1. an Australian or New Zealand soldier.
|(con. WWI) Flesh in Armour 14: [T]here were always diggers [...] passing by with ‘Good day, dig’.|
|N.Y. Herald Trib. 29 June 9/2: During the last war, the soldiers are known as ‘diggers.’ So revered has this title become that today it is a traditional salute. As the American might say, ‘Hiya, fella,’ the Australian says: ‘G’day, dig’.|
|AS XVIII:4 255: Here are a few of the items included: [...] dig, digger, an Australian soldier.‘Influence of Amer. Sl. on Aus.’ in|
|Breathing Spaces 95: ‘Talks just like a dinkum dig,’ Ted said.|
2. a general form of address.
|Examiner (Launceston, Tas.) 31 July 3/7: It’s grand to hear the ‘Good day, Dig!’ The ‘How’s things, mate?’ [...] in Brisbane-street.|
|(con. WWI) Somme Mud 72: We have forty fine Australian lads in the mud [...] So long, Digs, So long!|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 15 Jan. 3/8: ‘Suppose you could keep one down?’ I said. ‘Too right, dig. We’ve been doing a perish all day’.|
|Mail (Adelaide) 30 May 9/5: ‘Dig’ [is] now used as a vocatrive for either a prsonal friend or stranger.|
|We Were the Rats 70: ‘Dig,’ he said ominously, ‘tonight is going to be one of those nights you’ll never forget.’.|
|For the Rest of Our Lives 50: How are you, dig?|
|Four Plays (1965) 110: Digger! Old Dig! Thought you’d surprise me, eh?Season at Sarsaparilla in|
|Dinkumization or Depommification 134: Good on yer, dig!|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 61: dig/digger/old dig Friendly greeting, usually male to male. Specifically an Anzac soldier or returned Anzac serviceman, from WWI the Australians preferring ‘digger’, New Zealanders ‘dig’.|
1. (Aus./N.Z.) a veteran soldier.
|Listener (N.Z.) 28 Jan. 20: 1st, 2nd and 3rd Echelon men are naturally known as the ‘Old Digs’ – men who were there almost before the Pyramids [DNZE].|
|22 Battalion 5: Turnbull, an old Dig whose pet aversion was long hair.|
|Gun in My Hand 46: An old dig, a genuine old dig. He went overseas as a boy and into the trenches and took all that was coming. [Ibid.] 220: ‘We’re just old digs now, Ron,’ he is saying. ‘Returned men.’.|
|Pagan Game (1969) 67: He never spoke of his other life as an infantryman except to some old dig at the Soldiers’ Club.|
|DNZE].Best of Homespun 64: Thus old digs could carouse snugly in their clubrooms [|
|New Zealand: a short history 158: By 1943 the ‘old digs’ of the Second Division were tired [...] Some refused to return to the war.|
|Eve. Post (Wellington) 13 May 6: There are [...] vital issues that I think all Old Digs will agree on. You cannot do precision ceremonial drill with present day weapons [DNZE].|
|see sense 2 above.|
2. attrib. use of sense 1.
|Gun in My Hand 144: The grey jersey and the grey flannel shirt as worn by the Kiwi. Walking back from the tailor in Maadi camp with my old dig shirt.|
|DNZE].Look No Hands 124: You remember telling me you didn’t want any of your grogged-up Old Dig friends giving her the lowdown on you?’ [|