A Dictionary of Austral English
by Edward Morris
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Bull-Oak— Casuarina equisetifolia, Forst.; C. glauca, Sieb.

Forest-O.— Casuarina equisetifolia, Forst.; C. suberosa; Otto and Diet.; C. torulosa, Ait.

Mountain-O.— Queensland name for Casuarina torulosa, Ait.

River Black-O.— Casuarina suberosa, Otto and Diet.

River-O.— Callistemon salignus, De C., N.O. Myrtaceae; Casuarina cunninghamii, Miq.; C. distyla, Vent.; C. stricta, Ait.; C. torulosa, Ait.

Scrub Silky-O.— Villaresia moorei, F. v. M., N.O. Olacineae. Called also Maple.


Coast S.-O.— Casuarina stricta,

Desert S.-0.— C. glauca, Sieb.

Erect S.-O.— C. suberosa, Otto and Diet.

River S.-O.— C. glauca, Sieb.

Scrub S.-O.— C. cunninghamii, Miq.

Stunted S.-O.— C. distyla, Vent.

Shingle-O.— Casuarina stricta, Ait.; C. suberosa, Otto and Diet.

Silky-O.— Stenocarpus salignus, R. Br., N.O. Proteaceae; called also Silvery-Oak. See also Grevillea and Silky-Oak.

Swamp-O.— Casuarina equisetifolia, Forst.; C. glauca, Sieb.; C. suberosa, Otto and Diet.; C. stricta, Ait.; called also Saltwater Swamp-Oak.

White-O.— Lagunaria patersoni, G. Don., N.O. Malvaceae.

Botany-Bay Oak, or Botany-Oak, is the name given in the timber trade to the Casuarina .

The 'Melbourne Museum Catalogue of Economic Woods' (1894) classes the She-Oak in four divisions—

Desert She-Oak— Casuarina glauca, Sieb.

Drooping S.-O.— C. quadrivalvis, Labill.

Shrubby S.-O.— C. distyla, Vent.

Straight S.-O.— C. suberosa, Otto.

1770. Captain Cook, 'Journal,' Sunday, May 6 (edition Wharton, 1893, pp. 247, 248):

"The great quantity of plants Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander found in this place occasioned my giving it the name of Botany Bay. . . . Although wood is here in great plenty, yet there is very little Variety; . . . Another sort that grows tall and Strait something like Pines—the wood of this is hard and Ponderous, and something of the Nature of America live Oak."

1770. R. Pickersgill, 'Journal on the Endeavour' (in 'Historical Records of New South Wales'), p. 215:

"May 5, 1770.—We saw a wood which has a grain like Oak, and would be very durable if used for building; the leaves are like a pine leaf."

1802. Jas. Flemming, 'Journal of Explorations of Charles Grimes,' in 'Historical Records of Port Phillip' (edition 1879, J. J. Shillinglaw), p. 22:

"The land is a light, black-sand pasture, thin of timber, consisting of gum, oak, Banksia, and thorn."

[This combination of timbers occurs several times in the 'Journal.' It is impossible to decide what Mr. Flemming meant by Oak.]

1839. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions,' vol. i. p. 38:

"We found lofty blue-gum trees (Eucalyptus) growing on the flats near the Peel, whose immediate banks were overhung by the dense, umbrageous foliage of the casuarina, or 'river-oak' of the colonists."

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

"The river-oak grows on the banks and rivers, and having thick foliage, forms a pleasant and useful shade for cattle during the heat of the day; it is very hard and will not split. The timber resembles in its grain the English oak, and is the only wood in the colony well adapted for making felloes of wheels, yokes for oxen, and staves for casks."

1846. C. Holtzapffel, 'Turning,' p. 75:

"Botany-Bay Oak, sometimes called Beef-wood, is from New South Wales. . . . In general colour it resembles a full red mahogany, with darker red veins."

