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The Australian National University

Additions to the Australian lexicographical record III

James Lambert

Whilst teaching English as a second language in Istanbul, Turkey, I have happily been able to continue researches into Australian English and uncover a few more tidbits of information that hopefully will find their way into Australian dictionaries. Since my last foray into this area of endeavour a revolution has taken place in freely available online databases such that now an enormous amount of searchable text presents itself to the lexicographer representing a hitherto unplumbed wealth of information. The bulk of the citations below come from the National Library of Australia’s free online Australian Newspapers beta database (http://ndpbeta.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/home) - a stunning resource of digitised Australian newspapers dating from 1803 to 1954. The database has its flaws, but nevertheless provides a wealth of untapped evidence. Additionally, I have used the online version of The Nambour Chonicle and North Coast Advertiser (http://www.nambour-chronicle.com/) and occasionally Google Books, which is only truly reliable with fully scanned texts. I have not had sufficient time, nor indeed will, to crosscheck every entry in the Australian National Dictionary against these databases, but this is something that must needs happen in the future. Beyond the AND’s entries, there are a host of other Australianisms that also need to be checked. But there is no particular hurry as more and more data becomes available all the time, and so any research project is liable to be behind the times almost as soon as it is undertaken.

    In the citations below I have discovered a number of Australianisms that have not previously been recorded, including the top and bottom pub , early opener, barrier rogue, bore sinking, Billy the blackfellow, dinky, bushmaid, nip, Hawkesbury sandstone, the Dawn Service, that iconic image of Australia the boxing kangaroo, the Ned Kelly inspired wombat-headed, and a number of terms related to surf lifesaving (belt man, line man, reel man, etc.) and our introduced sparrows (spadger, spoggy, spriggy, etc.).

    Primarily, however, the terms treated here involve antedating of existing earliest citations, some of which are only but a year or a few years earlier (satin bird, cracker night, kangaroo fence), but many others significantly earlier, up to a century in some cases (boots and all, light globe, muttai, nana, police pimp). Also several new senses of well-recorded terms are elucidated, including bushwhacker, chook, corroboree, do, duco, nigger and wog.

    My researches have shed some light upon the etymology of such terms as billycart, erky, dim sim, nun (the bird), honeyeater, fairy floss, wog, and most significantly, rorter (and hence its associated verb, the backformation, rort). Finally, there are indications that a few terms perviously considered within the Australian fold are not in fact Australianisms, including fat adj., ankle-biter, axe-handle (as a unit of measurement), and the classic put the bite on.

Abbreviations
AND - The Australian National Dictionary, 1988.
Additions1 - James Lambert Additions to the Australian Lexicographical Record, 2005.
Additions2 - James Lambert More Additions to the Australian Lexicographical Record, 2007.
Morris - E.E. Morris Austral English, 1898.
OED Online - The Oxford English Dictionary, latest online revisions, 2006 to 2009.
OED2 - The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.
Wilkes - Gerry Wilkes A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms, 1978




Abbo n. an Aboriginal. Also, a. Aboriginal.

1937 John W. Vandercook Dark Islands 42
Most of her work had been in the barren back country of northern Australia among the nomadic tribes of aborigines, the ‘abbos,’ as they’re usually called.

1945 Leslie Baily Travellers Tales 21
‘I’ve seen abbos going out to catch ducks.’

1985 ‘Sir Les Patterson’ The Traveller’s Tool (1986) xii. 82
If outback cuisine is so good, how come there are no Abbo restaurants in Sydney?

2008 Montgomergy Hughes Phantasmagoria v. 47
Years later I was hitchhiking in Australia and found myself in a car with an outback Aussie who was going on about ‘fackin’ abbo’s’, and how they were all wasters and drunkards.

Notes: An unrecorded spelling variant; one to surpass Abbott’s booby as first alphabetical place in the Australian National Dictionary.

 

ABC n. an Australian-born Chinese person.

1968 Arthur Hick The Chinese in Australia
She described herself with slightly sardonic amusement as an ABC. (This play on Australian Born Chinese would be lost on non-Australians[].)

1996 James Lambert The Macquarie Book of Slang

2002 James Ducan Owen Mixed Matches: Interracial Marriage in Australia
Yes, I’m an ABC (Australian-born Chinese). My great-grandfather, Samuel Hand, was born in China in 1837[.]

Notes: Initialism; not in AND.

 

aboriginal a. of or pertaining to Indigenous Australians.

1819 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 14 Aug 4/1
He must acquire the aboriginal vernacular tongue - a language it is supposed no foreigner will ever make himself acquainted with, at least so as to make himself intelligible upon general subjects.

Notes: Antedating AND 1820.

 

aboriginal n. an Indigenous Australian.

1827 Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (Hobart) 1 Jun 4/1
Parties of the natives were not unfrequently met with; they differed but little in appearance from the Aboriginals of New South Wales, and were less shy and more friendly than such vagrants usually are.

Notes: Antedating AND 1828.

 

Aboriginal Act n. the government legislation covering Aboriginal affairs.

1911 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 2 June 2/7
There have been many letters appearing in the N.T. Times anent the aboriginal Act and its provisions, sensible and otherwsie. But until the regulations are framed under the Act I consider it is futile to discuss it.

1917 Northern Territory Times and Gazette 5 Jul 13/2
All persons employing Aborigines are hereby notified that they are required by the provisions of The Aboriginal Act 1910 and Ordinances to obtain a licence.

1936 C. Price Conigrave North Australia 208
Under the aegis of that State legislative provision for the protection of the native races was in force, but the Aboriginal Act and its regulations had not been administered[.]

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Adds1 (1975).

 

aborigine mass noun, preceded by the. Indigenous Australians in general.

1823 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 9 Jan 2/2
Shall we allow the poor aborigine any longer to remain neglected, when such dignified pleasure is occasionally afforded the contemplative mind upon the glorious news reaching our shores, of the unbounded but certain success of Missions in various parts of the world?

1823 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 9 Jan 2/2
Those who have hearts that feel for others’ woes, will doubtless take the distressing case of the aborigine into immediate consideration[.]

1824 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 16 Dec 2/1
Much, if not all, depends upon the future intercourse of the enlightened European with the benighted aborigine.

1825 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 3 Feb 3/2
The want of an interpreter is much needed, for justice cannot be said to have fair play between the European and the aborigine, till their language is comprehended.

1850 Perth Gazette, and Independent Journal of Politics and News 11 Oct 4/4
See...a Minister assert (with more gravity than good sense) before his children his belief, that the Aborigine is inferior to human beings from his teeth approximating in their formation to those of a dog or horse[.]

1882 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 1 Aug 6/1
There are among ourselves those who are almost as degraded as the aborigine.

1902 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 28 Nov 3/1
The bush man has acquired many of the traits of the aborigine, notably in bushcraft, and likewise a keenness of vision has been developed in tracking, bee-hunting, ’possum-shooting, etc.

1929 Argus (Melbourne) 21 Jan 6/4
[T]he Australian aborigine is no more than a child of five.

1951 Canberra Times 5 Sep 4/2
It is not the aborigine that has not improved, but the example of the whites.

Notes: Not in AND; these citations represent an earlier singularisation of the original Latin plural form but used as a mass noun preceded by the definite article; this seems to have been in general use slightly earlier than the sense shift to an individual Aboriginal person became common in the 1830s. This might be regarded as an instance of systematic polysemy were it not for the irregular passage of the Latin into English and the consequent muddle about the part of speech status.

 

aborigine count noun. an Indigenous Australian.

1825 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 24 Nov 2/5
The introduction too of the bow and arrow, affords another proof of our belief as to the origin of this novel tribe; it is not at all unlikely that the European should resort to this weapon, which might be managed with dexterity, in preference to wielding the spear, that must prove to be an inconvenient instrument to any except a legitimate aborigine.

Notes: Antedating AND 1829.

 

Aborigines Act n. variant of Aboriginal Act (see above).

1887 West Australian (Perth) 10 Mar 2/8
More particularly will it be interesting to observe how the Protectorate clauses of the Aborigines Act are put in force.

1928 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 18 May 7/4
They asked ... that those educated up to the standard of the white man should be exempt from the Aborigines Act.

Notes: Not in AND.

aboriginie n. an Indigenous Australian.

1833 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 29 Oct 2/4
[I]f erring, the Aboriginies should be treated, not by the summary ordeal of a musket ball, but by the deliberate judgment of the laws.

1841 The Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal 21 Aug 3/4
On Wesnesday evening, a public meeting of the friends and supporters of the Aboriginies Protection Society was held in the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly[.]

Notes: An old and now obsolete spelling variant; AND records aboriginee as an obsolete variant, but not this form.

the Act n. the Aboriginal Act.

1911 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 2 June 2/7
There have been many letters appearing in the N.T. Times anent the aboriginal Act and its provisions, sensible and otherwsie. But until the regulations are framed under the Act I consider it is futile to discuss it.

1928 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 18 May 7/4
They asked ... that there should be no discrimination between full-blooded and half-caste aborigines under the Act[.]

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions1, 1963. In the first citation, 1911, is merely a short-hand reference to the previous sentence.

Adelaide parakeet n. the subspecies of the Crimson Rosella, Platycercus elegans adelaidae, found in Adelaide and vicinity.

1852 Courier (Hobart) 1 Sep 3/5
A variety of birds, - comprising One Cockatoo and cage; one ditto king parrot and cage; pair of Adelaide parroquets and cage; pair ditto; green parrot and cage; Rosella parrot and cage; Swift parrot and cage; 3 Rosellas and cage; 2 ditto; 2 Native pigeons and cage[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1900, which gives Adelaide rosella as the earliest form.

all-day sucker n. a large lollipop.  

Notes: Formerly identified as an Australianism by AND with citations from 1930, however, well-recorded in US English back to 1870.

all over bar the shouting phr. it is over for all practical purposes.

1892 Brisbane Courier 3 Nov 6/4
Separationists will now consider the trouble all over bar the shouting.

1894 Brisbane Courier 19 July 2/7
The race might well be described as ‘all over bar the shouting’ as the two favourites headed for home[.]

1912 Advertiser (Adelaide) 24 Aug 6/8
[A]t lunch time on the last day it seemed all over bar the shouting.

1925 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 17 Feb 1/4
On Saturday next Wanderers play Vesteys, and if the former win it will be all over bar the shouting.

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions1, 1951. Also in British English, as early as 1902 according to a Google Books source.

ankle biter n. a child.  

1841 Joseph Kenny Meadows Heads of the People: Or, Portraits of the English 262
‘Well, and how are ye, John? and how
s Molly, and all the little ankle-biters? And how goes the pig on, and the garden, eh?’

Notes: Formerly identified as an Australianism by AND and various other Australian slang dictionaries (including my own), however, well-recorded in the US, whence it probably made its way to Australian English, though thr earliest example I have been able to locate is this example from a British source dating way back to 1841. The earliest appearance in Australian English is 1981. The term, however, was quite commonly used in the 19th century to denote dogs, not children.

Antipodean a. of or from Australia.

1823 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 6 Nov 2/3
It must be gratifying to the many respectable families who are looking to our possessions in this Antipodean territory as their future residence, that almost every arrival from Port Jackson brings information that the more the researches of the inhabitants extent inland, the more are they rewarded by ascertaining an indefinite extent of fine country[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1835.

 

Antipodean n. a resident of Australia.

1826 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 4 Feb 3/1
A moment there was, O ye Antipodeans, / Replete with such hope unto us Europeans[.]’

1837 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 9 Feb 2/2
We have not the name of the writer of this communication stirring up the Antipodeans to agitation, but we would almost bet a hundred pounds to a halfpenny that it is no other man than the Big Beggarman himself.

Notes: Antedating AND 1843.

Anzac spirit n. the fighting spirit of the soldiers at Anzac.

1922 Sydney Morning Herald 24 Apr 1/1
Canon Claydon, of St. Luke’s, Burwood, preached at St. Andrew’s Cathedral last evening on the Anzac spirit.

1926 Nambour Chronicle 23 Apr 2/4
Nambour, 7.30 p.m. Subject, ‘The Anzac Spirit as Applied to the Christian Religion.’

Notes: This collocation is of sufficient significance to require a separate listing; the citation here antedates the earliest evidence of the combination listed in the AND, 1968.

axehandle n. a unit of measurement.

1922 W. B. Laughead The Marvelous Exploits of Paul Bunyan: As Told in the Camps of the White ...
Babe was seven axehandles wide between the eyes according to some authorities; others equally dependable say forty-two axehandles and a plug of tobacco.
 

1946 Harry Botsford The Valley of Oil 108
“Reckon them Moor-head hogs must
ve been seventeen axehandles betwixt shoulders and hams!”

Notes: Previously identified as an Australianism by AND and others, dated to 1958, but earlier US examples exist.

 

arpy-darpy n. a type cryptolanguage used by schoolchildren.

1989 Hugh Lunn Over the top with Jim xv. 213
But Gay and these girls - including her best friend, Pipsy - talked their own special language, called ‘arpy-darpy’, which I couldn’t understand. It involved putting an ‘arp’ or a ‘darp’ before every voewl in a word: ‘Darpou garpodarping tarpo thdarpe sharpo’ - or something like that - meant ‘Are you going to the shop?’

2004 James Lambert The Macquarie Australian Slang Dictionary 4/1
arpie-darpie a cryptolanguage used by schoolchildren in which normal words are modified by adding into each syllable the sound ‘arp’[.]

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND.

 

back of beyond n. remote area.

1850 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 28 Aug 2/5
I am, sir, your most obedient servant, X.Y.Z. Back of Beyond, Aug. 22, 1850.

1851 Argus (Melbourne) 27 Aug 2/2
We can put up contentedly enough with some Mr. Jones, or Mr Smith or Mr Tomkins, for some little out of the way constituency, at the very ‘back of beyond’[.]

Notes:  Antedating earliest evidence in Additions1, 1879. However, it appears that this term is earlier in British English, 1828 The Life of Mansie Wauch xxiii. 340

bag, get a  ~  phr. learn how to catch! (in cricket) used as a derisive retort to a fielder who drops an easy catch.

1907 Advertiser (Adelaide) 25 Dec 7/5
Hobbs at long-on missed a very easy catch off an underhand ball, and was told by the crowd to get a bag.

1908 Advertiser (Adelaide) 25 Feb 7/8
Braund, whe he had made 9, put a ball from Saunders into Waddy’s hands at third-man. Waddy usually a sure catch, again missed it, and the crowd advised him to get a bag.

1911 Advertiser (Adelaide) 27 Feb 10/8
Minnett’s next over was responsible for the crowd roaring, ‘Get a bag’ and ‘Buy a sack’ to Massie, who dropped a catch that went straight to him in the slips from Pease.

Notes: Antedating 1920s (Wilkes); not in AND.

 

Barcoo bridle n. a simple leather horse bridle.

1895 Brisbane Courier 6 Apr 7/7
Auction Sales ... 9 Leather Valises, 3 Barcoo Bridles[.]

1913 Northern Territory Times and Gazette 28 Aug 7/4
If you require first-class Poley Saddles, Long [Str]aps, Mountings, Bar-coo Bridles, etc., all Brand Spanking New, apply Brown’s Mart.

2004 Peter Huntington Horse Sense 49
The traditional Australian bridle is called a Barcoo bridle and is constructed differently to an English bridle.

Notes: Antedating AND 1972; included in the AND under the general attributive uses of Barcoo; these extra citations indicate that the term needs to be given subhead status and a definition.

Barcoo shout n. three drinks for half a crown.

[1882 Brisbane Courier 2 Oct 4/4
QUEENSLAND PUNCH. OCTOBER NUMBER. NOW READY. Contents: ... BARCOO SHOUTS, CIGARETTE PAPERS, Etc. ]

[1890 Brisbane Courier 2 May 4/7
‘Barcoo Shouts; or songs of the Never Never’ are quite up to the author’s usually good standard.]

1912 Advertiser (Adelaide) 1 June 7
The Barcoo shout - three drinks for half a crown - obtains in Cloncurry itself as a survival of the time when silver coin was scarce; a bottle of stout costs 3/.

Notes: Antedating AND 1919; the first two citations refer to an item (or two different items?) appearing in the Queensland Punch, apparently a piece of poetry, but may be punningly referring to the drinking practice.

Barcoo vomit n. a type of illness once common in the outback.

1878 Brisbane Courier 1 May 3/2
[R]eturning home to find you have got the Barcoo vomit for a week, and the sandy blight for a month!

Notes: Antedating AND 1881.

barrier rogue n. a horse that is difficult ot handle or known to cause trouble at the starting barriers.

1939 Sydney Morning Herald 30 Oct 13/3
Apparently, belief that the walk-in start would enable the ‘barrier rogue’ Te Hero to jump on terms with the field lef to a big commission for him in the Dundonald Handicap[.]

1962 Sydney Morning Herald 23 Oct 19/7
He was a barrier ‘rogue’ last season and stewards declared him an ‘outside’ horse.

1982 Joe Andersen Winners Can Laugh ix. 129

1993 Susan Geason Sharkbait xvi. 102
‘I’ve checked Silk Banner’s form, and up until that race, he was a pretty lacklustre old performer. Had a reputation as a barrier rogue too.’ ‘Pardon my ignorance, but what’s a barrier rogue when it’s at home?’ I asked, my disposition soured by the pie, which was all gristle and grey gravy. ‘A nag that plays up when the barrier goes up and gets off to a bad start.’

1994 Sydney Morning Herald 26 Feb Golden Guide. 12
Blue Boss, which has a reputation as a barrier rogue, drew gate 12 on Thursday.

2003 Geoff Armstrong and Peter Thompson Phar Lap 133
The start was delayed around twenty minutes, first because the pre-race razzmatazz kept the horses in thr mounting yard and then because Reveille Boy, a renowned barrier rogue, refused to go into line.

2009 Daily Telegraph (electronic version) 24 Apr
The grey gelding, considered gentl enough for children to play with and ride, was earning a fearsome, if unwanted, reputation as a barrier rogue.

Notes: Not in Baker, AND.

bathers n. swimming bathers.

1922 Argus (Melbourne) 13 Dec 6/7
Holiday Knit Wear Bathers, Ladies’ and Children’s[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1930.

bearup n. the apporach amorous.

1906 ‘Steele Rudd’ Back At Our Selection (1964) iv. 114
When Dad kicked Billy Bearup out of our door, and broke up a dance with him, and some days later chased him through the sliprails at the point of a loaded gun, Billy didn’t come back to see Sarah any more - at least not while Dad was about.

1947
Sydney Morning Herald 27 Dec 8/4
Henceforth their aim is, to use their own words, ‘to do a bear-up’ to girls[.] 

Notes: Extra evidence to that given in Additions2. In the 1906 quotation used as an ad hoc nickname for a suitor, i.e., one doing a bearup. In the 1947, merely in a review of Norman Lindsay’s novel Halfway To Anywhere.

beef Belgian n. a type of sausage meat.

1920 Argus (Melbourne) 20 Mar 27/3
Beef Belgian Sausage, 8d.

1928 Argus (Melbourne) 28 Jan 21/6
Smoked Beef Belgian, 7d. per lb.

Notes: Not in AND. One of the numerous regional variants for various types of exceedingly similar bland sausage meats, generally sliced thinly and served cold, used principally in making sandwiches, especially for school lunches. The WordMap project run cojointly by The Macqaurie Dictionary and the ABC, identified some 18 regional variants. According to the Macquarie, beef Belgian  is now a Tasmanian regionalism.

beergut n. a man’s protruding stomach resulting from beer drinking; a beer belly.

1972 John Gunn The Wild Abyss iii. 13
Harvey, behind the desk at the general enquiries section, leaned his huge beer gut against the counter and grinned happily.

1975 John Romeril and Katherine Brisbane The Floating World xxiv
From there we swoop upon the ungraceful realities of Les - middle-aged, carrying a beer-gut, aggressively out of place on his plaesure ship, vomiting out his last Australian cooking on the first day of his Cherry Blossom Cruise.

1978 M.J. ‘Chap’ Burton Bush Pub (1983) v. 45

1986 Colin Bowles G’DAY! 53

1993 Susan Geason Sharkbait vii. 45
There were lots of grey ponytails and beards in evidence, and beerguts bulged over studded belts and greasy jeans.

Notes: Not in AND; not exclusively Australian, but of local significance as an iconic image of the Australian male. Antedating British evidence from 1976 in OED (Additions series 1992). The synonymous beer-belly can be dated to the 1940s in the US and the 1960s in the UK, but has never been very common in Australia.

 

beergutted a. (of men) having a beergut.

1986 Bob Hudson The First Australian Dictionary of Vulgarities and Obscenities [2]
One curious discovery...you know who comes out worst in this collection? No, not the boongs or the sheilas or the powerpoints (look it up). The biggest victim of abuse is that beergutted wonder, that chundering fool, the Aussie bloke.

1987 Kathy Lette Girls’ Night Out (1995) 178

Notes: Not in AND.

be in it a. to take part.

1862 Courier (Brisbane) 12 Sept 2/7
We are to have an Inter-Colonial rifle-shooting match - New South Wales meeting Victoria at Emerald Hill next November. It is thought that South Australia will also send her representatives. Is there any reason why Queensland should not also be ‘in it?’

Notes: Antedating Wilkes/AND 1928.

Belgian sausage n. a type of sausage meat. Also, Belgium sausage and, for short, Belgian.

1915 Argus (Melbourne) 5 July 16/3
Belgian Sausage, 6d. per lb.

1916 Argus (Melbourne) 18 May 12/3
Belgium Sausage, 8 &1sub2;d. per lb.

1929 Argus (Melbourne) 3 Aug 5/4
Cambridge Sausages, 8d. per lb. / Smoked Beef, Belgian, 8d. per lb.

1959 D’Arcy Niland The Big Smoke iii. 80
Veronica sliced tomatoes, washed lettuce, and spread it on plates with pieces of Belgian sausage which used to be German before the War.

Notes: Not in AND; the earliest evidence located is from Melbourne sources, but according to the Macquarie now a regionalism especially of Tasmania and Queensland.

bell magpie n. a currawong.

1914 Sydney Mail 29 Jul 37/2
The fruit of a species of wild fig, common on the South Coast, and which grows into a fine spreading tree, is usually the main food of satin birds and bell magpies[.]

1915 The Argus (Melbourne) 3 Aug 10/6
In asking whether there are any black magpies, Jack Patterson describes a bird with white on the upper wings and white on the tip of the tail, which is undoubtedly the pied bell magpie.

Notes: Antedating AND 1916.

belt man n. a surf lifesaver who swims out into the surf attached to the lifeline.

1916 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 7 Jan 3/1
Mr. F.W. Springfield reached them and supported them till the belt man, Oscar Anderson, of Bli Bli, took them from him, and the reel squad brought them in safely on the line.

1931 Argus (Melbourne) 7 Mar 4 S
THE BELT-MAN. An action photograph of one of the competitors in the men’s surf resue championship[.]

1934 J.M. Harcourt Upsurge ii. 27
The belt-man began to abuse them: ‘Bloody fools...’ - but his comrades on the beach began to haul in the line and his abuse ended in an angry splutter as his head dipped under.

1934 Sydney Morning Herald 2 Jul 9/6
Beltmen from the beach had to swim out to assist their comrades.

1936 Sydney Morning Herald 9 Jan 23/3
A candidate has to prove proficient in every position of reel and line work; that is, as the beltman who swims out with the life-line and bring the patient in; as first, second, and third linesman, paying out and drawing in the line; as as reelman, who manages the reel.

1951 Dymphna Cusack and Florence James Come In Spinner (1960) 237
‘It’s a filthy surf,’ Kim said, as the beltman swam out to his ‘patient’ with long steady strokes.

1954 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 26 Feb 2/2
The N.Z. team gave a demonstration of a four-men R. nd R. team, one as patient, then beltman, 1st linesman and reel man[.]

Notes: Not in AND. Although surf lifesaving has been noted by lexicographers as originally Australian, the various positions in a surf lifesaving crew have apparently gone largely unrecorded. These are the beltman, the lineman (or linesman) and the reelman or wheelman, all of which are treated here.

Belyando spew n. a gastric disorder characterised by vomiting.

1882 Brisbane Courier 19 Dec 2/3
Beyond those classical maladies called the Barcoo rot and the Bellyando spew, ‘whose bark may be said to be worse than their bite,’ for they are very harmless maladies, we can pursue our avocations in any part of the colony without danger to health[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1889.

bidgee-widgee n. a type of creeping perennial herb of the genus Acaena.

1945 Argus (Melbourne) 3 Mar 27 S/2
You must have noticed, at some time or other, when you have been walking through tall grasses, that your clothing, particularly stockings or socks, has been covered with those ‘bidgee-widgees.’

Notes: Interdating AND 1910 <> 1975.

 

billy cart n. 1. a child’s toy cart for coasting on downhill. 2. a cart drawn by a goat.

1910 Advertiser (Adelaide) 14 Mar 8/1
A little girl named McKay, aged 9, living at Katoomba, was coasting down a hill on a ‘billy cart’ this afternoon, when she ran into a horse. The animal kicked her on the forehead, and she died soon afterwards.

1928 Argus (Melbourne) 23 Nov 6/8
Belmore, a town on the Bankstown suburban line, will be the scene of this venture, which may become as popular as goat racing in Northern Queensland ... There will be a procession to the school in order to attract people to the opening of the exhibition, and this procession will be of billy-carts. All the grocers will doubtless be upon boxes for the bodies of these carts.

1930 Canberra Times 18 Dec 2/2
‘To the average boy who makes a billy cart,’ he said, ‘the problems involving cubical contents or superficial areas of cylinders present no difficulties.’

Notes: Antedating AND 1923. In the 1910 citation, the billy cart was ‘coasting’, thus it is clear that this earliest evidence is not of a cart drawn by a billygoat, which meaning is attested in the 1928 citation. AND were correct in their conjecture that this term is a shortening of billy goat cart (which see); in the early 20th century goats were used to draw carts of street vendors, and also by children in parades and for racing, as is wonderfully demonstrated in the 1927 Fatty Finn movie The Kid Stakes.

billy goat cart n. a small cart drawn by a goat.

[1907 Advertiser (Adelaide) 18 Dec 2/9
A BILLY Goat, Cart, and Harness, at once; state price.]

1910 Advertiser (Adelaide) 14 Jan 9/8
He had been playing about; the wheel of a billy goat cart ran over his toe, and hurt it so badly that the nail came off.

1915 Nambour Chronicle 3 Sept /1
The ‘ambulance’ wagon or litter forming portion of the procession was by no means the least attraction. Representing it was Master Jas. Orrel’s billy goat cart, decked out to the life by Mr. Ray and carrying a wounded soldier, blood-stained and dreadfully wounded in the head, in the person of little Master Lennie Stephenson.

Notes: Not in AND. Origin of the term billycart. The procession described in 1915 was part of Patriotic Day celebrations with children playacting the roles of wounded soldiers on the goat-pulled float.

Billy the blackfellow n. a generic nickname for an Indigenous Australian man.

[1872 Brisbane Courier 7 Dec 4/7
An interesting son of the soil, known as Billy the Blackfellow, but better known as Deuchar’s Billy, was sentenced (says the Warwick Argus) to six months’ imprisonment, with hard labor, by the local Bench on Monday morning.]

[1888 West Australian (Perth) 7 Apr 6/1
[I] had whittled off a slice of damper and a jerk of salt beef and with a pannikin of tea was as happy as King Billy, the blackfellow; I won’t say a European Sovereign, whose proverbial happiness I always considered rather mythical.]

1919 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 18 Oct 6/1
[T]he Director took certain action which showed plainly that the Advisory Council had no more power than Billy the Blackfellow.

1920 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 1 July 5/1
A great many sensible people take exception to a Mayor lowering the dignity of his office by figuring in the public press with the view of damaging a candidate or even Billy the Blackfellow’s chances of scoring a win at the Council elections.

1946 Canberra Times 5 Dec 5/3
‘Is that a fair offer to make to Billy the blackfellow, or to anyone else for that matter?’

1989 Hugh Lunn Over the top with Jim viii. 97
If we left without saying goodbye she would say we left ‘like Billy the blackfella.’

Notes: Not in AND; the earliest citation is an actual name, ungenericised, and the second only suggestive of the collocation, thus making the earliest appearance of the phrase 1920.

bindi n. a plant of the genus Calotis.

1884 Brisbane Courier 1 Mar 6/3
The ‘bindee’ spear with its jagged edges, owing to the inherent poisonous properties of the wood, inflicts very dangerous wounds, but Dame Nature frequently pulls the victim through in spite of heat, dirt, and flies.

Notes: Antedating AND 1896; here presumedly referring to a spear with a head made with part of one of the Calotis species.

bite, put the ~ on phr. to cadge money from someone.

Notes: In AND as an Australianism dated to 1955, but appears to be originally US criminal slang. Google Books has numerous examples: Damon Runyon, 1920, etc.

black prince n. a well-known black cicada, Psaltoda plaga, of Eastern Australia.

1928 Sydney Mail 19 Dec 53/1
The Black Prince flew swiftly by, and as he flew his queer, shrill song echoed though the bushland.

1931 Sydney Morning Herald 12 Dec 9/5
An oh! the airs and graces they are giving themselves since one of the Miss Cicadas is engaged to a Black Prince.

1947 Age (Melbourne) 10 Jan 3/2
However, all turns out well when Brown Overalls (who turns out to be Black Prince Cicada) comes to their rescue[.]

