Early Evidence for ‘Bushranger’ and ‘Croppy’


Interest shown by historians and other scholars in the recording of the Australian vocabulary is welcome, particularly if they are able to indicate sources which have not yet been subject to scrutiny. In his note (Australian Literary Studies, vol. 2, no. 4) Dr N. Gunson seeks to demonstrate the potential usefulness of the journals of early residents and visitors, particularly missionaries, by discussing the early use of two words, bushranger and croppy. Noting that one of the citations for croppy comes from the reported speech of an Aboriginal, he goes on to the question of 'what other jargon or early colloquial speech may have been temporarily preserved in Aboriginal English' (p. 216), citing, inter alia, piccaninny. Some comment is needed on all of these points.

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Published 1 December 1966 in Volume 2 No. 4. Subjects: Australian English, Australian culture, Colloquialisms & slang, Language.

Cite as: Ramson, W. S.. ‘Early Evidence for ‘Bushranger’ and ‘Croppy’.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 2, no. 4, 1966, doi: 10.20314/als.e99f6d79b7.