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.