1869. J. Townend, 'Reminiscences of Australia,' p. 155:
"The perpetual song of unnumbered locusts."
1885. H. H. Hayter, 'Carboona,' p. 5:
"The deaf'ning hum of the locusts."
1885. F. McCoy, 'Prodromus of the Natural History of Victoria,' Dec. 5, pl. 50:
"Our Cicada moerens . . . produces an almost deafening sound from the numbers of the individuals in the hottest days and the loudness of their noise." "This species (Cyclochila Australasiae) is much less abundant than the C. moerens, and seems more confined to moist places, such as river banks and deep ravines and gullies."
1889. F. McCoy, 'Prodromus of the Natural History of Victoria,' Dec. 11, pl. 110:
"The great size of the muscular thighs of the posterior pair of feet enables the Locusts to jump much higher, further, and more readily than Grasshoppers, giving an example of muscular power almost unparalleled in the animal kingdom."
1896. F. A. Skuse, 'Records of Australian Museum,' vol. ii. No. 7, p. 107:
"What are commonly styled 'locusts' in this country are really Cicadae, belonging to a totally distinct and widely separated order of insects. And moreover the same kind of Cicada is known by different names in different localities, such as 'Miller,' 'Mealyback,' etc. The true locusts belong to the grasshoppers, while the Homopterous Cicadidae have been known as Cicadas from times of remote antiquity."
Locust-tree, of New Zealand. See Kowhai.
Logan-Apple, n. a small Queensland tree, with an acid fruit, Acronychia acidia, F. v. M., N.O. Rutaceae.
Log-hut, n. Log-cabin is American. Log-hut is Australian.
1802. G. Barrington, 'History of New South Wales,' p. 178:
"Not more than ten settlers had been able to erect dwellings better than log-huts." [This was in Sydney, 1796.]
1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discoveries in Australia,' vol. I. c. ix. p. 287:
"Captain Fyans was living in a log-hut on the banks of the Marabool river."
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right,' c. vi. p. 61:
"Log-huts, with the walls built American fashion, of horizontal tree-trunks."
Log-Runner, n. an Australian bird, called also a Spinetail. The species are—
Black-headed— Orthonyx spaldingi, Ramsay;
Spinetailed— O. spinicauda, Temm., called also Pheasant's Mother. See Orthonyx.
Logs, n. pl. the Lock-up. Originally, in the early days, a log-hut, and often keeping the name when it was made a more secure place. Sometimes, when there was no lock-up, the prisoners were chained to heavy logs of trees.
1802. G.Barrington, 'History of New South Wales,' p. 184:
"The governor resolved on building a large log prison both at Sydney and Paramatta, and 'as the affair cried haste,' a quantity of logs were ordered to be sent in by the various settlers, officers and others."
[p. 196]: "The inhabitants of Sydney were assessed to supply thatch for the new gaol, and the building was enclosed with a strong high fence. It was 80 feet long, the sides and ends were of strong logs, a double row of which formed each partition. The prison was divided into 22 cells. The floor and the roof were logs, over which was a coat eight inches deep of clay."
1851. Letter from Mrs. Perry, given in Canon Goodman's 'Church of Victoria during Episcopate of Bishop Perry,' p. 164:
"One [sentry] at the lock-up, a regular American log-hut." [sic. But in America it would have been called a log-cabin.]
1888. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Robbery under Arms,' p. 193:
"Let's put him in the Logs . . . The lock-up, like most bush ones, was built of heavy logs, just roughly squared, with the ceiling the same sort."
1888. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Sydneyside Saxon,' p. 111:
"'He'll land himself in the logs about that same calf racket if he doesn't lookout, some day.' 'Logs!' I says. 'There don't seem to be many about this part. The trees are all too small.'"
Log up, v. to make a log-support for the windlass.
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right,' c. v. p. 54:
"We . . . had logged up and made a start with another shaft."
Lolly, n., pl. Lollies. The English word lollipop is always shortened in Australia, and is the common word to the exclusion of others, e.g. sweets. Manufacturers of sweetmeats are termed Lolly-makers.
1871. J. J. Simpson, 'Recitations,' p. 24:
"Lollies that the children like."
1874. Garnet Walch, 'Head over Heels,' p. 18:
"Common children fancy lollies, Eat them 'gainst their parents' wills."
1882. A. J. Boyd, 'Old Colonials,' p. 16:
"I thankfully expended the one in bile-producing cakes and lollies."
1893. 'Evening Standard' (Melbourne), Oct. 18, p. 6, col. 2:
"Mr. Patterson (musing over last Saturday's experiences): You're going to raise the price of lollies. I'm a great buyer of them myself. (Laughter.) If you pay the full duty it will, doubtless, be patriotic for me to buy more when I go amongst the juveniles."
Long-fin, n. name given to the fish Caprodon schlegelii, Gunth., and in New South Wales to Anthias longimanus, Gunth.
1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish of New South Wales,' p. 33:
"The long-fin, Anthias Iongimanus, Gunth., is a good fish that finds its way to the market occasionally . . . may be known by its uniform red colour, and the great length of the pectoral fins."
Long-Jack, name given to the tree Flindersia oxleyana, F. v. M., N.O. Meliaceae; called also Light Yellow-Wood.
Long-sleever, n. name for a big drink and also for the glass in which it is contained. Perhaps in allusion to its tall, tapering, long shape.
1888. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol. iii. p. 83:
"Their drivers had completed their regulation half-score of 'long-sleevers' of 'she-oak.'"
Long-Tom, n. name given in Sydney to Belone ferox, Gunth., a species of Garfish which has both jaws prolonged to form a slender beak. See Garfish.
Long-Yam. See Yam.
Look, v. tr. to examine.
1874. W. H. L. Ranken, 'Dominion of Australia,' c. vi. p. 105:
"Plains are scoured and every piece of timber looked." [sc. looked-over.]
Lope, n. a slow and steady gallop. From Dutch verb loopen, to leap, to run. The word is American rather than Australian.
1855. W. Howitt, 'Two Years in Victoria,' vol. i. p. 35:
"Every body gallops here, or at least goes at a canter—which they call the Australian lope."
Loquat, a Chinese word meaning "Rush-orange," Photinia japonica. Being highly ornamental and bearing a pleasant stony juicy fruit of the colour and size of a small orange, it has been introduced into nearly all Australian gardens. The name Native Loquat has been given to an indigenous shrub, Rhodomyrtus macrocarpa, Benth., N.O. Myrtaceae.
Lorikeet, n. a bird-name, little Lory (q.v.). The species in Australia are—
Blue-bellied Lorikeet— Trichoglossus novae-hollandiae, Gmel.
Blue-faced L.— Cyclopsitta macleayana, Ramsay.
Little L.— Trichoglossus pusillus, Shaw.
Musk L.— T. concinnus, Shaw.
Purple-crowned L.— T. porphyrocephalus, Dietr.
Red-collared L.— T. rubritorqus, Vig. and Hors.
Red-faced L.— Cyclopsitta coxenii, Gould.
Scaly-breasted L.— Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus, Kuhl.
Swift L.— Lathamus discolor, Shaw.
Varied L.— Trichoglossus versicolor, Vig.
The following table gives Gould's classification in 1848:—
1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. v.
Lathamus discolor, Swift Lorikeet ... ... 47 Trichoglossus Novae-Hollandiae, Jard. and Selb., Swainson's L. ... ... ... ... ... ... 48 T. rubritorquis, Vig. and Horsf., Red-collared L. 49 T. chlorolepidotus, Scaly-breasted L. ... 50 T. versicolor, Vig., Varied L. ... ... 51 T. concinnus, Musky L. ... ... ... ... 52 T. porphyrocephalus, Dict., Porphyry-crowned L. 53 T. pusillus, Little L. ... ... ... ... 54
1890. 'The Argus,' June 7, p. 13, col. 4:
"On the hill-sides the converse of the lorikeets as they drain the honeycups and swing and chatter in low undertones the whole day long."
Lory, n. a bird-name. The word is Malay. (See 'Encyclopaedia Britannica,' vol. xv.) It is often spelt Lowrie in Australia. The species in Australia are—
Crimson-winged Lory— Aprosmictus coccineopterus, Gould.
King L.— A. scapulatus, Bechst.
Red-winged Lory— A. erythropterus, Gmel.
1848. Gould's 'Birds of Australia,' vol. v.:
"Aprosmictus scapulatus, king lory; erythropturus, red-winged lory."
Lotus-bird, n. Parra gallinacea, Temm.; called also the Jacana (q.v.), and the Parra (q.v.).
1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 22:
"The most striking bird on the lagoon is doubtless the beautiful Parra gallinacea, which in Australia is called the lotus-bird. It sits on the leaves that float on the water, particularly those of the water-lily."
Lowan, n. aboriginal birdname for Leipoa ocellata, Gould. The name is used for the bird in Victoria and in the south-east district of South Australia. In the Mallee district, it is called Mallee-bird, Mallee fowl, Mallee-hen (q.v.); in South Australia, Native Pheasant (q.v.); and in various parts of Australia, the Scrub-Turkey. The county called Lowan, after the bird, is in the Mallee country in the west of Victoria. See Turkey.
1888. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Robbery under Arms,' p. 171:
"The Lowan (Mallee-hen, they're mostly called). The Lowan eggs—beautiful pink thin-shelled ones they are, first-rate to eat, and one of 'em a man's breakfast."
1890. A. H. S. Lucas, 'Handbook of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science,' Melbourne, p. 68:
"To the dry, arid Mallee Scrub of the Western District is a radical change of scene. There the so-called Mallee hen, or Native name, Lowan (Leipoa ocellata), loves to dwell."
1896. 'The Argus,' Aug. 4, p. 5, col. 2:
"The postmaster at Nhill had drawn the attention of the Deputy Postmaster-General to the large number of letters which are received there addressed to 'Lowan.' It should be understood that this is the name of a county containing several postal districts, and correspondents should be more specific in their addresses."
Lowrie, n. a bird-name. An Australian variant of Lory (q.v.).
1850. J. B. Clutterbuck, 'Port Phillip in 1849,' p. 40:
"A great many species of the parrot are found; and of these the King Parrot is the most beautiful, and that called the Lowrie is perhaps the most docile."
1890. Lyth, 'Golden South,' p. 127:
"The birds are very beautiful—the Blue Mountain and Lowrie parrots . . .'
Lubra, n. aboriginal name for a black woman. The name comes from Tasmania, appearing first in the form loubra, in a vocabulary given in the 'Voyage de Decouvertes de l'Astrolabe' (Paris, 1834), vol. vii. p. 9, and was obtained from a Tasmanian woman, belonging to Port Dalrymple on the Tamar River. It is probably a compound of the Tasmanian words loa or lowa, a woman, and proi (with variants), big. In Victoria, the use of the word began at the Hopkins River and the vicinity, having been introduced by settlers from Tasmania, but it was generally adopted south of the Murray. North of the Murray the native women were called Gins (q.v.). Both words are now used indiscriminately.
