A Dictionary of Austral English
by Edward Morris
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Of Books—

1892. Gilbert Parker, 'Round the Compass in Australia,' p. 72:

"If it was in your mob of books, give this copy to somebody that would appreciate it."

More generally—

1852. Mrs. Meredith, 'My Home in Tasmania,' vol. ii. p. 20:

"A number of cattle together is here usually termed a 'mob,' and truly their riotous and unruly demeanour renders the designation far from inapt; but I was very much amused at first, to hear people gravely talking of 'a mob of sheep,' or 'a mob of lambs,' and it was some time ere I became accustomed to the novel use of the word. Now, the common announcements that 'the cuckoo hen has brought out a rare mob of chickens,' or that 'there's a great mob of quail in the big paddock,' are to me fraught with no alarming anticipations."

1853. H. Berkeley Jones, 'Adventures in Australia,' p. 114:

"'There will be a great mob of things going down to-day,' said one to another, which meant that there would be a heavy cargo in number; we must remember that the Australians have a patois of their own."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xiii. p. 135:

"What a mob of houses, people, cabs, teams, men, women and children!"

Mocking-bird, n. The name is given in Australia to the Lyre-bird (q.v.), and in New Zealand to the Tui (q.v.).

Mock-Olive, n. a tree. Called also Axe-breaker (q.v.).

Mock-Orange, n. an Australian tree, i.q. Native Laurel. See Laurel.

Mogo, n. the stone hatchet of the aborigines of New South Wales.

1838. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions,' vol. i. p. 204:

"I heard from the summit the mogo of a native at work on some tree close by."

1868. W. Carleton, 'Australian Nights,' p. 20:

"One mute memorial by his bier, His mogo, boomerang, and spear."

Moguey, n. English corruption of Mokihi (q.v.).

1871. C. L. Money, 'Knocking About in New Zealand,' p. 52:

"Moguey, a Maori name for a raupo or flax-stick raft."

Moki, n. the Maori name for the Bastard Trumpeter (q.v.) of New Zealand, Latris ciliaris, Forst., family Cirrhitidae.

1820. 'Grammar and Vocabulary of Language of New Zealand' (Church Missionary Society), p. 182:

"Moki, s. A fish so called."

Mokihi, or Moki, n. Maori name for a raft; sometimes anglicised as Moguey.

1840. J. S. Polack, 'Manners and Customs of New Zealanders,' vol. ii. p. 226:

"In the absence of canoes, a quantity of dried bulrushes are fastened together, on which the native is enabled to cross a stream by sitting astride and paddling with his hands; these humble conveyances are called moki, and resemble those made use of by the Egyptians in crossing among the islands of the Nile. They are extremely buoyant, and resist saturation for a longer period."

1858. 'Appendix to Journal of House of Representatives,' c. iii. p. 18:

"We crossed the river on mokis. By means of large mokis, carrying upwards of a ton. . . . Moki navigation."

1889. Vincent Pyke, 'Wild Will Enderby,' p. 82:

"For the benefit of the unlearned in such matters, let me here explain that a 'Mokihi' is constructed of Koradies, Anglice, the flowering stalks of the flax,—three faggots of which lashed firmly in a point at the small ends, and expanded by a piece of wood at the stern, constitute the sides and bottom of the frail craft, which, propelled by a paddle, furnishes sufficient means of transport for a single individual."

Moko, n. the system of tattooing practised by the Maoris. See Tattoo. It is not a fact—as popularly supposed—that the "moko" was distinctive in different families; serving, as is sometimes said, the purpose of a coat-of-arms. The "moko" was in fact all made on the same pattern—that of all Maori carvings. Some were more elaborate than others. The sole difference was that some were in outline only, some were half filled in, and others were finished in elaborate detail.

1769. J. Banks, 'Journal,' Nov. 22 (Sir J. D. Hooker's edition, 1896), p. 203:

"They had a much larger quantity of amoca [sic] or black stains upon their bodies and faces. They had almost universally a broad spiral on each buttock, and many had their thighs almost entirely black, small lines only being left untouched, so that they looked like striped breeches. In this particular, I mean the use of amoca, almost every tribe seems to have a different custom."

1896. 'The Times' (Weekly Edition), July 17, p. 498 col. 3:

"In this handsome volume, 'Moko or Maori Tattooing,' Major-General Robley treats of an interesting subject with a touch of the horrible about it which, to some readers, will make the book almost fascinating. Nowhere was the system of puncturing the flesh into patterns and devices carried out in such perfection or to such an extent as in New Zealand. Both men and women were operated upon among the Maoris."

Moko-moko, n. (1) Maori name for the Bell-bird (q.v.), Anthornis melanura, Sparrm.

1888. A. W. Bathgate, 'Sladen's Australian Ballads,' p. 22:

[Title]: "To the Moko-moko, or Bell-bird."

[Footnote]: "Now rapidly dying out of our land," sc. New Zealand.

(2) Maori name for the lizard, Lygosoma ornatum, Gray, or Lygosoma moko, Durn. and Bib.

1820. 'Grammar and Vocabulary of Language of New Zealand' (Church Missionary Society), p. 182:

"Moko-moko, a small lizard."

Mole, Marsupial. See Marsupial Mole.

Moloch, n. an Australian lizard, Moloch horridus, Gray; called also Mountain Devil (q.v.). There is no other species in the genus, and the adjective (Lat. horridus, bristling) seems to have suggested the noun, the name probably recalling Milton's line ('Paradise Lost,' i. 392)

"First Moloch, horrid king, besmeared with blood."

Moloch was the national god of the Ammonites (1 Kings xi. 7), and was the personification of fire as a destructive element.

1896. Baldwin Spencer, 'Horne Expedition in Central Australia,' Narrative, p. 41:

"Numerous lizards such as the strange Moloch horridus, the bright yellow, orange, red and black of which render it in life very different in appearance from the bleached specimens of museum cases."

Mongan, n. aboriginal name for the animal named in the quotation.

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 173:

"Jimmy, however, had, to my great delight, found mongan (Pseudochirus herbertensis), a new and very pretty mammal, whose habitat is exclusively the highest tops of the scrubs in the Coast Mountains."

Monk, n. another name for the Friar Bird (q.v.).

Monkey-Bear, or Monkey, n. i.q. Native Bear. See Bear.

1853. C. St. Julian and E. K. Silvester, 'The Productions, Industry, and Resources of New South Wales,' p. 30:

"The Kola, so called by the aborigines, but more commonly known among the settlers as the native bear or monkey, is found in brush and forest lands . . ."

1891. Mrs. Cross (Ada Cambridge), 'The Three Miss Kings,' p. 9:

"A little monkey-bear came cautiously down from the only gum-tree that grew on the premises, grunting and whimpering."

Monkey-shaft, n. "A shaft rising from a lower to a higher level (as a rule perpendicularly), and differing from a blind-shaft only in that the latter is sunk from a higher to a lower level." (Brough Smyth's 'Glossary.')

1880. G. Sutherland, 'Tales of Goldfields,' p. 69:

"They began to think they might be already too deep for it, and a small 'monkey'-shaft was therefore driven upwards from the end of the tunnel."

Monkeys, n. bush slang for sheep.

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 88:

"No one felt better pleased than he did to see the last lot of 'monkeys,' as the shearers usually denominated sheep, leave the head-station."

Monotreme, n. the scientific name of an order of Australian mammals (Monotremata). "The Monotremes derive their name from the circumstance that there is, as in birds and reptiles, but a single aperture at the hinder extremity of the body from which are discharged the whole of the waste-products, together with the reproductive elements; the oviducts opening separately into the end of this passage, which is termed the cloaca. [Grk. monos, sole, and traema, a passage or hole.] Reproduction is effected by means of eggs, which are laid and hatched by the female parent; after [being hatched] the young are nourished by milk secreted by special glands situated within a temporary pouch, into which the head of the young animal is inserted and retained. . . . It was not until 1884 that it was conclusively proved that the Monotremes did actually lay eggs similar in structure to those of birds and reptiles." (R. Lydekker, 'Marsupialia and Monotremata,' 1894, p. 227.)

The Monotremes are strictly confined to Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. They are the Platypus (q.v.), and the Echidna (q.v.), or Ant-eating Porcupine.

Mooley-Apple, n. i.q. Emu-Apple (q.v.)

Moor-hen, n. common English bird-name (Gallinula). The Australian species are—

the Black, Gallinula tenebrosa, Gould; Rufous-tailed, G. ruficrissa, Gould.

1860. G. Bennett, 'Gatherings of a Naturalist,' p. 169:

"The Rail-like bird, the Black-tailed Tribonyx, or Moor-Hen of the colonists, which, when strutting along the bank of a river, has a grotesque appearance, with the tail quite erect like that of a domestic fowl, and rarely resorts to flight." [The Tribonyx is called Native Hen, not Moorhen.]

Moon, v. tr. a process in opossum-shooting, explained in quotations.

1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 182:

"'Mooning' opossums is a speciality with country boys. The juvenile hunter utilises the moon as a cavalry patrol would his field-glass for every suspected point."

1890. E. Davenport Cleland, 'The White Kangaroo,' p. 66:

"They had to go through the process known as 'mooning.' Walking backwards from the tree, each one tried to get the various limbs and branches between him and the moon, and then follow them out to the uttermost bunch of leaves where the 'possum might be feeding."

Mopoke, n. aboriginal name for an Australian bird, from its note "Mopoke." There is emphasis on the first syllable, but much more on the second. Settlers very early attempted to give an English shape and sense to this name. The attempt took two forms, "More pork," and "Mopehawk"; both forms are more than fifty years old. The r sound, however, is not present in the note of the bird, although the form More-pork is perhaps even more popular than the true form Mopoke. The form Mope-hawk seems to have been adopted through dislike of the perhaps coarser idea attaching to "pork." The quaint spelling Mawpawk seems to have been adopted for a similar reason.

The bird is heard far more often than seen, hence confusion has arisen as to what is the bird that utters the note. The earlier view was that the bird was Podargus cuvieri, Vig. and Hors., which still popularly retains the name; whereas it is really the owl, Ninox boobook, that calls "morepork" or "mopoke" so loudly at night. Curiously, Gould, having already assigned the name Morepork to Podargus, in describing the Owlet Night-jar varies the spelling and writes, "little Mawepawk, Colonists of Van Diemen's Land." The New Zealand Morepork is assuredly an owl. The Podargus has received the name of Frogmouth and the Mopoke has sometimes been called a Cuckoo (q.v.). See also Boobook, Frogsmouth.

