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bush telegraph

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noun
  1. any system of communication in which the natives of a jungle or bush region transmit news rapidly, as by runners, drum codes, or smoke signals.
  2. Australian.
    1. any chain of communications by which criminals, originally bushrangers, are warned of police movements.
    2. Slang.rumor; the grapevine.

Origin of bush telegraph

First recorded in 1875–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for bush telegraph

bush telegraph

noun
  1. a means of communication between primitive peoples over large areas, as by drum beats
  2. a means of spreading rumour, gossip, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012