new chum

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From new + chum.

Noun[edit]

new chum (plural new chums)

  1. (Australia, archaic) A newly arrived convict.
  2. (Australia) A beginner, a novice.
  3. (Australia, chiefly dated, mildly derogatory) A newly arrived and inexperienced immigrant; a newcomer.
    • 1906, Edward Dyson, In the Roaring Fifties, 2005, Gutenberg eBook #17045,
      New chum?’ queried the barman, after serving him.
      ‘I suppose I am,’ replied Jim. ‘Look here, would you mind telling me what in the devil′s name a new chum is?'
      ‘A new chum is a man fresh from home.’
      ‘From England?'
      ‘Scotland, Ireland, anywhere else, if he′s green and inexperienced. Miners from the Californian fields don′t rank as new chums.’
      'And how am I known as a new chum?’
      The barman grinned. ‘That′ll tell on you all over the place,’ he said, indicating the bag. ‘That′s a true new chum′s bundle. No Australian would expatriate himself by carrying his goods in that fashion. He makes them up in a roll, straps them, and carries them in a sling on his back. His bundle is then a swag. The swag is the Australian′s national badge.’
    • 1915, Norman Duncan, Australian Byways, page 44,
      Once, said he, a new chum came to the jarrah bush. A new chum is a tenderfoot, specifically an English tenderfot; he is, of course, the butt of every bush and mining camp in Australia.
    • 1990, John Lane, Fairbridge Kid, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, page 114,
      Being a new chum at Fairbridge meant that I had to go through a lengthy period of initiation all over again.
    • 2004, Humphrey McQueen, A New Britannia, University of Queensland Press, Fourth edition, page 11,
      This acceptance applies to ‘new chums’ in Australia as well as the folks at Home. Much of the evidence that Australians disliked ‘new chums’ comes from Alexander Harris who, as a ‘new chum’ himself, was quite well treated by the ‘old hands’. The emphasis of colonial disdain was on the ‘new’ rather than the ‘chum’.

Synonyms[edit]

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