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A dunny (rudimentary outside toilet) in Wolcha, New South Wales, Australia

Etymology 1[edit]

From dunnekin ‎(privy, cesspit), via Australian convicts' flash language brought from London.



dunny ‎(plural dunnies)

  1. (Australia, New Zealand, slang) A toilet, often outside and rudimentary. [From 1933.]
    • 2008, Judith L. McNeil, No One's Child, page 95,
      There was one leaning dunny down the back and, if you stayed very quiet, on a very still day you could hear the white ants as they chewed the wood.The bottom boards were already eaten through, and I avoided using the dunny at all costs.
    • 2010, Kathleen M. McGinley, Out of the Daydream: Based on the Autobiography of Barry Mcginley Jones, page 47,
      The dunny was another place to go to get out of class. You got to go there by raising your hand in class and asking Miss if you could go to the lav.
    • 2010, Christopher Milne, The Boy Who Lived in a Dunny, in The Day Our Teacher Went Mad and Other Naughty Stories for Good Boys and Girls, unnumbered page,
      ‘Until you wake up to yourself, you can live in the old dunny for all I care.’
      ‘All right, I will,’ said Tony.
  2. (Scottish and northern English, slang, dated) An outside toilet, or the passageway leading to it; (by extension) a passageway or cellar.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]


dunny ‎(comparative more dunny, superlative most dunny)

  1. (Britain, dialect) Deaf; stupid.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Sir Walter Scott
      My old dame Joan is something dunny, and will scarce know how to manage.