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First attested in Sapper Bert Beros′s 1942 poem Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, and popularised by the Australian wartime press.


Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel (plural Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels)

  1. (Australia, informal) One of the native people of Papua New Guinea who, during the Second World War, helped escort or stretcher wounded Australian soldiers to field hospitals. [From 1942.]
    • 2002, Don Watson, Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: A Portrait of Paul Keating PM[1], page 251:
      Yet the statue is drawn from one of the most famous of all Australian images: the photograph from World War II of a blind, wounded soldier being guided down a jungle track by a Papuan carrier, a ‘fuzzy wuzzy angel’.
    • 2008, Australian House of Representatives, Parliamentary Debates Australia: House of Representatives[2], volume 135, page 6150:
      I want to commend the motion passed this week because it calls for the immediate determination of a new award and medal to be presented to the fuzzy wuzzy angels, who carried stretchers, stores and wounded diggers directly on their shoulders over some of the toughest terrain in the world.
    • 2012, Peter Williams, Kokoda for Dummies, Australian Edition, page 245,
      Chances are the person to whom you′re speaking is the descendant of an indigenous veteran or Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel.

Usage notesEdit

  • Most common in the plural.