The earliest ascertained use of the word is—

1827. Hellyer (in 1832), 'Bischoff, Van Diemen's Land,' p. 177:

"One of the men shot a 'more pork.'"

The Bird's note—

1868. Carleton, 'Australian Nights,' p. 19:

"The Austral cuckoo spoke His melancholy note—'Mo-poke.'"

1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs and Wattle Bloom,' p. 236:

"Many a still night in the bush I have listened to the weird metallic call of this strange bird, the mopoke of the natives, without hearing it give expression to the pork-shop sentiments."


1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. ii. pl. 4:

"Podargus Cuvieri, Vig. and Horsf, More-pork of the Colonists."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 33:

"We are lulled to sleep by the melancholy, sleep-inspiring, and not disagreeable voices of the night bird Podargus— 'More-pork! more-pork!'"

1890. 'Victorian Statutes-Game Act, Third Schedule.':

"Podargus or Mopoke. [Close Season.] The whole year."

Vague name of Cuckoo—

1854. G. H. Haydon, 'The Australian Emigrant,' p. 110:

"The note of the More-pork, not unlike that of a cuckoo with a cold."

1857. W. Howitt, 'Tallangetta,' vol. i. p. 98:

"The distant monotone of the more-pork—the nocturnal cuckoo of the Australian wilds."


1858. W. H. Hall, 'Practical Experiences at the Diggings in Victoria,' p. 22:

"The low, melancholy, but pleasing cry of the Mope-hawk."

1877. William Sharp, 'Earth's Voices':

"On yonder gum a mopoke's throat Out-gurgles laughter grim, And far within the fern-tree scrub A lyre-bird sings his hymn."

[This is confusion worse confounded. It would seem as if the poet confused the Laughing Jackass with the Mopoke, q.v.]

1878. Mrs. H. Jones, 'Long Years in Australia,' p. 145:

"How the mope-hawk is screeching."


1846. G. H. Haydon, 'Five Years in Australia Felix,' p. 71:

"A bird of the owl species, called by the colonists morepork, and by the natives whuck-whuck, derives both its names from the peculiarity of its note. At some distance it reminds one of the song of the cuckoo; when nearer it sounds hoarse and discordant."

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. ii. pl. 1:

"AEgotheles Novae-Hollandiae, Vig. and Horsf, Owlet Nightjar; Little Mawepawk, Colonists of Van Diemen's Land."

1852. Mrs. Meredith, 'My Home in Tasmania,' vol. ii. p. 253:

"The Mawpawk, More Pork, or Mope Hawk, is common in most parts of the colony, and utters its peculiar two-syllable cry at night very constantly. Its habits are those of the owl, and its rather hawkish appearance partakes also of the peculiarities of the goat-sucker tribe. . . . The sound does not really resemble the words 'more pork,' any more than 'cuckoo,' and it is more like the 'tu-whoo' of the owl than either."

1859. D. Bunce, 'Australasiatic Reminiscences,' p. 14:

"Just as our sportsman, fresh from the legal precincts of Gray's Inn Square, was taking a probably deadly aim, the solitary and melancholy note of 'More-pork! more-pork!' from the Cyclopean, or Australian owl, interfered most opportunely in warding off the shot."

1864. 'Once a Week,' Dec. 31, p. 45. 'The Bulla Bulla Bunyip':

"The locusts were silent, but now and then might be heard the greedy cry of the 'morepork,' chasing the huge night-moths through the dim dewy air."

1892. A. Sutherland, 'Elementary Geography of British Colonies,' p. 274:

"Owls are also numerous, the Mopoke's note being a familiar sound in the midnight darkness of the forest."

By transference to a man.—

1845. R. Howitt, 'Australia,' p. 233:

"'A more-pork kind of a fellow' is a man of cut-and-dry phrases, a person remarkable for nothing new in common conversation. This by some is thought very expressive, the more-pork being a kind of Australian owl, notorious for its wearying nightly iteration, 'More pork, more pork'"

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xiii. p. 125:

"What a regular more-pork I was to be sure to go and run my neck agin' a roping-pole."

Morepork, n. (1) The Australian bird, or birds, described under Mopoke (q.v.).

(2) The New Zealand Owl, formerly Athene novae-zelandiae, Gray; now Spiloglaux novae-zelandiae, Kaup.

1849. W. T. Power, 'Sketches in New Zealand,' p. 74:

"This bird gave rise to a rather amusing incident in the Hutt Valley during the time of the fighting. . . . A strong piquet was turned out regularly about an hour before daybreak. On one occasion the men had been standing silently under arms for some time, and shivering in the cold morning air, when they were startled by a solemn request for 'more pork.' The officer in command of the piquet, who had only very recently arrived in the country, ordered no talking in the ranks, which was immediately replied to by another demand, distinctly enunciated, for 'more pork.' So malaprop a remark produced a titter along the ranks, which roused the irate officer to the necessity of having his commands obeyed, and he accordingly threatened to put the next person under arrest who dared make any allusion to the unclean beast. As if in defiance of the threat, and in contempt of the constituted authorities, 'more pork' was distinctly demanded in two places at once, and was succeeded by an irresistible giggle from one end of the line to the other. There was no putting up with such a breach of discipline as this, and the officer, in a fury of indignation, went along the line in search of the mutinous offender, when suddenly a small chorus of 'more pork' was heard on all sides, and it was explained who the real culprits were."

1866. Lady Barker, 'Station Life in New Zealand,' p. 100:

"The last cry of a very pretty little owl, called from its distinctly uttered words the 'more-pork.'"

1884. T. Bracken, 'Lays of Maori,' p. 84:

"Sleeping alone where the more-pork's call At night is heard."

1888. W. L. Buller, 'Birds of New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 192:

"Spiloglaux Novae-Zelandiae, Kaup., More-pork of the colonists. Every New Zealand colonist is familiar with this little owl, under the name of 'morepork.'"

Moreton-Bay, n. the name formerly given to the district of New South Wales which is now the colony of Queensland. The Brisbane river (on which is situated Brisbane, the capital of Queensland) enters it. See below.

Moreton-Bay Ash, n. See Ash.

Moreton-Bay Chestnut, n. See Bean-tree.

Moreton-Bay Fig, n. See Fig.

Moreton-Bay Laurel, n. See Laurel.

Moreton-Bay Pine, n. See Pine.

Moriori, n. a people akin to, but not identical with, the Maoris. They occupied the Chatham Islands, and were conquered in 1832 by the Maoris. In 1873, M. Quatrefages published a monograph, 'Moriori et Maori.'

Morwong, n. the New South Wales name for the fish Chilodactylus macropterus, Richards.; also called the Carp (q.v.) and Jackass-fish, and in New Zealand by the Maori name of Tarakihi. The Melbourne fishermen, according to Count Castelnau, call this fish the Bastard Trumpeter (q.v.), but this name is also applied to Latris forsteri, Castln. See also Trumpeter and Paper-fish. The Red Morwong is Chilodactylus fuscus, Castln., also called Carp (q.v.). The Banded Morwong is Chilodactylus vittatus, Garrett.

Moses, Prickly, n. a bushman's name for Mimosa (q.v.).

1887. 'The Australian,' April:

"I cannot recommend . . . [for fishing rods] . . . that awful thing which our philosopher called 'prickly moses.'"

Moulmein Cedar, n. See Cedar.

Mound-bird, n. the jungle-hen of Australia. The birds scratch up heaps of soil and vegetable matter, in which they bury their eggs and leave them to be hatched by the heat of decomposition. Scientifically called Megapodes (q.v.).

1893. A. R. Wallace, 'Australasia,' vol. i. p. 76:

"Next to these, as a special Australian type. . . . come the bush-turkeys or mound-makers . . . all these birds have the curious reptilian character of never sitting on their eggs, which they bury under mounds of earth or decaying vegetable matter, allowing them to be hatched by the heat of the sun, or that produced by fermentation."

Mountain- (as epithet):

Mountain-Apple-tree— Angophora lanceolata, Cav., N.O. Myrtaceae.

M.-Ash— A name applied to various Eucalypts, and to the tree Alphitonia excelsa, Reiss.

M.-Beech— The tree Lomatia longifolia, R. Br., N.0. Proteaceae.

M.-Bloodwood— The tree Eucalyptus eximia, Schau.

M.-Cypress-pine— The tree Frenela parlatori, F. v. M., N.0. Coniferae.

M.-Ebony— See Ebony.

M.-Gentian— The name is applied to the Tasmanian species, Gentiana saxosa, Forst., N.O. Gentianeae.

M.-Gums— See Gum.

M.- Oak— See Oak.

M.-Parrot— Another name for the Kea (q.v.).

M.-Rocket— The name is applied to the Tasmanian species Bellendena montana, R. Br., N.O. Proteaceae.

M.-Tea-tree— See Tea-tree.

Mountain-Devil, n. name given to the strange-looking Australian lizard, Moloch horridus, Gray. See Moloch. Also called Spiny Lizard.

1853. 'Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land,' vol. ii. p. 515 [November 9]:

"A spirit preparation of the Spiny Lizard (Moloch horridus) of Western Australia."

Mountain Thrush, n. an Australian thrush, Oreocincla lunulata, Gould. See Thrush.

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. iv. pl. 7:

"Oreocincla lunulatus, Mountain Thrush, Colonists of Van Diemen's Land. In all localities suitable to its habits and mode of life, this species is tolerably abundant, both in Van Diemen's Land and in New South Wales; it has also been observed in South Australia, where however it is rare."

Mountain-Trout, n. species of Galaxias, small cylindrical fishes inhabiting the colder rivers of Australasia, Southern Chili, Magellan Straits, and the Falkland Islands. On account of the distribution of these fish and of other forms of animals, it has been suggested that in a remote geological period the area of land above the level of the sea in the antarctic regions must have been sufficiently extended to admit of some kind of continuity across the whole width of the Pacific between the southern extremities of South America and Australia.

Mud-fat, adj. fat as mud, very fat.

1891. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Sydney-side Saxon,' p. 142:

"There's half this fine body of veal, mud-fat and tender as a chicken, worth a shilling a pound there."