1855. W. Blandowski, 'Transactions of Philosophical Society of Victoria,' vol. i. p. 73 :
"The young man who wishes to marry has first to look out for a wife amongst the girls or leubras of some neighbouring tribe."
1864. H. Simcox, 'Outward Bound," p. 87:
"Many lubras so black with their load on their back."
1885. R. M. Praed, 'Australian Life," p. 23:
"Certain stout young gins or lubras, set apart for that purpose, were sacrificed."
1891. 'The Argus,' Nov. 7, p. 13, col. 4:
"A few old lubras sufficiently dirty and unprepossessing."
1892. Gilbert Parker, 'Round the Compass in Australia,' p. 28:
"Naked, and not ashamed, the old men grey-bearded and eyes bright, watched the cooking of the fish, and the younger, with the lubras, did the honours of reception."
Lucerne, Native, or Paddy, n. i.q. Queensland Hemp. See Hemp.
1895. A. B. Paterson, 'Man from Snowy River,' p. 95:
"And now lies wandering fat and sleek, On the Lucerne flats by the Homestead Creek."
Luderick, or Ludrick, n. an aboriginal Gippsland name for a local variety of the fish Girella simplex, Richards., the Black-fish (q.v.).
Lugg, n. a fish not identified.
"Lug, a kind of fish." ('Walker,' 1827)
1802. Flemming, 'Journal of the Exploration of C. Grimes' (at Port Phillip), ed. by J. J. Shillinglaw, Melbourne, 1897, p. 27:
"Many swans, ducks and luggs."
Lyonsia, n. a Tasmanian plant. See Devil's guts.
Lyre-bird, n. an Australian bird, originally called the Bird of Paradise of New South Wales; then called a Native Pheasant, or Mountain Pheasant, and still generally called a Pheasant by the Gippsland bushmen. The name Lyre-bird apparently began between 1828 and 1834. It is not used by Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales' (1828), vol. i. p. 303. See Menura. The species are—
The Lyre-bird— Menura superba, Davies.
Albert L.-b.— M. alberti, Gould.
Victoria L.-b.— M. victoriae, Gould.
Since 1888 the Lyre-bird has been the design on the eight-penny postage-stamp of New South Wales.
1802. G. Barrington, 'History of New South Wales,' p. 435:
"The Bird of Paradise of New South Wales [with picture]. This elegant bird, which by some is called the Bird of Paradise, and by others the Maenura Superba, has a straight bill, with the nostrils in the centre of the beak."
1802. D. Collins, 'History of English Colony of New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 335:
"Menura superba." [But not the name lyre-bird].
1834. Geo. Bennett, 'Wanderings in New South Wales, etc.,' /vol./ i. p. 277:
"The 'Native or Wood-pheasant,' or 'Lyre bird' of the colonists, the 'Menura superba' of naturalists, and the 'Beleck, beleck,' and 'Balaugara' of the aboriginal tribes, is abundant about the mountain ranges, in all parts of the colony."
1846. G. H. Haydon, 'Five Years in Australia Felix,' p. 132:
"Numerous pheasants (Menura superba). These birds are the mocking-birds of Australia, imitating all the sounds that are heard in the bush in great perfection. They are about the size of a barn-door fowl, and are not remarkable for any beauty either in the shape or colour, being of a dirty brown, approaching to black in some parts; their greatest attraction consists in the graceful tail of the cock bird, which assumes something the appearance of a lyre, for which reason some naturalists have called them lyre-birds."
1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. iii. pl. 14:
"Menura superba, Davies, Lyre-bird; Pheasant of the Colonists. Were I requested to suggest an emblem for Australia amongst its birds, I should without the slightest hesitation select the Menura as the most appropriate, being strictly peculiar to Australia."
1864. J. S. Moore, 'Spring-Life Lyrics;' p. 92:
"Shy as the lyre-bird, hidden away, A glittering waif in the wild."
1867. G. G. McCrae, 'Balladeadro,' p. 30:
"There the proud lyre-bird spreads his tail, And mocks the notes of hill and dale Whether the wild dog's plaintive howl Or cry of piping water-fowl."
1872. A. McFarland, 'Illawarra Manaro,' p. 54:
"The Lyre-bird may yet be seen—more frequently heard—amongst the gullies and ravines. It has the power of imitating every other bird, and nearly every sound it hears in the bush-even that of a cross-cut saw."
1886. J. A. Fronde, 'Oceana,' p. 146:
"Here, too, for the first time, we saw a lyre-bird, which some one had just shot, the body being like a coot's, and about the same size, the tail long as the tail of a bird of paradise, beautifully marked in bright brown, with the two chief feathers curved into the shape of a Greek lyre, from which it takes its name."
1890. 'Victorian Statutes'—Game Act, Third Schedule:
[Close Season.] "Lyre Birds. The whole year."
1893. 'The Age,' Aug. 7, p. vi, col. 9:
"There are more reasons than one why the lyre-bird should be preserved. From a purely utilitarian point of view it is of value, for it is insectivorous and preys upon insects which are apt to prefer orchard fruit to their natural bush food. But the bird has as well a national and sentimental value. Next to the emu it is the most typical Australian bird. It is peculiar to Australia, for in no other country is it to be seen. Comparatively speaking it is a rara avis even in Australia itself, for it is only to be found in the most secluded parts of two colonies—Victoria and New South Wales. It is the native pheasant. The aborigines call it 'Beleck-Beleck,' and whites call it the 'lyre-bird' from the shape of its tail; the ornithologists have named it Menura. There are three species—the Victoriae of this colony, and the Alberta and superba of New South Wales. The general plumage is glossy brown, shaded with black and silver grey, and the ornate tail of the male bird is brown with black bars. They live in the densest recesses of the fern gullies of the Dividing Range with the yellow-breasted robin, the satin-bird, and the bell-bird as their neighbours. They are the most shy of birds, and are oftener heard than seen. Their notes, too, are heard more frequently than they are recognized, for they are consummate mimics and ventriloquists. They imitate to perfection the notes of all other birds, the united voicing of a flock of paraquetts [sic], the barking of dogs, the sawing of timber, and the clink of the woodman's axe. Thus it is that the menura has earned for itself the title of the Australian mocking-bird. Parrots and magpies are taught to speak; as a mimic the lyre-bird requires no teacher."
1893. 'Sydney Morning Herald,' Aug. 9. p. 9, col. 1:
"If the creature was lovely its beauty was marketable and fatal—and the lyre-bird was pursued to its last retreats and inveigled to death, so that its feathers might be peddled in our streets."
Mackerel, n. In Australia, Scomber antarcticus, Castln., said to be identical with Scomber pneumatophorus, De la Roche, the European mackerel; but rare. In New Zealand, Scomber australasicus, Cuv. and Val.
Macquarie Harbour Grape, or Macquarie Harbour Vine, n. the Tasmanian name for Muhlenbeckia adpressa, Meissn. N.O. Polygonaceae; called Native Ivy in Australia. See Ivy and Grape.
1831. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 265:
"That valuable plant called the Macquarie harbour grape. It was so named by Mr. Lempriere, late of the Commissariat at that station, who first brought it into notice as a desirable acquisition in our gardens."
1834. Ross, 'Van Diemen's Land Annual,' p. 133:
"Polygonum adpressum. The Macquarie harbour vine, either as an insignificant trailing plant, or as a magnificent climber, according to the soil and situation, is found on the coast of various parts of Van Diemen's Land, and also as far inland as within about four miles of New Norfolk. This plant has a small but sweet fruit, formed of the thickened divisions of the calyx of the flower, inclosing a triangular seed of unpleasant flavour."
Macquarie Pine, n. See Pine.
Macropus, n. the scientific name for the typical genus of Macropodidae, established by Shaw in 1800. From the Greek makropous, long-footed. It includes the Kangaroo (q.v.) and Wallaby (q.v.). M. giganteus, Zimm., is the Giant Kangaroo, or Forester (q.v.).
Mado, n. a Sydney fish, Therapon cuvieri, Bleek; called also Trumpeter-Perch. Atypus strigatus, Gunth., is also called Mado by the Sydney fishermen, who confound it with the first species. The name is probably aboriginal.
Magpie, n. a black-and-white Crow-Shrike, present all over Australia. He resembles the English Magpie in general appearance, but has not the long tail of that bird, though he shares with him his kleptomania. He is often called the Bush-magpie (q.v.) by townsfolk, to distinguish him from the tamed specimens kept in many gardens, or in cages, which are easily taught to talk. The species are—
Black-backed Magpie— Gymnorhina tibicen, Lath.; called also Flute-Bird (q.v.).
Long-billed M.— G. dorsalis, Campbell.
White, or Organ M.— G. organicum, Gould; called also Organ-bird (q.v.).
White-backed M.— G. leuconota, Gould.
In Tasmania, the name is also applied to the—
Black Magpie— Strepera fuliginosa, Gould; and S. arguta, Gould.
1859. H. Kingsley, 'Geoffr/e/y Hamlyn,' vol. ii. p. 314 [Footnote]:
"Magpie, a large, pied crow.Of all the birds I have ever seen, the cleverest, the most grotesque, and the most musical. The splendid melody of his morning and evening song is as unequalled as it is indescribable."
1869. B. Hoare, 'Figures of Fancy,' p. 97:
"Gay magpies chant the livelong day."
1886. T. Heney, 'Fortunate Days,' p. 47:
"The magpie swells from knoll or silent brake His loud sweet tune."
1887. 'Melbourne Punch,' March 31:
"The magpie maketh mute His mellow fluent flute, Nor chaunteth now his leuconotic hymn."
Magpie-Goose, n. a common name for the Australian Goose, Anseranus melanoleuca, Lath.; called also Swan-goose, and Pied goose. See Goose.
Magpie-Lark, n. an Australian black-and-white bird (Grallina picata, Lath.), resembling the Magpie in appearance, but smaller; called also Pee-wee, and Mudlark, from its building its nest of mud.
1888. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol. ii. p. 235:
"The little magpie-lark. . . . His more elegant and graceful figure remains in modest silence by the hedgerow in the outskirts."
Magpie-Perch, n. a West Australian, Victorian, and Tasmanian fish, Chilodactylus gibbosus, Richards.; not a true Perch, but of family Cirrhitidae.
Magra, n. aboriginal name for the sling or pouch in which the gins carry their children on their backs.
1845. R. Howitt, 'Australia,' p. 185:
"Other lesser brats were in magras, gipsy-like, at their mothers' backs."