1860. G. Bennett, 'Gatherings of a Naturalist,' p. 323:

"The Casuarina trees, with their leafless, thin, thread-like, articulated branches, have been compared to the arborescent horse-tails (Equisetaceae), but have a much greater resemblance to the Larch-firs; they have the colonial name of Oaks, which might be changed more appropriately to that of Australian firs. The dark, mournful appearance of this tree caused it to be planted in cemeteries. The flowers are unisexual; the fruit consists of hardened bracts with winged seeds. The wood of this tree is named Beef-wood by the colonists."

1862. H. C. Kendall, 'Poems,' p. 56:

"The wail in the native oak."

1878. W. R. Guilfoyle, 'First Book of Australian Botany,' p. 54:

"It may here be remarked that the term 'oak' has been very inaptly—in fact ridiculously—applied by the early Australian settlers; notably in the case of the various species of Casuarina, which are commonly called 'she-oaks."

1880. Fison and Howitt, 'Kamilaroi and Kurnai,' p. 252:

"They chose a tall He-oak, lopped it to a point."

1885. J. Hood, 'Land of the Fern,' p. 53:

"The sighing of the native oak, Which the light wind whispered through."

1892. A. Sutherland, 'Elementary Geography of British Colonies,' p. 27:

"A peculiar class of trees, called by the scientific name of Casuarina, is popularly known as oaks, 'swamp-oaks,' 'forest-oaks,' 'she-oaks,' and so forth, although the trees are not the least like oaks. They are melancholy looking trees, with no proper leaves, but only green rods, like those of a pine-tree, except that they are much longer, and hang like the branches of a weeping-willow."

Oak-Apple, n. the Cone of the Casuarina or She-Oak tree.

1862. G. T. Lloyd, 'Thirty-three Years in Tasmania and Victoria,' p. 32:

"The small apple of this tree (she-oak) is also dark green . . . both apple and leaf are as acid as the purest vinegar.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 15:

"In cases of severe thirst, great relief may be obtained from chewing the foliage of this and other species [of Casuarina], which, being of an acid nature, produces a flow of saliva—a fact well-known to bushmen who have traversed waterless portions of the country. This acid is closely allied to citric acid, and may prove identical with it. Children chew the young cones, which they call 'oak-apples.'"

Oamaru Stone, n. Oamaru is a town on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It produces a fine building stone.

1883. J. Hector, 'Handbook of New Zealand', p. 64:

"A white, granular limestone, called the Oamaru stone, is worked in extensive quarries in the Oamaru district. . . . A considerable quantity has been exported to Melbourne."

Oat-Grass, n. Anthistiria avenacea, F. v. M., N.O. Gramineae. A species of Kangaroo- Grass (q.v.). See also Grass.

Oat-shell, n. the shell of various species of Columbella, a small marine mollusc used for necklaces.

Oats, Wild, an indigenous grass, Bromus arenarius, Labill, N.O. Gramineae.Called also Seaside Brome-Grass. "It makes excellent hay." (Maiden, p. 79.)

Officer Plant, n. another name for Christmas-Bush (q.v.), so called "because of its bright red appearance." (Maiden, p. 404.)

Old Chum, n. Not in common use: the opposite to a new chum.

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."

Old Hat, a Victorian political catch-word.

1895. 'The Argus,' May 11, p. 8, col. 3:

"Mr. Frank Stephen was the author of the well-known epithet 'Old Hats,' which was applied to the rank and file of Sir James M'Culloch's supporters. The phrase had its origin through Mr. Stephen's declaration at an election meeting that the electors ought to vote even for an old hat if it were put forward in support of the M'Culloch policy."

Old Lady, n. name given to a moth, Erebus Pluto.

Old Man, n. a full-grown male Kangaroo. The aboriginal corruption is Wool-man.

1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 160:

"To your great relief, however, the 'old man' turns out to possess the appendage of a tail, and is in fact no other than one of our old acquaintances, the kangaroos."

