Free Settler or Felon

Convict and Colonial History

Humping Bluey

Australian Slang ~ Local Lingo

Unique Phrases ~ Memorable Quotes

According to Watkin Tench who who arrived on the Charlotte with the First Fleet in 1788....

A leading distinction, which marked the convicts on their outset in the colony, was a use of what is called the Flash or kiddy language. In some of our early courts of justice an interpreter was frequently necessary to translate the deposition of the witness and the defence of the prisoner. I have ever been of opinion that an abolition of this unnatural jargon would open the path to reformation. And my observations on these people have constantly instructed me that indulgence in this infatuating cant is more deeply associated with depravity and continuance in vice than is generally supposed.

James Hardy Vaux author of Vocabulary of the Flash Language, Australia's first dictionary, penned at Newcastle in 1812, wrote that to speak good flash is to be well versed in cant terms. Vaux' Vocabulary of the Flash Language lays down many words that can still be found in our language today, e.g.,....croak = to die; bolt = to run. Others have long fallen into disuse e.g., chant = dwelling place; cly-faker = pickpocket.

Just as words from the flash language have disappeared, so too are some slang words disappearing from our language e.g., cobber = mate; blow = to boast. In their place come new words eg., sus = suspicious; blind = drunk.

Added to the slang words below are unique Australian phrases and memorable quotes.


ABSENTEE - a runaway convict, usually one who had gone missing from assigned service rather than a convict who escaped from confinement to take up criminal life as a bushranger

A BAKER'S DOZEN - 13 of something

ABDUL - Turkish soldier WW1

A BIT OFF - in poor taste

ABSO-BLOODY-LUTELY - beyond doubt; you better believe it

A BUM - Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum - said by Prime Minister Bob Hawke following Australia's victory in the 1983 America's Cup

ACACIA - also known as "Wattle," "Mulga," "Giddea," and in some areas "Sally, being an Anglicized form of the aboriginal name Sallee (Morris: 1898)

ACCADACCA - slang for ACDC rock band

ACE - excellent

ACE - WW1 pilot who had shot down 5 or more enemy aircraft

ACE IT UP - be asked to improve performance


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY - acknowledgment of traditional custodianship of the land at the commencement of functions, meetings and presentations of government departments, various sporting events, schools, universities and many other organisations. The ceremony has come to be resented by many non-indigenous Australians who believe it to be an example of tokenism. Indigenous activist Noel Pearson has warned the Acknowledgement of Country is being overused, diminishing the significance of the practice. See also 'Welcome to Country'


ACROSS THE DITCH - to cross the Ditch means crossing the Tasman Sea to Australia from New Zealand, or vice versa

ACT - Australian Capitol Territory - Canberra

ACT THE GOAT - behave foolishly

A CUP OF TEA, A BEX AND A GOOD LIE DOWN - marketing phrase for APC powders in 1960's

ADD INSULT TO INJURY - to make things worse than they already are

A DEAD CERT - horse race that is sure to win


ADFA - Australian Defence Force Academy

A DINGO TOOK MY BABY - A cry by Lindy Chamberlain in 1980 when she found her baby missing

ADVANCE AUSTRALIA - Portrait of Caroline Chisholm painted by A.C. Hayter

ADVANCE AUSTRALIA FAIR - The opening line of Australia's national anthem, expressing the aspiration for progress and unity for all of Australians. It is performed at various Australian ceremonies including Australia Day, ANZAC Day, some sporting events, as well as at school assemblies and awards ceremonies like the Olympics
On 1st January 2021 with the aim of honouring those with indigenous heritage, the second line of the anthem was changed from 'For we are young and free' to 'For we are one and free'

Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are one and free;
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil;
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In history’s page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.

AERIAL PING PONG - Australia Rules Football



A FROG IN THE THROAT - a sore throat

AGGRO - aggressive

A GOOD BUST - a drunken spree, e.g. by a swagman when his work was finished

A GOOD MARK - a person who pays his men their wages without delay or drawbacks c. 1845

A HAIR PAST A FRECKLE - response when asked the time

AH WELL! IT'S COME TO THIS AT LAST - reported to be the last words of Ned Kelly

AIN'T - abbreviation of is not

AIR CON - Air conditioning

AIRY FAIRY - vague

AKUBRA - wide brimmed felt hat

ALDERMAN LUSHINGTON IS CONCERNED - said by convicts about a person who is drunk

A LEGEND - a great bloke

A LEMON AVENUE - a wowser

ALEXANDER PALM - Native Qld tree formerly used for making exquisite walking sticks (Morris: 1898)

ALF A MO - fraction of a second

ALICE, (THE) - Alice Springs

A LIFE LIVED IN FEAR IS A LIFE HALF LIVED - from Baz Luhrmann's movie Strictly Ballroom

ALL FROTH AND NO BEER - superficial, no substance

ALL IN - exhausted

ALL IS SET ON THE SIDE - term used in two-up

ALL THE GO - in vogue

ALL THE WAY WITH LBJ - a remark made by Prime Minister Harold Holt while visiting President Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House during the Vietnam War era

ALL TIP AND NO ICEBERG - Paul Keating describing Peter Costello

ALL TO PIECES - to fall away

ALL OVER HER LIKE A RASH - can t keep his hands to himself


ALL PISS AND VINEGAR - sour, trouble-making person

ALL SIZZLE AND NO STEAK - not living up to expectations

ALL WRONG - runaway prisoner c. 1830s - 1840s




AMBO - paramedic

APM - 1. A Permanent malingerer. 2. Assistant provost marshall, an unpopular staff officer

AMSCRAY - scram

ANCHORS - brakes on a car

ANDREW MILLAR - nautical term among smugglers to describe revenue cutter

ANKLE BITER - small child

ANNIVERSARY DAY - Australia Day was first known as Anniversary Day - Celebration of the raising of the British Flag in Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788

ANNUAL - a bath

ANTS PANTS - a person who thinks they are just the best

ANTY-UP a game of cards played for tobacco c. 1891

ANY TICK OF THE CLOCK - about to happen soon

ANZAC - Australian and New Zealand Army Corp

ANZAC BISCUITS -sent to soldiers in WW1, because they were able to keep for a long time

ANZAC BUTTON - nail used instead of a trouser button (WW1)

ANZAC DAY RULE - a tradition in Canberra that heaters should not be used before Anzac Day

ANZAC SOUP - shell hole water polluted by a corpse (soldier slang WW1)

ANZAC WAFER - army biscuit (WW1)

ANZUS TREATY - Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty - collective security non-binding agreement between Australia and New Zealand and, separately, Australia and the United States, to co-operate on military matters in the Pacific Ocean region

A PENNY SHORT OF A POUND - someone who is a bit stupid/slow

APPLE ISLE - Tasmania

APPROVER - one who gives evidence to prove the guilt of a criminal colleague. Often used in convict/bushranger days

ARCHIE - anti aircraft shell /gun WW1

ARC UP - to lose your temper

ARE YOUR EARS ON BACKWARDS? - didn't you hear me?

ARE YOUR EARS PAINTED ON? - as above - said to someone who isn't listening

ARGUE THE TOSS - dispute a decision

ARGY BARGY - argument

ARMY NERVOUS CORP - Army Service Corps (soldier slang WW1)


ARSE OVER TIT - falling over

ARSE UP - upside down

ARSE WIPE - an idiot; unpleasant person

ARSEY - lucky

ARSEY BASTARD - very lucky

ARTESIAN - colonial beer (Vic.,)

ARVO – Afternoon

A SHINGLE SHORT - wrong in the head

AS HAPPY AS LARRY - very happy


AS SCARCE AS HEN'S TEETH - very rare/ hard to find

AS SMOOTH AS SILK - everything went ok



ASH WEDNESDAY BUSHFIRES - a series of bushfires that occurred in south-eastern Australia on 16 February 1983

ASHES, (THE) - Ongoing series of Cricket Tests between Australia and England

ASHTON'S CIRCUS - founded by ex-convict James Ashton in 1851

ASK THE LEYLAND BROTHERS - an Australian television show by Mike and Mal Leyland that screened in 1970s and 80s answering viewers' questions about natural history and places of interest in outback Australia

ASSIGNED SERVANT - convict allotted to a settler as a servant

ATMOTIC SHIP - (from Greek word for vapour) Convict surgeon William Bland patented the Atmotic Ship, Australia's first airship in 1851

AT THAT - meaning something in addition to, e.g. 'dear at that' the price is understood to be expensive

AUNTY - Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is sometimes informally referred to as "Aunty"

AURORA AUSTRALIS - southern hemisphere atmospheric phenomenon that be seen from Tasmania, New Zealand and Antarctica during winter months. Similar to Northern lights

AUSSIE - an Australian soldier's magazine published at ANZAC headquarters in France c. 1917 -18 for ciculation among the troops

AUSSIE/S - abbreviation of Australian. Often refers to Australian-born citizens of Anglo-Celtic descent

AUSSIE SALUTE – Wave to shoo the flies

AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE! OI, OI, OI! - A popular chant often heard at sporting events and patriotic gatherings.

AUSTRALIA - In the introduction to 'A voyage to Terra Australis' published 1814, Matthew Flinders wrote: 'Had I permitted myself any innovation upon the original term, it would have been to convert it into Australia; as being more agreeable to the ear, and as an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth'

AUSTRALIA DAY - The official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually on 26 January, it is anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip

AUSTRALIAN CRAWL - Possibly first used in Australia by Solomon Islander Alick Wickham c. 1890s. In the early 1900's Australian Olympic champion Fanny Durack also perfected the stroke, now commonly known as freestyle.

AUSTRALIA FELIX - Latin for fortunate Australia or happy Australia . The name given by Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell to lush pasture in parts of western Victoria in 1836.

AUSTRALIAN FLAG - (showing the Australian Flag) - the bottom of a shirt; used derisively by new chums to describe un-tucked shirt of bushmen who wore belts instead of braces (Morris 1898)

AUSTRALIAN FLYING CORPS (AFC) squadrons raised during 1914-1918

AUSTRALIAN GRIP - a hearty handshake. The bushman shakes hands very heartily - a long grip with the whole hand, following three deep shakes. He does not crush your hand but is sarcastic about the limp shakes and one finger shakes of people out from England (c.1890)

AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE - AIF - when war was declared in 1914 volunteers from sheep stations, banks, schools flocked to join the 'expeditionary force' (AIF)

AUSTRALIAN LIGHT HORSE - mounted troops with characteristics of both cavalry and mounted infantry, who served in the Second Boer War and World War I


AUSTRALIA'S GOLDEN GIRL - Olympian Betty Cuthbert

AUSTRALIA'S GRACE DARLING - Nickname given to Mrs Eliza Dick who was honored for her bravery in rescuing several people in Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day 1863

AUSTRALORP - Australian breed of chicken valued for egg production (1946)

AVAGOODWEEKEND - Have a good weekend

AVO - Avocado

AWAKE - to know all

AWAY WITH THE PIXIES - day dreaming

AWNING OVER THE TOY SHOP - a man's beer gut

AXLE GREASE - butter

AY? - what did you say?


BAAL - indigenous term for disapproval

BABBLING BROOK - The Cook (soldier slang WW1)

BABBLER - shortened version of above

BACK BLOCKS - away from the city

BACK CHAT - answer back (WW1)

BACK OF BEYOND - very far away

BACK OF BOURKE - somewhere out of the way/ isolated


BACK OUT - retreat from difficulty

BACKSHEA - something for nothing (soldier slang WW1)

BACK SLANGING - In the back-blocks of Australia, where hotels are naturally scarce and inferior, the traveller asks for hospitality at the stations on his route, where he is always made welcome. The custom is called back-slanging (Morris 1898)

BACK SLUM - a back room, a back entrance

BACK THE BARRER - to intervene without invitation on a conversation; butt in (1921)

BACK TO THE CACTUS - to return home

BAD EGG - dishonest person. Also Bad Halfpenny - a ner-er-do-well; an allusion to the frequency with which, like bad coins, they are always turning up

BAD HALFPENNY - a fruitless errand, no go. (Lentzner). Also a failing speculation, a risky venture

BAD TROT - period of misfortune


BAG - to criticise someone behind their back

BAG (OLD BAG) - uncomplimentary term for a woman

BAGGY GREEN - cap worn by Australian Test cricketer

BAGMAN - swagman; tramp

BAG OF TRICKS - all one's belongings (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)

BAGS - a big quantity

BAGS - to have first choice

BAIL - To cancel plans.

BAILING UP PEN - Place for securing cattle (Morris 1898)

BAIL UP - secure cattle by means of a bail for milking and by transference, to stop travellers in the bush (Morris 1898)

BAIL UP - as above; bushranger term. To rob someone

BAKED - tired out. Because meat put in the oven is said to be baked when it is done, a man who is done up or done, is said to be baked (c.1890)

BALD AS A BADGER - having no hair

BALD AS A BANDICOOT - having no hair

BALI BOMBING - On 12 October 2002, two bombs triggered by suicide bombers exploded at Kuta in Bali. 202 people killed including 88 Australians

BALIBO FIVE - The Balibo Five was a group of journalists for Australian television networks who were killed in the period leading up to the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975

BALLAHOO - a name applied to the Garfish by Sydney fishermen. West Indian word and is applied there to a fast-sailing schooner (Morris 1898)

BALL AND CHAIN - wife; also trouble and strife

BALL OF THE CENTURY - a cricket delivery bowled by Australian spin bowler Shane Warne to English batter Mike Gatting on 4 June 1993, the second day of the first Test of the 1993 Ashes series, at Old Trafford in Manchester

BALLS UP - error, bad mistake


BALONEY - ridiculous; a bunch of baloney

BALONEY (Bologne) - Luncheon meat in NSW

BANANA BENDER - coming from Queensland

BANANA-LANDER - from Queensland (1887)

BANANA REPUBLIC - In 1986 Paul Keating remarked that the economy was in danger of turning Australia into a banana Republic (politically unstable country with an economy dependent upon the exportation of a limited-resource product, such as bananas or minerals)

BANANAS (going) - going crazy

BANDICOOT - fossick for gold in previously worked ground or go by stealth at night to rob a field, taking the tubers from roots without disturbing the tops

BANDITTI - a term used for bushrangers

BAND OF HOPE - lemon syrup

BANDS - convict slang - hunger

B & S BALL - Bachelor and Spinster s Ball - a singles dance held in rural areas

BANGED UP - pregnant

BANGERS - sausages

BANGS LIKE A DUNNY DOOR IN A CYCLONE - sexually promiscuous woman

BANGTAIL MUSTER - cutting the tail hair of cattle or sheep to aid in identifying them when doing a head count (Morris 1898)

BANJO - shovel

BANKER - river in flood - 'And every creek a banker ran, And dams filled overtop; We'll all be rooned, said Hanrahan, If this rain doesn't stop' . 'Said Hanrahan', a poem written by Australian bush poet John O Brien

BANKSIA - A genus of Australian shrub named after Mr. Banks, naturalist of the Endeavour, afterwards Sir Joseph Banks

BANKSIA MAN - character from May Gibbs Snugglepot and Cuddlepie

BANTUM - a hot headed person

B-A-R - safe place/ home in various children's games

BARBARY COAST - underworld name given to part of Sydney between Taylor Square, Central Station and the junction of Elizabeth Liverpool Streets (criminal slang 1950)

BARBEQUE STOPPER - a topic of great public interest, esp. political

BARBIE – Barbecue

BARCOO BUSTER - westerly wind outback Qld

BARCOO GRASS - an Australian grass, Anthistiria membranacea. One of the best pasture grasses in Queensland (Morris 1898)

BARCOO ROT - ulcers that won't heal, suffered by bush people in colonial days, probably caused by lack of vitamins

BARCOO SALUTE - Aussie fly swat/ wave of the hand (also bush salute)

BARCOO VOMIT - a sickness occurring in inhabitants of various parts of the high land of the interior of Australia. It is characterized by painless attacks of vomiting, occurring immediately after food is taken, followed by hunger, and recurring as soon as hunger is satisfied (Morris 1898)

BARE BELLIED JOE (EWE) - a ewe with hardly any wool on its belly

BARNEY - dispute; fight

BAROMETER - gas helmet (soldier slang WW1)

BARRA - barramundi

BARRACK - cheer for a sporting team, first used about 1880 in Australian Rules football

BARRACKER - possible the word originated from soldier's barracks; also may have been derived from the aboriginal word 'borak' meaning to jeer at

BARRACKS - a building on a station with rooms for bachelors (Morris 1898)

BARRY CROCKER - a shocker; awful

BASH - wild party

BASH - (someone's ear) - talk at length; boring

BASKET CASE - a crazy person

BASKET FENCE - Stakes are driven in, and their pliant stuff interwoven, as in a stake hedge in England.(Morris 1898)

BAT - tool used in two-up

BAT - old bat = old woman

BATS - crazy

BATHERS - Swimsuit ; togs; swimmers

BATHURST BURR - Australian plant with long triple spines like the barbary, and burrs which are ruinous to the wool of the sheep; also an annoying person

BATSWING CORAL - soft wood used by the aborigines for making their heilamans, or shields

BATTERED SAV - A saveloy which has been battered, deep fried and served with tomato sauce

BATTERED SAV - Australian comedy duo Roy & HG commentary of Sydney 2000 Olympic Games defined battered sav as a gymnast move when a male gymnast pushes his groin to the floor and 'batters his sav'

BATTLEAXE - (OLD) - derogatory term for an older woman. Often mother-in-law

BATTLE OF BEERSHEBA - Light horse men usually fought dismounted, using their horses as transport to the battlefield and as a means of swift retreat. A famous exception was the charge of the 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments at Beersheba on 31 October 1917

BATTLE OF BEERSHEBA COMMEMORATIONS - Commemorations of the Battle of Beersheba occur at the memorial in Canberra every year on 31 October

BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA - fought from 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy and naval and air forces from the United States and Australia

BATTLE OF LONE PINE - fought between ANZACS and Ottoman Empire forces during the Gallipoli Campaign of World War 1, between 6 and 10 August 1915.

BATTLE OF LONG TAN - Took place in a rubber plantation near Long Tan, in South Vietnam on 18 August 1966. Fought between Viet Cong and People s Army of Vietnam units and elements of the 1st Australian Task Force

BATTLER - working class, underdog

BAZZA - Barry

BEAK - nose

BEAK - Magistrate

BEAL, BOOL OR BULL - a sweet drink made by aborigines by steeping flowers (Morris 1898)

BEAN COUNTER - accountant

BEANIE - hat worn in winter

BEANO - feast, gala affair

BEAR (NATIVE) - colonists' name for an animal called by the aborigines Koala, Koolah, Kool-la, and Carbora (Morris 1898)

BEATEN BY A BLOW - line from song Click go the Shears, blow being shearing term for a run of the shears

BEAT AROUND THE BUSH - saying a lot without much meaning

BEATING THE BOUNDS - or traversing the boundaries - marking out the boundaries of townships. Ceremony included the Police Magistrate, Surveyor, townsfolk and perhaps children

BEAT IT - move off quickly


BEAUT - very good

BEAUTY! – excellent

BEAUTY BOTTLER - excellent

BEAVER HAT- made of imitation beaver fur

BEEF - complaint

BEER GOGGLES - while drunk, to think something is better than it is

BEER GUT - fat tummy

BEER O'CLOCK - time to have a beer

BEETLING ABOUT - flying aimlessly (1918)

BEG YOUR'S - I beg your pardon, what did you say/ mean?

BELAR, BELAH, BILLA, BEAL - an aboriginal name for the tree Casuarina glauca. The colonists call the tree Bull-oak, probably from this native name (Morris 1898)

BELL-BIRD - name given to several honey eater birds, from their note, like the tinkling of a bell. Found in various places including Central Coast NSW

BELL-BOTTOMED - a particular fashion of trouser affected by the larrikin (Morris 1898)

BELL TOPPER - tall silk hat

BELL'S LINE OF ROAD - named for Archibald Bell Junior who at the age of nineteen years discovered a route across the Blue Mountains

BELLWETHER SEAT - An electoral district where voters have historically chosen a candidate from the election-winning party in a series of elections

BENGAL LANCER - razor slasher (criminal slang 1940)

BERKO - Go Berko; Chuck a Berko - go beserk. React with anger

BERLEY - term used by Australian fishermen for ground bait. May be of aboriginal origin (Morris 1898)



BEYOND THE BLACK STUMP - imaginary isolated place; outback

BIBLE BASHER - vocal about religious convictions

BICKIE - biscuit

BIDDY BIDDY - kind of burr

BIDGEE - alcoholic drink made of methylated spirits

BIFF - a hard strike around the head

BIG BICKIES - a lot of money

BIG BUGS - man of importance (c. 1891); imported from America


BIG NOTE - to brag about yourself; a skite; self important

BIG NOTE MAN - or pound note man - a wealthy person (criminal slang 1950s)

BIG SMOKE - the city

BIG WIG - authoritative person

BILLABONG - A pond in a dry riverbed

BILLY – can to boil water over open fire. Perhaps originated in W.A. where miners in the early days ate a lot of tinned meat that came from France. It was called Bouef Bouilli (boiled beef). The miners used the empty tins as cups, and pots for boiling water and called them bouilli cans

BILLY BARLOW IN AUSTRALIA - an original song by Benjamin Pitt Griffin of Maitland published in the Maitland Mercury in 1844

BILLY CART - child's go cart; also billy goat cart

BILLYCOCK - hat made of hard felt with a turned up brim. Different to the English version which was soft felt


BILLY TEA - An Indian tea introduced to Australia 1890's. Advertising slogan c 1892 - The cup that never fails to cheer, is Billy Tea, not wine or beer

BIMBO - an effeminate swaggie

BIN CHICKEN - also Tip Turkey. Ibis (bird) regarded as a pest in Australia because of scavenging

BINDI-EYE - weed with sharp barbs. Also known as Joeys or Jo Jos

BINGLE - small car accident

BINJEY - the stomach

BINT - a woman

BIONIC EAR - Cochlear implant invented by Professor Graeme Clark, Melbourne University in the 1970s

BIRD - a quaint person

BIRD - young woman

BIRD - a prisoner (WW1 soldier slang)

BIRDIE - General Sir William Riddell Birdwood - British Army officer who was Commander of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915

BIRDSVILLE RACES - Horse races held each year in September in Birdsville, Queensland

BIRDSVILLE TRACK - Once a 520 km stock route, it has become popular 4WD drive.

BIRTHDAY BALLOT - lottery where the birthdate of thousands of Australian men, aged 20, who had registered for National Service, determined who became eligible for conscription to serve in ADF during the Vietnam War


BITE - put the bite on; ask for loan

BITE YOUR BUM - be quiet

BITIES - biting insects eg mosquitoes

BIT OF A BROTHEL - bit of a mess

BIT OF A YARN - have a chat together

BIT OF FLUFF - girl; derogatory

BITSER - a mongrel dog. A bit of this a bit of that

BLACK ARM BAND HISTORY - Polarising term first used by Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey in his 1993 Sir John Latham Memorial Lecture

BLACKBIRDING - kidnapping Pacific Islanders and taking them to Australia to work as slaves or under paid labourers

BLACK BOX - flight recorder invented by David Warren 1954

BLACK BOY GRASS TREE- genus name Xanthorrhoea. First described by botanist Robert Brown

BLACK HAT - slang for a new immigrant (Morris 1898)

BLACK HAWK TRAGEDY - Military Aviation disaster. In June 1996 near Townsville during a Black Hawk training exercise involving the Special Air Service (SASR) Regiment and Army Aviation Corps 18 men died when two helicopters collided mid-air and crashed

BLACK FRIDAY BUSHFIRES - Victoria on 13 January 1939. Among the worst natural bushfires in the world. 71 people died

BLACK SATURDAY BUSHFIRES - a series of bushfires that ignited or were burning across Victoria on and around Saturday, 7 February 2009. 173 fatalities

BLACK SNOW - nickname for cane fire ash (Townsville)

BLACK THURSDAY - February 1851 - disastrous bushfires after weeks of suffocating heat and hot dry winds

BLACK TRACKER - Aboriginal native employed by police who tracked absconders and criminals

BLIGHTY - home (England) - a wound severe enough to be returnd to Britain for hospitalisation. Soldier Slang WW1

BLIMEY - Exclamation of astonishment

BLIND - drunk

BLIND CLUE (DOESN'T HAVE A) - ignorant about a current topic


BLIND FREDDY - if Blind Freddy jumped off a cliff, would you? - don't be a follower

BLIND SHARK - Rhinobatus granulatus or shovel-nose, which is properly speaking a Ray, is called here the blind or sand shark (harmless)

BLINKY BILL - Australian children's book character created by Dorothy Wall

BLITHERER - a person you like (1912)

BLOB - a fool

BLOCK - parcel of land

BLOCK (DOING THE BLOCK) - lounging in a fashionable promenade. In Sydney, "The Block" was that portion of the city bounded by King, George, Hunter, and Pitt Streets now known as Martin's Place (Morris 1898)

BLOCK AND TACKLE - watch and chain (criminal slang c 1898)

BLOKE - man

BLOKEY - behaving in a manly way

BLOODS WORTH BOTTLING - a valuable person

BLOODY - known as the Great Australian Adjective. The word bloody is a familiary oath. One man will tell you that he married a bloody young wife, another a bloody old one, and a bushranger calls out Stop, or I'll blow your bloody brains out. (Travels in New South Wales 1847)

BLOODY – Very. Used to extenuate a point

BLOODY HELL - expressing displeasure

BLOODY OATH – yes; or it's true.