On p. 191, Mr. Howitt uses the form "mogra."
Mahoe, n. Maori name for the New Zealand Whitewood-tree, Melicytus ramiflorus, Forst., N.O. Violarieae.
1855. Rev. R. Taylor, 'Te Ika a Maui,' p. 447:
"Mahoe (Melicytus ramiflorus) grows to the height of about fifty feet, and has a fine thin spiral leaf."
1863. Thomas Moser, 'Mahoe Leaves':
[Title of a volume of articles about the Maoris.]
1883. J. Hector, 'Handbook of New Zealand,' p. 130:
"Mahoe, hinahina. A small tree twenty to thirty feet high; trunk often angular and seven feet in girth. The word is soft and not in use. . . . Leaves greedily eaten by cattle."
Mahogany, n. The name, with varying epithets, is applied to several Australian trees, chiefly Eucalypts, on account of the redness or hardness of their timber, and its applicability to purposes similar to that of the true Mahogany. The following enumeration is compiled from Maiden's 'Useful Native Plants'
Mahogany, Tristania conferta, R. Br., N.O. Myrtaceae; called also White Box, Red Box, Brush Box, Bastard Box, Brisbane Box. This bark is occasionally used for tanning.
Bastard Mahogany, or Gippsland Mahogany, or Swamp Mahogany, Eucalyptus botryoides, Smith, N.O. Myrtaceae. The Blue Gum of New South Wales coast districts. Bastard Mahogany of Gippsland and New South Wales; called also Swamp Mahogany in Victoria and New South Wales. It also bears the names of Bastard Jarrah, and occasionally Woolly Butt. Sydney workmen often give it the name Bangalay, by which it was formerly known by the aboriginals of Port Jackson. It is one of four colonial timbers recommended by the Victorian Carriage Timber Board for use in the construction of railway carriages. Specimens from Gippsland (Gippsland Mahogany) are spoken of as "a timber of good colour, as strong as Blue Gum."
Mahogany, or Bastard Mahogany, Eucalyptus marginata, Smith, N.O. Myrtaceae. Universally known as Jarrah. In Western Australia it also bears the name of Mahogany, or Bastard Mahogany.
Forest or Red Mahogany, Eucalyptus resinifera, Smith, N.O. Myrtaceae; called also Jimmy Low (q.v.).
Forest Mahogany, Eucalyptus microcorys, F. v. M., N.O. Myrtaceae. In Queensland it is known as Peppermint, the foliage being remarkably rich in volatile oil. But its almost universal name is Tallow Wood (q.v.). North of Port Jackson it bears the name of Turpentine Tree (q.v.), and Forest Mahogany.
Tom Russell's Mahogany, Lysicarpus ternifolius, F. v. M., N.O. Myrtaceae.
Swamp Mahogany, or White Mahogany, Eucalyptus robusta, Smith, N.O. Myrtaceae, B. Fl. This tree is known as White, or Swamp Mahogany, from the fact that it generally grows in swampy ground. It is also called Brown Gum. This timber is much valued for shingles, wheelwrights'work, ship-building, and building purposes generally. As a timber for fuel, and where no great strength is required, it is excellent, especially when we consider its adaptability to stagnant, swampy, or marshy places.
1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discoveries in Australia,' vol. ii. c. iv. p. 132:
"Mahogany, Jarrail, Eucalyptus, grows on white sandy land."
Ibid. vol. ii. c. iv. p. 231:
"Part of our road lay through a thick mahogany scrub."
Mai, or Matai, n. a New Zealand tree, now called Podocarpus spicata.
1855. Rev. R. Taylor, 'Te Ika a Maui,' p. 440:
"Matai, mai (Dacrydium mai), a tree with a fine thick top, and leaf much resembling that of the yew. The wood is of a slightly reddish colour, close-grained, but brittle, and peculiarly fragrant when burnt. . . . Highly prized for fuel, and also much used for furniture, as it works up easily and comes next to the totara for durability."
1876. W. n. Blair, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. ix. art. x. p. 157:
"I have in this paper adhered to the popular name of black-pine for this timber, but the native name matai is always used in the north."
Maiden's Blush, n. name given to the Australian tree Echinocarpus australis, Benth., N.O. Tiliaceae; and sometimes applied to Euroschinus falcatus, Hook., N.O. Anacardiaceae. The timber is of a delicate rosy colour when cut. The fruit is called Hedgehog-fruit (q.v.). In Tasmania, the name is applied to Convolvulus erubescens, Sims., order Convolvulaceae.
Maire, n. a Maori name applied to three kinds of trees; viz.—
(1) Santalum cunninghamii, Hook., a sandal-wood;
2) Olea of various species (formerly Fusanus);
(3) Eugenia maire, A. Cunn., native box-wood, but now usually confined to N.O. Santalaceae.
1835. W. Yate, 'Some Account of New Zealand,' p. 41:
"Mairi—a tree of the Podocarpus species."
1883. J. Hector, 'Handbook of New Zealand, pp. 132-33:
"Maire—a small tree ten to fifteen feet high, six to eight inches in diameter; wood hard, close-grained, heavy, used by Maoris in the manufacture of war implements. Has been used as a substitute for box by wood-engravers. Black maire, N.O. Jasmineae;also Maire-rau-nui, Olea Cunninghamii. Hook., fil., Black M., forty to fifty feet high, three to four feet in diameter, timber close-grained, heavy, and very durable."
Major Buller, n. name given to one of the fruits of the Geebong tribe. See Geebong.
1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish of New South Wales,' p. 82:
"The Sergeant Baker in all probability got its local appellation to the early history of the colony (New South Wales), as it was called after a sergeant of that name in one of the first detachments of a regiment; so were also two fruits of the Geebong tribe (Persoonia); one was called Major Buller, and the other Major Groce, and this latter again further corrupted into Major Grocer."
Major Groce, or Major Grocer, name given to one of the fruits of the Geebung tribe. See Geebung, /or Geebong/ and quotation under Major Buller.
Major Mitchell, n. vernacular name of a species of Cockatoo, Cacatua leadbeateri, Vig. It was called after the explorer, Major (afterwards Sir Thomas) Mitchell, who was Surveyor- General of New South Wales. The cry of the bird was fancifully supposed to resemble his name. See Leadbeater.
Make a light, expressive pigeon-English. An aboriginal's phrase for to look for, to find. "You been make a light yarraman this morning?" i.e. Have you found or seen the horses this morning?
1859. H. Kingsley, 'Geoffrey Hamlyn,' vol. ii. p. 185 [Footnote]:
"'Make a light,' in blackfellow's gibberish, means simply 'See.'"
Mako, n. originally Makomako. Maori name for a New Zealand tree, Aristotelia racemosa, Hook., N.O. Tiliaceae, often but incorrectly called Mokomoko.
1883. J. Hector, 'Handbook of New Zealand, p. 130:
"Mako, a small handsome tree, six to twenty feet high, quick-growing, with large racemes of reddish nodding flowers. Wood very light and white in colour."
Mako/2/, n. Maori name for the Tiger- Shark. See Shark. The teeth of the Mako are used for ornaments by the Maoris.
Mallee, n. and adj. an aboriginal word. Any one of several scrubby species of Eucalyptus in the desert parts of South Australia and Victoria, especially Eucalyptus dumosa, Cunn., and E. oleosa, F. v. M., N.O. Myrtaceae. They are also called Mallee Gums. Accent on the first syllable. The word is much used as an adjective to denote the district in which the shrub grows, the "Mallee District," and this in late times is generally shortened into The Mallee. Compare "The Lakes" for the Lake-district of Cumberland. It then becomes used as an epithet of Railways, Boards, Farmers, or any matters connected with that district.
1848. W. Westgarth, 'Australia Felix,' p. 73:
"The natives of the Wimmera prepare a luscious drink from the laap, a sweet exudation from the leaf of the mallee (Eucalyptus dumosa"
1854. E. Stone Parker, 'Aborigines of Australia,' p. 25:
"The immense thickets of Eucalyptus dumosa, commonly designated the 'Malle' scrub."
1857. W. Howitt,' Tallangetta,' vol. ii. p. 2:
"This mallee scrub, as it is called, consists of a dense wood of a dwarf species of gum-tree, Eucalyptus dumosa. This tree, not more than a dozen feet in height, stretches its horizontal and rigid branches around it so as to form with its congeners a close, compact mass."
186. W. Howitt, 'Discovery in Australia, vol. i. p. 214 (Oxley's Expedition in 1817):
"The country, in dead flats, was overspread with what is now called mallee scrub, that is, the dwarf spreading eucalyptus, to which Mr. Cunningham gave the specific name of dumosa, a most pestilent scrub to travel through, the openings betwixt the trees being equally infested with the detestable malle-grass."
1883. 'The Mallee Pastoral Leases Act, 1883,' 47 Vict. No. 766, p. 3:
"The lands not alienated from the Crown and situated in the North-Western district of Victoria within the boundaries set forth in the First Schedule hereto, comprising in all some ten millions of acres wholly or partially covered with the mallee plant, and known as the Mallee Country, shall be divided into blocks as hereinafter provided."
1890. 'The Argus,' June 13, p. 6, col. 2:
"Mallee Selections at Horsham. A special Mallee Board, consisting of Mr. Hayes, head of the Mallee branch of the Lands Department, and Mr. Porter."
1893. 'The Argus,' April 24, p. 7, col. 5:
"In the Mallee country there is abundance of work, cutting down mallee, picking up dead wood, rabbit destruction, etc.
1893. A. R. Wallace, 'Australasia,' vol. i. p. 46:
"One of the most common terms used by explorers is 'Mallee' scrub, so called from its being composed of dwarf species of Eucalyptus, called 'Mallee' by the natives. The species that forms the 'mallee' scrub of South Australia is the Eucalyptus dumosa, and it is probable that allied species receive the same name in other parts of the country."
1897. 'The Argus,' March 2, p. 7, col. 1:
"The late Baron von Mueller was firmly convinced that it would pay well in this colony, and especially in the mallee, to manufacture potash."
Mallee-bird, n. an Australian bird, Leipoa ocellata, Gould. Aboriginal name, the Lowan (q.v.); see Turkey.
Mallee-fowl, n. Same as Mallee-bird (q.v.).
Mallee-hen, n. Same as Mallee-bird (q.v.).
1890. 'Victorian Statutes-Game Act, Third Schedule':
[Close Season.] "Mallee-hen, from 1st day of August to the 20th day of December next following in each year."
1895. 'The Australasian,' Oct.5, p. 652, col. 1:
". . . the economy of the lowan or mallee-hen. . . . It does not incubate its eggs after the manner of other birds, but deposits them in a large mound of sand . . . Shy and timid. Inhabits dry and scrubs. In shape and size resembles a greyish mottled domestic turkey, but is smaller, more compact and stouter in the legs."