Mud-fish, n. a fish of Westland, New Zealand, Neochanna apoda, Gunth. Guenther says Neochanna is a "degraded form of Galaxias [see Mountain-Trout], from which it differs by the absence of ventral fins. This fish has hitherto been found only in burrows, which it excavates 1n clay or consolidated mud, at a distance from water."

Mud-lark, n. another name for the Magpie-lark, Grallina picata (q.v.).

Mulberry-bird, n. name given to the Australian bird Sphecotheres maxillaris, Lath.; called also Fig-bird (q.v.).

1891. A. J. North, 'Records of the Australian Museum,' vol. i. no. 6, p. 113:

"Southern Sphecotheres. Mr. Grime informs me it is fairly common on the Tweed River, where it is locally known as the 'Mulberry-bird,' from the decided preference it evinces for that species of fruit amongst many others attacked by this bird."

Mulberry, Native, n. name given to three Australian trees, viz.—

Hedycarya cunninghami, Tull., N.O. Monimiaceae. Called also Smooth Holly.

Piturus propinquus, Wedd., N.O. Urticeae. Called also Queensland Grasscloth Plant.

Litsaea ferruginea, Mart., N.O. Laurineae. Called also Pigeonberry-tree.

The common English garden fruit-tree is also acclimatised, and the Victorian Silk Culture Association, assisted by the Government, are planting many thousands of the White Mulberry for silk culture.

Mulga, n. an aboriginal word. (1) Name given to various species of Acacia, but especially A. aneura, F. v. M., N.0. Leguminosae. See also Red Mulga.

1864. J. McDouall Stuart, 'Explorations in Australia,' p. 154:

"We arrived at the foot nearly naked, and got into open sandy rises and valleys, with mulga and plenty of grass, amongst which there is some spinifex growing."

1865. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'History of the Discovery and Exploration of Australia,' vol. ii. p. 126, Note:

"Mulga is an Acacia. It grows in thick bushes, with thin twigs and small leaves. Probably it is the most extensively distributed tree in all Australia. It extends right across the continent."

1888. Baron F. von Mueller, 'Select Extra-tropical Plants' [7th ed.], p. 1:

"Acacia aneura, F. v. M. Arid desert interior of extra-tropic Australia. A tree never more than 25 feet high. The principal 'Mulga' tree. . . . Cattle and sheep browse on the twigs of this and some allied species, even in the presence of plentiful grass, and are much sustained by such acacias in seasons of protracted drought."

1892. Gilbert Parker, 'Round the Compass in Australia,' p. 43:

"Not a drop of rain! And for many and many a day the jackaroo will still chop down the limbs of the mulga-tree, that of its tonic leaves the sheep may eat and live."

1894. 'The Argus,' Sept. 1, p. 4, col. 2:

"The dull green of the mulga-scrub at their base."

1896. H. Lawson, 'When the World was Wide,' p. 85:

"Flax and tussock and fern, Gum and mulga and sand, Reef and palm—but my fancies turn Ever away from land."

(2) A weapon, made of mulgawood.

(a) A shield.

1878. 'Catalogue of Ethnotypical Art in the National Gallery' (Melbourne), p. 19:

"Mulga. Victoria. Thirty-six inches in length. This specimen is 37 inches in length and 5 inches in breadth at the broadest part. The form of a section through the middle is nearly triangular. The aperture for the hand (cut in the solid wood) is less than 4 inches in length. Ornamentation :Herring-bone, the incised lines being filled in with white clay. Some figures of an irregular form are probably the distinguishing marks of the owner's tribe. This shield was obtained from Larne-Gherin in the Western District."

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 349:

"Mulga is the name of a long narrow shield of wood, made by the aboriginals out of acacia-wood."

(b) In one place Sir Thomas Mitchell speaks of it as a club.

1839. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions,' vol. ii. p. 267:

"The malga [sic] . . . with which these natives were provided, somewhat resembled a pick-axe with one half broken off."

Mulga-Apple, n. a gall formed on the Mulga-tree, Acacia aneura, F. v. M. (q.v.). See also Apple.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 3:

"In Western New South Wales two kinds of galls are found on these trees. One kind is very astringent, and not used; but the other is less abundant, larger, succulent and edible. These latter galls are called 'mulga-apples,' and are said to be very welcome to the thirsty traveller."

1889. E. Giles, 'Australia Twice Traversed,' p. 71:

"The mulga bears a small woody fruit called the mulga apple. It somewhat resembles the taste of apples and is sweet."

Mulga-down, n. hills covered with Mulga.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xvii. p. 201:

"Fascinating territories of limitless mulga-downs."

Mulga-grass, n. an Australian grass, Danthonia penicillata, F. v. M.; also Neurachne mitchelliana, Nees. See also Grass.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 82:

"Mulga Grass. . . . Peculiar to the back country. It derives its vernacular name from being only found where the mulga-tree (Acacia aneura and other species) grows; it is a very nutritious and much esteemed grass."

Mulga-scrub, n. thickets of Mulga-trees.

1864. J. McDouall Stuart, 'Explorations in Australia,' p. 190:

"For the first three miles our course was through a very thick mulga scrub, with plenty of grass, and occasionally a little spinifex."

1875. John Forrest, 'Explorations in Australia,' p. 220:

"Travelled till after dark through and over spinifex plains, wooded with acacia and mulga scrub, and camped without water and only a little scrub for the horses, having travelled nearly forty miles."

1876. W. Harcus, 'South Australia,' p. 127:

"The road for the next thirty miles, to Charlotte Waters Telegraph Station, is characterized by mulga-scrub, open plains, sand-hills, and stony rises poorly grassed."

1893. A. R. Wallace, 'Australasia,' vol. i. p. 47:

"Still more dreaded by the explorer is the 'Mulga' scrub, consisting chiefly of dwarf acacias. These grow in spreading irregular bushes armed with strong spines, and where matted with other shrubs form a mass of vegetation through which it is impossible to penetrate."

Mulga-studded, adj. with Mulga growing here and there.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xvii. p. 201:

"The frown on the face of the mulga-studded lowlands deepened."

Mullet, n. Various species of this fish are present in Australasia, all belonging to the family Mugilidae, or Grey-Mullets. They are the—

Flat-tail Mullet— Mugil peronii, Cuv. and Val.

Hard-gut M.— M. dobula, Gunth.

Sand-M., or Talleygalanu— Myxus elongatus, Gunth. (called also Poddy in Victoria).

Sea-M.— M. grandis, Castln.

In New Zealand, the Mullet is Mugil perusii, called the Silver-Mullet (Maori name, Kanae); and the Sea-Mullet, Agonostoma forsteri (Maori name, Aua, q.v.); abundant also in Tasmanian estuaries.

The Sand-Mullet in Tasmania is Mugil cephalotus, Cuv. and Val. See also Red-Mullet.

1890. 'Victorian Statutes—Fisheries Act, Second Schedule':

[Close Season.] "Sand-mullet or poddies."

Mullock, n. In English, the word is obsolete; it was used by Chaucer in the sense of refuse, dirt. In Australia, it is confined to" 'rubbish, dirt, stuff taken out of a mine—the refuse after the vein-stuff is taken away' (Brough Smyth's 'Glossary')."

1864. J. Rogers, 'New Rush,' pt. ii. p. 26:

"A man each windlass-handle working slow, Raises the mullock from his mate below."

1874. Garnet Walch, 'Head over Heels, p. 77:

"But still we worked on—same old tune For nothin' but mullock come up."

Mullock over, v. Shearing slang. See quotation.

1893. 'The Age,' Sept. 23, p. 14, col. 4:

"I affirm as a practical shearer, that no man could shear 321 sheep in eight hours, although I will admit he might do what we shearers call 'mullock over' that number; and what is more, no manager or overseer who knows his work would allow a shearer to do that number of sheep or lambs in one day."

Munyeru, n. name given to the small black seeds of Claytonia balonnensis, F. v. M., N.O. Portulaceae, which are ground up and mixed with water so as to form a paste. It forms a staple article of diet amongst the Arunta and other tribes of Central Australia.

1896. E. C. Stirling, 'Horne Expedition in Central Australia,' Anthropology, p. 56:

"In these districts 'Munyeru' takes the place of the spore cases of 'Nardoo' (Marsilea quadrifolia), which is so much used in the Barcoo and other districts to the south and east, these being treated in a similar way."

Murray-Carp, n. See Carp.

Murray-Cod, n. an important fresh-water food-fish, Oligorus macquariensis, Cuv. and Val., called Kookoobal by the aborigines of the Murrumbidgee, and Pundy by those of the Lower Murray. A closely allied species is called the Murray-Perch. Has been known to reach a weight of 120 lbs.

1839. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia,' vol. i. p. 95:

"We soon found that this river contained . . . the fish we first found in the Peel, commonly called by the colonists 'the cod,' although most erroneously, since it has nothing whatever to do with malacopterygious fishes."

1880. Guenther, 'Introduction to Study of Fishes,' p. 392 ('O.E.D.'):

"The first (Oligorus macquariensis) is called by the colonists 'Murray-cod,' being plentiful in the Murray River and other rivers of South Australia. It attains to a length of more than 3 feet and to a weight of nearly 100 lbs."

Murray-Lily, n. See Lily.

Murray-Perch, n. a freshwater fish, Oligorus mitchelli, Castln., closely allied to Oligorus macquariensis, the Murray-Cod, belonging to the family Percidae.

1880. Garnet Walch, 'Victoria in 1880,' p. 124:

"Our noble old 1400-mile river, the Murray, well christened the Nile of Australia, . . . produces 'snags,' and that finny monster, the Murray cod, together with his less bulky, equally flavourless congener, the Murray perch."

Murr-nong, n. a plant. The name used by the natives in Southern Australia for Microseris forsteri, Hook., N.O. Compositae.

1878. R. Brough Smyth, 'Aborigines of Victoria,' p. 209:

"Murr-nong, or 'Mirr-n'yong', a kind of yam (Microseris Forsteri) was usually very plentiful, and easily found in the spring and early summer, and was dug out of the earth by the women and children."

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 45:

"Murr-nong, or 'Mirr n'yong' of the aboriginals of New South Wales and Victoria. The tubers were largely used as food by the aboriginals. They are sweet and milky, and in flavour resemble the cocoa-nut."

Murrumbidgee Pine, n. See Pine.

