Plus some more examples.

 

punt n. constr. with the, gambling.

1933 Raymond Spargo Betting systems Analysed 7 The consort of racing is, of course, the 'little interest', gamble, punt – call it what you will.

1971 Frank Hardy The Outcasts of Foolgarah ix. 104 And so Borky stirred on far into the night, the trots double forgotten (he would give the punt away: easy for him, he had done it twenty times since he was ten years old) until the Foolgarah Council, the Arbitration Court and the Federal Government were left without a feather to fly with.

1988 Herald (Melb.) 4 Apr. 21 Heath duly won and the bookies duly lost and, for Snowy, a love affair with the punt and Stawell began.

1988 Clive Galea Slipper! ii. 9 Sure he'd had a good weekend on the punt, and sure he had almost gone to Mass.

ibid., 10 There was nothing for it but to go back to the punt full time.

1995 Paul Vautin Turn It Up! 123 Did I actually back a winner and finish in front on the punt?

1995 Crackers Keenan Australia's Funniest Racing Yarns 1 As an adult I've had some wonderful ups and downs on the punt[.]

ibid., xxiv. 153 The punt goes on all year round but when you really get interested is around Caulfield and Melbourne Cup time.

ibid., xxvi. 172 'The punt giveth and the punt taketh away and give-up never won a race.'

Notes: Not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

punt v.t. to gamble on (something).

1958 Frank Hardy The Four-Legged Lottery xxiii. 164 Now, he eked out a living punting horses, and during a bad trot, 'turned over a quid' as a salesman.

ibid., xxiv. 173 'He makes more money this way than by cutting out appendixes – but loses it all punting horses.'

1965 Frank Hardy The Yarns of Billy Borker x. 58 Only two kinds of people punt the horses, the needy and the greedy.

Notes: Not recorded in Wilkes, AND.

 

push bike n. a bicycle.

1910 C.E.W. Bean On the Wool Track xiv. 82 But before our visit the bicycle – the "safety" push-bike – had spread through the country as fast as the rabbit.

Notes: Predating OED 1913. Despite this earlier evidence, probably not originally Australian.

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quoit n. the anus or backside.

c.1919 The Yellow Rag in Patsy Adam-Smith Folklore of the Australian Railwaymen 236 STEWARD's CHORUS / We expect our Upright Grand Instrument out by this afternoon's delivery. Also, Quoits, Balls, and Games / FUN FOR EVERYONE / that can make fun.

Notes: Predating AND 1941. The double entendres here are inescapable. As Adam-Smith puts it "[The Yellow Rag] contained some most feeble wit, much of it a sort of lavatory humour – and feebler."

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rats n. delirium tremens.

1933 John Truran Where the Plain Begins I. ii. 37 At the time of his demise (from bronchitis complicated by "the rats") there had been another son, called Isiah.

Notes: Predating AND 1937 (rat 1.b.).

 

rat, like a ~ up a drainpipe phr. with great speed.

1961 Geoff Mill Nobody Dies But Me (2003) 93 'You rooting yours already?' 'Course I am.' He sounded as though I'd insulted him. 'Up her like a rat up a drainpipe, kid.'

Notes: Predating AND 1962. The AND also records the variant like a rat up a rope, from 1959, in brackets. However, it is a valid variant as the further citations below attest. The earliest occurrence I have so far found is in the form like a rat up a shoreline.

1945 R.S. Close Love Me Sailor 209 [H]e soared up the steps like a rat up a shoreline.

1953 T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake ii. 27 'Come in, we'll get around to the crib-room, or Ziggy'll be up me like a rat up a rope.'

1957 'Nino Culotta' They're A Weird Mob iii. 39 'Yer wanner take ut easy. No use goin' like a rat up a rope.'

1964 George Johnston My Brother Jack xiii. 298 'So you give me the drum, Davy, won't you? And I'll be in it like a rat up a rope.'

 

real n. a playing marble made of agate or marble. Also really, reel.

1954 in The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter (1994) #27 10/2 Marbles' Names: Carlisle, Western Australia, 1954: Agate, Cat's Eyes, Blood Real, Tomboller, Pee-Wee, Duck's Egg[.]

1955 Alan Marshall I Can Jump Puddles xv. 115 Freddie had a Milky Really worth a bob and he gave it to me so that I could play 'Reallies Up'. Each boy competing placed a Really in the ring but only the best players would risk such valuable marbles.

1974 Phillip Adams The Unspeakable Adams 50 Tombowlers, blood reels and cats eyes: Things kept in an alley bag.

1985 Cathy Hope Themes from the Playground 9 To be in the game you'd have to put in your 'Real', a marble you treasured and didn't want to lose. A Real Real would have cost about 2/- or 2/6. They were highly valued because used as a Taw were almost indestructible. If it chipped, it chipped in tiny half moons. An Immo was made to look like a Real but you could tell because an Immo broke easily and chipped differently. You could buy 5 Immoes for one penny. The Blood Reals we had, weren't 'Real Reals'. They were white with red patterns and were regarded as inferior.

ibid., 4 The word Real or Really was used to describe a real alabaster marble.

1983 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #4 3/2 Other popular games were 'alleys' – in this we used 'stonks', 'agates', 'emmas' and 'reels' – and tops.

1989 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #17 7/2 Next came the Imma, obviously imitation real. Immas looked like Reals but the shrewd boy was never fooled.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. So called because there were made of 'real' marble or agate. Agate is of course more durable than glass, but also it is much more difficult to make marbles from and so they were more expensive and consequentially prized more by children. See entry for imma above.

 

recovery, suffer a phr. to have a hangover.

1901 Henry Lawson Joe Wilson and His Mates 180 [I]t was quite probable that he was more nearly in touch than we with that awful invisible world all round and between us, of which we only see distorted faces and hear disjointed utterances when we are "suffering a recovery" – or going mad.

1902 Barbara Baynton Bush Studies 69 [H]e was not worse than the many she had seen at the Shearer's Rest suffering a recovery.

1907 Henry Lawson The Romance of the Swag 207 Jim was present, having arrived overnight, with no money, as usual, and suffering a recovery.

1938 Xavier Herbert Capricornia 348 He was glad, being loath to go further, because the road got bumpier as one went along, and he was suffering a recovery from a week-end jag.

1959 Mary Durack Kings in Grass Castles xxix. 317 Today worth chronicling since Father, Uncle Jerry, Long Michael and Jim Minogue up all night playing cards and were this morning suffering a recovery, since Bacchus reigned supreme[.]

1975 Xavier Herbert Poor Fellow My Country 614 Col did so at once, to be informed that although Billy was still in the locality, seeing that his donkeys were there, nothing had been seen of him for several days, and it was presumed he was suffering a recovery.

Notes: Postdating AND 1895 (apart from 19thC exx. AND has only Baker 1941).

 

red-hot adj. excessively unfair.

1954 Eric Lambert The Veterans vi. 150'It's tough, I know. It's bloody red-hot!'

Notes: Interdating AND 1941 <> 1980.

 

red hots n. trotting races.

1966 James Holledge The Great Australian Gamble xii. 119 Then "the trots" were aptly described by the cognoscenti as "the red hots".

ibid. 123 This is trotting at its spectacular best – and very different from those not-so-different "red hots".

Notes: Predating AND 1979. These citations suggest that there is a double entendre informing the choice of term – that is, trotting races were often crooked.

 

Richard, had the phr. ruined, wrecked, 'fucked'. Also, had the dick, rod, snorker, stick.

1952 T.A.G. Hungerford The Ridge and the River 42 Flash-eliminator, fore-sight, gas-regulator...poor old Geof had had the stick – the hike up the river finished him, what with his hookworm and blasted fever.

1953 T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake iii. 49'When are you bunnies going to wake up that you've had the stick?'

1960 J.E. Macdonnell Don't Gimme the Ships ii. 38 'I've had the snorker,' he told them.

1971 Frank Hardy The Outcasts of Foolgarah 89 'This strike's just about had the dick,' Chilla said, returning from his diplomatic mission[.]

1975 'Bluey' Bush Contractors xxix. 272 'He's had the rod now for sure.'

1978 Ray Denning Prison Diaries 45 This pen has just about had the Richard.

1978 John Hepworth John Hepworth: His Book 29 The lung had had the dick in the sense that no matter how hard I stopped it would never get any better than it was.

Notes: AND gives had the Richard dating from 1967, but offers an etymology that can only be described as Partridgean – connecting the phrase to Richard the Third, rhyming slang for 'the bird', in the British theatrical slang phrase to get the bird 'to be hissed'. This is most unlikely. As the variant forms illustrate, the word Richard here is merely a euphemistic substitution for dick/Dick. AND does record had the dick and had the stick, but failed to make the connection between the two phrases – even going as far as stating that dick was a variant of Richard, not the other way around.

 

right, she's phr. everything is all right.

1938 Xavier Herbert Capricornia 273 At last he crawled from under the engine, spanner in hand, and dashing sweat from his forehead, said to the gathering, "That's the lot. She's right."

Notes: Predating AND 1958.

 

right-oh! interj. okay! all right!

1896 E. Turner Little Larrikin (OED) i. 12 'Hurry up now and be a good kid.' 'Right-O!' said Lol cheerfully.

1907 R. Allen ('Guy Eden') in Stewart and Keesing Australian Bush Ballads (1955) 214 Just let that buckle out a hole! that's right – now mind your eye, / Or Thunderclap will catch you on the shin! / Are all the mailbags snug? Right-oh! whoa, Dingo! Narrabri! Now, gentlemen, if you please – tumble in!

1910 Mary Grant Bruce A Little Bush Maid [Project Gutenberg] 'Right oh!' said Jim. 'That's settled.'

1911 Louis Stone Jonah 4 'Gone ter buy a smoke; 'e'll be back in a minit.' 'Right-oh, tell 'im wot I said,' replied Ada, moving away.

1918 May Gibbs Snugglepot and Cuddlepie: Their Adventures Wonderful 32'Take her as far as the dungeon and throw her in. She's dead or if not she soon will be,' said wicked Mrs Snake. 'Right-o,' said all the bad men.

1923 D.H. Lawrence Kangaroo [Project Gutenberg] 'Let me think about it a bit, will you?' he replied, 'and I'll tell you when I come up to Sydney.' 'Right O!' said Jack, a twinge of disappointment in his acquiescence.