1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 141:

"If he (greyhound) has less ferocity when he comes up with an 'old man,' so much the better. . . . The strongest and most courageous dog can seldom conquer a wool-man alone, and not one in fifty will face him fairly; the dog who has the temerity is certain to be disabled, if not killed."

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 33:

"Mr. Gilbert started a large kangaroo known by the familiar name of 'old man.'"

1861. T. McCombie, 'Australian Sketches,' p. 172:

"The settlers designate the old kangaroos as 'old men' and 'old women;' the full-grown animals are named 'flyers,' and are swifter than the British hare."

1864. W. Westgarth, 'Colony of Victoria,' p. 451:

"The large kangaroo, the 'old man,' as he is called, timorous of every unwonted sound that enters his large, erected ears, has been chased far from every busy seat of colonial industry."

1873. J. B. Stephens, 'Black Gin,' p. 39:

"Where the kangaroo gave hops, The old man fleetest of the fleet."

1893. 'The Times,' [Reprint] 'Letters from Queensland,' p. 66:

"The animals, like the timber, too, are strange. Kangaroo and wallaby are as fond of grass as the sheep, and after a pelican's yawn there are few things funnier to witness than the career of an 'old man' kangaroo, with his harem after him, when the approach of a buggy disturbs the family at their afternoon meal. Away they go, the little ones cantering briskly, he in a shaggy gallop, with his long tail stuck out for a balance, and a perpetual see-saw maintained between it and his short front paws, while the hind legs act as a mighty spring under the whole construction. The side and the back view remind you of a big St. Bernard dog, the front view of a rat. You begin an internal debate as to which he most resembles, and in the middle of it you find that he is sitting up on his haunches, which gives him a secure height of from five to six feet, and is gravely considering you with the air of the old man he is named from."

Old-Man, adj. large, or bigger than usual. Compare the next two words.

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

"I stared at a man one day for saying that a certain allotment of land was 'an old-man allotment': he meant a large allotment, the old-man kangaroo being the largest kangaroo."

1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 7:

"Who that has ridden across the Old-Man Plain . . ."

Old-Man Fern, a Bush-name in Tasmania for the Tree-fern (q.v.).

Old-Man Salt-Bush, Atriplex nummularium, Lindl. See Salt-Bush.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 118:

"One of the tallest and most fattening and wholesome of Australian pastoral salt-bushes; also highly recommended for cultivation, as natural plants. By close occupation of the sheep and cattle runs, have largely disappeared, and as this useful bush is not found in many parts of Australia, sheep and cattle depastured on saltbush country are said to remain free of fluke, and get cured of Distoma-disease, and of other allied ailments (Mueller)."

Old-Wife, n. a New South Wales fish, Enoplosus armatus, White, family Percidae. The local name Old-Wife in England is given to a quite different fish, one of the Sea-Breams.

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish of New South Wales,' p. 32:

"The 'old-wife' (Enoplosus armatus, White) is another fish which from its small size is not esteemed nearly so highly as it ought to be. It is a most exquisite fish."

Olive, Mock, i.q. Axe-breaker (q.v.).

Olive, Native, n. one of the many names given to four trees—

Bursaria spinosa, Cav., N.O. Pittosporeae,; Elaeocarpus cyaneus, Ait., N.O. Tiliaceae; Notelaea ovala, R. Br., N.O. Jasmineae,; and, in Queensland, to Olea paniculata, R. Br., N.O. Jasmineae,, a tree of moderate size, with ovoid fruit resembling a small common Olive.

Olive, Spurious, n. another name for the tree Notelaea ligustrina, Vent. See Ironwood.

On, prep. Used for In, in many cases, especially of towns which sprang from Goldfields, and where the original phrase was, e.g. "on the Ballarat diggings, or goldfield." Thus, an inhabitant still speaks of living On Ballarat, On Bendigo; On South Melbourne (formerly Emerald Hill).

1869. J. F. Blanche, 'The Prince's Visit,' p. 21:

"When came Victoria's son on Ballarat."

