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Come in Spinner (Paperback)

A History of Two-Up and Its Language

P&S History > Humanities > Language & Literature

Imprint: Australian Scholarly Publishing
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9781922669421
Published: 15th December 2023
Casemate UK Academic

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Two-up, a famous Australian soldiers’ gambling game, has given Australian English many unique words and phrases. The game is significant in Australia’s cultural history. This book is the essential guide to the language and history of the ‘national game’.


Bruce Moore explains Two-up’s role in the development of the ANZAC legend and provides new evidence that aspects of the game and its terminology have their origins in Ireland. He shows us how the Australian concept of the ‘fair go’ had its origins in Two-up, and how working-class tenacity saved the game from the efforts of authorities and wowsers to wipe it out.


The well-known phrase ‘come in spinne’r is just one of the more than 140 Australian words and phrases that have their origin in the game of Two-up. This is the reader’s chance to learn about ‘alley loafers’, ‘baldie’s, ‘bastards on bikes’, ‘boxer’s, ‘butterflies’, ‘cockatoos’, ‘floaters’, ‘grouter bettors’, ‘headies’, ‘kips’, ‘nit-keepers’, ‘nobs’, ‘ringmasters’, and ‘two-uppians’.

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