Notes: Recorded in OED as British English, but earliest evidence is Australian, and so perhaps an Australianism. Despite a lack of contemporary evidence the expression is still quite common colloquially.

 

right stuff n. alcoholic liquor

1910 Henry Lawson The Rising of the Court 'The Exciseman' 343 'An' I doan't know what ye mean. Phwat do ye mean?I've asked ye that before. What are ye dhrivin' at, man – out with it!' 'Well, I mean a little drop of the right stuff,' he said, nettled. Then he added: 'No offence – no harm done.' 'O-o-oh!' she said, illumination bursting in upon her brain. 'It's the dirrty drink ye're afther, is it? Well, I'll tell ye, first for last, that we doan't keep a little drop of the right stuff nor a little drop of the wrong stuff in this house. It's a honest house, an' me husband's a honest harrd-worrkin' carrier, as he'd soon let ye know if he was at home this cold night, poor man. No dirrty drink comes into this house, nor goes out of it, I'd have ye know.'

1965 John Wynnum Jiggin' in the Riggin' vii. 73 'Gather he'd like to chew a chop with you, or at least offer you a drop of the right stuff if time is at a premium.'

Notes: Recorded since 1927 in UK (OED2), but earlier in Australia.

 

ringer n. a fraudulently substituted racehorse or greyhound; a ring-in.

1933 Samuel Griffiths A Rolling Stone on the Turf iv. 49 The second horse was trained by a New Zealander who promptly lodged a protest against Laday on the grounds that she was a 'ringer'. In the steward's room somebody who had been informed that Laday's rider was a 'wrong 'un' too, caught hold of that gentleman's beard. It came away in his hand showing the wearer to be a clean-shaven man.

1982 Joe Andersen Winners Can Laugh xiv. 175 With his training record and the number of horses he had in training, why would he require the services of a 'ringer'?

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

ring in v.t. to substitute a racehorse or greyhound for another.

1895 Nat Gould On and Off the Turf xii. 140 Some gentlemen who run these picnic race clubs I have found out to be anything but amateurs when it comes to making a book – an amateur book, or course – or ringing in a good one to win a race.

Notes: Predating AND 1898.

 

ringtail n. a ring-in.

1982 Joe Andersen Winners Can Laugh xiv. 175 In fact, it was said that the 'ringtails' there would outnumber the combined total to be found in zoos in Australia.

Notes: Postdating AND 1967.

 

root n. a pig-root.

1947 Ion L. Idriess Over the Range iii. 13 That started the horses: the old grey indulged in a middle-aged root; Mandy put her head down and sent her packs flying.

Notes: Postdating AND which has only one cite 1930.

 

root v.t., in the phrase eats, roots and leaves.

1967 Sue Rhodes Now you'll think I'm awful 153 There is a particular type of Australian man, known by men and women alike as The Ferret, or alternatively, The Wombat. Because he eats roots and leaves.

1969 Geoff Wyatt Saltwater Saints iv. 87 'Or an ignorant old wombat boarder,' Danny amended, 'that eats roots and leaves, unpunctuated.' At this fresh sully he and Tramp roared, and were totally ignored by Evan and Hynes.

1972 Janie Stagestruck x. 85 'He's the proverbial animal of the textbook who eats, roots and leaves.'

1976 David Ireland The Glass Canoe 30 She christened the Koala Bear, who eats roots and leaves, the Rambling Rose, who roots against walls, and even made passing reference to Rosebud.

2003 The Mucat CafZÿ: Aussie Glossary (www.mudcat.org/aussie) wombat – Somebody who eats, roots and leaves (see also root).

Notes: An old joke based on the Australian slang word root 'to have sex with (someone)'. Obviously not a lexical item as such, but if historical dictionaries don't record this kind of usage, then who does? Being part of a well-worn joke is, after all, part of a word's history.

 

rort n. a wild party.

1950 Tilly Devine in George Blaikie Remember Smith's Weekly? (1966) xvii 217 'There'll be plenty to drink, and plenty to eat later. Don't any of youse put on a blue or make a rort out of my house.'

Notes: Predating AND 1952.

 

rough as guts phr. extremely unrefined.

1962 W.R. Bennett Target Turin viii. 130 And Mac called me 'skipper' – so what the hell's it matter if the landing's as rough as guts?

Notes: Predating Wilkes 1966.

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sagg n. a native, sedge-like plant.

1907 Barbara Baynton Human Toll (in The Portable Barbara Baynton)xiv. 268 They guided her to the dried saggs at the river's edge, where she found a lamb newly dropped, and deserted, maybe willy-nilly, by the ewe.

Notes: Additional evidence for this uncommon term for which AND has only two citations – 1898 (Morris' Austral English) and 1908.

 

saddling paddock n. a vestibule of a theatre, or the like, where prostitution takes place.

1877 [J.S. James] The Vagabond Papers (2nd series) 139 I am afraid that, on the whole, Melbourne was not a moral city on Monday Night. Certain supper-rooms, and the saddling paddocks and the vestibules of the theatres were crowded.

1986 Murray Farquhar Nine Words from the Grave ii. 30 However, in the court he claimed that he had been referring to a part of the corridor adjacent to my chambers and to the entrance to the magistrates' private domain. From time immemorial this area has been termed 'the saddling paddock' – it being the place where the magistrate met with his monitor, shorthand writer or deposition clerk.

Notes: Predating AND 1882 – for non-Theatre Royal usage. Plus another later usage.

 

salve v.t. to salvage.

1932 Leonard Mann Flesh in Armour xiii. 81 Something stamped on the wrapper caught his eye and he read, 'Slaved from torpedoed ship.'

Notes: Postdating AND 1918. Of course, Mann's novel is about WWI – still, this is an extra citation for an otherwise poorly attested item.

 

sammo n. a sandwich.

1972 Arthur Chipper The Aussie Swearer's Guide 43 Sammo (or Sango) Merchant: Hearty eater of sammos or sangos (sandwiches).

1990 Canberra Times 9 Jan 13 I was worried about R's table manners if he was confronted with an array of silverware beside his plate but when he came home he said, 'Lunch was beaut – soup and sammos on the terrace...'

Notes: Not in AND.

 

satchel swinger n. a bookmaker.

1965 Frank Hardy The Yarns of Billy Borker xix. 103 He wanted to get the drum when a horse was backed, so he could cut its price without laying a bet – that's an old satchel-swinger's custom.

1984 Alice Springs Star 28 Aug 18 Centre Prince opened at 9/4 with the satchel swingers but quickly shortened to 6/4.

1984 Joe Brown Just For The Record xxxi. 128 I can assure you that Piping Lane took many thousands of dollars out of the 'satchel swingers' bags.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

scrub bashing n. clearing of bushland.

1959 Mary Durack Kings in Grass Castles ix. 99 'The old man will get nowhere with his scrub-bashing,' they declared. 'The only way to get anywhere in this country is leave the land as it is and run your stock on the natural pasture.'

Notes: Predating AND 1966 scrub-bash v.i.

 

scrubber n. an inferior horse bred in the country.

1982 Joe Andersen Winners Can Laugh vi. 81 Mooti was no scrubber either. He came down with a big reputation to uphold.

Notes: Postdating AND 1914.

 

Seppo n. an American.

1985 Tracks (Sydney) Aug 5/1 I agree – Bruce Springsteen is an overrated, bum-wriggling Seppo.

1986 Tracks (Sydney) Feb 5/4 "Way bad"...what the hell are you, a Seppo or something?

1996 Tracks (Sydney) Jun 12/2 My employer needs me in Seppo-land at the same time.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

shaggin' wagon n. a fuck truck.

1966 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language (2nd ed.) viii. 169 battle buggy, used for a variety of vehicles in the desert. The station-waggon, a Chev with squat, roomy, wooden body, was variously referred to as a passion-waggon, shaggin'-waggon and gin-palace.

ibid. xiii. 294 shaggin' waggon, a car which a male uses for the purpose of picking up a female companion.

Notes: Predating AND 1978 (shag wagon 1975). See note at boofhead.

 

shanghai v.t. to shoot with a shanghai.

[? 1898 Joshua Lake A Dictionary of Australasian Words]

1900 Websters International Dictionary: Supplement

Notes: Predating AND 1938. If it is in Websters as an Australianism, then it probably was sourced from the Joshua Lake reference, though I do not have a copy available to check this.

 

sheik n. a sexually attractive man; a ladies' man; a pantsman.

1927 The Kid Stakes (film) [derisive calls made to Fatty Finn after being kissed by a girl] PRETTY JOEY!!! WOW! Sheik! Oh kiss me Fatty! SHEIK!

1930 Lennie Lower Here's Luck vi. 30 'P'raps I'll get better acquainted with my little fat sheik,' she whispered.

1953 [C.A. Wright] Caddie: A Sydney Barmaid (1966) xxix. 111 When we were on our way back to the pub I asked: 'Who's the good-looking sheik at the factory?'

1962 Xavier Herbert Soldiers' Women (1978) xx. 227 'There's nothing makes a hot-shot sheik like that so mad as being asked to pay for his oats.'

ibid. 'Next time I meet a movie sheik like that I'll say COD.'

1977 Jim Ramsay Cop It Sweet 33 sheik: Womaniser.

1978 Jessica Anderson Tirra Lirra by the River 60 The men collected round 'the Dodge', while I sat with the soporific women. In this society, where there were no 'sheiks', they said I was artistic and refined, but had no sense of humour.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. After Rudolph Valentino, 1920s movie sex-symbol, whose most famous movie was The Sheik (1921). A woman's word.

 

sherbert n. a drink of beer.

1963 Frank Hardy Legends From Benson's Valley 18 'Have a sherbert,' I said, 'it'll do yer the world a good.'

1965 John Wynnum Jiggin' in the Riggin' iii. 36 '[A]nd then I reckon a few sherbets will be in order.'

1970 Barry Oakley A Salute to the Great McCarthy (1971) xiv. 73 'We're not finished yet. I have booze! In my briefcase. Down to the basement for a final sherbert!'

1982 Bob Staines Wot A Whopper 24 After a while the Maori became thirsty and retired to his car for a few sherbets.

1983 'Ryan Aven-Bray' Ridgey Didge Oz Jack Lang 9 A few sherberts was to be the next cab off the rank.

Notes: Count noun use. AND only defines this as an uncount noun – but does give two citations of the count usage (1968, 1974), and two more can be found in Wilkes (1965, 1973).

 

shit on one's liver phr. a cause of a bad mood.