BLOODY RIPPER - really awesome

BLOODY SUNDAY DRIVERS - Attributed, perhaps mistakenly, to Sir Francis Chichester after a boat carrying pressmen had hit his yacht in Australian waters

BLOOMER - prison slang for a mistake e.g. blooming error

BLOTTO - drunk - beyond capacity to stand up

BLOW - to boast; from blowing your own trumpet

BLOW - stroke of the shears in sheep-shearing

BLOW A FUSE - lose your temper

BLOW A PLUGGER - breaking the toe divide in a thong (flip flop)

BLOW A TANK - rob a safe (criminal slang Sydney 1950s)

BLOWER - telephone

BLOWIE - blow fly

BLOW IN - univited guest

BLOW ME DOWN - expression of astonishment

BLOW ME DOWN WITH A FEATHER - expression of astonishment

BLOW THE FROTH OFF A FEW - have a few glasses of beer

BLOW YOUR DOUGH - spend all your money


BLUBBER - to cry

BLUDGER – Someone who's lazy, generally also who relies on others

BLUDGER - someone who exploits prostitutes for financial gain

BLEW - made a mistake

BLUE - argue, fight

BLUE BOTTLES - stinging marine creatures that wash up on the beaches, often on the east coast under a northeasterly wind

BLUE HEELER - Australian cattle dog breed

BLUE HEELER - police

BLUE RIBBON SEAT - An electorate that has consistently voted for the same member or party over a long period of time therefore making it a safe seat

BLUE SHIRT - garment worn by a gold digger


BLUE TONGUE - lizard indigenous to Australia, sometimes called sleepy lizard

BLUEY / BLUE- red head

BLUEY - a swag carried by sundowners and called after the blue blankets that were common at the time

BLUEY - parking fines that were printed on blue paper

BLUFF - bumptious

BOARD - term used by shearers. The board is the name for the floor on which the sheep are shorn

BOARD BUMPS - bumps on surfer's knees from knee paddling

BOARDIES - boardshorts

BOB - shilling

BOBBIES AND BUSHIES - a children's game based on police hunting bushrangers

BOBBY - a policeman

BOBBY DAZZLER - something very good

BOBBY PIN - two pronged device for pinning back hair

BOB'S YOUR UNCLE - everything is ok

BODGIE - bad job

BODGIE AND WIDGIE - youth subculture in the 1950s

BODYLINE - cricketing tactic devised by the English cricket team for their 1932–33 Ashes tour of Australia, specifically to combat the extraordinary batting skill of Australia's Don Bradman.

BOGAN – uncultured person; uncouth, ocker

BOGEY - swimming hole

BOGGED - when vehicle is stuck in mud or sand

BOGGI - shearer's handpiece, similar in shape to a boggi lizard

BOGGO ROAD - Gaol in Brisbane

BOG IN - eat up!

BOGONG MOTH, also Boogong or Bugong - Australian moth eaten by aborigines and also the food of the pygmy possum

BOGRAT /BOGGY - junior pilot - someone who is qualified, but not a QFI/FC Instructor (military)

BOG ROLL - toilet paper

BOG WAGON - a panel van, sometimes lined with imitation fur; always with a mattress in the back; also shaggin wagon

BOILED SHIRT - digger lingo; a clean shirt

BOILER - an old woman

BOKKER - bowler hat

BOLTER - runaway convict

BOKO - nose (WW2)

BOMB - an old car

BOMBED - high on drugs

BOMBING OF DARWIN - During wartime on 19 February 1942, 188 Japanese planes were launched against Darwin. The attack was the largest single attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australian soil. At least 230 people were killed

BOMBORA - indigenous Australian term for an area of large sea waves breaking over a shallow reef

BOMMIE - shortened verson of above

BONDI BEACH - famous Australian beach in Sydney

BONDI CIGAR - excrement floating in the surf

BONDI ICEBERGS - a group of people who swim at Bondi beach in winter. Established 1929

BONKERS - crazy

BONNET - hood of a car

BONTODGER - something admirable

BONZER - awesome

BOOB - cell (Army 1945)

BOOBOOK - an owl. Native name for this bird according to Caley was buck buck (Morris 1898)

BOOFHEAD - fool; idiot

BOOKIE - short for bookmaker

BOOMER - large kangaroo; also known as old man kangaroo

BOOMERANG - Aboriginal weapon that returns to the thrower; anything that comes back to you

BOOT - trunk of a car

BOOTS AND ALL - wholeheartedly

BOOZE BUS – Police vehicle used to catch drunk drivers

BORA - a rite amongst the aborigines of eastern Australia; the ceremony of admitting a young black to the rights of manhood (Morris 1898)

BORAK - aboriginal word of New South Wales, meaning banter, chaff, fun at another's expense (Morris 1898)

BORED SHITLESS - bored to death

BOREE - aboriginal name for the tree Acacia pendula, a variety of Myall, possibly from Queensland aboriginal word Booreah, fire (Morris 1898)

BORING AS BATSHIT - tedious and annoying

BORROW - euphemism for steal c. 1850s

BOSHMAN - in the old-hand vernacular signified a fiddler or violin player (Morris 1898)

BOSHTERINO - outstanding, admirable

BOSKER - something meeting with unqualified approval (Franklin)

BOSKER BLOKE - admirable man

BOSS COCKY - employer, supervisor

BOSSAROO - abbreviation of Boss Kangaroo. From poem by J.B. Stephens (Lentzner 1891)

BOSS OF THE BOARD - supervisor of the shearing shed

BOTT - to sponge off (WW1)

BOTANY BAY COAT OF ARMS - a pair of artificially black eyes

BOTANY BAY BAR-FLY - referring to early Sydney people drinking habits

BOTANY BAY GREENS - known as Warrigal greens

BOTANY BAY OF BOTANY BAY - referring to the penal settlement at Newcastle - Rambles and Observations in New South Wales by Joseph Phipps Townsend

BOTTLE-O – Bottle Shop, - a place to buy alcohol

BOTTLER - excellent, exceptional

BOTTOM - to get to the bedrock, or clay, below which it was useless to sink (gold-mining) (Morris 1898)

BOTTOM OF THE HARBOUR SCHEME - referred to destroying company records and dumping them in the Sydney harbour 1970's. Tax avoidance

BOUNDARY RIDER - stockman on a sheep or cattle station who regularly checks boundary fences and rounds up stray stock

BOW THE CRUMPET - plead guilty before a Magistrate (criminal slang 1950s)

BOWLO - Bowling club

BOYONGS - or Bowyangs - Straps tied below the knee outside the trousers, to give the leg freedom

BOX - Television

BOXER - bowler hat - stiff, low-crowned, felt hat, called a billy-cock or bowler. The silk-hat is called a bell-topper (Morris 1898)

BOX HEAD - a term used to describe Macedonian people.

BOXHEAD - Paul Keating to Wilson Tuckey: 'You boxhead you wouldn't know. You are flat out counting past ten.'

BOXING KANGAROO - The boxing kangaroo served as the symbol for the successful Australian challenge for the America's Cup in 1983

BOY CHARLTON - Andrew Murray who was an Australian freestyle swimmer c. 1920s and 30s was known as Boy Charlton. He won gold in the 1500 m freestyle at Paris Olympics

BOYLA - aboriginal word for a sorcerer (Morris 1898)

BRANCH STACKING - improperly increase the membership of a local branch of a political party to ensure the preselection of a particular candidate

BRASS RAZOO - broke; no money

BREAKAWAY - a bullock that leavs the herd; also the panic rush of sheep, cattle at the sight or smell of water (Morris 1898)

BREAK-DOWN - a measure of liquor; also nobbler. To pay for liquor for another is to stand, or to shout or to sacrifice. The measure is called a nobbler or a break-down

BREAKER MORANT - Harry Morant - fought in the Boer War. Shot by a Scottish firing squad in 1902 having been found guilty of executing prisoners. His last words being 'Shoot straight, you bastards'

BREAK THE ICE - to begin

BREATHER - take a rest

BREKKIE - breakfast

BRICK - gaol term, can mean either an amount of ten pounds or a sentence of 10 years

BRICKFIELDER - southerly dusty wind, Sydney 1800s (Morris 1898)

BRICKIE - bricklayer

BRIGHT AS A BUTTON - very intelligent


BRING A PLATE - contribute to event by bringing a plate of food to share

BRING ME BACK ALIVE - an anti aircraft man (WW2)

BRISBANE BRONCOS - Rugby League team based in Brisbane

BRISVEGAS - Brisbane

BROKE - having no money

BROKEN BAY - Attributed to Captain Cook who on 7 May 1770 sighted 'some broken land that looked like a bay'

BROKEN MOUTHED - a sheep that is losing its teeth and going gummy

BROKER - slang for a man completely ruined, stonebroke (Morris 1898)

BROLLY – Umbrella

BROWNIE - a penny (1912)

BROWNY - cake made of flour, fat and sugar (Morris 1898)

BRONZE - a penny

BRONZED AUSSIES - sun baked beach boys

BRONZED OFF - to be fed up (WW2)

BROWNED OFF - to be fed up

BRUCE – An Aussie Bloke

BRUMBY - wild horse. Origin doubtful. May have been named for James Brumby who imported horses whose descendants were allowed to run wild (Morris 1898)

BRUMMY - false

BRUSH KANGAROO - another name for the wallaby (Morris 1898)

BUBBLER - drinking fountain

BUCK - (to buck) resist

BUCKJUMPER - untamed horse used at rodeos

BUCKLEY'S CHANCE - no chance at all; forlorn hope. Derived from either William Buckley a convict who escaped and lived with aborigines for 30 years; or from the Melbourne store Buckley and Nunn (You've got two chances - buckleys and none!)

BUCK'S NIGHT - celebration for a bride groom put on by his mates

BUCKSHEE - something for nothing, free (1918)

BUCKSHEE BOMBADIER - (see this 1919 article); Bombadier - The lowest grade of non-commissioned officer in an artillery regiment. Handled the bombard, or fuse, which fired a gun

BUCKSHEE BREAD - over the usual ration of bread

BUCKSHEE STRIPES - the wearer held a certain rank but not the equivalent pay

BUCK UP - to gain courage

BUDGIE / BUDGERIGAR or BETCHERRYGAH - small Australian parakeet (Morris 1898)


BUG-A-LUGS - term of endearment to child

BUGGER - bad luck

BUGGER ALL - to have nothing

BUGGER ME - to be surprised

BUGGER OFF - go away; get lost

BUGGERED - exhausted

BUGGERED IF I KNOW - having no idea

BUGGERISE AROUND - messing around

BUG HOUSE - mental asylum

BUILT LIKE A BRICK SHIT-HOUSE - large sturdy physical build

BULL - a lie

BULLAMAKANKA - middle of nowhere; mythical

BULL-ANT - contracted and common form of the words bull-dog ant (Morris 1898)

BULL DUST - rubbish! nonsense!

BULL DUST - fine red dust found in the Australia Outback

BULLET - got fired, sacked

BULLOCKY - driver of a bullock team

BULL-PUNCHER or BULLOCK-PUNCHER - slang for a bullockdriver

BULL-ROUT - fish of NSW that emits a loud and harsh grunting noise when caught (Morris 1898)

BULLSHIT - a lie


BULLS-WOOL - colloquial name for the inner portion of the covering of the stringybark tree (Morris 1898)

BUM FLUFF - hair on the face

BUMMER - a cadger

BUMPER - butt of cigarette

BUMPER UP - gaol term. A man who is employed by a harlot to do odd jobs. Derogatory (1946)

BUM STEER - mislead someone deliberately

BUNDLE, DROP THE - show cowardice

BUNDOOK - a rifle (soldier slang WW1)

BUNDY RUM - Bundaberg rum

BUNG - to put something in somewhere

BUNG - broken, exhausted. Aboriginal

BUNG ON AN ACT - feign superiority

BUNGING IT ON - overact to a situation to garner sympathy or advantage

BUNGER - large fire cracker

BUNK - abscond or do a bunk

BUNNY - fall guy

BUNYA-BUNYA - Qld tree with fruit that aborigines once feasted on (Morris 1898)

BUNYIP - mythical outback creature

BUNYIP ARISTOCRACY - On August 15, 1853, Daniel Deniehy, champion of democracy and one of Australia's great orators, made his debut on the public stage in the Victoria Theatre, Sydney. He strongly opposed William Wentworth's draft New South Wales Constitution, which aimed to establish an hereditary unelected Australian Lordships-based Upper House for the benefit of a few, while imposing restrictions on voting rights for the lower house to those possessing substantial property. An egalitarian and republican, Deniehy passionately criticized this proposal, employing scathing satire to undermine the idea and labeling it as a "Bunyip Aristocracy." His speech generated considerable laughter and applause and contributed to the withdrawal of Wentworth's proposal to establish an hereditary aristocracy in NSW

BURGOO - porridge (soldier slang WW1)

BURICK - convict slang - whore. Introduced into Aus. by the convicts (Leland 1897)

BURKED - Port Arthur prison slang for strangling c. 1909

BURL - to try anything. Give it a burl


BURNT CHOP SYNDROME - mothers giving the best food or item to others in the family and having what is left

BURRAWANG or BURWAN - an Australian nut-tree (Morris 1898)

BUSH, (THE) – in the country away from cities and town

BUSH BALLAD - a style of poetry combined with folk music that portrays the life, character and scenery of the Australian bush. A famous example being Banjo Paterson's 'Waltzing Matilda'. Beloved throughout Australia for more than 40 years, during the years of the Second World War 'Waltzing Matilda' also became famous in far-away places. One account described the feelings it engendered - "Banjo Paterson died in 1941, when his great Australian ballad was sweeping through bombed Britain. We didn't know when we sang about the defiant swagman in the local pubs of Bethnal Green, Tiger Bay, Jarrow, and Govan, that the minstrel boy of the bush country had just passed on and left us this legacy, a drinking song that went as well with Old and Mild as it does with Australian ale. All we knew was that we couldn't sing "Waltzing Matilda" without thinking of brown faces under wide-brimmed Digger hats, of Tobruk "Rats" and guest aircrews of the R.A.A.F., of narrow blue-jean collars and those spitting alleycats of the Mediterranean — the "Scrap Iron" destroyer flotilla of the R.A.N. For many of us, this wryly gay sadly rollicking Australian song was the first stimulus to a new curiosity about the far-flung land."

BUSH BAPTIST - a person of uncertain religion; someone who does not claim or admit affiliation with a particular church

BUSH BASHING - go off road

BUSH BRIDE - a woman who is married in country Australia. Sometimes used disparagingly to denote lack of sophistication


BUSH ECHOES - book of poetry by W. A. Horn 1915

BUSHED - originally to be lost in the bush; to die in the bush; later used to described a person in mental or physical difficulty

BUSH-FALLER - one who cuts down timber in the bush


BUSHIE/BUSHY - country person

BUSHIE - The Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle (PMV) in use by the Australian Army

BUSH LAWYER - claiming to have legal knowledge but unqualified

BUSHMAN - settler in the bush. Used to distinguish country residents from townsfolk (Morris 1898)

BUSHMANSHIP - knowledge of the ways of the bush (Morris 1898)

BUSHRANGER - outlaw, highwayman

BUSH UP - to bush up a person is to confuse them

BUSH SALUTE - Aussie fly swat / wave of the hand (also Barcoo Salute)

BUSH SCRUBBER - a bumpkin or slatternly person who came from the scrub. c1896

BUSH TELEGRAPH - originally may have been one who warned bushrangers of nearby police; word of mouth; gossip network

BUSH WEEK - When country folk come to the city

BUSHWHACKER -someone who lives in the bush; unsophisticated

BUSTED - caught doing something wrong

BUSTER - (Southerly) - a sudden and violent squall from the south

BUTCHER - slang for a long drink of beer (Adelaide) (Morris 1898)

BUTT IN - intrude

BUTTINSKI - an intruding person

BUZZ OFF - go away

BY A CAT'S WHISKER - just in time

BY CRIKEY - exclamation of surprise

BY JINGO or BY JINGOS - expression of astonishment at something good

BYO - Bring your own

BY THE HOKEY FLY - a mild expletive, without any particular meaning (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)


CABBAGE GARDEN - name applied to state of Victoria by Sir John Robertson, Premier of NSW in contempt for its size (Morris)

CABBAGE HEAD - NSW term for a person from Victoria

CABBAGE TREE HAT - unique colonial hat made from cabbage tree palm leaves

CABBAGE TREE HAT MOB - Rebels. Australian-born boys (Currency Lads) who began to identify themselves as United Australians in 1830s and 1840s. Their attire included cabbage tree hats

CABBAGITES - members of the Cabbage Tree Hat Mob

CAB SAV – Cabernet Sauvignon

CACTUS – useless, broken; malfunctioning equipment (WW2)

CACKY HANDED - left handed

CAD (native cad)- name for the green Cicada (QLD)(Morris 1898)

CADY or CADDIE - bush name for the slouch hat or wide-awake hat

CAKE HOLE - mouth

CALICO YARD - a kind or corral; expression used by drovers (Lentzner 1891)

CALL IT A DAY - finish for the day

CALL IT QUITS - to stop

CAMP DRAFTING - unique Australian sport involving a horse and rider working cattle

CAN - toilet (dunny can)

CANARY - a convict (because of his yellow suit)

CANDLE-NUT TREE - native tree to Qld

CANNING STOCK ROUTE - the world's longest stock route. Used to drive cattle from the Kimberley to the railhead at Wiluna, WA early 1900s

CAN'T PUT IN WHAT GOD LEFT OUT - without natural talent

CAN'T TAKE A TRICK - unlucky

CANVAS WATER BAG - invented in 1846 by Sir Thomas Mitchell while exploring in South-Western Queensland. As an experiment he sewed pieces of canvas together to make a bag which he greased with mutton tallow

CAPTAIN'S CALL - decision made by a leader without consultation

CAPTAIN COOK - have a look

CAPTAIN'S PICK - same as Captain's Call

CARBIE - carburettor

CARBORA - aboriginal name for the native bear (Morris 1898)

CARDIE - cardigan


CARPET SHARK - Wobbegong


CASTLE HILL REBELLION - convict uprising in 1804

CASER - derived from Yiddish. Gaol term. Can mean either five shillings, five pounds or a sentence of five years

CASCADE - in Tasmania beer is called Cascade as it is made from cascade (artesian) water

CASTIEAU'S HOTEL - thieves patter, the Melbourn jail, so called from Mr. J. B. Castieau, the governor


CATHOLIC FROG - lives in the inland parts of NSW. In times of drought in burrows, and feeds on ants. So called because of the cross on it's back (Morris 1898)

CAT'S PYJAMAS - very special

CAT O'NINE TAILS - whip used by scourgers in convict days. Had nine thongs as thick as the tip end of the little finger. Each thong had several knots with lead inside Also called Rogue's Cat

CATTLE DUFFER - cattle rustler; stealer of cattle

CATWALK - wired alleyway between compounds (Army 1945)

CAWBAWN - also cobbon; big (indigenous).

CELESTIAL - an immigrant from China during gold rush days

CENTURY - 100 pounds (criminal slang 1950s)

CHAR - tea (WW2)

CHAIN GANG - consisted of twice convicted men who toiled in irons making roads and bridges and slept in boxes at night, often with fetters on

CHALKIE - a schoolteacher; or a clerk who used to chalk up the prices at the Stock Exchange

CHALK UP TO - to debit a person. Put it to an account. From the custom of the keeper of an ale house making a note of the various drinks consumed in a drinking bout by scribbling them down with chalk upon the wall (Leland 1897)

CHANNEL COUNTRY - a Region of outback Australia in Queensland South Australia, Northern Territory and NSW. The name comes from the numerous intertwined rivulets that cross the region

CHARDONNAY SOCIALIST derogatory for someone who enjoys affluent lifestyle but espouses left wing views

CHARGE LIKE A WOUNDED BULL - charge a high price for something

CHARGE OF THE 4TH LIGHT HORSE AT BEERSHEBA - Known as the Battle of Beersheba. 31 October 1917. Remembered as the last great cavalry charge

CHARLIES - women's breasts


CHATS THE TOM - speaks to a woman

CHATTER BOX - Lewis gun (soldier slang WW2)

CHATTY - Affected with French vermin (soldier slang WW1)

CHAUVEL, MAJOR HARRY - senior officer of the AIF who fought at Gallipoli and during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign in the First World War. As commander of the Desert Mounted Corps, he was responsible for one of the most decisive victories and fastest pursuits in military history

CHEAP AS CHIPS - very cheap

CHEAP DRUNK - person who becomes drunk quickly

CHECK IT OUT - look at that

CHECK OUT CHICK - supermarket cashier

CHEEKY GRIN - Double chin

CHERIOS - small sausages from delicatessen

CHEESED OFF - annoyed about something

CHESTY BOND - Bond's advertisement tradesmark c. 1938; symbol of the Australian male who always fought in his singlet

CHEWING THE FAT - having a talk

CHEW IT OVER - talk it over

CHEWY- chewing gum

CHIACK - to tease or jeer

CHICK - girl

CHICKEN OUT - too scared to join in

CHICK FLICK - a movie that women like


CHICKEN SALT - flavoured salt to sprinkle on chips etc

CHICKEN STRANGLERS - soldiers capable of living off the land

CHICKEN WING TACKLE - A move in Australian rules football and rugby league, in which a player locks an opponent's arm so that he or she cannot legally move the ball. Coined by Fox Sports NRL Producer Geoff Bullock in 2008

CHIKO ROLL - deep-fried snack food

CHILDERS BACKPACKERS HOSTEL FIRE - On 23 June 2000, the backpackers hostel was destroyed by a deliberately-lit fire. Eighty-eight people occupied the hostel at the time of the fire; fifteen died

CHIN WAG - a long talk

CHIPPIE - carpenter

CHIT-CHAT - a talk

CHIV - Port Arthur prison slang for stabbing c. 1909

CHIVEY - face (prison slang c. 1893)

CHIVVY - back talk, lip (WW2)

CHOCCY BICKY – Chocolate Biscuit

CHOCOLATE CRACKLES - children's party food made from rice bubbles


CHOCK AND LOG FENCES - rough timber fences made in 1860s before the use of wire became widespread

CHOCKERS - full up

CHOCS - soldiers who were believed to be unwilling to fight (WW1)

CHOOF OFF - leave

CHOOK– Chicken

CHOOK RAFFLE - held in the local pub

CHOOK SHED – Chicken shed

CHOOM - English soldier - WW1

CHOPPERS - teeth

CHOP UP - division of spoils

CHRISSIE – Christmas

CHROME DOME - a bald man

CHROMO - prostitue

CHUCK - prison ration food c. 1893

CHUCK - throw

CHUCK A CHARLEY - throw a fit; lost your temper

CHUCK A LEFTY - turn left

CHUCK A SIX - throw a fit; lose your temper

CHUCK A SPAZ - angry; tantrum

CHUCK A TANTY - have a tantrum

CHUCK A U-EY - do a U-turn

CHUCK OFF AT - to sneer at

CHUCK UP - vomit

CHUCK UP - to relinquish (Digger Smith; C.J. Dennis)

CHUCK A WOBBLY - throw a tantrum

CHUCKING A DUMMY - fainting on parade (soldier slang WW1)

CHUMP - a simpleton

CHUNDER - vomit

CHY-ACK - or CHI-IKE - to cheek or tease (Morris 1898)

CICADA - insect remarkable for the loud chirruping whirr of the males in summer

CIGGY– a Cigarette


CLAGGED OUT - worn out

CLANCY'S GONE TO QUEENSLAND DROVING, AND WE DON'T KNOWN WHERE HE ARE - line from Banjo Paterson's poem Clancy of the Overflow

CLANGER - make an ill-timed or inappropriate comment

CLAP - gonorrhoea

CLAY-PAN - slight depression of the ground where deposit of fine silt prevents the water from sinking in to the ground as it does elsewhere (Morris1898)

CLAYTONS - substitute for the real thing

CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA DAY - rubbish cleanup campaign done by volunteers co-founded by Ian Kiernan and Kim McKay

CLEAN SKIN - a new crook who has had no previous convictions (1950s)

CLEAR AS MUD - complicated, unclear

CLEARING LEASE - small piece of land that settlers were allowed to retain possession of for the labour of clearing the land

CLEAR SKINS (also CLEANSKINS) - unbranded young stock running wild

CLEAR OFF - be off with you (WW1)

CLICK GO THE SHEARS - iconic Australian bush ballad. 1890s

CLINCH - agree; clinch a deal

CLINER - young unmarried female

CLINK - gaol

CLIP - all the wool shorn in one shed or on one property

CLOBBER - suit of clothes eg prison clothes

CLOBBER - gear or pack (Army 1945)

CLOCK-BIRD - another name for the laughing jackass or kookaburra (Morris 1898)

CLOCK, (Settlers' Clock) - clock-bird (Morris 1898)

CLOCK YOUR MUG - gaol term - have photo taken for prison records (1946)

CLODHOPPERS - heavy shoe or foolish awkward person

CLOUT - hard blow

CLOWN - fool, idiot

CLUCKY – feeling maternal

C'MON AUSSIE C'MON - World Series Cricket slogan

COACH - to decoy wild cattle or horses with tame ones (Morris 1898)

COALOPOLIS - refers to the city of Newcastle

COAST - to loaf about from station to station (Morris 1898)

COASTER - loafer, a sundowner (Morris 1898)

COATHANGER - Sydney Harbour Bridge

COBAR SHOWER - dust storm

COBB & CO. - Pioneered road transport in Australia. Their horse-drawn coaches carried passengers and mail from 1853 to the 1920s.

COBBER – Very good friend.

COBBER - Chocolate coated caramel lolly

COBBLER - a sheep that is difficult to shear, often wrinkled; last sheep to be shorn

COBRAH - Bush Tucker. Obtained from timber which had been in the river. Small round looking beetle which changes to become a large whitish looking worm ; teredo navalis

COCK AND BULL STORY - a tall tale

COCKATOO - a person posted to keep lookout during illegal activities. esp. during two-up; also a nit-keeper

COCKATOO FARMER - a small farmer or selector; term of contempt used by large land holders

COCKATOO FENCE - a rough fence made of logs and saplings before the use of wire became widespread

COCKATOO WEATHER - fine by day, rain at night

COCK-EYED BOB - thunderstorm; small whirlwind; also called willy-willy or dust-devil (Western Australia)

COCKY/COCKIE - Native Australian bird

COCKIE - person who owns a small farm

COCKROACH - person from NSW

COCKY'S JOY - golden syrup spread

CODS WALLOP - unbelievable

COLDIE– Beer. ‘Come over for a few coldie’s mate.’

