Green’s Dictionary of Slang

neddy n.1

1. (also Ned) a donkey.

[UK]Rowley, Dekker & Ford Witch of Edmonton II i: The ass was called Tom, as well as Jack and Neddy.
[UK] ‘The Pleasures of Brighton’ Banquet of Thalia 3: Hollo! ma’am, keep your neddy out of the way of my tits.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘A Rowland for an Oliver’ Works (1794) II 412: But, Peter, thou art mounted on a Neddy: Or, in the London phrase – thou Dev’nshire Monkey, Thy Pegasus is nothing but a Donkey.
J. Churchill ‘18th of August’ in Poems II 124: When honest neddy comes reeling about / [...] / Or stops and distorts his sweet muscles, to bray.
[UK]‘Thomas Brown’ Fudge Family in Paris letter I 2: And, though one little Neddy we saw in our drive / out of classical Nampont, the beast was alive!
[Ire]‘A Real Paddy’ Real Life in Ireland 91: All the pleasurable ladies from the Liberty, rode criss cross upon their neddies.
[UK]Mr Mathews’ Comic Annual 25: I’ll lay ye a farden, that the brick-dust neddy vins.
[UK]Lytton My Novel (1884–5) I IV 257: Give the neddy a shove out i’ the vay.
[UK]R. Whiteing Mr Sprouts, His Opinions 1: ‘Good-bye; gee hup, Neddy,’ he says to the donkey.
[UK]J. Diprose London Life 42: His favourite beverage is a ‘pot o’ four arf,’ or ‘drop o’ cooper,’ between him and his Neddy, which the donkey is seldom ‘ass’ enough to refuse.
[Aus]Queenslander (Brisbane) 23 May 47/1: Pat, turning to a companion, said, ‘By gosh, Neddy’s footing it now’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Nov. 14/2: This stable was meant to house a donkey, and one was duly engaged. [...] But the faithful Neddy wouldn’t think of it.
[Aus]Argus (Melbourne) 20 July 22/4: Neddy and Me [...] I’m going to the fair with my little grey Ned.
[Aus](con. 1830s–60s) ‘Miles Franklin’ All That Swagger 339: When she was ready she clambered on to an old neddy and the baby was handed up.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 308: ‘Ker-ist!’ Thirty-Bob sneered. ‘Hold out a carrot to a neddy! What the Hell’s the use of rushing and sweating to get work?’.

2. a fool, a simpleton.

[UK]W. Scott Heart of Mid-Lothian (1883) 308: Who cares, ye donnard Neddie! I care.
[UK]Thackeray Newcomes I 4: All types of characters march through all fables; tremblers and boasters; victims and bullies; dupes and knaves; long-eared Neddies, giving themselves leonine airs.
[Aus]K. Mackay Out Back 188: Blast yer, weren’t yer rowing too, you neddy?
[UK]G.F. Northall Warwickshire Word-Book 156: Neddy. A simpleton.

3. (also neddie) a horse, esp. a racehorse.

[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 3 Aug. 6/2: A man came into camp riding on an old nag. ‘How much for the neddy?’ asked a by-stander.
[Aus]K. Mackay Out Back 189: All the neddies are out of sight.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 14 Aug. 1/5: He will make him back the neddie / He will make him lose his tin.
[Aus]F. Kenna ‘Confidential Jockey’ in Bulletin Reciter 1880–1901 180: He’d walk around de neddy [...] And he’d feel about de shoulder, / And de fetlock and de knee.
[Aus]F. Garrett diary 27 July [Internet] Niggers do all the mucking and the neddies [i.e. horses] are under roofs.
[Aus]E. Dyson ‘Marshal Neigh, V.C.’ in ‘Hello, Soldier!’ [Internet] ’N’ presently that neddy sobers up, ’n’ sez ‘Ive course, / Since you puts it that way, cobber, I will be a better horse.’.
[UK]J. Bowes Jackaroos 142: It’ll be beastly hard on our neddies.
[Aus]Queenslander (Brisbane) 22 June 2/4: Knowing ‘Neddy’ [...] the worn-out horses are taken to Taronga Zoo.
[Aus]Western Mail (Perth) 6 Dec. 18/1: That old neddy knows as much about it as I do.
[Aus]Townsville Daily Bull. 9 June 1/6: So Neddy Won the Argument. A man was charged with being drunk in charge of a horse and cart.
[Aus]J. Wynnum I’m a Jack, All Right 10: He’s a sucker for slow neddies and fast squaries.
[Aus]P. Temple Black Tide (2012) [ebook] Mr and Mrs Grogan own this ancient neddy and Karen Devine’s the trainer.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 141: neddy Racehorse [...] Late C19 ANZ.

In phrases

the neddies (n.)

(Aus.) the sport of horseracing.

[Aus]W. Dick Bunch of Ratbags 40: My old man was backing the neddies as usual.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn).
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 141: Off to the neddies is off to a day at the races. Late C19 ANZ.
[Aus]T. Peacock More You Bet 15: ‘The horses’ ( which were and are also known as ‘the gallops’, or ‘the nags’, or ‘the neddies’ or the ‘gee-gees’.