1955 D'Arcy Niland The Shiralee 163 If he was another type he'd charge Macauley with spying on his thoughts, or of finding and keeping the packet of tobacco he lost. And if still another type, the bad and dangerous type, he'd come over and get some of the dirt off his liver, some of his crookedness against the world; he'd look for fight and toy with the blade of a pocket-knife to back up his menace.

1971 Wal Watkins Andamooka xviii. 163 'Good 'ay, you half boong,' Ivor said. Dusty stopped and looked at him. 'What've you got on your liver?' 'Abos' crap.'

Notes: Interdating AND 1951 <> 1965 <> 1981. Clearly the 1955 text is bowdlerised. This was formerly a common expression but was able to be expressed in quite a variety of ways. This here merely adds to the five citations reproduced in the AND. There are yet another three cites in Wilkes (1978) – it would be best if they were all collected together in one place (AND2 ??).

 

shit kicker n. a menial worker.

1950 in Simes (1993).

1962 Criena Rohan Down By The Dockside iii. 176 He was now dishonourably discharged and ambitious of becoming a big shot in the underworld, but Bluey Gleeson said, and he should know, that Clarrie would never be anything except a small-time shit kicker if he lived to be a hundred.

Notes: Predating AND 1969.

 

shit-scared adj. very frightened.

1955 D'Arcy Niland The Shiralee 68 And Macauley thought of Jim Muldoon, nervous as a dog with a ghost, shit-scared, and yet coming in to lend a hand[.]

Notes: Predating British usage recorded in OEDS 1958 – hence a potential Australianism.

 

shit-stirrer n. a teaser; a person who enjoys stirring up trouble. Hence, shit-stirring, adj., n.

1971 Frank Hardy The Outcasts of Foolgarah ix. 88 That'd be him, thought the Dean, a shit-stirrer from way back, trouble is he stirs more shit against us than the class enemy these days.

ibid. xiii. 185 'They should keep you in there 'cause you bin shit-stirrer,' then seriously, 'I bin get letter from Aboriginal Affairs Department, Tom's got it, bin say I gotta go back North to Reserve.'

ibid. viii. 91 'Come on, Tich, old mate, we'll go and do a bit of shit-stirring amongst the shitties.'

1979 Sam Weller Old Bastards I Have Met 56 But when they get under the control of radical, power-happy, limelighting bloody shit-stirrers, they're dangerous.

1981 David Foster Moonlite xx. 197 And now, as if there weren't enough trouble, Pommie shit stirrers wielding socialist paddles have got the men wanting more pay for less work.

1983 Union Recorder (Sydney) 4 Oct 7 When Munro and some of his 'radical half-caste activists and shit-stirring' friends objected in 1975 to being barred, because of the colour of their skin, from a Moree Hotel, it led to the widely and sensationally reported Moree rampages.

1987 Rodney Hall Kisses of the Enemy IV. xl. 508 The shit-stirrers are at work[.]

Notes: Not recorded in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

shitty n. a bad mood.

1979 Sam Weller Old Bastards I Have Met 80 'Jesus, he's in a shitty toady.'

Notes: Predating AND 1982.

 

shivoo n. a party or celebration..

1831 Sydney Herald 24 Oct 4/1 On Wednesday night last a most cowardly attack was made on three sailors on their way home from the `chevaux' at Vaucluse[.] [A grand entertainment was given at Vaucluse on Wednesday last, at which several hundreds of persons partook of roast-beef, porter, gin, etc., at the expense of the owner of the estate.

Notes: Predating AND 1844. From an unverified citation card of Ted Hartley's.

 

shonk n. a dishonest business person.

1982 Truckin' Life (Newstead, Qld) Sep 22 [W]hat I am saying is stay away from the backyarder's and the shonks.

1985 No. 1 Australia 2 Oct 43 Alas they end up way out of their depth and fall prey to the most voracious pack of sharks, shonks and shysters this side of the ads on late night T.V.

1992 'Roy Slaven' (John Doyle) Five South Coast Seasons 137 'Tycho is a shonk, a criminal.'

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

shonky adj. phoney.

1969 B. Breydor You Oughta Seen Us! ix. 86 [T]he Snob's been palmed off shonky notes...

Notes: Predating AND 1970.

 

shonky n. a dishonest business person; a dishonest scheme.

1983 National Times 15 July 17 We have to get the shonkies out of the business.

1987 Sunday Territorian 1 Mar 8 This means that it is absolutely impossible for the Lands Department to reach its target - even if shonkies like the proposed rezoning are realised.

Notes: Antedating AND 1979.

 

shoofty n. a look.

1944 Lawson Glassop We Were The Rats III. xxxv. 200 On the way over to the sigs dugout we met a driver I knew. 'Ay, Mick,' he said, 'have a shufti at this.'

Notes: Predating AND 1959. AND says this is a borrowing of British forces slang – but obviously Aussies stationed in Egypt would have picked this word up directly from the local inhabitants, just as much as the British soldiers would have. No need to suppose we borrowed it from the Brits.

 

shoosh/shush n. silence; quiet.

1949 Lawson Glassop Lucky Palmer [cited in Partridge]

1963 Frank Hardy Legends of Benson's Valley 70 'Order! The game won't continue until there's a bit of shush!' the marker yelled, withholding Tom Rogers's ball.

1971 Frank Hardy The Outcasts of Foolgarah xiii. 187 Chilla satisfied that all his fellow outcasts had gathered, had his mind set on something else, 'A bitta shoosh,' he called out then[.]

1981 Paul Radley Jack Rivers and Me 124 'You all heah gimme some shush and hear this,' Dad roared, flinging his newspaper at the Christmas tree and making the angel dance.

1982 Nancy Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 79 'Let's hear it for a bit of shush.'

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. OEDS records British examples from 1959 and 1982.

 

shot n. an attempt to provoke; a 'go'.

1827 The Australian 21 Sep "Sic Fortis (Australia) Crevit" The above Latin motto once adorned the pages of the Sydney Gazette, but was cast out with the brand and the burning, when somebody woke Bob Howe up, that XYZ, was having a shot at him.

Notes: Predating AND 1903. From an unverified citation card of Ted Hartley's. No page number given.

 

shot v.t. to throw or toss.

1972 David Ireland The Unknown Industrial Prisoner 55 He watched, fascinated. Covered with germs and here she was shotting them on the floor.

ibid. 65 'If anyone complains about conditions at Puroil you feel like taking them by the scruff of the neck and shotting them to the shouse!'

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. The usual past tense form used as a present. Not uncommon colloquially, but hard to find in print. My father regularly used this term, e.g., "Just shot it into the bin."

 

shout, wouldn't ~ if ... phr. denoting someone who will not buy drinks for the company.

1979 Sam Weller Old Bastards I Have Met 24 One bloke reckoned he wouldn't shout if you stood on his foot.

1981 Paul Radley Jack Rivers and Me 137 'You wouldn't shout a moll a packet of Condy's Crystals.'

1986 [Richard Beckett] The Dinkum Aussie Dictionary 58 Wouldn't shout if a shark bit him: The person referred to shows a marked reluctance to stand his 'round' in the public bar 'school' and is seldom, if ever, in the 'chair'. An SOB who won't buy you a drink.

1987 Kathy Lette Girls' Night Out 202 They're allergic to baths and tight-arsed – they only shout if there's a shark.

2002 Larry's Aussie Slang and Phrase Dictionary (www.angelescity.com/aussie_slang.html) wouldn't shout in a shark attack - will not take his turn buying the drinks in a bar.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

shouter n. a buyer of drinks.

1972 Arthur Chipper The Aussie Swearers Guide 85 Drag-the-chain Shouter: Slow to stand drinks.

1982 Les Murray The Vernacular Republic 20 Beyond all wars / in the noonday lands of wheat / the whistle summons shouters from the bar / refills the train with jokes and window noise.

Notes: Postdating AND 1918.

 

shower, not come down in the last phr. to be aware.

1907 Barbara Baynton Human Toll (in The Portable Barbara Baynton)x. 217 'Ole mother Stein didn't come down in ther last shower.' He shook his head impressively. 'Though 'er's gut a 'ard inside, 'er knows wut side to bite a bun.'

Notes: Predating AND 1944.

 

skeg n. a derogatory term for a 'surfie'. Also, sceg and skeghead.

[1966 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language (2nd ed.) xi. 254 skeg, a fin at the back and underneath a surfboard.]

1985 Tracks (Sydney) Oct 9 I doubt if all you skegs with your prunehead girlfriends have ever seen further west than the Carringbah Inn, so what do you know about westies?

1988 Kylie Mole (Maryanne Fahey) My Diary 99 I don't know if I love Dino or not cos there are these four other guys I like (one is a sceg!).

1988 Lenie (Midge) Johansen The Dinkum Dictionary 372/3 skeg/skeghead a surfie – one who rides a surfboard.

1990 Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) 8 Apr 8/3 Surfies - waxheads or skegs to their rival tribes - are Sydney's longest surviving sub-culture.

1998 Phillip Gwynne Deadly Unna? xxviii. 187 'You should go to college. You could go to Kings with the skeg-head here.'

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

skidge/skitch v.t. to sool.

1955 Alan Marshall I Can Jump Puddles xvii. 130 'Sool 'im! Catch 'im!' I yelled, following in bounds across the grass. Joe, running in on an angle, kept yelling, 'Skitch 'im, boy! Skitch 'im!'

1981 Paul Radley Jack Rivers and Me 144 'Fancy having Duck Allsop skitch his dirty big black retriever onto you on the way home from school when nearly every kid in town was milling along Main Road.'

1983 Kerry Cue Crooks, Chooks and Bloody Ratbags (1988) iv. 67 'Skidge him, Nip. Kill! Kill!'

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

skip n. an Anglo-Australian. Also, skippy.

1982 Nancy Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 182 In Sydney and Melbourne, groups of Greek youths, understandably sick and tired of being taunted as 'wogs' by counterparts of Anglo-Saxon appearance, have taken to retaliating with 'skips!' or 'skippies!'.

1987 Victorian Teacher June 18 I could've had a gun or something under the counter, they wouldn't know, bloody skips.

1987 Kathy Lette in Sydney Morning Herald 3 Jan Good Weekend 7/1 The badly-maligned 'Wogs' (Dapto dogs/Chocolate frogs) are finally wreaking revenge on Anglo-Saxon kids. 'Aussies' are 'Skips' or 'Joeys'.