COLONIAL GOOSE - a boned leg of mutton stuffed with sage and onions (Morris 1898)

COLOURS - mining term; originally the gold visible after washing

COLONIAL - patronizing term used by the British to describe Australians. Used until about 1914-18

COMB DOWN - (to). to ill-treat, thrash

COME A CROPPER - to fall; or have a setback

COME ACROSS - bestow sexual favours

COME A GUTZER/GUTSER - fall heavily (WW1)

COME-DOWN - a disappointment

COME GOOD - turn out alright

COME IN ON THE GROUTER - take advantage of the misfortune of another

COME IN SPINNER - call at gambling game two-up when all bets are placed and the coins are ready to be tossed.

COME TO BLOWS - altercation resulting in a physical fight

COMFORT FUNDS - shells (soldier slang WW1)

COMFORT FUNDS - women's groups worked to provide knitted socks, tobacco, cakes, condensed milk, lollies, biscuits and other luxury items to service men overseas (WW1)

COMPO - workers compensation

CONCHERS- up country; tame or quiet cattle

CONCHIE - conscientious objector during war time

CONCRETE MACAROON - army biscuit (WW1)

CONDAMINE - cattle bell with a distinctive high note first made in the Condamine region of Qld

CONK - nose

CONVICT ATTAINT - (felony attaint) - In England condemned criminals were not allowed to give evidence in court, act for another person or sue in the civil courts. As well their goods were forfeited to the crown. Convict attaint was not removed when sentences were commuted to transportation to a penal colony. Only the expiry of the sentence or a pardon could remove the attaint

COOEE - call out; bush-cry. Published in John Hunter's Journal of native words in 1790 as the term Cowee meaning to come.

NOT WITHIN COOEE - figuratively a long way

COOEE MARCH - Recruiting march in WW1

COOK THE BOOKS - falsify accounts

COOLABAH TREE - eucalyptus tree

COOLAMAN - a word adopted from aborigines to describe their drinking vessels and then applied generally

COOLGARDIE SAFE - uses evaporation to keep food inside cool while protecting it from flies and scavengers. Invented in Coolgardie on W.A. Goldfields in the 1890's by Arthur McCormick

COON CHEESE - Iconic Australian trademark of a cheddar cheese first launched in 1935 by Fred Walker. Coon cheese was named after its American creator, Edward William Coon of Philadelphia

COOT - a person of no account, an outsider

COP - policeman

COP A SERVE - be on the receiving end of a rebuke after doing something wrong

COP IT SWEET - accept defeat with good grace

COP OUT - to back out after agreeing to take part in; or to take the easy way

COPPER - nickname for Australian penny

COPPER - police man or woman

COPPER TAIL - less privileged person; opposite of silver tail

COP SHOP - police station

COP THIS - take a look at this!

CORANDERRK - aboriginal name for the Victorian dogwood. An aboriginal station was called after this name because the wood grew plentifully there (Morris 1898)

CORKER - something that is excellent

CORNER - or sling - have a share in a haul (criminal slang 1950s)

CORNSTALK - boy or girl born in Australia, in the past of convict parents

CORNSTALK - Victorian name for a person from New South Wales.

CORROBBERY - aboriginal name for a dance, sacred, festive or warlike (Morris 1898)

COTTON-BUSH - name applied to two trees called salt-bush. Fodder for stock in times of drought

COTTON ON TO - realise; become friendly

COSSIE - swimsuit; togs; swimmers

COULD HAVE BLOWN ME DOWN WITH A FEATHER - expression of astonishment







COUNTER LUNCH - pub lunch

COUNTRY MILE - a long way

COVE - a man; bloke

COW - it stinks (WW2)

COWARD'S CASTLE - When parliament is used to vilify, abuse others while under parliamentary privilege

COW LICK - piece of curly hair

COW OF A THING - something broken; difficult to fix

COWRA P.O.W CAMP OUTBREAK - On 5 August 1944 Japanese prisoners of war (POWs) housed in the detention camp in Cowra a mass outbreak

CRABS - pubic lice

CRABS - bomb or shelfire; to bring the crabs around - to expose yourself to enemy fire (WW2)

CRACKS - The best stockmen - the best whip crackers.

CRACKER JACK - a good thing

CRACKER NIGHT - Celebrated on the Queens Birthday long weekend. Now Banned

CRACK A BOO - is to divulge a secret

CRACK HARDY - to suppress feelings

CRACK ON TO - to hit on someone; make their acquaintance

CRACK ON TO - understand

CRACKSMAN - safe cracker

CRACK THE WHIP - used to describe someone who is being bossy or strict in a situation

CRACK UP - become exhausted;

CRACK UP - laughing

CRAPPER - toilet

CRAWCHIE - freshwater crayfish (Qld); yabby

CRAW-FISH - variant of crayfish

CRAWLER - sheep left behind on the road

CRAWLER - an obsequious bloke; one who cosies up to the boss; flatterer; first used c. 1857 - Australia, a country where the strongest reproach was to be a crawler

CREAMED - to be defeated (sport)

CRIB - a house

CRIB - worker's lunch

CRIKEY MATE - Steve Irwin's catch phrase

CROAK - die

CROCK - a load of nonsense

CRONK - sick, unwell; boxer who lets himself be beaten through unfitness (1890s)

CRONK - dishonest

CROOK– Being ill, things are crook in Tallarook

CROOK AS ROOKWOOD - extremely ill, nearly dead

CROOKED AS A DOG'S HIND LEG - criminal connections

CROOK SPIN - run of bad luck

CROPPER - fall; come a cropper

CROPPY - an Irish convict of the 1790s-1800s, so called because the Irish rebels of 1798 cropped their hair short like the French revolutionaries

CROPPY - Aboriginal English; runaway convict; bushranger,

CROSS - illegal; breaking the law; illegally come by

CROW - street woman, chromo, prostitute (criminal slang 1950)

CROW EATER - person from South Australia

CROW EATER - a lazy fellow who will live on anything rather than work (1895)

CROW TO PLUCK - to take issue with someone (Maitland 1833, but probably earlier English origin)

CRUDDY - poor quality

CRUELLED THE PITCH - upset arrangements

CRUISY - easy; relaxed

CRUSH - part of a stockyard, narrow at the end, for branding cattle

CRUSHER - bushranger term for police trooper

CRUST - earn a crust; earn a living

CRY BABY - sook; easily upset

CULLIN-LA-RINGO - a station near Springsure in Queensland, the site of the bloodiest massacre of whites by black tribesmen in 1861. Victims Horatio Wills and family

CUNNING AS A DUNNY RAT - very cunning

CUPPA - cup of tea

CUR - cowardly; mean or dishonest

CURL-A-MO - excellent, bonzer

CURLY - bald headed man

CURRENCY LADS AND LASSES - The first generation of free children born to convicts in Australia.

CURTIN'S COWBOYS - North Australia Observation Unit (NAOU), nicknamed the Nackeroos or Curtin's Cowboys, was created in mid-March 1942. They were given the task of patrolling northern Australia to look for signs of enemy activity (AWM)

CUSHY - easy

CUT GRASS - grass with long narrow blades whose thin rigid edge will readily cut flesh if incautiously handled; also sword-grass

CUT LUNCH - sandwiches

CUT LUNCH COMMANDO - a public servant; a soldier who seldom served in the front lines (used during WWII 1939-45)

CUT OUT - to separate cattle from the rest of the herd in the open

CUT OUT THE MIDDLE MAN; FIND SOMEONE YOU HATE AND BUY THEM A HOUSE - quote from mockumentary film Kenny 2006

C.W.A. - Country Women's Association

CYCLONE SEASON - cyclone season starts in mid-December and finishes at the end of April

CYCLONE TRACY - Tropical Cyclone Tracy, category 4, struck Darwin in the early hours of 25 December 1974. 71 deaths


DAD AND DAVE FROM SNAKE GULLY - radio drama series based on the On Our Selection stories of Steele Rudd

DAG – Someone who’s a bit of a nerd or unfashionable.

DAG - in rural areas: a wag or an amusing person; in cities, a dull or boring one

DAG - a wag in the crowd (WW1)

DAGGY - unfashionable

DAGGING - cutting away the flyblown wool from a sheep's backside

DAGWOOD DOG - frankfurter on a stick that is battered and deep-fried

DAISY CUTTER - anti-personnel bomb (WW1)


DAKS– Trousers

DAME NELLIE MELBA - the first Australian to win international fame on the stage

DAMPER - bushman's bread made of flour and water; cooked on campfire as thin cakes in a frying pan or on a flat stone in wood ashes

DANCING - method of robbery at the goldfields

DANDER - anger

DARBY KELL - cockney slang - darby kelly - belly

DARLING SHOWER - dust storm in the Riverina

DARLO - the Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst

DARLO DROP - police brutality towards prisoners

DART - a scheme or racket; also known as a rort or lurk

DARWIN STUBBY - Northern Territory. Introduced by Carlton & United in 1958 with an 80 fluid ounce (2,270 ml) capacity

DAWN SERVICE - first commemorative event of Anzac Day is the Dawn Service at 4.30 am. This is about the time men of the ANZAC approached the Gallipoli beach 25 April 1915

DAZZA - nickname for Darren

DAZZLER - good looking person

DEACON SKINNER - dinner (soldier slang WW1)

DEAD BEAT - a derelict, a man down on his luck, stone-broke, beaten by fortune

DEAD-BIRD - meaning "a certainty", from pigeon-shooting, where the bird being let loose in front of a good shot is as good as dead

DEAD CENTRE OF AUSTRALIA - Geographic centre of mainland Australia - the Lambert Centre

DEAD CERT - a certainty; a sure thing

DEAD HEAD - a good for nothing

DEAD HEAD - one who stands about a bar to drink at the expense of others (Qld 1891)

DEAD HEART - The centre of Australia (from Ernest Giles' book of that title 1906)

DEAD HEART OF AUSTRALIA - Memoirs written by J.W. Gregory referring to Lake Eyre

DEAD LURK - to rob a house while the occupants were at church

DEADLY - excellent; strong

DEAD MEAT TICKETS - identification discs (soldier slang WW1)

DEAD NARK - unsatisfactory; or having a bad temper

DEAD NUTS ON - very fond of (Leland 1897)

DEADSET – true; exactly

DEADSET - an expression of wonderment; is that right?

DEAD RINGER - exactly the same

DEAD TO THE WORLD - sound asleep

DEAF AS A POST - hard of hearing

DEANER (DEENER) - A shilling (WW2); superceded by ten cent piece in 1966

DEAR - expensive

DEAR AUNTIE - a phrase signifying utter weariness or disgust (soldier slang WW1)

DEATH ADDER - machine gun (WW2)

DEBIL DEBIL - also Devil Devil - evil spirit at the bottom of a creek or waterhole

DECORATED PRIVATES - N.S.O.'s (soldier slang WW1)

DEEPSINKER - the largest sized tumbler or the long drink served in it, from deep-sinking a mining shaft (Morris 1898)

DEEP THINKER - reinforcement soldier who arrived late in the war (soldier slang WW1)

DEMOCRACY SAUSAGE - a colloquial name given to the sausages cooked and eaten as part of the Australian tradition of holding a fundraising sausage sizzle at polling places on election day.

DEMONS - prison slang for police

DERO - derelict homeless person

DERRICK'S SHOW - final assault on Sattelberg, New Guinea during WW2 became known as Derrick's Show after Victoria Cross recipient Tom Derrick's bravery during the battle

DERRY - to have a grudge; a feud. The phrase 'to have a down' on is sometimes varied to have a derry on (Morris 1898)

DERWENTER - ex convict from the River Derwent, in Tasmania

DESERT RATS - Rats of Tobruk. Australian Army soldiers who served in North African campaign WW2

DEUCE - sentence to jail for two months (criminal slang 1950s)

DEUCER - a shearer who can shear 200 sheep in a day

DEVIL-ON-THE-COALS - bushman's name for a small and quickly baked damper (Morris 1898)

DEVON - luncheon meat; called Fritz in S.A.; Polony in W.A.

DEVVO – Devastated

DIAL - face

DIBBER DOBBER - telltale; a person, often a child, who reveals secrets

DICE IT - throw it out!

DICKEN - disgust; doubt or disbelief (1921)

DICKHEAD - an idiot

DICKY - something of low quality or broken

DIDDLE - to cheat

DIDGERIDOO - a wind instrument that was originally found only in Arnhem Land in northern Australia

DIDN'T BAT AN EYELID - gave no reaction to news


DIGGER - Australian soldier ; also gold digger

DIGGINGS - residence; probably originated in the gold fields days

DIGS - the place you live

DILL - a simpleton or trickster's dupe. First used by C.J. Dennis in Sentimental Bloke

DILL BRAIN - idiot

DILLYBAG - Aboriginal term; small bag

DINGBAT - annoyed; crazy

DINGBAT - an army batman

DINGBATS - delerium tremens (DT's) (c 1920)

DING DONG - fine, swell (WW2)

DINGO - native dog that cannot bark; thus a treacherous man; a coward c. 1908

DINGO - compulsory trainee in the Militia (WW2)

DINGO'S BREAKFAST - no breakfast at all

DINGO FENCE - longest fence in the world. South Australia. Finished 1885

DINKUM - also fair dinkum; genuine; real; also hard work (an hour's hard dinkum - from Rolf Boldrewood, Robbery Under Arms 1882)

DINKUM OIL - authenticated news; the straight truth (WW1)

DINKY DI - genuine, authentic

DINKY RIDE - double up on a bike. Passenger

DINNER - lunch

DINTY - Is that not correct?

DIP OUT - be unsuccessful

DIPSTICK - loser; fool

DIRTY - angry about an injustice

DIRTY BIG - enormous. eg. dirty big truck

DIRTY STOP OUT - person who stays out all hours having a good time

DISH IT OUT - to serve roughly

DIVVY - divide into portion

DIVVY - The Store's famous dividend rewarded members for buying goods. Newcastle NSW


DO A MELBA - make repeated farewell performances

DOB - report someone to police etc

DODGER - bread (soldier slang WW1)

DODGIE - poor quality

DOE RAY ME - money

DOESN'T MISS A TRICK - doesn't miss an opportunity for advantage

DOG - detective (criminal slang 1940)

DOG ACT - cowardly, treacherous behaviour

DOGGED IT - didn't show up

DOGGEREE - Go on; go straight ahead (soldier slang WW1)

DOGLEG - primitive kind of fence made of rough timber (Morris 1898)

DOG ON THE TUCKERBOX - Historical monument located at Snake Gully, five miles from Gundagai

DOGS BREAKFAST - a total mess

DOG'S EYE - meat pie

DOG'S LEG - Stripe (Army 1945)

DOG WATCH - nightshift

DOING THE CLOCK - serving five years imprisonment in Long Bay Gaol

DOING IT COLD - serving a sentence for a crime of which you are innocent

DOING IT TOUGH - gaol term for having a difficult time of it

DOING SOL - solitary confinement (1893)

DOING THE LOT - also a full hand as in a full hand in poker - a sentence of life imprisonment (1946)

DOLE - unemployment payment

DOLE BLUDGER - on who is content to live off social security payments in contrast with one who is genuinely unemployed

DOING A BRADBURY - winning something against the odds, after Steve Bradbury's win at the Winter Olympics

DOING A BUNK - running away

DONAH - female companion; girlfriend

DONE A GINGER - robbed someone (criminal slang Sydney 1950s)

DONE HIS DASH - finshed up; lost opportunity

DONGA - Temporary shelter

DONKEY VOTE - ballot cast in an election where a voter ranks candidates based on the order they appear on the ballot paper

DONKEYS YEARS - a long time

DONE LIKE A DINNER - finished, over with, completed

DONNYBROOK - a fight (origin Irish)

DON'T COME THE RAW PRAWN WITH ME - Don't try to fool me (WW2). Attributed to Roy Rene (also known as 'Mo' of theatre partnership Stiffy and Mo)


DON'T KNOW THAT PERSON FROM A BAR OF SOAP - don't know them at all

DON'T PUT ON A PERFORMANCE - don't make a fuss


DON'T SLEW YOUR BREW - keep your mouth shut and don't do your block when in police custody (criminal slang 1950s)

DON'T YOU EVER LET A CHANCE GO BY, OH LORD - line from Bob Hudson's 1975 hit
The Newcastle Song

DON'T YOU WORRY ABOUT THAT - catch cry of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen

DONUTS - black circles on road made by vehicle

DOORSTOPPING - practice by journalists of conducting a brief interview of politicians at the entrance to a building

DOOVERLACKIE - referring to something you don't have a name for

DORA GREY - threepenny piece

DOROTHY DIXER - parliamentary question asked by a colleague to give the Minister the opportunity to deliver a prepared reply

DOSS - to sleep

DOUBLE BANKING - hooking on one or more additional bullock teams to assist in crossing a bog

DOUBLE D - short for double dissolution, the simultaneous dissolution of both houses of a parliament preparatory to an election

DOUBLE DUTCH - children's skipping game using two ropes

DOUGH - money

DOUGHY - soft; slow witted; slow to catch on; not very knowledgeable

DO THE DIRTY - do the wrong thing

DOVER - ration of bread (prison slang c 1893)

DOVER - a clasp knife by a maker of that name, once much used in the colonies (Morris 1898)

DOWN - a prejudice against, hostility to (Morris 1898)

DOWN - To come, or be down, is the phrase used in Aust. Universities for failing an exam (Morris (1898)

DOWN ON - angry with

DOWN THE CHUTE - to be found guilty in court (criminal slang 1950s)

DOWN THE GURGLER - wasted money, opportunity or effort

DOWN THE STREET - shopping street

DOWNUNDER - coming from Australia

DO YOUR BLOCK - lose your temper

DO YOUR DASH - go too far; lose out

DO YOUR LOLLY - lose your temper

DO YOUR NANA - lose your temper

DRAFT - to separate and sort cattle (Morris 1898)

DRAFTER - man engaged in drafting cattle

DRAG - sentenced to three months in jail (prison slang 1893)

DRAG THE CHAIN - lag behind

DRAW (to) - to vex, to infuriate

DRAWING A POSSUM - sending in a dog to draw a possum out of hiding

DREADNOUGHT - a shearer who can shear more than 300 sheep in one day

DRIBS AND DRABS - a little bit at a time

DRINK WITH THE FLIES - to drink alone in a pub

DRIP - fool

DRIZA BONE COAT - Unique Australian coat

DROGO - rookie (WW2)

DRONGO - loser, no-hoper; slow witted

DRONGO - name of a race horse that never won a race in 37 starts. 1920s

DROP - to have the drop on is to forestall, gain advantage over esp. covering with a gun (Morris 1898)

DROP A CLANGER - say something embarrassing or inappropriate

DROP BEAR - hoax featuring carnivorous version of a koala

DROP KICK - an idiot; not very smart

DROP THE BUCKET - to put the entire blame for an offence on someone else (criminal slang 1950s)

DROP YOUR BUNDLE - give up hope; surrender

DROVER - an experienced stockman, who moves sheep, cattle, and horses over long distances

DROVER'S DOG - one who owns no respect

A DROVER'S DOG COULD LEAD THE PARTY TO VICTORY - Bill Hayden after losing labour leadership

DROVING - driving or moving a herd or flock over a long distance.

DRUM - a brothel

DRUM - a bundle carried by a swagman as a roll strapped over the right should and under the left arm

DRUMMER - a lazy shearer; in the old days they used to be drummed out of the shed

DRUNK AS CHLOE - very drunk (1946)

DRUNK AS A SKUNK - blind drunk

DRY AS A DEAD DINGO'S DONGA - thirsty for alcohol

DRY-BLOWING - Western Australian term in gold mining (Morris 1898)

DRY HASH - tramp; sundowner(1887)

DRY HASH - one who will not shout for drinks (c. 1895)

DUCKBILL - platypus; sometimes also called Duckmole (Morris 1898)

DUCKS ON THE POND - warning to men that women are around and to refrain from swearing, used in shearing sheds

DUCK THE SCONE - plead guilty before a Magistrate (criminal slang 1950s)

DUCO - paintwork on a car

DUD - a failure

DUDS - trousers

DUFF - to steal stock and alter the brand

DUFFER - a fool

DUFFER - unproductive shaft in gold mine

DUFFER - cattle duffer = cattle rustler

DUGONG OIL - oil obtained by boiling the superficial fat of a dugong. A substitute for cod-liver oil (Morris 1898)

DUG OUT - protective hole dug out of the sides of trenches (WW1)

DUKE - hand (prisoner slang c 1893)

DUMMY - pacifer for baby

DUMMY - selector used by squatters to acquire land (Morris 1898)

DUMMY - colloquial name for the grip-car of the Melbourne trams (Morris 1898)

DUMP - centre struck out of the holey dollar. The holey dollar was worth five shillings, and the dump fifteen pence

DUMP - to press closely; applied to wool. Bales were often marked not to be dumped (Morris 1898)

DUMPER - large strong wave in surf that pushes the surfer to the bottom

DUNGAREE-SETTLER - poor Australian settler so called from their frequently clothing themselves and families in blue Indian cotton known as Dungaree (Morris 1898)

DUNNY - outside toilet in a small outhouse at the back of the house used before the septic system

DUNNY MAN - council worker who collected toilet pans and transferred them on his shoulder to the dunny truck

DUNNY ROLL - toilet paper

DUNNO - don't know

DURREY - a cigarette you roll yourself

DUST - slang for flour (Morris 1898)

DUST-DEVIL - small whirlwind; also called willy-willy and cock-eyed bob

DUST UP - a fight


EAGLE-HAWKING - plucking wool off dead sheep (Morris 1898)

EAR BASH - talk non stop

EARLY MARK - let out of school early

EARWIG - eavesdropper

EASY AS - something that is easily done

EASY ON - take it easy; slow down

EKKA - Brisbane Exhibition (annual show)

ELBOW GREASE - hard work

E-LEE-MONG - aboriginal shield made of bark (Threlkeld; Morris 1898)

EMANCIPIST - an ex-convict who has served out his sentence

EMPIRE DAY - The celebration of Queen Victoria's birthday on May 24 was renamed Empire Day in 1903 after her death in 1901. It was celebrated throughout the British Empire culminating in fireworks and bonfires in the evening. The last celebration of Empire Day in Australia took place in 1958

EMPTIES - empty beer bottles

EMU PARADE - picking up litter in a group

ENZEDDER - Australian term for a soldier of the New Zealand forces (1914-1918)

ESKY – An insulated container to keep food and drink cold

EUCHRED - done in; exhausted; beaten

EUREKA FLAG - First used in the Eureka Rebellion of 1854. Has a dark blue field with a central white symmetric cross consisting five eight-pointed stars, representing the Crux constellation

EUREKA STOCKADE - a battle which took place at Ballarat on 3rd December 1854 after diggers' opposition to miners' licenses. Often regarded as the birthplace of Australian democracy

EURO - one of the aboriginal names for a kangaroo (Morris 1898)

EVEN STEVENS - equal after repaying a debt

EVERY COUNTRY NEEDS ITS HEROES, AND WE MUST FOLLOW THEM - Colonel Sir Ernest Edward Weary Dunlop 1907 – 1993 was an Australian surgeon who was renowned for his leadership while being held prisoner by the Japanese during World War II

EVERY MAN AND HIS DOG - extremely crowded place

EVERY DOG HAS ITS DAY - your day will come eventually

EYES LIKE A HAWK - 20/20 vision

EXCLUSIONIST - one subdivision of the emigrant class was termed the exclusionist party from their strict exclusion of the emancipists for their society (Morris 1898)

EXILES - after cessation of the convict system Earl Grey ordered that convicts were in future to be called exiles (Morris 1898)

EXPIREE - a convict whose term of sentence had expired

EXXY - high price


FACELESS MEN - people who wield (especially political) power behind the scenes

FAFF ABOUT - dither

FACE LIKE A DROPPED PIE - someone with an unattractive or unappealing facial expression

FAG - cigarette

FAIR COW - a louse or heel (WW2)

FAIR CRACK OF THE WHIP - request for fair treatment


FAIR ENOUGH - expression used to concede a point

FAIR GO - call in a two-up game

FAIR GO - to treat someone with fairness and reason; Extract from Dame Enid Lyons maiden speech to the House of Representatives, September 29, 1943 - 'It was during those years that we learned those things which still characterise the great bulk of our people - hatred of oppression, love of "a fair go", a passion for justice. It was in those years that we developed those qualities of initiative and daring that have marked our men in every war in which they have fought, qualities which, I hope, will never be allowed to die'

FAIR GO - also a protest or plea for decent treatment, as in 'Fair go!'

FAIR GO YA MUG - as above. Attributed to Roy Rene (also known as 'Mo' of theatre partnership Stiffy and Mo)

FAIR SHAKE OF THE SAUCE BOTTLE - used several times by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

FAIR SUCK OF THE SAUCE BOTTLE - be fair (sauce perhaps being booze)

FAIRY BREAD - white buttered bread covered in hundreds and thousands

FAIRY FLOSS - heated sugar spun into threads and eaten from a stick

FAIRY GARDENS - a miner's term from the Burra Burra copper mine (Morris 1898)

FALOUSH - money (WW2)

FANTAILS - chocolate-covered caramels introduced by Sweetacres in 1930. Wrappers included brief biographies of movie stars.