1949 Sydney Morning Herald 10 Dec 9/2
And there are lots of other names - Squeaker, single-drummer, green monday, Union Jack, mottled-grey, fiddler, red-eye, cherry nose, mealy-back, black prince, black-princess, and the bladder cicada. Science does not recognise all these as distinct species. Some are actually different only in colour.

Notes: Antedating AND 1951.

black stump n. a marker signifying extreme remoteness from civilisation.

[1831 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 22 Oct 3/2
I asked him if that cross line was his boundary; he said it ran to a black stump beyond the line, which he said had been marked by Mr. Meehan; he said the line was run to somewhere thereabouts; the utmost extent claimed by defendant was to the black stump of which I have spoken[.]]

[1851 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 19 Mar 4/5
The run called Black Stump, estimated to contain about 16,000 acres[.]]

[1884 Argus (Melbourne) 8 Oct 6/4
Mr. GILLIES: - The bill of 1882 proposed to stop that line at a portion of the district where there was no considerable populartion. Mr. MASON: - A black stump. (Laughter).]

[1884 Argus (Melbourne) 9 Oct 7/3
The Bent bill only proposed to take this railway as far as a famous black stump on the road to Coleraine.]

1916 Argus (Melbourne) 17 May 8/3
Therefore the Commonwealth line will, when completed, probably have to wait for years at some black stump until it can be made of use for through traffic.

1952 Peter Pinney Dust on my Shoes 112
The biggest bunch of no-hopers this side of the black stump.

Notes: Previously, the earliest example of this iconic Australian marker of remoteness was the 1953 in Additions1; here are a number of early examples of non-metaphoric uses in which a black stump was used as a boundary marker, and specifically as a marker of the furthest extent of a railway line at a remote area; the citation of 1916 shows movement towards the metaphoric usage.

bladder cicada n. a cicada of the Cystosoma genus, especially, Cystosoma saundersii.

1892 Brisbane Courier 24 Oct 7/1
The hon. secretary, a box of speecimens of the more remarkable of the phasmidae, and the singular homopterous genus Cystosoma or bladder cicada.

1935 Sydney Mail 13 Nov 23/3
Among the curious Bladder cicadas the finest specimen in that of Cystosoma sandersi, with its huge inflated green abdomen and beautiful opaque green forewings.

1949 Sydney Morning Herald 10 Dec 9/2
And there are lots of other names - Squeaker, single-drummer, green monday, Union Jack, mottled-grey, fiddler, red-eye, cherry nose, mealy-back, black prince, black-princess, and the bladder cicada. Science does not recognise all these as distinct species. Some are actually different only in colour.

1976 Sydney Morning Herald 26 Dec 17/1
What a variety of splendid names children have given to the more common kinds of cicada in Australia. They include black prince, greengrocer, green Monday, yellow Monday, red eyes, double drummers, washerwoman, razor grinders, floury millers, squeakers, mottled greys and bladders - the last-named having a huge, inflated abdomen.

1987 Sydney Morning Herald 17 Dec 3/6
Another unique Australian is the bladder cicada, which features a bloated green body resembling a leaf.

Notes: Not in AND.

Blind Freddy n. the proverbial blind man.

1944 Sydney Morning Herald 30 Mar 6/7
As you know, you merely amble into any Bank (or Savings Bank), or into any money order Post Office, fill in a form that Blind Freddy could understand, hand over the hay (of ten per cent. of it) and you’re home dry.

1945 Argus (Melbourne) 27 Sept 5/1
‘Not even Blind Freddie would believe it was anything but an arbitrary reduction of £100 million.’

Notes: Antedating AND 1946.

blood house n. a rough pub.

1903 Advertiser (Adelaide) 22 Apr 7/6
Witness and deceased had drinks at Hindmarsh on the way down. As deceased had been declined admittance at a boarding-establishment on Commerical-road, Port, witness took him to a place in Nile-street, known as the ‘Blood House,’ and there left him with his parcels. On Sunday morning deceased met witness at Port railway-station, and desired a ride.

Notes: Antedating AND 1952 (NZ English 1951); there is no direct indication that this Adelaidean ‘Blood House’ was a hotel, but it can be reasonably inferred as the man needed accommodation and stayed the night there. I have found the term in an Irish English text from as early as 1914, though it appears to be earliest in Australia.

 

bodgieism n. adherance to the bodgie subculture.

1951 Canberra Times 21 Aug 3/3
Bodgie-ism was a happier direction for a troubled society than the fanatical acceptance of Communist ideology, U.S. anthropologist, Dr. Margaret Mead, said to-day.

Notes: Not in AND.

 

bong on vi. to partake of the marijuana via a bong.

1986 Bob Hudson The First Australian Dictionary of Vulgarities and Obscenities
Bong. A water pipe for smoking marijuana. To indulge in this habit is to bong on.

2004 James Lambert  The Macquarie Australian Slang Dictionary
bong on to take part in a dope smoking session; to smoke dope. A phrase often seen proudly emblazoned in graffiti as a credo of the dope-smoker.

2006 Sydney Morning Herald 12 Sep [online]
With the new ingredient available for slicing, dicing and baking, we predict lamington drives will be far more exciting. Bong on, ladies.

Notes: Not in AND. Sadly, these are only from secondary sources. I remember it from graffiti from the early 1980s.

 

boots and all phr. without restraint.

1850 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 6 Apr 2/5
It became celebrated lately for the famous parish of Hastings, which made so many landed squires of renown in the equitable partition (heaven help us) of the Bank of Australia’s property, when many an expectant, cocksure of jumping into a fortune, boots and all, was bamboozled out of cash certain for prizes improbable.

1872 Brisbane Courier 5 Feb 3/3
If he passes the Rubicon safely, and makes a fair profit on his crop, we all mean to gird up our loins, and rush head first, head and tail, boots and all, into sugar.

1934 Courier Mail (Brisbane) 5 Mar 11/3
‘Boots and all’ means on your toes, and applies to the whole team.

1943 Canberra Times 7 June 2/4
Mr. Taylor said there was only one way to fight an influence such as Mr. Lang had no the Labour Party, and that was ‘boots and all.’

Notes: Antedating AND 1950.

bore n. an artesian well.

1850 Sydney Morning Herald 19 Mar 4/5
No misgivings as with the Artesian bore, no thirty miles of piping to the Neapean[.]

1860
Moreton Bay Courier 15 Nov 4/2
The artesian bore at Queenscliff is progressing slowly, the bore is 200 feet deep, still in quicksand.

1881
Sydney Mail 10 Sep 454/1
The Geological Surveyor, Mr. C. S. Wilkinson, has been in conference with the inspectors, with the view of recommending suitable sites for artesian bores to supply water for travelling stock.

1882 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 16 Mar 2/6
[A]fter several thousand gallons had been pumped out, the water in the bore was found not to have decresed in the slightest.

1884 West Australian (Perth) 20 May 3/6
[T]heir main dependence must be upon wells, especially artesian bores.

Notes: Antedating AND 1897.

bore drain n. a channel carrying water from a bore.

1906 Northern Territory Times and Gazette 1 Jun 2/6
This water is carried away for miles from the spring by a steep banked drain for all the world like an enlarged bore drain cut by an American champion.

Notes: Antedating AND 1914.

 

bore head n. the top of a bore.

1899 Brisbane Courier 11 Jul 5/6
He advises the erection of large cooling-tanks at the bore head, as the water will be too hot.

Notes: Antedating AND 1932.

 

bore-sinker n. a person employed to sink bores.

1962 Jock Marshall and Russell Drysdale Journey Among Men xii. 135
‘Bill’s a good old bloke,’ he said. ‘And a bloody good bore-sinker. But he likes to hit the turps now and again, and you can’t blame him.’

Notes: Not in AND.

 

bore-sinking n. the job of sinking bores.

1912 Sydney Mail 27 Mar 12/3
[R]estrictions have been placed on bore sinking in some of the States.

1921
The Argus (Melbourne) 22 OCt 16/4
Efforts were being made to increase the stock, and bore-sinking was being proceeded with.

1933 Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 5 Oct 6/6
There is a definite revival of artesian bore sinking in the south-west of Queensland[.]

1952 Canberra Times 31 Jan 4/5
Migrants would also go to the rural contractors on such jobs as fencing, dam construction and bore sinking.

Notes: Not in AND.

 

bore stream n. a channel carrying water from a bore.

1896 Brisbane Courier 6 May 5/7
I advocated the putting down of bores by the Government, who could charge 5 per cent on the outlay in the rent of farms that might be laid out along bore streams.

Notes: Antedating AND 1902.

 

bore water n. artesian water obtained from a bore.

1885 Brisbane Courier 31 Jul 5/6
In the latter bore water has been obtained at three different levels[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1899.

 

Boston bun n. a large round yeast bun with pink or white icing.

1927 Argus (Melbourne) 9 Mar 12/2
‘Yeast’ (Geelong) asks for a recipe for Boston buns.

Notes: Not in AND.

 

bottle-oh n. and bottley n. a spherical glass stopper from a type of carbonated softdrink bottle used as a playing marble.

1945 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language 204
Marbles of one kind or another are known to Australian children as bottleys, bottle-ohs, cornies, cornelians, chows, dakes, doblars, conks, commos, stinkies, stonkers, dibs, peewees, glassies, immas and smokies.

Notes: Antedating AND 1959 (bottle-oh) and 1956 (bottley).

 

bottom pub n. (preceded by the) one of a pair of public hotels in a two-pub town so designated (as opposed to the top pub).

[1926 Ellis Silas A Primitive Arcadia: Being the Impressions of an Artist in Papua 36
[There were two] hotels (known locally as the ‘top pub’ and ‘bottom pub’), and a harbour alive with decrepit schooners, launches and canoes.]

1946 W.E. Harney North of 23°: Ramblings in Northern Australia 16
Muttaburra, where stands the ‘bottom pub’; when things got slack we would hear the cry, ‘Come on, boys, another round of drinks and Queenie will sing[.]’

[1970 Ian Stuart Port Moresby: Yesterday and Today 182
Everyone else called it The Bottom Pub.]

2001 John ‘Bluey’ Bryant Real Aussies Drive Utes II 123
A two-pub town: if you didn’t stop at the top pub, you’d be at the bottom one.

2004 Quentin van Marle Boomerang Road: A Pedalling Pom’s Australian Odyssey. 132
Maclean has this long riverside drive that becomes a curving, sloping main street leading away from the water. By the time I’m at the other end, I’ve counted three pubs, not one of them with the name of Bottom Pub. I stop and ask a man who seems certian to know. He’s got that reddish-blue nose and protruding veins of a clockwork boozer. ‘You’ll be needing the Clarence Hotel’ he grunts. I’m puzzled. ‘The Clarence Hotel is Bottom Pub?’ ‘Yeah. We got three pubs in town. Take no notice of the names on the door, they’re horseshit. We call ’em Top Pub, Middle Pub, an’ Bottom Pub.’

2005 Jim Eames The Country Undertaker: Reminiscences of a Bush Life 91
[I]t became time for Sausage to undertake his last chore of the day - collecting his own meal from the Bottom Pub.

Notes: This locution seems to be earliest in PNG (see 1926, 1970), used of two hotels in Port Moresby, the Papua Hotel (Top Pub) and the Moresby Hotel (Bottom Pub), the latter at a lower elevation. However, the naming convention has spread to Australia and is now widely used throughout the land; elevation above sea level or latitude are not necessarily significant in the application of the names. Note that the lack of definite articles in the 2004 citation is probably the result of a misremembering by the self-described ‘Pedalling Pom’.

 

bower n. the mating/courtship structure of the bowerbird.

? 1838 Captain John Lort Stokes in Jock Marshall and Russell Drysdale Journey Among Men (1962) xii. 117
[F]ound matter for conjecture in noticing a number of twigs with their ends stuck in the ground, which was strewed over with shells and their tops brought together so as to form a small bower.

Notes: Potentially antedating AND 1841 (citing Gould); Marshall and Drysdale claim to be quoting Stokes’ journal account of his visit to a lilac-crested bowerbird’s bower on the Victoria River in the Kimberleys in November 1838, though they provide no bibliographical referencing; they go on to say that “ Stoke first thought the structure to be ‘some Australian mother’s toy to amuse her child’. Then at Port Essington he was asked ‘to go and see the “bird’s playhouse” when I immediately recognized the same kind of construction I had seen at the Victoria River’; although this journal was published in book form later, and is referenced by AND, surely the dating should be 1838?

 

boxing kangaroo n. a kangaroo trained to box against human opponents as a sideshow attraction.

1892 West Australian (Perth) 26 Dec 6/1
Professor Landerman and his boxing kangaroo have, states the European Mail, been engaged by the management at the Westminster ‘palace of windows.’ The animal and his trainer, who are well-known throughout Australia, where they have appeared before the Governors of various Colonies, made their dèbut in London on November 17[.]

1902 Sydney Mail 25 Jan 21/1
Mr. Fitzgerald states that the animal is the finest boxing kangaroo he has seen.

1945 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 19 Jan 5/2
Side shows include ‘Abdulla,’ Indian miracle man, Shah Nazir, Indian snake charmer, Australia’s only boxing kangaroo, and the famours Eastern Wonder boxing troupe.

1954 Sydney Morning Herald 7 Oct 11/1
All there was to be seen were too dancing children, a boxing kangaroo, a railway train entering a station, people walking in a street.

Notes: Not in AND; this iconic symbol of Australia has for some inexplicable reason never made its way into dictionaries, perhaps under the impression that it is a transparent compound, which it is not; apparently the first popularly exhibited boxing kangaroo was that of Professor Landerman in the 1890s, though the phenomenon is perhaps earlier.

brass razoo n. a fictitious coin of low value.

1932 Canberra Times 6 May 1/3
Unless you do appoint these officers you will not get one brass ‘razoo’. (General laughter.)

Notes: The variant ‘brass’ razoo is recorded in the AND, but the earliest citation given there is 1968; this evidence antedates the earliest evidence presented in Additions1, Baker 1941.

break it down phr. stop it! be reasonable!

1934 Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 18 Apr 9/5
Detective T. Martin said the defendant, when interviewed in connection with the charge, said: ‘Break it down. I know nothing about that. I have turned that game up long ago, you should know that.’

1936 Canberra Times 8 May 4/6
Mulqueeny kicked him out then tried to stop the others from assaulting him. Mulqueeny said: ‘Break it down. You’re killing the man.’

Notes: Antedating AND 1941.

breast the bar phr. to approach the bar of a public hotel in with the object of ordering drinks.

1888 West Australian (Perth) 7 July 3/4
No. 2 bar catered for by the charming Mrs. Dillon of the Brockman, whose sweet smiles lured many to breast the bar over which she presided.

1898 C.J. Dennis The Critic (Adelaide) 16 Apr 5
It wus ‘Breast the bloomin’ bar!’ / No matter who you are.

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions1, 1905 (though that dating seems to have been incorrect at any rate).

Briton n. used as a type of stoicism.

1904 ‘Steele Rudd’ Sandy’s Selection (1964) vi. 21
Then the doctor pushed back his stiff white cuffs, reached out, and, like clipping a piece of cardboard, snipped a V-shaped piece from Uncle’s lip. Uncle clenched his fists and quivered all over. ‘You’re a Briton,’ the medico said. ‘Did it hurt?’ ‘Not ’uch,’ Uncle answered, large tears rushing from his eyes.

1906 ‘Steele Rudd’ Back At Our Selection (1964) v. 123
‘Don’t they always be firing over it? Take it - take it, general.’ ‘You’re a Briton,’ the major said, and took Dad by the hand and shook it warmly.

1989 Hugh Lunn Over the top with Jim xi. 147
Fred was great at getting up early to go to work, and then he’d skite that he was ‘a Briton’.

Notes: Not in AND; the early examples are all from ‘Steele Rudd’, but Hugh Lunn’s recollection suggests that this poorly recorded expression was indeed a lexical item of earlier Australian English.

brown n. a brown snake.

1954 Ray Harris Turkey and Partners viii. 117
Nevertheless, snakes now came in steadily, and continued to do so throughout the long, hot afternoon - two more browns, two tigers, a black, a diamond snake and then two more blacks.

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions1, 1978.

bubbler n. a drinking fountain. Also, attributive.

1929 Canberra Times 7 May 1/4
There were also discrepancies in connection with stock held by the Council, also with regard to a number of bubbler water fountains owned by the Council.

1934 Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 9 Mar 19/7
The memorial includes three bubbler drinking fountains, and on the front will be a bronze tablet, suitably inscribed.

1944 Canberra Times 20 Dec 2/4
Mr. J. Paterson drew attention to the state of public drinking fountains in Canberra, and also to the small number of these facilities. He said that these bubblers periodically got dirty[.]

1951 Canberra Times 25 Oct 2/6
The new wings contain two kindergarten rooms, a transition room, a dining hall and canteen, and indoor toilets and bubblers.

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions2, 1968.

buck-jump n. a leap by a horse attempting to throw the rider.

1864 Brisbane Courier 7 Jul 2/6
At length he began to rear up and make a sort of buck-jump, which caused the jackaroo’s head to come between his ears at one time, and just over above his tail at another[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1882 (and NZ English 1873).

bungy a. in a poor condition healthwise.

[1869 Brisbane Courier 22 Nov 3/6
Numerous candidates are represented as ‘going to stand’ - amongst others, Messrs, Gergory, Handy, Bramston, Geary, Spencer (‘old Bungy’); he sent a circular some weeks ago, and I believe ‘the stick that never missed fire,’ otherwise ‘Garryowen,’ of Donnybrook notoriety.]

Notes: Perhaps an example of the adjective listed in Additions1.

bushmaid n. a young woman or girl living in the bush.

[1853 Mrs. Trail in The Anglo-American Magazine II. 605 I had so offended my bush-maid, the daughter of a decent settler in an adjacent township, that she had left me in the middle of a large wash, to fold and iron my linen myself.]

1910 Mary Grant Bruce A Little Bush Maid [book title]

1916 Argus (Melbourne) 27 Sep 6/5
‘Anxious Bushmaid’ (Benalla) asks how long a young woman should wear mourning for her mother, and whether it is considered necessary for school children to wear mourning.

1924 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 29 Jan 3/1
And the bush men of our land / With a quart pot in their hand / Drink in honor of our bushmaid / From the never never land.

1927 Northern Territory Times (Darwin) 2 Sep 3/3
Some people drive their Hupmobiles / And some their Chevrolets / But now the little Bush-Maid feels / The urge of the mot’ring craze.

1939 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 10 Mar 11/1
There was nothing of the shy bushmaid about Marjorie now.

Notes: Not in AND. The earliest citation is from a Canadian source. In Australia the term perhaps owes a lot to the popularity of Mary Grant Bruce’s novel.

bush pig n.1 a feral pig living in the bush.

1876 Brisbane Courier 2 Dec 5/7
In the bush he [a Kanaka] is prone to sickness, especially so towards the end of his engagement. This gives the ‘jackaroos’ an opportunity of trying their hands as ‘quack,’ and, whatever the result may be, it is always beneficial, at least to the squatter. Should the Kanaka succumb to an overdose of laudanum, it saves the trouble and expense of sending him back. Should it merely act on the brain, causing him to wander away, the bush pigs have developed a relish for Kanaka, and thus his employer even escapes the trouble of burying him!

1888 West Australian (Perth) 14 Jul 3/3
The accused, in defence, said that he used every effort to drive the pig off, but was unsuccessful, and that he was told by a man named James that it was a wild bush pig.

1902 Sydney Mail 29 Oct 1099/2
We have about five acres cleared all round the house, and fenced in as a protection against the bush pigs, which are very numerous and not at all shy.

1921 Sydney Mail 27 Apr 29/3
The bush pig of North Queensland is marvellously prolific - seventeen, eighteen, and even as many as twenty-one in a litter.

1942 Canberra Times 14 Jul 2/6
No food and my feet are almost falling off. Pinched a bush pig and we might get a meal of him.

Notes: Not in AND.

bushpig n.2 a rough, tough, unattractive or otherwise unappealing woman.

1985 ‘Thommo’ The Dictionary of Australian Swearing and Sex Sayings 24 

1987 Kathy Lette Girls’ Night Out (1995) 187 Chicks are nicknamed bush pigs, swamp hogs, maggots, spitters and swallowers.

1990 Ignatius Jones True Hip 124  The Real Bush-pig is the female counterpart and proper companion for the Male Hoon.

1994 John Birmingham He died with a felafel in his hand vi. 122

1998 Phillip Gwynne Deadly Unna? xxxvi. 245 That bushpig, Cathy, was looking for ya.

Notes: Not in AND.

bush pub n. a public hotel situated in the bush.

1873 Brisbane Courier 31 Mar 2/7
Yarn No. 2 states that at some distant period the proprietor of a bush pub., not far distant from the spot, deposited a quantity of liquor in this waterhole to evade the lynx eyes of his creditors and their representatives, the bailiffs.

Notes: Antedating AND 1880.

bushwhacker n.1 a bushranger.

1871 Brisbane Courier 2 Dec 7/2
Now, the question is, whether this bushwhacker had a right, according to the agreement, to place the money in the bank to my credit, or to spend it on his own account?

1893 West Australian (Perth) 10 Mar 2/2
[I] was forgetting - stages are not stuck up in this colony, I believe, and I apologise for the want of bushwhackers.

Notes: This sense not covered in AND, and apparently earlier than the now common sense.

bush whacker n.2 a person from the bush, frequently perceived as unsophisticated; also, in plural, used as the name of a sports team from the bush.

1876 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 8 Jan 1/6
[O]ur Protector, now like the chameleon of a different appearance, now half-amateur-detective, half trooper, with just a thought of the bush-whacker, returns with - Currant Billy.

1881 West Australian (Perth) 18 Mar 3/2
I have a decided and natural objection to saddle either squatters or police with bush-whacker’s yarns, evolved out of their own imagination.

1900 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 14 Sept 2/7
Yes, the Bushwhackers wallopped the Town!

Notes: Antedating AND 1896.

bush woman n. a woman living in the bush.

1861 Horace Earle Up and Downs, or, Incidents of Australian Life 47
She was an excellent bush-woman, and could thread the mazy intricacies of the forest[.]

1871 Brisbane Courier 18 Feb 3/6
‘Bless my heart, I was very foolish to feel so; it startled me for a moment, for though we had just the same alarm once before, I never wanted to be present at another fight, but every bush woman must be a soldier in the hour of need.’

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions1, 1898.

but adv. though.

1906 ‘Steele Rudd’ Back At Our Selection (1964) xii. 161
‘Supposin’ the chap ain’t dead, but?’ Regan persisted.

Notes: Extra evidence interdating AND’s first and second citations 1853/1938.

Calcutta sweep(s) n. a type of sweepstakes now generally used for bets on the Melbourne Cup. In full, Calcutta sweepstakes.

1859 Argus (Melbourne) 30 Sept 5/7
‘Jorrocks’ is a cognomen which I confess I was surprised to see attached to a communcation exhibiting so much ignorance of sporting affairs generally, and of the character of the men likely to be members of the Calcutta Sweepstakes.

1863 Courier (Brisbane) 18 Sept 6/7
At the termination of this business a £5 Calcutta sweep was got up on the Ballarat Champion Race, and this amounted to £95 10s.

1864 Brisbane Courier 18 Apr 3/5
A few Calcutta sweeps were drawn at the Randwick Great Handicap and Queen’s Plates[.]

1866 Sydney Mail 15 Sep 4/5
The honorary treasurer of Tattersall’s, My. Jenner, paid over about £1200 to winners of Calcutta sweeps.

1879 Capt. W.J. Barry Up and down: Or, Fifty Years’ Colonial Experiences in Australia, California, New Zealand, India, China and the South Pacific 273
I got up a few ‘Calcutta Sweeps’ the same night, and made a few pounds. The place was crowded with diggers, and money was plentiful.

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions1, 1896. Used elsewhere, and presumably originating in India, though the earliest evidence I can locate is still Australian.

camel, a man is not a ~  phr. I am thirsty and require a drink.

1919 The Argus (Melbourne) 30 Aug 5/1
Then at last did the train sally forth, but it was indeed a dry trip, seeing that the bar was tea-total. And when they were half-way across the desert My Lord Hughes walked along to the guard’s van, where My Lord Cook was playing ‘The Long, Long Trail’ upon a mouth organ. And My Lord Huges quoth as follows: - ‘Verily I am not a camel, and I would that I were back in Paris at the Peace Conference. For then might we induce My Lord Wilson to shout us a couple of his fourteen pints.’

1998 Phillip Gwynne Deadly Unna? xxii. 161
‘Hey, Mac, man’s not a camel.’ There was somebody at the window. ‘I’ll be there directly,’ yelled Mac.

Notes: Not in AND.

cane beetle n. a beetle that attacks sugar cane.

1892 Brisbane Courier 7 Sept 6/7
The running fire does no harm, while it may be claimed as doing much benefit in destroying the larvæ of the cane beetle or grub.

Notes: Antedating AND 1902.

cane paddock n. a paddock for growing sugar cane.

1924 Nambour Chronicle 25 Jan 3/3
This area looked promising, but the terrific heat experienced was rapidly drying up the cane paddocks[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1945.

cane season n. the season for harvesting sugar cane.

1889 Sydney Mail 9 Mar 514/3
A man named Nelson, formerly an employee, but who was dismissed in the cane season, was stated to have used threatening language to the company’s manager.

1904
Nambour Chronicle 8 Apr 2/7
The cane season has been an ideal one for cane growing in the Cairns district[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1955.

carol n. the call of the Australian Magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen.

1875 Brisbane Courier 3 Apr 6/1
[A]t day-dawn, the early carol of the magpie rises in melodious chorus to heaven[.]

1910 Sydney Mail 6 Jul 7/2
Later the shrill note is drowned in the more powerful cries of the jackass, the mellow carol of the magpies, the high piping of the tree-creeper (or woodpecker), and the far-reaching chorus of the noisy minahs.

1934
Henry G. Lamond An Aviary On The Plains xlv. 221
Their carol isn’t to be compared with the melody of the magpie or butcher bird.

Notes: Formerly, in Additions1, only the verb and verbal noun (carolling) were recorded, but the earliest evidence appears to be of the simple noun.

carol vi. and vt. of the Australian Magpie, to give its territorial call. Hence, verbal noun, carolling.

1897 West Australian (Perth) 29 Dec 7/1
The sun is now fairly up and the air is musical with the liquid notes of the magpie carolling his plaintive full-throated matin into which a flight of red-tailed cockatoos harshly break with their affrighted scream[.]

1899 C.J. Dennis The Evening Journal (Adelaide) 19 Oct 2
And joyous now as in years ago / Is the magpie’s caroling.

1904 C.J. Dennis The Critic (Adelaide) 10 Feb 20
Hear the joyous mornin’ magpies carolin’ along the creek!

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions, 1932 (verb), 1933 (verbal noun).

cherry nose n. a cicada, Macrotristria angularis, of Eastern Australia, having a red nose. Also, called fiddler.

1949 Sydney Morning Herald 10 Dec 9/2
And there are lots of other names - Squeaker, single-drummer, green monday, Union Jack, mottled-grey, fiddler, red-eye, cherry nose, mealy-back, black prince, black-princess, and the bladder cicada. Science does not recognise all these as distinct species. Some are actually different only in colour.

1960 Sydney Morning Herald 2 Jan 10/1
The Yellow Monday was a dark brown, and so was his female - that mute, moist cicada with the rude name. The lipstick red of the Cherry Nose was a dull black, and the Black Prince was grey.

Notes: Not in AND.

Chinky n. a Chinese person.

1875 Northern Territory Times and Gazette 28 Aug 2/4
Possible collisions were spoken of, imbroglios hinted at, and one outspoken individual openly expressed his opinion that, if Government would not prevent their presumed enemies landing here, ‘the diggers who had protected themselves from the blacks could do so from the ‘Chinkies,’ and that the Government, when too late, might discover that more than the men of Lambing Flat could do a roll-up when their interests were touched.’

Notes: Antedating AND 1876.

choko n. the common backyard fence vegatable.

1893 Brisbane Courier 21 Dec 5/1
Mr. Strachan also shows with much pride a choko plant which he sub-irrigated, and informs us that, although the season has barely commenced, he has picked no fewer than eighty chokos off the one plant[.]

1895 Brisbane Courier 2 Aug 6/1
Six Chokos: W. Thatcher.

1898 Brisbane Courier 23 Apr 11/3
The following original recipes are also given in this unique little book: - Pawpaw pie and boiled pawpaw, pumpkin tops, fried choko, roast wallaby, wild turkey, Australian game, granadilla pie and cream, banana cream, prickly pear jelly, rosella cream, pickled limes, guava jelly, pineapple jam, mango preserve, &c.

Notes: Antedating AND 1909.

chook int. a call made to attract domestic chickens.

1894 Ethel Turner Seven Little Australians (1974) ii. 19
‘Chuck-chuck, chuck-a-chuck, chuck, chuck, chuck,’ said the General, going down promptly on all fours to seek for the feathered darlings Judy had said were here.

1907 Sydney Mail 16 Jan 171/1
‘Chook, chook!’ she cried, but the bird took no heed[.]

1908 Sydney Mail 8 Apr 898/2
His great amusement was calling ‘Chook - chook, chook, chook,’ and, when the fowls rushed to their feeding-place and found no grain, he would chuckle wickedly.

Notes: Antedating AND 1903, plus some extra evidence. The English Dialect Dictionary (EDD) 1898 records chuck (with a short front vowel) as “a call to fowls”, which also is recorded in the OED2 from as early as 1675; the EDD also records chook (with a short back vowel, as in Australian usage) as a “call to pigs, or occas. to poultry” used in Wor., Oxf., I.W., Som., and Dev.; the evidence from Ethel Turner for the interjection and the noun is orthographically chuck and so presumedly represents the front-vowel pronunciation variant.

chook n.1 a chicken.

