boong

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

First used by soldiers in New Guinea. Suggested sources are

Previously the word binghi was used widely in similar fashion to the present-day use of the term Negro for peoples of African ancestry, see titles from this booklist and also writings of Xavier Herbert (e.g. in Capricornia), for example.

Noun[edit]

boong (plural boongs)

  1. (Australia, slang, dated) A native of New Guinea.
    • 1943, Australian Army, Timor Souvenir, in Khaki and Green: With the Australian Army at Home and Overseas, page 119,
      A couple of boongs came down and carried me up to the hut where our R.A.P. corporal was.
    • 1998, August Ibrum K. Kituai, My Gun, My Brother: The World of the Papua New Guinea Colonial Police, 1920-1960, page 282,
      During the War the soldiers generally referred to Papua New Guineans as “Boongs,” a name also given to black Americans. It is not a nice word, but is fair to say that the Aussies held the boongs in quite some affection during the War.
    • 2000, Prue Torney-Parlicki, Somewhere in Asia: War, Journalism and Australia's Neighbours 1941-75, page 48,
      [Department of Information cameraman Damien] Parer's views on mateship encompassed both the Papuans and the soldiers: at one point he wrote ‘“no boongs, no battle”, implying that natives and diggers were equal partners in their fight against the Japanese.’71
  2. (Australia, slang, very pejorative) An Australian aboriginal.
    • 1988, Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines, page 92,
      I heard Bruce tell one of the drinkers he'd bought a place in Queensland where you could ‘still call a Boong a Boong’.
    • 2010, Peter Temple, The Broken Shore, page 82,
      [] I quit the feds because I didn't want to be a showpiece boong cop.’
    • 2011, Linda Lee Rathbun, Tjuringa, unnumbered page,
      “Yeah,” he said, “them boongs are a useless lot. The sooner they all die off, the better.”
      “And why is that?” Bill asked.
      “The Abos are nothing but a pack of boozers. All they wanna' do is get pissed.” The man glared at his beer. “Useless, they are.”

Synonyms[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1959, Xavier Herbert, Seven Emus, 2003, page 5 — The term boong is originally Malayan, meaning “brother”, but it doesn't mean anything like that in Australian usage.
  2. ^ 1988, The Bulletin, Issues 5617-5625, page 121 — They would doubtless have been amused to learn that in New Guinea, where the term "boong" originated, it means "brother" and has a kinship with the Indonesian "bung" and Thursday Island's "binghi".

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