FARTARSE AROUND - fail to get on with the job at hand

FATS - wide tyres

FATTY FINN - Fatty Finn, was a popular Australian comic strip series created in 1923 by Syd Nicholls

FEBRUARY 14 1966 - introduction of decimal currency to Australia. Accompanied by a famous jingle to the tune of Click Go The Shears

FEDERATION DROUGHT - name given to a prolonged period of drought that began 1895 and reached its peak in 1901 - 1902

FEED THE CHOOKS - to hold a press conference; to feed the media. Attributed to Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, former Premier of Queensland

FELIX THE CAT - cartoon character created in 1919 by Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer in an Australian studio

FELLAS - men


FELL OUT OF THE UGLY TREE - not attractive to look at

FFF - Forlorn, famished, and far from home (soldier slang WW1)

FIDDLEY - one pound note. Derived from fiddley-did, a rhyme on the word quid (criminal slang 1950s)

FIELD DAY - day used to display new farm equipment


FIFO - fly in - fly out - flown in to remote work area and flown back again to town

FIGHT, WORK OR PERISH - A message from John Curtin telling Australians to 'make a complete sacrifice for Australia or become a complete sacrifice to the enemy'

FIGJAM - Acronym for I m good. Just ask me.

FILUM - film, movie picture

FIN - five pound note (prison slang)

FINGER - an eccentric or amusing person

FINGERS - also screws or blokes. Prison slang for prison wardens c. 1893

FIRE-STICK - lighted stick which natives carried about when moving from camp to camp

FIRIE - a fireman

FIRST CAB OFF THE RANK - first there

FISHER'S GHOST - the ghost of missing ex-convict Frederick Fisher (ship Atlas 1816) was said to have been seen sitting on a fence pointing to a creek. His neighbour George Worrall was later found guilty of his murder and executed in 1827


FITZROY COCKTAIL - methylated spirits mixed with another drink to hide the taste

FITZROY YANK - flashy dresser (WW2)

FIVE EYES - An alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and USA for joint cooperation in signals intelligence, military intelligence, and human intelligence

FIVE FINGER DISCOUNT - to steal without getting caught

FIVER - ‎£ 5 note

FIVER - prison slang - five years in gaol c. 1893

FIVE SHILLINGS OR THE RISING - fined five shillings or the alternative of imprisonment until the rising of the Court

FIX YOU UP - pay back money

FIZZ-GIG - police informer

FIZZOGG - a disappointingly uncompetitive game (also fizzer)

FIZZER - police informer

FIZZER / FIZZLER - disappointment

FIZZY DRINK - soft drink/ cordial

FLABBERGAST - astonish

FLAG - £ 1 note (criminal slang 1950s)

FLAG FALL - initial hiring charge for a taxi

FLAG OF THE SOUTHERN CROSS - 1887 poem by Henry Lawson that refers to the Eureka Flag flown at the Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat, Victoria in 1854

FLAKE - shark meat

FLAKE OUT - collapse, lie down

FLAMING GALAH - idiot; stupid person

FLAMIN' HELL - for goodness sake

FLANNIE / FLANNO – flannelette shirt

FLAP THE GUMS - talk endlessly

FLASH - showy

FLASH CLOBBER - smartly dressed

FLAT AS A TACK - low in spirits, lacking energy

FLAT CHAT - busy; or doing something quickly

FLAT OUT - as fast as possible


FLAT TO THE BOARDS - busy working

FLATTY - policeman (1925)

FLAX, NATIVE - smaller plant than true flax. Yields fibre that was used by aborigines for making fishing nets and cordage (Morris 1898)

FLEA - A prisoner who seeks to be on good terms with the warders and then to be on good terms with the prisoners

FLICK - get rid of

FLIMSY - handkerchief (prison slang c. 1893)

FLIP YOUR LID - to be angry

FLOATER - a meal sold from a stand - a meat pie floating in a bowl of pea soup (Adelaide), invented by an English cook named Gibbs

FLOATING KIDNEY - soldier unattached to a unit (WW1)

FLOG - to steal; also to sell

FLOG - Wanker; someone with ideas above their station

FLOGGED WITH A WARM LETTICE, (LIKE BEING) - Paul Keating re John Hewson's debating skills

FLOGGING A DEAD HORSE - a hopeless cause

FLOORDROBE - leaving clothes on the floor instead of putting them away

FLOORED - knocked down

FLUKE - lucky break

FLUMMOX - perplex

FLUTTER - a small bet on the races

FLYBOG - Jam (WW1)

FLYER - a female kangaroo (1826); The males are called foresters and the females flyers (1834)

FLYING DOCTOR - the aerial medical service pioneered by the Rev. John Flynn in the outback in the 1920s

FLYING FOX - fruit bat

FLYING FOX - an overhead cable-way often used in mining

FLYING OFF THE HANDLE - angry outburst

FLY SCREEN - gauze door screen to keep out flies

FOODIE - lover of gourmet food

FOOTPATH - sidewalk or pavement

FOOTY - Australian Football League (AFL), Rugby Union (Union) or Rugby League (NRL). Not Soccer

FORTY LEGS - name given to a millipede (Morris 1898)

FOSSICK - prospect for gold

FOUR O'CLOCK - another name for the friar bird (Morris 1898)

FREAK VILLA - the cook house (soldier slang WW1)

FRED - small metal spoon in ADF combat ration pack - Field Ration Eating Device - also F.cking Ridiculous Eating Device

FREDDO FROG - Chocolate lolly Freddo Frog was introduced by MacRobertson’s in Melbourne 1930

FREE AND EASIES - a form of entertainment held in hotels where miscellaneous concerts of an informal character took place. A person played the piano and anyone in the room was at liberty to contribute a song for the amusement of the audience. They were considered infringements of the Licensing Act. c. 1880s- 1890s

FREEBIE - get for free

FREE CHEWING GUM - chin strap (soldier slang WW2)

FREEDOM ON THE WALLABY - A poem by Henry Lawson 1891, the most famous line being 'They needn't say the fault is ours, If blood should stain the wattle'

FREEDOM RIDE BUS - students from University of Sydney formed a group called the Student Action for Aborigines. Led by Charles Perkins, they travelled into New South Wales country towns

FREE SELECTOR - one who takes up a block of Crown land under the Land Laws of the day (Morris 1898)

FREEZ-A - a popularity hunter. Origin found in for he's a jolly good fellow (WW1)

FREMANTLE DOCTOR - cooling afternoon wind. Western Australia

FRENCHIE - condom

FREO - Fremantle W.A.

FRESH - overflow of a river caused by heavy rain

FRIDGE - Refridgerator. In 1855 James Harrison of Geelong was granted a patent for an ether vapour-compression refrigeration system.

FRILL - swagger, conceit (c. 1895)

FRISK - search

FRITZ - luncheon meat; called Devon in NSW; Polony in W.A.

FROG IN A SOCK - energetic

FROGSKIN - 1 pound note (colour green); also quid and fiddleedid

FRONT - appear before a magistrate (criminal slang 1950s)

FRONTIER WARS - a term perhaps first coined by Professor William Stanner in 1968 and came to be applied by some historians to describe violent conflicts between Indigenous groups and colonists in the 19th century

FRONT UP - to turn up

FROTHING / FROTHIN - very keen

FROTHY WINDBAG - politician, who when it suits his purpose, champions the cause of the working class man. Socialist c 1895

FRUIT LOOP - crazy person

FRYING PAN - A description of the brand on stolen cattle or hides after duffers have obscured the owner's brand

FUDGE - to cheat

FUGLY - ugly

FULL AS A GOOG - satiated of food or drink

FULL AS A STATE SCHOOL HAT RACK - satiated of food or drink

FULL HAND - or SPIN - five years in jail

FULL OF BEANS - lots of energy

FULL ON - intense

FULL UP OF - sick and tired of. Full on and full of are other forms (Morris 1898)

FUNNY FARM - mental hospital

FURFIE - rumour (soldier slang WW1)

FURPHY - idle rumour. Jewish origin; or from the wheeled water tanks made by Furphy and Co around which troops gathered in army camps in 1914-1915 and from where all rumours flowed

FX and FJ Holden cars - FX launched in 1948. FJ launched in 1953. FX First mass made locally produced car


GABBA - Brisbane cricket ground at Woolloongabba

GABIT - one who likes eating; reference to bushranger Matthew Gabbett

G'DAY – Hello

GALAH – native bird renowned for its antics, like hanging upside down on telephrone wires, therefore a noisy, stupid person

GALLIED - frightened

GALLIPOLI GALLOP - dysentery (WW1)

GALOOT - clumsy, foolish man; derived from word used for soldier

GALOOT - a yokel - a heavy country fellow (Franklin)

GALVO - galvanized iron

GAME AS NED KELLY - brave; the ultimate Australian compliment

GAMMON - to deceive

GAMMY LEG - crippled or injured leg

GANDER - take a look

GANG-GANG - aboriginal word for a kind of cockatoo that is grey with a red head


GARBOS - garbologists; garbage collectors

GAZZA - short for Garry

GAZZOB - a fool or a blunderer

GEEBUNG - native word adopted by settlers, an Ausralian wild fruit

GEEBUNGS AND FIVE CORNERS - Geebungs and Five corners – once regarded as delicacies often collected in the bush by young boys. The five corner (Styphelia incarnata) is a small greenish berry growing on a shrub in sandy soil. The fruit is enclosed in a capsule composed of five small leaves, hence the name. The geebung (Persoonia lanceolata) is a greenish berry, larger than the five corner. They once grew in the Hamilton district NSW

GEEBUNG - an Australian born money grubber (1859)

GEE GEES - race horses

GEEK - take a look

GEE WHIZZ - expressing surprise

GENTLEMAN GEORGE - description of a remittance man from W. A. Horn's 'Bush Echoes' - Gentleman George in his youthful days was the pride of the Eighth Hussars, He's only a bronzed old teamster now in the land of the red galahs...

GENTRY - ironic term for bushranger

GET A GUERNSEY - receive an award

GET A HANDLE ON - understand

GET A WRIGGLE ON - hurry up

GET DOWN OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE - stop acting superior

GET OFF THE GRASS - unbelievable; tell the truth

GET OFF WITH A SCRATCH - sentenced to 12 months in jail

GET ON YOUR GOAT - someone annoying you

GET STUFFED - dismissal after a disagreement

GET THE BOOT - get sacked

GET THE DRIFT - understand

GET THE RUN (to) - to be discharged

GET THE WIND UP - soldier slang for a scare (WW1)

GETTING OFF AT REDFERN - referrring to contraceptive technique coitus interruptus

GET YOUR DANDER UP - get upset

GHILGAI also GILGAI - aboriginal word formerly used by white men near Bourke NSW to denote saucer shaped depression in ground which formed a natural reservoir for rainwater (Morris 1898)

GIBBER - a small rock

GIBBER PLAINS - desert surface covered with closely packed rock fragments

GIBBER - GUNYAH - home in a cave; aboriginal

GIDDEA, GIDYA OR GIDGEE - aboriginal word of NSW and Qld for a species of Acacia(Morris 1898)

GILGAI COUNTRY - low-lyng land with natural basins subject to flooding (Baker)

GINGER BEERS - engineers (military)

GINGER MEGS - popular and long-running comic strip created in the early 1920s by Jimmy Bancks


GINK - anybody (WW2)

GIVE BEST - to acknowledge superiority or to give up trying at anything (Morris 1898)

GIVE IT A BREAK - stop talking!

GIVE IT A CRACK - give it a try

GIVE A BUM STEER - mislead

GIVE IT A BURL - give it a try

GIVE IT A GO - give it a try

GIVE IT SOME HERBS - adding extra power or putting on extra speed (from cooking, adding more herbs)

GIVE SOMEONE A SERVE - give them a piece of your mind

GIVE SKY HIGH - (to) - to scold in an immoderate way

GIVE THEM A BURL - give them a good spin (two-up)

GIVE US A HEADS UP - let us know


GIVES THE PIP - bores; annoys (Franklin)
GLORY BOX - box in which a young woman gathers items to use after marriage

GLUE-POT - part of a road so bad that the coach or buggy got stuck (Morris 1898)

GNARLY - awesome (surfing term)

GOB - mouth

GOBFUL - abuse

GOB SMACKED - surprise

GO BUSH - leave home; live rough

GOD BOTHERER - religious person



GO FOR IT - expression of encouragement

GOING OFF - things are busy

GOING OFF AT- telling someone off

GOING TROPPO - going crazy; angry

GOING WALKABOUT - travelling

GOLDEN CASKET LOTTERY - est. c. 1916 to pay for soldier repatriation (QLD)

GOLDEN GUITAR AWARDS - Country music festival awards held annually in Tamworth

GOLDEN MILE - Kalgoorlie

GOLD FISH - tin herrings (WW2)

GO LEMONY - become angry

GONE TROPPO - lost grip on reality

GONE WALKABOUT - item that is misplaced or lost

GONE WEST - dead (soldier slang WW1)

GONG - medal (military)

GONNA -going to

GOODIES - treats, usually lollies

GOOD IRON - commendation; from game of quoits throwing the ring over the iron

GOOD-O. Everythings all right

GOOD OIL - reliable information (WW1)

GOOD SPORT - fair person

GOOD ON YA – goodonyer; term of approval; good work

GOOF OFF - muck around

GOOG - as full as a goog = drunk

GOOGY-EGG - child s name for a boiled egg

GOOLEY - a stone

GOOLEY - a single bomb dropped from a plane

GOON – flagon of wine

GOOSE - insult describing someone considered foolish


GO BANANAS - become excited or angry

GO ON A SPREE - go on a drinking binge

GO ROUND WITH - Go out together, date. 1970s

GOSFORD SKIRT - A very short skirt, so called because the NSW city of Gosford is close to a town called The Entrance.

GO TO BUGGERY - go away; leave me alone

GO THE KNUCKLE - engage in a fist fight with another person

GO UNDER - fail; collapse

GO UP IN SMOKE - fail, collapse; lose


GOVERNMENT STROKE - a lazy style of doing work (Morris 1898)

GO WALKABOUT - Aboriginal - living a nomadic life

GOYDER'S LINE - George Goyder established the margin between reliable and unreliable rainfall regions in South Australia 150 years ago

GRAFT - to work hard and steadily (Franklin)

GRAFTER - a good worker (WW2)

GRANNY FLAT - detached building on your property where your mother or father might live.


GRASSHOPPER - Canberra term for weekend visitors to the capital; they eat everything in sight and never have a drink

GREASING THE SWAG STRAPS - Swagman's language time to move on

GREAT ARTESIAN BASIN - underground reservoir. is the largest and deepest artesian basin in the world, stretching over 1,700,000 square kilometres


GREAT AUSTRALIAN BIGHT - large oceanic open bay off the central and western parts of the south coast of mainland Australia

GREAT AUSTRALIAN DREAM - a belief that in Australia, home-ownership can lead to a better life and is an expression of success and security

GREAT SOUTHERN LAND - a single released in 1982 by the Australian rock band Icehouse.

GREAT WHITE SHARK - Nick name of golfer Greg Norman

GREEN - inexperienced person

GREEN GROCER - type of cicada

GREENIE - environmentalist

GREEN WHISTLE - temporary analgesic given to trauma patients

GREY NOMAD - retired person who travels Australia usually in a caravan

GRIND THEM INTO THE DUST - Quote - Don Bradman - When you play test cricket, you don't give the Englishmen an inch. Play it tough, all the way. Grind them into the dust

GRINDER - a small coin of money

GRIZZLE - complain

GROG - alcohol

GROG SHOP/ GROG SHANTY - pub or bottle shop

GROMMET - young surfer

GRONK - idiot, lacking in social skills

GROUSE - great; very good

GRUB - food


GRUMBLEBUM - complainer

GRUNDIES - underwear/ undies

GUFF - foolish talk

GUFFED - deceived

GULLY RAKER - a long whip (Morris 1898)

GULLY RAKING - stealing unbranded livestock from distant station

GUMMY / GUMMIE - user of Gumtree

GUM SUCKER - description of young Australian because of their habit of eating the gum of the wattle tree

GUM-SUCKER - native of Tasmania because of the abundance of gum trees in Tasmanian forests 1887

GUM TREE (up a gum tree) - completely lost or confused

GUN - expert shearer

GUNDAGAI FLOODS - after the disastrous 1851 bushfires came great floods in which the town of Gundagai was swept away when the Murrumbidgee burst its banks

GUN FIRE BREAKFAST - originally British however popular in Australia now as a follow-up to the Anzac Dawn service

GUNYAH - temporary shelter from sheets of bark at NSW goldfields. From Dharuk Aboriginal language


GUTSER (come a gutser) - to fall or fail

GUYVER - pretence; make believe. Jewish origin

GYP - swindle


HAIRY BELLY - sycophant (soldier slang WW1)

HAIRY EYEBALL - give someone the once over or examine closely

HALF A FLAG - ten shillings (criminal slang 1950s)

HALF ARSED - job that is half done

HALF YOUR LUCK - wishing for the good fortune of someone else

HALF WAY DECENT - reasonably attractive person

HAM AND CHICKEN - ammunition (soldier slang WW1)


HANGER ON -unwanted person

HANG OF (get the) - to become familiary with

HANG ON A TICK - wait a moment

HANG OUT FOR - anticipate

HANGRY - hungry and angry at the same time


HAPPY AS A PIG IN SHIT - very happy

HAPPY AS LARRY - very happy

HAPPY LITTLE VEGEMITE - very happy (advertising jingle)

HARBOUR BRIDGE PASS- in rugby a high looping pass

HARD CASE - an amusing or eccentric person

HARD HITTER - bowler hat

HARD LINES - bad luck

HARD UP - destitute

HARD YAKKA – Hard work

HARD WORD - put the hard word on = make demands

HARRY CAFE DE WHEELS - iconic trailer cafe at Wooloomooloo, Sydney

HATTER - a bushman or digger who worked by himself at a shallow sinking of a gold mine; they became well known for talking to themselves (as in 'mad as a hatter') c1895

HATTER - swagman who travelled alone

HAVE A BLUE - have a fight

HAVE A CAPTAIN COOK - have a look

HAVE A CRACK - have a go

HAVE A GO YA MUG - try harder

HAVE A GOOD ONE - have a good day

HAVE A JIMMY WOODSER - to drink alone

HAVE A NATTER - talk, usually between women

HAVE A SQUIZ - have a look

HAVE A STICKY - pry into the personal affairs of another

HAVE IT OFF WITH - have an affair with


HAY-P'NY - half-penny

HEAD OVER TURKEY - head over heels

HEAD STATION - house occupied by the owner or manager of a station or run

HEAPS – loads, lots, many

HEAPS GOOD – something that is really good or excellent (South Australia)

HEED THE SPARK OR YOU MAY DREAD THE FIRE - Miles Franklin in My Brilliant Career 1899

HEIDELBERG SCHOOL - An Australian art movement of the late 19th century

HE'S LIKE A SHIVER WAITING FOR A SPINE TO RUN UP - Paul Keating referring to John Hewson


HELLO POSSUMS - Dame Edna Everidge s catch cry

HEN'S NIGHT - bachelorette party

HERBS - (give it some herbs) - adding extra power or putting on extra speed (from cooking, adding more herbs)

HERRINGBONING THE DARLING ON JACKIE DOW'S MUTTON - a wanderer living on the country

HEXHAM GREYS - large mosquitoes found in Hexham district, Newcastle, NSW

HICKORY - Be off. (soldier slang WW1)

HICKS - people who live in the country/bush

HIDEY - children's game - hide and seek

HIGH AS A KITE - high on drugs

HIGH JUMP (The) - Sydney Quarter Sessions (criminal slang 1950s)

HIGH TOBY - bushranger on horse-back as opposed to Low Toby, a footpad

HILL'S HOIST - rotary clothes hoist invented by motor mechanic Lance Hill in 1945 South Australia

HILTON HOTEL BOMBING - An explosion occurred outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney on 13 February 1978 where a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting was taking place

HISSY FIT - tantrum

HIT FOR SIX - laid low

HIT THE FROG AND TOAD - hit the road - get out!

HMAS SYDNEY - The loss of HMAS Sydney in November 1941 following an encounter with the German raider Kormoran off the W.A. coast is Australia s worst naval disaster, 645 lives having been lost

HOBNAIL EXPRESS - travel by foot

HODDLE STREET SHOOTING - In Melbourne on 9 August 1987 a gunman fired a total of 114 rounds in the space of 45 minutes, killing seven people and wounding a further 19, including two police officers

HOLD YOUR HORSES - request for patience

HOLEY DOLLAR - what remained of a Spanish dollar when the centre of the coin (the dump) had been struck out of it. The holey dollar was worth five shillings, and the dump fifteen pence.

HOLEY DOOLEY - expression of surprise

HOLLYWOOD - shanty town at Lambton NSW c. 1930s

HOME AND DRIED - safe and sound (soldier slang WW1)

HOME AND HOSED - safe and sound

HOME ON THE PIG'S BACK - successful

HOMINY BUS -the gaol tram that ran between Darlinghurst police station and the prison

HONEY JOYS - children's party food made from cornflakes

HONKER - nose

HOOEY - exclamation of disapproval; nonsense

HOOK JOB - Prisoner who is serving two or more years. From having the letter C (a hook) stamped above their prison numbers on their coats

HOON – lout; also bad and fast driver, usually young

HOOROO - see you later

HOOT - money (1946)

HOP IN FOR YOUR CHOP - secure a share for yourself

HOP IN FOR YOUR CUT - Referring to the labour market on the cane fields of Qld, where men could not come from another district and expect to receive work, or, as it was called there, a 'cut'

HOP OUT - a challenge to fight c. 1920

HOP OVER - go over the top to fight (soldier slang WW1)

HORNBAG - Sexually attractive person

HOSPITAL SHEEP - sheep suffering from a contagious disease which necessitates their removal from the rest

HOT AS HADES - a scorcher of a day

HOT SCONE - detective (criminal slang 1940)


HOTTIE - souped up car

HOWARD'S BATTLERS - working class people, traditionally regarded as Labor voters, who were instrumental in electing John Howard’s conservative Coalition to power in 1996

HOW ARE YOU GOING ? - How are you?

HOW WOULD YOU BE? - How are you?

HOW'S THE SERENITY - Darryl Kerrigan in The Castle - how good is this place?

HOWZAT - appeal a decision in cricket

HUGHIE - God; when pleading for rain, bushmen cry 'Send her down, Hughie!

HUMDINGER - remarkable person or thing

HUMIDICRIB - incubator for premature babies

HUMP, (to hump) - to shoulder or carry on the back esp. to hump the swag

HUMP - a long walk with a swag on one's back

HUMPING BLUEY - carrying a swag

HUMP THE DRUM - also on the Wallaby Track - walk to outback or bush

HUMPY - originally 'Oompi' - a bush hut

HUMPY BONG - the old covict settlement in Moreton Bay (Morris 1898)

HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS - coloured sprinkles for cakes

HUNGRY FOR IT - grasping, do anything to gain advantage

HUNGRY FORTIES - depression of the 1840s

HUNKY DORY - all's well


WE ARE ONE, BUT WE ARE MANY, AND FROM ALL THE LANDS ON EARTH WE COME. WE'LL SHARE A DREAM AND SING WITH ONE VOICE: I AM, YOU ARE, WE ARE AUSTRALIAN - popular Australian song written in 1987 by Bruce Woodley of The Seekers and Dobe Newton of The Bushwackers


I DEMAND AN APOLOGY, ONE OF YOUR TEAM MATES CALLED ME A BASTARD - Douglas Jardine to Australian Player. Reply: Which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard? from the movie Bodyline [1984]

I DID BUT SEE HER PASSING BY, AND YET I LOVE HER TILL I DIE - In admiration of Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Robert Menzies famously quoted these lines in 1963 from English poet Thomas Ford’s poem Lady Sweet and Kind

IDIOT BOX - television

IF BLOOD SHOULD STAIN THE WATTLE - from Henry Lawson's poem Freedom on the Wallaby - So we must fly a rebel flag, As others did before us, And we must sing a rebel song, And join in rebel chorus. We'll make the tyrants feel the sting, O'those that they would throttle; They needn't say the fault is ours, If blood should stain the wattle

I FEEL LIKE A TOOHEYS – Tooheys advertising slogan

IFFY - questionable; a bit risky

'IF YOU ASK ME, I THINK IT'S THE BIGGEST CHAUVINISTIC EXERCISE IN THE WORLD' (daughter Marie McIntyre) - 'THAT'S WHY NOBODY ASKS YOU, DARLING' (mother Mary McIntyre) - Quote from movie The Dish

I GOT ONLY A FIVER FOR THE SONG, BUT IT'S WORTH A MILLION TO ME TO HEAR IT SUNG LIKE THIS - Banjo Paterson on hearing Waltzing Matilda sung at an army camp at the beginning of WW1

Waltzing Matilda

I'LL BE A MONKEYS UNCLE - expression of surprise

I'LL GO THE BASTARD - cause physical altercation

ILLYWHACKER - confidence trickster; sharp operator


I'M ALRIGHT JACK -don't worry about me

I'M EASY - I don't mind one way or another

IMSHEE - begone - take yourself off (soldier slang WW1)

IN THE LOWEST DEEP, A LOWER DEEP - a quote from John Milton's Paradise Lost (1660s) about Hell; included in Joseph Phipps Townsend in his series 'Rambles in New South Wales', referring to the penal settlement at Newcastle c. 182Os

IN A MO - soon

IN A TIZZ - excited

IN GOOD NICK - in good condition

INKED - drunk

INLAND TROUGH - or dry line, is a semi-permanent feature of the synoptic pattern over the interior of Queensland mostly during warmer months

IN LIKE FLYNN - successful (Errol Flynn)

I NEED IT LIKE A HOLE IN THE HEAD - don't need it at all

INSIDE SQUATTER - a squatter residing within the margins of settlement as distinguished from pioneer or outside squatters in the wilder parts of Australia (Leland 1895)

IN THE BOX - In the Front Line (Army 1945)

IN THE STICKS - in the bush; away from civilization

INVESTIGATOR (HMS) - Matthew Flinders sailed from England in the Investigator on his greatest voyage, to circumnavigate the entire Australian continent, 1802

IODINES - Army Medical corps

IODINE VILLA - where the doctor rests his patients (soldier slang WW1)

IRON LUNG - wouldn't work in an iron lung - extremely lazy

IRON RATIONS FOR FRITZ - shells for the enemy (soldier slang WW1)

ISLAM AS A COUNTRY - I don’t oppose Islam as a country, but I do feel that their laws should not be welcome here in Australia. Stephanie Banister, a candidate for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party 2013

ISLE OF THE DEAD - small island adjacent to Port Arthur, Tasmania used as a cemetery for convicts and guards who died in the prisons

I STILL CALL AUSTRALIA HOME - song written by Peter Allen - 'But no matter how far or wide I roam, I still call Australia home'; later Qantas theme song



IT'S EITHER SYDNEY OR THE BUSH - a final choice or decision

IT'S JUST NOT CRICKET - an unjust or unfair occurrence



IVORIES - teeth

I WISH YOU WERE A STATUE AND I WERE A PIGEON - by Yabba, heckler at the Sydney Cricket Ground

I WOULDN'T BE DEAD FOR QUIDS - a reply to Howya going?