1894 Ethel Turner Seven Little Australians (1974) ii. 18
‘Boy want chuck-chuck, pretty chuck-chuck?’ she said insidiously. ‘Chuck-chuck, chuck-a-chuck,’ he gurgled, looking all around for his favourite friends.

Notes: Antedating AND 1900; see notes at the interjection (above).

chook n.2 (a derogatory term for) a bird so abundant in a particular area that birders get sick of seeing.

1998 Birding-Aus 22 Mar
I am not claiming to speak for other northern birders, but I like black kites (or ‘chooks’ as they are sometimes called in North Queensland).

2001 Birding-Aus 19 May
2 Pacific Black Ducks and the usual ‘chooks’ (Pelican, gulls, etc.)

2002 Birding-Aus 31 Aug
I got four new birds (Brown Gerygone, Logrunner, Yellow-throated Scrubwren (later to become chooks) and, most impressively Wompoo Fruit-dove).

2005 Sean Dooley The Big Twitch xx. 178
Sure, every bird we had stopped for inevitably turned out to be quite mundane (or chooks, as they are known in birding parlance), the pale bird hawking over that parched field was surely the jackpot. But Dad would simply not stop.

2005 Sean Dooley The Big Twitch xxviii. 249
I hadn’t been able to get onto this chook of a bird [sc. koel] all year and then on one day I saw seven.

Notes: Not recorded in Wilkes or AND; according to anecdotal information from Australian birdwatchers, the term has been in regular use since the 1970s.

chook house n. a structure for housing domestic chickens.

1940 Arthur Upfield Bushranger of the Skies (1965) ix. 57

Notes: Antedating AND 1963.

chookie n. a chicken.

[1891 Brisbane Courier 3 Jul 8/4   Chookie’s Occupation Gone.]

1893 Northern Territory Times and Gazette 16 June 2/7
In order to acquire his felonious end, he carried about with him a quantity of rice, and when he saw a gathering of ‘chookies’ that appeared to be suffering from famine he threw them some of his chow, and when the unsuspecting birds began to tumble over one another for the grain Loong suddenly swooped down on them and nabbed as many as he wanted.

1896 Northern Territory Times and Gazette 11 Dec 3
A Chinaman named Gee Loong was sent to gaol the other day for a short term for the larceny of one hen. The prisoner adopted the unoriginal method of encouraging the poultry round him by a light shower of rice. Then whilst the unsuspecting chookies were busily engaged on the rice he would pounce on the bird of his choice and depart exulting.

1905 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 1 Sep 3/3
This ruse bears a striking family resemblance to an old housewifely dodge to secure the wily ‘chooky.’

1907 Barbara Baynton Human Toll (1980) ii. 142

1909 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 10 Jul 4/1
Among the work is reported the winning of 30 prizes for ‘chookies’ at the Mareeba Show.

1916 Mercury (Hobart) 27 June 1/3
You want your ‘chickies’ to look well. You want your ‘chookies’ to breed well.

1928 ‘Brent of Bin Bin’ Up Country vii. 78
If no one else has thought of chookies I know that these will be useful.

1932 Sydney Mail 10 Aug 13/3
‘I’m glad you like the chookies.’

1967 Jean Brooks The Opal Witch (1970) xxvii. 174
‘I’ve got a smart little chookie in Kilpa.’

Notes: Evidence of extended variant (with diminutive -ie / -y suffix) and the back vowel of current Australian usage; AND records front-vowel variants (chuckie, etc.) from 1855 and 1875, and a lone back-vowel form from 1880; the citations here shows that this form survived well into the 20thC; the 1967 citation is of the extended sense ‘a woman’; the earliest citation, 1891, is the title of a story that was listed in an advertisement for ‘The Queenslander’, 4th July 1891, and so may represent an English book, and in the absence of greater context may not be an example of our sense.

chow-chow n. a Chinese person.

1852 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 13 Mar 4/2
[I]t is to be feared that the flocks will not benefit by the change from under the charge of British boys unto the tender mercies of Chow Chows from China.

Notes: Antedating AND 1864.

cobbership n. mateship.

1917 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 16 Nov 2/7
His cobbership with the Anzacs is a priceless possession, that gold cannot buy or time wither.

Notes: Antedating AND 1944.

cock-eye Bob n. a variant of cock-eyed Bob.

1912 Sydney Morning Herald 29 Mar 5/5
The origin of the term ‘cock-eye Bob’ is curious. Bob Sholl, a nor’-west pearler, was out in a lugger with a Binghi, when one of these ‘baby blows’ suddenly swooped down upon them. The nigger exclaimed ‘Koki Bob,’ which, being interpreted, meant ‘Hurry up, Bob.’ For a long time afterwards the pearlers warned each other with the cry ‘Koki Bob,’ and this has been corrupted to ‘cock-eye Bob,’ and the name is given to minor storms that periodically visit the coast.

1912 Sydney Morning Herald 29 Mar 5/5
In ten minutes the temperature dropped from 100deg. to 60deg. Then after an hour’s blow the storm was over. The skipper was asked if that was a Willy Willy. ‘Not a bit of it,’ he exclaimed. ‘That’s only a baby blow, only a cock-eye Bob.’

1912 Sydney Morning Herald 29 Mar 5/5
What is called a ‘young brother’ to the willy willy is the ‘Cock-eye Bob.’ This is more prevalent but less dangerous than its more famour brother.

Notes: Antedating AND 1926. Also, this citation adds yet another etymological story of highly dubious status; there may indeed be a word ‘koki’ that means hurry up in one of the Aboriginal languages of the north west, but, even were this the case, it remains a mystery as to why this particular once-off remark would become a generalised warning amongst all pearlers, especially those not named Bob; furthermore, the form cock-eyed Bob has historical precendence being having been is use at least two decades years earlier.

cock-eyed Bob n. a Western Australian term for a short, powerful storm.

[1882 West Australian (Perth) 13 Jun 3/3
On the the [sic] 3rd inst., a native named ‘Cock-eyed Bob’ was committed for trial at the next Quarter Sessions, for the manslaughter of another native at Cossack, by spearing him.]

1885 West Australian (Perth) 13 Apr 3/6
I am happy to say we have had no hurricane near Roebourne this season, but last month we had a strong squall (‘Cockeyed Bob’) which lasted a few minutes and send verandah lounges, empty boxes and light vehicles rolling about.

1892 West Australian (Perth) 5 Dec 3/5
At half past 1 yesterday morning a sharp storm, locally called a ‘cock-eyed Bob,’ passed over the town. An inch and a half of rain fell during an hour and a half.

Notes: Antedating AND 1894; the earliest citation, 1882, is the name of an Aboriginal (presumedly, but not certainly, cock-eyed), but there seems no obvious connection with the weather term; unfortunately the earlier evidence presented here sheds no light on the origin of this peculiar expression; could it be an instance of the law of Hobson-Jobson?

cocky on the biscuit tin phr. left out; excluded; on the outside looking in.

[1965 John Wynnum Jiggin’ in the Riggin’ iv. 50
‘Got it?’ ‘Like the cocky on the biscuit tin,’ confirmed Stripey.]

1970 Suzy Jarrett Permissive Australia 160
Like those gaily painted customers’ chairs in general stores promoting biscuits - the same biscuits, incidentally, that gave the Australian language that useful phrase ‘sitting around like a cocky on a biscuit tin.’

1986 Richard Beckett The Dinkum Aussie Dictionary 15
Out here like the cocky on the bloody biscuit tin.

Notes: Not in AND; referring to the parrot of the Arnott’s Biscuits logo, (which, although resembling a lorikeet, has the jizz and coloration of no actual Australian parrot), forever on the outside of the biscuit tin. The first citation reveals a different metaphor: the parrot of the logo has a biscuit clutched tight in its foot.

come in vi. to be duped; to fall for a joke.

1975 John O’Grady Gone Gougin’ (1995) i. 11
‘You’re shoutin’.’ ‘Is it my turn?’ ‘Whether it is or not, you’re shoutin’.’ ‘Why?’ ‘All’em’re curlews.’ ‘Yeah, OK. Worth it matey. Gees, did you come in.’

1975 John O’Grady Gone Gougin’ (1995) v. 70
I said, knowing I had been ‘got at’, knowing that I had ‘come in hook, line and sinker’, and delighting in the knowledge, ‘I think you are a bit of a bastard.’

Notes: Adding support to the meaning of the phrase Come, in spinner given in Additions2; the expression ‘All’em’re curlews’ was a bad pun on Allamagurloo (Creek), with which the punster’s mates were fooled.

conversation n. denoting a sugary lolly with a conversational, often romantic, sentiment impressed into it. Also, used attributively.

1892 Brisbane Courier 11 Feb 8/1
70 Tims Assorted Confectionery, including Mixed Drops, Clove Drops, Peppermint Clips, Barley Sugar, Scotch Mixtures, Conversations, Peppermint Lozenges, Rainbow Balls, Assorted Beans, Imitation Almonds, Butternuts, Billiard Balls, Crescents, Marbles, Large Eggs, Aniseed Balls, Ching Chongs, Coral Beads, Raspberry Creams, &c.

1894 Ethel Turner Seven Little Australians (1974) vii. 68
[It was] not Andrew, who gave her tender glances and conversation peppermints that said ‘My heart is thine’[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1901.

corroboree n. a type of communal behaviour of certain species of honeyeater in which birds flock together and make a specific noisy call.

1926 Argus (Melbourne) 8 May 8/7
Among more than a score of honeyeaters spread about the State I see but one, the universal white-plumed ‘greenie,’ calling and clustering as usual for a corroboree or indignation meeting at any hour of the day.

1931 Alec H. Chisholm Nature Fantasy in Australia 55
Honey-eaters of a small species, the merry yellowtufts, may be seen holding their quaint corroborees among the iron-barks at almost any time[.]

1984 Ken Simpson and Nicholas Day The Birds of Australia 330
Some species, notably Manorina, but also various Lichenostomus and Phylidonyris, gather for group displays or ‘corroborees’. The purpose of these corroborees is not known.

1998 Birding-Aus 6 Mar
Groups of 30-40, making a huge din, were normal. I believe I’ve seen this activity labelled in the informal literature as a corroboree, or was I dreaming?

2003 Birding-Aus 7 Mar
One was singing loudly while others flew in from all directions, and they were all displaying or posturing to each other - it reminded me of the ‘corroboree’ behaviour of New Holland Honeyeaters.

2007 Birding-Aus 4 Jun
A corroboree of twenty plus Noisy Miners.

Notes: Not in AND; there is no consensus on what this behaviour is for, though sometimes the term is applied to what appears to be typical mobbing behaviour. Care needs to be taken not to confuse this specific lexical meaning with general figurative usage applied to other birds when flocking, such as in the following citations about currawongs (1998) and bush stone curlews (2002). 

1998 Birding-Aus 7 Jan
Tamborine Mountain folk-lore, 60 years ago, held that a currawong corroboree meant that rain was coming[.]

2002 Birding-Aus 19 Mar
The Bush Stone Curlews are in overdrive at the moment and are holding corroborees down the back of the block everynight[.]

 

cracker night n. a night on which fireworks were let off.

1950 Nambour Chronicle 20 Oct 7/8
Make some extra money for cracker night, boys and girls!

Notes: Antedating AND 1951.

cripes int. a euphemism for Christ!

1894 West Australian (Perth) 19 July 6/1
‘Have a drink?’ ‘Eh!’ ‘Have a drink.’ ‘Cripes! won’t I.’

1924 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 29 Jan 3/1
‘Cripes, I feel highly honored.’

1925 Erle Cox Out of the Silence 254
‘Cripes, it was like ’avin’ the horrors.’

1951 Dymphna Cusack and Florence James Come In Spinner (1960) 269
‘Cost a quid. Cripes! Do those Dagoes sock you? Got more hide’n a white man.’

1954 Arthur Upfield Death of a Lake (1971) vii. 50
‘Cripes, Bony! You’re all there. I never thought of that angle.’

1954 Ray Harris Turkey and Partners i. 23
‘Cripes yes! Cracked it a terrible wallop, he did, sure enough!’

Notes: Antedating OED2 1910, however, presumedly originally an Australianism, as the earliest two citations in OED are both from Australian sources (Arthur Hoey Davis, 1910, and Louis Stone, 1911).

 

currawong n. the plant Acacia doratoxylon. Also, currawang.

1886 West Australian (Perth) 6 May 3/8
There were a good many different varieties of scrub: mulga[,] currawong and emu bush are also met with, and in one place, for a few miles, is a large forest of cajeput trees.

1929 The Argus (Melbourne) 11 Jun 15/4
Currawang is the name given to a North-Eastern variety of wattle - Acacia doratoxylon; and currawong to the pied bell magpie - Strepera graculina.

Notes: Not in AND.

cut out vt. to use up a pay cheque on a sustained drinking spree.

1902 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 28 Nov 2/7
It was common for a man to hand his cheque - anything from £10 to £100 - to the publican with an injunction to ‘wire’ him when it was ‘cut out.’

Notes: Antedating AND 1913, and NZ usage 1906.

daggy a. (of sheep) having dags.

1890 Brisbane Courier 14 Feb 3/7
Average merino is selling at 7½d. to 8½d.; superior greasy pieces, 5d. to 5½d.; ordinary pieces, 4d. to 4½d.; heavy and daggy pieces and locks, 2½d. to 3½d.

1891 Brisbane Courier 26 Oct 6/7
It was agreed to recommend that no shearer be allowed to shear daggy sheep without extra remuneration.

Notes: Antedating AND 1895.

Dawn Service n. the service traditionally held at dawn on Anzac Day.

1932 Sydney Morning Herald 23 Apr 9/2
Splendidly in keeping with the spirit of Anzac Day is the ‘Dawn Service’ which is held in Perth, Western Australia, on April 25 every year.

1933
Argus (Melbourne) 22 Apr 22/5
[Heading] Dawn Service at Shrine. Soldiers who intend to take part in the pilgrimage to the Shrine of Remebrance are asked to assemble south of the shrine not later than half-past 5 o’clock on Anzac Day morning.

1939 Nambour Chronicle 24 Mar 8/5
The circular issued by the Anzac Day Commemoration Committee (Q’ld.) contains the following suggestions for public observance: Monday, 25th April - Dawn Service, 4.28 a.m.

Notes: Not in AND.

dead ’un n. a horse not run on its merits.

1867 Brisbane Courier 10 July 3/5
Such terms as ‘milking,’ ‘roping,’ ‘dead ’uns,’ &c., are highly suggestive, and it is quite probable each may be applicable to one or more horses amongst the sixty-five nominated for the Cup. The uninitiated, those not up to turf secrets, are very likely to suffer from the milking process when picking out a horse, simply because the age and weight seem favorable.

1869 Argus (Melbourne) 2 July 6/2
True, The Cardinal was supposed to be, in racing terms, a ‘dead ’un;’ still, very large books are not opened upon that race[.]

Notes: Antedating earleist evidence in Additions1, 1877.

Devon sausage n. a type of sausage meat. Also, as a count noun, a sausage of this meat.

1934 Canberra Times 29 Mar 5/3
Devon Sausages ... 1/- lb.

1935 Canberra Times 1 Mar 6/1
DELICIOUS SMALLGOODS such as Devon Sausage, Garlic Sausage, Brawn, Dice Loaf, Cooked and Pressed Ham, Ham De-light, Pork Fritz, Cooked Corned Beef and Frankfurts.

1948 Canberra Times 10 Aug 3/3
The police were told that all members of the family, except the father and baby, ate a Devon sausage for tea on Friday and on Saturday became ill.

1948 Canberra Times 10 Aug 3/3
The police believe the poisoning may be the result of eating Devon sausage.

1953 Sydney Morning Herald 14 Jan 2/6
Turn on to a well-floured pudding cloth, press into a roll like a Devon sausage.

Notes: Antedating AND 1962. According to the Macquarie, chiefly used in Qld, NSW, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania, in other words, the Eastern States.

didgeridoo n. the well-known Indigenous instrument.

1914 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 17 Dec 14/1
But I didn’t see Mr. Bell going round with a didgery-doo and a lot of miniature Australian flags decorating his noble person celebrating the white Australian victory.

1916 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 17 Aug 13/1
The Darktown Band screeched - the kiddies yelled - fireworks biffed and banged incessantly - the bklack struck up the didgereedoo - pandemonium was let loose[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1919.

digger hat n. an Australian Army-issue slouch hat. Also, digger’s hat.

1919 The Argus (Melbourne) 18 Oct 21/9
‘You go making promises as one digger to another, you little chocolate soldier, in your digger’s hat,’ he added, shouting across the table at Mr. Hughes.

1937 Canberra Times 15 May 6/7
He was buried in his uniform, wearing his ‘digger’ hat, with his police whistle on his chest and the Papuan Ensign draped over his body.

Notes: Antedating AND 1940; earliest in the possessive form.

dim sim n. a type of deep-friend cabbage and meat filled wonton, popular in Australian Chinese restaurtants and fast food joints.

1928 The Argus (Melbourne) 13 Oct 2 S/8
No Chinese meal is complete without some succulent dim sims (pork minced with water chestnuts and enclosed in paste), and such sweets as honeyed lychee nuts and honeyed ginger.

1929 The Argus (Melbourne) 22 June 2 S /7
Our host ordered dim sims, rice, soy sauce, and tea.

1945 The Argus (Melbourne) 14 May 8/6
I have long cast envious eyes at the seemingly plentiful supply of rice in Chinese restaurants when I have gone along to have a dim sim or two.

1962 Sydney Morning Herald 13 Sep 5/3
The restaurant served shark-fin soup, short soup, sweet and sour chicken, beef and sugar peas, soft rice noodles, fried rice, dim sims, lychees and cream and the students’ dishes.

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions2, a1957. The evidence here contradicts the attribution and dating of this delicacy to the Melbourne chef William Wing Young in 1945, as per numerous internet websites and Wikipedia. Previously I had conjectured that etymologically this was a “semi-Anglicised rhyming reduplication (suited to Australian pronunciation) based on Cantonese dim sum ‘a snack or dumpling’.” In light of the new evidence here, in which the term appears in such early and well-edited texts clearly in the now-current form, this conjecture seems unlikely. Furthermore, no evidence of “dim sum” nor less “dim sums” has been discovered from correspondingly earlier dates. Possibly the source language is the Chinese language Hakka.

dinky n. a type of small pedal-powered, lightweight, metal toy car which children can drive around.

1927 Canberra Times 25 Nov 14/1
Note the display of dolls, Teddy Bears, Motor Cars, Tricycles, Dolly Prams, Dinkies. In fact, everything that delights the kiddies.

1930 Canberra Times 24 Dec 3/4
Motor cars, tricycles, dinkies are priced at 28/- each, while scooters cost only 14/- and 10/-.

1936 Canberra Times 12 Dec 6/4
At this sotre there is also a variety of Cyclops tricycles and dinkies at moderate prices[.]

1954 Sydney Morning Herald 1 Dec 3/10
We’ve toy soldiers and drums and bicycles and dinkies and the most wonderous dolls you ever saw.

1956 Nambour Chronicle 20 Apr 2/4
AMAZING LOW PRICE FOR LATEST DOUBLE TONED TOOTER! FOR SCOOTERS, BIKES, DINKIES, BILLYCARTS, Etc.

1965 Sydney Morning Herald 13 Nov 79/2
Santa hasn’t forgotten the ‘littlies.’ He’s filled the stores with a whole range of Cyclops dinkies, tricycles, cars, prams - in fact everything to make Cyclops your best Xmas buy.

Notes: Not in AND; wholly unrelated to the British toy car manufacturer Dinky which was trademarked in 1950 (according to OED2) and only made hand-sized, to-scale model replicas of real-life vehicles. Probably from the adjective dinky ‘neat, trim, dainty, small’.

do vt. to consume a drink.

1919 Northern Territory Times and Gazette 19 Apr 4/2
‘I know you all could do a pot - and, blime! so could I!’

Notes: Adding extra 20th century evidence to that in Additions1.

do in phrases you’ll do, he’ll do, she’ll do, etc. to more than suffice; a statement of positive approval of another’s character.

1902 Ambrose Pratt The Great ‘Push’ Experiment iii. 27
‘I couldn’t help fainting, uncle, really I could not,’ I protested, miserably. He smiled. ‘You’ll do, my boy, you’ll do,’ he said not unkindly; ‘lots faint at first.’

1923 Alfred Jarvis Hello! Miss Aussie What are you doing now?
Never mind then, dearie, / Just keep bright and cheerie / I like your smile, shape and your style, / Miss Aussie, you’ll do me!

1954 Ray Harris Turkey and Partners v. 81
The traction engine’s big flywheel slowed and came slowly and smoothly to a stop. Jim Harding smiled across at Uncle Mat. ‘He’ll do, Mat,’ he said softly. ‘You’d think he’d been driving steam engines for twenty years.’

1960 J.E. Macdonnell Don’t Gimme the Ships ii. 21
‘He’ll do me, old Nesbitt.’

1967 J.E. Macdonnell The Misfit vii. 84
‘How about the Jimmy, eh? By Jesus, he’ll do me!’

1967 Ivan Southall To the Wild Sky i. 14
‘I’m only pullin’ your leg, kid. You’re all right. You’ll do.’

1984 Sandy Thorne Battler viii. 125
‘Well yer mightn’t drink, ’n yer might get yer fun by jabbin’ needles in people’s bums, ’n yer might hail from ‘down inside’ - but I tell you what - ‘You’ll do us, CLUMPER!!’

Notes: Not in AND. I believe the Australian way of saying this, and the contexts in which it gets used qualify it as an Australianism; it is subtly different to the same expression in other varieties of English where ‘you’ll do’ and the like are used to state somewhat unhappily that someone will merely suffice; in other Englishes the sense is used of people with equivalent denotation and connotation as the impersonal construction ‘It’ll do’. In Australia, the sense of ’do’ exemplified in the above citations is quite different to that of “It’ll do”.

doodlembuck n. a type of gambling game, often run as a sideshow.

[1875 Brisbane Courier 12 Apr 2/7
Hunt Club Race Meeting - Hurdle Race: Mr. W. P. Bowes’ Ulysses, 1; Mr. W. Davis’ Doodle-um-buck, 2.]

[1876 Brisbane Courier 12 May 2/7
Georgetown ... The following are the latest [crushing ?] reports: ... Ironbark 71 132 / Lord Byron 93 257 / Duke of Athol 25 29 / Doodlembuck 17 39 / Overland telegraph 17 17 / Spiro Meliora 14 18 / Small lots 104 97]

1882 Sydney Mail 10 Jun 921/3
The absence of the usual racecourse army of blacklegs, and of all their little games, such as doodle-em-buck, greys and bays, Aunt Sallies, the three-card trick, &c., &c., was most marked[.]

1887 West Australian 12 Dec 3/3
There are gamesters and merrymen and the monte men, and doodlembuck and Aunt Sallies, merrygorounds and Punch and Judy[.]

1887 Brisbane Courier 8 Nov 3/5
So came the time for the great even - 4 o’clock in the afternoon, when the declining sun begins to make everything shine, the stand packed to its utmost capacity, solid blocks of people on the terraces, lines standing on the lawn seats and sitting on the fences, the babble in the paddock hushed, the swingboats still, the Doodlembuck and Aunt Sally men careless of custom, and the eighteen contestants promenading up the long straight to face the starter.

1917 Sydney Morning Herald 31 Jan 7/7
At night the general paid them a visit and found the majority of his guard, fatigue parties, and handy men immersed in games of two-up, euchre, vingt-et-un, doodle-em-buck, and dice.

1960 Maurice Cavanough and Meurig Davies Cup Day i. 6
He could try his luck at roulette or ‘doodle-em-buck’, chance his arms at Aunt Sally, or eat and drink his way along the long line of refreshment tents.

1977 Hal Porter Bairsndale: Portrait of a Country Town 134
Although there was gaming on the course - enough sharp characters in a small community to run Under & Over, Spikes & Ring,  Doodle-’em-buck[.]

Notes: More evidence for this obscure term. The two earliest citations are not lexical items, the first being merely the name of a racehorse and the second the name of a gold mine, nevertheless, they prove the existence of the compound in the 1870s; notwithstanding these, the first reference to the sideshow game is thus reliably dated to 1882. We now also know that the doodle- form has precedence over the forms beginning toodle-, and that the horserace gambling device seems to be the later invention. Perhaps the etymology lies in doodle / toodle frequentative formation expressive of spinning + ’em ‘them’ + buck ‘a gambling marker’. The game or device was also used in New Zealand (1981 Brian Sutton-Smith A History of Children’s Play: New Zealand, 1840-1950 231) and in Canada the term has been used as a synonym of the gambling game crown and anchor (1933 Eric Partridge Slang Today and Yesterday).

double dink adv. carrying two (or three) upon one horse, bicycle, etc.; to double-bank. Also, as verb, transitive and intransitive.

1925 Argus (Melbourne) 17 Nov 4/4 
In the country children have often to go some distance to school, and I found that ‘double donkey’ meant two, or often three, on one pony - the winner in this case carrying three. The requirement, of course, was a good stout pony, not too high. Other names applied to that style of riding were ‘double dink’ and ‘double decker.’

1942 Canberra Times 10 Dec 3/4
Police stated that Wall had demanded that Rees double-dink him round the block and, when the boy refused, had grabbed the cycle from him and rode away.

1981 People Magazine (Sydney) 26 Aug 52/2
No need then to envy other kids who owned horses and double dinked to school.

Notes: Antedating AND 1934 (for dink), 1965 (for double-dinkie), 1976 (for double-dink, as a noun). Actually, it is hard to assess what part of speech should be attributed to the example in the 1925 citation.

drag the chain phr. to lag behind.

1847 Courier (Hobart) 22 May 2/1
The speech of His Excellency Sir Charles Fitz Roy, to the Members of the Council, at the opening of the present session, exhibits a state of things in Sydney, emancipated from thraldom, which, while it is in itself most satisfactory and cheering, contrasts strangely and painfully with the aspect of public affairs in Van Diemen’s Land, still dragging the chain of moral and political bondage.

Notes: Antedating AND 1912.

duco vt. to coat (car bodywork) with duco.

1927 Argus (Melbourne) 1 Apr 5/5
Duco-ed in a pleasingly contrasting colour[.]

1930 Canberra Times 13 Dec 3/1
CHEVROLET 4-CYL. PANEL VAN, suit butcher, baker or small goods, has been most effectively overhauled, re-ducoed maroon, and looks spic and spann

1954 Canberra Times 11 Dec 6/6
1951 A.J.S., reconditioned motor, gear box, new tyres, ducoed.

Notes: Verb not in AND.

ducoing n. the act of applying duco.

1930 Canberra Times 19 Aug 4/4
DUCOING. The prevailing depression is having an adverse effect upon many trades, but it is proving a benefit in disguise to duco sprayers.

1950 Canberra Times 8 Aug 4/3
It is understodd approximately 15 other applications have been completed, including a motor workshop, a ducoing and painting factory[.]

Notes: Not in AND.

dud dropping n. See shoddy dropping.

1922 The Argus (Melbourne) 24 Jun 22/1
‘Shoddy dropping,’ or ‘dud-dropping,’ the Bench at the City Court learned yesterday, is buying cheap suit lengths and cloth and hawking them about the city.

1925 The Argus (Melbourne) 29 Apr 9/5
That is called ‘dud-dropping.’ Selling brass rings for gold.

Notes: Not in AND.

dunny can n. the removable can or pan of a dunny.

1948 Katherine Susanna Prichard Golden Miles 85
‘Oh well, everybody on the mines has had a crack at the game, some time or another.’ Dick brushed Tom’s admission aside. ‘From managers to nightmen. Dinny was tell me, the other day, Dunnycan Bob made a fortune out of what he brought up in the pans.’

1956 David Campbell The Mircale of Mullion Hill: Poems 34
The shots ring through the dunny-can; / And in a trice springs from the door / The palest buck you ever saw

1957 Peter Brown Twelve Came Back 156
It meant also emptying the dunny-cans from our lavatory, a task performed every Friday afternoon with the aid of the tractor.

1973 Wendy Lowenstein Improper Play Rhymes 163
Tarzan, Tarzan, swinging on a lacker band, / Up comes Superman and kicks him in the dunny can.

1989 Hugh Lunn Over the top with Jim iii. 29
I had a first name that rhymed with poo and a middle name, Duncan, which so easily became dunnycan - the black cans Hunter Bros used to take everyone’s shit away in.

Notes: Antedating AND 1962. Note that etymologically this is partially merely a compound of dunny + can, but probably owes something to the term dunniken, the original of our term dunny, which was still in use in Australia into the 20th century:

1924 Gilbert H. Lawson A Dictionary of Australian Words and Terms
DUNNYKEN - A closet.

1951 Dymphna Cusack and Florence James Come In Spinner (1960) 284
‘This here dump’s a palace to it. The only view I had was out on the dunnikan.’

1962 Dymphna Cusack Picnic Races (1978) xvii. 168

1978 M.J. ‘Chap’ Burton Bush Pub (1983) v. 49

 

early opener n. a public hotel that opens early in the morning to cater for shift workers.

1977 Peter Baume Senate: Standing Committee on Social Welfare (Reference, Continuing Oversight of the Drug Use Problem, 1976-77) 2163
The waterfront is notorious because of its broken shift situation - midnighters and twilighters - and of course hotels in those areas are early openers.

