Rose of Spadgers


C.J. Dennis


A.I.F.—Australian Imperial Forces.
Alley, to toss in the.—To give up the ghost.
Also ran, The.—On the turf, horses that fail to secure a leading place; hence, obscure persons, nonentities.
’Ammer-lock (Hammer-lock).—A favourite and effective hold in wrestling.
Ar.—An exclamation expressing joy, sorrow, surprise, etc., according to the manner of utterance.
’Ard Case (Hard Case).—A shrewd or humorous person.
’Ayseed (Hayseed).—A rustic.
Back Chat.—Impudent repartee.
Back and Fill.—To vacillate; to shuffle.
Back the Barrer.—To intervene without invitation.
Barmy (Balmy).—Foolish; silly.
Beak.—A magistrate. (Possibly from Anglo-Saxon, Beag—a magistrate).
Beano.—A feast.
Beans.—Coins; money.
Beat.—Puzzled; defeated.
Beat, off the.—Out of the usual routine.
Beef (to beef it out).—To declaim vociferously.
Bellers (Bellows).—The lungs.
Biff.—To smite.
Bird, to give the.—To treat with derision.
Blighter.—A worthless fellow.
Bli’ me.—An oath with the fangs drawn.
Blither.—To talk at random, foolishly.
Blob.—A shapeless mass.
Block.—The head. To lose or do in the block.—To become flustered; excited; angry; to lose confidence. To keep the block.—To remain calm; dispassionate.
Block, the.—A fashionable city walk.
Bloke.—A male adult of the genus homo.
Blubber, blub.—To weep.
Bluff.—Cunning practice; make believe. v. To deceive; to mislead.
Bob.—A shilling.
Bokays.—Compliments, flattery.
Boko.—The nose.
Bonzer, boshter, bosker.—Adjectives expressing the superlative of excellence.
Bong-tong.—Patrician (Fr. bon ton).
Boodle.—Money; wealth.
Book.—A bookie, q.v.
Bookie.—A book-maker (turf); one who makes a betting book on sporting events.
Boot, to put in the.—To kick a prostrate foe.
Boss.—Master; employer.
Break (to break away, to do a break).—To depart in haste.
Breast up to.—To accost.
Brisket.—The chest.
Brown.—A copper coin.
Brums.—Tawdry finery (from Brummagem—Birmingham).
Buckley’s (Chance).—A forlorn hope.
Buck up.—Cheer up.
Bump.—To meet; to accost aggressively.
Bun, to take the.—To take the prize (used ironically).
Bundle, to drop the.—To surrender; to give up hope.
Bunk.—To sleep in a “bunk” or rough bed. To do a bunk.—To depart.
Bunnies, to hawk the.—To peddle rabbits.
Bus, to miss the.—To neglect opportunities.
Caboose.—A small dwelling.
Carlton.—A Melbourne Football Team.
Cat, to whip the.—To cry over spilt milk; i.e., to whip the cat that has spilt the milk.
C.B.—Confined to barracks.
Cert.—A certainty; a foregone conclusion.
Chase yourself.—Depart; avaunt; “fade away.” q.v.
Chat.—To address tentatively; to “word,” q.v.
Cheque, to pass in one’s.—To depart this life.
Chest, to get it off one’s.—To deliver aspeech; express one’s feelings.
Chew, to chew it over; to chew the rag.—To sulk; to nurse a grievance.
Chiack.—Vulgar banter; coarse invective.
Chin.—To talk; to wag the chin.
Chip.—To “chat,” q.v. Chip in.—To intervene.
Chiv.—The face.
Chow.—A native of far Cathay.
Chuck up.—To relinquish. Chuck off.—To chaff; to employ sarcasm.
Chump.—A foolish fellow.
Chunk.—A lump; a mass.
Clean.—Completely; utterly.
Click.—A clique; a “push.”
Cliner.—A young unmarried female.
Clobber.—Raiment; vesture.
Cobber.—A boon companion.
Collect.—To receive one’s deserts.
Colour-line.—In pugilism, the line drawn by white boxers excluding
coloured fighters—for divers reasons.
Conk.—The nose.