JACK - detective (criminal slang 1940)

JACKASS - a kookaburra, renowned for its cackling laugh; someone who laughs at anything

JACK UP - refuse to do something

JACK UP - to plead not guilty before a Magistrate (Criminal slang 1950s)

JACK OF IT - had enough of it; exasperated

JACKEROO - a city boy or an Englishman working on a property. 'Young gentleman getting the 'colonial experience' in the bush are called jackeroos by station hands. (1873)

JACKIE DOW'S MUTTON - living off the country

JACKING UP - objecting

JACK OR JACKMAN - lazy digger or one who places himself above others

JACKS - military police WW1

JACK SCRATCH - got a match? (soldier slang WW1)

JACK SHAY - a tin quart pot used for boiling tea in and contrived so as to hold it within a tin pint pot c. 1895

JACK THE PAINTER - an adulterated green tea used in the bush, produced by the use of the copper drying pans in its manufacture

JACKIE HOWE - John Robert Howe - gun shearer. At Alice Downs station outside Blackall, Jackie set the record for hand shearing 321 sheep in just seven hours and forty minutes.

JACKIE HOWE - sleeveless, singlet worn by shearers

JACKIE - 19th century term for an Aborigine

JACKY WINTER - vernacular name in NSW of the Brown Flycatcher (Morris 1898)

JAFFAS - chocolate coated orange lollies first made in 1931

JAFFLE IRON - Device used to make toasted snacks by heating over a fire. Designed, named and patented in Australia in June 1949 by Dr Ernest E. Smithers from Bondi

JAMPOT - very high, starched stand-up collar worn by dandies c. 1895

JATZ CRACKERS - Rhyming slang for knackers; male genitalia

JELLY CAKES - small cakes covered in jelly and rolled in coconut

JERILDERIE LETTER - 56 page document written by bushranger Ned Kelly as a justification of his actions in the year before his death

JERRY - understand

JIB - face - prison slang c. 1893

JIFFY - a brief period of time

JIGGER - small wireless sets manufactured by prisoners (Long Bay gaol 1946)

JIGGERED - broken

JILLAROO - a young female version of a jackaroo

JIMMYGRANTS - immigrants. Often used mid century re Italian and Greek newcomers

JIMMY WOODSER - a man who drinks alone. From a poem by Barcroft Boake, published in The Bulletin of 7 May 1892

JINDALEE RADAR SYSTEM - developed in 1995 to detect stealth aircraft through monitoring sea and air movements.

JINKER - wood carrier; vehicle

JOB - strike a blow

JOCK - Scottish soldier (WW1)

JOE BLAKE - snake

JOE BLOW - an average sort of bloke

JOES or JOE BLAKES - the blues or delerium tremens (WW2)

JOES - Gold fields - Licence boundaries for mines were strictly enforced, and the approach of the police was signalled by the cry of Joe! Joe! as miners without licences scrambled to escape the grasp of the law. Joe or Charlie Joe were terms of derision for the Lieutenant-Governor Charles Joseph Latrobe

JOEY - young marsupial. Also pinkie

JOEY - a fake (Army 1945)

JOEY or JO JOS - another name for bindi-eyes. Used around Newcastle Hunter Valley

JOHN HOP - police officer

JONNICK also JANNOCK - fair, honest, true (1870s)

JORN - the Jindalee Operational Radar Network. Stretching from Queensland to Western Australia, JORN is a state-of-the-art Over The Horizon Radar (OTHR) network that monitors activity across thousands of kilometres invisible to conventional radar

JOURNO - journalist

JUG - prison

JUICE - petrol

JUMBUCK - sheep, from an aboriginal word for a white mist, which a flock of sheep resembled. First used in 1824

JUMPER - sweater

JUST ROCK UP - come whenever


KANAKA - labourer from the South Seas

KANGAROO - Australias leaping marsupial and national icon

KANGAROOS - Australia's Rugby League team, first formed c. 1908

KANGAROO LOOSE IN THE TOP PADDOCK - intellectually challenged

KANGAROO FEATHERS - 1. a tall tale. 2. an impossible thing.

KANGAROO FEATHERS - Emu feather attached to the slouch hat of the light horse men, became a symbol of the light horse, inseparable from its legend. Appreciating a practical joke, when asked about their plumes, First AIF light horsemen pulled many legs by replying that they were, in fact, "kangaroo feathers"(AWM) (WW1)

KANGAROOING - hunting kangaroos

KANGAROO MILE - a distance longer than an actual mile because of adverse conditions. Coined by David Burn in 1842

KANGAROO TAIL SOUP - soup made from the kangaroo tail

KARK IT - die

KATHLEEN MAVOURNEEN - an habitual criminal with an indeterminant sentence (criminal slang 1950s)

KEEP THE BASTARDS HONEST - Slogan for the Democrat Party coined by leader Don Chipp - the bastards being the major parties and politicians in general.

KEEP YOUR SHIRT ON - don't get angry

KELPIE - great Australian sheep dog; short haired Australian bred dog from Scotch collies in 1870s NSW, sometimes with part dingo; term derived from Scottish term for a spirit or ghost

KENTUCKY SHOUT - Dutch treat

KERR'S CUR - Gough Whitlam's reference to Malcolm Fraser in 1975

KERO - Kerosene

KIBOSH - prevent from

KICK ABOUT - to loaf or hang about (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)

KICK ARSE - overpower, succeed

KICK IN FOR A PRESSIE - contribute to gift

KICK OFF - to commence

KICK ON - to continue to party


KIDDING - deceiving

KILLER - the straw that broke the camel's back

KILLING IT - winning, doing well

KIP - take a nap

KIPPER - an Englishman; an English sailor (naval term)

KITE - criminal class word meaning cheque

KIWI - a New Zealander

KNACKERED - very tired

KNICKERS – female underwear

KNOCK - criticise

KNOCK-ABOUT - A man hired on a sheep or cattle station to do odd jobs and are employed by the week

KNOCK BACK - refuse something; a refusal for closer intimacy, usually from a woman

KNOCK BACK - reversal of fortune

KNOCK BACK A FEW - drink a large amount of alcohol

KNOCK DOWN A CHEQUE - a cheque handed over to the publican when drinks are called for the bearer and his friends until he is told he has drunk out his cheque

KNOCKED - wounded (soldier slang WW1)

KNOCK 'EM DOWN BUSINESS - auctioneering

KNOCK IT OFF - stop doing that

KNOCK OFF - poor copy of an original

KNOCK OFF TIME - time to finish work

KNOCKED UP - pregnant

KNOCKER - one who disparages or cut down others

KNOCK YOURSELF OUT - go ahead and do it

KNUCKLE SANDWICH - punch in the mouth

KNUT - a flash person

KOOKABURRAS - Light Horse men

KOORI - one of the Aborigine's preferred names for their own people


LAG - old convict

LAGGING - a term of imprisonment c. 1893

LAIR - a show-off

LAKEMAC - Unfortunate nickname applied to Lake Macquarie in recent years

LAMB DOWN (to) - to beat

LAMBED DOWN - (to be) - a shearer who is defrauded by publicans after cashing his cheque

LAMBERT CENTRE - Geographic centre of mainland Australia. Named for cartographer Bruce Lambert

LAMBING FLAT RIOTS - violent riots against the Chinese on the goldfields at Burrangong 1860-61

LAMINGTON - chocolate iced cake rolled in coconut invented by Armand Gallad

LAMINGTON DRIVE - fundraising event selling lamingtons

LANCE-JACK - Lance-corporal (Army 1945)

LAND THE MUSTARD - to win money

LARK - joke

LARRIKIN – young man who’s always up for a laugh; prankster. Clothes worn were shiny black with velvet collar and shoes with high heels (c. 1895)

LARRIKIN HAT - a black wideawake felt hat worn with its brim turned down. c. 1895. This hat was worn by larrikins in place of former Cabbage Tree Hat

LASSETER'S REEF - supposed discovery, announced by Harold Bell Lasseter in 1929 and 1930, of a fabulously rich gold deposit in a remote and desolate corner of central Australia


LAYABOUT - lazy unemployed person

LEAD OR LEADER - mining slang; a vein of gold

LEAD - used in reference to alluvial mining, and signifies the old river-bed in which gold is found(Morris 1898)

LEAD, TO STRIKE THE - used figuatively for to succeed (Morris 1898)

LEADBEATER COCKATOO - named by Major Mitchell

LEAN AS A DROVER'S DOG - thin bloke

LEANAWAY - one who is tipsy

LEARNER - in shearing, a shearer is regarded as a learner until he has shorn 5000 sheep

LEARNING THE HARD WAY - learning from experience

LEATHER JACKET - dough fried in a pan (pancake). - G. Haydon c. 1846

Oi!, LEAVE OUR FLIES ALONE, JARDINE. THEY RE THE ONLY FRIENDS YOU VE GOT HERE - by Yabba, heckler at the Sydney Cricket Ground

LEERY - a common person

LEFTIE - derogatory term for a person who supports the left side of politics

LEGGY - leg rope that attaches the surfer to the board

LEG IT - walk

LEGLESS - Someone who is really drunk; can't stand up

LEMON - something useless or in bad repair; car


LET US NEVER FORGET AUSTRALIA [N'OUBLIONS JAMAIS L'AUSTRALIE]- words emblazoned on plaques in Villers-Bretonneaux, France in remembrance of the re-capture of the town by Australian soldiers in April 1918

LID - a hat

LIE DOWN - to retract a previous confession or statement in court (criminal slang 1950s)

LIFE. BE IN IT - Australian Government slogan

LIFE WASN'T MEANT TO BE EASY - Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser quoting George Bernard Shaw

LIFT - to drive cattle or sheep to market from the run (Morris 1898)

LIGHT HORSE - Australian cavalry

LIGHT ON - short of manpower

LIGHT ON THE HILL - Australian labour party catch phrase - Ben Chifley

LIGHTS ON THE HILL - Iconic song written by Joy McKean and made famous by her husband Slim Dusty

LIKE BILLYO - energetically


LIKE A RAT UP A RAFTER - very fast


LIKE A SHAG ON A ROCK - stands out; standing around alone; lonely

LIKE A SHIVER WAITING FOR A SPINE TO RUN UP - Paul Keating describing John Hewson

LIKE A TERRIER - Never gives up

LIKE PITT STREET, SYDNEY - busy; lot of traffic

LILLY PILLY - large timber tree, species Acmena, sometimes calle Native Banana. Small fruit, white with purplish tint were eaten by aborigines (Morris 1898)

LIMA DECLARATION - Disastrous for Australia, the Lima Declaration called for the redistribution of world industry so that developing countries would have 25% of it by the year 2000. Signed by Whitlam in 1975, ratified by Fraser

LIME BURNER - man without any money (1885)

LIME-JUICE - new chum (1887)

LIME-JUICE LICKER - immigrant from England

LINDT CAFE SEIGE - Hostages taken by Islamic State operative Man Monis on Monday 15 December 2014 at the Lindt Cafe, Sydney

LINGO - Language

LIPPIE - lipstick


LIQUID LUNCH - beer only for lunch

LITTLE AUSSIE BATTLER - hard working Australian down on his luck

LITTLE AUSSIE BLEEDER - referring to Australian comedian Norman Gunston

LITTLE DIGGER - Billy Hughes, Australia's 7th Prime Minister

LIVING OFF THE SHEEP'S BACK - referring to Australia s prosperity because of the wool industry

LIVE OFF THE SMELL OF AN OILY RAG - to live frugally

LOADED - with money; rich

LOB - to lob somewhere is to arrive at a place

LOG HUT - hut built with walls of horizontal tree trunks (Morris 1898)

LOGS - the lock-up. In early colonial days a log hut and often keeping the name when it was made more secure. Sometimes when there was no lock up the prisoners were chained to leavy logs of trees (Morris 1898)

LOLA MONTEZ - famous gold-fields performer 1850s

LOLLIES – Sweets, shortened from the English word lollipop

LOLLY WATER- fizzy drink

LONDON TO A BRICK - certainty

LONG-STOPPER - a superior type of cockatoo, or a man who gives warning at the approach of police

LONG-TOM - species of Garfish NSW (Morris 1898)

LOO - toilet

LOOKED LIKE HE'D SWALLOWED A SHEEP - carrying too much weight; obese. - Shane Warne to Sri Lankan Arjuna Ranatunga

LOOK SEE - have a look

LOOK TO THE WALLS - to check wanted posters with a possible intention of collecting a reward

LOOSE CANNON - out of control; unpredictable

LOST THE PLOT - lost site of objective

LOUIE THE FLY - Mortein advertisement

LOUSY BASTARD - skinflint; tight arse; stingy person

LOVE APPLES - tomatoes (1895)

LUGS - ears

LUMBER - place where stolen jewellry and other valuables are disposed of (criminal slang 1925)

LUMBERED - robbed a person. Also rolled, done a ginger, tickled a peter (criminal slang 1950s)

LUNA PARK - heritage-listed amusement park at Milsons Point, on Sydney Harbour. The park was constructed during 1935

LUNA PARK FIRE - On 9 June 1979 at approximately 10:45pm, six children and one adult were killed when a ghost train amusement ride at Luna Park caught fire

LURK - a scheme for success; a racket; dishonourable; also known as a dart or a rort


MABO - The Mabo Case was a significant legal case in Australia that recognised the land rights of the Meriam people, traditional owners of the Murray Islands

MACCAS - McDonalds

MAD AS A CUT SNAKE - angry; crazy



MAD MICK AND BANJO - pick and shovel (soldier slang WW1)

MAFEESH - nothing (soldier slang WW1)

MAGGED - run off at the mouth

MAGGIE - magpie

MAGIC PUDDING - endless resource; From a 1918 Australian children's book by Norman Lindsay about a magic talking pudding named Albert which, no matter how often he is eaten, always reforms in order to be eaten again

MAGPIE LARK - pee-wee


MAKE A BLUE - make a mistake

MAKE A GALAH OF YOURSELF - behave foolishly

MAKE A QUID - make a living

MAKE A WELTER OF - take advantage of

MAKING TUCKER - making a living (1858)

MALLEE - the scrub

MALLEE ROOT - tree roots found in Victoria's Mallee region that are long burning and make a hot fire

MANILLA HAT - hat made of imported fibres

MANNA - dried juice of sweet taste obtained from incisions in the bark of various trees (Morris 1898)

MARALINGA - site of British nuclear tests 1956 and 1963. Part of the Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia

MARCHING KOALAS - The Marching Koalas were formed in 1982 as a band from the Hunter Region of NSW representing local high schools and the community

MARK, (A GOOD MARK) - a person who pays his men their wages without delay and to whom you may sell anyting safely (Morris 1898)

MATE - term of friendship or greeting

MATESHIP - the Australian male's strong trust in his fellow man

MATELOTS - Sailors

MATE'S RATES - lower price for friends

MATILDA - swag; German in origin


McMANSION - Coined during the urban sprawl of the 90s, when large homes began to dominate the outer suburbs

MELBOURNE CUP - Australia's most famous annual thoroughbred horse race. Conducted by the Victoria Racing Club on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. The event starts at 3:00 pm on the first Tuesday of November and is known as "the race that stops the nation". First held in 1861

MELON-HOLE - squatter's name for a kind of honey-combing of the surface in interior plains, dangerous to horsemen and ascribed to the work of the Paddy-melon(Morris 1898)

MERINO - strong Spanish breed of sheep inured to extremes of heat and cold, which when interbed, produced extraordinary amounts of long fibred wool; the basis of Australia's wealth for more than a century

MERINO (PURE MERINO) - a term for the very first families of the early colony as the pure merino is the most valuable sheep (Morris 1898)

METHO - methylated spiritsts

MEXICAN - someone from Victoria

MICK - an Irish catholic

MICKY - a term used for a wild bull, said to have originated in Gippsland, Victoria

MIDDLE OF NOWHERE - in the outback; far away

MIDDY - a measured glass of beer (10oz)

MIGALOO - pure white adult humpback whale first spotted in 1991 off Byron Bay. Humpack whales migrate along the east coast of Australia from Antarctica to breed in the warm tropical waters near the Great Barrier Reef

MIKE (to do a) - to pretend to be working, to hang about

MILKO - milkman

MILKSHAKE DUCK - to be popular in the media at first but later to lose favour because of questionable behaviour

MILLS PILLS - hand grenades (soldier slang WW1)

MIND YOUR P's AND Q's - mind your manners; observe correct etiquette

MING - Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies (whose surname is pronounced 'Mingis' in Scotland); he reminded his enemies of the villain of the popular Buck Rogers comic strip of the 1930s Ming the Merciless

MINTIES - mint flavoured lolly created in 1922

MISERABLE AS A BANDICOOT - extremely unhappy

MISERABLE GHOSTS - Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described former prime minister Kevin Rudd as a miserable ghost in 2018 because after Rudd ceased to be prime minister he stayed in parliament and did everything he could to overthrow his successor. Ironically the term was later applied to Malcolm Turnbull himself

MISERY GUTS - miserable person

MISSUS - wife

MOB - A way to refer to a group of Aboriginal people who have a connection to one another.

MOB - a lot of cattle

MOB - bushranging gang

MOB - army unit

MOCK GOOSE - colonial recipe using butter beans or mutton and other ingredients when unable to afford a goose

MOGGIE - cat

MOKE - a common knockabout horse (Franklin)

MOLES - moleskin breeches

MOLESKINS – trousers of heavy, closely-woven cotton material worn mostly by stockmen

MOLLY DOOKER - left handed person

MONGREL - dispicable person; also flamin mongrel

MONK - another name for Friar Bird (Morris 1898)

MONKEY - padlock (criminal slang 1925)

MONKEY - 500 pounds (criminal slang 1950s)

MONTE - a sure thing (in betting)

MOOLAH - money

MOOMBA - Melbourne Festival


MOON - prison slang for sentence of one month in gaol (1893)

MOON - a process in opossum-shooting where the hunter walked back from a tree to get the various branches between him and the moon to locate the possum (Morris 1898)

MOPOKE - native bird with a mournful cry; hence a dreary indiviual; a person remarkable for nothing new in common conversation c. 1845

MORE FRONT THAN MARK FOYS - over confidant person


MORE THAN YOU CAN POKE A STICK AT - more than you can handle

MORE NUTS THAN THE BRIDGE - person who is a bit crazy - nuts being of the Sydney Harbour bridge

MORETON BAY FIGS - cigs (cigarettes)

MORGAGE BELT - area where many people are paying off a mortgage on their home, regarded as electorally unpredictable

MORGY - something to eat (soldier slang WW1)

MOSES, (prickly) - bushman's name for Mimosa(Morris 1898)

MOTZA - (motzer) a lot of money (criminal slang 1950s)


MOZ - work (prison slang c. 1893)

MOZZIE – Mosquito

MOZZLE - luck

MR. SQUIGGLE - early Australian TV children's program. Creator Australian illustrator, cartoonist and puppeteer Norman Hetherington (1921-2010)


MUD ARMY - volunteers assisting victims of the 2010/2011 floods in South East Queensland

MUDDY - mud crab

MUD-FAT - fat as mud, very fat (used to describe livestock) (Morris 1898)

MUD MAP - map drawn on the ground

MUG - long drawn-out lover's kiss (1921)

MUG - a useless person

MUG'S GAME - unrewarding activity

MUG GUNNERS - machine gunners (WW2)

MUG PUNTERS - amateur gamblers

MULGA - acacia scrub of the outback

MULGA WIRE - also bush telegraph - country rumour network. c. 1893

MULLOCK - waste rock or earth

MULLOCKY - rubbishy, messy

MULLOCK OVER - shearing slang for careless or incomplete shearing (Morris 1898)

MULLY GRUBBER - cricket - a ball delivered so that it stays very low after pitching.

MUNCHIES - snack food

MUNGAREE - food (WW2)

MUNGO MAN - discovered in Mungo National Park, New South Wales, lived between 40,000 – 68,000 years ago.

MURRAY COD - fresh water fish found in the Murray river. Similar to a fish found in the Peel river by Sir T. Mitchell (Morris 1898)

MURRUMBIDGEE WHALER - a swagman who follows the course of a river; also a lazy swagman who spends six months of the year snoozing under the Murrumbidgee gum trees instead of working

MUSTER - round up livestock

MUTTONBIRDING - seasonal harvesting of the chicks of petrels for food, oil and feathers by recreational or commercial hunters

MYALL - in 1895 described as one of the wild blacks of the North of Australia

MYALL CREEK MASSACRE - at Myall Creek, NSW, cold-blooded slaughter of natives at the hands of station-hands, some of whom were later executed


NACKAROOS - North Australia Observation Unit (NAOU), nicknamed the Nackeroos or ‘Cowboys, was created in mid-March 1942. They were given the task of patrolling northern Australia to look for signs of enemy activity (AWM)

NAILROD - a coarse dark tobacco smoked by bushment (Morris 1898)

NAIPOO - no way (WW1)

NAME IS MUD - utterly discredited; of no account whatever

NAPOO - almost done with, finished (1918)

NARKED - to be angered or foiled

NARKY - irritable

NASHO - person who underwent compulsory military training

NATIVE SLOTH - koala (Whitney 1895)

NECKLACE - garrotter (criminal slang 1940)

NEDDY - early name for tucker bag which was attached to a swag at the front

NED KELLY - Australian bushranger

NEENISH TART - small cream pastry with icing on top

NELLY - cheap wine



NEVER LET THE TRUTH GET IN THE WAY OF A GOOD STORY - embellish a story with a lie

NEVER NEVER - Queensland was known as the Never Never country

NEVER NEVER - the outback; back of beyond (from Aeneas Gunn's 'We of the Never Never' c. 1908)

NEVER NEVER - unrealistic utopian future

NEVER SEE A NEED WITHOUT DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT - said by Mary MacKillop, Australia's first saint

NEWBIE - new person at work

NEWCASTLE EARTHQUAKE - On 28 December 1989 an earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale hit Newcastle

NEW CHUM - a young man sent out to Australia to gain some experience of life in the colonies. Sometimes used with contempt

NEW HOLLAND - historical European name for mainland Australia, first used in 1644 by Dutch seafarer Abel Tasman

NICK - steal

NICK OFF - go away

NICKY NU - naked

NIGEL - someone who has no friends

NIGGLE - irritable


NINE O'CLOCK BREEZE - cooling summer night breeze, Emerald, Central Queensland

NINETY TO THE DOZEN - constant and fast talking

NING NONG - Sometimes abbreviated to nong - someone who has done something stupid or clumsy

NIPPER - local name in Sydney for a species of prawn (Morris 1898)

NIPPER - young surf life saver

NIT-KEEPER - someone who keeps a watch out while illegal activity is afoot; also cockatoo

NIT WIT - silly person

NOAH'S ARK - shark; also a fool

NOAH'S DOVES - reinforcements who were at sea on their way to war zone when armistice was signed (WW1)

NOBBLER - a glass of spirits in a public house (Morris 1898)

NOBBY - In the navy anyone surnamed Clarke is nicknamed Nobby

NOBBYS - formerly also known as Whibayganba and Coal Island ; a headland located on the southern entrance to Newcastle Harbour that was once an island; first connected to the mainland by Macquarie Pier in 1846. Later the pier was replaced by a breakwater

NO BUTS ABOUT IT - no dispute

NO DRAMA – No problem / it’s ok

NOD THE NUT - plead guilty before a Magistrate (criminal slang 1950s)

NO FLIES ON - quick-witted person

NOGGIN - head

NO GOOD TO GUNDY - ruined; unpleasant

NO HOPER - someone who will never do well; a loser

NONG - a simple person

NO HIERARCHY OF DESCENT, NO PRIVILEGE OF ORIGIN - On 26 January 1988, Prime Minister Bob Hawke launched the nation's Australia Day celebrations with these words about the Australian identity: " We are, and essentially we remain, a nation of immigrants a nation drawn from 130 nationalities in Australia there is no hierarchy of descent: there must be no privilege of origin. The commitment is all. The commitment to Australia is the only thing needful to be a true Australian."

NO WELCOME TO COUNTRY - In April 2023 academic and activist, Marcia Langton promised/threatened Australian Voice 'NO' voters by predicting the consequences of a failed 'Yes' vote using the following words - "How are they going to ever ask an Indigenous person, a traditional owner, for a welcome to country? How are they ever going to be able to ask me to come and speak at their conference?."If they have the temerity to do it, of course the answer is going to be no."

