from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A slang name in the Australian bush for a farmer whose holding is large enough to require the employment of laborers to assist him in working it.
From the free selection era apparently came the term 'boss-cockie,' explained to the commissioners as a man - usually a successful selector with capital - who suborned others to take up land for him. He became the boss of the 'cockies' or 'cockatoos' doing the work for him.
There was a Mary Dwyer content with a bloke, an' her old man was a boss cockie, almost a squatter.
The 'boss cockie' and the little 'cockie,' the settler's wife and the artisan - if there be artisans there - will not trade with the little man in the township.
'Cockie' refers to 'cockatoo farmer,' a deragatory term for a small-scale farmer, perhaps referring to the practice of working a small patch of land for a short period before moving on, in the manner of a feeding cockatoo.