1993 Herald Sun (Melb.) 19 Oct 43 He introduces the audience to several people in the front row: Kamahl from Kealba, Shane from Wallan and Aresti from Caulfield. His random selection results in an Indian, a 'skippy' and a Greek.

1995 Christos Tsiolkas Loaded (1998) 142 [T]he skip sticks with the skip, the wog with the wog, the gook with the gook, and the abo with the abo.

ibid. 77 Some shit skip band is on the radio.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. After Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo.

 

skol v.t. to down a drink.

1975 'Bluey' Bush Contractors xx. 177 Danny broke even time and was back with a bottle of whisky for Maurie. Maurie finished his last drink by skolling it straight down.

Notes: Predating AND 1976.

 

skull v.t. to down a drink. Also, spelt scull.

1984 The Age 6 Mar 11/4 [T]hree second-years are licking salt, sculling tequila and sucking lemons.

1988 Tracks (Sydney) Feb 3/3 Heartbroken, Zach then sculled a farewell flagon of 150 overproof moonshine.

1990 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #18 12/2 Speaking of green, perhaps your next competition could be to find the record-holder for 'skulling' those warm Free Milks.

1995 Harrison Biscuit The Search for Savage Henry 65 He sculled the rest of the drink and walked out to his ute.

1996 Glynn Parry Mosh viii. 53 Maybe that time I sculled the two litres of Coke down by the sewage treatment plant something mutated in my brain cells.

2000 Manly Daily 30 Aug 7 'It may destroy the atmosphere if people have to go outside for a cigarette, or people may scull their coffee and go.'

2003 Australian Ultimate (Sydney) Oct 8/3 If either of your stubbies is knocked over, you have to scull from your full stubby.

Notes: Pronounced /sk Vl/. Here the original etymon has been forgotten and the word has been partially Hobson-Jobsoned to the English words scull and skull. The scull variant is perhaps been further enhanced by connection with the pastime of the boatrace – a team drinking contest in which teams representing rowers in a boat scull drinks.

 

sky pilot n. a priest or minister.

1890 Truth (Sydney) 16 Nov 4/5 It is wonderful to witness the number of sky-pilots, devil-dodgers and brumby parsons who visit the house.

Notes: Predating OED2 1893. This citation appears in AND s.v. brumby n. 3. Despite this early Australian evidence, the term is probably still British in origin, especially as it does not become common in Australian texts until the 1960s.

 

slack adj. of a woman, promiscuous (used negatively).

1979 Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette Puberty Blues 46 Girls never talked to each other about screwing. If you did you were slack.

Ibid. 48 'Sue – Bruce wants me to meet him down the creek this arvo. Don't think I'm slack, but do you reckon I should let him again? I don't want to get a bad name.'

1995 Marianne Wood Just a Prostitute 127 She's pinchin' me condoms an' usin' me makeup when I'm out. She's a fuckin' slack slut. I love her, but she's a slack slut, ya know?

1997 John Birmingham The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco 209 'But I'm going to make it my mission in life to acquire the place you're living in you slack moll...'

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

slack adj. unkind, cruel, unfair or mean.

1988 Murray Bail Holden's Performance ii. 159 'You're not one of those slack bodgie types who leave chewing gum on the seats[.]'

1988 'Kylie Mole' (Maryanne Fahey) My Diary 44 She said it was a pretty slack birthday, and they were only allowed to go on two rides each.

1998 Richard Frankland Across Country 72 I get a little scared and cause I think I feel spirits close by I quickly (in a real slack attempt at being cool and casual), get back in the car, start up and churn up gravel as I drive off The Archie tape finishes and I lose the battle of trying not to think about what I have seen, the tears I have heard and the pain that I witnessed.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. Especially common amongst schoolkids. I recollect it from the 1970s.

 

slack arse n. a lazy person. Hence, slack-arsed, adj.

1971 David Ireland The Unknown Industrial Prisoner 102 His trousers fell away behind him straight down from the small of his back to his heels. Slack-arse, they called him.

1979 Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette Puberty Blues 24 If you let him too early, you were a slack-arsed moll.

1987 Jenny Pausacker What are ya? i. 5 'Be a slackarse then. You'll end up with no job and be stuck here forever.'

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

sleepout n. an enclosed veranda set up with a bed.

1921 Mary Grant Bruce Back to Billabong [Project Gutenberg] 'Sarah ain't indulgin' in any regrets over that fire! And they were all busy as bees. Miss Tommy's room's fixed, an' her little sleep-out place off it, and so's Mr. Bob's, an' they were workin' at the drorin'-room; 'omelike it looked with all their nice old things in it again.'

Notes: Predating AND 1927. Here used attributively.

 

Smelbourne n. Melbourne.

1965 Norman Lindsay Bohemians at the Bulletin xiv. 111 At that time Melbourne was only in the process of being sewered, and the suburban privy was still serviced by the nightman, save that the van of tarred tins had replaced the old open iron tumbril, which had inspired a Sydney wit to impose an S before the M in Melbourne.

Notes: Postdating AND 1955.

 

smoodge v.t. to charm someone.

1945 Norman Lindsay The Cousin fron Fiji xii. 156 'I suppose you've already smoodged her into believing that there was nothing in it.'

Notes: An additional citation of transitive use. The AND records two other examples, both with different meanings to this.

 

snoot n. a conceited, snobbish person.

1938 Norman Lindsay Age of Consent vii. 62 She was a little dried-up snoot of a woman with a lust for gossip, and an eye forlorn for lack of its sustenance over backyard fences.

Notes: Predating AND 1955.

 

snore-off n. a sleep or nap.

1949 Ruth Park Poor Man's Orange 209 Hughie was just the same to them as he always was, coming home tired and dirty-faced, ready to snap their heads off till he'd got his boots off and had a snore-off on the couch.

Notes: Predating AND 1952.

 

soda n. an easy task; a breeze.

1972 Bill Wannan Folklore of the Australian Pub 34 Old Nick had nine peaceful days; but on the tenth there was Jack bashing his ear on what a soda the job had been.

Notes: Postdating AND 1966

 

sonk n. a foolish person.

1922 C.J. Dennis in The C.J. Dennis Collection 118 Them was the days when we could cuss an' fight. / Even that young sonk, Romeo, could sweal; / When 'e got set 'e'd fairly raise yer 'air.

Notes: Predating AND 1959.

 

sook n. a person easily brought to tears; a sissy.

Notes: Since sooky is recorded some 50 years before sook, it can presumed that this is a backformation from the earlier word. The suggestion put forward in AND that it is from British dialect suck 'a duffer' is unsatifactory both phonologically and semantically.

 

SP n. an illegal off-course bookmaker.

1954 Eric Lambert The Veterans ii. 27 And the S.P. had paid the full starting price – fifty to one!

Notes: Predating AND 1958.

 

SP bookie n. an illegal off-course bookmaker.

1956 Vince Kelly The Bogeyman vii. 99 'You're right there, of course, sergeant, but an S.P. bookie isn't a criminal, not in the ordinary man's way of thinking, now is he?'

Notes: Predating AND 1962.

 

speedball n. a rissole.

1979 Keith Garvey Absolutely Australian 18 The cook with his speed-balls delightful, / The learner attempting to shear, / The rouseabouts lazy and spiteful, / The presser with yoke in his hair.

Notes: Postdating AND 1978.

 

Speed Gordon n. the name under which American comic superhero Flash Gordon was for a long time known in Australia, used allusively, especially in the phrase in more strife/trouble than Speed Gordon.

1948 Sumner Locke Elliott Rusty Bugles 42 'Went through like Speed Gordon.'

1961 Geoff Mill Nobody Dies But Me (2003) 98 As far as I knew that liquor could have been water and we'd have been in more strife than Speed Gordon[.]

1967 Lew Wright Cards, Dice and Pennies vii. 170 'Billy M. is hooked,' said one. 'Doing a stack,' enjoined another. 'In more trouble than Speed Gordon, whispered yet another.

1974 Bruce Beresford and Barry Humphries Bazza Holds His Own [movie] 'All I know is your aunty's in more strife than Speed Gordon.'

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. In the 1930s and 40s the predominant meaning of flash in Australian English was 'lairy', 'showy', and so Flash Gordon had to be renamed, otherwise it'd sound like he was a mug lair.

 

spit the winkle phr. to squirt water from the anus.

1989 Tracks (Sydney) Dec 78 [caption] One of the most notorious surfers' party tricks – spit the winkle.

1990 Tracks (Sydney) Mar 3/2 [I]n you excellent salute to the '80s, there's a photo of a dude dropping a brown-eye. You have said he's 'spitting the winkle'. What's the difference, and why is it such a notorious party trick that shouldn't be attempted at home. [Editor's reply] Look closely at the photo. The man in question is actually squirting water from his bottom.

Notes: Less than charming, but Aussie nonetheless.

 

spunky adj. sexually attractive.

1973 Ribald (Sydney) #45 23 TWO HORNY guys seek spunky chicks – send frank photo. Can travel: generous to right persons – discretion assured.

1974 Screw (Sydney) 4 Mar 12 Young spunky guy well hung seeks similar to 40.

1975 Ribald (Sydney) #140 21 YOUNG: Muscular guy own flat Eastern Subs. Seeks slim clean spunky chicks to 30 for mutual sexual satisfaction oral enjoyment a speciality.

Notes: Predating AND 1979.

 

square, on the phr. of a relationship, faithfully monogamous.

a.1909 George Essex Evans in Stewart and Keesing Australian Bush Ballads (1955) 286 And she was a perfect stunner, / Tall and fair; / Every digger longed to 'run her / On the square'. / For her cheeks were like a posy / And her lovely little nosey / With a tiny tilt uprosee / In the air.

Notes: Predating Simes 1944. The ballardist George Essex Evans died in 1909.

 

stack on v.t. to contrive.

1944 Lawson Glassop We Were The Rats III. xxxiv. 193 "It took guts to dong them two big M.Ps the night A Company stacked on a blue in Tel Aviv, didden it?"

1952 T.A.G. Hungerford The Ridge and the River 21 "I guess I must've stacked on a turn. I'm sorry."

ibid. 125 "I got my share, all right, but I don't stack on the flaming great hero act."

Notes: Predating AND 1965.

 

stag knife n. a game in which a pocket knife is thrown so that it sticks in the ground.