Mushroom, n. The common English mushroom, Agaricus campestris, Linn., N.O. Fungi, abounds in Australia, and there are many other indigenous edible species.

Musk-Duck, n. the Australian bird, Biziura lobata, Shaw. See Duck.

1880. Garnet Walch, 'Victoria in 1880,' p. 30:

"The ungainly musk-duck paddles clumsily away from the passing steamer, but hardly out of gunshot, for he seems to know that his fishy flesh is not esteemed by man."

1880. Mrs. Meredith, 'Tasmanian Friends and Foes,' p. 159:

"That's a musk duck: the plumage is very sombre and loose looking—not so thick as most other ducks; the tail, too, is singular, little more than a small fan of short quills. The head of the male has a kind of black leathery excrescence under the bill that gives it an odd expression, and the whole bird has a strange odour of musk, rendering it quite uneatable."

Musk-Kangaroo, n. See Hypsiprymnodon and Kangaroo.

Musk-Parrakeet, n. an Australian parrakeet. See Parrakeet.

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. v. pl. 5:

"Trichoglossus Concinnus, Vig. and Horsf. (Australis, Wagl.), Musky-Parrakeet; Musk-Parrakeet, Colonists of New South Wales, from the peculiar odour of the bird."

Musk-tree, n. The name is applied to Marlea vitiense, Benth., N.O. Cornaceae, with edible nuts, which is not endemic in Australia, and to two native trees of the N.O. Compositae—Aster argophyllus, Labill., called also Musk-wood, from the scent of the timber; and Aster viscosus, Labill., called also the Dwarf Musk-tree.

1848. Letter by Mrs. Perry, given in Canon Goodman's 'Church in Victoria during the Episcopate of Bishop Perry,' p. 71:

"Also there is some pretty underwood, a good deal of the musk-tree—which is very different from our musk-plant, growing quite into a shrub and having a leaf like the laurel in shape."

1888. Mrs. M'Cann, 'Poetical Works,' p. 143:

"The musk-tree scents the evening air Far down the leafy vale."

Musk-wood, n. See Musk-tree.

Mussel, n. Some Australasian species of this mollusc are— Mytilus latus, Lamark., Victoria, Tasmania, and New Zealand; M. tasmanicus, Tenison Woods, Tasmania; M. rostratus, Dunker, Tasmania and Victoria; M. hirsutus, Lamark., Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, New Zealand; M. crassus, Tenison-Woods, Tasmania.

Fresh-water Mussels belong to the genus Unio.

Mutton-bird, n. The word is ordinarily applied to the Antarctic Petrel, AEstrelata lessoni. In Australasia it is applied to the Puffin or Short-tailed Petrel, Puffinus brevicaudus, Brandt. The collection of the eggs of this Petrel, the preparation of oil from it, the salting of its flesh for food, form the principal means of subsistence of the inhabitants, half-caste and other, of the islands in Bass Straits.

1839. W. Mann, 'Six Years' Residence in the Australian Provinces,' p. 51:

"They are commonly called mutton birds, from their flavour and fatness; they are migratory,and arrive in Bass's Straits about the commencement of spring, in such numbers that they darken the air."

1843. J. Backhouse, 'Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies' (1832), p. 73:

"Mutton birds were in such vast flocks, that, at a distance, they seemed as thick as bees when swarming."

Ibid. p. 91:

"The Mutton-birds, or Sooty Petrels, are about the size of the Wood Pigeon of England; they are of a dark colour, and are called 'Yola' by the natives."

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discoveries in Australia,' vol. i. p. 264:

"The principal occupation of these people during this month of the year is taking the Sooty Petrel, called by the Colonists the Mutton Bird, from a fancied resemblance to the taste of that meat."

1846. G. H. Haydon, 'Five Years in Australia Felix,' p. 47:

"The mutton-bird, or sooty petrel . . . is about the size of the wood-pigeon of England, and is of a dark colour. These birds are migratory, and are to be seen ranging over the surface of the great southern ocean far from land . . . Many millions of these birds are destroyed annually for the sake of their feathers and the oil of the young, which they are made to disgorge by pressing the craws."

1855. Rev. R. Taylor, 'Te Ika a Maui,' p. 382:

"The titi, or mutton-bird, is a seabird which goes inland at night just as the light wanes. The natives light a bright fire, behind which they sit, each armed with a long stick. The titis, attracted by the light, fly by in great numbers, and are knocked down as quickly as possible; thus in one night several hundreds are often killed, which they preserve in their own fat for future use."

1857. C. Hursthouse, 'New Zealand the Britain of the South,' vol. i. p. 121:

"The young titi (mutton-bird), a species of puffin, is caught by the natives in great quantities, potted in its own fat, and sent as a sort of 'pa^te de foie gras' to inland friends."

1863. B. A. Heywood, 'Vacation Tour at the Antipodes,' p. 232:

"The natives in the South [of Stewart's Island] trade largely with their brethren in the North, in supplies of the mutton- bird, which they boil down, and pack in its own fat in the large air-bags of sea-weed."

1879. H. n. Moselep 'Notes by Naturalist on Challenger, p. 207:

"Besides the prion, there is the 'mutton-bird' of the whalers (AEstrelata lessoni), a large Procellanid, as big as a pigeon, white and brown and grey in colour."

1880. Garnet Walch, 'Victoria in 1880,' p. 49:

"The crest of the Cape [Wollomai] is a favourite haunt of those elegant but prosaically-named sea-fowl, the 'mutton-birds.'. . One of the sports of the neighbourhood is 'mutton-birding.'

1888. A. Reischek, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. xxi. art. xlix. p. 378:

"Passing through Foveaux Strait, clothed with romantic little islands, we disturbed numerous flocks of mutton-birds (Puffinus tristis), which were playing, feeding, or sleeping on the water."

1891. 'The Australasian,' Nov. 14, p. 963, col. 1 ('A Lady in the Kermadecs'):

"The mutton-birds and burrowers come to the island in millions in the breeding season, and the nesting-place of the burrowers is very like a rabbit-warren; while the mutton-bird is content with a few twigs to do duty for a nest."

1891. Rev. J. Stack, 'Report of Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science,' vol. iii. p. 379:

"Wild pigeons, koko, tui, wekas, and mutton-birds were cooked and preserved in their own fat."

Mutton-bird Tree, n. a tree, Senecio rotundifolius, Hook.: so called because the mutton-birds, especially in Foveaux Straits, New Zealand, are fond of sitting under it.

Mutton-fish, n. a marine univalve mollusc, Haliotis naevosa, Martyn: so called from its flavour when cooked. The empty earshell of Haliotis</i>, especially in New Zealand, Haliotis iris, Martyn, is known as Venus' Ear; Maori name, Paua (q.v.). A species of the same genus is known and eaten at the Cape and in the Channel Islands. (French name Ormer, sc. Oreille de mer.)

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish and Fisheries of New South Wales,' p. 92:

"Then mutton fish were speared. This is the ear-shell fish (Haliotis naevosa), which was eagerly bought by the Chinese merchants. Only the large muscular sucking disc on foot is used. Before being packed it is boiled and dried. About 9d. per lb. was given."

Myall, n. and adj. aboriginal word with two different meanings; whether there is any connection between them is uncertain.

(1) n. An acacia tree, Acacia pendula, A. Cunn., and its timber. Various species have special epithets: Bastard, Dalby, True, Weeping, etc.

1845. J. O. Balfour, 'Sketch of New South Wales,' p. 38:

"The myall-tree (Acacia pendula) is the most picturesque tree of New South Wales. The leaves have the appearance of being frosted, and the branches droop like the weeping willow. . . . Its perfume is as delightful, and nearly as strong, as sandal-wood."

(p. 10): "They poison the fish by means of a sheet of bark stripped from the Myall-tree (Acacia pendula)."

1846. T. L. Mitchell, Report quoted by J. D. Lang, 'Cooksland,' p. 495:

"The myall-tree and salt-bush, Acacia pendula and salsolae [sic], so essential to a good run, are also there."

1864. J. S. Moore, 'Spring Life Lyrics,' p. 170:

"The guerdon's won! What may it be? A grave beneath a myall-tree."

1865. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'History of the Discovery and Exploration of Australia,' vol. i. p. 193 [Note]:

"This acacia, which has much the habit of the weeping willow, is found very extensively on the wet, alluvial flats of the west rivers. It sometimes forms scrubs and thickets, which give a characteristic appearance to the interior of this part of Australia, so that, once seen, it can never be again mistaken for scenery of any other country in the world. The myall scrubs are nearly all of Acacia pendula."

1880. Fison and Howitt, 'Kamilaroi and Kurnai,' p. 280:

"The myall-wood weapons made at Liverpool Plains were exchanged with the coast natives for others."

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 46:

"Lignum-vitae and bastard-myall bushes were very common."

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 115:

"Weeping or true Myall. . . . Stock are very fond of the leaves of this tree [Acacia pendula], especially in seasons of drought, and for this reason, and because they eat down the seedlings, it has almost become exterminated in parts of the colonies."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Squatter's Dream,' p. 27:

"A strip of the swaying, streaming myall, of a colour more resembling blue than black."

1890. 'The Argus,' June 7, p. 4, col. 2:

"The soft and silvery grace of the myalls."

1890. E. D. Cleland, 'The White Kangaroo,' p. 50:

"Miall, a wood having a scent similar to raspberry jam, and very hard and well-grained."

1891. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Sydney-side Saxon,' p. 130:

"Stock-whips with myall handles (the native wood that smells like violets)."

(2) adj. and n. wild, wild natives, used especially in Queensland. The explanation given by Lumholtz (1890) is not generally accepted. The word mail, or myall, is the aboriginal term for "men," on the Bogan, Dumaresque, and Macintyre Rivers in New South Wales. It is the local equivalent of the more common form murrai.

1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 41:

"On my arrival I learnt from the natives that one party was still at work a considerable distance up the country, at the source of one of the rivers, called by the natives 'Myall,' meaning, in their language, Stranger, or a place which they seldom or never frequent."

1839. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions,' vol. i. p. 192:

"This tribe gloried in the name of 'Myall,' which the natives nearer to the colony apply in terror and abhorrence to the 'wild blackfellows,' to whom they usually attribute the most savage propensities."

1844. 'Port Phillip Patriot,' Aug. i, p. 4, col. 4:

"Even the wildest of the Myall black fellows—as cannibals usually are—learned to appreciate him."