1980 in Three Political Plays (Alrene Skykes ed.)58
CHARLEY: Want to go down the early opener? FRANK: Might as well. Nothin’ else to fuckin’ do.

1981 Sunday Telegraph 23 Aug 24
One of Sydney’s more famous early openers, the First and Last at Circular Quay, was recently sold by Tooth to Citicentre Holdings[.]

1984 Vin Darroch On The Coast 138
House of Twisted Faces: A famous ‘early-opener’ water-front pub in Melbourne frequented by needy drinkers including maritime workers.

1984 Sydney Morning Herald 14 Nov 2/3
The trademark of the poorer species is a kitchen full of matching coasters and middy glasses, collected from the local early opener.

1986 Sydney Morning Herald 18 May 21/2
Cheap food is one of the ingredients for success in an early opener[.]

2006 Pip Wilson Faces in the Street 301
Half an hour later, he and Henry Lawson are preched on two stools at the True Briton, an early-opener in Elizabeth-street.

Notes: Not in AND.

Eastern Stater n. a person living in one of the eastern states.

1921 Argus (Melbourne) 2 Aug 9/6
Caldwell, E. - An eastern Stater, from Footscray, who has put in some solid work since arrival.

Notes: Antedating AND 1952.

erk int. yuk! Also, a. disgusting.

1959 D’Arcy Niland The Big Smoke ii. 43
‘Gawd, erk!’ She recoiled and turned away.

1995 Paul Vautin Turn It Up! 29
Erk! What’s that big ugly growth you’ve got?

1995 Girlfriend (Sydney) Aug 118/3
Richard Grieco is baring all for Playgirl and so is Baywatch regular, Jaason Simmons. Total erk.

Notes: AND records erky meaning ‘disagreeable, unpleasant’ from 1959, offering as etymology that it is probably from erk, British Forces slang for a naval rating, and later a term of contempt. This etymology was always decidedly unlikely given that there is no record of erk ever being used in Australian English as a term of contemp, nor of it being used in Australian naval parlance as a result of wartime contact with the Royal Navy. Nor is there any evidence of an adjectival form of erk in British English. The transferral of sense involved in the British noun and Australian adjective is also not entirely pellucid. The citations here prove that erky is merely a regularly formed adjective from this expression of disgust.

eucalypt n. a eucalyptus tree.

1867 Perth Gazette & W.A. Times 6 Sep 3/2
Foremost in this respect stands perhaps the mahogany-eucalypt (Eucalyptus marginata).

Notes: Antedating AND 1877.

eucalyptic oil n. eucalyptus oil.

1853 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 11 May 4/4
The eucalyptic oil I have not yet analyzed; I will do so this summer, and inform you of the result.

Notes: Antedating AND 1876, though in now-obsolete variant form.

fair dinkum adv. really.

[1888 Northern Territory Times and Gazette 14 July 3/3
Notice to Correspondents. ‘Fair Dinkum’ has not sent us his name.]

1891 West Australian 6 Oct 2/2
Shaw said to complainant, ‘Go on, you are a fool; can’t you stand a joke?’ Complainant said, ‘Fair dinkum?’ Shaw said, ‘Yes.’

Notes: Antedating Wilkes/AND 1894, but in the first citation merely the pen name of a newspaper correspondent.

fair go n. a fair and resonable chance.

1891 Brisbane Courier 25 Mar 5/7
Both men turned pale, but struggled, calling out, ‘Read the warrants to us first.’ Inspector Ahern said, ‘You can hear them later,’ and the police seized the prisoners. Both appealed to Mr. Ranking, crying out, ‘Do you call this a fair go, Mr. Ranking?’

1899 Brisbane Courier 25 Mar 7/7
As the noise continued he sat down once more, whereupon several persons in the audience rose, and with evident insincerity cried, ‘We will give him a fair go this time.’

Notes:  Antedating AND 1904.

fairy floss n. a spun sugar confectionary.

1906 Advertiser (Adelaide) 9 Apr 8/2
The electric fairy floss candy spinner can now be seen in operation at Messrs. John Martin & Co.’s Big Store, Rundle-street. The machine, which is rightly described as one of the most remarkable applications of electricity to industrial science yet accomplished, is daily becoming more popular with both old and young onlookers, and large crowds daily congregate around it. ... Messrs. John Martin & Co. have the sole right to use the machine in South Australia, and are also the sole agents for it. ... The machine was awarded a gold medal at the Louisiana Exposition.

1906 Advertiser (Adelaide) 7 Apr 1/7
Another Big Attraction in THE MAGIC CAVE. ‘FAIRY FLOSS CANDY’ MADE BY ELECTRICTY RIGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES IN THE MAGIC CAVE. Strange! Wonderful! Beautiful! Interesting! A ‘Sweet’ Lesson in Science. You are all familiar with the seven wonders of the Age. Come and see the EIGHTH: - THE MARVELLOUS ELECTRICAL ‘FAIRY FLOSS CANDY SPINNING MACHINE.’ ... Turning out every ten seconds - Billows of Snowy, Foamy Candy - soft as down - Light as Air.

1931 Argus (Melbourne) 18 Sept 9/2
On the whole it seemed that the sideshows had lost heart. Perhaps to-day when there is an encouraging circle of spectators, voices will be raised again proclaiming the horrors of the ‘Pit of Venomous Reptiles’ and the ‘Cage of Death’; but yesterday they were strangely stilled. Only the ‘fairy floss’ and accompanying specifics were extolled to the public.

1931 The Argus (Melbourne) 18 Sept 9/2
Only the ‘fairy floss’ and accompanying specifics were extolled to the public.

1933 Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 16 Sept 12/8
‘This way for fairy floss!’

Notes: Anteadting AND 1945; it appears from the evidence that the term is originally a tradename for an electrical spun sugar machine first exhibited in Adeliade; interestingly the OED2’s earliest citations for the US term ‘cotton candy’ (1926) and the British term ‘candy floss’ (1951) are later; according to Gourmet magazine, the machine was invented in the US in 1897 by William Morrison and John C. Wharton, Tennessee confectioners from Nashville, and their machine was exhibited at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (now the St. Louis World Fair) in 1904; they named their invention ‘fairy floss’ but the name was changed to ‘cotton candy’ in the 1920s in the US.

fat a. of cattle, sleek, ready for market.

1803 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 19 Mar 2/2
FROM A LONDON PAPER. ... At Morpeth fair, there was an unusual great shew of fat cattle, which were all sold --- beef from 7s. to 7s. 6d. --- mutton from 7s. 7d. to 8s. per stone.

Notes: Antedating AND 1855, but revealing that the term was used in Britain earlier than Australia; this suggests that only the nominal use is an Australian original.

fat n. a beef ready for market.

1869 Brisbane Courier 24 Apr 4/2
Sheep. - This class of stock show little or no improvement in value; we have this week sold and delivered 4000 store wethers at 4s. Our former delivery in the week was 500 fats at 5s 6d.

1886 West Australian (Perth) 6 May 3/8
This route, although a bit stony and rough in places, would make a passable stock route, as grass and water are fairly plentiful, but I believe a better route could be got higher up the Ashburton, as the stony nature of the bed of the Henry would be apt to play Old Harry with cattle, especially fats going to market.

Notes: Antedating AND 1888.

fencer n. a person who erects fences.

1819 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 15 May 2/2
Likewise, a GARDENER, and a good FENCER wanted.

Notes: Antedating AND 1827.

fiddler n. another name for the cherry nose cicada.

1928 Sydney Mail 18 Jan 18/2
With the first squeaks of the warm days youthful hunters are among the trees squabbling over double drummers, fiddlers, floury bakers, red eyes, squeakers, green Mondays, and yellow Mondays.

1935 Sydney Mail 13 Nov 23/3
A well-known species of cicada is the common Fiddler, dark brown spotted with yellow; another, commonly met with, is the large Green Mound, a yellow variety. The large black cicada, known as the Red Eye, is also frequently encountered.

1949 Sydney Morning Herald 10 Dec 9/2
And there are lots of other names - Squeaker, single-drummer, green monday, Union Jack, mottled-grey, fiddler, red-eye, cherry nose, mealy-back, black prince, black-princess, and the bladder cicada. Science does not recognise all these as distinct species. Some are actually different only in colour.

Notes: Not in AND.

flat out adv. at the fastest possible speed; to the maximum of ability.

1923 Argus (Melbourne) 2 Jan 7/1
Although he was going ‘flat out,’ it was found upon examination that Hunt’s injuries consisted only of a dislocated shoulder and a severe shaking.

1926 Argus (Melbourne) 11 Nov 9/4
‘I had to drive my car ‘flat out’ at about 40 to 50 miles an hour to overtake it.’

Notes: Antedating OED Online 1932, so perhaps originally Australian.

fossick out vt. to find by searching.

1869 Brisbane Courier 18 Dec 3/2
As for landing good with brands placed so as to be visible, that was unheard of labor for wharf lumpers in those days; fosic out draymen amongst great competition; and keep a correct tally - all at the same time.

Notes: Obsolete variant spelling and also early use with ‘out’ preposition; antedating AND 1888.

fritz n. a type of bland sausage meat.

1887 West Australian (Perth) 23 Feb 4/1
[I]t would be difficult to find anything which could ‘go one better’ than an article submitted the other day to a number of gentlemen by Messrs. Watson and Patterson, the Melbourne ham and bacon curers, in the shape of a toothsome relic of Indian and Colonial Exhibition known as ‘Fritz’ sausage. A packet of this ‘condensed Berkshire,’ has recently had a voyage round the world, and strange to say, has actually come back better than it went, the various climates havign tended to blend all the ingredients, while allowing the ‘tit-bits’ to retain all that juiceness and flavouring so acceptable to most palates - particularly to those inclined to be jaded. What with Bosisto’s ‘Eucalyptus,’ and ‘Watson and Paterson’s ‘Fritz,’ the Victorian Court at the C. and I. show must have been highly flavoured.

Notes: Antedating AND 1914; all typos sic [Pat(t)erson/juiceness]. According to the Macquarie, a SA regionalism.

fritz sausage n. a type of bland sausage meat.

1878 West Australian (Perth) 9 Aug 3/3
Pie Meat, Victorian Rolls Bacon, Middles, Sides, Fritz Sausages, Smoked and Salted Tongues[.]

1887 West Australian (Perth) 23 Feb 4/1
[I]t would be difficult to find anything which could ‘go one better’ than an article submitted the other day to a number of gentlemen by Messrs. Watson and Patterson, the Melbourne ham and bacon curers, in the shape of a toothsome relic of Indian and Colonial Exhibition known as ‘Fritz’ sausage. A packet of this ‘condensed Berkshire,’ has recently had a voyage round the world, and strange to say, has actually come back better than it went, the various climates havign tended to blend all the ingredients, while allowing the ‘tit-bits’ to retain all that juiceness and flavouring so acceptable to most palates - particularly to those inclined to be jaded. What with Bosisto’s ‘Eucalyptus,’ and ‘Watson and Paterson’s ‘Fritz,’ the Victorian Court at the C. and I. show must have been highly flavoured.

1897 West Australian (Perth) 30 Dec 5/5
We refer to Mr. J.C. Hutton’s trophy, over a ton of bacon, hams, Fritz sausage, &c.

1929 Argus (Melbourne) 3 Aug 5/4
Smoked Sausage, Oxford and Cambridge Sausage, Fritz Sausage, Black and White Puddings, Saveloys, Frankfurts.

1938 Canberra Times 30 Jun 4/1
FRANKFURTS, SAVELOYS, PORK AND BEEF SAUSAGES. GARLIC AND PORK FRITZ.

1992 ‘Roy Slaven’ Five South Coast Seasons 59

Notes: This compound is not in AND, but is the regular form of which fritz is a shortening. Not in Macquarie Dictionary.

German sausage n. a type of sausage meat.

1855 Argus (Melbourne) 28 Feb 3/3
Barfoot and Gillbee will sell by auction ... 10 tons bacon, 50 barrels hams and shoulders, quarter ton German Sausage, 150 rolls spiced meat[.]

1914 Advertiser (Adelaide) 19 Feb 8/9
Strasbug fritz and German sauge, which are manufactured by some of the bacon dactories, attracted a great deal of attention, and heavy sales are booked up to 8d. a lb.

1915 Argus (Melbourne) 7 Apr 3/5
German Sausage, 6d. per lb.

Notes: Not in AND. According to the Macquarie, this term is now a regionalism especially common in Victoria.

give it back to the blacks / abos phr. said of land deemed worthless by whitemen.

1898 Brisbane Courier 24 Aug 7/5
He really thought it would be almost better to buy the place up, and give it back to the blacks, rather than go spending money upon it.

1920 Northern Territory Times and Gazette 10 Apr 1/3
Now, Mr. Editor, I have read a good many reports about the Territory being no good, ‘Give it back to the blacks,’ etc., but only recently I carted £7,000 worth of pearl shell gathered by colored crews only.

1931 The Argus (Melbourne) 3 Aug 9/2
Mr. Beck offers a political comment in the form of a suggestion that Australia should be ‘given back to the ‘abos.,’ with apologies for the mess we have made of it.’

1933 Canberra Times 3 Oct 2/6
‘Australia might as well close up shop, and give the country back to the aboriginals.’

1945 The Argus (Melbourne) 5 May 4/3
Mr Bryson (Lab, V): Give it back to the blacks. Group-Captain White: Say that to the people in the Mallee and see how you get on.

Notes: Not in AND.

gold rush n. a rush of people to an area where gold has been discovered.

1858 Moreton Bay Courier 25 Sept 2/2
Between the mere gold rush and the permanent formation and settlement of a commercial and political community there is a considerable period[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1869.

gone to Gowings phr. well and truly gone.

1946 Canberra Times 18 July 5/3
When Martini’s absence was disocvered the other man, Gene Lovering, was asked where he was, and replied laconically, ‘He’s gone to Gowings.’

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence presented in Additions1, 1966. Finally, a genuine citation from a primary source.

good day int. hello.

1837 Hobart Town Courier 10 Feb 4/4
[H]e immediately began to shout, with the lungs of a Stentor - ‘I say, Jean! what are you about there, you great idle rascal?’ ‘Good day, Landry,’ said one of the gendarmes. ‘Stupid blockhead!’ continued the miller, pretending not to perceive the new-comers. ‘How do you do, Landry?’

1851 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 31 May 4/4
[O]n the third day all I passed were fagged and footsore, wtih barely spirit to return ‘good day’ to a passer-by; and yet they had encountered neither wet nor hunger.

Notes: Antedating AND 1857; curiously the first citation is from an excerpt of a translation of a French book about the Revolution, but nevertheless it offers an early Australian example of the phrase used as a greeting, as opposed to a farewell (formerly the much more frequent use).

gramma n. a type of pumpkin.

1881 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 9 Apr 6 S/1
[P]ear pumpkins, grammas and pie melons[.]

1889 Brisbane Courier 24 Oct 7/1
The total weight of the articles actually taken away, including four pumpkins and a gramma, was about 215lb.

Notes: Extra citational evidence to that given in Additions1. Sadly, these early citations do not throw any light upon the entirely unascertained etymology.

Hawkesbury sandstone n. sandstone of the Hawkesbury Plateau, Sydney, frequently used as a building material.

1865 Sydney Mail 4 Mar 4/5
The ground in which the diggers are sinking is the detritus of the Sydney or Hawkesbury sandstone, and the red rock will in all probability be found to consist of the same rock.

1880
Brisbane Courier 2 Jan 3/3
I regard these strata as the equivalents of the Hawkesbury sandstone which form the cliffs around Port Jackson.

1882 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 13 Apr 3/4
The whole subject in connection with the origin of the Hawkesbury sandstone has occupied my attention for some years past[.]

1896 Brisbane Courier 14 Sept 6/4
The outline of the figure is defined by means of a continuous groove cut into the rock, which is a large flat mass of Hawkesbury sandstone, level with the surface of the ground.

1929 Argus (Melbourne) 28 Feb 9/5
Sir John Butters said that Hawkesbury sandstone had been preferred by the Commonwealth board of architects for facing the building.

1934 Canberra Times 12 Mar 10/1
Constructed of Hawkesbury sandstone, it has two large museums in which are displayed many thousands of anatomical specimens.

1949 Canberra Times 28 May 3/3
Steps of Hawkesbury sandstone will lead to the base.

1954 Canberra Times 12 Jan 2/5
The sculpture is made of Hawkesbury sandstone and depicts a person in a recumbent position, signifying relaxation.

Notes:  Not in AND.

honey-bird n. a honeyeater.

1855 William Howitt Land, Labour, and Gold I. ii. 18
[W]hilst among them the cockatoo, parrots and paroquets, flit about with strange voices, and the honey-bird, a bird covered with longitudinal black and white streaks, is busy sucking honey from splendid orange and scarlet flowers.

1870 Brisbane Courier 5 Mar 5/6
Then he would see orioles, dollar birds, finches, honey birds with long brush tongues[.]

1884 Brisbane Courier 22 Apr 8/6
Just notice what a variety of little twitterers there are in the branches above our heads, and on the trees all round us. There are the Thrush, the Redhead, Honeybird, Minor, and a whole host too numerous to mention.

1922 Alec H. Chisholm Mateship With Birds i. 16
All the Winter through, too, the merry-making Honey-Birds have been playing and chortling about the blossoming eucalypts.

1925 The Argus (Melbourne) 29 Aug 14/3
The ‘greenie,’ or white-plumed honey-eater, is known to all, and there are few gardens or parks about Melbourne that cannot boast at least one pair. Noisy and pugnacious, the greenie is one of the liveliest of the honeybirds, and wherever there is mischief brewing he is always to the fore.

1933 Sydney Mail 31 May 49/3
The ground colours of some of the larger honey-birds are as follows: - ‘Tawny-breast,’ pinkish-white; ‘spiny-cheek,’ pale-olive-green; ‘blue-face,’ salmon.

Notes: Additional citations, interdating the AND’s two citations 1854 and 1934. See notes at honeysucker.

honeysucker n. an early name for the honeyeater; now discarded.

1826 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 28 Jan 3/3
A Glossary of the most common Productions in the Natural History of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land. [...] Regent bird or King honey sucker ... Sericulus chrysocephalus, Swainson.

1878 Brisbane Courier 22 May 5/2
These all represent beauty of plumage, utility, or elegance of form; but it is far from enough: e.g. the honeysuckers for utility and beauty, and the parrots for gorgeousness, are equally entitled to protection.

1930 The Argus (Melbourne) 12 Jul 2 S/8
The sight of some honeysuckers in a gumtree in blossom, under which James Richard and the family were passing, called to mind ‘Yum Yum,’ who, like tramps and Chinese vegetable vendors, was never seen on Sundays.

1933 Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 28 Oct 10 /2
Many bush birds seeks its flowers for the honey sweetness in tis stiff golden blooms, all the small bush birds, honey-suckers, and noisy leather-heads.

1935
Sydney Mail 4 Sep 48/3
With all the blossoms gone, so have the little honey-suckers vanished, too.

Notes: The citations here postdate the AND citations (from 1790, 1813, 1886 and 1913) and offer some extra evidence of this now obsolete term. The AND’s conflating of three entirely etymologically separate words (honeybird / honeyeater / honeysucker), while saving page space, obscures the true history and development of these forms. While we are here, we should note that the AND’s etymology for honeyeater, which states that it is a transferred use of the name of the African honeyguide, is incorrect. The term honeyeater has existed in English, since at least 1731, used to describe the African bird now commonly known as the Greater Honeyguide (Indicator indicator) of sub-Saharan Africa, the most well-known of the honeyguide family, Indicatoridae. These birds are near passerines of the order Piciformes, chiefly distributed throughout tropical Africa and Asia. On the whole they are dull coloured birds, and unlike Australian honeyeaters they are not nectar feeders, but feed rather upon beeswax, bee larvae and waxworms. They are famed for guiding humans to beehives. The honeyguide has also been called the honeybird. During the early days of the colony the systematics and nomenclature of birds families was exceedingly jumbled and the three terms honeysucker, honeybird and honeyeater were used variously to refer to birds of the families Meliphagidae (our honeyeaters), Trochilidae (American hummingbirds), and Nectariniidae (sunbirds and spiderhunters), now known to be quite distinct. The similarity of structure and behaviour between these distinct families is the result of convergent evolution, and it is this similarity that must have made an impression on the early colonists and naturalists. Indeed, the earliest citation in the AND entry has Captain Cook specifically stating that he thought these birds new to him (Australian honeyeaters) did in fact ‘belong to the trochili’, that is, the hummingbird family. It cannot be that Cook, and others, were thinking of the African honeyguide which never feeds on flower nectar.

Indian n. an Indigenous Australian.

1975 John O’Grady Gone Gougin’ (1995) ii. 28
Lieutenant James Cook, who ‘discovered’ the east coast, called them ‘Indians’.

1999 John Toohey Captain Bligh’s Portable Nightmare (2000) iv. 141
Had there been more time, and had he the force of arms to combat any hostile Indians, he might have considered it a duty for it looked promising.

Notes: Later evidence, now only in historical contexts; the early explorers to the Pacific labelled all natives ‘Indians’.

Indian mynah n. the bird Acridotheres tristis tristis, introduced into Australian from India.

1873 Sydney Mail 20 Sep 383/3
The Indian minah, also, which has been introduced by the Acclimitisation Society, is a great enemy of the locust.

1881
Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 27 Dec 5/3
Birds Protection Act. ... The Third Schedule. - Song Birds, native and imported, Robin, nightingale, skylark, ... peewit, reed sparrow, colonial lark, Indian minah[.]

1883 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 24 Feb 2 S/1
We may point out that a relative of the starling, the Indian minah, is already here, [and] that we also have a native bird of the same character and habit[.]

1897 West Australian (Perth) 11 Jun 6/1
As for birds, Java sparrows, finches, Indian minahs and starlings have established themselves in Victoria, and are very useful insect destroyers.

1915 The Argus (Melbourne) 3 Aug 10/6
L. Henderson, of Bung Bong, says that at school a few days ago he saw an Indian minah standing on the stem of a sunflower leaf and eating the aphis.

1920 The Argus (Melbourne) 10 Sept 4/2
Darwin’s theory of natural selection has been well exemplified here of late, as the Indian minahs have fought their annual pairing fights and gone their several ways.

1921 Sydney Mail 26 Oct 13/3
Like the blackbird, the thrush, the skylark, and the Indian mynah, this bird was given a good start in Melbourne.

1928 The Argus (Melbourne) 17 Nov 9 S/1
It is a pair of Indian minahs passing each other the time of day or the compliments of the season.

1933 Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 14 Oct 19 /6
The Australian miners (formerly minahs) got their name because the first birdmen thought their cries rather like those of Indian mynas - birds of a different genus altogether.

1936 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 17 Jan 8/3
[B]irds which are not protected are the crow and raven, Currawong or scrub magpie (Bell magpie), Galah or rose-breasted cockatoo, gold-finch, Indian dove, Indian myna, rosella parrot (all species, including crimson parrot), sparrow, starling and all species of white cockatoo.

1946 Sydney Morning Herald 3 Sep 3/3
The common Indian mynah, which had been introduced into Australia and New Zealand, was to be found in Sydney, chiefly south of the harbour.

1972 Sydney Morning Herald 18 May 1/10
Driving through North Sydney he came upon a drunken Indian Myna bird (they are notorious street scavengers) which had been sipping from a broken beer bottle and was staggering around in the gutter.

Notes: Not in AND; this is a widespread bird ranging across almost the entirety of Asia, and readily adapts to urban environments; it seems that the earliest name used in Australia was mynah bird, 1864 (see below), but the commonest name in Australia has always been Indian mynah, acknowledging its origins; elsewhere, and in current ornithological literature, the usual common name is ‘Common Mynah’, which is not in general use here, and thus this term can be considered an Australianism; the subspecies in Australia is the nominate.

jabiru n. the well-known stork.

1826 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 28 Jan 3/3
A Glossary of the most common Productions in the Natural History of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land. [...] Jabiru ... Mycteria Australis.

Notes: Antedating AND 1847.

jackeroo n. a young man gaining station experience.

1864 Brisbane Courier 7 Jul 2/6
‘Don’t ride that horse’ said the ‘super’ of the ‘Waeergo Downs’ station one morning to a jackaroo who was going to Maranoa for the post. ‘Don’t ride that horse! He is too fiery! Take Bugalugs - he’s quiet.’ Sir, (said the jackaroo, who had just saddled the ‘interdicted steed,’ and did not like the trouble of letting him go and catching another.) ‘Sir, I can ride buck-jumpers. There’s no fear but I can sit him.’

1864 Brisbane Courier 28 Dec 3/2
When he is displeased with any of his ministers or great officers of state, he bowstrings them at once, and fills up their places with other ‘imported men.’ These men are called Jackaroos by the natives of the country - a term signifying Yahoos in the sister kingdoms.

Notes: Antedating AND 1870 (def. 2).

jenny wren n. 1. a female, or non-breeding male, blue wren. 2. the white-fronted chat.

1900 Robert Hall The Insectivorous Birds of Victoria 129
WHITE-FRONTED CHAT (Jenny-Wren, Tang)[.]

1903 Sydney Mail 6 May 1119/1
From Jenny Wren to Willie Wagtail and from Cocky Spag to Jacky Winter they all went about with tears in their eyes and their voices broken by sobs.

1922 Sydney Mail 4 Jan 26/3
I remember once finding a Jenny-wren in a bucket of waer.

1930 Sydney Mail 30 Jul 49/2
Mrs. Blue Wren - or ‘Jenny Wren,’ as her friends sometimes called her - always laid the same number of eggs[.]

1931 Alec H. Chisholm Nature Fantasy in Australia 151
[T]hese fraternal names are widely known, and are perhaps even more freely used than are ‘Jack’ for the kookaburra, ‘Bluey’ and ‘Jenny’ for the blue wren pair, and ‘Dick’ for the grey thrush.

1931 Sydney Morning Herald 24 Oct 9/4
Oh, if I were a Jenny Wren, / I’d waken with the sun.

1933 Sydney Morning Herald 19 Sep 5/2
Women, to my thinking, should remain in the background, whilst men-folk strutted. I instanced the little blue wren, and his jewel-like beauty, and his impudence - and his modest, little brown Jenny Wrens - though my simile failed somewhat when I remembered how many Jennies danced attendance on every miniature, sapphire-clad male; polygamy scarcely entered into my scheme of things.

1952 Sydney Morning Herald 23 Oct 6/3
[T]he vivid dressing of the four American professional golfers made them all look like little ‘jenny wrens.’

1987 J.D. Macdonald The Illustrated Dictionary of Australian Birds by Common Name 93/1
JENNY-WREN. Popular name given to several wrens, especially superb blue-wren and to speckled warbler and white-fronted chat; adopted from British bird so named because of various similar characteristics. ‘Jenny’ is traditional name for females of various birds and animals; the British ‘jenny wren’ was, and often still is, believed to be the mate of the ‘cock robin’.

2000 Birding-Aus 17 Nov
But to be able to ‘neak up’ on the willie wagtails, the plumheads and diamond sparrers, the jenny wrens and bronzewings, double bars and zebs, was the real foundation of my lifelong interest.

Notes: Extra citational evidence to that given in Additions1.

kangaroo fence n. a fence for excluding kangaroos.

1845 Richard Howitt Impressions of Australia Felix viii. 147
There are three descriptions of fences, the dog leg, the kangaroo, and the post and rail; the former, which is in the shape of an X, requires a flying leap, the next consists of logs driven in perpendicularly, and one must make a clean jump, or experience a regular ‘burster’; before facing the last, we should recommend taking out a life insurance.

Notes: Antedating AND 1846.

Kelly Country n. the area in which the Kelly Gang operated.

1879 Brisbane Courier 18 Jan 6/2
Of course, the police have not caught the Kellys. It is not expected that they ever will catch these murderers. Two qualities are glaringly deficient in the force - to wit, organised discipline and fighting capacity in the chiefs. The expedition into the Kelly country has been a series of blunders from the first.

Notes: Antedating AND 1880.

knocking shop n. a brothel.

1843 The Satirist and Sporting Chronicle (Sydney) 11 Mar 3/4
CROSBY (the trap) might find employment on his beat without taking TIP from young Tom and Jerry’s to hunt up lush cribs and knocking shops, for their accommodation at the late hour.

Notes: Antedating earliest British evidence in OED2, 1860, citing Hotten. Possibly earliest in Australian?

Kwakka n. a Kawasaki motorcycle. Also, quacker.

1993 Susan Geason Sharkbait xxii. 144
‘The dough, some clothes, a passport and a picture of Doggy with some moll on the back of an old Kwakka.’

2004 James Lambert  The Macquarie Australian Slang Dictionary
quacker a derisive term for a Kawasaki bike.

Notes: Not yet in AND. I first heard about this term back in 1995 and am happy to have finally come across a good citation albeit more than a decade later; it is the type of colloquial term that does not frequently show up in literature.

laugh n. the characteristic territorial call of the Laughing Kookaburra.

1847 L. Leichhardt Overland Expedition 234
I usually rise when I hear the merry laugh of the laughing jackass[.]

1893 Argus (Melbourne) 29 Apr 4/4
[W]hen the sun went down and the strident laugh of the giant kingfisher had given place to the insidious air-piercing note of the large-mouthed podargus, the scrub would give up its inhabitants.

1926 Sydney Mail 5 May 12/3
Old Jack the kookaburra also gets his name from his cry, there being a good deal of koo-koo in the beginning and finish of his laugh.

1962 Jock Marshall and Russell Drysdale Journey Among Men ix. 91
The laugh of the kookaburra was commented on by all the early writers[.]