1933 Norman Lindsay Saturdee (1977) v. 64 Bill and Waldo made some brave efforts at optimism by talking about raiding old Quong Wah's garden first thing in the morning, and got up a game of Stag Knife, just ot prove that all was well[.]

1959 Mary Durack Kings in Grass Castles 183 Groups under every shade entered into noisy games of two-up, mumble-the-peg and stag-knife.

1991 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #20 16/1 Stag knife – throwing up your pocket knife so the blade sticks in the ground[.]

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

standover merchant n. a criminal who uses intimidation.

1944 Lawson Glassop We Were The Rats II. xii. 66 "Give him a go," said somebody, and somebody else said "Yeah. Don't be a standover merchant."

Notes: Predating AND 1952.

 

stiff! phr. tough luck!

1977 Jim Ramsay Cop It Sweet 33 stiff: Expression of sympathy.

1982 Gerald Sweeney Invasion 187 'My superiors hold me personally responsible for not forewarning of the coup. I am not in their favour.' He waved away yet another sale contract. At $15,000. 'Stiff, Doc.'

1985 Peter Corris Pokerface xiii. 102 'Hey, I wanted to hear that,' Snow said. 'Stiff,' Crawley snarled.

1992 Andrew McGahan Praise 63 'It hurts,' she moaned. 'I won't be able to walk for a week.' 'Stiff,' I said.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. Elliptical form of stiff luck, stiff cheese, etc.

 

stiff cheddar! phr. tough luck!

1979 Lance Peters The Dirty Half-Mile ix. 286 'They don't like it!' 'Stiff cheddar mate!'

1982 Nicholas Hasluck The Hand That Feeds You 6 'You lock the house up. Disconnect the phone. Plug your ears with cotton wool. Stiff cheddar. You lie there wide awake...'

1986 Simon French All We Know xiv. 221 'Hurry up, Jo,' she told him, 'I want to get home.' 'Stiff cheddar,' he answered solemnly, not shifting his stare of concentration from the video screen.

1986 [Richard Beckett] The Dinkum Aussie Dictionary 59 'Stiff cheddar' is an Australianism for the English phrase, 'Hard cheese, old chap.'

Notes: This variant of stiff cheese not recorded in AND.

 

stiff shit! phr. tough luck!

1969 C. Carstairs Zero Heroes iv. 53 'Vell,' said the officer, 'that is steef chit...'

1979 Robert English Toxic Kisses i. 3 'Stiff shit,' whispers Lou as if he's talking to a non-existent dummy on his lap.

1985 Peter Corris Pokerface xiii. 102 'So if there was a spy around, stiff shit.'

1986 [Richard Beckett] The Dinkum Aussie Dictionary 59 'Stiff cheddar' is an Australianism for the English phrase, 'Hard cheese, old chap.' In coarser and more unfeeling circles it is sometimes translated as 'Stiff shit, mate.'

Notes: Predating AND 1980. Plus some extra citations.

 

stiff turps! phr. tough luck!

1960 J.E. Macdonnell Don't Gimme the Ships iv. 65 'It was just stiff turps that the base admiral had to come aboard and catch him more than half bonkers – when we should've been at sea.'

Notes: Variant of stiff cheese not recorded in AND.

 

stinky n. a type of playing marble.

1927 The Kid Stakes (film) 'Get Hector out about six o'clock in the mornin' and I'll give you a glassy and six stinkies after the race.'

1945 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language 204 Marbles of one kind or another are known to Australian children as bottleys, bottle-ohs, cornies, cornelians, chows, dakes, doblars, conks, commos, stinkies, stonkers, dibs, peewees, glassies, immas and smokies.

1970 J.S. Gunn in English Transported 60 As an example, the game of marbles has given knuckledown, fudging, and the cry of mully grubs to general usage, quite apart from its special references to stinkies, kellies, tors, and connies.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

stoked adj. thrilled, delighted.

1963 Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 10 Nov 23 He talk surfie talk...'cowabunga, wipe-out, I'm get stoked... yay gremmies.'

1964 in Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language (2nd ed.) xi. 255 'Yer know, it leaves yer feeling stoked.'

1979 Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette Puberty Blues 9 'Geez, you looked priddy on Fridee night at the dance, Kim. Yeah, all the guys were stoked.'

1979 Kent Pearson Surfing Subcultures of Australia and New Zealand ix. 151 Surfers at such time may report still being in a stage of heightened awareness, still excited or 'stoked' as a result of the exhilaration of the ride[.]

1987 Rodney Hall Kisses of the Enemy II. xxxix. 222 So that's it, he breathed, absolutely stoked, then shouted with laughter.

1994 Crank (Sydney) Sum 4 No doubt Willy and Rob will be back cause they were way stoked out on the whole Oz deal.

1996 Underground Surf Aut 22 Stoked or what!

1996 Slam Apr 18/2 I'm stoked on people trying to do something good, but if it's gonna work they will need more support.

1997 Tim Winton Lockie Leonard: Legend 185 He carved and floated. He crouched and flew with spray and rumbling at his back. He was as stoked as a grommet gets.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. Metaphorical extension of stoked 'of a fire, completely furnished with fuel'.

 

strain the potatoes phr. to urinate.

1962 Xavier Herbert Soldiers' Women (1978) i. 34 They went through this to a bathroom at the rear, where the children were ordered to 'strain the potatoes'[.]

1963 Frank Hardy Legends From Benson's Valley 25 Someone was moving about in the darkness. Probably only Arty going to strain his spuds, I thought drowsily.

Notes: Predating AND 1965.

 

'Stralia n. a representation of an ocker pronunciation of Australia. Hence, 'Stralian, adj.

1938 Xavier Herbert Capricornia 169 'For 'Stralia will be the – ah – Australia will be there!'

1975 Xavier Herbert Poor Fellow My Country 1028 'Mob o' bloody morons, really...ev'thing you don't like in 'Stralian character in 'em...mean bastards, ev' one of 'em.'

Notes: Predating AND 1955.

 

streak of misery n. a tall, thin, morose person.

1905 Norman Lindsay in The Comic Art of Norman Lindsay 113 The men we know today are long, gaunt, streaks of misery.

1916 C.J. Dennis The Songs of the Sentimental Bloke A little while ago it was jist "me" – / A lonely, longin' streak o' misery.

1951 Dal Stivens Jimmy Brockett 88 No bloody long streak of misery was going to make a fool out of Jimmy Brockett.

1961 W.R. Bennett Wingman x. 98 'Listen, y'wrung-out streak o' misery, 'ow many times do I have to tell yer?'

1969 Alex Buzo Norm and Ahmed 12 'Tall bloke, he was. A long thin streak of pelican shit.'

1975 'Bluey' Bush Contractors ii. 19 He was a long thin streak of misery with slicked down black hair and oil coming out of his skin.

1981 Jack Bennett Gallipoli iii. 55 The bloke, who's about our age, is a real long streak of misery, as Athos says.

Notes: AND records streak 'a tall, thin person' from 1941 (Baker) and notes that Partridge had recorded it in DSUE in 1937. The earliest evidence AND has for this particular collocation is 1967. However, as can be seen from the evidence presented here, streak is actually a shortening of the earlier streak of misery. The variant streak of pelican shit, is not uncommon.

 

strike a light! phr. heavens above!

1922 C.J. Dennis in The C.J. Dennis Collection 118 Swear! Dio mio! – that is, strike a light! / 'E turned the air fair purple on that night.

Notes: Predating AND 1936.

 

strike me phr. good lord!

1874 Marcus Clarke His Natural Life 217 'Strike me! You daren't! I defy you! Bring up the wretched creatures who learn the way to Hell in this cursed house, and let them see you do it.'

Notes: Predating AND 1915.

 

stubby n. a short, squat beer bottle.

1965 John O'Grady Aussie English 16 There are middies, schooners, ponies, lady's waists, butchers, handles, mugs, jugs, tankards, fives, sevens, pints, bottles, cans large and small, glass cans, stubbies - many names, which have significance in particular localities.

Notes: Predating AND 1966.

 

sucked in phr. tough luck! serves yourself right!

1989 Opus (Newcastle) Aug 25 No, Mark Anthony Jones was not the only person to enter, in fact we had loads of entries (sucked in M.A.J. he he he).

1999 3D-World (Sydney) 1 Nov 30 When Kid Loco brought out his remixes album he started it with 'traveller' and Jose Padilla (pronounced Pah-dee-yah, my girlfriends South American – sucked in) kicks off the sixth instalment of Cafe Del Mar with Kid Loco's remix.

Notes: Aussie kid's slang, in use at least since the 1970s – as I recollect. It is an extension of the verb phrase suck in 'to dupe', hence, sucked in 'you have been duped (and serves you right)'. Not recorded in Wilkes, AND.

 

sweet, she'll be phr. everything will be all right.

1957 'Nino Culotta' They're A Weird Mob x. 155 'Yell if yer want help.' 'She'll be sweet, matey. Nothin' I cn't handle.'

Notes: Predating AND 1968.

 

swiftie n. an attempt to deceive.

1944 Truth (Sydney) 21 May 3/1 On Friday a 'swiftie' was put over those bookie boys who gather at two of Sydney's most popular sporting rendezvous to do their weekly spot of black-marketeering.

Notes: Predating AND 1945 (citing Baker).

 

swy game n. a game of two-up.

1944 Lawson Glassop We Were The Rats xxv. 146 'Then the girl comes inter the middle of the ring – gathered round just like a swy game they was – an' starts ter tell how she seen the light an' come safe home ter Jesus.'

Notes: Predating AND 1946.

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take down v.t. to defraud.

1895 Nat Gould On and Off the Turf xi 125 On the other hand, I have known jockeys take an owner down.

1899 Steele Rudd On Our Selection 87 Dan went over to Anderson's and Anderson took him in and kept him a week. Then Dan took Anderson down at a new game of cards, and went away west again.

1902 A.B. Paterson Rio Grande and other verses (1937) 46 'If he will not shout we must take him down,' / Remarked the yokels of Walgett Town. / They baited a trap with a crafty bait[.]

1917 Barbara Baynton Trooper Jim Tasman (in The Portable Barbara Baynton)95 [I]n ten days Jim the cute had been taken down for his £70.

1965 Norman Lindsay Bohemians at the Bulletin vii. 62 [W]here the pub keeper was a dirty scoundrel who lurked there to take poor shearers and bush workers down for their pay checks[.]

