Waltzing Matilda

Published in 1943 and given to every American serviceman heading Down Under to help with the war effort, the US War Department’s A Pocket Guide To Australia can be now be read in a different light.


Almost 70 years on, the Pocket Guide appears to be a pretty accurate description of who we were. It may be quaint, but it’s a time capsule that says much about how we have changed as a people in outlook, ethnic composition, custom and language.

It tells of a mad gambling, umpire-hating people, who have strange ways of speaking, putting an ‘i’ where the ‘a’ should be. The booklet’s glossary of Australian slang contains words that have long since passed from our everyday usage.

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  • Mark/Fox says:

    08:48pm | 05/03/12

    What was the original true blue Aussie is long gone, reliable, honest and trustworthy. Nowdays we have multiculturalism, “Dog eat Dog”. They were the good old days where you could leave the keys in your car. Nowdays you sleep with a baseball bat under your bed and you cannot read… Read more »

  • Cynicised says:

    04:26pm | 05/03/12

    On reflection, your idea that this was the beginning of widespread TPS  in this country has merit if you accept Weber’s  contention that the acquisition of status is a zero-sum game, that is, in order for one person (or group) to rise, another must fall. On a group level the perceived… Read more »


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