Macquarie Dictionary


Will “shoot through like the Bondi tram” make a comeback?

This is an interesting piece of Sydney history. This turn of phrase means ‘to depart in haste’, and was originally Sydney slang dating back to the 1940s. It referred to the now-defunct trams along the Bondi line which were notoriously fast.

It also dates from World War II services slang, when it also meant to go AWOL.

Sydney’s trams were discontinued in 1961, but the term remained for years after the fact. Not as well known or used now, perhaps this is poised for a comeback with Sydney trams making a triumphant return. We’re looking forward to seeing what new words and colloquialisms crop up from the everchanging city.

Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.

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