NORKS - breasts

NORM - initially for a fitness campaign c. 1970 s. Depicted an unfit, beer drinking male

NOSH - food

NOSY PARKER - sticky beak

NOT A DROOB - no money at all (criminal slang 1950s)

NOT BACKWARD IN COMING FORWARD - confident, brash person

NOT FEEL TOO CLEVER - to feel terrible

NOT FOR ALL THE TEA IN CHINA - not at any price

NOT HAPPY JAN - Displeased with another person's incompetence. Yellow pages advertisement

NOT IN THE RACE - no hope

NOT MUCH CHOP - not much good, or no good at all - Such is Life, 1904

NOT ON - not having it; its not going to happen

NOT ON YOUR NELLIE - under no circumstances

NOT PLAYING FOR SHEEP STATIONS - don't take competition so seriously

NOT REAL FLASH - feeling pretty sick

NOT THE FULL QUID - lacking in intelligence

NOT WANT A BAR OF - to want nothing to do with

NOT WHAT IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE - disappointing

NOT WITHIN COOEE - figuratively a long way

NOT WORTH A CRACKER - of no value

NOUGHT - zero

NOT WRONG - absolutely correct

N'OUBLIONS JAMAIS L'AUSTRALIE ["Let us never forget Australia"] - words emblazoned on plaques in Villers-Bretonneaux, France in remembrance of the re-capture of the town by Australian soldiers in April 1918

NO WORRIES - A quintessential Australian phrase meaning "No problem, it’s ok"

NO WORRIES, MATE - "no problem" or "you're welcome"

NO WUCKERS - phrase progression from no worries = no f.ckin worries = no wuckin forries = no wuckers - means no problems, it's ok

NUDDY – Naked

NUGGETT - small piece of tobacco cut from figs (1852)

NUGGETT - small compact livestock eg. a nugget of a bullock (1852)

NUGGETT - handy name for someone (soldier slang WW1)

NUGGETTY BLOKE- man with a short stocky build

NUKE - microwave

NULLA-NULLA - aboriginal name for a battle club

NUMBER CRUNCHER - accountant

NUT OUT - to work out a problem



OARSOME FOURSOME - nickname of Australian Olympic men's rowing crew

OCKER - rough uncultivated man, bogan

ODDIE - a halfpenny

OFF HIS KADOOVA - off his head; insane (1895)

OFF HIS SAUCER - tired, not in humour; out of sorts

OFF HIS CHOPS - intoxicated; c. 1960s

OFFSIDER - a bullock-driver’s assistant who walks on the off-side of the team and flogs the bullocks on that side when needed

OFFSIDER - work mate

OFF THE PLANET - taking drugs

OG - one shilling piece

Oi! - call used to get someone's attention or to convey annoyance

Oi! Oi! Oi! - Chanted three times after Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, - national sporting cry.

OK BOOMER - eye-roll put-down of Baby Boomer's lecturing of Millenials


OLD BOMB - a car of ancient vintage

OLD CHEESE - mother


OLD DART - colonial settlers' country of origin, mostly from Britain

OLD HAND - Ex-convict c. 1860

OLDIES - parents

OLD LAG - ticket of leave holder; ex convict

OLD MAN - fully grown kangaroo; also known as boomer

OLD SON - my fine fellow; an expression of patronage or contempt

OLIVER IN TOWN- Oliver used to mean moon. This expression meant it was unfavorable night for burglars

ON A GOOD WICKET - successful

ON A STICKY WICKET - in trouble

ON A STRING - trifling with someone (Franklin)

ONCE OVER - look over quickly

ON FOR YOUNG AND OLD - full scale fight

ON ME PAT - on my own; rhyming slang: Pat Malone=own)

ON THE BLINK - broken


ON THE CROSS - dishonestly come by; unlawful

ON THE MAKE - looking for profit or conquest

ON THE NEVER NEVER - unrealistic utopian future

ON THE NOD - without payment (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)

ON THE NOSE - smelly

ON THE NOSE - no good

ON THE NOSE - bad food (Army 1945)

ON THE OUTER - excluded

ON THE PEA - gone crazy (the result of sheep eating the poisonous Darling Pea plant)

ON THE PEAR - seasonal work eradicating prickly pear by poison from farmland

ON THE RAG - period

ON THE TURPS - drinking heavily, turps being abbreviation of turpentine

ON THE WALLABY TRACK - tramping the bush roads of the outback

ONE ARMED BANDIT - poker machine

ONE FOR THE FATHER, ONE FOR THE MOTHER AND ONE FOR THE COUNTRY - Treasurer Peter Costello on introducing the Baby Bonus in 2002

ONE FOR THE ROAD - the last drink at the pub before you leave

ONE STAR ARTIST - second lieutenant (soldier slang WW1)

ONE STAR PIP - second lieutenant (soldier slang WW1)

ONYA BIKE - Get on ya bike - tell someone to leave

ON YOUR PAT MALONE - on your own

ONYA - good on you

OPEN SLATHER - free-for-all; no rules

OPERA HOUSE LOTTERY - subsidised the building of the Sydney Opera House

OP SHOP - opportunity shop; second hand goods

OSCAR - money


OUT - bushranger term - to go out was to be at large in the bush

OUT OF THE BOX - very special

OUTBACK - interior of Australia; dry, unpopulated

OUTHOUSE - dunny

OUT-STATION - a sheep or cattle station away from the Head-station (Morris 1898)

OUT THE BACK - back yard, nearby

OUT TO IT - dead drunk

OVERPAID, OVERSEXED, AND OVER HERE - phrase thought to have originated in Australia during WWII in regards to American servicemen who arrived in the country shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbour by the Japanese

OVERLAND - across country

OVERLANDER - stockman who herds cattle over great distance before the days of railways

OVERLAND TELEGRAPH LINE - 200 km telegraph line that connected Darwin with Port Augusta in South Australia

OVER THE RIVER - signifying good-bye

OVER THE ROAD - across the street

OZ - Australia


PACKING IT - scared

PACK IT IN - give up

PACK OF GALAHS - group of no hopers

PADDED THE HOOF - to go by foot (prison term 1891) probably originated in England much earlier

PADDLE-POP - icecream on a stick

PADDY MELON - small marsupial similar to wallaby. From the Aboriginal word badimaliyan

PADDYMELON-STICK - a stick used by aborigines for knocking paddymelons on the head (Morris 1898)


PANIC MERCHANT - person who panics easily

PANNIKIN - undersized quart pot

PANNIKIN-BOSS or Pannikin-overseer - a man on a station whose position is above that of the ordinary station hand but who is only a boss in a small way (Morris 1898)


PARRAMATTA - a tweed fabric like merino but made of worsted and cotton made mostly at Parramatta (Morris 1898)

PART UP - to pay

PASH – a long kiss

PASH RASH - red irritated skin because of a lengthy kiss

PASS MUSTER - be approved of


PASS THE BUCK - pass the blame to someone else

PASSED THROUGH THE MILL - prisoner slang for someone who has previously been through the ordeal of jail (Pentridge gaol 1887)

PASTORALIST - once known as squatters (Morris 1898)

PATERSON'S CURSE - noxious weed introduced in 1840s

PATLANDER - early immigrant or convict from Ireland (Sydney Gazette 1832)

PAT MALONE - on your own

PAVLOVA - meringue dessert

PAY DIRT - when a sufficient quantity of gold is found in the ground that gold mining may be profitable

PAY OUT - to make fun of

PAY THROUGH THE NOSE - pay too much

PEACOCKING - to peacock a piece of country means to pick out the eyes of the land by selecting the choice water frontages so that adjoining territory is practically useless to any one else (Morris 1898)

PEACOCKED IT - get the best bits

PEADODGER - bowler hat

PEARLER - or Purler. Impressive

PEB - a tough; a larrikin; an appreviation of pebble

PEDAL TO THE METAL - fast driving with accelarator pedal down on the floor

PEG - two shillings (criminal slang 1950s)


PEG OUT - to mark out a gold claim under the Mining Act by placing pegs at the corners of the land. Used also metaphorically (Morris 1898)

PEN - threepenny piece (1895)

PENTONVILLER - former inmates of the Pentonville Penitentiary who were sent to Australia as exiles

PERKINS PASTE - Glue first made by Maurice Bertram Jeffery c. 1934. Specifically for children many of whom loved the taste!

PERV - looking surreptitiously at the opposite sex

PETER - prison term for a cell (1893)

PETROL HEAD - someone who loves cars; drives fast

PHANTOMS OF THE JUNGLE - Viet Cong called SAS soldiers during the Vietnam War Ma Rung-'phantoms of the jungle'

PICCADILLY BUSHMAN - An Australian business man who lives in London

PICK A BOX - one of the first game shows on Aussie TV. Bob and Dolly Dyer

PICK THE EYES OUT OF IT - get the best bits

PICKLED - drunk

PICNIC RACE MEETINGS - a part of Australia's bush tradition and social life, often included a week's festivities with racing, pigeon shooting, kangaroo shoots and children's sports



PIE EATER - a person of little consequence with a narrow view of the world

PIG IRON BOB - Refers to Robert Menzies because of a 1938 political industrial dispute at Port Kembla protesting the export of pig iron from Australia to Japan

PIG - F-111 aircraft

PIGS - derogatory term for police

PIG'S ARSE - expression of contempt; standard response to any form of lie; sometimes abbrieviated to pig's

PIG'S EAR - beer

PIG STICKER - bayonet (WW1)

PIKER - someone who leave a party early

PIKERS - wild cattle (1887)

PINCH - arrest

PINK-EYE - Aboriginal term for walkabout

PINKIE - young marsupial - joey

PINKING - shearing the sheep so close that their skin shows

PIPPED AT THE POST - beaten at the last minute

PISS OFF – go away, get lost

PISS UP – a party, a get together and in Australia – most social occasions

PISS WEAK - no strength; lacking in admirable qualities

PISSED – Intoxicated, Drunk

PISSED AS A NEWT - drunk. Probably English origin

PISSED OFF – Annoyed

PITTSBURG OF AUSTRALIA - Newcastle was known as the Pittsburgh of Australia because Pittsburgh Pennsylvania played a significant role in the history of the United States steel industry

PITT STREET FARMER - Someone who lives in the city but has rural property, possibly as a means of tax avoidance

PLANT - A place selected by bushrangers as a good place to hide stolen goods

PLANTER - a cattle thief, so called from hiding the stolen cattle (Morris 1898)


PLAYED A LONE HAND - to go alone to a place (1887) (card playing term)

PLAY FUNNY BUGGERS - act in a silly or sly way

PLAY SILLY BUGGERS - as above; mucking about; acting in a silly way

PLAYING POSSUM - pretending to be asleep; keeping quiet

PLAYING FOR SHEEP STATIONS - used ironically to describe something as a big deal

PLAYING WITH FIRE - tempting fate

PLAY LUNCH - morning tea time at school (NSW)

PLEASE EXPLAIN - Said by Pauline Hanson, founder of the anti-immigration One Nation Party, on being asked in October 1996 on the television show 60 Minutes if she was xenophobic.

PLONK - cheap wine from vin blanc - (WW1 origin)

PLONK DOWN - sit down heavily

PLUGGERS - cheap rubber thongs

PLUG HAT - bowler hat

PODDY - calf, lamb or foal not long taken from its mother

PODDY DODGER - thief who steals unbranded cattle

POINTERS - two of the bullocks placed next to the pole in a team usually made of 12 bullocks (Morris 1898)

POKE - a purse (criminal slang 1925)

POKE BORAK - to insult (WW2)

POKE MULLOCK - to deride, to tease

POKIES - Poker machines

POLEY - with the horns off c. 1895

POLLY or POLLIE - Politician

POLLY WAFFLE - Cylindrical shaped chocolate bar created by Melbourne based business Hoadley's Chocolate in 1947

POLONY - luncheon meat; called Devon in NSW; Fritz in S.A.

POMMY - person born in England. Derogatory. Acronym, origin debatable

POMMY SHOWER - not using a shower with water, just using deodorant

PONG - bad smell


POOR BASTARD - expression of sympathy for another's misfortune

POOR FELLOW MY COUNTRY - A novel by Xavier Herbert re wasted opportunities of Australia to build a just and independent country

POOR MAN'S DIGGINGS - land from which gold was mined without substantial capital investment

POPULATE OR PERISH - Catch phrase of Labor Immigration Minister Arthur Calwell as he sought to boost population by immigration after WW2

P.O.Q - piss off quick

PORK BARRELLING - term used in politics when promises are made for more funding to marginal seats than safe seats


PORT - suitcase

PORT ARTHUR MASSACRE - On Sunday 28 April 1996, gunman Martin Bryant used a military style weapon to kill 20 people in the Broad Arrow Cafe at Port Arthur,Tasmania. He then killed a further 15 people within Port Arthur and the nearby region and injured 21 others

POSER - a show off

POSSIE - (pozzie) position (soldier slang WW1); also in children's game hide and seek

POSSUM, (STIR THE) - cause controversy

POSSUM GUTS - a term of contempt

POST AND RAILS TEA - tea made of stalks and coarse particles of leaf which float thickly (1887)

POST AND RAILS MATCHES - wooden matches as distinguished from wax vestas c. 1895

POSTIE - postman


POTTY - a bit crazy; eccentric

POUND NOTE MAN - also big note man - wealthy person (criminal slang 1950s)

PRAD - a horse

PRANG - car accident

PREZZIE - gift

PRINCE ALBERTS -socks (1905)

PROMOSSING - talking rubbish, playing the fool

PROP - of a horse; to stop suddenly (Morris 1898)

PROPER CROWD - particular friends, a circle, a clique

PUB TEST - term used to describe the general opinion of everyday Australians about current events and politics

PUGGERY - a strip of muslin wound round a hat or helmet, the ends hanging down the back to protect head and neck for the effects of the sun

PUGGLE - baby echidna

PULL A SWIFTIE - do something dishonest

PULL SOMEONE'S LEG - play a trick; a joke



PULL YOUR HEAD IN - be quiet; leave off even if you are correct

PUNCH A DART - smoke a cigarette

PUNCHING THE BUNDY - Bundy clocks were mechanical. Employees used cards that were punched by the machine to record their working hours

PUNCH ON/ PUNCH UP - a fight

PUNTER - the natural prey of bookmakers; betting men. (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)

PURE MERINO - derogatory term for the privileged settlers in early 1800s who benefited from land grants; pre-dated squatters


PUSH (THE) - a group of larrikins in Sydney's working class Rocks area; also see Sydney Push

PUSHFUL PATRIOTISM - using patriotism to sell goods or services (WW1 era)

PUT A SOCK IN IT - be quiet

PUT HIM DOWN - Paul Keating referring to Andrew Peacock.The Leader of the Opposition is more to be pitied than despised, the poor old thing. The Liberal Party of Australia ought to put him down like a faithful old dog

PUT THE ACID ON - try to get a loan or favour from someone (1946)

PUT THE BITE ON - to borrow from

PUT THE BOOT IN - attack someone when they are already down

PUT THE HARD WORD ON - make sexual proposition

PUT THE MOCKERS ON - jinx someone; cause them to have bad luck


QANTAS - Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services

QUACK - doctor without qualifications

QUARTER ACRE BLOCK - suburban plot of land. Together with a 3 bedroom bungalow, once part of the Great Australian Dream

QUEENSLANDER HOUSE - Single detached timber high-set house with a corrugated iron roof and a characteristic veranda

QUEENSLANDERS - As we weep for what we have lost, I want us to remember who we are. We are Queenslanders. We are the people they breed tough, north of the border. We're the ones they knock down, and we get up again (Anna Bligh, Premier, vowing to rebuild after the floods and cylones of the 'Summer of Sorrow' 2011)

QUEUE JUMPER - illegal immigrant

QUID - 1 pound note

QUIDS IN - prosperous

QUIET AS A MOUSE - very quiet

QUIET AUSTRALIANS - Prime Minister Scott Morrison credited Quiet Australians for his 2019 election victory

QUOD - Jail (Franklin)


RAAFIE – an Air Force person

RABBITER - a man who lives by trapping rabbits or who is employd to clear stations from them (Morris 1898)

RABBIT KILLER - quick chop/hit at the nape of neck with side of hand. Used as a term in boxing

RABBITING ON - talking endlessly

RABBIT PROOF FENCE - Western Australia. Completed 1907

RABBITOH - man who sold rabbits (for eating) from his cart

RACK OFF – go away. Exclamation of dismissal

RACK OFF HAIRY LEGS - go away, leave!

RAFFERTYS RULES - no rules at all

RAG - five pound note (prison slang c 1893)

RAGE - party; have a good time

RAGER - an old and fierce bullock or cow that did not fatten (Morris 1898)

RAG-TIMERS - men under sentence of six months in prison (Baker)

RAINBOWS - soldiers who came out after the war storm was over (soldier slang WW1)


R.A.N. - Royal Australian Navy, c. 1911 consisted of little more than old colonial gunboats and three destroyers. Once referred to as a 'tin pot navy'

RANGA - offensive term for red headed person

RAPT – Very happy

RAT BAG - cheeky, unpredictable person

RATSHIT - really bad

RATS OF TOBRUK - Australian soldiers who held the Libyan port of Tobruk against the Afrika Corps, during and after the Siege of Tobruk in World War II

RAW PRAWN, (DON'T COME THE) - asking too much of someone or don't try to take advantage of someone

RAZOO - non existing coin; without a razoo means to be broke

RAZOR GANG - violent criminal gang in Sydney

RAZOR GANG - government committee to reduce spending

READY UP - something that is prepared with an object(Morris 1898)

RECKON – believe

REDBACK - spider

REDHEADS - Australian brand of matchsticks

RED LOT - gold watch and chain (criminal slang 1925)

RED NED - cheap red wine

RED RATTLERS - Old Sydney train carriages


REINSTOUSHMENTS - Reinforcements (WW1)

RELLIES – Relatives

REMEMBRANCE DAY - Observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of First World War on that date in 1918.

REMITTANCE MAN - shady Englishman usually of good family sent out to Australia and paid an allowance by his family so long as he remained

REV-HEAD - car enthusiast, usually male


RIGHT HANDER - strike across the face with an open right hand

RIGHT INTO MY BARROW - just what I want



RING - call or phone

RING (to) - to patrol round and round cattle

RING BARK - to kill a tree by stripping off a ring of bark around the tree

RINGER - fastest shearer in the shed

RING IN - substitute

RING NECK - the equivalent of Jackaroo, a term used in the back clocks in reference to the white collar sometimes worn by a new Jackaroo (Morris 1898)

RINGS, (to run rings around) - to beat out and out

RIP - a stretch of fast moving water which takes swimmers and surfers out to sea

RIP OFF - item that costs more than it should

RIPPER– excellent

RIPSNORTER - excellent

RISING SUN - badge worn on the cap and collar of all Australian soldiers

ROAD TRAIN - truck used in rural Australia. Prime mover plus two or more trailers

ROARING HORSETAILS - a slang name for the Aurora Australis (Morris 1898)

ROBBERY UNDER ARMS - A terms used in court to describe charges against bushrangers

ROBBERY UNDER ARMS - A famous book set in 19th century Australia about convicts and bushrangers written by Australian poet and novelist Thomas Alexander Browne, pseudonym Rolf Boldrewood

ROCKET ROD - Rod Laver, champion tennis player

ROCK HOPPER - fisherman on coastal rocks

ROCK LOBSTER - crayfish

ROCK UP - turn up unannounced

ROCKS IN YOUR HEAD (TO HAVE) - to be unwise

ROCKS PUSH - Also The Push. Larrikin gang in Sydney in 1890 s

ROCK SPIDER - a thief who steals from the handbags of couples sitting in parks (criminal slang 1950)

ROGUE - one shilling piece

ROGUE'S CAT - whip with nine thongs as thick as the tip end of the little finger. Each thong had several knots with lead inside. (cat o nine tails). Sydney 1826

ROLL UP - gather for a meeting (goldfields)

ROLL YOUR OWN - making your own cigarette

ROLLED - robbed a person (criminal slang 1950s)

ROLLED GOLD - genuine or first class

ROO - kangaroo

ROO BAR - bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it if a kangaroo is hit. Also bull-bar

ROOK, (to) - to take down (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)

ROONED - ruined. We'll all be rooned said Hanrahan , quote from iconic poem Said Hanrahan

ROOT - crude term for sex

ROOT FOR - barrack for a team

ROOTED – tired; also bushed or shagged out

ROOT UTE - panl van with a mattress for sex

ROOTY - a route march (soldier slang WW1)

ROPING POLE- a long pole used for casting a rope over an animal's head in the stockyard (Morris 1898)

RORT - scam; also having a good time


ROSEMARY - Rosemary is a symbol of remembrance. It is traditional on Anzac Day to wear a sprig of rosemary pinned to a coat lapel

ROTHBURY COAL MINER'S STRIKE - in November 1929 police opened fire in the crowds wounding five and killing one miner Norman Brown

ROUGH AS BAGS - a coarse person; ill-mannered

ROUGH AS GUTS - vulgar; uncouth

ROUGH END OF THE PINEAPPLE - raw deal; getting the rough end of a deal; poor treatment

ROUGH END OF THE STICK - bad side of a deal

ROUGH NUT - unsophisticated person

ROULETTES - Royal Australian Air Force's aerobatic display team established in 1970

ROUSEABOUT - odd job man on station esp. shearing time

ROWDY - a troublesome bullock or horse (Morris 1898)

ROZZER - policeman (1920s)

RUBBADEDUB - a pub or bar (WW2)

RUBBER DUCKY - Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) introduced into Australia in the 1970s

RUG UP - dress warmly

RUG RAT - child

RUM JAR - type of artillery shell (soldier slang WW1)

RUM REBELLION - an uprising on 26 January 1808 in which William Bligh Governor of New South Wales was deposed by members of the New South Wales Corps

RUN - cattle station

RUN A BANKER - flooded river or creek

RUN AROUND LIKE A CHOOK WITH IT'S HEAD CHOPPED OFF - race around getting nowhere

RUN LIKE A HAIRY GOAT - perform badly in race

RUNNERS – trainers, sneakers

RUN OFF YOUR FEET - extremely busy

RUN RINGS AROUND - defeat another by physical prowess or intelligence

RUSH - to stampede cattle, making it easier to isolate and steal; either by bushrangers or aborigines

RUST BUCKET - old car

RYBUCK (RIBUCK) - correct or genuine. Jewish origin

RYBUCK - feeling in good spirits

RYBUCK SHEARER - expert shearer


SADDLING PADDOCK - a place to pick up women; originally the bar in the Threatre Royal, Melbourne

SAIDA (SAYEEDA) - greeting, good-day (WW1)

SALTBUSH - species of plant covering extensive plains central Australia

SALTBUSH BILL - a character in poems written by Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson. First published in The Bulletin on 15 December 1894. "Now Saltbush Bill was a drover tough as ever the country knew, He had fought his way on the Great Stock Routes from the sea to the Big Barcoo"

SALTIE - saltwater crocodilele

SALVOS - Salvation Army personnel

SAND GROPER - person from Western Australia

SANDY BERET - Worn by qualified members of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment. Sand-coloured beret with metal gold and silver winged dagger badge on a black shield

SANDY BLIGHT - trachoma; at one time this was a common eye complaint/disease

SANDSHOES - sneakers; tennis shoes

SANFAIRYANN - almost finished, but it does not matter (1918)

SAN FERRY ANN - as above

SANGER or SANGA - sandwich

SANTA CLAUS - fluffy airborne seeds from thistle or similar; children used to make a wish and blow the seeds in the wind

SAO - charity biscuit - it used to be handed out by Salvation Army Officers

SAPPED - ring-barked (1871)

SARVO - this afternoon

SASR - The Special Air Service Regiment - an elite special forces unit of the Australian Army. Formed in 1957, motto Who Dares Wins. Entire Regiment and Special Operations Task Group of 3,000 soldiers treated disgracefully by feckless upper echelons of the Defence Force and Government in 2020 in the wake of the Brereton Report and unproven rumours of wrongdoings allegedly committed by 25 soldiers in Afghanistan.