Mallee-scrub, n. the "scrub," or thicket, formed by the Mallee (q.v.).
1893. A. R. Wallace, 'Australasia,' vol. i. p. 22:
"The flat and, rarely, hilly plains . . . are covered chiefly with thickets and 'scrub' of social plants, generally with hard and prickly leaves. This 'scrub,' which is quite a feature of the Australian interior, is chiefly formed of a bushy Eucalyptus, which grows somewhat like our osiers to a height of 8 or 10 feet, and often so densely covers the ground as to be quite impenetrable. This is the 'Mallee scrub' of the explorers; while the still more dreaded 'Mulga scrub' consists of species of prickly acacia, which tear the clothes and wound the flesh of the traveller."
Malurus, n. the scientific name for a genus of Australian warblers. Name reduced from Malacurus, from the Grk. malakos, soft, and 'oura, a tail. The type-species is Malurus cyaneus of Australia, the Superb Warbler or Blue-Wren. See Superb Warbler, Wren, and Emu-Wren. All the Maluri, of which there are fifteen or sixteen species, are popularly known as Superb Warblers, but are more correctly called Wrens.
1896. F. G. Aflalo, 'Natural History of Australia,' p. 136:
"The Wrens and Warblers—chiefly Maluri, with the allied Amytis and Stipiturus—are purely Australian. They are feeble on the wing but swift of foot."
Mana, n. a Maori word for power, influence, right, authority, prestige. See chapter on Mana, in 'Old New Zealand' (1863), by Judge Maning.
1843. E. Dieffenbach, 'Travels in New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 371:
"Mana—command, authority, power."
1855. Rev. R. Taylor, 'Te Ika a Maui,' p. 279:
"The natives feel that with the land their 'mana,' or power, has gone likewise; few therefore can now be induced to part with land."
1863. F. E. Maning (Pakeha Maori), 'Old New Zealand,' Intro. p. iii:
"The Maoris of my tribe used to come and ask me which had the greatest 'mana' (i.e. fortune, prestige, power, strength), the Protestant God or the Romanist one."
1873. 'Appendix to Journal of House of Representatives,' G. i, B. p. 8:
"The Government should be asked to recognize his mana over that territory."
1881. J. L.Campbell, 'Poenamo,' p. 166:
"We should be glad to shelter ourselves under the mana— the protection—of good old Kanini."
1892. 'Otago Witness,' Dec 22, p. 7, col. 1:
"A man of great lineage whose personal mana was undisputed."
1896. 'New Zealand Herald,' Feb. 14 [Leading Article]:
"The word 'mana,' power, or influence, may be said to be classical, as there were learned discussions about its precise meaning in the early dispatches and State papers. It may be said that misunderstanding about what mana meant caused the war at Taranaki."
Mangaroo, n. aboriginal name for a small flying phalanger with exquisitely fine fur.
1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. ii. p. 217:
"Descending from the branches of an ironbark tree beside him, a beautiful little mangaroo floated downwards on out-stretched wings to the foot of a sapling at a little distance away, and nimbly ascending it was followed by his mate."
Mangi, or Mangeao, n. Maori name for a New Zealand tree, Litsea calicaris, Benth. and Hook. f.
1873. 'Catalogue of Vienna Exhibition':
"Mangi—remarkably tough and compact, used for ship-blocks and similar purposes."
Mango, n. Maori name for the Dog-fish (q.v.), a species of shark.
Mangrove, n. The name is applied to trees belonging to different natural orders, common in all tropical regions and chiefly littoral. Species of these, Rhizophorea mucronata, Lamb, and Avicennia officinalis, Linn., are common in Australia; the latter is also found in New Zealand.
Bruguiera rheedii, of the N.O. Rhizophoreae, is called in Australia Red Mangrove, and the same vernacular name is applied to Heritiera littoralis, Dryand., N.O. Sterculiaceae, the Sundri of India and the Looking-glass Tree of English gardeners.
The name Milky Mangrove is given, in Australia, to Excaecaria agallocha, Linn., N.O. Euphorbiaceae, which further goes by the names of River Poisonous Tree and Blind-your-Eyes—names alluding to the poisonous juice of the stem.
The name River Mangrove is applied to AEgiceras majus, Gaertn., N.O. Myrsineae, which is not endemic in Australia.
In Tasmania, Native Mangrove is another name for the Boobialla (q.v.)
Mangrove-Myrtle, n. name applied by Leichhardt to the Indian tree Barringtonia acutangula, Gaertn. (Stravadium rubrum De C.), N.O. Myrtaceae.
1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 289:
"As its foliage and the manner of the growth resemble the mangrove, we called it the mangrove-myrtle."
Manna, n. the dried juice, of sweet taste, obtained from incisions in the bark of various trees. The Australian manna is obtained from certain Eucalypts, especially E. viminalis, Labill. It differs chemically from the better known product of the Manna-Ash (Fraxinus ornus). See Lerp.
1835. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 99:
"Several of the species yield an exudation in the spring and summer months, which coagulates and drops from the leaves to the ground in small irregular shaped snow white particles, often as large as an almond [?]. They are sweet and very pleasant to the taste, and are greedily devoured by the birds, ants, and other animals, and used to be carefully picked up and eaten by the aborigines. This is a sort of Manna."
1878. R. Brough Smyth, 'The Aborigines of Victoria,' vol. i. p. 211:
"Two varieties of a substance called manna are among the natural products . . . one kind . . . being secreted by the leaves and slender twigs of the E. viminalis from punctures or injuries done to these parts of the tree. . . . It consists principally of a kind of grape sugar and about 5 %. of the substance called mannite. Another variety of manna is the secretion of the pupa of an insect of the Psylla family and obtains the name of lerp among the aborigines. At certain seasons of the year it is very abundant on the leaves of E. dumosa, or mallee scrub . . ."
1878. W. W. Spicer, 'Handbook of Plants of Tasmania, p. viii:
"The Hemipters, of which the aphids, or plant-lice, are a familiar example, are furnished with stiff beaks, with which they pierce the bark and leaves of various plants for the purpose of extracting the juices. It is to the punctures of this and some other insects of the same Order, that the sweet white manna is due, which occurs in large quantities during the summer months on many of the gum-trees."
Manna-Grass. See Grass.
Manna-Gum. See Manna and Gum.
Manoao, n. Maori name for a New Zealand tree, Yellow-pine, Dacrydium colensoi, Hook., N.O. Coniferae.
1889. T. Kirk, 'Forest Flora of New Zealand,' p. 192:
"The wood of the manoao is of a light-brown colour."
Manucode, n. The word is in English use for the bird-of- paradise. It is Malay (manuk-dewata = bird of the gods). The species in Australia is Manucodia gouldii, Grey. See also Rifle-bird.
Manuka, n. the Maori name for Tea-tree (q.v.). Properly, the accent is on the first syllable with broad a. Vulgarly, the accent is placed on the second syllable. There are two species in New Zealand, white and red; the first, a low bush called Scrub-Manuka, L. scoparium, R. and G. Forst., the Tea-tree used by Captain Cook's sailors; the second, a tree Leptospermum ericoides, A. Richard.
1840. J. S. Polack, 'Manners and Customs of the New Zealanders,' p. 258:
"This wood, called by the southern tribes manuka, is remarkably hard and durable, and throughout the country is an especial favourite with the natives, who make their spears, paddles, fishing rods, etc., of this useful timber."
1842. W. R. Wade, 'Journey in Northern Island of New Zealand,' p. 75:
"The Manuka, or, as it is called in the northern part of the island, Kahikatoa (leptospermum scoparium), is a mysterious plant, known in Van Diemen's Land as the tea tree."
1843. E. Dieffenbach, 'Travels in New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 28:
"The manuka supplies the place of the tea-shrub."
1845. E. J. Wakefield, 'Adventures in New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 270:
"[The house] was protected from the weather by a wooden railing filled in with branches of the manuka. This is a shrub very abundant in some parts. The plant resembles the teaplant in leaves and flower, and is often used green by the whalers and traders for the same purpose."
1851. Mrs.Wilson, 'New Zealand,' p. 46:
"It is generally made of manuka a very hard, dark, close-grained and heavy wood."
1867. Lady Barker, 'Station Life in New Zealand,' p. 121:
"The manuka, a sort of scrub, has a pretty blossom like a diminutive Michaelmas daisy, white petals and a brown centre, with a very aromatic odour; and this little flower is succeeded by a berry with the same strong smell and taste of spice. The shepherds sometimes make an infusion of these when they are very hard up for tea; but it must be like drinking a decoction of cloves."
1871. C. L. Money, 'Knocking about in New Zealand,' p. 70:
"Chiefly covered with fern and tea-tree (manuka) scrub."
1872. A. Domett, 'Ranolf,' p. 149:
"Then to a copse of manuka retreat, Where they could safely, secretly commune."
[Domett has the following note—"'A large shrub or small tree; leaves used as tea in Tasmania and Australia, where the plant is equally abundant' (Hooker). In the poem it is called indiscriminately manuka, broom, broom-like myrtle, or leptosperm. The settlers often call it 'tea-broom.'"]
1875. Wood and Lapham, 'Waiting for the Mail,' p. 23:
"A tremendous fire of broadleaf and manuka roared in the chimney."
1889. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol. iv. p. 123:
"Manuka is a shrub which is rampant throughout New Zealand. If it were less common it would be thought more beautiful. In summer it is covered with white blossom: and there are few more charming sights than a plain of flourishing manuka."
Maomao, n. Maori name for a New Zealand sea-fish, Ditrema violacea.
1886. R. A. Sherrin, 'Fishes of New Zealand,' p. 67:
"The delicious little maomao may be caught at the Riverina Rocks in immense quantities."
Maori, n. (pronounced so as to rhyme with Dowry). (1) The name used to designate themselves by the Polynesian race occupying New Zealand when it was discovered by the white man, and which still survives. They are not aboriginal as is commonly supposed, but migrated into New Zealand about 500 years ago from Hawaii, the tradition still surviving of the two great canoes (Arawa and Tainui) in which the pioneers arrived. They are commonly spoken of as the Natives of New Zealand.
(2) The language of the Maori race.
(3) adj. applied to anything pertaining to the Maoris or their language. See Pakeha.