1847. J. D. Lang, 'Cooksland,' p. 447:

"Words quite as unintelligible to the natives as the corresponding words in the vernacular language of the white men would have been, were learned by the natives, and are now commonly used by them in conversing with Europeans, as English words. Thus corrobbory, the Sydney word for a general assembly of natives, is now commonly used in that sense at Moreton Bay; but the original word there is yanerwille. Cabon, great; narang little; boodgeree, good; myall, wild native, etc. etc., are all words of this description, supposed by the natives to be English words, and by the Europeans to be aboriginal words of the language of that district."

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. ii. p. 171:

"A more intimate acquaintance with the ways and customs of the whites had produced a certain amount of contempt for them among the myalls."

1882. A. J. Boyd, 'Old Colonials,' p. 209:

"I had many conversations with native police officers on the subject of the amelioration of the wild myalls."

1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' p. 150:

"Suddenly he became aware that half-a-dozen of these 'myalls,' as they are called, were creeping towards him through the long grass. Armed with spears and boomerangs . . ."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 76:

"These so-called civilized blacks look upon their savage brethren with more or less contempt, and call them myall."

[Footnote]: "A tree (Acacia pendula) which grows extensively in the less civilized districts is called by the Europeans myall. This word was soon applied by the whites as a term for the wild blacks who frequented these large remote myall woods. Strange to say, the blacks soon adopted this term themselves, and used it as an epithet of abuse, and hence it soon came to mean a person of no culture."

1893. M. Gaunt, 'English Illustrated,' March, p. 367:

"He himself had no faith in the myall blacks; they were treacherous, they were cruel."

(3) By transference, wild cattle.

1893. 'The Argus,' April 29, p. 4, col. 4, 'Getting in the Scrubbers':

"To secure these myalls we took down sixty or seventy head of quiet cows, as dead homers as carrier pigeons, some of them milking cows, with their calves penned up in the stockyard."

Myrmecobius, n. scientific name of the Australian genus with only one species, called the Banded Ant-eater (q.v.). (Grk. murmaex, an ant, and bios life.)

Myrtle, n. The true Myrtle, Myrtus communis, is a native of Asia, but has long been naturalised in Europe, especially on the shores of the Mediterranean. The name is applied to many genera of the family, N.O. Myrtaceae, and has been transferred to many other trees not related to that order. In Australia the name, with various epithets, is applied to the following trees—

Backhousia citriodora, F. v. M., N.O. Myrtaceae, called the Scrub Myrtle and Native Myrtle.

Backhousia myrtifolia, Hook. and Herv., N.O. Myrtaceae, called Scrub Myrtle, or Native Myrtle, or Grey Myrtle, and also Lancewood.

Diospyrus pentamera, F. v. M., N.O. Ebenaceae, the Black Myrtle and Grey Plum of Northern New South Wales.

Eugenia myrtifolia, Sims, N.O. Myrtaceae, known as Native Myrtle, Red Myrtle and Brush Cherry.

Eugenia ventenatii, Benth., N.O. Myrtaceae, the Drooping Myrtle or Large-leaved Water-gum.

Melaleuca decussata, R. Br., N.O. Myrtaceae.

Melaleuca genistifolia, Smith, N.O. Myrtaceae, which is called Ridge Myrtle, and in Queensland Ironwood.

Myoporum serratum, R. Br., N.O. Myoporineae, which is called Native Myrtle; and also called Blue-berry Tree, Native Currant, Native Juniper, Cockatoo-Bush, and by the aborigines Palberry.

Myrtus acmenioides, F. v. M., N.O. Myrtaceae, which is the White Myrtle of the Richmond and Clarence Rivers (New South Wales), and is also called Lignum-vitae.

Rhodamnia argentea, Benth., N.O. Myrtaceae, called White Myrtle, the Muggle-muggle of the aboriginals of Northern New South Wales.

Syncarpia leptopetala, F. v. M., N.O. Myrtaceae, which is called Myrtle and also Brush-Turpentine.

Tristania neriifolia, R. Br., N.O. Myrtaceae, called Water Myrtle, and also Water Gum.

Trochocarpa laurina, R. Br., N.O. Epacrideae, called Brush-Myrtle, Beech and Brush Cherry.

In Tasmania, all the Beeches are called Myrtles, and there are extensive forests of the Beech Fagus cunninghamii, Hook., which is invariably called "Myrtle" by the colonists of Tasmania.

1875. T. Laslett, 'Timber and Timber Trees,' p. 206:

Table of Tasmanian Woods.

Hgt. Dia. Where found. Use. ft. in.

Scented Myrtle 15 6 Low, marshy Seldom used

Red " 40 12 Swampy As pine

White " 20 9 Low, marshy House-carpentry

Yellow " 20 9 " " do.

Brown " 20 30 " " do. and joiners' planes


Nailrod, n. a coarse dark tobacco smoked by bushmen. The name alludes to the shape of the plug, which looks like a thin flat stick of liquorice. It is properly applied to the imported brand of "Two Seas," but is indiscriminately used by up-country folk for any coarse stick of tobacco.

1896. H. Lawson, 'While the Billy boils,' p. 118:

"'You can give me half-a-pound of nailrod,' he said, in a quiet tone.'"

Nail-tailed Wallaby, n. See Onychogale.

Namma hole, n. a native well. Namma is an aboriginal word for a woman's breast.

1893. 'The Australasian,' August 5, p. 252, col. 4:

"The route all the way from York to Coolgardie is amply watered, either 'namma holes' native wells) or Government wells being plentiful on the road."

1896. 'The Australasian,' March 28, p. 605, col. 1:

"The blacks about here [far west of N.S.W.] use a word nearly resembling 'namma' in naming waterholes, viz., 'numma,' pronounced by them 'ngumma,' which means a woman's breast. It is used in conjunction with other words in the native names of some waterholes in this district, e.g., 'Tirrangumma' = Gum-tree breast; and ngumma-tunka' = breast-milk, the water in such case being always milky in appearance. In almost all native words beginning with n about here the first n has the ng sound as above."

Nancy, n. a Tasmanian name for the flower Anguillaria (q.v.).

Nankeen Crane, or Nankeen Bird, or Nankeen Night Heron, n. the Australian bird Nycticorax caledonicus, Gmel. Both the Nankeen Bird and the Nankeen Hawk are so called from their colour. Nankeen is "a Chinese fabric, usually buff, from the natural colour of a cotton grown in the Nanking district" of China. ('Century.')

1838. James, 'Six Months in South Australia, p. 202:

"After shooting one or two beautiful nankeen birds."

1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 121:

"The nankeen crane (Nycticorax caledonicus), a very handsome bright nankeen-coloured bird with three long white feathers at the back of the neck, very good eating."

Nankeen Gum. See Gum.

Nankeen Hawk, n. an Australian bird, Tinnunculus cenchroides, Vig. and Hors., which is otherwise called Kestrel (q.v.).

1827. Vigors and Horsfield, 'Transactions of the Linnaean Society,' vol. xv. p. 184:

"'This bird,' as we are informed by Mr. Caley, 'is called Nankeen Hawk by the settlers. It is a migratory species.'"

Nannygai, n. aboriginal name for an Australian fish, Beryx affinis, Gunth.

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish of New South Wales,' p. 52:

"Amongst the early colonists it used also to be called 'mother nan a di,' probably a corruption of the native name, mura ngin a gai."

1884. E. P. Ramsay, 'Fisheries Exhibition Literature,' vol. v. p. 308:

"Known among the fishermen of Port Jackson as the 'nannagai,' or as it is sometimes spelt 'nannygy.' It is a most delicious fish, always brings a high price, but is seldom found in sufficient numbers."

Nardoo, or Nardu, n. aboriginal word for the sporocarp of a plant, Marsilea quadrifolia, Linn., used as food by the aboriginals, and sometimes popularly called Clover-fern. The explorers Burke and Wills vainly sought the means of sustaining life by eating flour made from the spore-cases of nardoo. "Properly Ngardu in the Cooper's Creek language (Yantruwunta)." (A. W. Howitt.) Cooper's Creek was the district where Burke and Wills perished. In South Australia Ardoo is said to be the correct form.

1861. 'Diary of H. J. Wills, the Explorer,' quoted in Brough Smyth's 'Aborigines of Victoria,' p. 216:

"I cannot understand this nardoo at all; it certainly will not agree with me in any form. We are now reduced to it alone, and we manage to get from four to five pounds a day between us. . . . It seems to give us no nutriment. . . . Starvation on nardoo is by no means very unpleasant, but for the weakness one feels and the utter inability to move oneself, for, as far as appetite is concerned, it gives me the greatest satisfaction."

1862. Andrew Jackson, 'Burke and the Australian Exploring Expedition of 1860,' p. 186:

"The [wheaten] flour, fifty pounds of which I gave them, they at once called 'whitefellow nardoo,' and they explained that they understood that these things were given to them for having fed King."

1865. W. Howitt, 'Discovery in Australia,' vol. ii. p. 247:

"They now began to inquire of the blacks after the nardoo seed, imagining it the produce of a tree; and received from the natives some of their dried narcotic herbs, which they chew, called pitchery. They soon found the nardoo seed in abundance, on a flat, and congratulated themselves in the idea that on this they could subsist in the wilderness, if all other food failed, a hope in which they were doomed to a great disappointment."

1877. F. von Mueller, 'Botanic Teachings,' p. 130:

"Of Marsiliaceae we have well known examples in the nardoo (Marsilea quadrifolia, with many varieties), the foliage resembling that of a clover with four leaflets."

1878. R. Brough Smyth, 'Aborigines of Victoria,' p. 209:

"They seem to have been unacquainted generally with the use, as a food, of the clover-fern, Nardoo, though the natives of the North Western parts of Victoria must have had intercourse with the tribes who use it, and could have obtained it, sparingly, from the lagoons in their own neighbourhood."

1879. J. D. Wood, 'Native Tribes of South Australia,' p. 288:

"Ardoo, often described by writers as Nardoo. A very hard seed, a flat oval of about the size of a pea. It is crushed for food."

1879 (about). 'Queensland Bush Song':

"Hurrah for the Roma Railway! Hurrah for Cobb and Co.! Hurrah, hurrah for a good fat horse To carry me Westward Ho! To carry me Westward Ho! my boys; That's where the cattle pay, On the far Barcoo, where they eat nardoo, A thousand miles away."

