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The Mudcat Cafesj

Aussie Glossary

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Aussie English
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Aussie Words Definitions Comments
B & S Bachelors and Spinsters Ball - a dance cum piss-up Sorry, the perils of a Latin education (cum = with, in Latin)
B-bows (Old fashioned) hand shears The spring between the 2 blades is shaped like a letter B
back of beyond Far away in the outback  
back of Bourke The middle of nowhere  
backblocks The remote interior of the country  
bag Lady who is not particularly pleasant  
bail (somebody) up To corner somebody physically  
bail out Depart, usually angrily  
bail up Hold up, rob, earbash Comes from dairy farming - 'crushing' cows for milking
ball-tearer Wonderful thing  
banana bender Resident of Queensland  
bandicoot Australian marsupial - pointy nose, size of large rat Adoption of Indian (Telegu) word 'pandikokku' = 'pig-rat' = bandicota indica
barbie (barbecue) Like a cook out Spanish origin, 'barbacoa, from Arawak language
Barcoo Far outback (Barcoo R. region of western Queensland)  
barney Fight or scuffle  
barrack To cheer on a team at a sporting event Can also mean: banter, provocative or derisive language - cognate … but to … not derived from borak?
bastard General form of address which can mean practically anything from highest praise  
bathers Swimming costume (Victoria and South Australia)  
battler Hard trier, struggler  
bear Colonial era: (native) bear = koala Koala is a marsupial, not a bear
beaut, beauty, bewdie Very good  
belt up! Shut up!  
berko Angry  
bible basher Minister, or any proselytising Christian  
bickie Dollar  
big mobs Large amount, heaps  
big-note oneself Brag, boast  
bikies Motorcyclists  
bikkie Biscuit (also "it cost big bikkies" - it was expensive)  
billabong An ox-bow river or watering hole East coast Aboriginal languages = dead water
billy Large tin can used to boil water over a campfire for tea  
bities Biting insects  
bitumen Surfaced road  
bitzer Mongrel dog (bits of this and bits of that)  
bizzo Business ("mind your own bizzo")  
black stump, beyond the A long way away, the back of nowhere  
black velvet (Originally illicit) relations of white male and black female  
block Block has a few meanings but the more Aussie one is your head  
bloke Person, usually a male  
bloody All-purpose intensifying adjective  
bloody oath! That's certainly true  
blooming Low level intensive (not quite bloody!)  
blow in the bag Have a breathalyzer test  
blowie Blow fly  
bludge Not doing anything or getting things from others  
bludger Lazy person  
blue A fight  
blue a cheque Spend your wages in a glorious booze-up (NOT = blew!) Thus "Blued his cheque" not "Blew his cheque"
blue, make a Make a mistake  
bluey A swag, blanket roll Army blankets were grey-blue wool
bluey Blue cattle dog (named after its subtle markings)  
bluey Traffic ticket or redhead person  
board The timber floor on which sheep are shorn in a shearing shed  
bodgy Of inferior quality This is from earlier word 'bodger' - self-employed woodworker
bonzer Great, ripper  
boobook Australian bird - ninox novaeseelaniae - in the owl family, but more like a stur  
boogie board A hybrid, half-sized surf board  
boomer Very large; a particularly large male kangaroo  
boomerang Curved flat wooden instrument used by Aborigines for hunting Throwing stick: hunting boomerangs don't return. Returning type a thrown to scare birds down to the ground where they are caught.
booze Alcohol, usually beer  
booze bus Police vehicle used for catching drunk drivers  
boozer A pub Also a drinker
borak (Borack, borax) nonsense, emphatic negation Pidgin, from Wathwurung burag … not from barrack...?
bored shitless Very bored  
boss of the board Shearing contractor or supervisor  
bottle shop Liquor shop  
bottle-o Liquor shop Also a dealer in second hand bottles
bottler Something excellent  
bottling, his blood's worth He's an excellent, helpful bloke  
bowyang (boyang) Cord, thong or strap round trouser leg, below knee Brit. Dialect 'booyang'
brass razoo, he hasn't got a He's very poor  
breaker Specialist horse tamer/trainer Pen-name of poet Harry 'Breaker' Morant
brekkie Breakfast  
brick shit house, built like a Big strong bloke  
brizzie Brisbane, state capital of Queensland  
brolga Australian native crane - elaborate courtship dance resemble 'quadrille', square  
brown-eyed mullet A turd in the sea (where you're swimming!)  
brownie (browny) Sweetened currant bread - a 'bush' treat  
brumby A wild horse  
buck's night Stag party, male gathering the night before the wedding  
Buckley's No chance at all  
Buckley's, Buckley's chance No chance ("New Zealand stands Buckley's of beating Australia at football")  
bug (Moreton Bay bug) Small crab  
bull bar Stout bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroo Or bulls!
bull dust Fine and sometimes deep dust on outback roads  
bullamanka Imaginary place even beyond back of Bourke, way beyond the black stump  
bullock Ox A castrated bull used as a draught animal
bullocky, bullockie Bullock driver - carter operating with a team of bullocks and a dray  
bun in the oven Pregnant  
bundy Short for Bundaberg, Queensland, and the brand of rum that's made there  
bung Crook, broken Eastern Aboriginal = dead
bunny Rabbit, a mug, a swindler's victim 3rd sense cognate with 18th c. London sense of 'coney'
bunyip Mythical outback creature Inhabits swamps and billabongs
burl Have a try, as in "give it a burl" Scots dialect: burl = twirl, spin … Aussie usage via two-up call 'give it a burl' = have a bet, chance your arm
bush Somewhere in the country or away from the city It's all either "Sydney … or the bush"
bush telegraph Gossip network  
bush tucker Native foods, usually in the outback  
bushbash Force one's way through pathless bush  
bushie Someone who lives in the Bush  
bushranger Highwayman, outlaw Originally (c. 1788) a 'trusty' convict given a gun and told to go an shoot something for food .. Oddly enough, a lot of them did not come back - at least until they ran out of powder and shot!
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List Full Glossary

Many thanks to John in Brisbane for this concept and the initial data, and to Bob Bolton for additions and comments.