One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An outlaw who lived in the bush.‘Ned Kelly, the original wild colonial boy, has served to reinforce the myth of the bush in Australia's national identity’
- ‘If you know the country, he said, then you will be a wild colonial boy forever.’
- ‘In the latter part of the novel, the focus shifts to his being a “wild colonial boy”, an Australian of the wilderness, owned by nobody.’
- ‘The wild colonial boy soon slipped off into the night.’
- ‘For the rest of that Australian bush town he was just another wild colonial boy who was always worth blaming for something.’
- ‘The bushranger was better known as "the Wild Colonial Boy".’
- 1.1informal A boisterous man with no regard for convention or authority.‘our boys were no angels, but there were plenty of wild colonial boys down there’
- ‘The Australian cricket establishment is as reactionary as they come, and the wild colonial boy from Melbourne knew he didn't have much rope to play with.’
- ‘Come the toss-up for the first Test, those wild colonial boys will be singing from the same hymn-sheet.’
- ‘Who is going to wind up those wild colonial boys into a state of froth-mouthed frenzy?’
- ‘The wild colonial boy of Australian medicine with the gruff voice and tender touch was probably the first doctor to give life to the "aid abroad" crusades.’
- ‘In the early years he had a reputation as something of a "wild colonial boy".’
Mid 19th century: from the Australian and Irish ballad ‘The Wild Colonial Boy’.
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