Coot.—A person of no account (used contemptuously).
Cop.—To seize; to secure; also s., an avocation, a “job.”
Cop (or Copper).—A police constable.
Copper-top.—Red head.
Copper show.—A copper mine.
Count, to take the.—In pugilism, to remain prostrate for ten counted seconds, and thus lose the fight.
Cove.—A “chap” or “bloke.” q.v. (Gipsy).
Cow.—A thoroughly unworthy, not to say despicable person, place, thing or circumstance.
Crack.—To smite. s. A blow.
Crack a boo.—To divulge a secret; to betray emotion.
Crack hardy.—To suppress emotion; to endure patiently; to keep a secret.
Cray.—A crayfish.
Crib.—A dwelling.
Croak.—To die.
Crook.—A dishonest or evil person.
Crook.—Unwell; dishonest; spurious; fraudulent. Superlative, Dead Crook.
Crool (cruel) the pitch.—To frustrate; to interfere with one’s schemes or welfare.
Crust.—Sustenance; a livelihood.
Cut it out.—Omit it; discontinue it.
Dago.—A native of Southern Europe.
Dash, to do one’s.—To reach one’s Waterloo.
Date.—An appointment.
Dawg (dog).—A contemptible person; ostentation. To put on dawg.—To behave in an arrogant manner.
Dead.—In a superlative degree; very.
Deal.—To deal it out; to administer punishment; abuse, etc.
Deener.—A shilling (Fr. Denier. Denarius, a Roman silver coin).
Derry.—An aversion; a feud; a dislike.
Dickin.—A term signifying disgust or disbelief.
Dile (dial).—The face.
Dilly.—Foolish; half-witted.
Ding Dong.—Strenuous.
Dinkum.—Honest; true. “The Dinkum Oil.”—The truth.
Dirt.—Opprobrium, a mean speech or action.
Dirty left.—A formidable left fist.
Divvies.—Dividends; profits.
Dizzy limit.—The utmost; the superlative degree.
Do in.—To defeat; to kill; to spend.
Done me luck.—Lost my good fortune.
Dope.—A drug; adulterated liquor. v. To administer drugs.
Dot in the eye, to.—To strike in the eye.
Douse.—To extinguish (Anglo-Saxon).
Drive a quill.—To write with a pen; to work in an office.
Duck, to do a.—(See “break.”)
Duds.—Personal apparel (Scotch).
Dunno.—Do not know.
Dutch.—German; any native of Central Europe.
’Eads (Heads).—The authorities; inner council.
’Eadin’.—“Heading browns;” tossing pennies.
’Ead over Turkey.—Heels over head.
’Ead Serang.—The chief; the leader.
’Eavyweight.—A boxer of the heaviest class.
’Ell fer leather.—In extreme haste.
End up, to get.—To raise to one’s feet.
Fade away, to.—To retire; to withdraw.
Fag.—A cigarette.
Fair.—Extreme; positive.
Fair thing.—A wise proceeding; an obvious duty.
Fake.—A swindle; a hoax.
Finger.—An eccentric or amusing person.
Flam.—Nonsense, makebelieve.
Flash.—Ostentatious; showy but counterfeit.
Float, to.—To give up the ghost.
Fluff, a bit of.—A young female person.
Foot (me foot).—A term expressing ridicule.
Frame.—The body.
Funk, to.—To fear; to lose courage.
Furphy.—An idle rumour; a canard.
Galoot.—A simpleton.
Game.—Occupation; scheme; design.
Gawsave.—The National Anthem.
Gazob.—A fool; a blunderer.
Geewhizz.—Exclamation expressing surprise,
Get, to do a.—To retreat hastily.
Gilt.—Money; wealth.
Give, to.—In one sense, to care.
Gizzard.—The heart.
Glarssy.—The glassy eye; a glance of cold disdain. The Glassey Alley.—The favourite; the most admired.
Glim.—A light.
Going (while the going is good).—While the path is clear.
Gone (fair gone).—Overcome, as with emotion.
Goo-goo eyes.—Loving glances.
Gorspil-cove.—A minister of the Gospel.
Grafter.—One who toils hard or willingly.