1879. S. Gason, in 'The Native Tribes of South Australia,' p. 288:

"Ardoo. Often described in news papers and by writers as Nardoo. A very hard seed, a flat oval of about the size of a split pea; it is crushed or pounded, and the husk winnowed. In bad seasons this is the mainstay of the native sustenance, but it is the worst food possible, possessing very little nourishment, and being difficult to digest."

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Proceedings of the of the Linnaean Society of New South Wales,' p. 82 [Botanical Notes on Queensland]:

"Sesbania aculeata. The seeds of this plant are eaten by the natives. It grows in all warm or marshy places in Queensland. By many it is thought that this was the Nardoo which Burke and Wills thought came from the spores of a Marsilea. It is hard to suppose that any nourishment would be obtained from the spore cases of the latter plant, or that the natives would use it. Besides this the spore-cases are so few in number."

1890. E. D. Cleland, 'White Kangaroo,' p. 113:

"The great thing with the blacks was nardoo. This is a plant which sends up slender stems several inches high; at the tip is a flower-like leaf, divided into four nearly equal parts. It bears a fruit, or seed, and this is the part used for food. It is pounded into meal between two stones, and is made up in the form of cakes, and baked in the ashes. It is said to be nourishing when eaten with animal food, but taken alone to afford no support."

Native, n. This word, originally applied, as elsewhere, to the aboriginal inhabitants of Australia, is now used exclusively to designate white people born in Australia. The members of the "Australian Natives' Association" (A.N.A.), founded April 27, 1871, pride themselves on being Australian-born and not immigrants. Mr. Rudyard Kipling, in the 'Times' of Nov. 1895, published a poem called " The Native-Born," sc. born in the British Empire, but outside Great Britain. As applied to Plants, Animals, Names, etc., the word Native bears its original sense, as in "Native Cabbage," "Native Bear," "Native name for," etc., though in the last case it is now considered more correct to say in Australia "Aboriginal name for," and in New Zealand "Maori name for."

1861. Mrs. Meredith, 'Over the Straits,' c. v. p. 161:

"Three Sydney natives ('currency' not aboriginal) were in the coach, bound for Melbourne."

1896. A. B. Paterson, 'Man from Snowy River,' p. 43:

"They were long and wiry natives from the rugged mountain side."

Native, or Rock-Native, n. a name given to the fish called Schnapper, after it has ceased to "school." See Schnapper.

Native Arbutus, n. See Wax-cluster.

Native Banana, n. another name for Lilly-pilly (q.v.).

Native Banyan, n. another name for Ficus rubiginosa. See Fig.

Native Bear, n. See Bear.

Native Beech, n. See Beech.

Native Blackberry, n. See Blackberry.

Native Borage, n. See Borage.

Native Box, n. See Box.

Native Bread, n. See Bread.

Native Broom, n. See Broom.

Native Burnet, n. See Burnet.

Native Cabbage, n. The Nasturtium palustre, De C., N.O. Cruciferae, is so called, but in spite of its name it is not endemic in Australia. In New Zealand, the name is sometimes applied to the Maori Cabbage (q.v.).

Native Carrot, n. See Carrot.

Native Cascarilla, n. See Cascarilla.

Native Cat, n. See Cat.

Native Celery, or Australian Celery, n. See Celery.

Native Centaury, n. See Centaury.

Native Cherry, n. See Cherry.

Native-Companion, n. an Australian bird-name, Grus australasianus, Gould. See also Crane.

1845. R. Howitt, 'Australia,' p. 125:

"Here we saw the native-companion, a large bird of the crane genus . . . five feet high, colour of the body grey, the wings darker, blue or black."

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 38:

"With native-companions (Ardea antigone) strutting round."

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. vi. pl. 48:

"Grus Australasianus, Gould, Australian Crane; Native-Companion of the Colonists."

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 146:

"A handsome tame 'native-companion,' which had been stalking about picking up insects, drew near. Opening his large slate-coloured wings, and dancing grotesquely, the interesting bird approached his young mistress, bowing gracefully from side to side as he hopped lightly along; then running up, he laid his heron-like head lovingly against her breast."

1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 21:

"The most extraordinary of Riverina birds is the native-companion."

1890. Tasma, 'In her Earliest Youth,' p. 145:

"A row of native-companions, of course, standing on one leg— as is their wont—like recruits going to drill."

[Query, did the writer mean going "through" drill.]

1891. 'Guide to Zoological Gardens, Melbourne,' p. 23:

"In this paddock are some specimens of the Native Companion, whose curious habit of assembling in groups on the plains and fantastically dancing, has attracted much attention. This peculiarity is not confined to them alone, however, as some of the other large cranes (notably the crowned cranes of Africa) display the same trait."

Native Cranberry, n. See Cranberry.

Native Currant, n. See under Currant.

Native Daisy, n. See Daisy.

Native Damson, n. See Damson.

Native Dandelion, n. See Dandelion.

Native Daphne, n. See Daphne.

Native Date, n. See Date.

Native Deal, n. See Deal.

Native Dog, n. Another name for the Dingo (q.v.).

Native Elderberry, n. See Elderberry.

Native Flag, n. See under Flax, Native, and New Zealand.

Native Fuchsia, n. See Fuchsia.

Native Furze, n. See Hakea.

Native Ginger, n. See Ginger.

Native Grape, n. See Grape, Gippsland.

Native-hen, n. name applied to various species of the genus Tribonyx (q.v.). The Australian species are—

Tribonyx mortieri, Du Bus., called by Gould the Native Hen of the Colonists;

Black-tailed N.-h., T. ventralis, Gould;

and in Tasmania, Tribonyx gouldi, Sclater. See Tribonyx.

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. vi. pl. 71:

"Tribonyx Mortierii, Du Bus., native-hen of the colonists."

Native Hickory, n. See Hickory.

Native Holly, n. See Holly.

Native Hops, n. See Hops.

Native Hyacinth, n. See Hyacinth.

Native Indigo. n. See Indigo.

Native Ivy, n. See Ivy, and Grape, Macquarie Harbour.

Native Jasmine, n. See Jasmine.

Native Juniper, n. Same as Native Currant. See under Currant.

Native Kumquat, n. Same as Desert Lemon (q.v.).

Native Laburnum, n. See Laburnum.

Native Laurel, n. See Laurel.

Native Lavender, n. See Lavender.

Native Leek, n. See Leek.

Native Lilac, n. a Tasmanian plant. See Lilac.

Native Lime, n. See Lime.

Native Lucerne, n. i.q. Queensland Hemp. See under Hemp.

Native Mangrove, n. Tasmanian name for the Boobialla (q.v.).

Native Mignonette, n. See Mignonette.

Native Millet, n. See Millet.

Native Mint, n. See Mint.

Native Mistletoe, n. See Mistletoe.

Native Mulberry, n. See Mulberry.

Native Myrtle, n. See Myrtle.

Native Nectarine, n. another name for the Emu-Apple. See under Apple.

Native Oak, n. See Oak.

Native Olive, n. See under Olive and Marblewood.

Native Onion, n. Same as Native Leek. See Leek.

Native Orange, n. See under Orange.

Native Passion-flower, n. See Passion-flower.

Native Peach, n. i.q. Quandong (q.v.).

Native Pear, n. See Hakea and Pear.

Native Pennyroyal, n. See Pennyroyal.

Native Pepper, n. See Pepper.

Native Plantain, n. See Plantain.

Native Plum, n. See Plum, Wild.

Native Pomegranate, n. See Orange, Native.

Native Potato, n. See Potato.

Native Quince, n. Another name for Emu-Apple. See Apple.

Native Raspberry, n. See Raspberry.

Native Rocket, n. See Rocket.

Native Sandalwood, n. See Sandalwood and Raspberry-Jam Tree.

Native Sarsaparilla, n. See Sarsaparilla.

Native Sassafras, n. See Sassafras.

Native Scarlet-runner, n. See Kennedya.

Native Shamrock. n. See Shamrock.

Native Sloth, n. i.q. Native Bear. See Bear.

Native Speedwell, n. See Speedwell.

Native Tamarind, n. See Tamarind-tree.

Native Tiger, n. See Tasmanian Tiger.

Native Tobacco, n. See Tobacco.

Native Tulip, n. See Waratah.

Native Turkey, n. Same as Wild Turkey. A vernacular name given to Eupodotis australis, Gray, which is not a turkey at all, but a true Bustard. See Turkey.

Native Vetch, n. See Vetch.

Native Willow, n. See Boobialla and Poison-berry Tree.

Native Yam, n. See Yam.

Necho, and Neko. See Nikau.

Nectarine, Native, n. another name for Emu-Apple. See Apple.

Needle-bush, n. name applied to two Australian trees, Hakea leucoptera, R. Br., N.O. Proteaceae; called also Pin-bush and Water-tree (q.v.) and Beefwood; Acacia rigens, Cunn., N.O. Leguminosae (called also Nealie). Both trees have fine sharp spines.

Negro-head Beech, n. See Beech.

Neinei, n. Maori name for New Zealand shrub, Dracophyllum longifolium, R. Br., also D. traversii, N.O. Epacrideae.

1865. J. Von Haast, 'A Journey to the West Coast, 1865' (see 'Geology of Westland,' p. 78):

"An undescribed superb tree like Dracophyllum, not unlike the D. latifolium of the North Island, began to appear here. The natives call it nene. (Named afterwards D. traversii by Dr. Hooker.) It has leaves a foot long running out into a slender point, of a reddish brown colour at the upper part, between which the elegant flower- panicle comes forth."

1883. J. Hector, 'Handbook of New Zealand,' p. 128:

"Neinei, an ornamental shrub-tree, with long grassy leaves. Wood white, marked with satin-like specks, and adapted for cabinet-work."

1888. J. Adams, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. xxi. art. ii. p. 40:

"On the flat and rounded top the tallest plants are stunted neinei."

Nephrite, n. See Greenstone.

Nestor, n. scientific name for a genus of New Zealand Parrots. See Kaka and Kea.

1863. S. Butler, 'First Year in Canterbury Settlement,' p. 58:

"There was a kind of dusky, brownish-green parrot too, which the scientific call a Nestor. What they mean by this name I know not. To the unscientific it is a rather dirty-looking bird, with some bright red feathers under its wings. It is very tame, sits still to be petted, and screams like a parrot."