There is a discussion on the word in the 'Journal of Polynesian Society,' vol. i. no. 3, vol. ii. no. 1, and vol. iii. no. i. Bishop Williams (4th ed.) says that the word means, "of the normal or usual kind." The Pakehas were not men to whom the natives were accustomed. So Maori was used as opposed to the Europeans, the white-skins. Kuri Maori was a name used for a dog after the arrival of other quadrupeds called also kuri. Wai maori was freshwater, ordinary as opposed to sea-water. Another explanation is that the word meant "indigenous," and that there are kindred words with that meaning in other Polynesian languages. First, "indigenous," or "of the native race," and then with a secondary meaning, "ours." (See Tregear's Maori Comparative Dictionary,' s.v.)
The form of the plural varies. The form Maoris is considered the more correct, but the form Maories is frequently used by good writers.
1845. E. J. Wakefield, 'Adventures in New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 194:
"The Maori language is essentially a poor one, and possesses in particular but few words which express abstract ideas."
1859. A. S. Thomson, 'Story of New Zealand,' vol. i. c. iii. p. 51:
"No light is thrown on the origin of the New Zealanders from the name Maori which they call themselves. This word, rendered by linguists 'native,' is used in contradistinction to pakeha, or stranger."
1864. Crosbie Ward, 'Canterbury Rhymes,' 'The Runaways' (2nd edition), p. 79:
"One morn they fought, the fight was hot, Although the day was show'ry; And many a gallant soldier then Was bid Memento Maori."
1891. Jessie Mackay, 'The Sitter on the Rail, and other Poems,' p. 61:
"Like the night, the fated Maori Fights the coming day; Fights and falls as doth the kauri Hewn by axe away."
(4) Name given in New South Wales to the fish, Cosis lineolatus, one of the Labridae, or Wrasses.
Maori-Cabbage, n. the wild cabbage of New Zealand, Brassica spp., N.O. Cruciferae, said to be descended from the cabbages planted by Captain Cook.
1855. Rev. R. Taylor, 'Te Ika a Maui,' p. 206.:
"Every recollection of Cook is interesting. . . . But the chief record of his having been on the island is the cabbage and turnip which he sowed in various places: these have spread and become quite naturalized, growing everywhere in the greatest abundance, and affording an inexhaustible supply of excellent vegetables."
1863. S. Butler, 'First Year in Canterbury Settlement,' p. 131:
"The only plant good to eat is Maori cabbage, and that is swede turnip gone wild, from seed left by Captain Cook."
1880. W. Colenso, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. xiii. art. i. p. 31 ['On the Vegetable Food of the Ancient New Zealanders']:
"The leaves of several smaller plants were also used as vegetables; but the use of these in modern times, or during the last forty or fifty years, was commonly superseded by that of the extremely useful and favourite plant—the Maori cabbage, Brassica oleracea, introduced by Cook (nani of the Maoris at the north, and rearea at the south), of which they carefully sowed the seeds."
Maori-chief, n. name given to a New Zealand Flathead-fish, Notothenia maoriensis, or coriiceps. The name arises from marks on the fish like tattooing. It is a very dark, almost black fish.
1877. P. Thomson, 'Transactions of the New Zealand Institute,' vol. x. art. xliv. p. 330:
"Some odd fishes now and then turn up in the market, such as the Maori-chief, cat-fish, etc."
1878. Ibid. vol. xi. art. lii. p. 381:
"That very dark-skinned fish, the Maori-chief, Notothenia Maoriensis of Dr. Haast, is not uncommon, but is rarely seen more than one at a time."
1896. 'The Australasian,' Aug. 28, p. 407, col. 5:
"Resemblances are strange things. At first it would seem improbable that a fish could be like a man, but in Dunedin a fish was shown to me called Maori Chief, and with the exercise of a little imagination it was not difficult to perceive the likeness. Nay, some years ago, at a fishmonger's in Melbourne, a fish used to be labelled with the name of a prominent Victorian politician now no more. There is reason, however, to believe that art was called in to complete the likeness."
Maori-head, n. a swamp tussock, so called from a fancied resemblance to the head of a Maori. (Compare Black-boy.) It is not a grass, but a sedge (carex).
1882. T. H. Potts, 'Out in the Open,' p. 169:
"A boggy creek that oozed sluggishly through rich black soil, amongst tall raupo, maori-heads, and huge flax-bushes."
1892. W. McHutcheson, 'Camp Life in Fiordland,' p. 34:
"Amid the ooze and slime rose a rank growth of 'Maori heads.'"
Maori-hen, n. Same as Weka (q.v.).
Maoriland, n. a modern name for New Zealand. It is hardly earlier than 1884. If the word, or anything like it, such as Maoria, was used earlier, it meant "the Maori parts of New Zealand." It is now used for the whole.
1873. J. H. St. John [Title]:
"Pakeha Rambles through Maori Lands."
1874. J. C. Johnstone [Title]:
"Maoria: a sketch of the Manners and Customs of the Aboriginal Inhabitants of New Zealand."
1884. Kerry Nicholls [Title]:
"The King Country, or Explorations in New Zealand. A Narrative of 600 Miles of Travel through Maoriland."
"Maoriland: an Illustrated Handbook to New Zealand."
1886. Annie R. Butler [Title]
"Glimpses of Maori Land."
1890. T. Bracken [Title]:
"Musings in Maori Land."
1896. 'The Argus,' July 22, p. 4, col. 8:
"Always something new from Maoriland! Our New Zealand friends are kindly obliging us with vivid illustrations of how far demagogues in office will actually go."
Maorilander, n. modern name for a white man born in New Zealand.
1896. 'Melbourne Punch,' April 9, p. 233, col. 2:
"Norman is a pushing young Maorilander who apparently has the Britisher by the right ear."
Maori, White, New Zealand miners' name for a stone. See quotation.
1883. 'A Citizen,' 'Illustrated Guide to Dunedin,' p. 169:
"Tungstate of lime occurs plentifully in the Wakatipu district, where from its weight and colour it is called White Maori by the miners."
Mapau, n. a Maori name for several New Zealand trees; called also Mapou, and frequently corrupted by settlers into Maple, by the law of Hobson-Jobson. The name is applied to the following—
The Mapau— Myrsine urvillei, De C., N.O. Myrsineae; sometimes called Red Mapau.
Black M.— Pittosporum tenuifolium, Banks and Sol., N.O. Pittosporeae; Maori name, Tawhiri.
White M.— Carpodetus serratus, Forst., N.O. Saxifrageae; Pittosporum eugenoides, A. Cunn.; Maori name, Tarata (q.v.); called also the Hedge-laurel (q.v.), Lemon-wood, and New Zealand Oak. See Oak.
The first of these trees (Myrsine urvillei) is, according to Colenso, the only tree to which the Maoris themselves give the name Mapau. The others are only so called by the settlers.
1868. 'Transactions of the New Zealand Institute,' vol. i., 'Essay on Botany of Otago,' p. 37:
"White Mapau, or Piripiri-whata (Carpodetus serratus), an ornamental shrub-tree, with mottled-green leaves, and large cymose panicles of white flowers. . . . Red Mapau (Myrsine Urvillei), a small tree common at Dunedin. Wood dark red, very astringent, used as fence stuff."
1883. J. Hector, 'Handbook of New Zealand, p. 132:
"Tawiri, white-mapou, white-birch (of Auckland). A small tree, ten to thirty feet high; trunk unusually slender; branches spreading in a fan-shaped manner, which makes it of very ornamental appearance; flower white, profusely produced. The wood is soft and tough."
1889. T. Kirk, 'Forest Flora of New Zealand,' p. 75:
"By the settlers it is frequently called 'black mapou' on account of the colour of the bark. . . . With still less excuse it is sometimes called 'black maple,' an obvious corruption of the preceding."
Maple, n. In New Zealand, a common settlers' corruption for any tree called Mapau (q.v.); in Australia, applied to Villaresia moorei, F. v. M., N.O. Olacineae, called also the Scrub Silky Oak. See Oak.
Maray, n. New South Wales name for the fish Clupea sagax, Jenyns, family Clupeidae or Herrings, almost identical with the English pilchard. The word Maray is thought to be an aboriginal name. Bloaters are made of this fish at Picton in New Zealand, according to the Report of the Royal Commission on Fisheries of New South Wales, 1880. But Agonostoma forsteri, a Sea-Mullet, is also when dried called the Picton Herring (q.v). See Herring and Aua.
Marble-fish, n. name given to the Tupong (q.v.) in Geelong.
Marble-wood, n. name applied to a whitish-coloured mottled timber, Olea paniculata, R. Br., N.O. Jasmineae; called also Native Olive and Ironwood.
Mark, a good, Australian slang.
1845. R. Howitt, 'Australia,' p. 233:
"I wondered often what was the meaning of this, amongst many other peculiar colonial phrases, 'Is the man a good mark?' I heard it casually from the lips of apparently respectable settlers, as they rode on the highway, 'Such and such a one is a good mark,"—simply a person who pays his men their wages, without delays or drawbacks; a man to whom you may sell anything safely; for there are in the colony people who are regularly summoned before the magistrates by every servant they employ for wages. They seem to like to do everything publicly, legally, and so become notoriously not 'good marks.'"
[So also "bad mark," in the opposite sense.]
Mariner, n. name given in Tasmania to a marine univalve mollusc, either Elenchus badius, or E. bellulus, Wood.
The Mariner is called by the Tasmanian Fishery Commissioners the "Pearly Necklace Shell"; when deprived of its epidermis by acid or other means, it has a blue or green pearly lustre.
The shells are made into necklaces, of which the aboriginal name is given as Merrina, and the name of the shell is a corruption of this word, by the law of Hobson-Jobson. Compare Warrener.
1878. 'Catalogue of the Objects of Ethnotypical Art in the National Gallery' (Melbourne), p. 52:
"Necklace, consisting of 565 shells (Elenchus Bellulus) strung on thin, well-made twine. The native name of a cluster of these shells was, according to one writer, Merrina."
Marsh, n. a Tasmanian name for a meadow. See quotation.
1852. Mrs. Meredith, 'My Home in Tasmania,' vol. i. p. 163:
"Perhaps my use of the common colonial term 'marsh' may be misunderstood at home, as I remember that I myself associated it at first with the idea of a swamp; but a 'marsh' here is what would in England be called a meadow, with this difference, that in our marshes, until partially drained, a growth of tea-trees (Leptospermum) and rushes in some measure encumbers them; but, after a short time, these die off, and are trampled down, and a thick sward of verdant grass covers the whole extent: such is our 'marsh.'"
Marsupial, adj. See the Noun.
Marsupial, n. an animal in which the female has an abdominal pouch in which the young, born in a very immature state, are carried. (Lat. Marsupium = a pouch.) At the present day Marsupials are only found in America and the Australian region, the greater number being confined to the latter. See quotation 1894, Lydekker.
1848. W. Westgarth, 'Australia Felix,' p. 129:
"The marsupial type exhibits the economy of nature under novel and very interesting arrangements. . . . Australia is the great head-quarters of the marsupial tribe."
