telegraph

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jungle telegraph

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."
See also: 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."
See also: hear, jungle, on, 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.
See also: bush, telegraph

telegraph (one's) punches

1. To make a clear but unintentional physical indication of where, when, and how one is going to throw a punch. You've got to stop telegraphing your punches like that, or you're not going to make it very far in the boxing world. The guy went to take a swing at me, but he telegraphed his punch and I was able to duck out of the way.
2. By extension, to do something that unintentionally makes it obvious what one's intentions are or next move will be. I was a little nervous about the interview, but the person conducting it telegraphed their punches, so I was able to answer everything pretty easily. The senator has been telegraphing his punches throughout this entire campaign.
See also: punch, telegraph

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.
See also: punch, telegraph

the bush telegraph

BRITISH, 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.
See also: bush, telegraph

bush telegraph

a 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).
See also: bush, telegraph

ˌbush ˈtelegraph

the 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.
See also: bush, telegraph

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.
See also: punch, telegraph

telegraph one's punches

Signal one’s intentions. The term comes from boxing, where fighters are told not to telegraph their punches, that is, not indicate unintentionally where they are going to strike. It came into figurative use, as in “Don’t telegraph your punches—don’t let the others know we really need this contract.”
See also: punch, telegraph