Australian Digger Slang – World War I

– M –

MAFEESH

nothing

MICKS

head side of coin in Two-up

MACHONOCHIE MEDAL

Military Cross; Military Medal

MINNIE

trench mortar bomb, derived from the German minenwerfer, a mine thrower

MITT

hand

MOB

affectionate term for own battalion

MOLO

drunk

MOSES CARAVANS

buses

MUDHOOKS

feet


– N –

NAPOO

negative


– O –

OILED

drunk

OLD SWEAT

soldier

ONKS

francs


– P –

P.B.I.

Poor Bastards Infantry

PARAKEET

staff-officer (because of the red tabs on the uniform)

PIDGIN LIKE BULLAMAKAU

bully beef

PIG-STICKER

bayonet

POIKEY

hats

POINT BLANK

wine

PONGO

an infrantryman

P.O.Q.

pushed off quickly

PORK AND BEANS

Portuguese soldiers until an order was issued that they had to be referred to as “Our Gallant Allies!”

POSH

a demobilised soldier neatly dressed in civilian clothes

POTATO-MASHER

German hand grenade

PUNK

bad or distasteful

PUNKED MAN

one caught scrouging


– Q –

QUAS KATEER

very good


– R –

REINSTOUSHMENTS

reinforcements

RICKETY KATE

mate

ROSELLAS

officers with red tabs

RUM JAR

trench mortar bomb


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– S –

SAEEDA

good day

SAUSAGE

observation balloon

SCROUGING

deliberately shirking any piece of work

SHAKES IT

acquire something

SHREWDY

cunning person

SIN-LIFTER

Army Chaplain

SQUAREHEAD

German solider

SQUARE-PUSHING

perambulations

S.R.D.

service rum diluted (In the jar there was not much dilution, but depending on the habits and likings of the Q.M’s and their offsiders whose hands it passed through on the way to the troops, it was not all rum at the point of issue. Nevertheless, it was always a welcome visitor to the front line, especially where things were willing.)

STACK THE DRAPERY

prepare for a fight

STITCHES

cobblers

STOUCH-UP

fight

STUNNED

drunk

STUNTS

describes any event, from an air raid to a days C.B.

SUGAR

money


– T –

TABBIES KNIT

socks

TIN

money

TIN FLASH

a torpedo

TINKLE-TINKLE

an effeminate man

TIRED THEADORE

long-distance heavy shell

TO TAKE TO THE TALL TIMBER

to abscond

TOMMY

English soldier

TREACLE-MINER

a man who boasts of wealth or position

TUCKER

food


– U –

UPTER

bad, useless – a corruption of “up to putty”


– V –

VIN BLONG

oil


– W –

WAACs

Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps

WEE WILLIE

the German Crown Prince

WHIZZ-BANG

small but deadly German shell

WINS

a thief’s gains


– W –

YANK

American soldier


Sources:

  1. “Anzac” Slang, Preston Leader (Vic.), 29 April 1916, p. 5.
  2. A Slang Word, Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (Qld), 1 May 1918, p. 3.
  3. Camp Slang, Dunolly and Betbetshire Express and County of Gladstone Advertiser, 19 November 1918, p. 4.
  4. War Slang, Kalgoorlie Miner (W.A.), 5 December 1919, p. 4.
  5. Slang and the Coining of Words, The Queenslander (Brisbane), 27 March 1920, p. 3.
  6. Army Slang, Western Mail (Perth), 9 March 1933, p. 2.
  7. Digger Slang, Daily Mercury (Mackay), 11 January 1940, p. 10.
  8. The Lingo Diggers Used, The World’s News (Sydney), 20 January 1940, p. 18.
  9. It is Changing Rapidly: Slang of Our Fighting Forces, The Australiasian (Melbourne), 29 August 1942, p. 23.
  10. The Lingo, The Northern Champion (Taree), 21 June 1944, p. 3.

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