2005 Sean Dooley The Big Twitch vii. 70
[T]he trailing end of the kookaburra’s laugh as they settle in for the night confused the issue for a few minutes.

Notes: Not in AND. See notes at the verb. The earliest two citation here are taken from Morris’ Austral English, 1898.

 

laugh v.i. of the Laughing Kookaburra, to utter its characteristic territorial call.

1789 [implied in the term laughing jackass]

1862 Henry Kendall Poems 123
And wild goburras laughed aloud / Their merry morning songs.

1870 Brisbane Courier 5 Mar 5/6
Go where you will he is always to be heard, and his jocund ‘Ha! Ha!’ laughs in the dawn.

1880 T.W. Nutt Palace of Industry 15
Where clock-bird laughed and sweet wild flowers throve.

1885 Australiasian Printers’ Keepsake 76
Magpies chatter, and the jackass / Laughs Good-morrow like a Bacchus.

1912 G. Herbert Gibson Ironbark Splinters from the Australian Bush 14
Girls to rise in a cheeful mood, / When they hear the ‘jackass’ laugh, / To light the fire, and cut some wood, / Or a couple o’ bags of chaff.

1913 C.J. Dennis in The Lone Hand 1 Mar 432
The Jack has laughed the whole day long - / A jocund bird is he!

1944 Constance and Gwenyth Little Great Black Kanba (1947) xiv. 112
There were no fairies in the bush - only barking lizards and other curious Australian creatures. Like the bird tht laughed - the laughing jackass.

1959 D’Arcy Niland The Big Smoke iii. 76
The louts on the corners when she passed by would laugh liek kookaburras, warble like magpies and pule like chickens.

1962 Jock Marshall and Russell Drysdale Journey Among Men ix. 91
We saw a blue-winged kookaburra, the tropical one that does not laugh.

1968 John O’Grady Gone Troppo (1995) xv. 200
[C]ockatoos salutin’ the day with powerful tongues; kookaburras laughing delightedly; headlands and beaches encircled by the warm arms of an affectionate sea.

1975 John O’Grady Gone Gougin’ (1995) i. 7
He also said it was a fine morning, and the magpies were carolling, and the kookaburras were laughing[.]

Notes: Not in AND. Although many dictionaries give a generalised definition of laugh to describe the cries or calls of certain animals that resemble human laughter, such as the laughing hyaena, in Australia the word conjures up a specific and universally known sound of this particular endemic bird. Citations 1865, 1880, and 1885 are taken from Morris’ Austral English, 1898. For citation 1870, the word could be interpreted as a plural  noun.

laughter n. the characteristic territorial call of the Laughing Kookaburra.

1872 C.H. Eden My Wife and I in Queensland 18
At daylight came a hideous chorus of fiendish laughter as if the infernal regions had been broken loose - this was the song of another feathered innocent, the laughing jackass[.]

1938 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 20 May 13/1
Two kookaburras sat side by side on a limb and roared with laughter.

1961 Arthur Upfield Bony and the White Savage (1964) xiv. 114
Then several kookaburras cackled and screamed their laughter at him[.]

Notes: Not in AND. Citations 1872 is taken from Morris’ Austral English, 1898.

life n. life imprisonment.

1816 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 21 Sep 2/1
Thos. Hughes, per Baring, 41 years of age, a labourer, tried in Kent, August 1814, for life; stands charged with robbery, and is a Bush Ranger.

Notes: Antedating AND 1833.

light globe n. a lightbulb.

1892 Brisbane Courier 13 Sept 2/7
A rose light suffused the interior of the great hall, produced by means of pink paper shades covering the electric light globes, which depend from the galleries.

1917 Sydney Morning Herald 28 Apr 9/6
[T]he defendant to be allowed to remove from the shop premises shelves, counters, two wall mirrors, brass name plates, and electric light globes.

Notes: Antedating earliest citation in Additions2, 1948.

line man n. a surf lifesaver who pays out and draws in the lifeline. Also, linesman.

1927 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 22 Apr 3/4
The competing teams were:-- ... standard bearer, H. French; reelman E. French; linemen, E. Ambrose, S. Browne, and Axel Sousaari.

1936 Sydney Morning Herald 9 Jan 23/3
A candidate has to prove proficient in every position of reel and line work; that is, as the beltman who swims out with the life-line and bring the patient in; as first, second, and third linesman, paying out and drawing in the line; as as reelman, who manages the reel.

1951 Dymphna Cusack and Florence James Come In Spinner (1960) 238
The wheelman wound the line slowly back on the wheel; the linesmen, bodies bowed to the weight of the beltman and his ‘patient’, drew in the line hand over hand.

1954 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 26 Feb 2/2
The N.Z. team gave a demonstration of a four-men R. nd R. team, one as patient, then beltman, 1st linesman andreel man[.]

Notes: Not in AND. See beltman (above) for more information.

Macquarie Island parrot n. the now extinct parrot, Cyanoramphus erythrotis.

1826 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 28 Jan 3/3
A Glossary of the most common Productions in the Natural History of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land. [...] Macquarie Island parrot ... [Platycerus] Pacificus.

Notes: Antedating AND 1827.

Mag n. a magpie.

[1875 Western Australian Times (Perth) 31 Aug 2/4
‘Oh, bother,’ chattered vulgar Mag, ‘if there was only, another day of Pentecost or gist of tongues or something of that sort, I might have a chance.’]

1888 Sydney Mail 3 Nov 936/2
At the tops a snug lining of hair and wool was prepared for the young mags.

1910 Sydney Mail 27 Jul 2/2
I was much interested to see the mags dart down at the little rodent.

Notes: Not in AND. The earliest example is from a mildly satirical story entitled ‘The Owl and the Magpie’, but although it is in an Australian newspaper it is very probably a tale taken from a British newspaper (I can find no textual clues that it is definitely UK or OZ) and thus represents the British usage of Maggie to refer to the European bird Pica pica and not the Australian Gymnorhina tibicen. This same story similarly contains an early example of maggie, antedating that in AND, 1901, which at least reveals that the Australian term is safely to be considered a transferred usage of the British hypocoristic form which OED Online dates back to 1825.

            [1875 Western Australian Times (Perth) 20 Aug 2/5
            ‘There’s an eavesdropper about,’ said Maggie, as she settled herself again beside her moody friend.]

man in white n. an Australian Rules football umpire.

1934 Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 18 Apr 8/1
In many instances the kinds of foul play that generally lead to the dismissal of players from the field can be checked before a regrettable climax is reached - if the men in white will only act promply and fearlessly.

1970 Barry Oakley A Salute to the Great McCarthy (1971) xliii. 195
And the man in white is at once beside me in a knot of milling players, taking my number and name.

1970 Barry Oakley A Salute to the Great McCarthy (1971) xvii. 90
The umpire, a small man in white, another species, a brain, a whistle with no body, holds up the ball for all to see, then bounces it down hard.

Notes: Not in AND.

minah n. the Indian mynah (see above).

1920 The Argus (Melbourne) 10 Sept 4/2
The minahs are great friends of mine, with their droll ways and quaint expressions[.]

1928 The Argus (Melbourne) 17 Nov 9 S/2
Watch two minahs on a grass plot - both busy talking and neither listening.

1930 The Argus (Melbourne) 12 Dec 4/8
From the beginning the myna fitted into city life as no other bird had excepting the omnipresent ‘spadger’. The starling has excursions into the country[.]

Notes: The spellings myna/mynah/minah usually refer to the Indian import.

minah bird n.1 the Noisy Miner.

1862 Courier (Brisbane) 16 Jun 4/2
Knowing his extraordinary speed of foot, his comrades only feared that he might possibly miss the appointed refuge, and perhaps in the excitement of the moment would not hear the preconcerted signal, the mina-bird’s alarm cry, to be given by one of the party.

1888 D. Vannorman Lucas Australia and Homeward 75
In Australia there are none which can be counted song-birds. The myna-bird begins very like the robin and gives you about three notes, then he stops and begins again.

1954 Arthur Upfield Death of a Lake (1971) xviii. 118
When removing the horse’s neck-rope from the tree, Bony glanced upwards into its shadowy arches and saw the minah birds and several crows, every beak wide agape, every wing drooping as though to permit a cooling draught of air reach their breasts.

Notes: Three examples referring to the native honeyeater; an uncommon usage.

minah bird n.2 the Indian mynah (see above).

1864 Brisbane Courier 29 Oct 5/6
The Melbourne correspondent of the Ballarat Star states that ‘Mr. Landells, who is now in India, intends forwarding a number of interesting and useful animals from that country, which may be expected in a very short time. That gentleman, not being satisfied with his treatment by the Acclimatisation Society on his last visit to this colony, intends to offer his importations for public competition. They will consist chiefly of the axis deer, the hog deer, Thibet goats, minah birds and of a rare species of deer having but one horn jutting from the forehead, the name of which I am not acquainted with.’

1871 Brisbane Courier 17 Jun 6/1
The Minah bird (insectivorous) of India, and the tree sparrow, are also obligingly promised by the sister society of Victoria, and with a view of giving these and other imported birds a chance of increasing in this colony, I trust that steps will be taken either by the Municipality or the Legislature to abate the dangerous nuisance of slings, now so much used by our youth.

Notes: This compound usually refers to the Indian import.

miner n. the well-known Noisy Miner.

1866 Brisbane Courier 19 Feb 4/2
[A]non under gum trees, forest giants, huge in girth and towering into the deep blue sky, mighty dead silence around but for the chirp of a minah, and the squeak of a parrot[.]

Notes: The grouping together of miner / mynah for two different bird species in AND is extremely unhelpful as the citations are jumbled together, which means one cannot get a clear picture of when the term “mynah” was first used in Australia to refer to either bird; the two birds couldn’t be more different, one being a native honeyeater (and almost exclusively spelt ‘miner’) and the other an introduction from India of the family Sturnidae (and usually spelt ‘minah’, and virtually never ‘miner’); the spelling distinction has never been totally consistent, but a general split between miner/mynah has been the norm. Indian mynahs were introduced by Acclimatisation Societies in the 1860s and so citations dating from this era are required for a proper historical record. As it stands the first citation in the AND that is unambiguously for the Indian mynah is a very late 1973. Splitting the current AND entries is easy enough as they are nearly all for the honeyeater, the only exceptions being, the 1973 and 1975 citations which clearly refer to our Indian introduction, and the 1903 and 1968 citations which do not give enough context to make it clear which bird is being referred to; the other 8 citations are all for our noisy native. Better would be to have the definition for the country’s most hated bird under the headword Indian mynah (currently omitted from AND) as this has always been the most common name in Australia and is still used here although the ornithological community worldwide has dropped this name in favour of “Common Mynah”. See citations at Indian mynah for more information.

monkey n. a sheep.

1869 Brisbane Courier 22 Nov 3/6
There is, however, a fact in connection with the ‘monkeys’ worthy of being remarked[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1876.

Morrison n. a type of flowering shrub.

1898 West Australian 26 Dec 5/5
‘’Ain’t yer buyin’ some flowers fer Father Christmas, missus? Take a bunch o’ Morrison, and make yer house pretty,’ said the bucolic salesman[.]

Notes: Antedating 1929.

mudlark n. the endemic Australian bird Grallina cyanoleuca.

1897 Brisbane Courier 7 Oct 4/1
ILLUSTRATIONS. ... THE PEE-WEE OR MUDLARK.

Notes: Antedating OED Online/Morris/AND 1898.

mud map n. a map drawn in mud on the ground.

1879 Brisbane Courier 15 Jan 6/1
‘How many mouchier (sleep) longa Ullungageer?’ I ask. All hold up both hands and chorus - ‘Poonelae’ (good many). But this is indefinite; I want particulars. Now comes in the keystone to the mutual understanding between blacks and whites - the mud-map.

Notes: Antedating AND 1919. A technique originally shown to the Colonists by Indigenous Australians.

mug copper n. a police officer, conceived of as stolidly dull.

1928 Argus (Melbourne) 24 Apr 5/8
‘Do not take any notice of those mug coppers; I’ll fix them up.’

1930 Sydney Morning Herald 16 Dec 6/4
‘You are a Rothbury basher and a mug copper.’

1932
Argus (Melbourne) 19 Oct 9/4
Evidence was given that Matthews said: ‘You are only a ‘mug copper;’ do what you like.’

1947 Canberra Times 14 Oct 2/7
Alexander Hudson, 25, was fined £5 at the Parramatta Court to-day for calling a policeman a ‘mug copper.’

1952 Canberra Times 1 July 3/4
Pierse then called them ‘mug coppers’ and used indecent language.

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions1, 1949.

mug punter n. a gambler, conceived of as inevitably a sucker.

1920 Argus (Melbourne) 29 Apr 10/1
‘Mug Punter’ (Brunswick), ‘Mac,’ and ‘A.M.C.’ - Your question will be answered in ‘The Australiasian.’

1945 Argus (Melbourne) 12 May 2/1
If, in their wise and skilful plans, / To drop consistent also-rans, / They banned mug punters first like horses, / I’d be ‘warned off’ at all racecourses.

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions1, 1966; in the earliest citation it is used as a nom de plume.

muttai n. corn.

1851 John Macdonald Henderson Excursions and adventures in New South Wales II. vii. 164
Thus they say, ‘Suppose you give it plower and bullock, I look out yarraman belonging to you;’ that is, ‘if you will give me flour and beef, I will look for your horse.’ And again, ‘I believe you murry coola belonging to me; bale I been cramen muttai;’ which means, ‘I think you are very angry with me; I have not been stealing your corn.’

1851 John Macdonald Henderson Excursions and adventures in New South Wales II. vii. 165 [glossary]
Muttai. Corn.

Notes: Antedating evidence in Additions2, 1946. Its inclusion in a list of Aboriginal pidgin words indicates a possible origin in an Aboriginal language. The glossary contains many words utlimately from Dharug: baal, budgery, cobawn, cobra, cooee, jerran, mundai, myall, waddy, etc., which is at least suggestive that muttai might originate in an otherwise unrecorded word from that language. The term is now a regionalism of the north NSW coast where it refers specifically to green corn boiled on the cob. According to AIATSIS, the langauges originally spoken around the north NSW coast were Bundjalang, Gumbainggir and Yuggera.

nana n. a banana.

1894 Ethel Turner Seven Little Australians (1974) xx. 178
‘Narna,’ he said, struggling on to the ground again; so she took the skin from a great yellow one and put it in his small, chubby hand.

Notes: Not in AND (which only records figurative uses), but antedating earliest British evidence in OED Online 1926; as the citation reveals, the term most probably originated in children’s speech.

nark n. a fit of annoyance.

1901 Bulletin 21 Dec 13/2
‘Ain’t seen yer about with Emma lately.’ ‘Naw; she give me the nark.’ ‘Another bloke?’ ‘Naw; chucked up her jam-factory job.’

1946 Miles Franklin My Career Goes Bung vi. 56
‘And crikey, if it doesn’t get people’s nark up, I’m a goanna with two tails.’

1947 Norman Lindsay Halfway to Anywhere v. 79
‘I’m not only fed up to the back teeth, the way the old woman goes on,’ said Bill, ‘I’ve got the nark properly this time.’

Notes: Not in AND as a noun in any sense. The OED Online combines this sense with that of ‘an annoying or unpleasant thing or situation’, which is dated from 1918 in a NZ source, but provides no citation for the sense here until 1966. At any rate, it appears that this sense is the earlier of the two and originally Australian.

native hyena n. the Tasmanian tiger.

1829 Hobart Town Courier 28 Feb 2/4
Considerable numbers of the native hyena prowl from the mountains near this in quest of prey among the flocks at night.

1830 Hobart Town Courier 17 Apr 2/3
A native tiger, as it is called, boldly entered his cottage, where his family was assembled, and seized one of the little children by the hair, but fortunately missed its bite.

Notes: Antedating AND 1831.

Naussie n. a New Australian.

1951 Canberra Times 6 Oct 5/7
ALBERT HALL, WEDNESDAY, 10th OCTOBER ‘NAUSSIE’ ORCHESTRA

Notes: Antedating earliest in Additions1, 1953.

Ned Kelly, before you could say ~  phr. quickly; with the utmost celerity.

1955 Nina Pulliam I Traveled a Lonely Land 331
The abo fishermen returned to the island with the day’s catch, and quicker than you could say Ned Kelly the small ones addressed themselves to me once more[.]

1971 Jonathan Aitken Land of Fortune: A Study of the New Australia 168
Then away we shoot and before you can say Ned Kelly I’m sliding the curl, and then I’m riding the nose, hanging five, then hanging ten, and just when I’m real stoked along comes a bloody egg who clobbers my tab and it’s a real dead loss wipeout[.]

1975 Bill Hornadge The Ugly Australian 216

1979 Derek Maitland Breaking Out 223
If the bloody superintendant knew...he’d be back...hammering on his church door before you could say Ned Kelly.

Notes: Not in AND; the first citation is from a New Zealander who travelled in Australia.

Ned Kelly, gamer than ~  phr. exceedingly game.

1929 Canberra Times 19 Mar 3/4
A Melbourne pressman, who has seen many astonishing performances sat aghast at her feats and afterwards said significantly, ‘Game! She’s gamer than Ned Kelly.’

1938 Canberra Times 31 Jan 3/1
In the second case, the Australian test team selectors showed themselves not only braver than the Mus family including Mussolini, but even gamer than Ned Kelly[.]

1941 Canberra Times 30 May 1/5
General Blamey, according to Kretschmer, was not afraid of anything, was gamer than Ned Kelly, and stayed in Greece to the death knock.

1943 Norbert Coulehan Cooljak 128
‘Gawdstruth,’ he bellowed, ‘you peddle your crummy cheese on us, then you got the hide to come up on the political racket. You’re gamer than Ned Kelly, fair dinkum.’

1951 Frank Clune Somewhere in New Guinea 120
‘Arthur was good-looking, in a hatchet-faced way, but very tough. He had absolutely no fear, and was gamer than Ned Kelly.’

1967 Eric Harding Bogong Jack, the Gentleman Bushranger 79
Whether Bogong Jack was gamer than Ned Kelly will now never be established but it is strange that no one seems to know his real name[.]

1982 Len Fox Broad Left, Narrow Left 77
We walk through a chorus of boos and threats, with a few saying ‘They’re gamer than Ned Kelly.’

Notes: Antedating AND 1938 for game as Ned Kelly; actually the comparative form is not uncommon.

Neenish tart / cake n. a small, circular pastry filled with whipped cream or mock cream, and now usually covered with icing half white and half pink or chocolate.

1898 Bulletin 10 Dec 50
The Sydney Depots of the New South Wales Fresh Food & Ice Co. Ltd. ... List of Pastry, Cakes, etc. ... Milk Rolls / Mince Pies / Nenish Cakes / Orange Sandwiches ...

1924 The Argus (Melbourne) 21 May 8/3
‘Culinary’ (Brighton) asks for a recipe for Neenish cakes. I shall be glad if any reader can supply this recipe.

[1931 The Argus (Melbourne) 11 Nov 17/1 [classified advert]
Great chance two women cooks, small capital; cakes, savouries; owners going abroad; electric; residence; apply sharp. Neenish. Argus.]

1998 Ian Kenins Open For Business: Melbourne’s Living History 8
‘I always have a lunchtime coffee with a couple of old-style cakes kids now probably never heard of - Bon Bons, vanilla slices, McGregor tarts, lamingtons, apple slices...’ He’s not too keen on Nenish tarts, though.

2000 Allan Campion and Michele Curtis The Goods: Victoria’s Best Food and Wine Shops 50
Traditional slices and cakes include lamingtons, vanilla slices, custard tarts, jam tarts and neenish tarts.

2005 Robyn Annear Bearbrass: Imagining Early Melbourne xiii
And just as I’ve overlaid Bearbrass with my impressions and experiences of the modern city, so readers will add their own snickleways, divergences and sacred sites - the wall that supported an ancient knee-trembler, the now-defunct cake shop that once sold the best Neenish tarts in town, the grate that ate your stiletto heel as you hurried to a big date ... and so on.

2008 John Charalmbous Silent Parts i. 8
I wonder, do they still male those neenish tarts? Those little fruit pies with pink and white icing? I think they do. According to Harry, they came from a country town called Neen. I believed him.

Notes: Not in AND. The earliest example is Nenish, though now Neenish is most common. In form it appears though Ne(e)nish is an adjective referring to a place named Neen or Nen (see citation 2008), though such a place which may be a likely source of this term is not known. Also found in faux? German forms Neinich and Nienich, suggestive of a continental origin, though these appear to be later than Nenish, and are perhaps folk etymological. Attribution to a certain Ruby Neenish also seems to be without foundation.

negro n. an Indigenous Australian.

1825 Hobart Town Gazette, and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser 1 Apr 3/1
Where is the ‘scornful monster?’ Not, verily not, in the native negro of Van Diemen’s Land. On the contrary, he shows he is a brilliant gem though casketted in ebony[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1834.

Never Never country n. the outback.

1869 Brisbane Courier 22 Nov 3/6
[These are] two essentials that, had then been earlier attended to, might have left the Never Never country in a far healthirt condition, commercially speaking, than it at present is.

Notes: Antedating AND 1877.

Nigger nom. a name given to dogs (occasionally cats) with a black or predominately black coat.

1894 West Australian (Perth) 15 Nov 5/7
Strayed from J. Thomas; Restaurant, Barrack-street, last Saturday week. Black Cat, named ‘Nigger.’

1898 West Australian (Perth) 5 Sept 3/2
Russian Retrievers. - This class the judge would not take in hand, as he was not aware of the standard of the breed. They were judged by a gentleman of experience. 1, S.J. Taylor’s Nigger, a dog showing a lot of old English sheep dog character[.]

1901 Sydney Mail 26 Oct 1031/3
This is Mr. Kent’s Strathdoon Nigger, a powerfully-made hound, with good bone and nicely-carried tail[.] 

1910 Advertiser (Adelaide) 9 July 8/6
Lost. Black Cocker Spaniel Dog, named ‘Nigger.’

1921 Sydney Mail 10 Aug 43/3
So Nigger the kitten likes catching mice and drinking milk?

1930 Canberra Times 27 Oct 3/6
Lost Black and White Sheep Dog; answers the name ‘Nigger.’

1932 Argus (Melbourne) 18 Feb 1/3
Lost, from 413 Kooyong rd., Tuesday, Young Black-haired Dog, curled tail; name ‘Nigger’ on collar, with address.

1945 Argus (Melbourne) 31 May 17/2
DOG, Black Cocker strain, lost, answers name Nigger, last seen Hawthorn road, near Caulfield Town Hall.

1986 Bob Hudson The First Australian Dictionary of Vulgarities and Obscenities
Nigger. ... Also a blackfish and an obligatory name for a black dog.

1989 Hugh Lunn Over the top with Jim viii. 95
So we had at least a dozen fully-grown ducks, including a huge drake called ‘Big Fella’, plus a rooster who used to be a better watchdog than Nigger - he would drop his left wing to the ground and chase visiting kids around the yard.

1989 Hugh Lunn Over the top with Jim xi. 145
Then a loud blast of thunder prompetd Jackie to suggest that maybe Nigger had rushed upstairs because he was scared of thunder, and we had locked him in.

Notes: Not in AND or Wilkes. This does indeed appear to be a genuine Australian phenomenon, unrecorded in American English dictionaries, and entirely unknown by Americans I have asked, including Assistant Professor Louis Mazzari an academic who has conducted extensive research into Black/White relations in the USA; obviously with the recent rise of taboo status of this word in the US, such a usage would be entirely impossible there now. Personally, I first came across this usage back in the late 1980s in Sydney when my next-door neighbours got a new all-black pet dog and unabashedly named it Nigger to my great amazement - they seemed entirely unaware that it may have been in any way offensive.

night parrot n. Australia’s rarest bird.

1905 Advertiser (Adelaide) 20 Mar 6/2
Mr. W. Foglia, son of Mr. J. Foglia, well known as an exporter of Australian birds to Europe, left by the Breman on Saturday with another large consignment. Following are the details: - 10,500 zebra finches, 500 shell parrots, 200 galah cockatoos, 200 blue bonnet parrots, 30 night parrots, 30 Gouldy’s [sic] grass parrakeet, and 50 of the very rare spinifex rock doves; also bronze-winged pigeons.

Notes: Antedating AND 1913.

nip n. a child.

1951 Dymphna Cusack and Florence James Come In Spinner (1960) 116
‘Run along now, nips.’

1967 Ivan Southall To the Wild Sky x. 117
‘It was a wreck last night, nip, even before this happened.’

Notes: Not in AND nor OED Online; shortened form of nipper.

nit-keeper n. a lookout for an illegal activity.

1926 Argus (Melbourne) 18 Aug 11/5
The ‘nit-keeper’ threw stones on the roof.

Notes: Antedating AND 1935.

nun n. the White-fronted Chat, Epthianura albifrons.

1931 Alec H. Chisholm Nature Fantasy in Australia 74
The chat, one of several species of an Australian group of beautiful small birds, is sometimes called the ‘nun,’ because of its white face and throat, and also ‘tang,’ in vague suggestion of its haunting, slender thread of sound.

Notes: Although included in AND, with earliest citation of 1918, the etymology there is not to the point, merely saying that it is “special use of nun a name applied to any of various birds”, which is entirely vague and unhelpful, suggesting that the etymologists really had no idea of the nature of the etymon; to make it clear, the markings of the adult male, white-face, forehead and upper breast surrounded by black, are supremely reminiscent of a nun’s black and white habit.

off adv. wrong; not right; unacceptable; in bad taste.

1843 The Satirist and Sporting Chronicle (Sydney) 4 Feb 2/1
The Bench however convinced that the Shiner’s story was all moonshine, and after extracting the price of another ‘nobbler’ and a ‘tightener’ for the Queen? i.e. making Jack pay a ‘bob’, for the affair was, as our sporting correspondent says ‘off’.

1898 The Bulletin (Sydney) 17 Dec Red Page/1
In draught work the laziest or worst horse is on the off side, under the whip; thus it is an inferior man or thing that is a bit off, off color, or an off-sider.

Notes: antedating OED Online 1846, so perhaps an Australiaism.

old hand n. a former convict.

1822 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 24 May 2/3
The ‘old hands,’ by the frequent visitation of death, are becoming thinned in their ranks; this should lead to reflection, for the day will soon arrive when even those, now living, shall caese to say, ‘I came in the first fleet.

Notes: Antedating AND 1828.

old woman adj. fully adult female (of some animal).

1917 Northern Territory Times (Darwin) 25 Jan 13/3
[I]t would do some of the pessimistic critics of De Rougemont good to see the natives riding on the backs of the old man turtles along the sandy beaches. The old woman turtles come ashore on certain moonlighr nights, and above high water mark scratch holes and lay three or four score at one sitting[.]

Notes: Not in AND. Feminine counterpart of old man.

oval vt. to re-shape a leg iron into an oval shape.

1857 Argus (Melbourne) 1 Apr 5/2
In front of the tent remain the irons of the prisoners as they removed them. Some of them have been ‘ovalled,’ i.e. knocked by a heavy hammer from a circular to an oval form, so as to enable them to slip over the heel. A large piece of bluestone and a long sledge-hammer were the implements employed.

1893 Brisbane Courier 26 Aug 6/2
Another exhibit is a pair of leg-irons found in an excavation in Victoria Park, which show the method adopted of ‘ovaling’ the irons.

Notes: Additional citations to those in Additions1.

panel van n. a motor vehicle with a cabin and closed-in flat-bed rear.

1928 Argus (Melbourne) 6 Sept 12/2
Whippet Reduced Prices ... Standard tourer, £195; utility truck, £195; wire-sided waggon, £195; panel van £195; special panel van £200[.]

1930 Canberra Times 13 Dec 3/1
CHEVROLET 4-CYL. PANEL VAN, suit butcher, baker or small goods, has been most effectively overhauled, re-ducoed maroon, and looks spic and span.

1948 Canberra Times 31 July 2/4
Recently a request was made that people from Pierce’s Creek and Uriarra should be able to travel on the panel vans taking children to Canberra schools.

Notes: Antedating AND 1955.

pan-pan-pannella n. the Crested Bellbird, Oreoica gutturalis. With great variation.

1903 Emu Oct. 90
Oreoica cristata (Bell-bird, Pan-pan-pannella, Bokkun, Bokkun-bokkun).

1933 Argus (Melbourne) 19 Aug 4/5
Here was a case in which bush boys’ interpretations of a bird’s notes agreed with those of the aborigines, for ‘Dick - Dick, the Devil’ harmonised with the blacks’ ‘Pan-pan boolala’ and ‘Pan-pan, panella.’ Moreover, it harmonised with ‘Ban-ban, belele,’ the name given to the crested bellbird in the well-known story of Central Australia, ‘Lasseter’s Last Ride.’

1962 Jock Marshall and Russell Drysdale Journey Among Men v. 43
The aborigines’ onomatopoeic name pan-pan-panella prettily does justice to the ventriloquial two slow notes and the three that closely follow.

2008 Birding-Aus 21 Jul
For example, knowing that the very appropriate alt name for the Crested Bellbird is Panpanpalla helps you to remember its call and provides a cultural linkage to indigenous Australia.

Notes: Not in AND; from its name in an Aboriginal language (which?), after the bird’s call.

paralytic a. completely drunk, to the point of being almost paralytic.

1843 The Satirist and Sporting Chronicle (Sydney) 25 Mar 2/4
We recommend the paraletic [sic] Commander-in-Chief, of the army of In-vincibles, not to be seen too often coming home from the ‘little house under the hill’, in Liverpool-street, near the corner of Castlereagh-street, or his lady must be informed of it.