1860. G. Bennett, 'Gatherings of a Naturalist,' p. 5:
"I believe it was Charles Lamb who said, the peculiarity of the small fore-feet of the Kangaroo seemed to be for picking pockets; but he forgot to mention the singularity characterizing the animal kingdom of Australia, that they have pockets to be picked, being mostly marsupial. We have often amused ourselves by throwing sugar or bread into the pouch of the Kangaroo, and seen with what delight the animal has picked its own pocket, and devoured the contents, searching its bag, like a Highlander his sporran, for more."
[See Kangaroo, quotation 1833.]
1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' p. 106:
"An Act known as the Marsupial Act was accordingly passed to encourage their destruction, a reward of so much a scalp being offered by the Government. . . . Some of the squatters have gone to a vast expense in fencing-in their runs with marsupial fencing, but it never pays."
1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 29:
"One of the sheep-owners told me that in the course of eighteen months he had killed 64,000 of these animals (marsupials), especially wallabies (Macropus dorsalis) and kangaroo- rats (Lagorchestes conspicillatus), and also many thousands of the larger kangaroo (Macropus giganteus)."
1893. 'Sydney Morning Herald,' Aug. 5, p. 9, col. 1:
"In South Australia the Legislature has had to appoint a close season for kangaroos, else would extinction of the larger marsupials be at hand. We should have been forced to such action also, if the American market for kangaroo-hides had continued as brisk as formerly."
1894. R. Lydekker, 'Marsupialia,' p. 1:
"The great island-continent of Australia, together with the South-eastern Austro-Malayan islands, is especially characterized by being the home of the great majority of that group of lowly mammals commonly designated marsupials, or pouched-mammals. Indeed, with the exception of the still more remarkable monotremes [q.v.], or egg-laying mammals, nearly the whole of the mammalian fauna of Australia consists of these marsupials, the only other indigenous mammals being certain rodents and bats, together with the native dog, or dingo, which may or may not have been introduced by man."
1896. F. G. Aflalo, 'Natural History of Australia,' p. 30:
"The presence of a predominating marsupial order in Australia has, besides practically establishing the long isolation of that continent from the rest of the globe, also given rise to a number of ingenious theories professing to account for its survival to this last stronghold."
Marsupial Mole, n. the only species of the genus Notoryctes (q.v.), N. typhlops [from the Greek notos, 'south' (literally 'south wind'), and rhunchos, a 'snout']; first described by Dr. Stirling of Adelaide (in the 'Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,' 1891, p. 154). Aboriginal name, Urquamata. It burrows with such extraordinary rapidity in the desert-sands of Central Australia, to which it is confined, that, according to Mr. Lydekker, it may be said to swim in the sand as a porpoise does in the water.
Marsupial Wolf, n. See Thylacine and Tasmanian Tiger.
Martin, >n. a bird common in England. The species in Australia are—
Tree, Petrochelidon nigricans, Vieill.;
Fairy, Lagenoplastes ariel, Gould; called also Bottle-Swallow (q.v.).
1896. F. G. Aflalo, 'Natural History of Australia,' p. 128:
". . . the elegant little Fairy Martins (Lagenoplastes ariel), which construct a remarkable mud nest in shape not unlike a retort."
Mary, n. used in Queensland of the aborigines, as equivalent to girl or woman. "A black Mary." Compare "Benjamin," used for husband.
Matagory, n. a prickly shrub of New Zealand, Discaria toumatou, Raoul.; also called Wild Irishman (q.v.). The Maori name is Tumatahuru, of which Matagory, with various spellings, is a corruption, much used by rabbiters and swagmen. The termination gory evidently arises by the law of Hobson-Jobson from the fact that the spikes draw blood.
1859. J. T. Thomson, in 'Otago Gazette,' Sept. 22, p. 264:
"Much over-run with the scrub called 'tomata-guru.'"
Alex. Garvie, ibid. p. 280:
"Much of it is encumbered with matakura scrub."
1892. W. McHutcheson, 'Camp Life in Fiordland,' p. 8:
"Trudging moodily along in Indian file through the matagouri scrub and tussock."
1896. 'Otago Witness,' 7th May, p. 48:
"The tea generally tastes of birch or Matagouri."
Matai, often abridged to Mai, n. Maori name for a New Zealand tree, Podocarpus spicata, R. Br., N.O. Coniferae. Black-pine of Otago.
1883. J. Hector, 'Handbook of New Zealand,' p. 124:
"Mr. Buchanan has described a log of matai that he found had been exposed for at least 200 years in a dense damp bush in North-East Valley, Dunedin, as proved by its being enfolded by the roots of three large trees of Griselinia littoralis."
Match-box Bean, n. another name for the ripe hard seed of the Queensland Bean, Entada scandens, Benth., N.O. Leguminosae. A tall climbing plant. The seeds are used for match-boxes. See under Bean.
Matipo, n. another Maori name for the New Zealand trees called Mapau (q.v.).
1866. Lady Barker, 'Station Life in New Zealand' (ed. 1886), p. 94:
"The varieties of matapo, a beautiful shrub, each leaf a study, with its delicate tracery of black veins on a yellow-green ground."
1879. J. B. Armstrong, 'Transactions of the New Zealand Institute,' vol. xxi. art. xlix. p. 329:
"The tipau, or matipo (pittosporum tenuifolium), makes the best ornamental hedge I know of."
1879. 'Tourist,' 'New Zealand Country Journal,' vol. iii. p. 93:
"An undergrowth of beautiful shrubs, conspicuous amongst these were the Pittosporum or Matipo, which are, however, local in their distribution, unlike the veronicas, which abound everywhere."
Meadow Rice-grass, n. See Grass.
Mealy-back, n. a local name for the Locust (q.v.).
Medicine-tree, i.q. Horse-radish Tree (q.v.).
Megapode, n. scientific name for a genus of Australian birds with large feet—the Mound-birds (q.v.). From Greek megas, large, and pous, podos, a foot. They are also called Scrub fowls.
Melitose, n. the name given by Berthelot to the sugar obtained from the manna of Eucalyptus mannifera. Chemically identical with the raffinose extracted from molasses and the gossypose extracted from cotton-seeds.
1894. 'The Australasian,' April 28, p. 732, col. 1:
[Statement as to origin of melitose by the Baron von Mueller.] "Sir Frederick M'Coy has traced the production of mellitose also to a smaller cicade."
Melon, n. Besides its botanical use, the word is applied in Australia to a small kangaroo, the Paddy-melon (q.v.).
Melon-hole, n. a kind of honey-combing of the surface in the interior plains, dangerous to horsemen, ascribed to the work of the Paddy-melon. See preceding word, and compare the English Rabbit-hole. The name is often given to any similar series of holes, such as are sometimes produced by the growing of certain plants.
1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 9:
"The soil of the Bricklow scrub is a stiff clay, washed out by the rains into shallow holes, well known by the squatters under the name of melon-holes."
Ibid. p: 77:
"A stiff, wiry, leafless, polyganaceous plant grows in the shallow depressions of the surface of the ground, which are significantly termed by the squatters 'Melon-holes,' and abound in the open Box-tree flats."
1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' p. 220:
"The plain is full of deep melon-holes, and the ground is rotten and undermined with rats."
Menindie Clover, n. See Clover.
Menura, n. the scientific name of the genus of the Lyre-bird (q.v.), so called from the crescent-shaped form of the spots on the tail; the tail itself is shaped like a lyre. (Grk. maen, moon, crescent, and 'oura, tail.) The name was given by General Davies in 1800.
1800. T. Davies, 'Description of Menura superba,' in 'Transactions of the Linnaean Society' (1802), vol. vi. p. 208:
"The general colour of the under sides of these two [tail] feathers is of a pearly hue, elegantly marked on the inner web with bright rufous-coloured crescent-shaped spots, which, from the extraordinary construction of the parts, appear wonderfully transparent."
Mere, or Meri, n. (pronounced merry), a Maori war-club; a casse-te^te, or a war-axe, from a foot to eighteen inches in length, and made of any suitable hard material—stone, hard wood, whalebone. To many people out of New Zealand the word is only known as the name of a little trinket of greenstone (q.v.) made in imitation of the New Zealand weapon in miniature, mounted in gold or silver, and used as a brooch, locket, ear-ring, or other article of jewelry.
1830. J. D. Lang, 'Poems' (edition 1873), p. 116:
"Beneath his shaggy flaxen mat The dreadful marree hangs concealed."
1851. Mrs. Wilson, 'New Zealand,' p. 48:
"The old man has broken my head with his meri."
1859. A. S. Thomson, 'Story of New Zealand,' p. 140:
"Of these the greenstone meri was the most esteemed. It weighs six pounds, is thirteen inches long, and in shape resembles a soda-water bottle flattened. In its handle is a hole for a loop of flax, which is twisted round the wrist. Meris are carried occasionally in the girdle, like Malay knives. In conflicts the left hand grasped the enemy's hair, and one blow from the meri on the head produced death."
188]. J. Bonwick, 'Romance of Wool Trade,' p. 229:
"A land of musket and meri-armed warriors, unprovided with a meat supply, even of kangaroo."
1889. Jessie Mackay, 'The Spirit of the Rangatira,' p. 16:
"He brandished his greenstone mere high, And shouted a Maori battle-cry."
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right,' c. iii. p. 33:
"'No, no, my peg; I thrust it in with this meri,' yells Maori Jack, brandishing his war-club."
Merinoes, Pure, n. a term often used, especially in New South Wales, for the 'very first families,' as the pure merino is the most valuable sheep.
1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 116:
"Next we have the legitimates . . . such as have legal reasons for visiting this colony; and the illegitimates, or such as are free from that stigma. The pure merinos are a variety of the latter species, who pride themselves on being of the purest blood in the colony."
Mersey Jolly-tail, n. See Jolly-tail.
Message-stick, n. The aboriginals sometimes carve little blocks of wood with various marks to convey messages. These are called by the whites, message-sticks.
Messmate, n. name given to one of the Gum-trees, Eucalyptus amygdalina, Labill., and often to other species of Eucalypts, especially E. obliqua, L'Herit. For origin of this curious name, see quotation, 1889.
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 429:
"It is also known by the name of 'Messmate,' because it is allied to, or associated with, Stringy-bark. This is probably the tallest tree on the globe, individuals having been measured up to 400 ft., 410 ft., and in one case 420 ft., with the length of the stem up to the first branch 295 ft. The height of a tree at Mt. Baw Baw (Victoria) is quoted at 471 ft."
1890. 'The Argus,' June 7, p. 13, col1. 4:
"Away to the north-east a wooded range of mountains rolls along the skyline, ragged rents showing here and there where the dead messmates and white gums rise like gaunt skeletons from the dusky brown-green mass into which distance tones the bracken and the underwood."
