Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Australian Slang - Local Lingo

Unique Phrases - Memorable Quotes - B


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

BLACK ARMBAND PERSPECTIVE - The black armband view of our history reflects a belief that most Australian history since 1788 has been little more than a disgraceful story of imperialism, exploitation, racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination. I take a very different view. I believe that the balance sheet of our history is one of heroic achievement and that we have achieved much more as a nation of which we can be proud of than which we should be ashamed - Quote, Prime Minister John Howard

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 PRINCE - (Psaltoda plaga) - species of cicada native to eastern Australia, from Maryborough in central Queensland to Bega in southern NSW

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 endangered moth eaten by aborigines and also the food of the pygmy possum. Each spring, Bogong moths emerge from beneath the soil in Darling river plains of Queensland, NSW and Western Victoria and navigate their way to the Alpine region. This journey can be more than 1,000 kilometres. After spending the summer in the cooler mountain caves, they return to their birthplace to reproduce over winter

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

BONZA LURK - a good job (1929)

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

BREAD AND JAM - tram (rhyming slang)

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 - or a ten shilling note

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 TUCKER - Bush tucker is any food native to Australia and historically eaten by Indigenous Australians, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Animal native foods include kangaroo, emu, witchetty grubs and crocodile, and plant foods include fruits such as quandong, kutjera, spices such as lemon myrtle and vegetables such as warrigal greens and various native yams - Wikipedia

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)

BUTCHER'S HOOK - crook - unwell. I'm feeling a bit butchers (rhyming slang)

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)