Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bosker adj.

also bosca, boshka, boshker, boska, boskerino, bosko
[origin unknown; in form bosk+ -er, but meaning of bosk unacertained. Cf. boshter adj.bonzer adj.]

1. (Aus./N.Z.) good, also adv.

[Aus]Sydney Sportsman 14 May 8/5: Jack sent a bosker right onto the short rib, and Starlight gasped.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 16 Mar. 1/1: [headline] A Bosker Boss.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman 20 Jan. 7/3: M’Beth, with a bosker leg glance, a bon-todger drive and two singles, just snatched double figures before he was given out leg before.
Sun. Sun (Sydney) 30 July 4/4: ‘There’s one thing, they’ve got some boska girls singin’ an’ darncin’, ain’t they?’.
[Aus]Coburg Leader (Vic.) 3 Mar. 3/4: Never mind, Jack; there is a boscar time coming.
[NZ]Otago Witness 2 May 79: [O]ur annual group-taking, and [...] our extra-special debate, which is going to be a ‘boshker’ controversy, are all fast drawing nigh.
[NZ]Eve. Post (Wellington) 3 Dec. 8: Biggs - ‘Hello, Diggs! Back from Christchurch? Had boncer time, eh?’ Diggs - ‘Oh, bosca time, but I fell in?’.
[Aus]Maitland Dly Mercury (NSW) 11 Jan. 2/3: A lady from Wanganui thinks that the Exhibition is ‘a bit of orl right,’ a Dunedin lady says that it is ‘a snorter, boshker,’ another Dunedin lady says that it is ‘very decent.
[UK]Eve. Post (Wellington 19 Jan. 3: That ugly word ‘bosca,’ which is not yet accepted by professors of English, and has yet no definite form, appears in several guises - bosko, boshker, boshta, bosca.
[Aus]Maitland Dly Mercury (NSW) 11 Jan. 2/3: Other expressions dotted over the pages are: ‘A snorter,’ ‘not half bad,’ ‘not so rusty,’ ‘bosko,’ ‘bosca,’ ‘O.K.,’‘A1,’ [etc].
[NZ]Truth (Wellington) 2 May 2/5: The little peach with the bosker blue eyes.
[NZ]N.Z. Truth (Wellington) Jan. 5 n.p.: ‘Silver’ Bryant: ‘Boshker.’ Bob Turner: ‘Blime, he did it, didn’t he?’.
Wyalong Advocate (NSW) 23 Jan. 4/2: And then he saw, upon the floor / A Bosker big ‘Wild Cat’ oh!
[NZ]Free Lamce (Wellington) 30 oct. 12: ‘Them bloomin’ movin’ pickshers is bosker!’ said Bill.
[NZ]Ashburton Guardian (NZ) 4 Apr. 2/5: [advt.] Teddy came home late from school, / Gave a horrid sneeze / [...] / Mother gave him Woods’ Great Peppermint Cure / ‘Bosker stuff!’ said ted.
[Aus]Newsletter (Sydney) 20 Dec. 2/5: With twenty-five American artists, all specially imported from the land of wooden nutmegs [...] the programme is simply Boshker, with something to spare.
[Aus]Truth (Melbourne) 31 Jan. 6/1: Boskerino! Cush, and all sigarnio, my oath!
[Aus]Aus. Worker (Sydney) 6 May 17/3: The best bacon, the sublimest soap, the boskerest beer, the wonderfullest whisky [etc].
Samoanische Zeitung (Samoa) 8 May 4: ‘A boscer big joocey pineapple, and ’eaps of other fruit’.
[US]Rising Sun 4 Jan. 1/2: ‘Yes,’ added the out-backer, ‘’Tis a bosker band all right, but they ’ad that blanky tune at the Tiv’ in Bourke Street before we ever come over here.’.
[NZ]Chronicles of the N.Z.E.F. (London) 5 Sept. 28/1: ‘Why, he was the greatest ‘swi-up’ king in the ‘Inverteds,’ and he used to give the vin rouge a boscar lash to leg in the old Diggers Rest Estaminet’.
[NZ]Truth (Wellington) 13 Oct 5/7: Mine host of the Albert is known as a ‘sport’ [...] He’s a dinkum good fellow, and a bosker good friend.
[Aus]Digger (France) 19 Jan. 1/3: No truer word than this we’ve spoke, / That Genreal Pau’s a bosker bloke; / And bosker is your speeches’ flow, / And boskerino d’Andre’s mo!