Mia-mia, n. an aboriginal hut. The word is aboriginal, and has been spelt variously. Mia-mia is the most approved spelling, mi-mi the most approved pronunciation. See Humpy.
1845. R. Howitt, 'Australia,' p. 103:
"There she stood in a perfect state of nudity, a little way from the road, by her miam, smiling, or rather grimacing."
1852. Letter from Mrs. Perry, given in Canon Goodman's Church in Victoria during Episcopate of Bishop Perry,' p. 167:
"We came upon the largest (deserted) native encampment we had ever seen. One of the mia-mias (you know what that is by this time—the a is not sounded) was as large as an ordinary sized circular summer-house, and actually had rude seats all round, which is quite unusual. It had no roof, they never have, being mere break-weathers, not so high as a man's shoulder."
1855. W. Howitt, 'Two Years in Victoria,' vol. i. p. 366:
"They constructed a mimi, or bower of boughs on the other, leaving portholes amongst the boughs towards the road."
1858. T. McCombie, 'History of Victoria,' c. vii. p. 96:
"Their thoughts wandered to their hunting-grounds and mia-mias on the Murray."
1861. T. McCombie, 'Australian Sketches,' p. 15:
[Notice varied spelling in the same author.] "Many of the diggers resided under branches of trees made into small 'miams' or 'wigwams.'"
1871. C. L. Money, 'Knocking About in New Zealand,' p. 42:
"The next day I began building a little 'mi-mi,' to serve as a resting-place for the night in going back at any time for supplies."
1883. E. M. Curr, 'Recollections of Squatting in Victoria' (1841-1851), p. 148:
"Of the mia-mias, some were standing; others had, wholly or in part, been thrown down by their late occupants."
1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 32:
"A few branches thrown up against the prevailing wind, in rude imitation of the native mia-mia."
1889. Rev. J. H. Zillmann, 'Australian Life,' p. 111:
"[The blacks] would compel [the missionaries] to carry their burdens while travelling, or build their mia-mias when halting to camp for the night; in fact, all sorts of menial offices had to be discharged by the missionaries for these noble black men while away on the wilds!"
[Footnote]: "Small huts, made of bark and leafy boughs, built so as to protect them against the side from which the wind blew."
Micky, n. young wild bull. "Said to have originated in Gippsland, Victoria. Probably from the association of bulls with Mickeys, or Irishmen." (Barere and Leland.)
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xviii. p. 217:
"The wary and still more dangerously sudden 'Micky,' a two-year-old bull."
Micky/2/, n. In New Zealand, a corruption of Mingi (q.v.).
Midwinter, n. The seasons being reversed in Australia, Christmas occurs in the middle of summer. The English word Midsummer has thus dropped out of use, and "Christmas," or Christmas-time, is its Australian substitute, whilst Midwinter is the word used to denote the Australian winter-time of late June and early July. See Christmas.
Mignonette, Native, n. a Tasmanian flower, Stackhousia linariaefolia, Cunn., N.O. Stackhouseae.
Mihanere, n. a convert to Christianity; a Maori variant of the English word Missionary.
1845. E. J. Wakefield, 'Adventures in New Zealand,' vol. ii. pp. 11, 12:
"The mihanere natives, as a body, were distinctly inferior in point of moral character to the natives, who remained with their ancient customs unchanged. . . . A very common answer from a converted native, accused of theft, was, 'How can that be? I am a mihanere.' . . . They were all mihanere, or converts."
Milk-bush, n. a tall Queensland shrub, Wrightia saligna, F. v. M., N.O. Apocyneae; it is said to be most valuable as a fodder-bush.
Milk-fish, n. The name, in Australia, is given to a marine animal belonging to the class Holothurioidea. The Holothurians are called Sea-cucumbers, or Sea-slugs. The Trepang, or be^che-de-mer, eaten by the Chinese, belongs to them. Called also Tit-fish (q.v.).
1880. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Proceedings of the Linnaean Society of New South Wales,' vol. v. pt. ii. p. 128:
"Another species [of Trepang] is the 'milk fish' or 'cotton fish,' so called from its power of emitting a white viscid fluid from its skin, which clings to an object like shreds of cotton."
Milk-plant, n. i.q. Caustic Creeper (q.v.).
Milk-tree, n. a New Zealand tree, Epicarpurus microphyllus, Raoul.
1873. 'Catalogue of Vienna Exhibition':
"Milk-tree . . . a tall slender tree exuding a milky sap: wood white and very brittle."
Milk-wood, n. a Northern Territory name for Melaleuca leucadendron, Linn.; called also Paperbark-tree (q.v.).
Miller, n. a local name for the Cicada. See Locust (quotation, 1896).
Millet, n. The name is given to several Australian grasses. The Koda Millet of India, Paspalum scrobiculatum, Linn., is called in Australia Ditch Millet; Seaside Millet is the name given to Paspalum distichum, Linn., both of the N.O. Gramineae. But the principal species is called Australian Millet, Native Millet, and Umbrella Grass; it is Panicum decompositum, R. Br., N.O. Gramineae; it is not endemic in Australia.
1896. 'The Australasian,' March 14, p. 488, col. 5:
"One of the very best of the grasses found in the hot regions of Central Australia is the Australian millet, Panicum decompositum. It is extremely hardy and stands the hot dry summers of the north very well; it is nutritious, and cattle and sheep are fond of it. It seeds freely, was used by the aborigines for making a sort of cake, and was the only grain stored by them. This grass thrives in poor soil, and starts into rapid growth with the first autumn rains."
Mimosa, n. a scientific name applied to upwards of two hundred trees of various genera in the Old World. The genus Mimosa, under which the Australian trees called Wattles were originally classed, formerly included the Acacias. These now constitute a separate genus. Acacia is the scientific name for the Wattle; though even now an old colonist will call the Wattles "Mimosa."
1793. J. E. Smith, 'Specimen of Botany of New Holland,' p. 52:
"This shrub is now not uncommon in our greenhouses, having been raised in plenty from seeds brought from Port Jackson. It generally bears its fragrant flowers late in the autumn, and might then at first sight be sooner taken for a Myrtus than a Mimosa."
1802. Jas. Flemming, 'Journal of Explorations of Charles Grimes,' in 'Historical Records of Port Phillip' (ed. 1879, J. J. Shillinglaw), p. 25:
"Timber; gum, Banksia, oak, and mimosa of sorts, but not large except the gum."
1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 202:
"Gum-arabic, which exudes from the mimosa shrubs."
1844. 'Port Phillip Patriot,' July 18, p. 4, col. 2:
"'Cashmere' shawls do not grow on the mimosa trees."
1845. J. O. Balfour, 'Sketch of New South Wales,' p. 38:
"The mimosa is a very graceful tree; the foliage is of a light green colour. . . . The yellow flowers with which the mimosa is decked throw out a perfume sweeter than the laburnum; and the gum . . . is said not to be dissimilar to gum-arabic."
1845. R. Howitt, 'Australia,' p. 175:
"But, Yarra, thou art lovelier now, With clouds of bloom on every bough; A gladsome sight it is to see, In blossom thy mimosa tree. Like golden-moonlight doth it seem, The moonlight of a heavenly dream; A sunset lustre, chaste and cold, A pearly splendour blent with gold."
"To the River Yarra."
1848. W. Westgarth, 'Australia Felix,' p. 255:
"The other exports of Australia Felix consist chiefly of tallow, cured beef and mutton, wheat, mimosa-bark, and gumwood."
1849. J. P. Townsend, 'Rambles in New South Wales,' p. 34:
"The mimosa—although it sadly chokes the country—when in flower, fills the air with fragrance. Its bark is much used for tanning purposes; and the gum that exudes from the stem is of some value as an export, and is used by the blacks as food."
1870. F. S. Wilson, 'Australian Songs,' p. 29:
"I have sat, and watched the landscape, latticed by the golden curls, Showering, like mimosa-blooms, in scented streams about my breast."
Minah, n. (also Myna, Mina, and Minah-bird, and the characteristic Australian change of Miner). From Hindustani maina, a starling. The word is originally applied in India to various birds of the Starling kind, especially to Graculus religiosa, a talking starling or grackle. One of these Indian grackles, Acridotheres tristis, was acclimatised in Melbourne, and is now common to the house-tops of most Australian towns. He is not Australian, but is the bird generally referred to as the Minah, or Minah- bird. There are Minahs native to Australia, of which the species are—
Bell-Mina— Manorhina melanophrys, Lath.
Bush-M.— Myzantha garrula, Lath.
Dusky-M.— M. obscura, Gould.
Yellow-M.— M. lutea, Gould.
Yellow-throated M.— M. flavigula, Gould.
1803. Lord Valentia, 'Voyages,' vol. i. p. 227 [Stanford]:
"During the whole of our stay two minahs were talking most incessantly."
1813. J. Forbes, 'Oriental Memoirs,' vol. i. p. 47 [Yule]:
"The mynah is a very entertaining bird, hopping about the house, and articulating several words in the manner of the starling."
1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. iv. pl. 40:
"While at other times, like the miners (genus, Myzantha), it soars from tree to tree with the most graceful and easy movement."
Ibid. vol. iv. pl. 76:
"Myzantha garrula, Vig. and Horsf, Garrulous Honey-eater; miner, Colonists of Van Diemen's Land, M. flavigula, Gould, Yellow-Throated miner."
1861. Mrs. Meredith, 'Over the Straits,' vol. i. p. 33:
"His common name . . . is said to be given from his resemblance to some Indian bird called mina or miner."
1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 72:
"The Indian minah is as much at home, and almost as presumptuous, as the sparrow."
(p. 146): "Yellow-legged minahs, tamest of all Australian birds."
1890. Tasma, 'In her Earliest Youth,' p. 265:
"The plaintive chirp of the mina."
Miner's Right, n. the licence to dig for gold. See quotation.
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'The Miner's Right,' p. 1:
"A miner's right, a wonderful document, printed and written on parchment, precisely as follows."
[A reduced facsimile is given.]
Ibid. p. 106:
"You produce your Miner's Right . . . The important piece of parchment, about the size of a bank-cheque, was handed to the Court."
Mingi, n. originally mingi mingi, Maori name for a New Zealand shrub or small tree, Cyathodes acerosa, R. Br., N.O. Epacrideae. In south New Zealand it is often called Micky.
Minnow, n. name sometimes given to a very small fish of New Zealand, Galaxias attenuatus, Jenyns, family Galaxidae; called also Whitebait (q.v.). The Maori name is Inanga (q.v.).
Mint, Australian or Native, n. a plant, Mentha australis, R. Br., N.O. Labiatea. This herb was largely used by the early colonists of South Australia for tea. Many of the plants of the genus Mentha in Australia yield oil of good flavour, among them the common Pennyroyal.