Notes: Antedating AND 1891, and also antedating British regional usage, parlatic, parletic, palatic, etc., 1877.

peewee n. the endemic Australian bird Grallina cyanoleuca; the Magpie Lark.

1879 Sydney Mail 16 Aug /1
The bird mentioned in the second schedule of the Game Act as a magpie thrush is a small black-and-white bird, commonly called peewee on account of its cry.

1895
Brisbane Courier 2 Nov 5/2
[I]t is probable that steps will be taken to protect the peewee, blue crane, and certain other birds which devour snails in great numbers.

1897 Brisbane Courier 7 Oct 4
[R]epresentations of the famous mulga bush and the well-known pee-wee or mud-bird complete the illustrations of the week.

1897 Brisbane Courier 7 Oct 4/1
ILLUSTRATIONS. ... THE PEE-WEE OR MUDLARK.

Notes: Antedating AND 1904, and OED Online (citing Morris) 1898; etymologically, this term is of imitative origin, recalling the bird’s well-known duetted call. It is not a transferred use of the Scottish and Irish English term for the northern lapwing, Vanellus vanellus, as suggested by AND.

peewit n.1 the Masked Lapwing, Vanellus miles.

1849 Courier (Hobart) 13 Oct 3/2
Mr. Bicheno forwarded to the meeting a stuffed specimen of Casarca tadornoides, or chestnut sheldrake, with two specimens of Lobivanellus lobatus, the wattled peewit or spurwing plover of the colonists[.]

Notes: AND conflates peewee and peewit, but these two forms have quite different histories; here peewit is a transferral of the British bird name for the lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), based on the bird’s appearance and habits, not its voice - which has no resemblance in the slightest; the paucity of citations indicates that this never became a common term.

peewit n.2 the endemic Australian bird Grallina cyanoleuca; the Magpie Lark.

1881 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 27 Dec 5/3
Birds Protection Act. ... The Third Schedule. - Song Birds, native and imported, Robin, nightingale, skylark, linnet, thrush, starling, blackbird, goldfinch, chaffinch, blue wren, wagtail, honeysucker, diamond sparrow, flycatcher, great kingfisher (commonly known as the laughing jackass), swift, peewit, reed sparrow, colonial lark, Indian minah, American mocking bird, magpie other than the black magpie, curlew, regent bird, rifle bird.

1882 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 29 Aug 6/2
In the above reference has been made to the vocal powers of the organ birds, which we understand to be considered the king of colonial whistling birds, and yet they are not included in the schedules of the Animal Protection Act of 1879. Surely they are as valuable and as worthy of protection as the insignificant peewits.

1893 Brisbane Courier 25 May 3/5
He is called by some a ‘magpie lark,’ doubtless only because he is black and white. In no other respect is he like a magpie. He is a frail little friend. Few know him as a friend, yet he is often a friend to a bushman. He is the only bird among the thousands of the forest whose presence is a sure indication of water. If you see a peewit you may rely on water being close at hand.

1897 Brisbane Courier 15 Sept 6
He states that it is interesting to see the number of birds that have acquired a taste for eating ticks - namely, crows, peewits, flycatchers, woodpeckers, and pigeons.

1911 Sydney Morning Herald 16 Sep 11/5
Peewits live on insects, spiders, and all kinds of small vermin that infest vegetation.

1911 Sydney Morning Herald 16 Sep 11/5
They have quite a pleasant song. ‘Peewit, peewit, peewit,’ usually uttered three times, and accompanied at each note by a peculiar wing movement.

1923
The Argus (Melbourne) 21 Dec 5/6
The magpie lark, also known as the mud lark and the peewit, prettily marked in black and white, not only destroys caterpillars and locusts[.]

1939 Sydney Morning Herald 25 Sep 15 S /2
The sparrow-hawk is a much bigger bird than the peewit, yet the former seems to be afraind of its black-and-white rival.

1954 Sydney Morning Herald 25 Nov 5/3
Constable C. Devine feeds a peewit with cheese at the main entrance to Government House.

1962 Sydney Morning Herald 18 Nov 84/7
A peewit was attacking its own reflection in the glass of the front door.

Notes: Antedating AND’s earliest citation of 1981; not recorded in OED Online. Etymologically, when applied to the magpie lark this term is not a transferred usage, but rather of imitative origin, recalling the bird’s well-known call (see citation 1911). The 1897 citation is clearly referring to the Magpie Lark as a Lapwing will not approach cattle to eat ticks.

pig-root vi. derog. to extract gold by surface digging rather than systematically sinking shafts or the like. Now, obs.

1886 Brisbane Courier 20 Sept 2/6
It is almost incredible what an amount of mischief a couple of men can do in a short while by pig-rooting in a mine, and what expense it entails on the people that take up the ground afterwards before they can restore it to such a condition once more as will permit of systematic and safe mining.

1887 Brisbane Courier 12 May 2/2
It was their waste of time and money to keep ‘pig-rooting’ about the surface putting in a shot here and a shot there.

1938 Canberra Times 13 Jan 2/7
They [the Chinese] had not the system of good white miners, but pigrooted for immediate profit, so that workings collapsed and mines closed permanently at a depth of 200 feet.

Notes: Not in AND. Earliest in transitive usage (see next).

pig-root vt. derog. to dig up (land, the surface of the ground, etc.) in order extract gold. Now, obs.

1879 Brisbane Courier 28 Jul 6/5
From Mount Hogan on the Gilbert, at the southern end of a fancied base line of 100 miles, to Mount Turner at its northern extremity, scores and hundreds of reefs have been tapped, surface scratched, and pigrooted with strangely similar returns.

1890 Rolf Boldrewood Miner’s Rights II. xix. 138
‘Clear out of this, you infernal yaller image,’ roared the infuriated miner, ‘pig rooting a man’s very prospecting claim, as if it was ‘old ground’.’

1891 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 18 Sep 3/5
In the Fountain Head district to-day can be seen claims pig-rooted about and giving handsome returns.

1896 West Australian (Perth) 27 Jul 2/2
The prospectors had only pig-rooted the field so far, and he felt convinced that sooner or later deep alluvial leads would be discovered.

1898 West Australian (Perth) 15 Sep 7/1
No development work was carried on, and the mine was ‘pig-rooted’ about.

1905 Advertiser (Adelaide) 20 Dec 5/7
At the same time a man with a miner’s right, costing 2/6, can enter the land, tear it up, pig-root it from end to end, and snap his fingers at the licensee and the department.

1906 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 21 Dec 3/1
In New South Wales, Westralia and the other colonies, pound for pound is paid for sinking, but here you have to pig-root the surface to get sufficient to keep the pot boiling.

1906 Sydney Morning Herald 13 Jul 10/7
Both mines have been pig rooted, and, judging by the work done, a very large quantity of coppers ore has been won at different periods.

Notes: Not in AND or OED Online. OED Online does record the Rolf Boldrewood citation from 1890, defining it as ‘To grub or dig up (a piece of land, etc.) like a rooting pig.’ This is, however, a little too generalised as the citations here reveal that a specific mining sense is entailed. This method of mining was for immediate, short-term profit but did not extract all the gold available. Consequently it was greatly despised by many as it made the ground unworkable for more systematic mining, hence the derogatory imagery of the term.

pig-rooter n. a horse given to pig-rooting.

1911 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 14 Apr 3/3
Although it tried every trick of the confirmed ‘pig-rooter,’ its rider stuck like a ‘Marsh’ fly.

1931 Argus (Melbourne) 26 Feb 5/2
An impromptu display of buckjumping was given at the Maribyrnong Light Horse campy by a horse with claim to distinction as a confirmed ‘pig-rooter.’

Notes: adds3; Antedating AND 1933.

pig-rooting n. derog. the process of extracting gold by surface digging. Now, obs.

1891 West Australian (Perth) 10 Jun 4/1
It is simply systematic pig-rooting, and no wonder the mines are not paying, as three men are doing what one should be engaged on.

1892 West Australian (Perth) 6 Feb 2/2
Saw a little gold in it. You know the best shoot of stone in the mine, or at least that I have found is under foot now, and I cannot go pig rooting for it, but it must be worked from a deeper level, when the shaft is down.

1895 Brisbane Courier 24 Dec 6/4
At present the miners are the nomad lords of a land of Ophir, settling where they please, scratching and pig-rooting as long as the gold is easily won, and then departing for fresh fields and pastures new.

1906 Advertiser (Adelaide) 30 Aug 10/7
[T]he system of mining followed was simply pig-rooting.

1907 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 27 Sept 2/7
One simply sees pig rooting and the old workings fallen in.

1907 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 8 Mar 3/3
Heavy rain has played havoc with the country. Shafts have fallen in, and surface-scratching and pig-rooting has proved so disastrous in one place, that it will be difficult to find anything in the future.

1910 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 14 Jan 3/1
As a result we have the pig-rooting mining to which I have referred in previous articles.

1912 Advertiser (Adelaide) 20 Jul 23/5
Pig-rooting, and picking out the eyes of the mine was all that had deen done.

Notes: Not in AND or OED Online. See above.

pindan n. a landscape type in WA.

1883 Brisbane Courier 10 Nov 4/7
The writer goes on to speak of the rental of these Kimberley lands as, in reality, far heavier than at first sight would appear, owing to the large amount of ‘pindan’ country included in the leases - country which, in his opinion, is unhealthy for sheep.

Notes: Antedating AND 1888.

play lunch n. recess at primary or high school.

1914 Advertiser (Adelaide) 23 Dec 13/3 [advert]
The elder ones take them for play lunch at school.

1948 Sydney Morning Herald 2 Jul 7/6
Busy mothers will appreciate just how wasy it is to make up a healthy, satisfying play-lunch for the youngsters with Vite-Weat.

Notes: Antedating AND 1968.

plonko n. an alcoholic or heavy drinker.

[1946 Canberra Times 29 Oct 2/4
Billy Jones and his 18-year-old mate, Russell Drinkworth, who has the nickname, ‘Plonko,’ told the police they were incensed at the the hoax.]

Notes: Not exactly a citation, but it is possible that the nickname refers to the drinking habits of the man in question; the earliest evidence in AND is 1963.

poached egg n. a silent cop.

1934 Thomas Wood Cobbers 122
A circle in the middle of cross-roads .. round which all traffic changing direction must swing; a round yellow blob, known here as the Silent Cop, or the Poached Egg.

Notes: Antedating AND 1941 (Baker), but actually, this citation appeared in AND under the headword ‘silent cop’ ... Do’h!

poke borak phr. to make fun.

1858 Moreton Bay Courier 20 Jan 2/4
He said ‘to the divil with Mr. Lord and yoursilf, I’m here to poke borak (fun) at Mr. Lord and yoursilf.’

Notes: Antedating AND 1873.

police pimp n. an informer to the police; a rat; a shelf.

1898 West Australian (Perth) 15 Feb 3/2
Plaintiff asked him to have a drink, and he replied, ‘No, thanks, I don’t drink with police pimps.’

1914 Advertiser (Adelaide) 18 Feb 6/8
It soon became known, however, that they were police ‘pimps.’

1916 The Argus (Melbourne) 17 Oct 6/6
Police pimps all over the place and sabo. You know, right in the boom. No gaols this trip.

1917 Mercury (Hobart) 10 July 6/4
‘I see there is a police pimp and spy taking notes of this meeting with the object of trying to put working class agitators behind the prison bars.’

1932 Canberra Times 5 May 1/4
A police pimp named Lynch, who was responsible for the prosecution of Mrs. Wood at Concord, had framed many people.

1950 Sydney Morning Herald 5 Aug 5/2
‘I have heard rumours.’ ‘They are, of course, that he is a police pimp and a police agent?’

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Adds1, 1940. In citation 1916, sabo = sabotage, the text is citing a handwritten letter between IWW members.

police pimping n. the occupation of being an informer to the police.

1934 Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 16 Mar 18
It is regrettable that one who seems to have a lot of influence in police affairs should express such childish and absurd views with regard to police pimping.

1953 Canberra Times 14 Apr 3/4
POLICE ‘PIMPING’ NOW UNWELCOME

Notes: Not in AND.

pub n. a public hotel.

1860 South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide) 3 Jan 2/7
I fancied the place must be a Yankee seaport, as the Committee, the Corporation, and the pubs know how to do a smartish trick on the ‘Britisher.’ As, however, the public-houses at the Bay are intended for the local convenience of the place, it is not to be expected that they could give accommodation to the many extra thousands who might fairly be expected to attend the occasion.

1867 Brisbane Courier 17 Jul 2/5
When a man gets a cheque that nobody will cash, he steers for the nearest ‘pub,’ and going in for a tremendous ‘shout,’ the landlord is tempted to give change for the fishy document.

1898 C.J. Dennis The Critic (Adelaide) 19 Mar 5
It’s empty now, but years ago / It used to be a pub.

1899 C.J. Dennis The Evening Journal (Adelaide) 1 July 5
’E’ll meet you in a pub, an’ shout and ’ave ’is glass of beer, / But if ’e ’as a notion that yer getting on yer ear, / ‘Come on,’ ’e says, ‘yer goin’ ome.’

1951 Dymphna Cusack and Florence James Come In Spinner (1960) 10
[It] belonged to the old joker who built the first South Pacific pub down near the docks.

1962 Jock Marshall and Russell Drysdale Journey Among Men iii. 23
We walked round the back of the pub and then into the bar where a dozen station hands and drovers were yarning and drinking cold beer.

1970 Barry Oakley A Salute to the Great McCarthy (1971) xxxii. 156
‘There’s booze waiting down at the pub.’

Notes: Earlier Australian evidence than that presented in Additions2, c.1882, plus some later citations.

punt n. a gamble; a bet.

1951 Dymphna Cusack and Florence James Come In Spinner (1960) 28
‘Fair go, Guin. A chap’s got to have a bit of a punt. Yer might as well be dead as not take a chance now and then.’

1951 Dymphna Cusack and Florence James Come In Spinner (1960) 38
‘That’s why I never give Blue a chance even to have a punt if I can get in first.’

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions1, 1958.

push bike n. a bicycle.

1905 Advertiser (Adelaide) 14 Feb 6/4
I have ridden thousands of miles on motor bikes, and have never yet been stuck up. I have sold several, in most cases to men who have ridden only a push bike.

Notes: Antedating OED Online 1910 (and ‘push bicycle’ 1906). In Additions1 I had dated this to 1910 but was dubious about considering it an Australianism; and again I wonder if this really qualifies despite the evidence being earlier than in British English.

pushite n. a member of a push. Now, obs.

1902 Advertiser (Adelaide) 14 Jan 5/3
On Saturday night a band of young ‘pushites’ surrounded a man named Henry Kinman, in front of the Eastern Markets, and despite the presence of the usual large Saturday night crowd, brutally assulted him until the victim fell unconscious.

1903 Advertiser (Adelaide) 9 Mar 5/5
An encounter between the White Rose ‘push’ and the police took place at South Melbourne on Saturday night. Constables Giles and Herford arrested one of the push for drunkenness. Insulting epithets were addressed to Giles, and he grabbed another ‘pushite.’ named Tobin, whose mate Clarke, immediately tried to rescue him.

1906 C.J. Dennis The Gadfly 14 Feb 26
And the pushites of old Collingwood appeared in ancient docks / For pelting prehistoric ‘cops’ with tertiary rocks.

Notes: Not in AND.

quack n. a doctor.

1876 Brisbane Courier 2 Dec 5/7
In the bush he [a Kanaka] is prone to sickness, especially so towards the end of his engagement. This gives the ‘jackaroos’ an opportunity of trying their hands as ‘quack,’ and, whatever the result may be, it is always beneficial, at least to the squatter. Should the Kanaka succumb to an overdose of laudanum, it saves the trouble and expense of sending him back.

Notes: Quasi-example of ‘doctor’ meaning, which is recorded earliest in Digger Dialects, 1919. Here, unfortunately, the evidence in ambiguous, as clearly the jackeroos are not trained doctors.

rat, like a  ~  up a rope phr. with great celerity.

1930 Canberra Times 13 Dec 3/1
DODGE TOURER, 1922 Model, rather old-timer, but has wonderful motor. Just right for fishing trips to Bateman’s or Goodradgibee. Will climb a hill like a rat up a rope. Great old can.

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions1, 1953.

razor grinder n. a cicada, Henicopsaltria eydouxii, of Eastern Australia.

1960 Sydney Morning Herald 2 Jan 10/1
Washerwoman, Union Jack, Floury Baker, Whisky Drinker and Razor Grinder all looked much of a muchness.

1976 Sydney Morning Herald 26 Dec 17/1
What a variety of splendid names children have given to the more common kinds of cicada in Australia. They include black prince, greengrocer, green Monday, yellow Monday, red eyes, double drummers, washerwoman, razor grinders, floury millers, squeakers, mottled greys and bladders - the last-named having a huge, inflated abdomen.

1999 NewScientist 14 Aug [internet version] But where I grew up, Tamborine Mountain in central eastern Australia, the "razor grinder" (Henicopsaltria eydouxii) appears in vast numbers at intervals of seven years.

Notes: Not in AND.

red eye n. a cicada, Psaltoda moerens, of Eastern Australia, having red eyes.

1926 Argus (Melbourne) 14 Dec 7/5
[A]s most of the smaller cicadas are black or dull grey in colour - and excepting in size exactly similar to the larger black cicada (Red Eye), which is the common and most widely distributed form of this interesting insect - it is difficult to name them more definitely.

1928 Sydney Mail 18 Jan 18/2
With the first squeaks of the warm days youthful hunters are among the trees squabbling over double drummers, fiddlers, floury bakers, red eyes, squeakers, green Mondays, and yellow Mondays.

1935 Sydney Mail 13 Nov 23/3
A well-known species of cicada is the common Fiddler, dark brown spotted with yellow; another, commonly met with, is the large Green Mound, a yellow variety. The large black cicada, known as the Red Eye, is also frequently encountered.

1949 Sydney Morning Herald 10 Dec 9/2
And there are lots of other names - Squeaker, single-drummer, green monday, Union Jack, mottled-grey, fiddler, red-eye, cherry nose, mealy-back, black prince, black-princess, and the bladder cicada. Science does not recognise all these as distinct species. Some are actually different only in colour.

1976 Sydney Morning Herald 26 Dec 17/1
What a variety of splendid names children have given to the more common kinds of cicada in Australia. They include black prince, greengrocer, green Monday, yellow Monday, red eyes, double drummers, washerwoman, razor grinders, floury millers, squeakers, mottled greys and bladders - the last-named having a huge, inflated abdomen.

Notes: Not in AND. Another internet source listed this as the common name for the floury baker, Aleeta curvicosta.

redhead n.1 the Red-browed Finch, Neochima temporalis.

1879 Brisbane Courier 18 Oct 3
I was out walking some mornings ago, when I observed two little red-heads busily at work building their nest.

Notes: Antedating AND 1889.

redhead n.2 the Red-headed Honeyeater, Myzomela erythrocephala.

1884 Brisbane Courier 22 Apr 8/6
Just notice what a variety of little twitterers there are in the branches above our heads, and on the trees all round us. There are the Thrush, the Redhead, Honeybird, Minor, and a whole host too numerous to mention.

Notes: Antedating AND 1964.

red ned n. cheap red wine.

1933 Argus (Melbourne) 17 Feb 4/6
Larkins said that he and Gitshan had drunk four or five pints of ‘Red Ned’ at the Rising Sun Hotel.

Notes: Antedating AND 1941 (Baker).

reel man n. a surf lifesaver who works the reel.

1927 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 22 Apr 3/4
The competing teams were:-- ... standard bearer, H. French; reelman E. French; linemen, E. Ambrose, S. Browne, and Axel Sousaari.

1929 Argus (Melbourne) 21 Dec 6S/4
Miss M. Perkins, ‘reelman’ of the West St. Kilda Lifesaving Club, winding out the life-line at Elwood on Saturday.

1936 Sydney Morning Herald 9 Jan 23/3
A candidate has to prove proficient in every position of reel and line work; that is, as the beltman who swims out with the life-line and bring the patient in; as first, second, and third linesman, paying out and drawing in the line; as as reelman, who manages the reel.

1954 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 26 Feb 2/2
The N.Z. team gave a demonstration of a four-men R. nd R. team, one as patient, then beltman, 1st linesman andreel man[.]

Notes: Not in AND. See beltman (above) for more information.

rifle bird n. a bird of the Ptiloris genus.

1826 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 28 Jan 3/3
A Glossary of the most common Productions in the Natural History of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land. [...] Rifle-bird ... Ptiloris paradiseus, Sw.

Notes: Antedating AND 1827.

right, she’ll be ~   phr. everything is fine.

1945 Argus (Melbourne) 3 Apr 2/5
Australians use the word ‘she’ instead of ‘it’ to quite a remarkable degree. If a group of you are putting up a tent, and it is fixed so that it will satisfy, then the corret announcement of satisfaction is: She’ll be right. There is no similar usage in ordinary English. This seems to me perfectly to express a certain male attitude to the opposite sex.

Notes: Antedating AND 1947.

rissole n. a Returned Servicemen’s League club.

1983 David Foster Plumbum v. 106
‘It’s the same guy!’ exclaims Sharon. ‘He was at the Captain’s Flat rissole!’

1983 Ryan Aven-Bray (Brian Raven) Ridgey Didge Oz Jack Lang 41

Notes: Not in AND; from a jocular pronunciation of RSL as a vowelless word, punning on rissole ‘a meat patty’.

rissole, like a  ~  phr. a jocular catchphrase tacked onto the farewell expressions catch you round and see you round, punning on round ‘circular’.

1996 Linda Jaivin Rock n Roll Babes from Outer Space 188
Catch you round like a rissole.

1998 Phillip Gwynne Deadly Unna? xxxvi. 252
‘See ya round,’ I said. ‘Like a rissole,’ said Slogs.

Notes: Not yet in AND.

road gang n. a gang of convicts on road-building detail.

1818 Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter 19 Sep 1/1
[T]he Road Gang are particularly enjoined to inform against any Person trespassing.

Notes: Antedating AND 1819.

’roo-tail soup n. soup made from kangaroo’s tail.

1904 ‘Steele Rudd’ Sandy’s Selection (1964) iv. 16
He sat down cautiously and began on the ’roo-tail soup.

1962 Jock Marshall and Russell Drysdale Journey Among Men xiv. 176
In the pioneering days bush tucker of necessity formed the mian diet in many places and, as recently as a little before the turn of the century, kangaroo chops and ’roo-tail soup figured on the menus of city hotels.

Notes: Antedating AND 1968.

rorter n. a person who perpetrates a rort; a swindler. Also, wroughter.

1917 Northern Territory Times and Gazette 13 Dec 13/3
Racecourse wroughters, guns, garroters, / Brutes who use their boots / Thirty thousand racecourse rotters, Thirteen recruits.

Notes: Antedating AND 1926, and earlier than the verb sense 1919; actually, the spelling here, also found in AND’s 1926 citation for rorter, and the earliest spelling of the noun as wrought, as opposed to the now standard rort, points to the etymology. The usual suggestion is that it is somehow based on British slang, since the 1860s, rorty (recorded in Australia, though never very common, since 1900), which OED2 defines as ‘(of persons and things) boisterous, rowdy, noisy’, (of behaviour, speech, etc.) coarse, earthy, of dubious propriety; crudely comic’. However, this theory does not hold water. Firstly, while ‘rowdy, noisy’ fits nicely with the sense of rort ‘a wild party’, this meaning is secondary and only dates from the 1940s, whereas the earliest sense for our term, for all parts of speech, is to do with fraud and swindling. Further, OED’s gloss ‘of dubious propriety’, which seems to suggest a connection to our original sense, is to do with naughty or crude social behaviour, not dishonest or illegal practices. A close reading of all the OED’s citations for rorty shows no overlap in sense with the Australian term rort(er). Hence, it seems more likely that our term derives from the Stardard English wrought, from the Middle English past participle of work, construed as a verb in its own right. Thus, wroughter is equivalent to worker, that is, one who works a swindle. The cant meaning of work is recorded in Australian contexts in Vaux, 1812, and the Sydney Slang Dictionary, c.1882. Vaux writes ‘To work upon any particular game, is to practice generally, that species of fraud or depredation.’ To this evidence we must also add that the OED also records the term wroughter as British underworld slang, albeit with a sole citation from 1870, as one of the swindlers involved in perpetrating the three-card trick;

1870 B. Hemyng Out of the Ring 31 The Welshers’ Vocabulary... Broad pitcher, a man playing the three cards. Wroughter, the man who plays them. Ibid. 33, 35.

If this was indeed restricted in this manner in British theives’ cant, then the Australian use represents a widening of meaning.

sanitary cart n. a cart to take away cans of nightsoil.

1885 West Australian (Perth) 24 Dec 3/3
To Sanitary Carts and Expenses £100[.]

1904 Sydney Morning Herald 2 Nov 12/4
It had evidently been carried thither in a sanitary cart an hour or two previously from North Melbourne.

Notes: Antedating AND 1958.

sanitary man n. a man employed to take away cans of nightsoil.

1889 Brisbane Courier 1 Oct 3/3
He did not know whether Sumner was the expert sanitary man[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1903.

sanitary van n. a van to take away cans of nightsoil.

1884 Brisbane Courier 26 Aug 4/3
A sanitary van and a dray were coming in an opposite direction[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1894.

satin-bird n. the Satin Bowerbird, Ptilonorhynchus violaceus.

1825 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 10 Mar 3/3
The birds are paraquets of various plumage; black and white cockatoos; pheasants; quail; wood pidgeons, laughing jackasses; satin birds, owls, and some others, which I cannot name[.]

1826 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 28 Jan 3/3
A Glossary of the most common Productions in the Natural History of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land. [...] Satin-bird ... Ptilinorhynchus, Tem.

Notes: Antedating AND 1827.

shoddy dropping n. the selling of cheap clothes by a street hawker. Hence, shoddy dropper n.

1917 Mercury (Hobart) 11 May 2/5
Detective-Sergeant summers said that the two accused had been engaged ‘shoddy dropping,’ or selling clothes, and he had known them for years.

1922 The Argus (Melbourne) 11 Jul 10/4
The scheme of wearing a seaman’s cap and representing that they could sell cloth cheap was a trick resorted to by ‘shoddy droppers’ (men who sold cheap cloth in the suburbs).

1922 The Argus (Melbourne) 24 Jun 22/1
‘Shoddy dropping,’ or ‘dud-dropping,’ the Bench at the City Court learned yesterday, is buying cheap suit lengths and cloth and hawking them about the city.

1922 The Argus (Melbourne) 24 Jun 22/1
Although the trade was called ‘shoddy dropping’ it did not mean that the cloth was necessarily of inferior quality.

1922 The Argus (Melbourne) 24 Jun 21/6
When questioned, Sterling said that he was a ‘shoddy dropper,’ that is, a man who bought and sold cloth.

1924 The Argus (Melbourne) 26 Mar 17/2
Carney, who stated he was a ‘shoddy dropper,’ produced two duplicate receipts from H.B. Scott and Co., woollen merchants, Flinders Lane, for material which he said he had bought.

1955 Nina Pulliam I Traveled a Lonely Land 387
SHODDY DROPPER - a crook

Notes: Antedating AND 1950, and Eric Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English 1937, who records it as New Zealand English.

shot a. utterly exhausted.

1934 J.M. Harcourt Upsurge xxx. 258
‘It’s too much for a man! I’ll be shot if I take up another with seven in it!’

Notes: Antedating OED2 1939, which claims this as ’chiefly US’.

shypoo a. inferior.

1899 West Australian (Perth) 20 Feb 4/2
Such stocks as Brookmans, Hainamits, and North Kalgurlis seem to have fallen out of favour. They are now classed as ‘shipoo,’ and the public refuse to touch them.

Notes: Antedating AND 1902.

shypoo shop n. a place where cheap, low-grade liquor is sold.

1898 West Australian (Perth) 8 Apr 7/4
It was all very well to speak of the alluvial miner, who was backed up by the publican and the ‘shypoo shop’ keepers and little storekeepers, who did not look at the future of a country, but considered only the present.

Notes: Antedating AND 1903.

silent cop n. a thick yellow iron disc placed at an intersection around which traffic must steer.

1921 Sydney Morning Herald 1 Oct 16/4
To assist in directing vehicle traffic and keep it to the left a device, officially known as a ‘traffic dome,’ but generally alluded to as a ‘silent cop,’ has been installed at various points in the city.

1925 The Argus (Melbourne) 19 June 18/6
For having failed to observe the ‘silent’ cop at the main street intersection a number of motorists were fined in the Mount Gambier Police Court.

Notes: Antedating AND 1934.

silly as wheel phr. mad as a meataxe.

1932 Northern Territory Times (Perth) 26 Feb 6/2
Old fossicker, a Hatter, silly as a wheel, carries a gun, liable to shoot anybody goin’ over for a yarn[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1952.

six o’clock swill n. formerly, the period directly before last drinks at a pub.

1944 Sydney Morning Herald 4 Dec 4/4
[T]he breweries, in co-operation with the publicans, were striving to eliminate the bottle trade as far as possible, and to intensify ‘the 6 o’clock swill.’

1950
Canberra Times 19 Jun 1/7
‘I shudder to think what would have happened if the explosion had occurred during the ‘six o’clock swill’ last night,’ he said.

1954 Canberra Times 3 Mar 1/2
‘The causes of the six o’clock swill go far deeper into the psychology and sociology of the people than mere hours.’

