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The Dukie dictionary of slang

It is ironic that in the lexicon of instant messaging of contemporary society, the Dukies of today probably share the common language of www computer-speak, but no longer have a private language of their own. I say probably because I have no knowledge of how they express themselves among themselves. Nevertheless, the art of linguistic inventiveness is probably lost on them because they communicate in the common lingo required for instant messaging via the computer, Blackberry, cell-phone and iPod etc.

The merit of a private language whether defined by region, county, tribe or geographical area is obvious. It makes communication among members of a particular grouping such as the Duke of York's School exclusive. Eton, Harrow, Wellington and other notable public schools have their beaks (masters) and fags (junior boy servants to older boys). Members of adult staffs might become familiar with some expressions in use, but others are so obscure as to defy the wit of the sharpest adult.

Through the ages, the Duke of York's has had a private language of slang to which outsiders, even members staff, were not privy. Words and phrases came into fashion and were discarded when they lost their coinage. Some words remain popular over long periods. Others are short-lived. 'Black messenger' for instance, which has no racist overtones, would be unknown to Dukies of the present generation because, if for no other reason, they no longer have to bone and polish boots. Theirs are already well-shined and easy to keep clean. Their food, too, is so much improved they no longer have use for expressions such as 'snakey' and 'spare wang'.

Thanks to his interest in the subject, Ray Pearson, who was at the school at Saunton Sands in North Devon during World War II, collected and recorded a number of words and phrases in vogue at various periods up to 1978. Some were lifted without apology from Lewis Rudd's 1935 history.
Appos n Application form for holidays (1935-1950)
Astors feed n Christmas Party given by Lord and Lady Astor (1930-1940)
Bandy n The bandmaster (1935-1950)
Bang out v to shout (1930-1950)
Barker n Sausage (1935-1967)
Barney n Any school workman (1920-1950)
BOD abbr. You've been fooled, pro. ba dee dee (1970-1978)
Black messenger n A thrown boot brush (1920-1940)
Blip n A large or overweight boy (1960-1970)
Bo n One who washes only infrequently pro. bow as in bow tie (1970-1978)
Bonk adj Deaf; unable or unwilling to hear (19th Century)
Brainy bonk A swot; one who studies hard, crams (1920-1950)  
Bubbler n A cry baby ((1930-1940)
Bung up To tell a lie ((1940-1950)
Buzz n Prefects common room (1940-1960)
Cander n Button or brass polish (1935-1950)
Chaw n Junior prefect (1910-1950)
Civvy blad n Non-Dukie boy (1940-1950)
Cogs v To reserve for oneself ... food, contents of parcel etc. (1960-1970)
Cossacks n Boots (1920-1935)
Daddy bick n Long pudding or duff as in, for instance, 'plum duff' (1930-1940)
Dago n Knife (Traditional)
Darner n One who mends socks (1930-1940)
Dib v To smoke (1935-1950)
Dibber n One who smokes cigarettes, a smoker (1935-1950)
Dodger n A good conduct stripe (1935-1950)
Doidies n Protruding teeth (1935-1950)
Dork n A slice of bread pl dorks (Traditional)
Do trade v To clean boots, make beds, clean brass buttons for payment (1940-1950)
Dush n Pocket money (1960-1978)
EPI To have an outburst of temper (1960-1978)
Fiddler n Bugler (1930-1940)
Fierce v To be unfriendly (19th Century)
Fripp n A non-existent person (19th Century)
Gammy n The Commandant (1935-1950)
Gated To be confined to school, denied an afternoon pass (1940-1950)
Gash n Extra, left-over or spare food (1930-1040)
Gig n A girl (1920-1950)
Gigs n Spectacles or prescription glasses (1960-1978)
Gob v To spit (1935-1950)
Grezzer n Spit
Gyms Unofficial and arbitary punishment for which a gym shoe was used (1960-1978)
Hardbake n The crust or end slice of a loaf (1930-1950)
Hide and seek n Bacon and tomato pie (1935-1945)
Jack n Any school workman (1930-1935)
Jerk n Any school workman (1960-1078)
Jerkmobile n A 4-wheeled workmans trolley (1960-1978)
Jew in v To push into a queue; or to jump a queue (Traditional)
Jit n A boil, particularly one on the back of one's neck (1935-1950)
Juice n Gravy (1930-1950)
Junglies n Baggy underwear (1960-78)
KCB abbr Kippers and coffee for breakfast (1920-1930)
Klep n A thief (1960-1978)
Lick v To curry favour (1935-1978)
Ma Bick n Round pudding (1930-1940)
Mare up v To rag, tip over a bed in the dark; often on the night before holidays (1935-1950)
Marmo n Marmalade pudding (1920-1935)
Marmo Mick n A pudding scoffer or pudding glutton (1920-1935)
Mick n A greed (1920-1925)
Minner n A monitor or boy sergeant (1920-1925)
Newchie n A new boy (1910-1978)
Nib An expression of self-praise (1935-1950)
Noodle n A new boy (19th Century)
Petes n pl Prefects (1920-1930)
Rucks Short rations (1930-1950)
Salmon junk n Fish and potato pie (1935-1950)
Scad v To make haste; go fast, run (Traditional)
Schmo n A short cutter; one who removes vest, shirt and jersey in a single movement (1960-1978)
Shiner n A boot brush (1940-1950)
Sides A boring, time-consuming punishment (1960-1978)
Skit n Company sergeant major; or later, housemaster ((1935-1950)
Skit v To look out for someone doing something not allowed (Traditional)
Slab n Boot room (1910-1930)
Slasher n A boy who wets the bed (1930-1940)
Slavo n A batman or fag; one who serves an older boy (19th Century)
Slick adj Smart with reference to slicked hair ((1940-1950)
Snakey n Rancid butter (1935-1945)
Spare wang n Cabbage, swede, turnip vegetables (1930-1950)
Spitchy gig n A lovely girl (1920-1950)
Spin out n A story told after lights out (1920-1950)
Splatter n Butter ((1950-1960)
Sprar n The Regimental Sergeant Major or RSM (1935-1978)
Sprey n The Regimental Sergeant Major or RSM (1960-1978)
Squaddy n A junior drill enthusiast (1960-1978)
Stewed bed irons n Foul medicine (1930-1950)
Stoke up v To blush (1935-1950)
Stuck in Confined to hospital (1960-1978)
Sweat on The hard work of polishing boots (1980-1978)
Sweating on Hoping for promotion (1960-1978
Taken up Reported for wrong doing (1960-1978)
Tax-up A demand to give part of one's food to another boy (1930-1950)
Toast up v To blush (1940-1945)
Togs n Plimsoles, running shoes (1960-1978)
Torchlight soup n Brown Windsor soup given after band engagements (1920-1935)
Toughun n A fighter, scrapper (19th Century)
Traf n A fart, eructation, breaking wind (Traditional)
Trog n A fast, messy and greedy eater (1970-1978)
Trombone (on a) n A liar, fake, pretender (1910-1935)
Tuck down With reference to caning (19th Century)
Tudgie n Turnip or swede vegetable (1920-1945)
Two's up After you (1935-1978)
Votch n A mean, nasty, callous, malicious boy (1935-1950)
Walley n Security officer (1960-1978)
Whang n Meat

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