Nettle-tree, n. Two species of Laportea, N.O. Urticaceae, large scrub-trees, are called by this name—Giant Nettle, L. gigas, Wedd., and Small-leaved Nettle, L. photiniphylla, Wedd.; they have rigid stinging hairs. These are both species of such magnitude as to form timber-trees. A third, L. moroides, Wedd., is a small tree, with the stinging hairs extremely virulent. See also preceding words. /??/

1849. J. P. Townsend, 'Rambles in New South Wales,' p. 34:

"In the scrubs is found a tree, commonly called the nettle- tree (Urtica gigas). It is often thirty feet in height, and has a large, broad, green leaf. It is appropriately named; and the pain caused by touching the leaf is, I think, worse than that occasioned by the sting of a wasp."

Never, Never Country, or Never, Never Land. See quotations. Mr. Cooper's explanation (1857 quotation) is not generally accepted.

1857. F. de Brebant Cooper, 'Wild Adventures in Australia,' p. 68:

"With the aid of three stock-keepers, soon after my arrival at Illarrawarra, I had the cattle mustered, and the draft destined for the Nievah vahs ready for for the road."

[Footnote]: "Nievah vahs, sometimes incorrectly pronounced never nevers, a Comderoi term signifying unoccupied land."

1884. A. W. Stirling, 'The Never Never Land: a Ride in North Queensland,' p. 5:

"The 'Never Never Land,' as the colonists call all that portion of it [Queensland] which lies north or west of Cape Capricorn."

1887. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol. i. p. 279:

"In very sparsely populated country, such as the district of Queensland, known as the Never Never Country—presumably because a person, who has once been there, invariably asseverates that he will never, never, on any consideration, go back."

1890. J. S. O'Halloran, Secretary Royal Colonial Institute, apud Barrere and Leland:

"The Never, Never Country means in Queensland the occupied pastoral country which is furthest removed from the more settled districts."

1890. A. J. Vogan, 'The Black Police,' p. 85:

"The weird 'Never, Never Land,' so called by the earliest pioneers from the small chance they anticipated, on reaching it, of ever being able to return to southern civilization."

Newberyite, n. [Named after J. Cosmo Newbery of Melbourne.] "A hydrous phosphate of magnesium occurring in orthorhombic crystals in the bat-guano of the Skipton Caves, Victoria." ('Century.')

New Chum, n. a new arrival, especially from the old country: generally used with more or less contempt; what in the United States is called a 'tenderfoot.'

1839. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions,' vol. i. p. 99:

"He was also what they termed a 'new chum,' or one newly arrived."

1846. C. P. Hodgson, 'Reminiscences of Australia,' p. 366:

"'New Chum,' in opposition to 'Old Chum.' The former 'cognomen' peculiarizing [sic] the newly-arrived Emigrant; the latter as a mark of respect attached to the more experienced Colonist."

1855. 'How to Settle in Victoria,' p. 15:

"They appear to suffer from an apprehension of being under- sold, or in some other way implicated by the inexperience of, as they call him, the 'new chum.'"

1865. 'Once a Week,' 'The Bulla Bulla Bunyip':

"I was, however, comparatively speaking, a 'new chum,' and therefore my explanation of the mystery met with scant respect."

1874. W. M. B., 'Narrative of Edward Crewe,' p. 17:

"To be a new chum is not agreeable—it is something like being a new boy at school—you are bored with questions for some time after your arrival as to how you like the place, and what you are going to do; and people speak to you in a pitying and patronizing manner, smiling at your real or inferred simplicity in colonial life, and altogether 'sitting upon' you with much frequency and persistence."

1885. R. M. Praed, 'Head Station,' p. 32:

"A new chum is no longer a new chum when he can plait a stock-whip."

1886. P. Clarke [Title]:

"The New Chum in Australia."

1887. W. S. S. Tyrwhitt [Title]:

"The New Chum in the Queensland Bush."

1890. Tasma, 'In her Earliest Youth,' p. 152:

"I've seen such a lot of those new chums, one way and another. They knock down all their money at the first go-off, and then there's nothing for them to do but to go and jackaroo up in Queensland."

1891. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Sydney-side Saxon,' p. 4:

"The buggy horse made a bolt of it when a new-chum Englishman was driving her."

1892. Mrs. H. E. Russell, 'Too Easily jealous,' p. 155:

"One man coolly told me it was because I was a new chum, just as though it were necessary for a fellow to rusticate for untold ages in these barbarous solitudes, before he is allowed to give an opinion on any subject connected with the colonies."

New Chumhood, n. the period and state of being a New Chum.

1883. W. Jardine Smith, in 'Nineteenth Century,' November, p. 849:

"The 'bumptiousness' observable in the early days of 'new chumhood.'"

New Holland, n. the name, now extinct, first given to Australia by Dutch explorers.

1703. Capt. William Dampier,' Voyages,' vol. iii. [Title]:

"A Voyage to New Holland, &c., in the Year 1699."

1814. M. Flinders, 'Voyage to Terra Australis,' Intro. p. ii:

"The vast regions to which this voyage was principally directed, comprehend, in the western part, the early discoveries of the Dutch, under the name of New Holland; and in the east, the coasts explored by British navigators, and named New South Wales."

1845. J. O. Balfour, 'Sketch of New South Wales,' p. 2:

"The Spaniards at the commencement of the seventeenth century were the discoverers of New Holland; and from them it received the name of Australia. It subsequently, however, obtained its present name of New Holland from the Dutch navigators, who visited it a few years afterwards."

[The Spaniards did not call New Holland Australia (q.v.). The Spaniard Quiros gave the name of Australia del Espiritu Santo to one of the New Hebrides (still known as Espiritu Santo), thinking it to be part of the 'Great South Land.' See Captain Cook's remarks on this subject in 'Hawkesworth's Voyages,' vol. iii. p. 602.]

1850. J. Bonwick, 'Geography for Australian Youth,' p. 6:

"Australasia, or Australia, consists of the continent of New Holland, or Australia, the island of Tasmania, or Van Diemen's Land, and the islands of New Zealand."

[In the map accompanying the above work 'Australia' is printed across the whole continent, and in smaller type 'New Holland' stretches along the Western half, and 'New South Wales' along the whole of the Eastern.]

New South Wales, n. the name of the oldest and most important colony in Australia. The name "New Wales" was first given by Captain Cook in 1770, from the supposed resemblance of the coast to that of the southern coast of Wales; but before his arrival in England he changed the name to "New South Wales." It then applied to all the east of the continent. Victoria and Queensland have been taken out of the parent colony. It is sometimes called by the slang name of Eastralia, as opposed to Westralia (q.v).

New Zealand, n. This name was given to the colony by Abel Jansz Tasman, the Dutch navigator, who visited it in 1642. He first called it Staaten-land. It is now frequently called Maoriland (q.v.).

New Zealand Spinach, n. See Spinach.

Ngaio, >n. Maori name for a New Zealand tree, Myoporum laetum, Forst.; generally corrupted into Kaio, in South Island.

1873. 'Catalogue of Vienna Exhibition':

"Ngaio: wood light, white and tough, used for gun-stocks."

1876. J. C. Crawford, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. ix. art. xiv. p. 206:

"A common New Zealand shrub, or tree, which may be made useful for shelter, viz. the Ngaio."

1880. W. Colenso, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. xiii. art. i. p. 33:

"The fruits of several species of Rubus, and of the Ngaio (Myoporum laetum), were also eaten, especially by children."

1892. 'Otago Witness,' Nov. 3, 'Native Trees':

"Myoporum Laetum (Ngaio). This is generally called kio by colonists. It is a very rapid-growing tree for the first five or six years after it has been planted. They are very hardy, and like the sea air. I saw these trees growing at St. Kilda, near Melbourne, thirty years ago."

Nicker Nuts, n. i.q. Bonduc Nuts (q.v.).

Nigger, n. an Australian black or aboriginal. [Of course an incorrect use. He is not a negro, any more than the Hindoo is.]

1874. M. C., 'Explorers,' p. 25:

"I quite thought the niggers had made an attack."

1891. 'The Argus,' Nov. 7, p. 13, col. 5:

"The natives of Queensland are nearly always spoken of as 'niggers' by those who are brought most directly in contact with them."

Nigger-head, n. (1) Name given in New Zealand to hard blackstones found at the Blue Spur and other mining districts. They are prized for their effectiveness in aiding cement-washing. The name is applied in America to a round piece of basic igneous rock.

(2) Name used in Queensland for blocks of coral above water.

1876. Capt. J. Moresby, R. N., 'Discoveries and Surveys in New Guinea,' pp. 2-3:

"The gigantic Barrier Reef is submerged in parts, generally to a shallow depth, and traceable only by the surf that breaks on it, out of which a crowd of 'nigger heads,' black points of coral rock, peep up in places . . ."

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish of New South Wales,' p. 111:

"Abundantly on the Queensland coast, especially on the coral reefs, where all the outstanding blocks of coral (nigger-heads) are covered with them."

Nightjar, n. English bird-name, applied in Australia to the following species—

Large-tailed Nightjar— Caprimulgus macrurus, Hors.

Little N.— AEgotheles novae-hollandiae, Gould.

Spotted N.— Eurostopodus guttatus, Vig. and Hors.

White-throated N.— E. albogularis, Vig. and Hors.

Nikau, n. Maori name for a New Zealand palm-tree, Areca sapida, N.O. Palmeae. Spelt also Necho and Neko.

1843. 'An Ordinance for imposing a tax on Raupo Houses, Session II. No. xvii. of the former legislative Council of New Zealand':

[From A. Domett's collection of Ordinances, 1850.]

"Section 2. . . . there shall be levied in respect of every building constructed wholly or in part of raupo, nikau, toitoi, wiwi, kakaho, straw or thatch of any description [ . . . L20]."

1845. E. J. Wakefield, 'Adventures in New Zealand,' c. i. p. 270:

[The house was] "covered with thick coating of the leaves of the nikau (a kind of palm) and tufts of grass."

1854. W. Golder, 'Pigeons' Parliament,' [Note] p. 75:

"The necho or neko is a large tree-like plant known elsewhere as the mountain cabbage."

