An ‘old hand’, one who is no longer a novice. Used especially in military contexts, in the following senses: a.A national serviceman who has completed six months or more of his compulsory military training.b.An experienced soldier.c.One who has completed his period of national service. Also attributive.
1970M.A. CookInformant, BloemfonteinJim is an ‘ou-man’ at the University this year.
1979Sunday Times 1 Apr.When a national serviceman becomes an ‘ou man’, he’s served on white plates which are washed for him afterwards.
1983E. Prov. Herald 20 May 1The Minister of Defence..yesterday came to the help of thousands of ‘oumanne’ in the Citizen and Commando Forces who have spent years of uncertainty about their part-time military obligations.
1986J. Whyle inS. GrayMarket Plays 173We lived in a large bungalow where we were liable to unofficial initiation by the oumanne.
1986J. Whyle inS. GrayMarket Plays 175I had nearly done a year in the army and was due for a seven-day pass. The roofie ouman tension seemed to have abated and we were almost on friendly terms.
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