1896. H. Lawson, 'While the Billy boils, etc.' p. 3:

"After tea they would sit on a log of the wood-heap, . . and yarn about Ballarat and Bendigo—of the days when we spoke of being 'on' a place oftener than 'at' it: on Ballarat, on Gulgong, on Lambing Flat, on Creswick."

Onion, Native, n. i.q. Native Leek. See Leek.

Onychogale, n. the scientific name of the genus containing the Nail-tailed Wallabies (q.v.). They derive their name from the presence of a peculiar horny appendage to their tails. (Grk. 'onux, 'onuchos, a claw, and galae, a weasel.) For the species, see Wallaby.

Opossum, n. The marsupial animal, frequent all over Australia, which is called an Opossum, is a Phalanger (q.v.). He is not the animal to which the name was originally applied, that being an American animal of the family Didelphyidae. See quotations below from 'Encycl. Brit.' (1883). Skeat ('Etym. Dict.') says the word is West Indian, but he quotes Webster (presumably an older edition than that now in use), "Orig. opassom, in the language of the Indians of Virginia," and he refers to a translation of Buffon's Natural History' (Lond. 1792), Vol. i. p. 214. By 1792 the name was being applied in Australia. The name opossum is applied in Australia to all or any of the species belonging to the following genera, which together form the sub-family Phalangerinae, viz.—Phalanger, Trichosurus, Pseudochirus, Petauroides, Dactylopsila, Petaurus, Gymnobelideus, Dromicia, Acrobates.

The commoner forms are as follows:—

Common Dormouse O.— Dromicia nana, Desm.

Common Opossum— Trichosurus vulpecula, Kerr.

Common Ring-tailed-O.— Pseudochirus peregrinus, Bodd.

Greater Flying-O.— Petauroides volans, Kerr.

Lesser Dormouse O.— Dromicia lepida, Thomas.

Lesser Flying-O.— Petaurus breviceps, Water.

Pigmy Flying-O.- Acrobates pygmaeus.

Short-eared-O.— Trichosurus caninus, W. Ogilby.

Squirrel Flying-O., or Flying Squirrel— Petaurus sciureus, Shaw.

Striped O.— Dactylopsila trivirgata, Gray.

Tasmanian, or Sooty O.— Trichosurus vulpecula, var. fuliginosus.

Tasmanian Ring-tailed-O.— Pseudochirus cooki, Desm.

Yellow-bellied Flying-O.— Petaurus australis, Shaw.

Of the rare little animal called Leadbeater's Opossum, only one specimen has been found, and that in Victoria; it is Gymnobelideus leadbeateri, and is the only species of this genus.

1608. John Smith, 'Travels, Adventures, and Observations in Europe, Asia, Africke, and America, beginning about 1593, and continued to 1629;' 2 vols., Richmond, U.S., reprinted 1819; vol. i. p. 124 [On the American animal; in the part about Virginia, 1608]:

"An Opassom hath a head like a Swine,—a taile like a Rat, and is of the bigness of a Cat. Under the belly she hath a bagge, wherein she lodgeth, carrieth and suckleth her young."

[This is the American opossum. There are only two known genera of living marsupials outside the Australian region.]

1770. 'Capt. Cook's Journal' (edition Wharton, 1893), p. 294 [at Endeavour River, Aug. 4, 1770]:

"Here are Wolves, Possums, an animal like a ratt, and snakes."

1770. J. Banks, 'Journal,' July 26, (edition Hooker, 1896, p. 291):

"While botanising to-day I had the good fortune to take an animal of the opossum (Didelphis) tribe; it was a female, and with it I took two young ones. It was not unlike that remarkable one which De Buffon has described by the name of Phalanger as an American animal. It was, however, not the same. M. de Buffon is certainly wrong in asserting that this tribe is peculiar to America, and in all probability, as Pallas has said in his Zoologia, the Phalanger itself is a native of the East Indies, as my animals and that agree in the extraordinary conformation of their feet, in which they differ from all others."

