- A wild or unbroken horse. The story of wild horses in the Australian landscape was vividly brought to life in Banjo Paterson's 1890 poem 'The Man from Snowy River': 'There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around/ That the colt from old Regret had got away,/ And had joined the wild bush horses.' These 'wild bush horses' have been known as brumbies in Australia since around 1880. The origin for this term is still disputed. Some have suggested that it comes from an Aboriginal language, including E.E. Morris who in his seminal Austral English (1898) refers to the Pitjara language of southern Queensland wherebooramby means 'wild'. This origin was popularised by Paterson in an introduction to his poem 'Brumby's run' printed in 1894. A common suggestion is that brumby derives from the proper name Brumby . This theory was also noted by E.E. Morris in Austral English in 1898: 'A different origin was, however, given by an old resident of New South Wales, to a lady of the name Brumby, viz. "that in the early days of that colony, a Lieutenant Brumby, who was on the staff of one of the Governors, imported some very good horses, and that some of their descendants being allowed to run wild became the ancestors of the wild horses of New South Wales and Queensland". Over the years, various Messrs Brumby have been postulated as the origin. More recently, Dymphna Lonergan suggested that the word comes from Irish word bromaigh, the plural form of the word for a young horse, or colt. For more detail see Ozwords: Wild Horses Running Wild. Buckley's chance No chance at all. Often abbreviated to Buckley's: you've got Buckley's, mate! Some claim it comes from the name of the convict William Buckley, who escaped from Port Phillip in 1803 and lived for 32 years with Aborigines in southern Victoria. Others suggest a punning reference to the Melbourne department storeBuckley & Nunn-You have two chances, Buckley's and none. First recorded 1895.
Australian idioms. 2014.