Griffin, the straight.—The truth; secret information.
Grip.—Occupation; employment.
Groggy.—Unsteady; dazed.
Grouch.—To mope; to grumble.
Guy.—A foolish fellow.
Guy, to do a.—To retire.
Handies.—A fondling of hands between lovers.
Hanfg out.—To reside; to last.
Hang-over.—The aftermath of the night before.
High-falutin’.—High sounding; boastful.
Hitch, to.—To wed.
Hitched.—Entangled in the bonds of holy matrimony.
Hit things up.—To behave strenuously; riotously.
Hot.—Excessive; extreme.
Hump, the.—A fit of depression.
Hump, to.—To carry as a swag or other burden.
Imshee.—Begone; retreat; to take yourself off.
Intro.—Introduction; knock-down. q.v.
It (to be It).—To assume a position of supreme importance.
Jab.—To strike smartly.
Jane.—A woman.
Jiff.—A very brief period.
Job, to.—To smite.
Joes.—Melancholy thoughts.
John.—A policeman.
Joint, to jump the.—To assume command; to occupy the “joint,”i.e., establishment, situation, place of business.
Jolt, to pass a.—To deliver a short, sharp blow.
Jor.—The jaw.
Jorb (job).—Avocation; employment.
Josser.—A simple fellow.
Jug.—A prison.
Keeps, for.—For ever; permanently.
Kid.—A child.
Kid, to.—To deceive; to persuade by flattery.
Kid Stakes.—Pretence.
King Pin.—The leader; the person of chief importance.
Kip.—A small chip used for tossing pennies in the occult game of two-up.
Kipsie.—A house; the home.
Knob.—The head; one in authority.
Knock-down.—A ceremony insisted upon by ladies who decline to be “picked up”; a formal introduction.
Knock-out drops.—Drugged or impure liquor.
Knock-out punch.—A knock-down blow.
Knut.—A fop; a well-dressed idler.
Lark.—A practical joke; a sportive jest.
Leery.—Vulgar; low.
Leeuwin.—Cape Leeuwin on the South-West coast of Australia.
Lid.—The hat. To dip the lid.—To raise the hat.
Limit.—The end; the full length.
Line up.—To approach; to accost.
Lip.—Impertinence. To give it lip.—To talk vociferously.
Little Bourke.—Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, Australia.
Little Lons.—Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Australia.
Lob, to.—To arrive.
’Loo.—Woolloomooloo, a part of Sydney.
Lumme.—Love me.
Lurk.—A plan of action; a regular occupation.
Mafeesh.—Finish; I am finished.
Mag.—To scold or talk noisily.
Mallee.—A species of Eucalypt; the country where the Mallee grows.
Mash.—To woo; to pay court. s. A lover.
Maul.—To lays hands upon, either violently or with affection.
Meet, a.—An assignation.
Mill.—A bout of fisticuffs.
Mix.—To mix it; to fight strenuously.
Mizzle.—To disappear; to depart suddenly.
Mo.—Abbreviation of “moment.”
Moll.—A woman of loose character.
Moniker.—A name; a title; a signature.
Mooch.—To saunter about aimlessly.
Moon.—To loiter.
Mud, my name is.—i.e., I am utterly discredited.
Mug, to.—To kiss.
Mullock, to poke.—To deride; to tease.
Nark.—s., a spoil-sport; a churlish fellow.
Nark, to.—To annoy; to foil.
Narked.—Angered; foiled.
Neck, to get in the.—To receive severe punishment, i.e., “Where the chicken got the axe.”
Nerve.—Confidence; impudence.
Nick.—Physical condition; good health.
Nipper.—A small boy.
Nose around, to.—To seek out inquisitively.
Nothing (ironically).—Literally “something considerable.”
Odds, above the.—Beyond the average; outside the pale.
Oopizootics.—An undiagnosed complaint.
Orfis (office).—A warning; a word of advice; a hint.
Oricle (oracle), to work the.—To secure desired results.
Orl (all in).—Without limit or restriction.
’To Socks.—Gaily coloured hose.
Out, to.—To render unconscious with a blow.
Out, all.—Quite exhausted; fully extended.