[Aus]C.H. Thorp Handful of Ausseys 296: With his bayonet point at the charge, ‘Come on Ausseys!’ he yelled joyfully, ‘Come on, you loves, an’ stick ’em, you boshker boys!’.
[Aus]Maryborough Chron. (Qld) 1 Jan. 4/3: He claims the word ‘bosker’ as good French, only he spells it differently – ‘beau que ca’.
[Aus]Age (Queanbeyan, NSW) 10 Dec. 22/5: He is a bosker tradesman and cusotmers can rely on receiving the best attention from him.
[Aus]Sun (Sydney) 27 Apr. 10/3: ‘The Carillon,’ said Sir Mungo, ‘Is the best and boskerest and most astounding of its kind in all the world. Avaunt, fellow!’.
[NZ]Auckland Star 16 Aug. supp. 2: He pinched me dame, me lady lass, / Me bosker little flapper.
[Aus]M. Franklin Old Blastus of Bandicoot 96: ‘Well, Father, ain’t that a bosker handkerchief?’.
[Aus]Mercury (Hobart) 28 May 13/2: Steele Rudd and his disciples evolved a school which thrived on mulgas, drought, and the love affairs of outback morons, ‘Boshka,’ crowded every other adjective off the page, while the Stock Exchange quotation for ‘Cripes’ was fourpence a gross and no takers.
[NZ]N.Z. Herald (Auckland) 3 Apr. 10: When the red and yellow macaw hung head downward from the wires and swore hoarsely in parrot language [...] he said it was ‘bosker’.
[NZ]F. Sargeson ‘Cow-pats’ in A Man And His Wife (1944) 22: He stuck them into a cow-pat that had just been dropped, and he said it made his feet feel bosker and warm.
[Aus]L. Glassop We Were the Rats 13: It’s bosker of you to take me to the dance. We haven’t been out together for ages.
[Aus]Argus (Melbourne) 2 Sept. 48/2: We played pirates and had a bosker time.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 61: The automobile looked bosker to me.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Oct 8/1: La Tosca, La Tosco, you’re beautiful, you’re boscar.
[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Sowers of the Wind 45: ‘I’m getting a bosker headache’.
[Aus]G. Hamilton Summer Glare 53: Gee, it’s bosker, ain’t it?
[Aus]J. Wynnum Jiggin’ in the Riggin’ 113: ‘You’re not putting me off at all,’ said Carter. ‘It still sounds bosker to me’.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 17/2: bonzer excellent, most pleasing, attractive; possibly imported with goldrushes, from Spanish ‘bonanza’; aka [...] boshter, bosker.
J. Byrell Lairs, Urgers and Coat-Tuggers 55: In fact it was none other than an old hometown adversary in Detective Sergeant Clyde ‘Bosker’ Boskins from Darlinghurst police.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].
[Aus]J. Lambert Maquarie Dict. Aus. Sl. 26/1: bosker: obsolete term equivalent to bonzer (see entry).

2. healthy, ‘good for’.

[Aus]Age (Queanbeyan, NSW) 4 May n.p.: Dr Waugh’s Baking Powder makes Pastry [...] ‘light as air’ and by its use is proved to be wholesome, ‘bosker,’ and in every way [...] most desirable.

In derivatives

boskerity (n.)

excellence, high quality.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Sydney) 26 July 22/5: They had evidently seen the show on the previous night, and they discussed the degrees of bonzerness or boskerity attained by the different acts.
boskidillums (adj.)

excellent, of high quality.

X. Herbert Soldiers’ Women (1978) 316: Rosa [...] looked at the children, asking them did they like Snow White. ‘Oh yes, Auntie Rosa!’ ‘It was just boskidillums, eh?’.