William Thomas Goodge

Here you will find the Poem The Australian Slanguage of poet William Thomas Goodge

The Australian Slanguage

"Tis the everyday Australian
 Has a language of his own,
Has a language, or a slanguage,
 Which can simply stand alone.
And a "dickon pitch to kid us"
 Is a synonym for "lie",
And to "nark it" means to stop it,
 And to "nit it" means to fly.

And a bosom friend's a "cobber,"
 And a horse a "prad" or "moke,"
While a casual acquaintance
 Is a "joker" or a "bloke."
And his lady-love's his "donah"
 or his "clinah" or his "tart"
Or his "little bit o'muslin,"
 As it used to be his "bart."

And his naming of the coinage
 Is a mystery to some,
With his "quid" and "half-a-caser"
 And his "deener" and his "scrum".
And a "tin-back" is a party
 Who's remarkable for luck,
And his food is called his "tucker"
 Or his "panem" or his "chuck".

A policeman is a "johnny"
 Or a "copman" or a "trap",
And a thing obtained on credit
 Is invariably "strap".
A conviction"s known as "trouble",
 And a gaol is called a "jug",
And a sharper is a "spieler"
 And a simpleton's a "tug".

If he hits a man in fighting
 That is what he calls a "plug",
If he borrows money from you
 He will say he "bit your lug."
And to "shake it" is to steal it,
 And to "strike it" is to beg;
And a jest is "poking borac",
 And a jester "pulls your leg".

Things are "cronk" when they go wrongly
 In the language of the "push",
But when things go as he wants 'em
 He declares it is "all cush".
When he's bright he's got a "napper",
 And he's "ratty" when he's daft,
And when looking for employment
 He is "out o'blooming graft".

And his clothes he calls his "clobber"
 Or his "togs", but what of that
When a "castor" or a "kady"
 Is the name he gives his hat!
And our undiluted English
 Is a fad to which we cling,
But the great Australian slanguage
 Is a truly awful thing!