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PAGE 4

Steelman’s Pupil
by [?]

drown the miller: to add too much water to flour when cooking. Used metaphorically in story.

fossick: pick over areas for gold. Not mining as such.

half-caser: Two shillings and sixpence. As a coin, a half-crown.

half-sov.: a coin worth half a pound (sovereign)

Gladesville: Sydney suburb–site of mental hospital.

goanna: various kinds of monitor lizards. Can be quite a size.

Homebush: Saleyard, market area in Sydney

humpy: originally an aboriginal shelter (=gunyah); extended to a settler’s hut

jackaroo: (Jack + kangaroo; sometimes jackeroo)–someone, in early days a new immigrant from England, learning to work on a sheep/cattle station (U.S. “ranch”)

jumbuck: a sheep (best known from Waltzing Matilda: “where’s that jolly jumbuck, you’ve got in your tucker bag”.

larrikin: anything from a disrespectful young man to a violent member of a gang (“push”). Was considered a major social problem in Sydney of the 1880’s to 1900. The Bulletin, a magazine in which much of Lawson was published, spoke of the “aggressive, soft-hatted “stoush brigade”. Anyone today who is disrespectful of authority or convention is said to show the larrikin element in the Australian character.

larrikiness: jocular feminine form

leather-jacket: kind of pancake (more often a fish, these days)

lucerne: cattle feed-a leguminous plant, alfalfa in US

lumper: labourer; esp. on wharves?

mallee: dwarfed eucalyptus trees growing in very poor soil and under harsh rainfall conditions. Usually many stems emerging from the ground, creating a low thicket.

Maoriland: Lawson’s name for New Zealand

marine, dead: see dead

mooching: wandering idly, not going anywhere in particular

mug: gullible person, a con-man’s ‘mark’ (potential victim)

mulga: Acacia sp. (“wattle” in Australian) especially Acacia aneura; growing in semi-desert conditions. Used as a description of such a harsh region.

mullock: the tailings left after gold has been removed. In Lawson generally mud (alluvial) rather than rock

myall: aboriginal living in a traditional–pre-conquest–manner

narked: annoyed

navvies: labourers (especially making roads, railways; originally canals, thus from ‘navigators’)

nobbler: a drink

nuggety: compact but strong physique; small but well-muscled

pannikin: metal mug

peckish: hungry–usually only mildly so. Use here is thus ironic.

poley: a dehorned cow

poddy-(calf): a calf separated from its mother but still needing milk

rouseabout: labourer in a (sheep) shearing shed. Considered to be, as far as any work is, unskilled labour.

sawney: silly, gormless

selector: small farmer who under the “Selection Act (Alienation of Land Act”, Sydney 1862 could settle on a few acres of land and farm it, with hope of buying it. As the land had been leased by “squatters” to run sheep, they were NOT popular. The land was usually pretty poor, and there was little transport to get food to market, many, many failed. (The same mistake was made after WWI– returned soldiers were given land to starve on.)

shanty: besides common meaning of shack it refers to an unofficial (and illegal) grog-shop; in contrast to the legal ‘pub’.

spieler; con artist

sliprails: in lieu of a gate, the rails of a fence may be loosely socketed into posts, so that they may ‘let down’ (i.e. one end pushed in socket, the other end resting on the ground). See ‘A Day on a Selection’

spree: prolonged drinking bout–days, weeks.

stoush: a fight,

strike: the perhaps the Shearers’ strike in Barcaldine, Queensland, 1891 gjc]

sundowner: a swagman (see) who is NOT looking for work, but a “handout”. Lawson explains the term as referring to someone who turns up at a station at sundown, just in time for “tea” i.e. the evening meal. In view of the Great Depression of the time, these expressions of attitude are probably unfair, but the attitudes are common enough even today.

Surry Hills: Sydney inner suburb (where I live)

swagman (swaggy): Generally, anyone who is walking in the “outback” with a swag. (See “The Romance of the Swag” in Children of the Bush, also a PG Etext) Lawson also restricts it at times to those whom he considers to be tramps, not looking for work but for “handouts”. See ‘travellers’.

‘swelp: mild oath of affirmation =”so help me [God]”

travellers: “shearers and rouseabouts travelling for work” (Lawson).

whare: small Maori house–is it used here for European equivalent? Help anyone?

whipping the cat: drunk