Notes: Predating Simes c.1899, plus some extra citations. Not in Wilkes, AND. This was recorded in the OED with a sole citation from 1895, and labelled Austral. slang. As Simes points out Barr?re and Leland record it as British slang in 1890. Is it still in use in British English? Certainly it is still known in Australia, but not very common.

 

talent n. the criminal class.

1877 J.S. James The Vagabond Papers (2nd series) 128 Except that he risks no money, his modus operandi is much the same as the theory of book-making – in practice, the 'talent' may find themselves astray after a meeting. The tout takes so many horses which are likely to win, and gives their names as tips to so many different clients, with much secret and important information and instructions how to 'get on'.

Notes: Predating AND 1879.

 

tanty n. a temper tantrum.

1987 Kathy Lette, Girls' Night Out (1995) 106 'But if you threw a tanty or two she'd do it, I reckon.'

1995 Harrison Biscuit The Search for Savage Henry 67 'No,' she said shortly, risking an enormous tanty from Mike.

1997 John Birmingham The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco 73 They are approaching the red zone of an explosive Tunguska tanty.

Notes: Not recorded in Wilkes, AND.

 

thrummer n. a three penny piece.

1947 Norman Lindsay Halfway to Anywhere iv. 50 He got some return on it as an investment by lending it out to blokes at a thrummer a time[.]

Notes: Postdating AND 1944.

 

tiger n. a tiger snake.

1978 M.J. 'Chap' Burton Bush Pub x. 88 'Besides you need some plonk about the place, especially in the summer when them tigers and browns are about.'

1981 Jack Bennett Gallipoli iii. 65 'Tigers, browns, death adders,' said Archy[.]

1986 Hugh Atkinson Grey's Valley: The Legend 108 There had always been snakes in the district, but not many tigers.

Notes: Some extra citations for elliptical usage (AND has 1916, 1979).

 

toey adj. fast.

1971 Jack Hibberd A Stretch of the Imagination 43 '[A] toey winger was rendered flat of foot by a long handball over his skull[.]

Notes: Predating AND 1977.

 

Tojo n. Japanese soldiers, collectively.

1954 Betty Jeffrey White Coolies (1959) xvi. 78 It was rather a scream really, because there was a very sticky patch of clay just where we had to bow, and so many of us came to grief and slipped over or fell over their table when we hit this spot. The Japs were not amused, but we were. Poor old Tojo, nothing ever comes off with dignity and something always goes wrong.

Notes: Interdating AND 1944 <> 1985. Actually, despite being well used during and immediately after WWII, there is a paucity of evidence for this item of Australian English, with only 5 citations adduced in the AND – the one here adds at least an extra skerrick of information. According to Baker (1945: 154-5) the term was also "listed by John Quinn in the Sydney "Sun" on 26 August 1942".

 

tombowler n. a large playing marble. Also, tombola, tomboller.

1953 Sidney J. Baker Australia Speaks 109 Other, mainly indigenous, offerings include: imma, dib, stonky, tom bowler and put the moz on.

1954 in The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter (1994) #27 10/2 Marbles' Names: Carlisle, Western Australia, 1954: Agate, Cat's Eyes, Blood Real, Tomboller, Pee-Wee, Duck's Egg[.]

1954 in The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter (1995) #28 9/1 Every child owned a Tom Bowler, a large blue bowling alley[.]

1963 Frank Hardy Legends From Benson's Valley 86 They appeared on the point of defiance, a tall youth poised with a tombowler between thumb and finger-tip.

1963 Margaret Diesendorf in Poetry Magazine #4 31 His joy in sound, word, phrase; in alliteration and other consonantal effects, antithesis and parallel syntactic construction, seems to me that of the small boy treasuring his marbles, chipped ones and Tom Bowlers[.]

1974 Phillip Adams The Unspeakable Adams 50 Tombowlers, blood reels and cats eyes: Things kept in an alley bag.

1980 Barry Oakley in The Great God Mogadon and Other Plays 29 Once the manager had searched his pockets, and found the bus tickets, the grey handkerchief, and the glass taws he carried around. 'Those are my solid tombolas,' Arthur explained to the manager.

1985 Cathy Hope Themes from the Playground 9 They [a couple from Glasgow, Scotland] called the large glass marbles Tom Bowlers.

1986 Tim Winton That eye, the sky II. vii. 59 It looks like an ace marble, a tombola or something.

1995 Your Garden Jun The cat's eyes, red barons, agates and even tom bowlers can all be dug out of storage and used to create some eye-catching displays.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. From tom 'large' (see OED Tom n1 7) + bowler. Connection with tombola 'a type of lottery' is flawed, despite the fact that it is occasional spelt that way.

 

tonguey n. a French kiss.

1975 Ribald (Sydney) 13 Nov 7/4 Hollywood has its Oscar. TV its Emmy. Broadway its Tony. And now the world of suckee-fuckee has its own Golden Eros Award nicknamed the 'Tonguey'.

1995 Paul Vautin Turn It Up! 206 I finally found her standing at a counter with her brown jacket and dark hair and being an affectionate type I slipped up behind her and gave her a big tonguey in the ear.

1996 Captial Q Weekly (Sydney) 21 Jun 9/1 [There is] the waxed blond Adonis with flexing muscles, "sorry no toungies".

2001 Gretel Killeen Hot Buns and Ophelia get shipwrecked 20 At 6.30 the two friends watched Neighbours and became engrossed in the plot line, which was 'Nev kisses Bev' (not a tonguie).

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

toodlembuck1 n. a type of children's gambling game (see citations).

1960 Dorothy Howard in The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #3 3/1 But children of the early 1900's had a gambling custom – extinct now, as far as I could learn – claiming the picturesque name of 'Toodlembuck' and employing a unique handmade gambling wheel and 'cherry bobs' (cherry stones - cherries are in season at Melbourne Cup time) for money.

1981 Ross Campbell The Road to Oxalis Cottage 5 In the weeks before the Melbourne Cup was run we gambled with cherry bobs (cherry stones) on a toodlembuck. This was a small whirligig of cardboard with the Cup horses' names printed round the edge. The spring racing season caused a peak demand for cherry bobs.

1982 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #3 4/1 Toodlembucks flourished at Coberg West S.S. in the 1940s and in the 1950s (early 1950s at least).

ibid. 'Two and your old girl back'. We gave odds of 2 to 1 as I remember and this said quickly is very like 'Toodlembuck'.

1983 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #4 1/2 As a matter of fact my sister had the prize Toodlembuck of all time, when she was in grade 5, that is in 1948.

ibid. 3/2 'Toodlembuck' was a game in which a circular piece of cardboard was divided into sections, with horses' names and suitable odds marked on it, and then spun around on a cotton reel. All bets were made in cherrybobs and a shrewd boy could end up with a fantastic number.

2002 Fifty-Plus News (www.fiftyplusnews.com) In the 40s, 50s and 60s, I knew four of Melbourne's most influential bookies, for I had gone to school with them and in the 20s and 30s these 'Leviathans of the Sport of Kings' used to operate a Toodle-em-buck! A Toodle-em-buck consisted of a round piece of strong cardboard stuck on a cotton reel; through the hole in the cotton reel was a round stick, something in the shape of a butcher's skewer. Inserted in the top of this skewer was a small wire which was the 'winning post'. To set this contraption in motion, a length of string was wound around the cotton reel tightly, and when the operator was all set, he'd yell out "They're off!". He would then yank the string and away would spin the cotton reel and when it stopped, the name of the horse written on the cardboard under the wire was, of course, the winner. The winnings were only paid in cherry bobs – that was our currency in the 30s believe it or not; things just weren't the best.

2004 Australian Word Map (www.abc.net.au/wordmap) a game-of-chance device consisting of a wooden skewer, a cotton reel, and a cardboard disc marked in sectors, each bearing a horse's name and betting odds proportional to sector size; a pointer showed the winner when the disc stopped spinning.

Notes: Extra evidence – AND has two citations (1959, 1960). Note that the spinning device itself is also called a toodlembuck, not just the game. The suggestion (1982:2) that the word is a contraction of 'two and your old girl back' (the 'old girl' being the original stake) seems hard to believe. Nevertheless, the suggestion in AND that the first element is tootle 'to walk, wander', is also highly suspect – in fact, in light of the evidence presented in the following entry, it should be discounted altogether. The game appears to have been played as early as the 1900s and as late as 1960s.

 

toodlembuck2 n. see citations. Also, doodlembuck.

1924 Collins and Thompson Harking Back ii. 27 Another diversion in 'Doodlem-buck' added to the merriment of the onlookers... The recalcitrant thruppeny was placed on top of a small peg inside a six inch ring; half-a-dozen short sticks were sold for a small amount, and, if the thruppence was knocked off the peg and lodged outside the ring, the prize was awarded[.]

1960 Dorothy Howard in The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #3 3/1 Another type of gambling device called a (or 'the') 'Toodlembuck' was described as follows by T.H. Coates, Melbourne University, whose childhood was spent in East Ballarat, Victoria: Two four-inch lengths of one-inch diameter broom stick, one trousers button. (Sometimes the word 'Toodlembuck' was applied specifically to one piece of broomstick with the button placed on the end.) A circle was drawn on the ground, usually by putting the thumb down as center and using the little finger to describe the circumference. In the center of this circle one stick was placed upright with the button sitting on top. Three yards from the circle a line was drawn and from this the player had to bowl the second stick trying to knock the first stick over in such a way as to make the button fall into the ring (or outside the ring – I forget which). Marbles (which we always called 'alleys') were staked on the result. The entrepreneur would sing or rather chant: 'Try your luck on the Toodlembuck / An alley a shot and two if you win.'

2003 Sydney Morning Herald 4 Nov (www.smh.com.au) Only 4000 spectators turned up at Flemington on Thursday, November 7, 1861 (the event was switched to the first Tuesday of the month in 1874). And although they picnicked, watched Punch and Judy shows and played games such as 'doodle-em-buck', the mood was understandably subdued.

Notes: An entirely different game to that of the previous entry. Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

top adj. excellent, wonderful, terrific.

1979 Sam Weller Old Bastards I Have Met 64 This night club was top stuff.

1981 Northern Star (Lismore) 13 Aug 28 Walsh earned the man-of-the-match award with a top attacking display, while Cronulla lock and captain Steve Rogers was named man-of-the-series following another non-stop 80-minute effort.

1984 Alice Springs Star 18 Oct 18 Both speakers gave excellent coverages of their respective careers and it was a top night.

