Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Australian Slang - Local Lingo

Unique Phrases - Memorable Quotes - J


JACK - detective (criminal slang 1940)

JACKASS - a kookaburra, renowned for its cackling laugh; someone who laughs at anything

JACK UP - refuse to do something

JACK UP - to plead not guilty before a Magistrate (Criminal slang 1950s)

JACK OF IT - had enough of it; exasperated

JACKEROO - a city boy or an Englishman working on a property. 'Young gentleman getting the 'colonial experience' in the bush are called jackeroos by station hands. (1873)

JACKIE DOW'S MUTTON - living off the country

JACKING UP - objecting

JACK OR JACKMAN - lazy digger or one who places himself above others

JACK MCNAB - scab = jack (rhyming slang)

JACKS - military police WW1

JACK SCRATCH - got a match? (soldier slang WW1)

JACK SHAY - a tin quart pot used for boiling tea in and contrived so as to hold it within a tin pint pot c. 1895

JACK THE PAINTER - an adulterated green tea used in the bush, produced by the use of the copper drying pans in its manufacture

JACKIE HOWE - John Robert Howe - gun shearer. At Alice Downs station outside Blackall, Jackie set the record for hand shearing 321 sheep in just seven hours and forty minutes.

JACKIE HOWE - sleeveless, singlet worn by shearers

JACKIE - 19th century term for an Aborigine

JACK SCRATCHES - matches (rhyming slang)

JACKY WINTER - vernacular name in NSW of the Brown Flycatcher (Morris 1898)

JAFFAS - chocolate coated orange lollies first made in 1931

JAFFLE IRON - Device used to make toasted snacks by heating over a fire. Designed, named and patented in Australia in June 1949 by Dr Ernest E. Smithers from Bondi

JAMPOT - very high, starched stand-up collar worn by dandies c. 1895

JATZ CRACKERS - Rhyming slang for knackers; male genitalia

JELLY CAKES - small cakes covered in jelly and rolled in coconut

JERILDERIE LETTER - 56 page document written by bushranger Ned Kelly as a justification of his actions in the year before his death

JERRY - understand

JIB - face - prison slang c. 1893

JIFFY - a brief period of time

JIGGER - small wireless sets manufactured by prisoners (Long Bay gaol 1946)

JIGGERED - broken

JILLAROO - a young female version of a jackaroo


JIMMYGRANTS - immigrants. Often used mid century re Italian and Greek newcomers

JIMMY WOODSER - a man who drinks alone. From a poem by Barcroft Boake, published in The Bulletin of 7 May 1892

JINDALEE RADAR SYSTEM - developed in 1995 to detect stealth aircraft through monitoring sea and air movements.

JINKER - wood carrier; vehicle

JOB - strike a blow

JOCK - Scottish soldier (WW1)

JOE BLAKE - snake

JOE BLAKES - shakes (rhyming slang) - after a drinking sessions

JOE BLOW - an average sort of bloke

JOES or JOE BLAKES - the blues or delerium tremens (WW2)

JOES - Gold fields - Licence boundaries for mines were strictly enforced, and the approach of the police was signalled by the cry of Joe! Joe! as miners without licences scrambled to escape the grasp of the law. Joe or Charlie Joe were terms of derision for the Lieutenant-Governor Charles Joseph Latrobe

JOEY - young marsupial. Also pinkie

JOEY - a fake (Army 1945)

JOEY or JO JOS - another name for bindi-eyes. Used around Newcastle Hunter Valley

JOHN DORY - J.D. - story. What's the JD. What's the story, what's happening? (rhyming slang)

JOHN HOP - cop - police officer (rhyming slang)

JOINT - a place of business. Jump the joint is to take command of the situation

JONNICK also JANNOCK - fair, honest, true (1870s)

JORN - the Jindalee Operational Radar Network. Stretching from Queensland to Western Australia, JORN is a state-of-the-art Over The Horizon Radar (OTHR) network that monitors activity across thousands of kilometres invisible to conventional radar

JOURNO - journalist

JUG - prison

JUICE - petrol

JUMBUCK - sheep, from an aboriginal word for a white mist, which a flock of sheep resembled. First used in 1824

JUMPER - sweater

JUMP THE JOINT - take command of a situation

JUST ROCK UP - come whenever