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.