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WW1 Digger History Podcast

WWI Digger Stories Podcast reproduces the diaires, memoirs and letters of the real participants in the war that changed the course of the 20th Century. What was it like to be in the trenches, on the ships or behind the big guns where death stalked in infinite ways and it was impossible to make friends unless you were prepared to lose tham at any moment.

This podcast is formatted with each diairy or memoir forming a series, usually taking the listener through the war from beginning to end, from raw recruit to returning veteran, as it was experienced by the soldier and in his (or her, when I include Nurses stories) own words.

Episode 1.6 Definitions

May 6, 2016

‘Loots’ means Lieutenants. On this, I have been pronouncing this word with the traditional English “left” beginning, I suspect the American “loo” beginning was already being used by many. It certainly is the common version used in Australia today.

‘outback’ here means the rear areas behind the combat zone.

‘neers’ is short for Pioneers. These guys were the engineers or trades specialists in the forces.

Playfair is a cipher based on the alphabet

‘duff’ means the steamed pudding in this context.

‘dripping’ refers to animal fat

‘well oiled’ means drunk.

‘bulsh’  is short for bullshit.

‘Bananalanders’ are people from Queensland.

‘furphies’ are rumours, akin to ‘scuttlebutt’ and derives from a mobile water cart used by the AIF in large numbers to transport water for the troops. The men would swap rumours, stories, jokes, etc while they stood around the furphy cart.

‘their endearing term’ refers to the term ‘pommy bastard’. To a non-Australian, it sounds downright insulting but it is just as often used as a rebuff to a ‘pommy’, friend that has said or done something foolish, as it is on a ‘pommy’ you don’t know. A “pommy’ or ‘pom’, in case you don’t know is an Englishperson.

‘Toc emmas’ or TMs are trench mortars.

‘star artists’ are Lieutenants.

That ‘N’ word is shortened to ‘nigs’ here. Inter-racial relations during the early 20th Century would take a whole podcast. So, I won’t try, but I will say that we have to remember when we don our rose coloured glasses that sensibilities can change dramatically over a century. No one of any race would have thought twice about using a racist tag then.

IT and HP are signalling devices.

‘crook’ means sick.

‘fags’ means cigarettes.