Australian Digger Slang – World War II

– A –

A SMOOTH TAKE-OFF

(romantic) everything lined up for a good appointment (WAAAF)

A SQUALL

to make a mistake or do something badly (WRANS)

ACK ACK

anti-aircraftman noted for his obedience to the edicts of his superiors

ACK WILLY / ACK WILLIE

absent without leave

ACKERS

piastres or money in general

ACKETY-ACK

a full stop

ACK-I-FOOF

an A.I.F. man

ADRIFT

absent without leave (WRANS)

ALBERTS

sea boots (from Prince Alberts or toerags worn by tramps)

ANZAC WAFERS

army biscuits

ASPIRIN

Medical Officer

AUSSIE

a wound sufficient to invalid a man home (AIF)


– B –

BAB / BABBLER

a cook

BANANA-BENDERS

Queenslander

BANG BAG

a cordite case (RAN)

BANG BOX

a 6 in. gun turret (RAN)

BARKING BELLY

a 4 in. anti-aircraft gun (RAN)

BATTLE HOWLER

steel helmet

BEAGLE

a steward (RAN)

BEEF IT

to turn tail, make off (RAAF)

BITE

request a temporary loan from a more affluent comrade

BLACK SHIRT

a bottle of beer (AIF)

BLACKSTEERS

people who deal in black markets (Home-front)

BLEAR

to fly about when lost, seeking a landmark (RAAF)

BLIND STABBING

blind flying (RAAF)

BLINK PICKINGS

cigarette ends or bumpers (AIF)

BLITZED

reprimanded; or, crossed in love (AWAS)

BLOODY MINDEDNESS

topical disease

BLUE (IN THE BLUE)

the front

BLUE ORCHIDS

RAAF men

BLUEY

a blue light outfit or depot (AIF)

BODY SNATCHER

a RAN surgeon keen on performing operations on seamen

BOMBER

Commanding Officer

BOOB

detention barracks, military prison

BOONG

a coloured person (AIF)

BOSEY

a single bomb dropped from a plan (RAAF)

BOY SCOUTS’ LEAVE

shore leave requiring early return on ship-board (RAN)

BRASS HATS

officers

BRIGHTON THROAT

throat complaint among soldiers in camp in Tasmania

BROWN-OUT ROMEOS

men who molest women in darkened streets

BULLAMAKAU

bully beef (AIF)

BUMPED

(Of a ship) torpedoed, hit by shell or bomb (RAN)

BUMPER SNIPING

picking up cigarette butts round the camp

BUTTON TOSSER

a radio telegraphist (RAN)

BUZZ MERCHANT

a rumour spreader; furphy king (RAN)


– C –

CAMEL

bully beef

CASA

a masher (RAN)

CATWALK

wired alleyway between compounds

CGI (CORTICENE GRABBER’S ITCH)

a desire to throw oneself on the deck during a dive-bombing attack (RAN)

CHARLIES

sailors in general (RAN)

CHICKEN RUN

any favourite rendezvous where sailors meet their girls; the main path in Hyde Park, Sydney, where sailors meet their girls (RAN)

CHICKY

a girl or sweetheart (RAN)

CHOCKO

militiaman

CHOOKIE

a girl friend or sweetheart (AIF)

CHOPPER

US Tomahawk plane

CIRCUITS AND BUMPS

practice circuits and landings on an aerodrome (RAAF)

CLOBBER

gear or pack

COOK’S TOURISTS

men invalided home from abroad (AIF)

COPHOUSE

military prison

CORNSTALKS

New South Welshmen

CRASHER

Commanding Officer

CROW-EATER

a South Australian

CURTIN’S COWBOYS

men of the RAAF (AIF term)


– D –

DAD

Deputy Assistant Director

DARLINGHURST TERRORS

New South Welshmen

DEATH ADDER

a machine gun (AIF)

DICE IT

to throw away (AIF)

DINGBAT

a batman

DINGO

a small reconnaissance tank (AIF)

DISASTERS

piastres (money)

DIT

a yarn; story (RAN)

DODGER

bread

DOG’S LEG

a stripe

DOING EMUS

picking up cigarette butts and other oddments which have been dropped between the tents or huts

DOLEYS

soldiers in employment platoons (AIF)

DOOVER, DOOVAH OR DOOYAH DAH

a thingumebob; anything at all (AIF)

DRAG ROPES

drachmas

DRESSMAKERS

fabric workers (RAAF)

DRONGO

a raw recruit (RAAF)

DUCKS AND DRAKES

to be sick after drinking a lot of alcohol

DUFER

a cigarette end (i.e., “do for after”)


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– E –

EAGLE

a Stuka divebomber

EMU-BOBBING

picking up cigarette butts round the camp (AIF)


– F –

FEBRUARY

a particular CO whose punishment award was 28 days

FEELS LIKE A BOX OF BIRDS

to feel happy, chirpy, full of beans (RAN)

FIAs

trainees

FIRESTICK

rifle

FIVE BOB A DAY BUTCHERS

men of the AIF

FLATTERBACK

the wearing of one’s cap on the back of one’e head (RAN)

FLYBOG

jam

FOOD BUTCHER

cook (RAAF)

FREE CHEWING-GUM

a chinstrap (AIF)


– G –

GEORGE ST SACK

a girl who meets her sailor friend in George St., Sydney (RAN)

GIGGLESUIT

fatigue dress (AIF)

GIP

Garden Island Prison (AIF)

GIVE THE GUFF

authenticated news (WRANS)

GLAMOUR GIRLS

RAAF men

GLAMOUR GOWN

khaki dress uniform (AIF)

GO ON THE SLOPS

drink a large quantity of amber liquid (beer)

GOIN’ FRU

departing on leave

GOOD GEN

authenticated news (WAAAF)

GOOD STICK

an officer’s swagger cane (AIF)

GOOGLY

a single bomb dropped from a plane (RAAF)

GOON STICK

swagger cane carried by officer

GOONG SESSION

a yarn after light out

GORGONZALO

something notable or extra good

GRASSHOPPING

flying low to beat anti-aircraft fire (RAAF)

GREASE MONKEYS

Air Force mechanics (RAAF)

GRID

flight planes in formation (RAAF)

GROUNDED

absent without leave (WAAAF)

GRUB

food (AWAS)

GUMSUCKERS

men from Victoria

GUT SPILLERS

Ghurkas


– H –

HOOKS OR DOGS’ LEGS

NCO Chevrons (AIF)

HOWLING BOX

a gas chamber (from the effects of tear gas) (RAN)


– I –

I.D. HERB?

How are you? (a general greeting) (AIF)

IN THE BOX

in the frontline

IN THE CACTUS

in trouble (RAAF)

INGLEBURN THROAT

throat complaint among soldiers in camp in NSW


– J –

JACKA

HMAS Ajax (RAN)

JACKS

military police

JILLEROO

a land girl

JINKERS

punishment, running around in circles hold aloft something cumbersome and weighty, this may be continued for some hours

JOEY

a fake

JOSS MAN

a Master-at-Arms or jonty (RAN)


– K –

KING’S CROSS TIKES

New South Welshmen

KITE

newspaper


– L –

LANCE-JACK

a lance-corporal

LIZARD

a corporal (AIF)

LOST CONTACT

absent without leave (AWAS)


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