Mint-tree, n. In Australia, the tree is Prostanthera lasiantha, Labill., N.O. Labiateae.
Mirnyong, n. aboriginal name for a shell-mound, generally supposed to be Victorian, but, by some, Tasmanian.
1888. R. M. Johnston, 'Geology of Tasmania,' p. 337:
"With the exception of their rude inconspicuous flints, and the accumulated remains of their feasts in the 'mirnyongs,' or native shell-mounds, along our coasts, which only have significance to the careful observer, we have no other visible evidence of their former existence."
1893. R. Etheridge, jun., 'Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,' p. 21 [Title of Paper]:
"The Mirrn-yong heaps at the North-West bank of the River Murray."
Miro, n. (1) Maori name for a Robin (q.v.), and adopted as the scientific name of a genus of New Zealand Robins. The word is shortened form of Miro-miro.
1855. Rev. R. Taylor, 'Te Ika a Maui,' p. 403:
"Miro-miro (Miro albifrons). A little black-and-white bird with a large head; it is very tame, and has a short melancholy song. The miro toi-toi (muscicapa toi-toi) is a bird not larger than the tom-tit. Its plumage is black and white, having a white breast and some of the near feathers of each wing tinged with white."
1879. W. Colenso, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. xii. art. vii. p. 119:
"Proverb 28: Ma to kanohi miro-miro, [signifying] 'To be found by the sharp-eyed little bird.' Lit. 'For the miro-miro's eye.' Used as a stimulus to a person searching for anything lost. The miro-miro is the little petroica toi-toi, which runs up and down trees peering for minute insects in the bark."
1882. W. L. Buller, 'Manual of the Birds of New Zealand,' p. 23:
"The Petroeca Iongipes is confined to the North Island, where it is very common in all the wooded parts of the country; but it is represented in the South Island by a closely allied and equally common species, the miro albifrons."
(2) Maori name for a New Zealand tree, Podocarpus ferruginea, Don., N.O. Coniferae; the Black-pine of Otago.
1875. T. Laslett, 'Timber and Timber Trees,' p. 308:
"The miro-tree (Podocarpus ferruginea) is found in slightly elevated situations in many of the forests in New Zealand. Height about sixty feet. The wood varies from light to dark-brown in colour, is close in grain, moderately hard and heavy, planes up well, and takes a good polish."
1889. T. Kirk, 'Forest Flora of New Zealand,' p. 163:
"The Miro is a valuable tree, common in all parts of the colony. . . . It is usually distinguished by its ordinary native name."
Mistletoe, n. The name is given to various species of trees of several genera—
(1) In Australia, generally, to various species of Loranthus, N.O. Loranthaceae. There are a great number, they are very common on the Eucalypts, and they have the same viscous qualities as the European Mistletoes.
(2) In Western Australia, to Nuytsia floribunda, R. Br., N.O. Loranthaceae, a terrestrial species attaining the dimensions of a tree—the Flame-tree (q.v.) of Western Australia—and also curiously called there a Cabbage- tree.
(3) In Tasmania, to Cassytha pubescens, R. Br., N.O. Lauraceae.
1877. F. v. Mueller, 'Botanic Teachings, p. 43:
"The English mistletoe is the well-known Viscum album, whereas all the Victorian kinds belong to the genus Loranthus, of which the Mediterranean L. Europaeus is the prototype. The generic name arose in allusion to the strap-like narrowness of the petals."
[Greek lowron, from Lat. lorum, a thong, and 'anthos, a flower.]
Mitchell-Grass, n. an Australian grass, Astrebla elymoides, A. triticoides, F. v. M., N.O. Gramineae. Two other species of Astrebla are also called "Mitchell-grasses." See Grass.
1883. F. M. Bailey, 'Synopsis of Queensland Flora,' p. 660:
"Used for food by the natives. The most valuable fodder-grass of the colony. True Mitchell-grass."
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 78:
"Mitchell-grass. The flowering spikes resemble ears of wheat. . . . It is by no means plentiful."
Moa, n. The word is Maori, and is used by that race as the name of the gigantic struthious bird of New Zealand, scientifically called Dinornis (q.v.). It has passed into popular Australasian and English use for all species of that bird. A full history of the discovery of the Moa, of its nature and habits, and of the progress of the classification of the species by Professor Owen, from the sole evidence of the fossil remains of its bones, is given in the Introduction to W. L. Buller's 'Birds of New Zealand,' Vol. i. (pp. xviii-xxxv).
1820. 'Grammar and Vocabulary of New Zealand Language' (Church Missionary Society), p. 181:
"Moe [sic], a bird so called."
1839. 'Proceedings of Zoological Society,' Nov. 12:
[Description by Owen of Dinornis without the name of Moa. It contained the words—
"So far as my skill in interpreting an osseous fragment may be credited, I am willing to risk the reputation for it, on the statement that there has existed, if there does not now exist, in New Zealand a Struthious bird, nearly, if not quite equal in size to the Ostrich."]
1844. Ibid. vol. iii. pt. iii. p. 237:
[Description of Dinornis by Owen, in which he names the Moa, and quotes letter from Rev. W. (afterwards Bishop) Williams, dated Feb. 28, 1842, "to which they gave the name of Moa."]
1848. W. Westgarth, 'Australia Felix,' p. 137:
"The new genus Dinornis, which includes also the celebrated moa, or gigantic bird of New Zealand, and bears some resemblance to the present Apteryx, or wingless bird of that country . . . The New Zealanders assert that this extraordinary bird was in existence in the days of their ancestors, and was finally destroyed by their grandfathers."
1867. F. Hochstetter, 'New Zealand' (English translation), p. 214:
"First among them were the gigantic wingless Moas, Dinornis and Palapteryx, which seem to have been exterminated already about the middle of the seventeenth century."
[Query, eighteenth century?]
1867. Ibid. p. 181:
"By the term 'Moa' the natives signify a family of birds, that we know merely from bones and skeletons, a family of real giant-birds compared with the little Apterygides."
[Footnote]: "Moa or Toa, throughout Polynesia, is the word applied to domestic fowls, originating perhaps from the Malay word mua, a kind of peasants [sic]. The Maoris have no special term for the domestic fowl."
1888. W. L. Buller, 'Birds of New Zealand,' Introduction, p. lvi. [Footnote]:
"I have remarked the following similarity between the names employed in the Fijian and Maori languages for the same or corresponding birds: Toa (any fowl-like kind of bird) = Moa (Dinornis)."
Mob, n. a large number, the Australian noun of multitude, and not implying anything low or noisy. It was not used very early, as the first few of the following quotations show.
1811. G. Paterson, 'History of New South Wales,' p. 530:
"Besides herds of kangaroos, four large wolves were seen at Western Port."
1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia':
[p. 110]: "Herds of kangaroos."
[p. 139]: "An immense herd of kangaroos."
[p. 196]: "Flocks of kangaroos of every size."
1835. T. B. Wilson, 'Voyage round the World,' p. 243:
"We started several flocks of kangaroos."
1836. Dec. 26, Letter in 'Three Years' Practical Experience of a Settler in New South Wales,' p.44:
"A man buying a flock of sheep, or a herd of cattle . . . While I watched the mop I had collected." [This, thus spelt, seems the earliest instance.]
1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 6:
"Droves of kangaroos."
[But with the Australian and not the ordinary English signification.]
1874. W. M. B., 'Narrative of Edward Crewe,' p. 223:
"A contractor in a large way having a mob of men in his employ."
1890. 'The Argus,' Aug.16, p.13, Col. 2:
"It doesn't seem possible to get a mob of steady men for work of that sort now."
1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' c. ix. p. 69:
"He, tho' living fifty miles away, was one of the 'Dunmore mob,' and aided generally in the symposia which were there enjoyed."
1822. J. West, 'History of Tasmania' (1852), vol. ii. p. 12:
"The settlers of 1822 remember a number of natives, who roamed about the district, and were known as the 'tame mob'; they were absconders from different tribes."
1830. Newspaper (Tasmanian), March, (cited J. West, 'History of Tasmania,' vol. ii. p. 42):
"A mob of natives appeared at Captain Smith's hut, at his run."
1835. H. Melville, 'History of Van Diemen's Land,' p. 75:
"A mob of some score or so of natives, men, women, and children, had been discovered by their fires."
1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia', p. 107:
"A whole crowd of men on horseback get together, with a mob of blacks to assist them."
1892. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Robbery under Arms,' p. 134:
"At the side of the crowd was a small mob of blacks with their dogs, spears, possum rugs, and all complete."
1860. R. Donaldson, 'Bush Lays,' p. 14:
"Now to the stockyard crowds the mob; 'Twill soon be milking time."
1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 70:
"A number of cattle collected together is colonially termed a mob."
1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. ii. p. 105:
"A mixed mob of cattle—cows, steers, and heifers— had to be collected."
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Colonial Reformer,' p. 120:
"'Mobs' or small sub-divisions of the main herd."
1860. Lady Barker, 'Station Life in New Zealand,' p. 169:
"It was more horrible to see the drowning, or just drowned, huddled-up 'mob' (as sheep en masse are technically called) which had made the dusky patch we noticed from the hill."
1875. 'Spectator' (Melbourne), May 22, p. 34, col. 2:
"A mob of sheep has been sold at Belfast at 1s. 10d. per head."
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Colonial Reformer,' p. 83
"The army of sheep—about thirty thousand in fifteen flocks— at length reached the valley before dark, and the overseer, pointing to a flock of two thousand, more or less, said, 'There's your mob.'"
1865. Lady Barker, 'Station Life in New Zealand,' p. 27:
"All the animals to make friends with, mobs of horses to look at."
1879. W. J. Barry, 'Up and Down,' p. 197:
"I purchased a mob of horses for the Dunstan market."
1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 111:
"The stockman came suddenly on a mob of nearly thirty horses, feeding up a pleasant valley."
1846. G. H. Haydon, 'Five Years in Australia Felix,' p. 59:
"The 'old men' are always the largest and strongest in the flock, or in colonial language 'mob.'"
1864. 'Once a Week,' Dec. 31, p. 45, 'The Bulla Bulla Bunyip':
"About a mile outside the town a four-rail fence skirted the rough track we followed. It enclosed a lucerne paddock. Over the grey rails, as we approached, came bounding a mob of kangaroos, headed by a gigantic perfectly white 'old man,' which glimmered ghostly in the moonlight."
1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia, p. 99:
"They [the ducks] all came in twos and threes, and small mobs."
1844. 'Port Phillip Patriot,' July 22, p. 2, col. 6:
"They buttoned up in front; the only suit to the mob which did so."