Green’s Dictionary of Slang

plonk n.2

[? mispron. of Fr. vin blanc, white wine, picked up by Anglophone soldiers during WWI; the brandname ‘Plonque’ was merchandised in the early 1970s]

1. cheap or second-rate wine.

[[Aus]W.H. Downing Digger Dialects 52: Vin blank, white wine. [...] Von blink, a humorous corruption of vin blanc].
[Aus]Register News-Pictorial (Adelaide) 31 Oct. 26/2: Coffin varnish and plonk were two of the names which Mr Collins [...] referred to some of the cheaper wines.
[Aus]West Australian 29 July 11/2: He heard a young man pass a remark about some ‘plonk’ — a name used to describe wine.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 11 Jan. 12: The man who drinks illicit brews or ‘plonk’ (otherwise known as ‘madman’s soup’) by the quart does it in quiet spots or at home.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 104: ‘Keep off the plonk,’ Thirty-Bob said in an undertone to the Stray. ‘They just spilt some on my boot and it burnt a hole.’.
[Aus]‘Neville Shute’ Town Like Alice 322: He asked me if I would drink tea or beer or plonk. ‘Plonk?’ I asked. ‘Red wine,’ he said.
[UK]T. Taylor Baron’s Court All Change (2011) 135: [D]own went another glass of plonk.
[UK]L. Dunne Goodbye to The Hill (1966) 185: His mother had become a right ‘Red Biddy’ drinker. Whatever money Redmond sent her went on plonk.
E. Taylor Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont (1982) 158: ‘What is plonk?’ [...] ‘Plonk,’ he said, ’ is something dire. Never to be drunk’.
[Aus]K. Gilbert Living Black 302: Have you seen ’em leave the kids go hungry while they scratch out their pockets for money for fags and plonk?
[UK]W. Russell Educating Rita I vii: It wouldn’t have mattered it you’d walked in with a bottle of Spanish plonk.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Boys from Binjiwunyawunya 138: Those morons hanging around Redfern. Sucking on bottles of plonk.
[UK]M. Dibdin Dying of the Light 80: Plonk for piss-up.
[Aus]P. Temple Bad Debts (2012) [ebook] For a free sausage roll and a couple of glasses of plonk, Gavin Legge will get six mentions of anything you’re selling into the paper.
[UK]D. Mitchell Black Swan Green 58: You can’t half choose a decent plonk.
[UK]Guardian Mag. 30 Apr. 3/3: It has [...] been converted to run on bioethanol fuel [...] converted from surplus British wine. So it runs on plonk.
[Aus]C. Hammer Scrublands [ebook] It weren’t no table wine they served in wine saloons, it was plonk: flagon port and cooking sherry and home-stilled spirits. Nasty, cheap and effective.
[Scot]I. Welsh Dead Man’s Trousers [41]: Conrad declines a glass of my plonk, but then augments his soft drink with a beer.

2. (Aus.) attrib. use of sense 1, e.g. plonk bar, a wine bar; plonk shop, an off-licence/liquor store; plonk waiter, a wine waiter.

[Aus]West Australian (Perth) 21 Aug. 5/5: Lucky if you get past the plonk shop in Mariji.
[Aus]Argus (Melbourne) Weekend Mag. 7 Dec. 105/1: The disgusting behaviour of the ‘plonk’ fiend.
[Aus]F.J. Hardy ‘The Returned Soldier’ in Man From Clinkapella 18: The other three men had the ragtailed appearance, blotched skin and bleary eyes of the plonk drinker.
[Aus]D. Hewett Bobbin Up (1961) 93: He was always hanging round the plonk shops half sozzled.
[UK]C. Rohan Delinquents 50: An old woman sitting in the gutter outside one of those plonk shops.
[UK]A. Burgess Enderby Outside in Complete Enderby (2002) 366: He seemned for an instant as feeble as in a plonk hangover.
[UK]N. Beagley Up and Down Under 80: I get threepence back on the empty quart at the Plonk shop [...] The wine saloons were called ‘Plonk Bars’.
[Aus]D. Maitland Breaking Out 271: Another joker who looked like a plonk-waiter from a posh Italian restaurant.
[Aus] (ref. to 1920s–30s) Hepworth & Hindle Boozing out in Melbourne Pubs 15: Those who followed the Bacchic way were variously known as plonk fiends or artists, plonkos, winos, bombo bashers, winedots and wyandottes. [Ibid.] 16: The plonk shops do seem to have been in direct line of descent from the grog shanties and shebeens.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 11 Nov. 7: The Australian for a wine bar: a plonk bar.

3. see plonko n.

In phrases

go on the plonk (v.)

to go out drinking, to go on a drinking spree.

[NZ]G. Slatter Gun in My Hand 48: Here have some plonk he said. Get this into ya rotten guts [...] We always go on the plonk out of line and you will too.
[NZ]R. Morrieson Pallet on the Floor 118: He’s been on the plonk.