Pack, to send to the.—To relegate to obscurity.
Pal.—A friend; a mate (Gipsy).
Pard.—A partner; a mate.
Pass (pass ’im one).—To deliver a blow.
Pat, on one’s.—Alone; single-handed.
Peach.—A desirable young woman; “fresh as a peach.”
Peb (pebble).—A flash fellow; a “larrikin.”
Phiz.—The face.
Pick at.—To chaff; to annoy.
Pick up, to.—To dispense with the ceremony of a “knock-down” or introduction.
Pilot cove.—A clergyman.
Pile it on.—To rant; to exaggerate.
Pinch.—To steal; to place under arrest.
Pip.—A fit of depression.
Pitch a tale.—To trump up an excuse; to weave a romance.
Plant.—To bury.
Plug.—To smite with the fist.
Plug along, to.—To proceed doggedly.
Plunk.—An exclamation expressing the impact of a blow.
Podgy.—Fat; plump.
Point.—The region of the jaw; much sought after by pugilists.
Point, to.—To seize unfair advantage; to scheme.
Pole, up the.—Distraught through anger, fear, etc.; also, disappeared, vanished.
Pot, a.—A considerable amount; as a “pot of money.”
Pot, the old.—The male parent (from “Rhyming Slang,” the “old pot and pan”—the “old man.”)
Prad.—A horse.
Pug.—A pugilist.
Pull, to take a.—To desist; to discontinue.
Punch a cow.—To conduct a team of oxen.
Punter.—The natural prey of a “bookie.” q.v.
Push.—A company of rowdy fellows gathered together for ungentle purposes.
Queer the pitch.—To frustrate; to fool.
Quid.—A sovereign, or pound sterling.
Rabbit, to run the.—To convey liquor from a public-house.
Rag, to chew the.—To grieve; to brood.
Rag, to sky the.—To throw a towel into the air in token of surrender (pugilism).
Rain, to keep out of the.—To avoid danger; to act with caution.
Rat.—A street urchin; a wharf loafer.
Rattled.—Excited; confused.
Red ’ot.—Extreme; out-and-out.
Registry.—The office of a Registrar.
Ribuck.—Correct, genuine; an interjection signifying assent.
Rile.—To annoy. Riled.—Roused to anger.
Ring, the.—The arena of a prize-fight
Ring, the dead.—A remarkable likeness.
Rise, a.—An accession of fortune; an improvement.
Rocks.—A locality in Sydney.
Rorty.—Boisterous; rowdy.
Roust, or Rouse.—To upbraid with many words.
’Roy.—Fitzroy, a suburb of Melbourne; its football team.
Run against.—To meet more or less unexpectedly.
Saints.—A football team of St. Kilda, Victoria,
Sandy blight.—Ophthalmia.
Savvy.—Common-sense; shrewdness.
School.—A club; a clique of gamblers, or others.
Set, to.—To attack; to regard with disfavour.
Set, to have.—To have marked down for punishment or revenge.
Shick, shickered.—Intoxicated.
Shicker.—Intoxicating liquor.
Shinty.—A game resembling hockey.
Shook.—Stolen; disturbed.
Shook, on.—Infatuated.
Shyin’ or Shine.—Excellent; desirable.
Sight.—To tolerate; to permit; also to see; observe.
Sir Garneo.—In perfect order; satisfactory.
Sky the wipe.—See “Rag.”
Skirt or bit of skirt.—A female.
Skite.—To boast. Skiter.—A boaster
Slab.—A portion; a tall, awkward fellow.
Slanter.—Spurious; unfair.
Slap-up.—Admirable; excellent.
Slats.—The ribs.
Slaver.—One engaged in the “white slave traffic.”
Slick.—Smart; deft; quick.
Slope, to.—To elope; to leave in haste.
Sloppy.—Lachrymose; maudlin.
Slushy.—A toiler in a scullery.
Smooge.—To flatter or fawn; to bill and coo.
Smooger.—A sycophant; a courtier.
Snag.—A hindrance; formidable opponent.
Snake-’eaded.—Annoyed; vindictive.
Snake juice.—Strong drink.