1789. Governor Phillip, 'Voyage to Botany Bay,' p. 104:

"The pouch of the female, in which the young are nursed, is thought to connect it rather with the opossum tribe."

[p. 147]: "A small animal of the opossum kind."

[p. 293]: "Black flying-opossum. [Description given.] The fur of it is so beautiful, and of so rare a texture, that should it hereafter be found in plenty, it might probably be thought a very valuable article of commerce."

1793. J. Hunter, 'Voyage,' p. 68:

"The opossum is also very numerous here, but it is not exactly like the American opossum: it partakes a good deal of the kangaroo in the strength of its tail and make of its fore-legs, which are very short in proportion to the hind ones; like that animal it has the pouch, or false belly, for the safety of its young in time of danger."

1798. D. Collins, 'Account of New South Wales,' fol. i. p. 562:

"At an early age the females wear round the waist a small line made of the twisted hair of the opossum, from the centre of which depend a few small uneven lines from two to five inches long. This they call bar-rin."

1809. G. Shaw, 'Zoological Lectures,' vol. i. p. 93:

"A still more elegant kind of New Holland opossum is the petaurine opossum . . . has the general appearance of a flying-squirrel, being furnished with a broad furry membrane from the fore to the hind feet, by the help of which it springs from tree to tree. . . . Known in its native regions by the name of hepoona roo."

1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 67:

"Their food consists of fish when near the coasts, but when in the woods, of oppossums [sic], bandicoots, and almost any animal they can catch."

1845. R. Howitt, 'Australia,' p. 143:

"The sharp guttural noises of opossums."

Ibid. p. 174 ['The Native Woman's Lament']:

"The white man wanders in the dark, We hear his thunder smite the bough; The opossum's mark upon the bark We traced, but cannot find it, now."

1853. J. West, 'History of Tasmania,' vol. i. p. 324:

"The opossums usually abound where grass is to be found, lodging by day in the holes and hollows of trees. The most common species is the Phalangista vulpina (Shaw), under which are placed both the black and grey opossums. . . . The ringtail opossum (Phalangista or Hepoona Cookii, Desm.) is smaller, less common, and less sought after, for dogs will not eat the flesh of the ringtail even when roasted."

1855. W. Howitt, 'Two Years in Victoria,' vol. i. p. 200:

"Dogs, immediately on coming into the Australian forest, become perfectly frantic in the pursuit of opossums."

1883. 'Encyclopaedia Britannica' (ed. 9) [On the Australian animal], vol. xv. p. 382:

"A numerous group, varying in size from that of a mouse to a large cat, arboreal in their habits and abundantly distributed throughout the Australian region . . . have the tail more or less prehensile. . . . These are the typical phalangers or 'opossums,' as they are commonly called in Australia. (Genus Phalangista.)"

Ibid. p. 380 [On the American animal]:

"The Didelphidae, or true opossums, differ from all other marsupials in their habitat, being peculiar to the American continent. They are mostly carnivorous or insectivorous in their diet, and arboreal in habits."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 11:

"Among the colonists the younger generation are very zealous opossum hunters. They hunt them for sport, going out by moonlight and watching the animal as it goes among the trees to seek its food."

1891. 'Guide to Zoological Gardens, Melbourne':

"We see two fine pairs of the Tasmanian sooty opossum (Phalangista fuliginosa); this species is unapproached by any other in regard to size and the beauty of its fur, which is of a rich, fulvous brown colour. This opossum is becoming scarce in Tasmania on account of the value of its fur, which makes it much sought after. In the next compartment are a pair of short-eared opossums (P. canina), the mountain opossums of Southern Australia. The next is a pair of vulpine opossums; these are the common variety, and are found all over the greater part of Australia, the usual colour of this kind being grey."