SAUSAGE SIZZLE - community event where BBQ sausage and sauce are served wrapped in bread. Often fund raisers eg Bunnings sausage sizzle

SAV - short for Saveloy, a hot dog-like boiled sausage served in a bread roll with tomato sauce. A battered sav is a battered saveloy which has been battered, deep fried and served with tomato sauce

SAVEE - Do you Know? (soldier slang WW1)


SCAB - abusive term; non union worker

SCALE A TRAM - ride on a tram without paying a fare


SCHNITTY - chicken schnitzel usually purchased in a pub

SCHOOLIES - week after year 12 finish school spent partying

SCHOOL OF THE AIR - School lessons by radio for outback children

SCORCHER - very hot day

SCOTTISH MARTYRS - Thomas Palmer, William Skirving, Joseph Gerrald and Maurice Margarot arrived on the Surprise in 1794

SCRAG - to hang on the gallows (flash language, Hardy Vaux)

SCRAN - prison ration food

SCREWS - also Fingers and blokes - prison slang for warders 1893

SCROUNGE - pilfer ( soldier slang WW1)

SCRUB - remote area of low trees and bushland

SCRUB-CATTLE - escaped cattle that run wild in the scrub(Morris 1898)

SCRUBBER - a bullock that has taken to the scrub and so become wild; also formerly used for a wild horse later known as a brumby(Morris 1898)

SCRUBBER - another term for croppy

SCRUBBER - promiscuous woman

SECRET BALLOT - Also known as Australian ballot - when a voter's choices in an election or a referendum are anonymous, forestalling attempts to influence the voter by intimidation, blackmailing, and potential vote buying. First implemented in 1856

SEE A MAN ABOUT A DOG - go to the toilet

SELECTOR - farmer who is was allowed to occupy a small portion of a squatter's holding and farm it

SEND HER DOWN HUEY - (Hughie); a response to the onset of rain; can't get enough of it

SENT OUT - transported to Australia as a convict

SEPPO - someone from America - from septic tank (rhyming slang for Yank)

SERVO – Service Station / Garage

SETTLE PETAL - relax, chill out. Don t get so upset

SETTLER'S CLOCK (also Hawkesbury Clock) - another name for the laughing jackass (Morris 1898)

SETTLER'S FRIENDS - greenhide and stringbark, which made useable rope and twine

SETTLERS' MATCHES - long pendulous strips of bark from Eucalypt trees which were readily ignited and used as kindling (Morris 1898)

SEVENTEENER - corpse (criminal slang 1940)

SHADES - Sun glasses

SHAG - to have sex

SHAG ON A ROCK - lonely; isolated

SHAGGIN' WAGON - panel van; also Bog Wagon

SHAKE - to steal or rob a person

SHAKE IT - wishes to acquire (soldier slang WW1)

SHALLOW GROUND - land with gold near the surface (Whitney 1870s)

SHAMMY - a bag of chamois leather in which miners kept their gold dust (Whitney 1870s)

SHANDY - drink; mixture of lemonade and beer

SHANDY-GAFF - drink; mixture of half beer, half of ginger beer. Sometimes other liquors are used instead of beer e.g. stout or rum

SHANGHAI - catapult made from fork of a branch and rubber strap

SHANGHAI SHOT - a short distance; a stone's throw (Morris 1898)

SHANK'S PONY - on foot

SHANTY - a rough bush house

SHANTY-KEEPER - keeper of a sly grog shop (Morris 1898)

SHARK BAIT -person swimming out further than others

SHARP AS A TACK - smart person

SHARPIES - youth group c. 1960's. Alternative to hippies

SHAZZA - Sharon

SHEARER'S JOY - a name given to colonial beer (Morris 1898)

SHEPHERD (to) - to watch, to guard; e.g. on the football field

SHEARER'S STRIKE - In 1891 the Shearer's Strike occurred in Queensland and a State of Emergency was declared. The Moreton Mounted Infantry was called-out to re-establish and maintain civil order and discipline. They were placed on full time duty for five months and served in the Barcaldine, Clermont, Longreach and Charleville districts


SHED - formerly a woolshed, often a large expensive building(Morris 1898)

SHEEP PEST - perennial rosaceous herb, the hardened calx tube in fruit is beset with bard spines making it a serious nuisance in wool (Whitney 1895)

SHEEPSKIN - the skin of a sheep fastened to the end of a long stick as used for beating out bush-fires (Whitney, 1870's)

SHEILA – an Australian female; not derogatory; from the Irish word for a girl shelagh

SHELF - police informer (criminal slang 1950)

SHELL-GRINDER - another name for the Port Jackson Shark

SHE'LL BE APPLES - all will be ok

SHE'LL BE RIGHT - In the face of adversity, everything will be ok

SHEMOZZLE - mixed up mess

SHE-OAK - tree of the genus casuarina

SHE-OAK - slang name for colonial beer (Morris 1898)

SHE-OAK NETS - nets placed on each side of a gangway from a ship to the pier to prevent salors who have been indulging in she oak beer falling into the water (Morris 1898)

SHEPHERD- to guard a mining claim and do a little work on it so as to preserve legal rights (Morris 1898)

SHEPHERD'S COMPANION - the willy wagtail, which often rides on the sheep's back pulling out the wool for it's nest

SHE'S CACTUS - broken

SHE'S RIGHT MATE - everything is alright

SHICER - barren mine. Yiddish. Gold rush days

SHICER - a swindler or a crook (1946)

SHICKERED - drunk. Jewish origin

SHICKERY - shabby, bad, shaky, doubtful

SHINDIG - party


SHIRT-FRONTING - confront an opponent eg football. Brought back in use by Tony Abbott - 'Look, I’m going to shirt-front Mr. Putin … You bet I am '

SHIRT OUT - (to have one's); to be angry

SHIRTY - irritated and annoyed

SHIT HAPPENS - dismissive of misfortune

SHITHOUSE - something that is bad

SHIVOO - a party

SHODDY DROPPER - a hawker of inferior clothing

SHOE-FLIER - thief who specialises in snatching handbags (criminal slang 1925)

SHOE-IN - certain to win, horseracing

SHONKY - of dubious quality

SHORTY - a tall person

SHOOTING STICK - rifle (soldier slang WW 1)

SHOOT STRAIGHT YOU BASTARDS. DON'T MAKE A MESS OF IT - reported to be the last words of Harry (Breaker) Morant as he faced the firing squad in South Africa in 1902 (Boer War)



SHOTGUN - Claiming the front passenger seat (from stage coach days)

SHOUT - buy a drink for others in a pub

SHOUT OVER THE PITCHER - to brag bout one's shooting or hunting (Whitney 1870s)

SHOW - a chance, an opportunity, a turn. To have no show means to have not a chance

SHOW - party

SHOW PONY - person who shows off

SHOW THE ROPES - show how things are done

SHUT YOUR FACE - impolite way of saying stop talking

SHYPOO - a sly grog shop

SICK AS A DOG - very sick

SICKIE – or ‘pull a sickie’- take a day off when you aren’t actually sick

SILENT COP - yellow metal or concrete dome used at intersections


SILLY COOT - foolish man; simpleton; derived from bandicoot

SILLY GALLAH - foolish person

SILLY SAUSAGE - silly person

SILVER CITY - Broken Hill

SILVER BODGIE - Bob Hawke called this by the media because of his silver hair worn in the bodgie style

SILVERTAIL - bush term for a 'swell'; insult invoking the class divide. Used to describe someone who is privileged or socially prominent. Also a social climber

SIMPSON AND HIS DONKEYS - full name John Simpson Kirkpatrick. A hero digger at Gallipoli, who with his donkeys brought in the wounded in the first weeks of the Landing. He was killed by a Turkish bullet on 19th May 1915

SING OUT - let another know that assistance is required or that something is ready

SINK THE BOOT IN - attack someone who is down

SIT-DOWN MONEY - Welfare including unemployment benefits, especially welfare paid to indigenous people

SIT UP LIKE JACKEY - sit up straight

SIX BOB A DAY TOURISTS - in reference to daily wage for soldiers in WW1 of six shillings per day

SIX O'CLOCK SWILL - last-minute rush to buy drinks at a hotel bar before it closed at 6PM

SIX OF ONE, HALF DOZEN OF THE OTHER - whatever decision you make will not likely affect the outcome of the situation

SIXER OR EIGHTER - prisoner slang for six or eight ounce loaf (1884 Pentridge Gaol)

SIX-PEN'ORTH - prison slang for six months in gaol

SKEDADDLE - go away; leave

SKERRICK - the smallest bit; to have not a skerrick is to be broke

SKEWIFF - askew

SKINNED - to be on the look-out for the main chance

SKINNY AS A RAKE - looking too thin

SKINT - no money

SKIPPY THE BUSH KANGAROO - Children's TV program 1968 - 1970

SKIRTING - in sheep shearing the inferior parts of the wool taken from the extremities (Morris 1898)

SKITE - to boast; a show-off

SKITTLED - killed (soldier slang WW1)

SKOFF - to gobble up food (Whitney 1895)

SKOW-BANKER - a fellow who loiters about the premises of any one willing to support him, and who objects to the necessity of working for his living; a rogue, a rascal. Common in Melbourne. (Hotten 1874)

SKULL – To down a beer

SKULLBANKER or Scowbanker - a slang name in Australia for a loafer, a tramp (Morris 1898)

SKY PILOT - a parson

SKY THE RAG - give in; throw a towell into the air in token of surrender

SLAB – A carton of beers

SLACK - lazy


SLAG - promiscuous woman

SLAP UP - good

SLEDGE - to needle a player - on the cricket field etc

SLEEP OUT - verandah used as sleeping quarters esp. in Queenslander houses

SLEEPY LIZARD - blue tongued lizard

SLEPT LIKE A LOG - had a sound sleep

SLICE - one pound note (criminal slang 1950s)

SLICK - quick

SLIDE NIGHT - evening when family or friends gathered to watch projected slides and movies of holidays and other events - 1950s and 1960s

SLING - or corner - have a share in a haul (criminal slang 1950s)

SLING OFF AT - to jeer and mock another

SLING SHOT - catapult. Also called shanghai

SLING YOUR DADDLE - give me your hand; shake hands

SLIP SLOP SLAP - Cancer Council slogan

SLIPPERY AS AN EEL - sly character

SLITHER (to) - to hurry away

SLOSHED - drunk

SLOUCH HAT - first worn by military forces in Australia in 1885. Looped up on one side so that rifles could be held at the slope without damaging the brim

SLOW AS A WET WEEK - too slow

SLUDGE LAMPS - also SLUSH LAMPS; a crude lamp burning slush, tallow, or grease

SLUG UP - frame up

SLUSHER - cook's assistant at shearing time on a station(Morris 1898)

SLUSHY - (nautical)- the cook. derived from slush, grease obtained from boiling salt pork

SLY GROG - illegal alcohol

SLY GROG SHANTY - place here liquor as sold without a license

SMART ALEC - someone who thinks they know everything

SMART ARSE - someone who thinks they know everything

SMASH - panicking cattle likely to be injured

SMASHED AVO - toast topped with mashed avocado served in cafes

SMASHER - owner of counterfeit coin (criminal slang 1925)

SMITHER - to maim or destroy. Bushranging term

SMOKE - slang for the 'push' or larrikin to get away as fast as possible from the scene of their crime (Morris 1898)

SMOKES LIKE A CHIMNEY - heavy smoker

SMOKO - morning/ afternoon tea break

SMOOGE - to cringe; to fawn. To curry favour at the expense of independence. Jewish origin

SMOOGER - one who fawns

SNAFFLE - take it up quickly; steal, grab or borrow

SNAG – Sausage

SNAGGER - a shearer who rushes, shearing a sheep roughly

SNAILEY - bullock with horn slightly curled (Morris 1898)

SNAKE GULLY - a country race course; imaginary country town from 1930s radio series Dad and Dave

SNAKE JUICE - strong drink (whiskey)

SNAKE-HEADED - quarrelsome in his cups

SNAKY - hostile, sly, angry comment or behaviour

SNAKE YARN - a tall tale

SNARLER - dishonorable discharge (Army 1945)

SNAVVLE / SNAFFLE - take by stealth, capture, steal

SNEEZE GRASS - In Cape York Peninsula when the Dingoes chase the kangaroos, the roos race across patches of sneeze grass which gives dingoes hay fever. While the dingoes stop to sneeze the roos escape

SNIDE - counterfeit coin (criminal slang 1925)

SNINNY - young girl

SNORKER - sausage (WW2)

SNORT - (to) to be enraged at something

SNOUT - tobacco (prison slang c. 1893)

SNOWED UNDER - having a lot of work to do

SNOWY BAKER - Reginald Leslie Baker, born in Sydney 1884. All round Australian sportsman. Won silver at the London Olmypics 1908

SNOWY MOUNTAINS SCHEME - hydro electricity and irrigation development begun in Ben Chiefley Government 1949

SNUFF - to die

SNUFFLEBUSTER - a term for Methodist (1896)

SOAK-HOLE - an enclosd place in a stream in which sheep are washed (Morris 1898)



SOLAR PLEXUS - William Lawless, Australian Boxing doyen and supporter of boxer Les Darcy

SOLDIER - to make temporary use of another man's horse, thus a man wanting to mount catches the first one he can, rides it to his destination and then lets it go (Whitney 1870s)

SOLLICKER - something excessive (Franklin)

SO LONG - signifying good-bye

SONG AND DANCE - make a noise or fuss about something

SOOK - coward or timid person

SOOKY LA LA - Someone who whinges about things in a childish way

SOOL - to incite; time for a player or jockey or boxer to put forth his utmost effort to win

SOS - Member of the Signal Corp (military)

SOUTHERLY BUSTER - cool wind change after a hot day. NSW

SOUTHERN CROSS - the constellation of the Southern Cross is regarded as the astronomical emblem of Australia eg 'beneath the Southern Cross'

SOUTHERN CROSS FLAG - Has a dark blue field with a central white symmetric cross consisting five eight-pointed stars, representing the Crux constellation. The design was first used in the Eureka Rebellion of 1854.


SOZZLED - drunk

SPADE-PRESS - a make shift wool press in which the fleeces are rammed down with a spade (Morris 1898)

SPAG BOG - spaghetti bolognaise

SPARKIE - electrician

SPARK WELL - be in good health (1918)

S.P. BOOKIE - Starting price bookmaker - one who receive bets at fixed odds or starting price away from the race track

SPECK (THE) - mainland term for Tasmania

SPEEDO - speedometer on car

SPEEDOS - swimmers developed in 1928

SPELL - a period of rest from duty

SPEND A PENNY - go to the toilet - (female)

SPEWIN' - angry; disappointed

SPIDER - a glass of lemonade with a scoop of ice cream added

SPIFLICATE - hurt or punish someone

SPILL - deliberately create a vacancy in cabinet or political party

SPILL YOUR GUTS - tell all

SPIN - or full hand - sentence of five years in jail (criminal slang)

SPIN A YARN - tell a tall story

SPIN OR SPINNAKER - a five pound note

SPINNER - 50 pounds

SPINNER (COME IN) - shout in the game of two-up; also the title of a famous novel set in Sydney in the 1940s

SPIT THE DUMMY - tantrum

SPITTING CHIPS - angry, frustrated

SPLAYD - eating utensil that combines a spoon, fork and knife in one, invented in Sydney by William McArthur 1940's

SPLIT - detective (criminal slang 1925)

SPLITTER - a wood-cutter, cutting timber in the bush and splitting it into posts and rails(Morris 1898)

SPONGER - a bludger

SPORT - slightly agressive term for someone disliked

SPOT - 100 pound note (criminal slang 1950s)

SPOT ON - exact, true

SPRAG - accost truculently, usually a prelude to a stoush, that is a bout with fists

SPRAT - sentenced to six months in jail; also a sixpenny piece

SPREAD - food on table

SPRING HEEL - a man who on joining a fighting unit immediately finds a means of leaving it (WW1)

SPRING THE PLANT - to spring the plant was to discover a bushranger's plant or recover articles from the plant

SPROG - one of inferior rank (WW2)

SPROGG - offspring

SPRUCE - to exaggerage or pull the leg (criminal slang 1925)

SPRUIK - deliver a long harangue about nothing in particular

SPUD - potato

SPUD BARBER - man on kitchen fatigue (soldier slang WW2)

SPUNK - sexually attractive person

SPUNKRAT - sexually attractive person of opposite sex usually male

SPUNKY - full of spirit
SPRUIKER - a persuasive talker

SQUARE-HEAD - also cleanskin. A new crook who has had no previous convictions (criminal slang Sydney 1950)

SQUARE UP - settle accounts

SQUATTER - person who occupies uninhabited land or building to which they had no title, as sheep runs in 1820s - 1840s and established themselves as 'the squattocracy'

SQUATTOCRACY - a play on aristocracy, referred to squatters and the social and political power they wielded

SQUEALERS - Provost Corps (military)

SQUIZ - have a look

STACK - car crash

STACK HAT - also crash hat - bicycle helmet

STAGER - one who fakes an injury or shows off (from Australian Rules football)

STAND A HAND - shout a drink c. 1892

STANDOVER MAN - extortionist


STATION - large ranch

STATION-JACK - a form of bush cookery using salt beef and flour (Morris 1898)

STEADY ON - slow down

STEAMER - kangaroo tail stew (1945)

STEEL CITY - The BHP Newcastle steelworks opened in 1915 and during the years of World War 1 the steelworks became an important supplier of steel for ships and other armaments. Until the steelworks closed in 1999, Newcastle was known as steel city

STEP THE GUTTER - pass the butter (soldier slang WW1)

STEW - a framed case (Army 1945)

STICK AROUND - wait around

STICK BY - support a person

STICK OF WEED - gaol term; an ounce of tobacco used in gambling

STICK OUT LIKE A SHAG ON A ROCK - stand out; lonely

STICKY BEAK - nosy person

STIFF - letter to inmate from a recently discharged prisoner announcing his intention of planting a swag near the prison (c. 1893)

STIFF - too bad!

STIFF AS A CRUTCH - rigid posture

STILL KICKING - still alive

STINGER - jellyfish

STINKER - very hot day

STINKING HOT - unbearable heat

STIR THE POSSUM - excite interest; liven things up; create mischief to get a reaction

STOCKYARD - enclosed area for cattle

STOCKROUTE - a right of way through the land of a squatter which must be unobstructed for the use of cattle or sheep to pass through

STOCK WHIP - whip made of a long, tapered length of flexible, plaited leather with a stiff handle for mustering cattle

STOCK RIDER - a man employd to look after cattle on an unfenced station

STOCK STATION - ranch or stock farm

STOKED – Happy, Pleased

STOLEN GENERATIONS - this emotive phrase refers to aboriginal children taken from their families. It was first coined by Peter Read, Professor of History at the Australian National University dated 1981

STONE MOTHERLESS - totally, absolutely (last); used to describe the performance of the horse you had your money on; also Stone Motherless broke

STONE THE CROWS - expression of amazement

STONEY BROKE - having no money

STONKER - exterminate, kill, strike out

STONKERED - dead; (see this 1919 article)

STONKERED - very drunk or knocked out

STOOK - handkerchief (prison slang c 1893)

STOOP - petty thief (criminal slang 1940)

STOP FAFFING AROUND - don't waste time

STOP MUCKING AROUND - stop wasting time

STOP ONE - to receive a blow. (Digger Smith C.J. Dennis)


STORE CATTLE - lean cattle bought for fattening by squatters who found that they had more grass than the natural increase of their herd required (Whitney 1870s)

STORM STICK - umbrella

STOUSH - to punch with a fist; fight

STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN - honest person

STRAIGHT TO THE POOL ROOM - something highly valued. From movie The Castle

STRAPPED FOR CASH - short of money

STRAW BAIL - inadequate or non existant bail (criminal slang 1950s)

STRAW HAT PUSH - larrikin gang prevalent in Sydney 1870s - 1890s

STRAYA – Australia

STRETCH - name for a tall person

STRETCH - prison term for a year in gaol c. 1893

STRETCH IN THE JUG - imprisonment c. 1898

STREWTH - God's truth - mild oath expressing surprise

STRIDES - trousers

STRIFE - trouble

STRIKE A LIGHT exclamation of disappointment

STRIKE ME DEAD - exclamation of frustration

STRIKE ME PINK - expression of shock or surprise

STRIKE ME LUCKY - expression of astonishment - attributed to Roy Rene ('Mo' of theatre partnership Stiffy and Mo)

STRINE - Australian Slang

STRINGERS - gold digger slang - now and then a good payable prospect which induces men to raise a paddock of dirt when washed has little value

STRINGY-BARK - One of a class of Australasian gum trees distinguished by a tenacious fibrous bark. Used often for fences (Whitney 1895)

STRINGYBARK - sundowner, tramp, dry hash

STRINGY-BARKER - small farmer


STUBBIES - men's shorts 1970's

STUBBY – a bottle of beer

STUBBY HOLDER – polystyrene insulated holder to keep beer cold


STUFF IT - exclamation of defeat

STUFF UP - blunder, failure

STUMPED - confused

STUMP JUMP PLOUGH - Invented by Richard and Clarence Bowyer Smith 1876. Allowed the plough to jump over stumps so the undercarriage was not damaged. More Australian Inventions

STUMP ORATOR - or On the Stump. A politician who will speak from any available soapbox about any issue that comes up. Also used in America and UK

STUNNED MULLET (face like a,)- shocked look

SUCH IS LIFE - expression or resignation to life's misfortunes

SUCKED IN - tricked

SUCK UP TO - ingratiate oneself

SUGAR BABY - Militia man. No overseas service. c. 1940s

SUGAR BAG - prison warden who is too easy going with his men (c 1893)

SUGAR BAG - a nest of honey; stores of the wild bee

SUMMER OF SORROW - referring to January 2011 floods and cyclones in Queensland

SUNBURNT COUNTRY - from Dorothea Mackellar's poem 'My Country'

SUNDOWNER - itinerant worker/ swagman who often appeared at stations at sunset in search of work; also stringybark or dry hash (1887)

SUNDY- Sunday

SUNNIES– Sunglasses

SUPER AND SLANG - watch and chain

SUPERINTENDENT - manager of a cattle station or sheep run

SUPPLEJACKS - creepers, lianas

SURFER'S - shorter version of Surfer's Paradise on the Gold Coast

SUSS - Suspicious

SUSS IT OUT - to figure out a tricky situation

SWAG - bundle consisting of large blanket rolled up with belongings and worn as a roll passing over the right shoulder under the left arm, the luggage of a man who humps it; also drum (1887)

SWAG – Single bed you can roll up, a bit like a sleeping bag.

SWAG - bushranger term - loot, plunder

SWAGGER - same as swagman (Whitney 1895)

SWAGGIE - swagman

SWAGMAN - a man who travelled the roads in search of employment, so called because he carried his swag

SWAMPED BY ASIANS - term used by Paul Hanson in maiden speech to parliament

SWEAT, DUST AND BEER..THERE'S NOTHING ELSE OUT HERE MATE! - quote from Ted Kotcheff's 1971 film Wake in Fright

SWEATER - horse thief

SWEET - very good; satisfactory

SWEET AS - awesome


SWIG - drink

SWINGING THE LEAD - evading service; malingering (soldier slang WW1)

SWINJER - something excellent

SWING THE BANJO - to dig (soldier slang WW1)

SWIZZLE - drink

SWY - the game of twoup

SWY - two shillings (criminal slang 1950s)

SYDNEY DUCKS - also Sydney Coves. Thugs, scoundrels, thieves, ex convicts etc who headed to San Francisco during the 1849 Gold Rush where they set up nefarious grog shops and lodging houses. They wore duck trousers with cabbage tree hats. Duck was a cheap hard-wearing canvas fabric used for clothing in Australia

SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE - performing arts complex on situated at Benelong Point, Sydney Harbour

SYDNEY OR THE BUSH - All or nothing. In two-up to risk all on the toss of a coin

SYDNEY PUSH - The Sydney Push was a predominantly left-wing pseudo-intellectual subculture flourished in Sydney from the late 1940s to the early 1970s

SYDNEY-SIDER - one who hails from Sydney

SYDNEY-SIDER - a convict (Whitney 1870s)

SYDNEY TO HOBART YACHT RACE - held on Boxing Day. Starts in Sydney and finishes in Hobart


TA - Thanks

TAB - betting agency

TAKE A CAPTAIN - phrase progression - take a look - take a captain cook - take a captain

TAKE TO THE BUSH - absconding convict; bushranger

TAKE TO THE ROAD - bushranging

TAKE A TUMBLE - to understand, comprehend

TAILORS - machine made cigarettes

TALKING THROUGH THE NECK - talking foolishly c. 1895


TALL POPPY - A conspicuously successful person.

TALL POPPY SYNDROME - when successful, high achieving people are resented and critized in an attempt to denigrate and cut them down to the size of everyone else

TALLY - as a hundred is called, one of us calls out tally and cuts one notch in a stick - as every hundred goes through the same process is carried on (Whitney 1870s)

TANGLES - Austalian cricketer and sportsman Max Walker

TANK CAR - a car used for the purpose of safe breaking (criminal slang Sydney 1950s)

TANKS - army boots - soldier slang WW1)

TASMAN BRIDGE COLLAPSE - Part of the Tasman bridge that crossed the Derwent River at Hobart collapsed after the Lake Illawarra, bulk carrier ran into it on 5 January 1975

TASMANIAN TIGER - (thylacine) large carnivorous marsupial now extinct

TAR BOY - in a shearing shed, a boy who had the job of dabbing antiseptic Stockholm Tar on cuts on sheep

TART - promiscuous woman (a contraction of sweetheart) Digger Smith (C.J. Dennis)

TASSIE - Tasmania

TATTS - dice (convict)

TEA – supper


TEDDY-BEARS - brown boots (c 1915)

TEE-UP - make arrangement

TELL HIM HE'S DREAMING - unrealistic expectations

TELL YOUR STORY WALKING - Whatever you have to say, say it while you are leaving.

TEN POUND POMS - British citizens who migrated to Australia after WW2 under the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme

TENTERFIELD ORATION - speech given by Sir Henry Parkes, Premier of New South Wales at the Tenterfield School of Arts in 1889 when he called for the Federation of the Australian colonies

TERRA AUSTRALIS INCOGNITA - the unknown southern land. In early maps

THAT'S BULLSHIT. YOU JUST BULLSHITTED NASA - Quote from movie The Dish Ross Mitchell

THAT'S NOT A KNIFE - THAT'S A KNIFE - Crocodile Dundee

THAT'S THE SHOT - expression of encouragement or approval


THE ALICE - Alice Springs, Northern Territory

THE ALPS - part of the east coast's Great Dividing Range. The Snowy Mountains form part of the Alps

THE ASHES - The Ashes is a cricket competition played between Australia and England since 1882. 'Brown's gravedigger', the bat belonging to J. T. Brown, known as such because when Lord Sheffield's team were defeated in their Test match, some newspapers declared that 'the ashes of English cricket were buried in Australia' and an enthusiastic cricket reported said that Brown dug them up again and brought them back to England when he made his 140, thereby saving Mr. Stoddard's eleven from the fate of Lord Sheffield's eleven

THE BASTARD FROM THE BUSH - an anonymously-authored bawdy rhyme c. 1900s

THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN - the most recognised Australian battle of the Vietnam War. 18 men killed 24 wounded


THE BIG AUSTRALIAN - The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP)

THE BIG FELLA - Australian Labour politician Jack Lang was known as The Big Fella

THE BLACK LINE - 1830 - settler force attempted to corral Aboriginal people on the Tasman Peninsula

THE BOYS FROM OLD FITZROY - Theme song of the Fitzroy football club sung to the tune of La Marseillaise

THE CABBAGE PATCH - Derisive NSW term for Victoria, because it was smaller and green, and only good for growing vegetables. 19th century

THE CORNER - the area where the borders of NSW , Qld, and South Australia meet


THE DISMISSAL - Refers to events on 11 November 1975 when the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), was dismissed by Governor-General Sir John Kerr, who then commissioned the Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Fraser of the Liberal Party, as caretaker Prime Minister

THE DON - Donald Bradman

THE DREAMING - A western term used to describe the Aboriginal spirituality system.