1954 Canberra Times 15 Nov 2/2
The six o’clock swill is the dual result of bad drinking conditions to which both customers and hotels contribute.

1954 Canberra Times 4 Jun 2/8
For all we know the people of the Territory may vote for 10 o’clock closing. In that case those of us who ahve seen 6 o’clock swills in States where the hours of closing are 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., will have to abide by the will of the people. Such is democracy.

Notes: Antedating AND/Wilkes 1955.

sleep-out n. a place constructed for sleeping on a verandah, porch or the like. Also, used attributively.

1915 Argus (Melbourne) 26 Jul 3/2
WINDSOR. - Solidly constructed brick VILLA, 1 reception, 4 bed rooms, maid’s sleep-out[.]

1919 Argus (Melbourne) 26 Nov 18/7
Corner position, 4 min. tram, motor entrance, 5 rooms, 16 x 14, &c.; hall, 12 x 7; sleep-out verandah, clinker fireplaces[.]

1919 Argus (Melbourne) 26 Nov 18/3
MALVERN, 3 Min. Train. - New bk, and R.C. Villa, tiled roof, 7 rs. and sleep-out, balconies, beautifully fitted and finished[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1927.

Snake Gully n. an imaginary backward place.

[1860 Sydney Morning Herald 14 Feb 5/2
The bridge over Snake Gully is under water[.]]

1940
Canberra Times 25 Mar 2/4
Mr. Bailey mentioned that he had received a letter from ‘Mum’ who had written from the farm at Snake Gully, and it indicated that the war would not last much longer.

Notes: Antedating AND 1945. Citation 1860 is actually referring to a real placename, somewhere in the vicinity of Wollongong, NSW.

snig n. a hauling of a cut log.

1936 Nambour Chronicle 13 Mar 13/3
‘It’s his job, once the rope’s round the stump for the last snig to set her goin’.’

Notes: Simple noun use not recorded in AND.

spadger n. the introduced House Sparrow or Tree Sparrow.

1904 Edward Dyson Fact’ry ’Ands (1912) viii. 102
The Spadger was ... so called because Feathers had discovered in her a strong resemblance to a bedraggled sparrow.

1921 The Argus (Melbourne) 12 Apr 4
George Smart (Richmond) ask the orign of the name ‘Sprigg,’ so frequently applied to sparrows. I have not heard it for 25 years, though it was once in general use, amongst city boys especially. I never heard it used in the country, though the ‘Spadger’ - a name often heard in the rural districts of England - was common enough. Unless it comes from the reference to a pert young boy as ‘a sprig,’ I cannot explain the origin of the name.

1930 The Argus (Melbourne) 12 Dec 4/8
From the beginning the myna fitted into city life as no other bird had excepting the omnipresent ‘spadger’. The starling has excursions into the country[.]

1934 Norman Lindsay Saturdee iii. 39

2008 Birding-Aus 21 Nov
Here in the Hunter Valley NSW numerous birdos refer to them as ‘Spadgers’

Notes: Originally British dialect (first recorded in 1862 from Leeds), but imported to Australia and commonly used here. Still in use in the UK.

spadgery n. a sparrow colony.

1932 Canberra Times 13 Apr 3
A rookery is a delightful addition to a garden in the country, but a spadgery in a city street is a very different proposition.

Notes: Nonce word.

spag / spagger n. the introduced House Sparrow or Tree Sparrow.

1903 Sydney Mail 6 May 1119/1
From Jenny Wren to Willie Wagtail and from Cocky Spag to Jacky Winter they all went about with tears in their eyes and their voices broken by sobs.

1915
The Argus (Melbourne) 13 Feb 7/2
‘What are you doing with road metal in your pockets. Drain?’ ‘To chuck at the birds, sir, when they come at me. I’m awful afrain of birds, sir, especially spaggers.’

2008 Birding-Aus 21 Jul
I’ve been birding for around 15yrs now but being only 25 you’d think I’d know better. The following are ‘other’ names and abbreviations I use. ... Spagga = House Sparrow

Notes: Not in AND.

spidgie n. the introduced House Sparrow or Tree Sparrow.

2008 Birding-Aus 21 Nov
I’ve only twice heard people calling them by other names, both by people over 70. ‘Spidgie’ and ‘squidgie’ were the names used, and neither mentioned whether they meant Tree or House Sparrow, and it’s possible that they didn’t know there were more than one kind.

Notes: Not in AND; originally British, Kipling uses ‘spidger’ as a variant of ‘spadger’ in Stalky and Co., 1899.

spinifex parrot n. the Princess Parrot, Polytelis alexandrae.

1896 West Australian (Perth) 23 May 5/5
Among the minor objects of the Expedition is to obtain specimens of the spinifex parrot, a beautiful bird of very swift flight, which feeds on seeds of the desert plant and has hitherto eluded all efforts at capture.

Notes: Antedating AND 1917.

spoggy n. (chiefly South Australia) the introduced House Sparrow.

1978 Barbara Hanrahan Where the Queens All Strayed 164
The birds kept up their din, but they were only magpies and spoggies.

1984 Arthur Delbridge Aussie Talk

1995 Geoffrey Dutton Out in the Open vi. 388
I had bought Francis a little fibreglass boat. Its class had the ridiculous name of Sparrow, so he called it Spoggy, slang in South Australia for a sparrow.

2004 Birding-Aus 29 Sept
Of recent years these spoggies have disappeared, presumably chased out by Noisy Miners[.]

2008 Birding-Aus 22 Jul
[W]edgies, woodies, reddies, bloods, diamys, spagga, spoggies, poms etc. Please! Some of that sounds a lot like cage bird industry jargon to me and surely not for here.

2008 Birding-Aus 22 Nov
Spoggie is quite common in South Oz.

2008 Whyalla Times 4 Jun [online]
I think I yook the easy option as the Maggies turned to spoggies and the Demons totally smashed them in what at times was like a training drill on a Wednesday night.

Notes: Not in AND. The Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus, is not is SA. See notes at spriggy (below).

sprag n. (chiefly Queensland) the introduced House Sparrow.

1981 Gerard Lee True Love and How to Get it 65
[U]ntil the sprags gathered in the jacaranda at the close of day.

1993 Hugh Lunn Fred & Olive’s Blessed Lino 45
We had been shooting sprags and, unfortunately, Kenny had the Daisy Air Rifle instead of me.

2001 Stafford District Community History Project: Environment
There was a bounty on crows, flying foxes, starlings and sparrows. We’d shoot or set traps to catch the sprags (sparrows), put them in a bottle of metho then take them to the Council Chambers anbd get 2d a head.

2006 ABC Online Forum 3 Aug
In Toowoomba, the Common Mynahs have taken over all the sparrows’ nesting places (under the eaves of houses). The sprag population has diminished noticeably.

2008 Birding-Aus 26 Nov
As kids on the Darling Downs (SE Qld) in the late 1940s and early 1950s, we often referred to sparrows as ‘Sprags’ (as well as ‘sparrows’). I can remember my father using the term. He was born in 1914 so it would have been in use in that area well before the late 1940s.

Notes: Not in AND. See also sprig and sprog(gy); note also that Scottish and northern British dialect has ‘sprug’ since 1815. The Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus, is not is Qld. See notes at spriggy (below).

spridge n.  the introduced House Sparrow or Tree Sparrow. Also, spridgy.

1959 Sidney J. Baker The Drum: Australian Character and Slang 147
spridgy: A sparrow. Also, sproggy and spudgy.

2008 Birding-Aus 13 Nov
I have been trying to do some research on the origins of sparrows in Australia and their other names such as ‘spoggies’ ‘sproggies’ ‘spridge’ and so on.

Notes: Not in AND.

spriggy n. the introduced House Sparrow or Tree Sparrow. Also, sprig.

[1904 New Zealand Free Lance 23 Apr 3
Sir Gordon Sprigg, who used to be Premier of Cape Colony, sprang from the ranks of the reporters. Gordon’s brother is celebrated in Australia for having introduced the common sparrow, which isn’t exactly a welcome visitor. Australian boys call sparrows ‘spriggies’ in consequence.]

1917 Furnley Maurice The Bay and Padie Book of Kiddie Songs
Rubs his little eye for to push the sleep away; / Better on the lawn is it? Watching spriggies play? / Minahs and starlings, / But no such darlings / As the little boy that’s never been to sleep this day.

1921 The Argus (Melbourne) 12 Apr 4
George Smart (Richmond) ask the orign of the name ‘Sprigg,’ so frequently applied to sparrows. I have not heard it for 25 years, though it was once in general use, amongst city boys especially. I never heard it used in the country, though the ‘Spadger’ - a name often heard in the rural districts of England - was common enough. Unless it comes from the reference to a pert young boy as ‘a sprig,’ I cannot explain the origin of the name.

1921
The Argus (Melbourne) 26 Apr 6/4
Referring to the origin of the name ‘Sprigg’ as applied to sparrows, Mr. W. Gordon Sprigg writes: - ‘Away back in the sixties the Melbourne Acclimitisation Society decided to introduce into Victoria the hedge sparrow. At that time my father, the late Mr. George Sprigg, was director, or curator, of the Zoological Gardens in the Royal Park, the post now held by Mr. W. H. D. Le Souef. Instead of the hedge sparrow the authorities in London (presumably in error) shipped over the common house sparrow, which has not altogether proved an unmixed blessing, and the wags of that day dubbed the little strange a ‘Sprigg.’ a sobriquet which has stuck to it down the years[.]

1921 The Argus (Melbourne) 6 May 4/5
On the subject of ‘sprig’ as a name applied to the sparrow, and of which several explanations have been offered, Mr. Wilson Kerry, classical lecturer in the University of Melbourne, writes: - ‘I am afraid that Mr. W. Gordon Sprigg’s theory will not bear examination. A reference to Dr. Joseph Wrights’s ‘English Dialect Dictionary’ will show that ‘sprig’ is used for ‘sparrow’ in parts of Scotland - Roxburgh, for example.’

1958 J. Cecil le Souef, ‘The Introduction of Sparrows into Victoria’ Emu lviii. 265
The first recorded liberation of Sparrows came when the Secretary to the Society, George Sprigg, received permission from the Council to liberate the ‘rest of the small birds gradually, so that they may become accustomed to the place.’ On September 15, 1863, 80 Sparrows were liberated. This will explain why these birds were for so long referred to as ‘Spriggies’.

1963 Ronald Ridout The Facts of English
spriggy: a sparrow

1967 Sydney Sun [date missing]
The founding fathers of the Melborune Zoo met for the first time 110 years ago today. One of their first aims was to introduce sparrows into Australia. Mr William Sprigg’s efforts in that direction led to them being nicknamed spriggies.

1996 Tom Griffiths Hunters and Collectors: The Antiquarian Imagination in Australia 322
The sparrow’s popular name, ‘spriggy’, memorialised a member of the Acclimatisation Society of Victoria, George Sprigg, who was credited with the first release of sparrows near Melbourne.

2008 Birding-Aus 21 Nov
‘Spadgers’ is a common British synonym for sparrow. I have read somewhere that in Victoria they used to be known as ‘Spriggies’ because a leading light in the Victorian Acclimatization Society was a Mr. Sprigg. (I have spent days trying to find a reference for this statement without success but I know it’s there somewhere).

Notes: Not in AND. The etymology as an eponym from George (or William?) Sprigg, Secretary of the Melbourne Acclimatisation Society, is false, as the final 1921 citation reveals. The word is a transference from British dialect. Moreover, in it a stretch to imagine that ‘Australian boys’ would have ever known exactly who the secretary of the Acclimatisation Society was, or cared. However, with all good folk etymologies, persistence abounds. From the citations it seems that the early references are to House Sparrows, Passer domesticus, not the Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus. However, that said, the layman does not normally distinguish between sparrows at this level, so the word most probably applied indiscriminately to any sparrow seen in Australia. The 1960s citations are from the AND citation collection, with regards.

sproggy n. the introduced House Sparrow or Tree Sparrow. Also, sprog.

1959 Sidney J. Baker The Drum: Australian Character and Slang 147
spridgy: A sparrow. Also, sproggy and spudgy.

1966 Sidney J. Baker The Australian Language (2nd ed. ed.)182
chief sproggery, the place where n.c.o.’s in charge of flights met to discuss general plans. (Probably from dialectal sprug, a sparrow, via the Australian version sprog or sproggy.)

2007 The Chat: Newsletter of the East Gippsland Bird Observers Club xxxiv. 8/1
Among the exhibits are featured two top flight little sproggies.

2008 Birding-Aus 13 Nov
I have been trying to do some research on the origins of sparrows in Australia and their other names such as ‘spoggies’ ‘sproggies’ ‘spridge’ and so on.

2008 Birding-Aus 25 Nov
Im my childhood in Melbourne, Victoria we always referred to Sparrows as Sproggies. I still do - though, living in Adelaide, I’ve never discussed this with locals.

2008 Birding-Aus 26 Nov
When I lived in Adelaide (’75 to ’93), sparrows were called sproggies, or sprogs, by ordinary (non-birder) folk. Don’t know what birders called them as I didn’t start birding until ’88. The same name(s) was often given to a group of kids of pre-school age[.]

Notes: Not in AND.

spudgy n. the introduced House Sparrow. Also, spuggy.

1959 Sidney J. Baker The Drum: Australian Character and Slang 147
spridgy: A sparrow. Also, sproggy and spudgy.

1984 Sydney Morning Herald 6 Jan 1/8
When I was a boy in Newcastle, kids called sparrows spugs or spuggies.

2008 Birding-Aus 21 Nov
My wife, Shirley (growing up in Hobart) is adamant they are ‘Spuggies’. I, however, who grew up in NSW, just know them as pests!

Notes: Not in AND. Originally British dialect, 1890s. The form spuggy is still in use in the UK.

squatteress n. a female squatter.

1867 Brisbane Courier 13 Jul 5/4
Sundry blankets and cushions are stowed away in the trap, which has received a thorough overhaul, and amid the furtive gaze of all hands the squatteress and the little squatterines are hoisted in-board.

Notes: Antedating AND 1878.

squatting class n. squatters conceived of by social status.

1846 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 21 Mar 3/4
[T]he monopolizing schemes of the ultra squatting class have aroused the apprehension of the agriculturalists.

1856 Courier (Hobart) 7 Oct 2/6
The great men of the squatting class have aimed at lordship.

1872 Brisbane Courier 27 Jan 4/7
[A] mistake was made which had placed the government in the hands of the squatting class, and from the effects of that mistake they, in common with the whole colony, were now suffering.

1885 Brisbane Courier 11 Feb 3/4
[H]e yet wields great power in the colony, more especially with the mercantile and squatting classes.

1915 Argus (Melbourne) 9 Jan 14/8
[T]he squatting class in Australia (with but few sad isolated exceptions) has done so much.

1967 Ivan Southall To the Wild Sky i. 14
Bert himself was a working man - or called himself one - with no great love of the Squatting Class.

Notes: Not in AND.

squeaker n. the Noisy Miner.

1933 Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 16 Sept 19/7
Bush folk knew them as soldier birds or Mickies, but down at the little country schoolhouse where they flocked fearlessly for scraps of luncheons the boy called them Squeakers.

Notes: AND has this defined as, among others birds, the noisy miner, however, the only citation that could possibly contain this meaning is one from 1933; this is an extra citation for this textually uncommon term.

squidgie n. the introduced House Sparrow.

2008 Birding-Aus 21 Nov
I’ve only twice heard people calling them by other names, both by people over 70. ‘Spidgie’ and ‘squidgie’ were the names used, and neither mentioned whether they meant Tree or House Sparrow, and it’s possible that they didn’t know there were more than one kind.

Notes: Not in AND.

stickbeak n. apparently an early variant of ‘stickybeak’

1922 The Argus (Melbourne) 9 Feb 6/8
In the meantime, it si not surprising that in some parts of the Town Hall the popular expression ‘Stickbeak’ is heard, and with bitter emphasis.

1924 The Argus (Melbourne) 29 Mar 34/5
It was mentioned in these despatches some time ago that the Feminist Club was on what critics of its own sex flippantly described as a ‘stickbeak’ campaign.

Notes: Not in AND.

stickybeak n. a busybody.

1919 The Argus (Melbourne) 4 Jun 7/6
A.J.C. SPRING MEETING. FIRST DAY. EPSON HANDICAP. ... Sticky Beak.

Notes: Antedating AND 1920, although here as the name of a racehorse.

stock route n. a route along which livestock are moved.

1864 Perth Gazette, and Independent Journal of Politics and News 29 Jul 2/3
This however will go but a short way to the establishment of a stock route to Roebuck, or Lagrange Bays[.]

1877 Brisbane Courier 19 Dec 6/1
[O]wners at a distance from the principal stock routes now count upon an immunity from the disease for say three years out of the four.

Notes: Antedating AND 1884.

stockwoman n. a woman who works tending to livestock.

1898 West Australian (Perth) 18 Jun 9/5
‘We’d a real good time, two years,’ he communed, softly, ‘she an’ me - real mates. An’ we made money drovin’, and there ain’t one of ’em gin stockmen, or stock-wimmen, as rides about in moles and shirts like little dried-up men, as can track an’ ride like ’er - an’ she nearly pure white, with only the littlest dash of nigger.’

Notes: Not in AND; apparently exceedingly rare.

Strasburg fritz n. a type of sausage meat.

1914 Advertiser (Adelaide) 19 Feb 8/9
Strasbug fritz and German sauge, which are manufactured by some of the bacon dactories, attracted a great deal of attention, and heavy sales are booked up to 8d. a lb.

Notes: Not in AND. The Macquarie Dictionary records Strasburg and Straz  as Eastern States regionalism for this meat.

strong n. information.

1817 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 11 Jan 3/1
I had nearly concluded this letter, when an acquaintance came in posthaste to pay me a visit, and still harping on the same strong gave me to understand that all the four score [ph]onolgists of Sydney, Parramatta, Hawkesbury, and Liverpool, were then assembled and busily employed in ransacking their brains[.]

Notes: Is this an early instance of what became ‘the strong of’? It seems so as it is a noun use of the adjective, which otherwise does not exist in other varieties of English. NB: some missing type at “phonologists”.

surf ski n. a device for paddling in the surf.

1934 Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 2 Apr 11/2
[S]plendid work was done by C.A. Burcher, of Corinda, on his surf ski, a new contrivance for shooting the breakers.

1950 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 6 Jan 3/2
The surf ski rescue was a thrill.

Notes: Antedating AND 1956.

swagger vi. to travel with a swag.

1868 Brisbane Courier 6 Nov 3/3
If not I mean to ‘roll up swag,’ / And swagger to the Cape.

Notes: AND has ‘swagger’ as an agent noun dating from 1855; this verb otherwise unrecorded; apparently not common; perhaps a nonce word.

swagman n. an itinerant man looking for work; a tramp.

1861 South Australian Advertiser 26 Feb 2/7
A SWAGMAN’S PHILOSOPHY. / Whilst travelling through those southern climes, / Half swagman and half poet, / I’ve noticed many scores fo times / (But, pshaw! perchance all know it) / That round those spots where men reside, / You’re nearly sure to notice / Mallow and nettle, side by side, / The irritant and poultice.

Notes: Antedating AND 1869.

(sweet) kitty lintol n. the Chirruping Wedgebill, Psophodes cristatus. Also, the call of this bird. Also, (sweet) kitty lintof(f).

1901 Archibald James Campbell Nests and Eggs of Australian Birds I. 270
It has a rich, metallic, ringing note repeated twelve or fifteen times without a break. I have heard bushmen describe it as ‘Sweet Kitty Lintol’ (strong accent on the last syllable).

1903 Emu Oct. 90
Bush-men locally call the bird the ‘Sweet-Kitty-Lintol,’ and these words, with strong accent on the last syllable, very fairly represent the rhythm of the song.

1907 Robert Hall The Useful Birds of Southern Australia 123
The call of the Wedgebill is very sweet, and expressed phonetically it would sound like ‘Kitty-lin-tof.’

1918 J. A. Leach An Australian Bird Book 153
Titmice or Tits - Australia has but five representatives - the peculiar Wedgebill, ‘Kitty-lin-tof,’ and the four Australian ‘Whitefaces.’

1931 Alec H. Chisholm Nature Fantasy in Australia 146
For my own part, I have never heard the voice of ‘Kitty-lintol.’

1931 Alec H. Chisholm Nature Fantasy in Australia 146
Certain dwellers in the wide spaces call this bird ‘Sweet-kitty-lintol,’ a name which in itself almost summons up the charming voice.

1931 Sydney Mail 27 May 11/1
Certain dwellers in the wide spaces call this bird ‘Sweet-Kitty-lintol,’ a name which itself almost sums up the charming voice.

1933 Argus (Melbourne) 19 Aug 4/5
The late A.W. Milligan, a competent West Australian naturalist, declared the wedgebill to be the possessor of wonderful bell-like notes and astonishing ventriloquial powers, which, he said, were sometimes manifest on moonlit nights. He used to call it ‘Sweet-Kitty-lintol.’

1962 Jock Marshall and Russell Drysdale Journey Among Men vi. 46
Dom Servernty says that the call sounds like ‘Sweet Kitty Lintoff’ or, perhaps, even, ‘Did you get drunk?’

1987 J.D. Macdonald The Illustrated Dictionary of Australian Birds by Common Name 171/1
sweet-kitty-lintol See WEDGEBILL. Pop. name attributed to bushmen in imitation of very distinctive note

Notes: Not in AND; the name refers to the bird’s well-known and vociferous call.

sweet pretty (little) creature int. the call of the Willy Wagtail.

1892 Sydney Mail 1 Oct 754/3
All night long the mopoke calls mournfully, and the ‘shepherd’s companion’ chants in shrill, clear monotone, ‘Sweet pretty little creature - pretty little creature.’

1894 Sydney Mail 15 Dec 1224/4
Thou hast one song, and that they name - / ‘Sweet pretty little creature!’

1895
West Australian (Perth) 31 Aug 12 /3
Presently a little bird, known to the bushmen as the ‘shepherd’s companion,’ settled on the ridgepole, and piped at regular intervals in a shrill, quick monotone - ‘Pretty little creature,’ ‘Sweet pretty little creature,’ and I felt very grateful to him.

1911 Sydney Mail 15 Feb 43/3
The wagtail loves to perch on the wood heap, on stumps, and on the garden railings, twisting and turning all the time, while crying ‘sweet, pretty creature,’ like a conceited little dandy.

1912 Sydney Mail 27 Mar 47/2
[A]nd here and there the call of the Wagtail to his mate, coming clearly through the listening night. ‘Sweet pretty creature.’ ‘Sweet pretty creature.’

1918 J. A. Leach An Australian Bird Book 123
Who does not know and admire the plucky, though fussy Black and White Fantail (Willie Wagtail), as it drives a cat or dog away from the vicinity of its nest, or as it waits impatiently about the mouth of a grazing cow or horse, or as it expresses its opinion of itself in the melodius ‘sweet pretty creature,’ heard even late on moonlight nights?

1921 Walter W. Froggatt Some Useful Australian Birds 24
Willie-wagtail is one of the few restless, day-flying birds that talks all through the night, and his chattering note, which the bush children translate as ‘sweet pretty creature,’ adds another popular name to this list. He is properly known as the Black-and-white Fantail.

1922 The Argus (Melbourne) 8 Apr 7/3
A wagtail flits restlessly to and fro, and assures you that he is a sweet, pretty little creature, but even he flies off eventually to the bushy plum trees near the house.

1922 Alec H. Chisholm Mateship With Birds iii. 47
[T]he gathering dusk evokes the lirruping lullaby of Madge, the solemn merriment of the Kookaburras, the reflective ‘sweet pretty creature’ of the Wagtail, and the calmly-resigned semitone of the Ishmaelitish Pallid Cuckoo.

1930 Canberra Times 22 Jan 6/5
Snowy white beneath the breast, / Willie Wagtail, welcome guest, / Lights so softly on the rail, / Flits his wings, and swings his tail, / Snaps his bill and sings again, / ‘Sweet, sweet pretty creature.’

1931 Alec H. Chisholm Nature Fantasy in Australia 155
‘Willie’ is apt to talk all night as well, uttering the quaint conceit, ‘Sweet-pretty-creature, Sweet-pretty-creature,’ over and over again.

1931 Alec H. Chisholm Nature Fantasy in Australia 153
[T]hey are captivated by ... his curious rattling chatter and musical cry of ‘Sweet-pretty-creature!’

1951 Dymphna Cusack and Florence James Come In Spinner (1960) 432
[F]aint rustlings in the vines and a willy-wagtail calling sleepily: ‘Sweet pretty creature.’

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions2, 1931; plus some extra evidence.

swiftie n.1 a swindle.

1934 Courier Mail (Brisbane) 23 Feb 11 /3
Carter then said to the prisoner, ‘You have worked a ‘swiftie’ on me over this, and I am going to report it to the C.I. branch.’

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions1, 1944.

swiftie n.2 the Swift Parrot, Lathamus discolor.

1998 Birding-Aus 28 Apr
Anyone in the east gippsland/NSW south coast area has a chance of seeing Swifties in the flowering Red Bloodwood forests at the moment.

2008 Birding-Aus 26 Sep
Many thanks for letting us know about the imminent threat of clear-felling Swiftie breeding areas in the Weilangta Forest.

Notes: Not in AND.

swimming togs n. swimwear.

1916 Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin) 17 Aug 13/1
They were naked except for a small pair of swimming togs[.]

1917 Advertiser (Adelaide) 29 Jan 7/2
We looked a sorry spectacle coming in to land in costumes varying from swimming togs to full dress.

Notes: Antedating AND 1944, and earlier also than the compound bathing togs (see above) 1918.

Swiss parrot n. a common error by non-birders, especially in the cagebird trade, for the Swift Parrot, Lathamus discolor.

1997 B.A.P.A. News May
In May the Australian Prime Minister issed a press release announcing that a large grant have been given towards the recoery of the Swiss Parrot Lathamus helvetica. This caused great excitement in Switzerland as the existence of the species had been completely overlooked.

2003 Birding-Aus 8 Jul
I was told be a friend that he had heard of a bird called a swiss parrot. When i asked if he meant Swift Parrot he said no he was told it was a Swiss Parrot. Can anybody confirm that there is infact a swiss parrot? If so do you have any links on this bird? I still think he was talking about the Swift Parrot but he has said it is in Europe.

Notes: Not in AND. The 1997 citation obviously has a spurious species name (there are, of course, no parrots indigenous to Europe).

Sydney blue gum n. a tree well-known.

1897 West Australian (Perth) 10 Jul 5/5
These comprise red mahogany, tallowwood, grey ironbark, Sydney blue gum, stringybark, white box, mountain gum, grey gum, blackbutt, red ironbark, brush box, bloodwood, beech, red bean, coachwood, she birch, silky oak, black bean, blackwood, colonial pine, teak, rosewood, cedar and beefwood.

Notes: Antedating AND 1904.

Sydney funnel-web n. the dangerously venomous spider, Atrax robusta.

1963 Sydney Morning Herald 4 Nov 3/9
The Sydney funnel-web, Atrax robustus, is known to have bitten 10 people fatally since 1917.

1963 Sydney Morning Herald 4 Nov 3/10
Mr Dunn said last night that so little was known about the Australian Atrax that many experts could not distinguish the eight separate species. This caused a breakdown recently in experiments with Sydney funnel-web spiders at the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, Parkville.

Notes: Antedating AND 1965.

Sydney rock oyster n. an oyster variety well-known.

1866 Brisbane Courier 7 Dec 2/6
First, there were sydney rock oysters and New South Wales lemons, followed by glasses of Riesling[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1868 (in it’s full form).  AND records ‘Sydney oyster’ from 1851.

Sydney sandstone n. sandstone of the Sydney region.

1846 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 12 Aug 1/5
On the cliffs and crags of the great formation and grits, sandstones, and conglomerates, immediately over the coal beds throughout the colony (in tat division, especially, commonly called ‘Sydney sandstone’), there are markings of ferruginous stains[.]

1865 Sydney Mail 4 Mar 4/5
The ground in which the diggers are sinking is the detritus of the Sydney or Hawkesbury sandstone, and the red rock will in all probability be found to consist of the same rock.

1933
Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 10 Oct 12 /4
Sydney sandstone was used extensively in most States for many years.

1955 Sydney Morning Herald 13 Sep 14/10
It is faced with Sydney sandstone and the premises are protected with sprinklers.

1976 Sydney Morning Herald 9 Jun 23/3
Supply and delivery of 25 rock drills suitable for use in tunnelling work and capable of drilling to a depth of 3m in hard igneous rock and Sydney Sandstone.

Notes: Not in AND.

tang n. the White-fronted Chat, Epthianura albifrons.

1900 Robert Hall The Insectivorous Birds of Victoria 129
WHITE-FRONTED CHAT (Jenny-Wren, Tang)[.]

1906 Robert Hall A Key to the Birds of Australia 122
VERNACULAR INDEX ... Tang (White-fronted Chat)[.]

1910 T. Duffield Protected Native Birds of South Australia 20
When disturbed the chat cries ‘Tang,’ and moves away by a series of short, low flights and rapid runs, its tail bobbing as it goes.

1916 The Argus (Melbourne) 5 Dec 5/5
The nest was that of the white-fronted chat (often called the tang).

1916 The Argus (Melbourne) 15 Aug 6/5
The first nest of the white-fronted chat mentioned for this season was found by Annie Jennings... She speaks of the birds as a ‘Ring dove,’ and it has many local names, amongst them that of ‘Tang’ - suggested by the note of the bird - being the most suitable and widely in use in Melbourne.

