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mulga wire (countable and uncountable, plural mulga wires)

  1. (Australia) The gossip network in the outback.
    • 1990, Lennie Wallace, Bow Waves in the Bull Dust, 2012, page 139,
      In the meantime, I had been receiving worrying reports about Nancy by mulga wire but could not find out for sure what was wrong.
    • 1998, Brian Ernest Matthews, Louisa, page 72,
      That night, diggers from all over the field, having learnt by ‘mulga wire’ that one of their number had married Harry Albury′s girl, gathered round the hut making cacophonous celebration [] .
    • 2006, Kerry McGinnis, The Waddi Tree, unnumbered page,
      ‘The mulga-wire′s not working too good,’ he said by way of greeting. ‘I had no idea. When did you get back?’
  2. (Australia) A story thus received; a component in the network (either a person or an imagined wire), and so in plural the network itself.
    • 1900, The Outlook: A Weekly Review of Politics, Art, Literature and Finance, Volume 4, [page 724],
      There is a really good sketch of Micky, the lonely boundary rider, whose wonderful stock of news comes by “the mulga wires,” who is full of scandal about the squatter′s rams [] .
    • a. 1922, Henry Lawson, 1984, Leonard Cronin (editor), A Fantasy of Man: Henry Lawson Complete Works, 1901-1922, Volume 1984, Part 2, page 312,
      Tom had been been out early, or had got what we call a bush telegraphy or mulga wire, for when they reached the Four Lanes he said — [] .
    • 1937, Ion Idriess, The Cattle King: The Story of Sir Sidney Kidman, page 82,
      [] Lumps of silver as big as you′re head they′re picking up. So the mulga wires say.”
  3. (Australia, perhaps only Upfield) Telepathy; a telepathic message.
    • 1938, Arthur Upfield, The Bone is Pointed, 1976, page 40,
      “How did he receive word about the sick lubra?”
      “I don′t know. Mulga wire, I suppose.”
    • 1986, Bill Pronzini, Marcia Muller, 1001 Midnights: The Aficionado's Guide to Mystery and Detective Fiction, page 800,
      In this book Upfield utilizes the full panoply of aboriginal lore — myths, beliefs, superstitions of the blacks; their communication by “mulga wire” (telepathy); walkabouts, medicine men, invisible shadowing; and all the other elements of the “Book of the Bush.”