THE FLAT - prison term for a criminal lunatic asylum (1946)

THE FORGOTTEN CLASS - The middle class - Robert Menzies - But if we are to talk of classes, then the time has come to say something of the forgotten class... the middle class who, properly regarded, represent the backbone of this country

THE FISH - A passenger train that first ran between Sydney and Mt. Victoria. So called because its first driver was John Heron (Herring), its first fireman John Salmon and the first Guard John Pike

THE FLOGGING PARSON - Rev. Samuel Marsden

THE GAP - a sheer cliff near South Head in Sydney; well-known place for suicides

THE GHAN - Train travelling from Darwin to Adelaide. Once derisively known as 'The Afghan Express' (c. 1924)

THE GOLDEN MILE - The Golden Mile at the centre of the Kalgoorlie Goldfield is one of the richest gold deposits in the world

THE GOLD ESCORT - military and semi-military escort to guard gold taken from the gold-fields to the sea ports in gold rush days

THE GONG - Wollongong

THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN ADJECTIVE - A poem by W T Goodge first published in the Bulletin in 1894. The missing word from the poem being 'bloody'

THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN SILENCE - coined by William Edward Hanley Stanner in his 1968 Boyer Lectures entitled After the Dreaming, which reflected on the silence on Indigenous Australians in Australian history after European settlement


THE HEADS - those in authority (soldier slang WW1)

THE HILL - the grassed area of the Sydney Cricket Ground without seats


THE LIGHTS OF COBB AND CO - famous poem by Henry Lawson

THE LITHGOW FLASH - Marjorie Jackson defeated reigning Olympic 100 and 200 metres champion Fanny Blankers-Koen a number of times in 1949, thus earning this nickname

THE LITTLE DIGGER - Henri, a war orphan smuggled into Australia by air mechanic Tim Tovell at the end of the war 1918

THE LONG PADDOCK - an historic web of tracks linking stock-breeding areas of inland NSW and Queensland etc

THE LUCKY COUNTRY - coined by Donald Horne with intent to portray Australia's climb to power and wealth as based almost entirely on luck rather than strength of political or economic system. 'Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck '. Has come to have a different meaning over the years.

THE MAITLAND WONDER - Boxer Les Darcy. Brother of Frank Darcy

THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER - poem by Banjo Paterson written in 1890


THE NEWCASTLE SONG - Bob Hudson's 1975 hit song about Newcastle youth

THE ODE - Part of a poem of remembrance by Laurence Binyon always used to commemorate Anzac Day - They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.


THE PATCH - (the marriage patch) located in the beachside Seaward Village precinct for personnel next door to the SASR's Campbell Barracks

THE PUSH - a band of larrikins early 1900s. Probably ceased c. 1911 when government introduced compulsory military service for men

THE QUACK - Army doctor (WW1 soldier slang)


THE RATTLER - underground railway (criminal slang 1925)

THE RECESSION THAT AUSTRALIA HAD TO HAVE - said by Paul Keating during economic crisis in 1990

THE ROARING DAYS - Bush verse about the gold rush days by Henry Lawson

THE SENATE - The upper house of the Parliament of Australia

THE STAR OF AUSTRALASIA - a poem by Henry Lawson c 1895. From grander clouds in our peaceful skies, than ever there were before, I tell you the Star of the South shall rise - in the lurid clouds of war...

THE SYDNEY PUSH - The Sydney Push was a predominantly left-wing intellectual subculture in Sydney from the late 1940s to the early 1970s.

THE STORE - The Store, also known as the Newcastle and District Co-operative Society.

THE TOP END - northern most part of Australia

THE VIBE OF IT - Quote from the movie 'The Castle', 1997, spoken by actor Michael Caton as Darryl Kerrigan - "It's the vibe of it. It's the Constitution. It's Mabo. It's justice. It's law. It's the vibe and... no, that's it. It's the vibe."

THE WET - period of torrential monsoonal rain in the summer in northern Australia (October to March)

THE WILD ONE - rock and roll singer Johnny O'Keefe

THERE IS WATER IN EVERY LANE, SO IT IS OK. Quote - Ian Thorpe on drawing lane five for the final.

THERE'S MOVEMENT AT THE STATION - first line from Banjo Paterson's from the 'Man from Snowy River' - now sometimes used to signify beginning of change

THEY RE A WEIRD MOB - A 1966 Australian film based on the novel of the same name by John O'Grady under the pen name Nino Culotta

THE STRAIGHT GRIFFIN - the truth; secret reliable information

THE UNDERTAKER - nickname for Paul Keating


THINGY - a thing

THICK AS A BRICK - dull; slow witted

THICK AS TWO PLANKS - dull; slow witted


THIEVING PRONG - hand (prison slang)

THIMBLE AND THREAD - watch and chain

THINGS ARE CROOK IN TALLAROOK - used to indicate that things are bad or unpleasant.

THIS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO THE POOL ROOM - Darryl Kerrigan in the movie The Castle ;



THOMMOS - famous gambling den in Sydney that survived for decades close to police headquarters

THONGS – Flip Flops.

THORPEDO - nick name of Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe

THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND - close to being drunk

THRIPP'NY-BIT - three penny piece

THROW A CHARGE - to escape sentencing in court; to be found not guilty (criminal slang 1950s)

THROW IN THE ALLEY - to surrender

THRUM - a threepenny piece

THUNDERBOLT'S ROCK - near Uralla. Used as a lookout location by bushranger Frederick Ward (Captain Thunderbolt) who escaped from Cockatoo Island in 1863

THUNDER BOX - toilet

TICK - debt

TICKETS ON YOURSELF - to have a high opinion of oneself

TICKEY - threepenny piece (1913)

TICKLE THE PETER - steal, especially from a cash register

TICKLE THE TILL - steal from a cash register

TICKLED PINK - very pleased

TICKLER - difficult to understand; puzzle

TIDDLEY - a threepenny piece

TIGHT ARSE - stingy person; miser; penny pincher

TIGHT AS A FISH'S ARSE - stingy person

TIN - medal (military)

TIN DISH - signifying good-bye

TIN HAT - steel helmet (soldier slang WW1)

TIN KETTLING - marriage custom whereby revellers bash tin cans and other noisy instruments after newlyweds retire for the night

TIN KETTLING - In 1932 when scab labour was used in the mines at Stockton NSW a resident described how women of the town 'tin-kettled' the workers as they made their way to the wharf after work

TIN LIDS rhyming slang for kids

TINNED DOG - canned meat (goldfields)

TINNIE (TINNY) - can of beer

TINNIE (TINNY) - small aluminium boat

TINNY - Luck in gambling and competitions (WW1?) see Trove

TIN POT NAVY - Australian Navy so called in the early days before WW1

TINTOOKIES - Australian children’s theatre puppet show 1950s

TIP - garbage dump

TIP TURKEY - also Bin Chicken - Ibis (bird) considered a pest in Australia because of scavenging

TO BANDICOOT - to fossick or to dig under a plant without disturbing the top (goldfields term)

TO BE DIRTY ON - to be very angry with

TO CLOCK - to strike with the fist

TO COIL - custom of swagmen to make a station homestead at sundown rather than through the day

TO COME ACROSS - to bestow sexual favours

TO COME GOOD - to improve, after not initially reaching expectations

TOEY - nervous

TOE RAGGER - short sentence man

TOGS - swimsuit, swimmers, bathers

TO HAVE WHITE ANTS (Qld) - wrong in the head

TOLLPUDDLE MARTYRS - six English farm labourers who were sentenced in 1834 to seven years’ transportation for organizing trade-union activities in Tolpuddle, Dorsetshire. Brothers George and James Loveless, James Brine, Thomas Stanfield and his son John Stanfield, and James Hammett

TO LOB - arrive unexpectedly at someone s place

TOM TART - a woman

TOM THUMB - tiny open boat used by Matthew Flinders and George Bass to explore the NSW coast line 1795 - 1796

TOOL - idiot, male

TOORAK TRACTOR - city-based 4WD or SUV that never sees off road driving

TOO RIGHT - agreeing

TOOTSY - foot; toe

TOP BLOKE - a good guy

TOP END - Northern Territory

TOP OFF - police informer (criminal slang 1950)

TO PUT THE BITE ON - to borrow

TO PUT THE POT ON - to settle an enemy (c. 1920)

TO RAG - to tease

TO RAT -method of removing property from those no long able to use it (WW2)

TO RIP OFF - to extract money by fraudulent means

TO RUBBISH SOMEONE - to insult them

TO SLING OFF - make uncomplimentary remark

TO SLUM IT - to go out with someone who is a social inferior

TOSSED OUT ON YOUR NECK - rejected (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)

TOSSER - a jerk

TOSS IN THE ALLEY - give up the ghost; surrender, die


TO WEAR - to be on the receiving end of misfortune

TOWELLED UP - beat up severely

TRACKIE DAKS - tracksuit pants


TRANNIE - portable transister radio

TRAP - police officer or trooper

TRAY BONG - very good (soldier slang WW1)

TREACLE MINER - a man who boasts of his wealth

TREE HUGGER - environmentalist

TREY - threepenny piece

TREZZIE - threepenny piece

TRIANTELOPE - variation of the name Tarantula but a different species, a harmless spider (Morris 1898)

TRIANTI-WONTI-GONGOLOPE - Children's poem by C. J. Dennis. There's a very funny insect that you do not often spy, And it isn't quite a spider, and it isn't quite a fly; It is something like a beetle, and a little like a bee, But nothing like a wooly grub that climbs upon a tree.Its name is quite a hard one, but you'll learn it soon, I hope. So try: Tri- Tri-anti-wonti-Triantiwontigongolope.....

TRICKETT - slang namee for a long drink of beer in NSW after Trickett the NSW champion sculler (Morris 1898)

TRIM - ship's cat who accompanied Matthew Flinders on his voyages to circumnavigate and map the coastline of Australia in 1801–03

TROOPER - Mounted Policeman

TROPPO - mentally affected by tropical weather; also going troppo


TRUE BELIEVERS - stalwart Labour Party supporters

TRUE BLUE (AUSSIE)- patriotic ; genuine Australian


TUCK-SHOP ARMS - flabby upper arms on women

TUG - a rogue; rough uncouth fellow

TURFED OUT - asked to vacate building

TURKEY - ineffectual person; not worthy even of being called a 'bastard'

TURN IT ON - provide beer at a party

TURN IT UP - expression of disbelief in what another is saying

TURN OUT - to become a bushranger

TURON WIDOW - Woman left without her husband because he was at the goldfields

TWIG - to observe; to aspy (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)

TWIST - criminal (criminal slang 1940)


TWO-UP – A gambling game played on Anzac day.

TWO BOB - two shillings (Franklin)

TWO BOB EACH WAY - hedge your bets; be uncommitted

TWO BOB'S WORTH - an opinion

TWO DADS - a person with a hyphenated surname (military)

TWO FOR THE VALLEY - Brisbane Qld - Holding up two fingers to signal to a tram conductor to buy Two tickets to Fortitude Valley . Also a symbol of contempt. Equivalent of Up Yours

TWO MICKS - Two tails (two-up)

TWO MINUTES SILENCE - Australian journalist Edward Honey first suggested two minutes silence as the Nation's homage to fallen heroes of W.W.1

TWO PEG - two shillings

TWOPENNY BUNGER - large firecracker

TWO POT SCREAMER - someone who can't hold their drink

TYRANNY - Former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies described the Australian political system as - "people speaking their minds, disagreeing and fighting their battles, and then accepting, at any rate temporarily, the majority. But our greatest inheritance is that Parliament is something above and beyond us all. When it ends, tyranny begins."


UGG BOOTS - sheep skin lined boots

U-IE – to take a U-Turn when driving

ULURU - or Ayers Rock. Spectacular landmark in N.T. that stands 348 m above sea level. No longer allowed to be climbed

UMPTY-DOO - far fetched (Digger Smith, C.J. Dennis)



UNREAL - fantastic

UNREPRESENTATIVE SWILL - Paul Keating's description of the Senate

UP AGAINST IT - foiled, nullified, thwarted (1913)

UP A GUMTREE - means to be in a quandary

UP AND DO 'EM SPINNER - term used in two-up

UP AND JOB SOMEONE - to assault someone with the fists

UP FRONT - honest to the point of rudeness

UP HIM - to have a fight

UP SHIT CREEK - in trouble


UP THE DUFF - pregnant

UP THE SHIT - not any good

UP THE SPOUT - gone; finished

UP THERE CAZALY - encouragement call

UP TO MUD - worthless, useless, no good; someone you don't like

UP TO ONE'S EYES IN HOCK - having used up all credit and then some

UP TO PUSSY'S BOW - couldn't eat anything more

UP TO PUTTY - no good (soldier slang WW1)

UP YOU - brush off towards another with different views

UP YOURSELF - person who has high opinion of themselves

USEFUL AS - completely useless

UTE - Utility car - designed in 1934 by Lewis Bandt at Ford in Geelong


VAN DIEMEN'S LAND - Name used for Tasmania until 1856

VEE DUB - volkswagon car

VEGANESE - Terminology sprouted by vegans to describe their moral superiority

VEGGIES - vegetables

VEGEMITE - Australian savoury spread made from yeast extract. Invented in 1923 by Dr. Cyril P Callister a leading food technologist

VEGEMITES - Aussie children

VERBAL DIARRHOEA - non stop talk

VICTA - rotary lawn mower. Invented by Mervyn Victor Richardson in 1952 - More Australian Inventions

VILLAGE BIKE - promiscuous woman

VOLLEYS - sandshoes

VON BLINKED - drunk (vin blanc corruption WW1)


WACK-O - exclamation expressing anticipation, approval or delight

WACKO THE DIDDLIO - exclamation of pleasure, esp on seeing attractive woman (WW2)

WADDY - a hunting stick or club once used by Aboriginal natives in hunting and fighting

WAFFLE - talk at length

WAFFLE BURGER - fried savoury takaway food made at Coolangatta 1960s

WAGGING - playing truant from school

WAKE-UP - an alert person (1946)

WALER - a horse from NSW; a favourite of Australian mounted troops

WALKABOUT - indigenous journey; rite of passage

WALK TO BOURKE BACKWARDS - Bob Katter re the gay population in North Qld.

WALLABY BRIGADE - Poem published 1894 about the army of itinerant workers who tramped the bush of Australia between the gold rush years of the 1850's and the First World War

WALLABY TRACK (ON THE) - humping bluey on the bush roads of Australia

WALLOPER - policeman

WALLY - forgetful or clumsy person

WALTZING MATILDA - carrying a swag

WALTZING MATILDA - poem written by Andrew Barton Paterson (Banjo Paterson) - I got only a fiver for the song, but it's worth a million to me to hear it sung like this - Banjo Paterson on hearing Waltzing Matilda sung at an army camp at the beginning of WW1

WANDERING JEW - Stew (soldier slang WW1)

WANKER - contemptible person

WARATAH - a brilliantly coloured red flower; state emblem of NSW

WARRIGAL - Aboriginal term for untamed; esp. dogs and horses


WATERBAG - bag made of skin, leather or canvas for keeping water cool


WATTLE AND DAUB - early Australian hut made from a woven lattice of wattle branches which has been is daubed with wet clay, sand or straw

WATTLE DAY - Now held annually on 1st September. First proposed in 1909 by Mr. J. H. Maiden, Mrs. Clunies-Ross and Mrs. Kettlewell with a view to stimulating Australian national sentiment and connecting it with love of the beautiful native flora

WATTLE TREE - botanic acacia. The name wattle was first applied by early settlers from England who had been accustomed to wattling (placing thin, flexible twigs or limbs of trees on to a roof to hold the thatch). When they made their homes in Austrlia they found a suitable timber for wattling was the acacia which they called wattling trees and later wattles

WE ARE ON THE CREST OF A SLUMP - Gold Coast rugby league coach Phil Economidis after a rough trot.

WEEKENDER - a weekend cottage or shack

WE KNEW YOU WOULD FIGHT WELL; WE EXPECTED YOU TO FIGHT WELL; BUT WE DID NOT EXPECT YOU TO ASTONISH THE WORLD - address by French Premier M. Georges Clemenceau thanking Australian troops at the end of WW1

WELCOME TO COUNTRY - Usually a commercial arrangement, this is a ceremony performed by a local Aboriginal person to acknowledge and give consent to events taking place on their traditional lands

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY - acknowledgment of traditional custodianship of the land at the commencement of functions, meetings and presentations of government departments, various sporting events, schools, universities and many other organisations. The ceremony has come to be resented by many non-indigenous Australians who believe it to be an example of tokenism. Indigenous activist Noel Pearson has warned the Acknowledgement of Country is being overused, diminishing the significance of the practice

NO WELCOME TO COUNTRY - In April 2023 academic and activist, Marcia Langton promised/threatened Australian Voice 'NO' voters by predicting the consequences of a failed 'Yes' vote using the following words - "How are they going to ever ask an Indigenous person, a traditional owner, for a welcome to country? How are they ever going to be able to ask me to come and speak at their conference?."If they have the temerity to do it, of course the answer is going to be no."

WE LEFT OUR COUNTRY FOR OUR COUNTRY'S GOOD -Extract from the Prologue at the Opening of the first Playhouse in Sydney 16 January 1796 by ex-convict George Barrington From the Prologue written for the Opening of the Playhouse at NSW 16 January 1796 - George Barrington's 'The History of NSW'


WELLIES - wellington boots

WE'LL ALL BE ROONED SAID HANRAHAN - a dismissive response to predictions of disasters or hard times from poem 'Said Hanrahan' by bush poet John O Brien

WERE YOU BORN IN A TENT? - Shut the door!

WE'RE WINNIN' - when tucker is plentiful (Soldier slang WW1)

WET AS WATER - ineffective

WHACKLING OUT - thinking deeply about something (1918)

WHACKS - Dutch treat (1942)

WHALER - similar to a sundowner - itinerant worker/ swagman who often appeared at stations at sunset in search of work c. 1885

WHAT DID THAT SET YOU BACK? - How much did that cost?

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A CRUST? - what do you do for a living?

WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS? BUSH WEEK? exclamation when someone does something wrong

WHAT'S THE DAMAGE? - how much is owed?

WHAT'S YOUR POISON? What would you like to drink

WHEN I STAND UP IN PARLIAMENT, THE LABOUR BENCHES WHISTLE - Scott Morrison's thoughts on what the ALP thinks of him


WHERE DEAD MEN LIE - a poem by Australian poet Barcroft Boake. It was first published in The Bulletin magazine on 19 December 1891

WHERE THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU? -advertising campaign launched by Tourism Australia in 2006

WHERE THE BULL FEEDS - grass (c. 1920s)

WHINGEING POM - An immigrant from England who moans about trifling inconveniences in Australia and constantly compares them to the equivalent back home


WHIPPY - short for whipping post; 'home' in children's game hide-and-seek

WHIPPY STICKING - (no whippy sticking unless you're 'in'); call by children when playing hide-and-seek warning against staying close to the 'home'

WHIP THE CAT - cry over spilt milk

WHIPS OF TIME - an abundance of time

WHIPS OF TIN -any amount of money

WHISKEY AU GO GO - The Whisky Au Go-Go nightclub in Fortitude Valley, Queensland, caught fire after two drums of fuel were set alight on 8 March 1973 Fifteen patrons died from asphyxiation

WHISTLE AND FLUTE - suit (of clothes)

WHITE ANT - cut in on another's property by subterfuge

WHITE AUSTRALIA POLICY - a set of historical policies in 1901 that aimed to forbid people of non-European ethnic origin from immigrating to Australia

WHITE LOT - silver chain (criminal slang 1925)

WHITE MARY - generic name used by aborigines for all female cooks on out stations

WHITE SHOE BRIGADE - (Qld 1980s) wealthy business people and property developers; politically conservative

WHIZZ BANG - German shell (WW1)

WHIZZER - pickpocket (criminal slang 1925)



WHOOPDY DO - big deal; sarcastic

WHOPPER - a lie

WHY IS IT SO? - Professor Sumner Miller catch phrase

WIDOW MAKER - tree, deadwood falling branch from eucalyptus gum tree

WIDE BROWN LAND - from Dorothea Mackellar's poem ‘My Country’

WIDGIES AND BODGIES - youth subculture in the 1950s

WIFE BEATER - blue singlet worn by men (American origin?)

WIGWAM FOR A GOOSE'S BRIDLE (going to get) - dismissive reply to an unwanted query

WILD COLONIAL BOY (THE) - bushranger ballad about 'Bold Jack Donohoe'

WILLIES - a feeling of disquiet

WILLING SHILLING WEEK - fund-raising drive held in May in 1950s and 60s when Girl Guides, Brownies and Rangers spent their spare time doing odd jobs to raise money for the association. Equivalent of the Scout's Bob a Job week

WILLY-WILLY - small whirlwind; also called cock-eyed bob or dust-devil

WINDBAG - a talker out of his turn (soldier slang WW1)

WINDMILL J.P. - expression formerly used in NSW for any J.P. who was ill-educated and supposed to sign his name with a cross x. (Morris 1898)

WINGED KEEL - Wing at the base of sailing boat keel. Invented by Ben Lexcen. First used in 1983 America’s Cup on Australia II.


WISE UP - understand what's going on

WITCHETTY GRUB - large, white, wood-eating larvae of moths. Bush tucker

WITHIN COOEE - Within ear shot

WITHOUT A CRACKER - to be without money

WOBBLER - soldier toadying for stripes (WW2)

WOG - a flu or virus

WOG - derogatory term for new migrants 1960s and 1970s

WOLF - prison guard who is hard on his men (c. 1893)

WOMBAT - slow moving marsupial of nocutrnal habits; anyone with the same characteristics

WOMBAT TRAIL - election campaign trail by leaders of the National Party. Coined for the Nationals by press gallery during the 1977 federal election campaign

WOMEN OF THE WEST - poem by George Essex Evans - 'The hearts that made the Nation were the Women of the West' first published 1901

WON'T HAVE A BAR OF - refuses to take part

WOOD AND WATER JOEY - a person who hangs about pubs; a doer of odd jobs (1887)

WOODBINE - English soldier ( WW1)

WOOL IS UP - times are good; wool being the staple of Australia c. 1895)

WOOL IS DOWN - times are bad

WOOLOOMOOLOO YANK - flashy dresser (WW2)

WOOL SHED - shearing shed

WOOMERA ROCKET RANGE - Unique military testing range covering 122 188 square kilometres in north-west South Australia. Largest land testing range in the world

WOOP WOOP - the back of nowhere; fictitious


WORLD SERIES CRICKET - one day cricket games for TV introduced by Kerry Packer

WOULDN'T BE DEAD FOR QUIDS - happy to be alive


WOULDN'T HAVE A BAR OF IT - would have nothing to do with it

WOULDN'T KNOW HIM FROM A BAR OF SOAP - wouldn't recognise someone

WOULDN'T TOUCH IT WITH A TEN FOOT POLE - having nothing to do with it


WOULD TO GODDER - for the man who would to god he could go to the front, but preferred to stay at home (WW1)

WOWSER - boring conservative narrow minded person; killjoy. In 1916 Australian poet C. J. Dennis defined a wowser as 'an ineffably pious person who mistakes the world for a penitentiary and himself for a warder'


WRECK OF THE NEVA - Convict ship with 150 female prisoners and children wrecked on King's Island in 1835

WRECK OF THE CATARAQUI - British barque. Immigrant ship. Sank off the south-west coast of King Island in Bass Strait on 4 August 1845. 400 people drowned

WRECK OF THE DUNBAR - wrecked near the entrance to Sydney Harbour in 1857 with the loss of 121 lives

WUSS - weak ineffectual


YA – You

YABBER - talk a lot

YABBY - (yabbie) small freshwater crayfish

YACKA - YAKKER - work; hard yacka. Jewish origin

YAHOO - show-off; fool

YANK TANK - American car

YARN - long story; talk

YARRALUMLA HOUSE - Located in Canberra - the official residence of the Governor-General of Australia


YENNEP - a penny c. 1911

YIKE - argument (1940)

YIKE - (getting into a ) dog-fight (RAAF)

YOBBO - uncouth, usually male

YONKS - very long time

YONNIE - stone or pebble for throwing

YOU DON'T TELL THE FROGS ANYTHING BEFORE YOU DRAIN THE SWAMP - attributed to Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, former Premier of Queensland

YOU LITTLE BEAUTY - approval when something has gone particularly well; attributed to Roy Rene (also known as 'Mo' of theatre partnership Stiffy and Mo)

YOU LITTLE TRIMMER - Someone who has done well for themselves. Attributed to Roy Rene (also known as 'Mo' of theatre partnership Stiffy and Mo)

YOUNG AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE - an Australian youth organisation which was formed in Perth, Western Australia in 1905 by Jack Simons and Lionel Boas. Developed as a means to encourage Australian nationalism and patriotic values

YOU'RE NOT ROBINSON CRUSOE - not the only one

YOU'RE TERRIBLE MURIEL - line from iconic Australian movie Muriel's Wedding starring Toni Collette, Rachael Griffiths and Gabbie Millgate

YOUR SHOUT - turn to buy a drink

YOUS – (youse) plural of you!


ZAC - sixpence

ZIFF - a beard (1946)

ZILCH - nothing

ZIT - pimple

ZONKED - tired