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Words: plonk, n.

IT MIGHT seem less than honourable to mark Remembrance Day with a glass of plonk, but there is a study to be made of Australian servicemen's spreading words during the Great War.

It is to them that we owe spruce, as in fake or malingering. Plonk, for that wine which can offend a trained palate, is a corruption of vin blanc and perhaps an abbreviation of the rhyming slang plink plonk (in Australia plink alone has been around as a term for such wine since the beginning of the century). Yet to reach these shores is the Australian for a wine bar: a plonk bar.

Meanwhile, licensing laws bid toodle-oo to the happy hour - another Great War invention, a slurring of a tout a l'heure, goodbye - although Jonathon Green posits a departing coach's toot.