1988 Clive Galea Slipper xv. 107 Karen and Annie were top sorts, a bit light on the grey matter, but nice girls.

1992 'Roy Slaven' (John Doyle) Five South Coast Seasons 29 It was such a top idea[.]

1997 Sydney Morning Herald 3 Mar 16/3 So Leo Schofield recommends that a 'top bloke' should own a battery-operated nose hair clipper.

2004 Sydney Morning Herald 7 Feb Good Weekend 16/2 How did I go cooking? Extremely poorly. No, I mean really. Vegemite and bread's a top meal for me.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

top-off n. a police informer.

1940 Eric Curry Hysterical History of Australia xiii. 175 Actually, my dear pupils, he was a shelf, a fizgig, a top-off, or, to use more polite language, what is known as a police pimp.

Notes: Predating AND 1941.

 

tops adj. excellent, wonderful, terrific.

1954 Betty Jeffrey White Coolies (1959) xxi. 119 These girls are tops; they chat away to each other as they walk past our block "carrying", as they call it, and it is always something quite pleasant, never a grumble.

1962 John Wynnum Jiggin' in the Riggin' vi. 64 'The fellers all think you are tops and they envy the fact that I know you so well.'

1982 Open Road Oct 6 'Country pubs, if you could crack it for a good one, were tops in the old days,' one of the speakers said.

1982 South Coast and Southern Tablelands Magazine 26 Apr 6 It may not have satisfied the purist, but as far as the ordinary spectator was concerned, it was tops.

1987 Kathy Lette Girls' Night Out (1995) 89 'Apart from that everything's just fabulous. Tops. Terrific.'

1990 Mosman Daily 15 Mar 4 This was tops! As well, what an Australian tourist attraction!

1992 'Roy Slaven' (John Doyle) Five South Coast Seasons 38 'Yeah, it's tops. Hats off to the judges.'

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

trannie n. a transistor radio.

1966 Baker xvii. 372

Notes: Predating OED2 1969. Since the OED's first citation is Australian there may be a case for it actually being an Australianism. See note at boofhead.

 

troll n. a female prostitute

c.1882 Sydney Slang Dictionary 11 Trull – Contraction of "troll" or "trollop."

Notes: Predating AND 1963. The text is a little strange in that the definition given is defective – clearly trull cannot be a "contraction" of troll. Nevertheless, it does at least show that the form troll was around at this early date.

 

truckie n. a truck driver

1919 C.J. Dennis Jim of the Hills 12 An' the loggin' truck goes lurchin' down the crazy wooden ways, / With the driver at the brake-rope – Oh, that truckie has a nerve! / An' he howls a merry "Hoop-la!" as she swings around a curve.

1955 John Morrison Stories of the Waterfront 134 Seamen, wharfies and truckies almost to a man.

Notes: Predating AND 1958. The first citation is surprisingly early and refers to a driver of a horsedrawn timber truck. Nevertheless, it is still the same word.

 

true blue adj. loyal to strikers.

1892 William Lane The Workingman's Paradise Why they're raising money in Sydney for us already and I'm told that it was squeezed as dry as a bone over the maritime strike. The New South Wales fellows are all true blue and so they are down Adelaide way, as good as gold yet. The bosses don't know what a job they tackled when they started in to down unionism.

Notes: Predating 1896 citation recorded at http://www.anu.edu.au/ANDC/Austwords/trueblue.html, and thus likely to be in next edition of AND

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unco adj. uncoordinated.

1993 Tim Winton Lockie Leonard: Scumbuster 125 On top of everything else, love was making him a bit unco.

1996 Tracks (Sydney) Jun 12/1 For no apparent reason as he reaches the bottom he gets all fucken unco and falls off.

1997 John Birmingham The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco 218 I was so completely unco I couldn't get my jeans on or off. I simply rolled around on the floor, hysterical and spinning out.

2003 [Ben Mellonie] Bruce's Aussie Dictionary I knew an octopus who was so unco, he couldn't tell his left arm from his right, from his left, from his right, from his left.

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. This was in common (daily) use at my Sydney highschool, which dates it back to 1978.

 

unreal adj. excellent, terrific, wonderful.

1977 Eleanor Spence A Candle for Saint Antony (1978) 44 We could have a terrific time. Vienna's just – what's that word you're always using? – unreal?

1981 Barry Humphries A Nice Night's Entertainment 44 Nice upper-middle-class Debbies' term of modish approbation would now, in 1981, be 'unreal', 'wondrous' or 'am-aa-zing'[.]

1982 National Times 5-11 Dec 9 Like the buzz you get out of it, through rushes, it's unreal.

1983 Bulletin 5 July 63 Then late breakfasts in the hotel kitchen, going to bed in the afternoons then getting up and walking in warm sun along the beach, popping seaweed pods with our bare feet. It was unreal.

1987 Kathy Lette Girls' Night Out (1995) 126 He must be unreal to talk to.

1990 Ignatius Jones True Hip 35 For instance, never, under any circumstances, say 'unreal'; 'un-rool' is painful to type, let alone utter.

1992 Robert G. Barrett Davo's Little Something 28 'Where did you get that? It looks unreal.'

1998 Underground Surf Crossover (Sydney) #2 35 You could say – mmm, awesome, faaark! Stoked, too good, unreal, buuullshit, or filth, mate!

2004 Centralian Advocate (Darwin) 7 Sept 2/5 'It was an unreal day. We had a huge turnout from interstate.'

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

up, wouldn't know if someone were up you phr. a phrase denoting ignorance.

1961 Geoff Mill Nobody Dies But Me 70 Rasmussen said, 'He's so wet he wouldn't know if you were up him unless you coughed.'

1972 Bruce Beresford and Barry Humphries The Adventures of Barry McKenzie [film] 'Those dozey bastards down at Oz House wouldn't know if a tram was up 'em till the bell rang.'

1975 Ribald (Sydney) 18 Sep 8/1 Take that 'dickhead' who 'couldn't get a fuck in a brothel' because 'he wouldn't know if you was up 'im'.

1979 Derek Maitland Breaking Out 160 'You wouldn't know if a tram had run up your backside until the bloody people started getting out.'

1982 Nancy Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 177 'He wouldn't know a tram was up him till it rang its bell and the people started getting off'.

1986 [Richard Beckett] The Dinkum Aussie Dictionary 57 'wouldn't know if a band were up him until he got the drum'.

Notes: Not recorded by AND. The literal interpretation is 'wouldn't know if someone was up your arsehole', from up 'fully lodged in sexual intercourse'.

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Vasso n. Vaseline.

1998 Kathy Lette Altar Ego 290 'You did everything but coat me in vasso and heli-drop me, starkers, into a maximum security-prison for men!'

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND.

 

vegie n. an abbreviation of vegetable.

1953 T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake ii. 23 'You didn't drag me out of the vegy room for nothing.'

Notes: Predating British English use recorded in OED2 1955 – so perhaps to be classed as an Australianism. Although, this term didn't become common in Australian English until the 1980s.

 

Vic n. Victoria, the state.

a.1902 Harry Morant in Stewart and Keesing Australian Bush Ballads (1955) 233 "That narks yez," Michael answered – "he's a cocky down in Vic."

1906 G.M Smith ("Steele Grey") in Stewart and Keesing Australian Bush Ballads (1955) 281 A short time back while over in Vic. / I met with a chap called Post-Hole Mick.

1977 Jim Ramsey Cop It Sweet! 94 vic: Victoria.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND – used as a noun (not an abbrev.). Quite common colloquially, despite the paucity of evidence here.

 

Victorian football n. Australian Rules football.

1887 Australia's First Century 288 For the benefit of English football players, it may be said that the Victorian football is a combination of the Rugby and the Association game and when well played is perhaps as interesting a form of athletic contest as the ingenuity of man has yet devised.

1971 Alan Scott Football For Boys iv. The Victorian Football League, conscious of the pressing need for development of our code, is currently implementing a scheme which provides the finance necessary to undertake large-scale coaching[.]

1977 Hugh Buggy The Real John Wren 265 But from the moment Collingwood became one of -the clubs that broke away from the Victorian Football Association to form the Victorian Football League it had no more staunch supporter than John Wren.

1983 Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 9 Feb 25 If the VFL were interested in the code throughout Australia instead of only the 12 clubs under its umbrella, a truce would have been made years ago with the Victorian Football Association, which has been the down-trodden cousin of the code in that State.

1984 Sydney Morning Herald 9 Feb 28 Victorian Football League club Fitzroy has turned down a $100,000 sponsorship proposal from a massage parlour.

1987 Herald (Melbourne) 28 Sep 7 He proposed the young South Australian Stephen Kernahan, with only one year of Victorian football behind him.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

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Warwick Farm n. rhyming slang for 'arm'.

1983 'Ryan Aven-Bray' Ridgey Didge Oz Jack Lang 52 Warwick Farm - Arm.

1990 The Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter #18 2/1 Recently one of the editors was somewhat confused by a taxi driver taking about injuring his `Warwick Farm'. Not being a Queensander, it took the editor a few seconds longer than usual to decipher the rhyming slang reference to his broken arm. Warwick Farm is a popular horse-racing track in Brisbane.

Notes: Postdating AND 1967.

 

whacker n. a jerk

1965 William Dick A Bunch of Ratbags iv. 67 I was still scared stiff of this wacker. He seemed a bit crazy.

Notes: Predating AND 1966. I fear that AND's etymology that this is from whacko is wrong. More likely is that it is the agent noun of whack off 'to masturbate', and thus analogous to wanker.

 

whacko; whacko-the-diddle-o adj terrific; wonderful.

1949 Ruth Park Poor Man's Orange 186 Of course she wasn't what any fellow could call a whacko-the-diddle-O piece, but she was a girl.

1953 Nourma Handford Carcoola Holiday ix. 151 'That'll floor them. I reckon, that was the best episode in Blood on the Moon. It's a whacko episode, but,' he added magnanimously, 'it's a pretty whacko serial. All the chaps think so, don't they, Jonesy?' Jonesy preferred to reply guardedly that he, himself, thought it whacko and he supposed the other chaps did, too.

Notes: Predating AND 1973 (also whacko-the-goose, 1970).

 

whippy n. a secret money pocket; one's supply of cash.

1983 'Ryan Aven-Bray' Ridgey Didge Oz Jack Lang 10 It was a hefty blow on his whippy at that time.

Notes: Postdating AND 1980.

