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WA BUSH POETS AND
  YARN SPINNERS ASSOCIATION INC.

 

 

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WESTERN AUSTRALIAN BUSH POETRY FROM THE PAST
UNFAMILIAR WORDS & PHRASES

This page contains an alphabetical list of words and phrases that appear in poems of a past era and which are rarely found in today's conversation.  It is is being constructed gradually as time goes on and more poems are added to these "Past Poets" pages.  If you come across any unfamiliar words or phrases, please contact the webmaster who will attempt to find out just what they meant.  If you know of any you think should be here, or can answer any of those words shown with ? please also inform the webmaster. 
 

 

A
Abo

Aboriginal person (now considered derogatory)
B
Battery
Billet

Bingey
Blow
Bluey
Bonzer,  Bonza,  Boshter
Boodle
Boyangs
Breakaway (country)
Brum
Bully Beef  (also Tinned Dog)
Bunce
Bull
Bull-Cohen
Bung
Burgoo

Gold Extraction Plant
Job or position

Belly
Skite, Boast
Swag ,  Bedroll
Outstandingly Good
Money
Ties, worn around the legs under the knees by agricultural workers. 
Small cliff
Penny,  also a person from Birmingham UK (Brummie)
Corned Beef  (in a tin) - WW1 origin
Salary,  also unneeded or excess goods
England  -  after "John Bull"
English Bankers (generally of Jewish origin)
"Dryblower's" term for a publican
Thick stew made from whatever was available
C
Cadie
Chink
Chiv
Clay

Clyner

Cornstalks, Cornstalkers
costeen
Croweaters
Crown
Cut out (the shed cut out)

Hat
Person of Chinese origin (now considered derogatory)
Face
1) A poetic term for the material from which a person's body is made.
2) a cheap smoking pipe

Young woman

People born in New South Wales
???? (a mining term of some sort)
South Australians
A silver coin of value 5 shillings
When all the shearing is finished
D
De Rougemont


Damper
Dead Marine

Deener
Deuced
Dolly,  Dolly pot
Donah
Dough, Dosh
Dryblower
Duff
Dungarees 

Louis de Rougemont Grien, a British journalist who wrote fanciful stories about Australia's flora and fauna that he had seen on his travels. It is doubtful he ever came to Australia— Dryblower uses the term for any “teller of tall tales”
A simple form of bread, generally cooked in the coals or in a camp oven
Empty beer bottle
Silver Coin =1 shilling  (12 pence) 
to shear 200 sheep in a day
container for crushing small quantities of gold bearing ore
Sweetheart,  Girlfriend
money
Machine for extracting gold from crushed ore  -  A person who operates such a machine
rustle, steal livestock
Workmans' trousers made from a fabric similar to Denim  (similar to Jeans)
E
Ether

The matter that was once considered to occupy empty space
F
Fusel,  Fusel Oil

low quality spirits
G
Gee
Gidgee
Gin
Groper
Guinea

Horse
A small tree
Aboriginal woman (now considered to be a derogatory term)
See "Sandgroper"
21 Shillings (the one shilling was often the salesman's commission)
H
Hodge
Hughey

Agricultural worker
God (as in a meteorological sense)
I
Ikey Mo

Derogitory Term for a Jewish Person  (from  Isaac  Moses)
J
Jackaroo
Jim
John Hop
Jumbuck

trainee property manager - often derided by professional stockmen
Money  (notes)
Policeman  "Cop" 
Sheep
K
Kleiner

See "Clyner"
L
Lay
Lee
Lilt
L.S.D
Lucre

Verse or Poem
hard working, dedicated man
Short poem
Money, -    Pounds (L), Shillings (S),  Pence (D)
Money
M
Magsman
Mash
Mooch
Mote
Mulga (scrub)  ,  also Mallee

Confidence trickster   "con-man"
Embrace romantically
Loiter or wander aimlessly
Old Fashioned
1)  a small tree  or group of such trees,
2)  outback (remote) origin (as in Mulga Bill)
N
Nap

A card game popular in the 1880s - 1920s, Original name Napoleon
O
Oof
Oof Bird
Oof Tree
Ounce(s)  (oz.)

 

Money.  Wealth
A Mythical bird who brings wealth
A Mythical Tree on which money grows
A measurement of weight  in the older systems  (Avoirdupois  I oz=28.3grams & Troy 1oz=31.1gram)   Gold is measured in Troy ounces
P
Pelf
Pound


Port (Queensland)
Prad
Pug

Put on dog, 
put on side

Money
1)  Measurement of weight (16 ounces)
2)  a unit of money (1 pound (£) = 20 shillings = 240 pence) -   at metric conversion in Australia (1964)  £1 = $2

suitcase, bag
Horse (generally a racehorse)
Building method , ie  Clay plastered into a matrix of thin timber  (Wattle and Daub) - also a Boxer 
Boasting
Consider oneself superior to others,   stuck-up
Q
Quid

One Pound (20 shillings)
R
Rattler
Ringer
Ryebuck

Train that stops at every little siding
Top shearer in a team
First Class
S
Sandgroper

Screw
Shandygaff

Shanty
Shypoo
Shypoo Shanty
Ski
Spieler
Stamp,  stamper
Station
Stinking fish
Stuck-up
Swank,  Swankers

Person from (or native of) Western Australia  (a sandgroper is a subterranean larviform insect (of the family Cylindrachetidae) found in the sandplains of Western Australia)
Wages or Salary
A mixture of Stout and lemonade  -  sometimes called a Port-a-gaff
A small retail establishment often selling alcohol  -  tavern
inferior quality liquor
illegal grog shop    
Slang term for a Person of Russian or Slavic origin
A person employed to attract an audience
Very noisy  machine that crushed ore from which gold was extracted
large pastoral property
A term used to indicate that something was corrupt    "dodgy dealings" 
Consider oneself superior,   put on side
Upper-crust,  well-off (rich) people
T
Tab  or Tabby
Tanglefoot
Tanner
Thrum,  Thrummer

Tin
Tinned Dog
Tom
Tottie
Tottie Shop
Traybit
Trap
Tucker
Two-up  (also    'swy')

A young maid in a hotel or similar
Alcoholic beverages
Sixpence
Threepence

Money, coins
See "Bully Beef"
Prostitute
Woman of "loose morals"  (inc prostitute)
Brothel
Threepence
Policeman
Food
A gambling game  in which two pennies were tossed in the air
U  
V
Vag

Vagrant
W
Welkin
Wongi

The "everywhere" -  all around us   
to talk,   discussion group
X  
Y  
Z
Zack

sixpence

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This Page initially created Sept 9 2010