telegraph(redirected from telegraphs)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
An informal means of communication or information, especially gossip. Used most commonly in the phrase "hear (something) on the jungle telegraph." (Analogous to "hear (something) through the grapevine.") Primarily heard in UK. I heard on the jungle telegraph that Stacy and Mark are getting a divorce! A: "How do you know the company is going bust?" B: "I heard it on the jungle telegraph."
hear (something) on the jungle telegraph
To hear or learn a something through an informal means of communication, especially gossip. Primarily heard in UK. I heard on the jungle telegraph that Stacy and Mark are getting a divorce! A: "How do you know the company is going bust?" B: "I heard it on the jungle telegraph."
the bush telegraph
Word of mouth; the grapevine. Don't expect that to stay a secret in this office—the bush telegraph is swift around here.
telegraph one's punches
1. Fig. to signal, unintentionally, what blows one is about to strike. (Boxing.) Wilbur used to telegraph his punches until his trainer worked with him. Don't telegraph your punches, kid! You'll be flat on your back in twenty seconds.
2. Fig. to signal, unintentionally, one's intentions. When you go in there to negotiate, don't telegraph your punches. Don't let them see that we're in need of this contract. The mediator telegraphed his punches, and we were prepared with a strong counterargument.
the bush telegraphBRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
The bush telegraph is the way in which information or news is passed from person to person in conversation. No, you didn't tell me, but I heard it on the bush telegraph. Jean-Michel had heard of our impending arrival in Conflans long before we got there. The bush telegraph on the waterways is extremely effective. Note: This expression refers to a primitive method of communication where people scattered over a wide area beat drums to send messages to one another.
bush telegrapha rapid informal spreading of information or rumour; the network through which this takes place.
This expression originated in the late 19th century, referring to the network of informers who kept bushrangers informed about the movements of the police in the Australian bush or outback. Compare with hear something on the grapevine (at grapevine).
ˌbush ˈtelegraphthe spreading of news quickly from one person to another: Everyone knew about it before it was officially announced: the bush telegraph had been at work again. Bush in this phrase refers to the areas of wild land in Australia. Bush telegraph originally meant the people who informed bushrangers (= criminals who lived in the bush) about the movements of the police.
telegraph one’s punches
1. tv. to signal, unintentionally, what blows one is about to strike. (Boxing.) Don’t telegraph your punches, kid! You’ll be flat on your back in twenty seconds.
2. tv. to signal, unintentionally, one’s intentions. The mediator telegraphed his punches, and we were prepared with a strong counter argument.