1862. 'All the Year Round,' 'From the Black Rocks on Friday,' May 17, No. 160:

"I found growing, as I expected, amongst the trees abundance of the wild palm or nikau. The heart of one or two of these I cut out with my knife. The heart of this palm is about the thickness of a man's wrist, is about a foot long, and tastes not unlike an English hazel-nut, when roasted on the ashes of a fire. It is very nutritious."

1882. T. H. Potts, 'Out in the Open,' p. 86:

"The pale green pinnate-leaved nikau."

1888. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol. iii. p. 210:

"With the exception of the kauri and the nekau-palm nearly every tree which belongs to the colony grows in the 'seventy-mile bush' of Wellington."

Nipper, n. local name in Sydney for Alphaeus socialis, Heller, a species of prawn.

Nobbler, n. a glass of spirits; lit. that which nobbles or gets hold of you. Nobble is the frequentative form of nab. No doubt there is an allusion to the bad spirits frequently sold at bush public-houses, but if a teetotaler had invented the word he could not have invented one involving stronger condemnation.

1852. G. F. P., 'Gold Pen and Pencil Sketches,' canto xiv.:

"The summit gained, he pulls up at the Valley, To drain a farewell 'nobbler' to his Sally."

1859. Frank Fowler, 'Southern Lights and Shadows,' p. 52:

"To pay for liquor for another is to 'stand,' or to 'shout,' or to 'sacrifice.' The measure is called a 'nobbler,' or a 'break-down.'"

1873. A. Trollope, 'Australia and New Zealand,' vol. ii. p. 201:

"A nobbler is the proper colonial phrase for a drink at a public-house."

1876. J. Brenchley, 'May Bloom,' p. 80:

"And faster yet the torrents flow Of nobblers bolted rapidly."

1880. Fison and Howitt, 'Kamilaroi and Kurnai,' p. 249:

"When cruising about . . . with a crew of Kurnai . . . I heard two of my men discussing where we could camp, and one, on mentioning a place, said, speaking his own language, that there was 'le-en (good) nobler.' I said, 'there is no nobler there.' He then said in English, 'Oh! I meant water.' On inquiry I learned that a man named Yan (water) had died shortly, before, and that not liking to use that word, they had to invent a new one."

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 36:

"Only to pull up again at the nearest public-house, to the veranda of which his horse's bridle was hung until he had imbibed a nobbler or two."

Nobblerise, v. to drink frequent nobblers (q.v.).

1864. J. Rogers, 'The New Rush,' p. 51:

"And oft a duffer-dealing digger there Will nobblerize in jerks of small despair . ."

1882. A. J. Boyd, 'Old Colonials,' p. 268:

"The institution of 'nobblerising' is carried out in far different places."

Noddy, n. common English name for the sea-bird. The species observed in Australia are—

The Noddy— Anous stolidus, Linn.

Black-cheeked N.— A. melanogenys, Gray.

Grey N.— A. cinereus, Gould.

Lesser N.— A. tenuirostris, Temm.

White-capped N.— A. leucocapillus, Gould.

Nonda, n. aboriginal name for a tree, Parinarium Nonda, F. v. M., N.O. Rosaceae, of Queensland. It has an edible, mealy fruit, rather like a plum.

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 315:

"We called this tree the 'Nonda,' from its resemblance to a tree so called by the natives in the Moreton Bay district."

Noogoora Bur, n. a Queensland plant, Xanthium strumarium, Linn., N.O. Compositae.

Noon-flower, n. a rare name for the Mesembryanthemum. See Pig-face.

1891. 'The Argus,' Dec. 19, p. 4, col. 2:

"The thick-leaved noon-flower that swings from chalk cliffs and creek banks in the auriferous country is a delectable salad."

Norfolk Island Pine, n. See Pine.

Note, n. short for Bank-note, and always used for a one-pound note, the common currency. A note = L1.

1864. J. Rogers, 'New Rush,' pt. ii. p. 28:

"A note's so very trifling, it's no sooner chang'd than gone; For it is but twenty shillings."

1875. Wood and Lapham, 'Waiting for Mail,' p. 39:

"And even at half fifty notes a week You ought to have made a pile."

1884. Marcus Clarke, 'Memorial Volume,' p. 92:

"I lent poor Dick Snaffle a trotting pony I had, and he sold him for forty notes."

Notornis, n. a bird of New Zealand allied to the Porphyrio (q.v.), first described from a fossil skull by Professor Owen (1848), and then thought to be extinct, like the Moa. Professor Owen called the bird Notornis mantelli, and, curiously enough, Mr. Walter Mantell, in whose honour the bird was named, two years afterwards captured a live specimen; a third specimen was captured in 1879. The word is from the Greek notos, south, and 'ornis, bird. The Maori names were Moho and Takahe (q.v.).

Notoryctes, n. the scientific name of the genus to which belongs the Marsupial Mole (q.v.).

Nugget, n. a lump of gold. The noun nugget is not Australian, though often so supposed. Skeat ('Etymological Dictionary,' s.v.) gives a quotation from North's 'Plutarch' with the word in a slightly different shape, viz., niggot. "The word nugget was in use in Australia many years before the goldfields were heard of. A thick-set young beast was called 'a good nugget.' A bit of a fig of tobacco was called 'a nugget of tobacco.'" (G. W. Rusden.)

1852. Sir W. T. Denison, 'Proceedings of the Royal Society of Van Diemen s Land,' vol. ii. p. 203:

'In many instances it is brought to market in lumps, or 'nuggets' as they are called, which contain, besides the gold alloyed with some metal, portions of quartz or other extraneous material, forming the matrix in which the gold was originally deposited, or with which it had become combined accidentally."

1869. Marcus Clarke, 'Peripatetic Philosopher' (reprint), p. 51:

"They lead a peaceful, happy, pastoral life—dig in a hole all day, and get drunk religiously at night. They are respected, admired, and esteemed. Suddenly they find a nugget, and lo! the whole tenor of their life changes."

Nugget, v. Queensland slang. See quotation.

1887. R. M. Praed, 'Longleat of Kooralbyn,' c. iii. p. 25:

"To nugget: in Australian slang, to appropriate your neighbours' unbranded calves."

Ibid. c. xviii. p. 182:

"If he does steal a calf now and then, I know several squatters who are given to nuggeting."

Nuggety, adj. applied to a horse or a man. Short, thick-set and strong. See G. W. Rusden's note under Nugget.

1896. Private Letter, March 2:

"Nuggety is used in the same sense as Bullocky (q.v.), but with a slight difference of meaning, what we should say 'compact.' Bullocky has rather a sense of over-strength inducing an awkwardness of movement. Nuggety does not include the last suggestion."

Nulla-nulla, n. (spellings various) aboriginal name. A battle club of the aborigines in Australia.

1839. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia,' vol. i. p. 71:

"He then threw a club, or nulla-nulla, to the foot of the tree."

1853. C. Harpur, 'Creek of the Four Graves':

"Under the crushing stroke Of huge clubbed nulla-nullas."

1873. J. B. Stephens, 'Black Gin,' p. 61:

"Lay aside thy nullah-nullahs Is there war betwixt us two?"

1885. R. M. Praed, 'Australian Life,' p. 9:

"The blacks . . . battered in his skull with a nulla-nulla."

1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 11:

"They would find fit weapons for ghastly warriors in the long white shank-bones gleaming through the grass—appropriate gnulla-gnullas and boomerangs."

1889. P. Beveridge, 'Aborigines of Victoria and Riverina,' p. 67:

"The nulla-nulla is another bludgeon which bears a distinctive character . . . merely a round piece of wood, three feet long and two and a half inches thick, brought to a blunt point at the end. The mallee is the wood from which it is generally made."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 72:

"I frequently saw another weapon, the 'nolla-nolla' or club, the warlike weapon of the Australian native most commonly in use. It is a piece of hard and heavy wood sharpened to a point at both ends. One end is thick and tapers gradually to the other end, which is made rough in order to give the hand a more secure hold; in using he weapon the heavy end is thrown back before it is hurled."

1892. J. Fraser, 'Aborigines of New South Wales,' p. 73:

"One of the simplest of Australian clubs, the 'nulla-nulla' resembles the root of a grass-tree in the shape of its head . . . in shape something like a child's wicker-rattle."

Nut, n. (1) Slang. Explained in quotation.

1882. A. J. Boyd, 'Old Colonials,' p. 60:

"The peculiar type of the Australian native (I do not mean the aboriginal blackfellow, but the Australian white), which has received the significant sobriquet of 'The Nut,' may be met with to all parts of Australia, but more particularly . . . in far-off inland bush townships. . . . What is a Nut? . . . Imagine a long, lank, lantern jawed, whiskerless, colonial youth . . . generally nineteen years of age, with a smooth face, destitute of all semblance of a crop of 'grass,' as he calls it in his vernacular."

(2) Dare-devil, etc. "Tommy the Nut" was the alias of the prisoner who, according to the story, was first described as "a-larrikin," by Sergeant Dalton. See Larrikin.

Nut, Bonduc, n. See Bonduc Nut.

Nut, Burrawang, n. See Burrawang.

Nut, Candle, n. See Candle-nut.

Nut, Nicker, n. See Bonduc Nut.

Nut, Queensland, n. See Queensland Nut.

Nut, Union, n. See Union Nut.

Nut-Grass, n. an Australian plant, Cyperus rotundus, Linn., N.O. Cyperaceae. The specific and the vernacular name both refer to the round tubers of the plant; it is also called Erriakura (q.v.).

Nutmeg, Queensland, n. See Queensland Nutmeg.

Nut-Palm, n. a tree, Cycas media, R. Br., N.O. Cycadeae.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 21:

"Nut-Palm. Employed by the aborigines as food. An excellent farina is obtained from it."


Oak, n. The Oak of the Northern Hemisphere (Quercus) is not found among the indigenous trees of Australia; but the name Oak is applied there to the trees of the genus Casuarina (q.v.), and usually in the curious form of She-Oak (q.v.). The species have various appellations in various parts, such as Swamp-Oak, River-Oak, Bull-Oak, Desert-Oak; and even the word He-Oak is applied sometimes to the more imposing species of She-Oak, though it is not recognised by Maiden, whilst the word Native Oak is indiscriminately applied to them all.

The word Oak is further extended to a few trees, not Casuarinae, given below; and in New Zealand it is also applied to Matipo (q.v.) and Titoki, or Alectryon (q.v.).

The following table of the various trees receiving the name of Oak is compiled from J. H. Maiden's 'Useful Native Plants'—

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