The Glossary [for The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke, by C.J. Dennis]

[Editor: This glossary of words and phrases by C.J. Dennis was published in The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke.]

The Glossary


For use with “The Sentimental Bloke” and “Ginger Mick.”

A.I.F. — Australian Imperial Force.
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. — 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.
Bong-tong. — Patrician (Fr. Bon ton).
Bonzer, boshter, bosker. — Adjectives expressing the superlative of excellence.
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.
Champeen. — Champion.
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 a speech; 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. A fair cow. — An utterly obnoxious and otherwise inexpressible 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, &c.
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 rise 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; make-believe.
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.
Footer. — Football.
Frame. — The body.
Frill. — Affectation.
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.
Graft. — Work.
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.
Grub. — Food.
Guff. — Nonsense.
Guy. — A foolish fellow.
Guy, to do a. — To retire.
Guyver. — Make-believe.

Handies. — A fondling of hands between lovers.
Hang out. — To reside; to last.
Hang-over. — The aftermath of the night before.
Hankies. — Handkerchiefs.
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.

Keekin’. — Peeping.
Keeps, for. — For ever; permanently.
Kersplosh. — Splash.
Kid. — A child.
Kid, to. — To deceive; to persuade by flattery.
Kiddies. — Children.
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.
Lash. — Violence.
Ledding. — Leaden.
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.
Lingo. — Language.
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 lay 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. — An 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.
Mushy. — Sentimental.

Nark. — s. A spoil-sport; a churlish fellow.
Nark, to. — To annoy; to foil.
Narked. — Angered; foiled.
Natchril. — Natural
Neck, to get it 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.
’Ot socks. — Gaily-coloured hose.
Out, all. — Quite exhausted; fully extended.
Out, to. — To render unconscious with a blow.

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.
Pile it on. — To rant; to exaggerate.
Pilot Cove. — A clergyman.
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, &c.; 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.
Quod. — Prison.

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.
Scran. — Food.
Scrap. — Fight.
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.
Skirt or bit of skirt. — A female.
Skite. — To boast. Skiter. — A boaster.
Sky the wipe. — See “Rag.”
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 of fisticuffs.
Spare me days. — A pious ejaculation.
Specs. — Spectacles.
Splash. — To expend.
Splice. — To join in holy 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.
Stuff. — Money.
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.
Togs. — Clothes.
Togged. — Garbed.
Tom. — A girl.
Tony. — Stylish.
Took. — Arrested; apprehended.
Top, off one’s. — Out of one’s mind.
Top off, to. — To knock down; to assault.
Toss in the towel. — See “Rag.”
Touch. — Manner; mode; fashion.
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; 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.
Uppish. — Proud.
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, turn on the. — To shed tears.
Welt. — A blow.
Wet, to get. — To become incensed ; ill-tempered.
Whips. — Abundance .
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.

C. J. Dennis. The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1917 [first published 1915], pages 119-136

Editor’s notes:
bellers = the lungs (from bellows)

divers = a number of items (all of which are not necessarily different, they may all be identical, i.e. distinct from “diverse”), several, sundry, various; “divers” is also an archaic spelling variant of “diverse” (a number of items which are different to each other, a wide range of various types)

in all me natchril = a shortened version of the phrase “in all my natural born days”

mug = to kiss; also, the mouth; also, the face; also, a fool

struth = an oath, a contraction of “God’s truth”, also rendered as “Gawstruth” or “Gorstruth”

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