Green’s Dictionary of Slang

Johnny Raw n.

also Johnnie Raw, Jonny Raw, raw
[johnny n.1 (1) + SE raw]

1. a rustic, an unsophisticated country dweller.

G.E. Howard Misc. Works I 26: As annals tell, a direful train / Of rebels vile arose: / Wat Tyler, Littstar, and Jack Straw, / With Johnny Ball and Johnny Raw.
[UK]Gent.’s Mag. July 72/1: Forthwith she sighs, and dreams a dream, — How Johnny Raw, who drives the team, / Was over-run and killed outright.
[UK]P. Hawker Diary (1893) I 22 Feb. 68: A grand attack was made on the Johnny raws of Blandford.
[UK]‘Peter Corcoran’ ‘Lines to Philip Samson’ Fancy 89: Turn up the raws at a fair or a holiday, / Make your fist free with each Brummagem rib.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 135: Jerry was no Johnny Raw either — he was not a staring, gawky, grinning country bumpkin.
[UK]London Standard 19 Jan. 3/4: Spoon — a sawney, a Johnny Raw, a rural, a goose, a pump, a sappy.
[UK]W. Howitt Rural Life of England I 157: The mechanic sees his weekly newspaper over his pipe and pot; but the clod-hopper, the chopstick, the hawbuck, the hind, the Johnny Raw, [...] is everywhere the same, – he sees no newspaper, and if he did, he could not read it.
[US]Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 12 Mar. n.p.: A young man from Poughkeepsie came to the city [...] For the sake of symmetry we shall christen him Johnny Raw.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 129: Wapstraw, Johnny Raw, a yokel, a countryman.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 3 Feb. 3/1: John Harrowwell, a real Johnny Raw, who has lately arrived in the colony.
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 363: The junior member of this iniquitous firm was despatched into the provinces to try his hand on the ‘clodhoppers and johnny raws,’ as Monsieur Vatrin nicknamed every individual not born within ten miles of the metropolis.
[US]C.H. Spurgeon John Ploughman’s Talk 159: If a man has not a soul above clodhopping he may expect to keep poor, but if he opens his sense-box, and picks up here a little and there a little, even Johnny Raw may yet improve.
[Scot]R.L. Stevenson Kidnapped 39: You took me for a country Johnny Raw, with no more mother-wit or courage than a porridge-stick.
[US]Dly Herald (Brownsville, TX) 18 Jan. 4/1: You took me for a country Johnny Raw with no more mother wit or courage than a porridge stick.
[UK]G.F. Northall Folk-Phrases of Four Counties 6: A Johnny Raw. A bumpkin, rustic.
[US]Record-Union (Sacramento, CA) 12 Nov. 8/3: Johnny Raw, an English bumpkin, rustic, clod, chawbacon.

2. an inexperienced youngster, a raw recruit, a new hand, a novice.

[UK] ‘Jonny Raw & Polly Clark’ Batchelar’s Jovial Fellows Collection of Songs 4: Thus she would bore him with her jaw, / Ri tol de rol. / And call him spooney Jonny Raw.
[UK]Dr. Bull’s Chaunt to Answer Jacky Billy 11: I’ll be brief, for sure, I’ve been too long, / O’er this said Johnny Raw, and his trite song.
[UK]‘Bill Truck’ Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 13: You’re one of the Johnnie Raws, are you?
[US]N.Y. Enquirer 15 Apr. 2/4: The Coalman has proved himself an ugly customer [in a prize-fight], and not to be rashly encountered by Jonny Raws.
[US]C.F. Briggs Adventures of Harry Franco I 249: ‘Well, it’s Johnny Raw, I know,’ said a foretopman who was the bully.
[Ire] ‘I Came From The Roar’ Dublin Comic Songster 66: So a fig for your laws, your starved Johnny Raws.
[Ind]Bellew Memoirs of a Griffin II 102: Two or three mimics enacted the sale of a horse to an Indian Johnny Raw, a sort of Brentford tailor.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Handley Cross (1924) 25: When a Johnny-raw axes him if he warrants an ’oss sound he exclaims [...] ‘Warrant him sound!’.
[UK]W.H. Smyth Sailor’s Word-Bk (1991) 413: Johnny Raw, or Johnny Newcome. An inexperienced youngster commencing his career; also applied to all landsmen in general.
[US]J.H. Beadle Western Wilds 186: In fourteen minutes they went through the Chewses and their party like alkali water through a Johnny Raw from the States.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Mar. 4/4: What is the use of devoting three or four years to teaching men how to fight, if a number of ‘Johnny Raws’ could beat them?
[Aus]C. Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 40: Johnnie Raw, a newly enlisted soldier.
[UK]Kipling Seven Seas 166: Johnny Raw — Johnny Raw! Ho! run an’ get the beer, Johnny Raw!
[UK]D. Stewart Shadows of the Night in Illus. Police News 20 July 12/3: ‘I’m not a Johnny Raw [...] I growed up just a bit smart’.
[UK]C. Stead Cotters’ England (1980) 226: I think I cut a dash in Fleet Street; but perhaps they’re just tolerating a Johnny Raw.

3. (esp. Aus.) a new immigrant; cit. 1955 presumably misunderstood synon. new chum n. as ‘new friend’.

T. McCombie Adventures of a Colonist in NSW 248: ‘I think’ said Arabin, ‘you have managed to get very cleverly out of a scrape.’ ‘Yes, I am no Johnny Raw,’ replied the other.
S. & J. Sidney Sidney’s Emigrant’s Jnl 114/2: The station is reached, and Johnny Raw surveys his future home — a hut.
Sydney (N.S.W.) Bulletin 26 Feb. 12: He was a new-chum – a regular johnny-raw [F&H].
[Aus]N. Pulliam I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 235/1: johnny raw (jacky raw, jimmy raw) – a new friend.

In derivatives

Johnny-rawism (n.)

naivety; unsophisticated foolishness.

[Ind]Bellew Memoirs of a Griffin II 74: A sort of small crane [...] which it is considered by sportsmen the acmé of Johnny-rawism to shoot.