Jimmy Woodser

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From a poem by Barcroft Boake, published in The Bulletin of 7 May 1892, about a fictional Jimmy Wood from Britain who is determined to end the practice of shouting (buying rounds of drinks for one′s group of mates).[1]

One man one liquor! though I have to die
A martyr to my faith, that′s Jimmy Wood, sir.

Another mooted derivation is the Sydney slang term Johnny Warder (a man who tries to cadge drinks), after the similarly eponymous John Ward, a Sydney publican.[1]

Noun[edit]

Jimmy Woodser (plural Jimmy Woodsers)

  1. (Australia, informal) A man who drinks alone.
    • 1900, Henry Lawson, They Wait on the Wharf in Black, in Over the Sliprails, Gutenberg eBook #1313,
      “What did you follow him below that time for, Mitchell?” I asked presently, for want of something better to say.
      Mitchell looked at me out of the corners of his eyes.
      “I wanted to score a drink!” he said. “I thought he wanted one and wouldn′t like to be a Jimmy Woodser.”
    • 1968, Geoffrey Dutton, Maxwell Henley Harris (editors), The Vital Decade: Ten Years of Australian Art and Letters, page 248,
      Not a bird in sight until I almost stepped on a solitary bleary eyed jimmy woodser pigeon staring or drinking at an oily puddle.
  2. (Australia, informal) A drink consumed alone.
    • 1988, The Bulletin, Issues 5602-5608, page 109,
      THERE WAS a man in a pub — a long, dark, scowling, string-bellied sort of joker drinking Jimmy Woodsers of rum and water — and his message, suitably censored, was this: he didn′t much care what beer-brokers did to, or with, their frightful brewery broth.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 “Woodser, Jimmy”, in 1970, Bill Wannan, Australian Folklore, Lansdowne Press, reprint 1979, ISBN 0-7018-1309-1, page 567.