‘Barney’s bull’: meanings and early occurrences

Australia, 1834—used in various phrases, in particular as a type of someone or something in a very bad state or condition—also in the phrase ‘all behind like Barney’s bull’, meaning ‘very delayed’ or ‘backward’—origin unknown

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‘gyppy tummy’: meaning and origin

diarrhoea suffered by travellers, especially in Egypt—1915, British Army—the word ‘gyppy’ is from ‘gyp’ in ‘Egyptian’, and the suffix ‘-y’, used to form familiar diminutives

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‘to shoot the cat’: meaning (and origin?)

to vomit, especially from drunkenness—slang, obsolete—UK, 1785—perhaps alludes to the fact that cats are prone to vomit—cf. also the obsolete French verb ‘renarder’, to vomit, from the noun ‘renard’, denoting a fox

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Australian terms referring to left-handedness

left-handed: ‘molly-handed’, ‘mauldy’, ‘molly-dooked’—a left-handed person: ‘molly-hander’, ‘mauldy’, ‘molly-dook’—‘molly’ and ‘mauldy’ may derive from ‘mauley’, denoting the hand or fist; ‘dook’ is ‘duke’, denoting the hand or fist

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‘oojah’: meanings (and origin?)

UK, 1917—used when one cannot think of, or does not wish to use, the name of a thing; by extension, a useful implement, a gadget—origin unknown

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