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bunyip aristocracy

Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A peerage (hypothetical or proposed) in Australia; the new (in the colonial era) landed rich aspiring to aristocracy; snobbish Australian conservatives.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From bunyip ("mythical Australian monster; impostor") + aristocracy. Coined in 1853 by Australian journalist and politician Daniel Deniehy (1828-1865) satirising a proposal of William Wentworth for an hereditary peerage in the then colony of New South Wales. At the time, bunyip was Sydney underworld slang for an impostor or con-man, a sense Deniehy may have been aware of, but which was “obviously” unknown to Wentworth.

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