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bush telegraph

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
1875-1880
1875-80
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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
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