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From national service +‎ -o (diminutive suffix).

Alternative forms[edit]


nasho (plural nashos)

  1. (chiefly Australia, informal, uncountable) Military national service, conscription.
    • 1981, Clive James, Unreliable Memoirs, unnumbered page,
      National Service was meant to turn boys into men and make the Yellow Peril think twice about moving south. It was universally known as Nasho – a typically Australian diminutive. [] But the most brutal fact about Nasho was the initial seventy-seven-day period of basic training, most of which took place at Ingleburn.
  2. (chiefly Australia, informal, countable) A person doing military national service.
    • 2007, Alexandre Binda, Chris Cocks, The Saints: The Rhodesian Light Infantry, page 176,
      The white Rhodie ‘nashos’ (another derogatory term for national servicemen—this time from the Brit regulars), however, brought to the battalion a level of education that was previously unknown.
    • 2009, Raja (Arasa) Ratnam, The Dance of Destiny, page 166,
      [] an English acquaintance. He had been one of the national servicemen from the UK stationed in Malaya, and had had his share of duty on the night train. He explained that many of his ‘nasho’ colleagues were sensibly afraid of being shot at.
    • 2010, David Horner, Australia′s Military History For Dummies, unnumbered page,
      Apart from 1 RAR, all the battalions included National Servicemen (Nashos), but in the field there was no distinction between the Nashos and the Regular soldiers (Regs).
    • 2011, Gerard Windsor, All Day Long the Noise of Battle: Charlie Company at the Bunkers, unnumbered page,
      Two groups of soldiers made up the Australian forces in Vietnam—members of the Regular Army and National Servicemen. The Nashos, as they were popularly known, had been plucked willy nilly from the general male population, chosen by lottery. [] Officially only National Servicemen who volunteered to go to Vietnam did so, but many Nashos said they had never been given an option.

Usage notes[edit]

In Australian usage, the term refers specifically to the period of the Vietnam War, when national service became particularly controversial. National service has not been invoked since that time.