1918 J. A. Leach An Australian Bird Book 133
White-fronted Chat, Banded Tictac, Tang, Ringlet[.] .. Dull metallic ‘tang.’

1918 J.A. Leach An Australian Bird Book 134
The common Chat is known as a ‘Tang,’ ‘Nun,’ and ‘Tin-tac.’

1923 The Argus (Melbourne) 21 Dec 5/6
The little white-fronted chat, or ‘tang’ as it is commonly called by boys, a ubiquitous bird, is also a great eater of insects.

1923 The Argus (Melbourne) 19 Oct 5/2
A third member of the family, the white-fronted chat - better known as the Tang, Nun, and Tin tack - is common in Victoria, and all three build a little cup nest near the base of a bush, the crimson and orange frequently in what is known as ‘old man saltbush.’

1932 The Argus (Melbourne) 12 Aug 5/2
That beautiful little bird the tang or bush chat is surely among the early breeders.

Notes: Not in AND; so called from the sound of its call; for some reason this bird has attracted more than its fair share of local or common names, of which the AND only records nun; other common names are tang and tin-tack.
 

Tasmanian wolf n. the Tasmanian tiger.

1945 Argus (Melbourne) 28 Apr 9/1
The extraordinary Tasmanian Wolf; that lovely little miniature bear, the Tasmanian Devil; the most beautiful of wallabies, the Toleache; the queer pig-faced Bandicoot; the beautiful brown and white shaded Banded Anteater; the first known of the Rat-Kangaroos, Gaimards, as well as the Rufous Rat-Kangaroo[.]

Notes: Postdating AND 1933.

thumbnail dipped in tar phr. used to describe a roughly written note or letter.

1931 Donald MacDonald The Argus (Melbourne) 13 Oct 5/2
[O]n another trip to New Zealand years afterward I was shown many of those autograph books. Where Banjo came upon my signature he had dropped in a line from Clancy: ‘I think the same was written by a thumbnail dipped in tar.’

1958 G.C. Bolton Alexander Forrest, His Life and Times 70
The Colonial Secretary’s Office during 1886 became used to the sight of these documents - some of them apparently drawn up by ‘a thumb-nail dipped in tar’ - in which the Kimberley miners demanded decent roads to the ports[.]

1972 Peter Mathers The Wort Papers 206
Even thumbnail dipped in tar would be acceptable. I think I reply to this missive on reverse using thumbnail item.

1995 Bill ‘Swampy’ Marsh Old Yanconian Days 18
On occasions Mrs Johnson got one of the ringers to jot a note for her, we all helped Bluey try to decipher the page or so. More often than not, those letters seemed as if they’d been written with a thumbnail dipped in tar.

2007 Tony Reeves Mr Sin: The Abe Saffron Dossier 220
The city planner, John Doran, said the application form looked like it had been filled in with a ‘thumbnail dipped in tar’ and was barely legible.

Notes: Extra evidence to that given in Additions2. Citation 1931 contains an anecdote about Banjo alluding to his own poem.

 

tick-tacker n. an exponent of tick-tacking.

1897 West Australian 30 Dec 6/3
The A.J.C. authorities are determined to put down what is known as ‘tick-tacking,’ as also are other Sydney side clubs. ‘Tick-tackers’ are those who are paid by the bookmakers on the St. Leger reserve and on the flat to give signals in reference to the betting that is taking place in the paddock.

Notes: Antedating OED2 1912, so this would mean the Australian evidence is earliest, though it is most probably earlier in British English, unless we can conceive of this phenomenon being exported from Australia to the UK.

tick-tacking n. a system of hand signals used to impart horserace information illicitly.

1897 West Australian 30 Dec 6/3
The A.J.C. authorities are determined to put down what is known as ‘tick-tacking,’ as also are other Sydney side clubs. ‘Tick-tackers’ are those who are paid by the bookmakers on the St. Leger reserve and on the flat to give signals in reference to the betting that is taking place in the paddock.

1899 West Australian 30 Mar 3/4
Ferry said that the club did not allow ‘tick-tacking,’ and snatched the admission ticker which hung from witness’s coat.

Notes: Antedating OED2 1899, but see notes at tick-tacker.

tin-tack n. the White-fronted Chat, Epthianura albifrons.

1901 Advertiser (Adelaide) 4 Jan 4
Under the Birds Protection Act of 1900 the undermentioned birds are protected during the whole year, according to a notice which appears in the ‘Government Gazette’ this week: ... superb warblers, emu wrens, blue wrens, and wrens of all species, native tits, tintacks and ephthianuras, pipits and larks[.]

1903 Advertiser (Adelaide) 10 Nov 7/3
Mr. J.W. Mellor exhibited the nests and eggs of the tintac (Ephthianura albifrons), and the brown flycatcher (Microeca fascinans).

1907 Advertiser (Adelaide) 29 July 7/3
The shepherd’s companion, or willy wagtail, was busily employed catching gnats and flies, in close company with the white-fronted tin-tacks (Ephthianura albifrons).

1910 Advertiser (Adelaide) 27 Sept 2/8
BIRDS PROTECTED DURING THE WHOLE YEAR ... Tintacks and Ephthianuras.

1917 The Argus (Melbourne) 21 Aug 6/4
A ‘tin tack’s’ nest with three eggs was found on the 24th.

1917 The Argus (Melbourne) 18 Sept 7/3
Young plover were seen as early as August 20, young ‘tin tacks’ (bush chats) on August 15, young magpies on the 18th, while young tits are frequently seen.

1923 The Argus (Melbourne) 19 Oct 5/2
A third member of the family, the white-fronted chat - better known as the Tang, Nun, and Tin tack - is common in Victoria, and all three build a little cup nest near the base of a bush, the crimson and orange frequently in what is known as ‘old man saltbush.’

Notes: Not in AND; in origin probably partially imitative of its tinging, tanging call which sounds a bit like a rubber band being plucked, and partially from ‘tin tack’, another term for thumb tack.

tom bowler n. a large playing marble.

1945 The Argus (Melbourne) 18 Aug 22 S /1
‘Three Tom Bowlers!’ Tom Bowlers were more than an inch across and clear like the glass of a crystal vase.

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions1, 1953.

top off n. an informer.

1941 Kylie Tennant The Battlers iv. 41
‘He’d got his stripes out of information bagmen give ’im, top-offs that thought he was a good cove.’

Notes: AND has 1941 from Baker, but this is from a primary source, not secondary.

top pub n. (preceded by the) one of a pair of public hotels in a two-pub town so designated (as opposed to the bottom pub).

[1926 Ellis Silas A Primitive Arcadia: Being the Impressions of an Artist in Papua 36
[There were two] hotels (known locally as the ‘top pub’ and ‘bottom pub’), and a harbour alive with decrepit schooners, launches and canoes.]

[1975 C. Lesley Andrews Business and Bureaucracy: A Study of Papua New Guinean Businessmen 32
[There were] a few general stores owned by the major commercial companies, and the centres of much activity then as now, the ‘top pub’ and the ‘bottom pub’. The town was clearly a colonial enclave[.]]

1984 Renfrey Clarke The Picket: Tasmanian Mine Workers Defend Their Jobs 14
Sharing the town uneasily with the mine workers are the staff, drinkers in the top pub.

2001 John ‘Bluey’ Bryant Real Aussies Drive Utes II 123
A two-pub town: if you didn’t stop at the top pub, you’d be at the bottom one.

2004 Quentin van Marle Boomerang Road: A Pedalling Pom’s Australian Odyssey. 132
Maclean has this long riverside drive that becomes a curving, sloping main street leading away from the water. By the time I’m at the other end, I’ve counted three pubs, not one of them with the name of Bottom Pub. I stop and ask a man who seems certian to know. He’s got that reddish-blue nose and protruding veins of a clockwork boozer. ‘You’ll be needing the Clarence Hotel’ he grunts. I’m puzzled. ‘The Clarence Hotel is Bottom Pub?’ ‘Yeah. We got three pubs in town. Take no notice of the names on the door, they’re horseshit. We call ’em Top Pub, Middle Pub, an’ Bottom Pub.’

Notes: Not in AND. See notes at bottom pub.
 

tree bear n. a koala.

1920 Argus (Melbourne) 2 Oct 8/5
There are small marsupial rats and mice, rabbits and hares, land herbivora of all sizes, from the small wallabies or large kangaroos, carnivorous forms like the Tasmanian devil and the wolf or thylacine, pouched flying squirrels, pouched ground bears and tree bears.

Notes: Postdating AND 1916.

troppo n. a type of hat.

[1894 Brisbane Courier 16 Nov 5/3
The new Tropo shape, the most becoming sun hat yet introduced.]

[1897 Brisbane Courier 25 Nov 5/6
HELMETS AND SUN HATS. The ‘Tropo,’ the most becoming sun hat yet introduced, free by post to any part of Queensland, 16s.]

Notes: Early evidence of the form, trop(ical) + -o, though unconnected to the later adjectival usage.

un-Australian a.1 in opposition to the Australian character; not fair dinkum, ridgy-didge or true blue.

1855 William Howitt Land, Labour, and Gold II. xxix. 133
Dirt is thoroughly un-English. I wish I could say it is equally un-Australian.

1898 West Australian 4 Mar 3/3
[M]en for whose learning humble folk like myself entertain the highest respect, have protested like ‘Anglo-Australian’ against the un-English, un-Australian name of ‘Westralia,’ and have given good, sound, etymological reasons for their protests.

1917 Mercury (Hobart) 26 Sept 4/5
These men and their action are equally un-Australian and un-British.

1919 The Argus (Melbourne) 29 Nov 24/8
[heading] Un-Australian Unionism

1954 Canberra Times 8 Sept 1/4
[heading] Dr. Page Attacked As ‘Un-Australian’

1970 Barry Oakley A Salute to the Great McCarthy (1971) xiii. 69
‘Listen to me! You work too hard! Even at morning tea time you work, it is un-Australian.’

2009 Townsville Bulletin 24 Jan
A Townsville man has been sacked for ‘un-Australian’ toilet habits. Amador Bernabe, 43, uses water to clean himself instead of toilet paper.

Notes: Not in AND. In the 1898 citation, ‘Anglo-Australian’ is the nom-de-plume of a correspondent. In the 1917 citation  the men were unionists who refused to man a hospital ship.

un-Australian a.2 not typical of Australia.

1855 William Howitt Land, Labour, and Gold II. xxvii. 86
[T]o our left, at some miles distance, we saw what we supposed must be some optical delusion, for it was an appearance perfectly un-Australian.

1882 West Australian 6 June 2/6
In the country near Adelaide the traveller comes across most un-Australian scenes - scenes which, opening upon his view, bringto him vivid reminiscences of the garden-plains of the Rhine[.]

1903 Percy F. Rowland The New Nation 200
[M]ost of it is disfigured by curiously un-Australian Latin tags[.]

1905 E.C. Buley Australian Life in Town & Country 118
Among the pioneer vignerons were many French and German settlers, who have made their picturesque un-Australian homes amid the most pleasant surroundings to be found in all the continent.

1912 Sydney Morning Herald 29 Mar 5/5
In Broome, the pearling capital, 3000 Asiatics crowd the port - Japanese, Chinese, Malays, Cingalese, Filipinos, Javanese and others. It is the most cosmopolitam port on the coast, and presents a most un-Australian aspect.

1954 Canberra Times 8 Sept 2/2
Mr. Fraser had asked whether the Army was proposing to discontinue the issue of the hat and replace it with the ‘un-Australian’ beret.

Notes: Not in AND.

Vic nom. the state of Victoria.

1899 West Australian 25 Dec 9/1
To play the fool within fifty miles of Deniliquin and the rail, and a day’s journey of the old folk ‘down in Vic.,’ was the last thing that Joseph dreamt of doing.

1928 Canberra Times 3 Feb 6/6
[heading] RAIN IN VIC. Heavy In Western District

Notes: Antedating earliest evidence in Additions1, 1902; plus some extra evidence.

washerwoman n. a type of cicada from Eastern Australia.

1908 Sydney Mail 28 Oct 1102/2
Washerwomen, Double Drummers, Floury Bakers, Black Millers, Greenies, Yellow Mondays, and so on, are the names applied to them by the aforesaid boy in respect of their individual peculiarities as regards noise, colour, etc.

1931 Sydney Morning Herald 12 Dec 9/5
An oh! the airs and graces they are giving themselves since one of the Miss Cicadas is engaged to a Black Prince. They get the washerwoman in to do the whole house through; and even let the greengrocer call ever[y] day too, although they never buy a thing, and he firmly believes the only food they have to eat is salad made of leaves.

1960 Sydney Morning Herald 2 Jan 10/1
Washerwoman, Union Jack, Floury Baker, Whisky Drinker and Razor Grinder all looked much of a muchness.

1976 Sydney Morning Herald 26 Dec 17/1
What a variety of splendid names children have given to the more common kinds of cicada in Australia. They include black prince, greengrocer, green Monday, yellow Monday, red eyes, double drummers, washerwoman, razor grinders, floury millers, squeakers, mottled greys and bladders - the last-named having a huge, inflated abdomen.

Notes: Not in AND. I could not determine to which species this name was applied.

weathershed n. a structure providing temporary shelter from inclement weather.

1879 Sydney Mail 14 Jun 950/4
A reply has been sent to the effect that two machinery sheds, covering nearly 100,000 square feet, will be provided, and that probably a space of equal area will be covered by weather sheds suitable for the exhibition of implements, &c.

1880
Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 12 Oct 5/3
TENDERS are invited for the ERECTION AND COMPLETION OF WEATHERSHEDS for Public School, at Branxton.

Notes: Antedating AND 1889.

whacko a. splendid.

1940 Canberra Times 26 Oct 3/5
Tickets may be obtained by ringing the Secretary, Phone Queanbeyan 321. A WHACKO NIGHT FOR ALL.

1940 Sydney Morning Herald 20 Nov 8/3
The foibles of Australian custom and climate came up for the playful trial and sentence in the tropical revue, ‘Whacko.’

1947 Sydney Morning Herald 14 Aug 1/7
‘One word will sum up my comment - whacko!

1947
Sydney Morning Herald 6 Jan 6/3
Dolour said eagerly: ‘There’s a whacko cowboy picher on at the Palace to-night.’

Notes: Antedating AND 1970.

wharf lumper n. a wharf labourer.

1869 Brisbane Courier 18 Dec 3/2
As for landing good with brands placed so as to be visible, that was unheard of labor for wharf lumpers in those days; fosic out draymen amongst great competition; and keep a correct tally - all at the same time.

Notes: Antedating AND 1899.

wheelman n. a surf lifesaver in charge of the belt wheel.

1951 Dymphna Cusack and Florence James Come In Spinner (1960) 238
The wheelman wound the line slowly back on the wheel; the linesmen, bodies bowed to the weight of the beltman and his ‘patient’, drew in the line hand over hand.

Notes: Not in AND. See beltman (above) for more information.

white man n. a non-indigenous Australian of, usually, European descent.

1803 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 10 Apr 3/2
It also appeared, we are sorry to say, that several white men were among the natives[.]

1804 Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 4 Mar 3/1
The people belonging to the Improvement, late from Hunter’s River, report their having been surprised with the appearance of a white man upon Ash Island, which lies in that River, and who, when first discerned, was in the act of charging a musquet.

Notes: Antedating 1833.

willy willy n. a small tornado-like wind.

1880 West Australian (Perth) 17 Feb 3/3
We have forsaken Exmouth Gulf, partly on account of the threatening aspect of the weather - for the ‘Gulf’ is an ugly place in a ‘willi-willy,’ as was proved towards the end of 1875[.]

1885 West Australian (Perth) 13 Apr 3/6
There was a willy willy at Lagrange Bay, when some horses were drowned, but as far as I can learn no other damage was done.

Notes: Antedating AND 1894.

wog a. Middle Eastern.

1942 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 9 Jan 9/4
It was a pleasant relief to be waited on by a white person, after wog servants.

1944 Lawson Glassop We Were the Rats 115
‘Got a meet on with a Wog bint?’ asked Eddie.

1945 Canberra Times 21 Mar 2/4
Determination of the Commonwealth health authorities to keep Australia free from rabies was the main reason behind the destruction of Horrie, the wog dog.

1995 Christos Tsiolkas Loaded (1998) 34
There are some Anglo women who hate wog men[.]

Notes: Adjective not in AND.

wog n.1 a person of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern origin; post-WWII, a New Australian.

1941 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 24 Oct 1/4
I couldn’t make it out for a long time why the wheels of the cart were so close together, till I saw some wogs (natives) carting gravel for the road.

1942 Canberra Times 19 Oct 2/4
All the way up the track you meet small, sturdy natives who pick their way barefoot through the mud quietly and steadily, as though they could go on forever. The boys from the Middle East called them ‘wogs’ at first, because it was their name for the Arabs. Soon they learn the New Guinea Army term, which is ‘boong.’ Before they have been there long they are calling them ‘sport’ which seems to be the 2nd A.I.F.’s equivalent for ‘Digger.’

1942 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 6 Nov 5/2
Native boys are a very fine type, trustworthy and reliable. Most of them speak English - a far superior race to ‘them thieving wogs’!

1945 The Argus (Melbourne) 24 Mar 10/4
If you are going to get a considerable strengthening of population by planned immigration, you will have to break down some of your prejudices, make several sacrifices in the national interest. You will have to do more to absorb the racial minorities in your midst, instead of actually encouraging them to congregate and work together by treating them all as ‘Dagoes,’ ‘Wogs,’ ‘Boongs,’ and those other curious terms which you Australians so readily apply to those you dislike or who don’t look like you.

1947 Sydney Morning Herald 18 Jan 12/6
With the qualified exception of Syria, they will be recalled without affection, and their inhabitants lumped ungraciously in memory as ‘Wogs’ of one degree or another.

1976 Sam Weller ‘Bastards I Have Met’ 87
‘Georgie the Wog’ is a bricky, and a good one - and he’s funny.

1979 Lance Peters The Dirty Half-Mile (1989) III. xii. 317
‘Stuff me! It’s Abou Den Adam!’ said Annie and raised a titter. ‘Show us your ticket, you old desert wog!’

1984 ‘Ken Oathe’ The Real Australian Bloke’s Guide To Survival 14
Foreign Nick Names. They have nick names too. No social comment intended. They’re just nick names, OK? Like: Wog, Dago, Slope, Nugget.

Notes: Extra evidence of early Australian usage of this racist term. As per my previous article (Additions1), I consider this term to be an Australianism as it has a specific meaning here absent from other international usage. The earliest British citation in the OED2 dates from 1929, and the term appears to have made its way into Australian English via troops stationed in the Middle East during WWII; the early Australian usage I have discovered is presented here; the 1941 citation is from a newspaper printing of a soldier’s letter from Cairo; 1942 and 1943 distinguish Middle Eastern people from Papuans, both again in war contexts.

wog n.2 any foreign language, especially southern or eastern European, or Middle Eastern one.

1988 Kylie Mole (Maryanne Fahey) My Diary 72
[S]he can’t see anythink and goes, ‘Romeo, Romeo, where for art thou Romeo?’, which is wog for ‘Where are you?’, and he goes ‘Here,’ and they do it.

Notes: In OED2 as ‘the Arabic language’, dating from 1977, but a definition based on the British application of the racist epithet.

wog n.3 a bug; an insect, grub, centipede or other small lifeform; a wriggler.

1929 The Argus (Melbourne) 31 Aug 10 S /1
If he must have water ‘wogs’ to feed his fish, he thinks nothing of spending £8 or so on a microscope to make sure that he is getting the right ‘wogs’.

1929 Sydney Mail 30 Jan 54/3
The numbers of ants, moths, grasshoppers and weird wogs from the damp garden bed they put away ‘in their warm dark inside cupboards’ would astonish you[.]

1930 Sydney Mail 16 Apr 55/3
The fish were also plentiful here, due to the calm, secluded harbour, where the seaweed encourages worms and ‘wogs;’ so after all, the common swaweeds have their uses.

1937 Sydney Morning Herald 2 Mar 18 S/5
If you have a child who reveals some interst for nature study and possibly clutters up the playroom with boxes containing an assorted collection of beetles, butterflies, and ‘wogs’ or other kinds, do not discourage him[.]

1946 Sydney Morning Herald 6 Nov 5/2
Of course, if it’s just ‘wogs’ you like, Mr. Taylor has a few thousand of them, from six-inch-long leaf-eaters to pinpoint-sized borers.

Notes: Antedating AND 1938. In use ‘wog’ has a very similar application and negativity to the word ‘bug’. AND says of ‘unknown origin’, however, the British dialect verb wog ‘to wag or twitch’ (recorded in the English Dialect Dictionary as from Scotland, Walsall and Cornwall), can be connected with the notion of squirming insects, grubs and bugs (cf. the word wriggler). This also accords well with the 1909 citation in AND in which water beetles are described as ‘wee woggies’, which is clearly a Scottish voice even though in an Australian source; however, woggie does not appear in the Scottish National Dictionary, the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue nor the English Dialect Dictionary. Further connection can be made to woggle ‘to wag’ and pollywog(gle) ‘a tadpole’.

wog n.4 a toy insect in sections that can be put together, used in fund-raising games; frequently used attributively; hence, wogs, the game itself; the game seems to have been popular from the 1920s to the 1950s.

1936 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 26 Jun 4/8
The function was organised by the Church Ladies’ Guild, under the supervison of Mrs. Lowe and Miss Hilliam. Bridge, wogs, and euchre were played[.]

1937 Canberra Times 4 Dec 2/7
The Christmas party of the club is to take the form of a ‘wog’ night and dance at the Lady Houptoun Room, Y.W.C.A., on Thursday evening[.]

1939 Canberra Times 7 Sept 2/3
Northbourne Tennis. The club is holding a wog night at the residence of Mrs. E.W. Solly, Braddon, on Friday.

1939 Canberra Times 13 Sept 2/4
The Canberra Women’s Hockey Association’s annual dinner is to be held at the Y.W.C.A. next Monday. Mrs. P. Tillyard will speak at the dinner which is to be followed by an attractive programme including a play to be produced by Joan Bale, and a game of ‘Wogs.’

1941 Canberra Times 9 July 2/4
Wog Afternoon: On Tuesday, July 15, the Library Committee is arranging a Wog Afternoon at 2.30 p.m. The proceds [sic] will be used for new books for the Library.

1942 Canberra Times 24 June 4/4
At the fortnightly meeting on Friday, Mrs. Top and Mrs. Edwards arranged a wog competition which caused much amusement and resulted in prizes being won by Mrs. May[.]

1944 Canberra Times 9 Aug 4
Miss Joan Binns presided at the monthly meeting of the Girl’s Council held last night when plans were finalised for a ‘Wog’ party to be held in the Lady Hopetoun Room tomorrow night.

1946 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 6 Dec 4/8
Mrs. H. Lingard’s team won a wogs competition.

1952 Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser 19 Dec 10/4
The lucky number went to Mrs, Nicholson, and for the third time at bowls afternoon, Miss Joan Mahoney carried off the wogs trophy.

1954 Canberra Times 3 Mar 5/2
The Civic Young Marrieds’ Club will hold a wogs social in the Y.W.C.A. lounge to-night at 8, when they will welcome Miss Alison Campbell, who has recently arrived in Canberra to take up duties as activities secretary with the Y.W.C.A.

Notes: Not in Baker, Wilkes, AND. Thanks to Bruce Moore for his sterling effort at getting to the bottom of this long obsolete piece of Australiana.

wog n.5 a germ that causes an illness.

1930 The Argus (Melbourne) 15 Oct 9/1
Taxes, tariffs, and trade tribulations never yet justified a glum and gloomy visage...it’s the ‘wogs’ in the blood stream that hamper the smile.

1930 Sydney Morning Herald 7 Oct 6/1
[I]t’s the ‘wogs’ in the blood stream that hamper the smile.

1936 Sydney Morning Herald 10 Mar 5/2
There is nothing mysterious about accidents on the open road or at open-road speeds. They are not due to psychic causes or ‘brain wogs.’

Notes: Antedating AND 1941 (Baker). Once again, a similar application is seen with the term ‘bug’.

wogging n. playing the game of wogs. See wog n.4 (above).  

1937 Canberra Times 15 Dec 6/2
A Christmas social which followed the December meeting of the Canberra branch of the Church of England Men’s Society in Braddon Hall on Monday evening, was a very happy function. ‘Wogging’ was the principal pastime, and those uninitiated into the game have something yet to live for.

Notes: Not in AND.

wolf n. the Tasmanian tiger.

1920 Argus (Melbourne) 2 Oct 8/5
There are small marsupial rats and mice, rabbits and hares, land herbivora of all sizes, from the small wallabies or large kangaroos, carnivorous forms like the Tasmanian devil and the wolf or thylacine, pouched flying squirrels, pouched ground bears and tree bears.

Notes: Postdating AND 1898.

wombat-headed a. boofheaded.

1879 Ned Kelly The Jerilderie Letter 43
[A]nd is my brothers and sisters and my mother not to be pitied also who has no alternative only to put up with the brutal and cowardly conduct of a parcel of big ugly fat-necked wombat headed big bellied magpie legged narrow hipped splaw-footed sons of Irish Bailiffs or english landords[?]

1971 Frank Hardy The Outcasts of Foolgarah xiv. 230 [quoting Ned Kelly]

1972 Arthur Chipper The Aussie Swearer’s Guide 85 [quoting Ned Kelly]

1990 Ignatius Jones True Hip 2
Utterly Unreconstructed Wombat-headed Yobbos[.]

1997 Sonia Gernes A Breeze Called the Fremantle Doctor 138
Mr. Joseph Collier, Esq., a wombat-headed drone who fancies himself a farmer.

1999 David Foster In the New Country 131
‘It was like that here at one time, too. Now we get these wombat-headed politicians.’

2004 James Lambert  The Macquarie Australian Slang Dictionary
wombat-headed dull, stupid, block-headed.

Notes: Not in AND. This delightful coinage of Ned Kelly’s has taken a long time to enter the language, which it has done at only a minor level, but it appears to be used lately without direct allusion to the original; shame that magpie-legged hasn’t taken off in the same way.

woolly woofter n. a male homosexual.

1988 Lennie Johansen The Dinkum Dictionary

1996 Linda Jaivin Rock n Roll Babes from Outer Space 94
By the time Fat Man Two composed himself enough to demand, ‘Where the fuck did that go?’ all he really wanted to do - inexplicably, because he was no woolly woofter, no siree, he was a real man - was dive into One’s daks and worship thoroughly what he found there.

Notes: Antedating earliest citation in Additions1, 1995; plus extra evidence.

Woolworth’s bladder n. a weak bladder.

1989 Hugh Lunn Over the top with Jim viii. 98
[O]ne of us kids got up to use the tall frozen liquid whole egg tin we kept in the hallway for peeing in at night to save having to go downstairs, because Olive said she had ‘a Woolworth’s bladder’.

Notes: Not in AND.

Woop Woop n. an imaginary backward and remote place.

1917 The Argus (Melbourne) 24 Jan 9/6
The questions of ‘Subscriber’ (Geelong) and ‘Numbscull’ (Woop Woop), will be answered in ‘The Australian.’

Notes: Antedating AND 1918.

wopcacker n. Obs. a superlative example of something.

1941 Sidney J. Baker A Popular Dictionary of Australian Slang

1962 Dymphna Cusack Picnic Races (1978) x. 102
‘Yeah,’ Joe agreed, ‘once killed a wopcacker of a tiger-snake just with me army boots.’

Notes: Not in AND. Apparently still common in NZ.

wrap yourself around phr. to eat or drink; to consume.

1959 D’Arcy Niland The Big Smoke x. 219
‘Now listen, I haven’t eaten yet. Feel like wrapping yourself around something, for company’s sake?’

1965 John Wynnum Jiggin’ in the Riggin’ iii. 36

1968 Barry Humphries The Wonderful World of Barry McKenzie 28
Once you’ve wrapped yourself around a few ice colds you’ll feel as though all your birthdays have come at once!

1969 Geoff Wyatt Saltwater Saints i. 28
‘Gawd,’ Tom groaned, as he deeply inhaled. ‘Let’s get inside and wrap ourselves around these. I could eat the meat off a horse.’

Notes: Not in AND.

yabber n. a conversation.

1848 Melbourne Argus 28 Jan 2/4
About a month ago there was a great ‘yabber’ (as the blackfellows call it) concerning his Honour the Superintendant’s visit to this place[.]

Notes: Antedating AND 1855.

yabbying n. catching yabbies.

1930 The Argus (Melbourne) 4 Jan 7 S
A silhouette of a family party returning from a ‘yabbying’ expedition with petrol tins full of tiny crayfish from a dam.

Notes: Antedating verb usage AND 1934.

yarn n. a chat.

1843 The Satirist and Sporting Chronicle (Sydney) 18 Feb 2/2
[H]is employment till nearly noon is peculiarly monotonous - down this street and up that - a yarn with one and a yarn with another, and then comes feeding time[.]

1843 The Satirist and Sporting Chronicle (Sydney) 4 Mar 2/3
Did P. wish to have a yarn with P--s--c, on presentation of a Rosy Apple.

Notes: Antedating AND 1852.

ziff n. a beard [?]

[1886 West Australian (Perth) 10 Dec 3/3
[Y]our correspondent ‘Zif’ was of the opinion that the poeple of Western Australia, had one and all made up their minds in favour of an exchange of their present constitution for one similar to those possessed by their neighbours.]

Notes: Here obviously just a nickname or nom-de-plume, but potentially suggestive of pre-twentieth century existence of ziff ‘beard’, dated to 1917 in AND.

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