Snare.—To acquire; to seize; to win.
Snide.—Inferior; of no account.
Snob.—A bootmaker.
Snout.—To bear a grudge.
Snouted.—Treated with disfavour.
Snuff, or snuff it.—To expire.
Sock it into.—To administer physical punishment.
Solid.—Severe; severely.
So-long.—A form of farewell.
Sool.—To attack; to urge on.
Soot, leadin’.—A chief attribute.
Sore, to get.—To become aggrieved.
Sore-head.—A curmudgeon.
Sour, to turn, or get.—To become pessimistic or discontented.
Spank.—To chastise maternal-wise.
Spar.—A gentle bout at fisticuffs.
Spare me days.—A pious ejaculation.
Splash.—To expend.
Splice.—To join in matrimony.
Spout.—To preach or speak at length.
Sprag.—To accost truculently.
Spruik.—To deliver a speech, as a showman.
Square.—Upright, honest.
Square an’ all.—Of a truth; verily.
Squiz.—A brief glance.
Stand-orf.—Retiring; reticent.
Stajum.—Stadium, where prize-fights are conducted.
Stiffened.—Bought over.
Stiff-un.—A corpse.
Stoke.—To nourish; to eat.
Stop a pot.—To quaff ale.
Stoush.—To punch with the fist. s. Violence.
Straight, on the.—In fair and honest fashion.
Strangle-hold.—An ungentle embrace in wrestling.
Strength of it.—The truth of it; the value of it.
Stretch, to do a.—To serve a term of imprisonment.
Strike.—The innocuous remnant of a hardy curse.
Strike.—To discover; to meet.
Strong, going.—Proceeding with vigour.
’Struth.—An emaciated oath.
Stunt.—A performance; a tale.
Swad, Swaddy.—A private soldier.
Swank.—Affectation; ostentation.
Swap.—To exchange.
Swell.—An exalted person.
Swig.—A draught of water or other liquid.
Tabbie.—A female.
Take ’em on.—Engage them in battle.
Take it out.—To undergo imprisonment in lieu of a fine.
Tart.—A young woman (contraction of sweetheart).
Tenner.—A ten-pound note.
Time, to do.—To serve a term in prison.
Time, to have no time for.—To regard with impatient disfavour.
Tip.—To forecast; to give; to warn.
Tip.—A warning; a prognostication; a hint.
Tipple.—Strong drink; to indulge in strong drink.
Toff.—An exalted person.
Tom.—A girl.
Took.—Arrested; apprehended.
Top, off one’s.—Out of one’s mind.
Top off, to.—To knock down; to assault.
Touch.—Manner; mode; fashion.
Toss in the towel.—See “Rag.”
Tough.—Unfortunate; hardy; also a “tug.” q.v.
Tough luck.—Misfortune.
Track with.—To woo; to “go walking with.”
Treat, a.—Excessively; abundantly.
Tucked away.—Interred.
Tug.—An uncouth fellow; a hardy rogue.
Tumble to, or to take a tumble.—To comprehend suddenly.
Turkey, head over.—Heels over head.
Turn down.—To reject; to dismiss.
Turn, out of one’s.—Impertinently; uninvited.
Twig.—To observe; to espy.
Two-up School.—A gambling den.
Umpty.—An indefinite numeral.
Upper-cut.—In pugilism, an upward blow.
Up to us.—Our turn; our duty.
Vag, on the.—Under the provisions of the Vagrancy Act.
Wallop.—To beat; chastise.
Waster.—A reprobate; an utterly useless and unworthy person.
Waterworks, to turn on the.—To shed tears.
Welt.—A blow.
Wet, to get.—To become incensed; ill-tempered.
White (white man).—A true, sterling fellow.
White-headed boy.—A favourite; a pet.
Willin’.—Strenuous; hearty.
Win, a.—Success.
Wise, to get.—To comprehend; to unmask deceit.
Wolf.—To eat.
Word.—To accost with fair speech.
Wot price.—Behold; how now!
Yakker.—Hard Toil.
Yap.—To talk volubly.
Yowling.—Wailing; caterwauling.

Rose of Spadgers - Contents

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