 

whirly wind n. a small, localised whirlwind

1969 Patsy Adam-Smith Folklore of the Australian Railwaymen 237 Whirley winds and germs galore, / With them we're always mixing[.]

Notes: Predating AND 1974. As a regionalism this is especially common in Qld.

 

whistlecock n. amongst Australian Aboriginals, a subincised penis; a man who has had this operation.

1945 Baker xiii. 225 whistlecock describes an aboriginal male who has undergone a crude operation to his penis which prevents impregnation.

Notes: Predating AND 1969. See note at boofhead.

 

wipe-off n. a total write off.

1962 W.R. Bennett Night Intruder i. 14'It could've been a complete wipe-off.'

Notes: Postdating AND 1945.

 

wog n. a New Australian; a person of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern extraction, or of similar complexion and appearance.

1942 Tip Kelaher The Digger Hat and other verses 55 Farewell to all the lousy Middle East, / The wogs, the smells, the snow, the heat, the sand[.]

1953 T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake viii. 164 'The bloke who slunk in like a dirty Wog to thieve the dough, or the bloke who had the guts to go after him and get it back?'

1966 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language (2nd ed.) viii. 175 After the war, Australia had a large intake of foreign migrants. Towards the end of the 1950s, we began to hear them described as wogs; then apparently to differentiate between one type of wog and another, since the term was originally applied only to migrants from Europe, we began to hear of pom wogs, British immigrants, yank wogs, immigrants from the U.S. and (as a crowning absurdity) wog wogs, all immigrants other than those from Britain and the U.S.

1968 Barry Humphries A Nice Night's Entertainment 103 You can't get a decent Australian meal these days; every second cafZÿ's run by a wog or a Jew-boy.

1981 Gerald Sweeney The Plunge (1989) ix. 208 'And he was a wog,' Bobby put in.

1995 Christos Tsiolkas Loaded (1998) 142 [T]he skip sticks with the skip, the wog with the wog, the gook with the gook, and the abo with the abo.

1996 Beat (Sydney) 17 Apr 26/1 Grigorista, a self-confessed wog way before it was fashionable to be so[.]

Notes: Local usage not recorded in Wilkes, AND. As Baker (1966, p.175) points out, this word was used by Australian servicemen and women to refer to Arabs when stationed in the Middle East, and thence became a derogatory epithet for any foreigner, including the Papuans and Japanese. After WWII it was applied to post-war migrants from eastern and southern Europe who settled in Australia. The application to Japanese or other oriental people was dropped. The application to British and American immigrants (see 1966 above) was only ever short-lived, and never widely in use. Current British usage of the term includes Indians, Pakistanis, Bengalis, etc., something which is not part of the Australian meaning. Since the 1980s, it has undergone some amelioration after being 'reclaimed' and is now commonly used in self-reference by ethnic people in a positive manner.

 

wog boy n. a male 'wog' (of any age).

1995 Christos Tsiolkas Loaded (1998) 151 Stay away from wog boys, kiddo, I tell her, they'll fuck you up.

Notes: Not recorded in Wilkes, AND.

 

wog chariot n. any vehicle typically favoured by 'wogs'.

1987 Kathy Lette Girls' Night Out 139 Con was [sic] mohair and drove a wog chariot. The kids at teachers college called it a 'marrickville Mercedes' – a red ET Monaro with a sun roof and mag wheels.

Notes: Not recorded in Wilkes, AND.

 

woggy adj. ethnic; characteristic of 'wogs'.

1966 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language (2nd ed.) viii. 175 Derivatives [of wog] include woggey and woggishness.

1968 Barry Humphries A Nice Night's Entertainment 45 Give us two in the stalls will you woggy boy and a box of black magic!!!

1987 Kathy Lette Girls' Night Out 126 'This one's called Petro. He's a big choc, you know really woggy[.]'

1988 'Kylie Mole' (Maryanne Fahey) My Diary 65 I love Dino. (I can't remember wot his last name is. Somethink rooly woggy, that you can't pronounce).

1995 Christos Tsiolkas Loaded (1998) 8 She's got a bad woggy haircut[.]

1999 Peter Robb Pig's Blood and other stories 45 The Porsche slowed down and he could see there was some kind of dark woggy looking bloke in a black shirt at the wheel and the bloke seemed to be looking at the house.

Notes: Not recorded in Wilkes, AND.

 

woolly woofter n. a gay man.

1995 Sydney Star Observer 9 Feb 16/2 If you must be a rampaging woolly-woofter, please don't bother Wilf Hogan of Telarah[.].

Notes: Not in Wilkes, AND. Rhyming slang for poofter.

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you beaut, you little beaut phr. hooray!

1944 Lawson Glassop We Were The Rats xxxvii. 212 'You beaut!' I cried. 'You bloody beaut!'

1944 John Morrison in Stories of the Waterfront 119 'Three or four nights – you beaut!'

1948 Sumner Locke Elliott Rusty Bugles 31 ANDY: And a cake for you too. [He hands GIG a tin.] GIG: You little beaut!

1957 Raw Lawler Summer of the Seventeenth Doll I. ii. 42 BARNEY: [rising] You little beaut!

1959 Cyril Pearl So, you want to be an Australian 17 Ned Kelly's skull and Phar Lap's heart ("you beaut!") / Are proud displays in Canberra's Institute, / But truer symbols of the statesman's art / Were Phar Lap's skull and Mr. Kelly's heart...

1962 John Wynnum Tar Dust i. 13 'You bloody beaut,' sighed the Chief.

1966 Ray Slattery Mobb's Mob v. 109 I'm in with her, he thought. You beaut.

1999 Peter Robb Pig's Blood and other fluids 196 His mouth was around Sam's cock and his head was working hard. You beaut. We made it ripper, said Larry.

Notes:

 

you beauty, you little beauty phr. hooray!

1930 Lennie Lower Here's Luck xxvii. 198 As I watched, the back wall of the house crashed inwards and the roof subsided a foot. 'Roof!' shouted Woggo. The balcony cracked ominously and leaned outwards. 'Balcony! You beauty!' shrieked Stanley.

1946 Kylie Tennant Lost Haven x. 147 'Stick to him!' Bunny Benfield howled. 'C'mon, you little beauty. Ten to one the winner!'

1948 Sumner Locke Elliott Rusty Bugles 65 KEGHEAD: You little beauty. [He is outside the door in a trice.]

1961 Willie Fennell Dexter Gets The Point 122 'Dad – you little beauty!'

1962 John Wynnum Tar Dust iii. 47 'You little beauty!'

1971 Frank Hardy The Outcasts of Foolgarah ix. 101 'The cheque, you little beauty!'

1976 J.E. MacDonnell Big Bill the Bastard viii. 68 'You bloody beauty!' Stuart was shouting. 'You bloody little beauty!'

1988 Max Walker How To Tame Lions 28 It just happened that the evening meal on our first night in Tobago was a smorgasbord – you beauty!

1998 Kathy Lette Altar Ego 18 'What else can a woman do, who's running out on her own wedding?' 'You little beauty!...I did wonder why you're half out the window. Atta girl.'

Notes: This common variant of the above phrase is not given special mention in Wilkes or AND. The earliest citation appearing in AND's citations for beauty is from 1964.

 

youse plural pron. you.

1898 Edward Dyson Below and On Top iv. 'P'raps youse two won't count, 'cause yer sich little fellers, but yer mus' swear solemn never t' say a word to a livin' soul, 'r I'll lock yer both up in a shoot an' keep yer fer ever an' ever. Amen.'

1899 Steele Rudd On Our Selection 88 "A circus!" Sal put in. "A pretty circus yous'd have!"

1901 Miles Franklin My Brilliant Career 187 'You've stuck at home pretty constant, and ye and Lizer can have a little fly round. It'll do yous good,' she said.

Notes: Predating AND 1902. Following are some Aust.-Irish examples. Note that these are different to and separate from Australian English usage, but are no doubt the source of the Australian usage.

1874Marcus Clarke His Natural Life 203 "'deed, miss, it's the truth, on my sowl. I've but jest come back to yez this morning. O my! but it's a cruel thrick to play an ould man."

1898 Edward Dyson Below and On Top 'A Golden Shanty' Ye do be atin' twinty-four hours a day,' her lord was wont to remark, 'and thin yez must get up av noights for more.

ibid. 'Ye loi, ye screw-faced nayger! I seed ye do it, and if yez don't cut and run I'll lave the dog loose to feed on yer dhirty carcasses.'

1892 William Lane The Workingman's Paradise II. vi. 'Oi've as good a moind as iver a man had in the wurrld to run yez in.'

 

youse singular pron. you.

1911 Louis Stone Jonah 24 'Wotcher doin' in my 'ouse?' suddenly inquired Sloppy, blinking

with suspicion at Flash Kate. 'Yous go 'ome, me fine lady, afore yer git yerself talked about.'

ibid. 36 ''Ello, Bill, fancy meetin' yous!' he mumbled.

1938 Xavier Herbert Capricornia 169 Then to Cedric he said, 'You know this here young Maudie's been pretty well brought up. You's had the hopportoonity to see that for yourself.'

1958 Eve Langley The Pea-Pickers 84 Jim said, 'I'll look after youse, Blue.' 'Youse look after youse-self, James,' said Blue.

Notes: AND's 1885 citation is not legitimate – it is clearly not an Australian English speaker but rather an Irish person. These citations here predate the AND's next evidence from 1960. Brian Taylor has argued that this singular usage is a literary creation and does not exist in the natural speech of Australian English speakers. Louis Stone was born in England and came to Australia when he was fifteen, and so was introduced to Australian English rather than being brought up speaking it. Xavier Herbert's character in Capricornia is clearly not speaking Australian English. Eve Langley's dialogue is entirely unbelievable – who has ever heard anyone say youse-self ?

 

youse possessive pron. your.

1938 Xavier Herbert Capricornia 234 Con said to Tocky, 'Better nick off and change yous clotheses, monkey. Here, Christy, gif dat jobs to Barney and start cuttin' dat breads.' 'I aint a monkey,' Tocky cried.

1958 Eve Langley The Pea-Pickers 84 Jim said, 'I'll look after youse, Blue.' 'Youse look after youse-self, James,' said Blue.

Notes: Predating AND 1979. Brian Taylor's suspicions regarding literary examples of youse are even more pertinent here. For myself, I have never heard anyone actually use youse as a possessive, and I was 'brung up' speaking the language of the typical Sydney westie.

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