1893. 'Melbourne Stock and Station Journal,' May 10 (advertisement):

"Kangaroo, wallaby, opossum, and rabbit skins. . . . Opossum skins, ordinary firsts to 7s. 6d; seconds to 3s.; thirds to 1s. 6d; silver greys up to 9s. per doz.; do. mountain, to 18s. per doz."

Opossum-Mouse, n. the small Australian marsupial, Acrobates pygmaeus, Shaw; more correctly called the Pigmy Flying-Phalanger. See Flying- Phalanger. This is the animal generally so denoted, and it is also called the Flying-Mouse. But there is an intermediate genus, Dromicia (q.v.), with no parachute expansion on the flanks, not "flying," of which the name of Dormouse-Phalanger is the more proper appellation. The species are the—

Common Dormouse-Phalanger— Dromicia nana, Desm.

Lesser D.-Ph.— D. lepida, Thomas.

Long-tailed D.-Ph.— D. caudata, M. Edw.

Western D.-Ph.— D. concinna, Gould.

One genus, with only one species, the Pentailed-Phalanger, Distaechurus pennatus, Peters, is confined to New Guinea.

1832. J. Bischoff, 'Van Diemen's Land,' p. 28:

"The opossum-mouse is about the size of our largest barn-mouse."

1894. R. Lydekker, 'Marsupialia,' p. 118:

"Resembling a common mouse in size, and hence known to the colonists as the flying-mouse or opossum-mouse, this little animal is one of the most elegant of the Australian marsupials."

Opossum-Tree, n. a timber-tree, Quintinia sieberi, De C., N.O. Saxifrageae.

Orange, n. i.q. Native Lime, Citrus australis. See Lime.

Orange, Mock, n. i.q. Native Laurel. See Laurel.

Orange, Native, n. name given to two Australian trees. (1) Capparis mitchelli, Lindl., N.O. Capparideae.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 12:

"'Small Native Pomegranate,' 'Native Orange.' The fruit is from one to two inches in diameter, and the pulp, which has an agreeable perfume, is eaten by the natives."

(2) Citriobatus pauciflorus, A. Cunn., N.O. Pittosporeae.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 16:

"'Native Orange,' 'Orange Thorn.' The fruit is an orange berry with a leathery skin, about one inch and a half in diameter. It is eaten by the aboriginals."

Orange, Wild, n. i.q. Wild Lemon. See under Lemon.

Orange-Gum, n. See Gum.

Orange-spotted Lizard (of New Zealand), Naultinus elegans, Gray.

Orange-Thorn, n. See Orange, Native(2).

Orange-Tree, n. The New Zealand Orange-Tree is a name given to the Tarata (q.v.), from the aromatic odour of its leaves when crushed.

Organ-Bird, or Organ-Magpie, n. other names for one of the Magpies (q.v.).

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

"Gymnorrhina organicum, Gould, Tasmanian crow-shrike; Organ-Bird and White-Magpie of the Colonists. Resembling the sounds of a hand-organ out of tune."

1848. T. L. Mitchell, 'Tropical Australia,' p. 176:

"The burita, or Gymnorrhina, the organ-magpie, was here represented by a much smaller bird."

Ornithorhynchus, n. i.q. Platypus (q.v.).

Orthonyx, n. a scientific name of a remarkable Australian genus of passerine birds, the spine-tails. It long remained of uncertain position . . . and finally it was made the type of a family, Orthonycidae. In the type species, O. spinacauda . . . the shafts of the tail-feathers are prolonged beyond the legs. ('Century.') Thename is from the Greek 'orthos, straight, and 'onux, a claw. See Log-Runner and Pheasant's Mother.

Osprey, n. another name for the Fish-Hawk (q.v.).

Ounce, n. used as adj. Yielding an ounce of gold to a certain measure of dirt, as a dish-full, a cradle-full, a tub-full, etc. Also used to signify the number of ounces per ton that quartz will produce, as "ounce-stuff," "three-ounce stuff," etc.

Out-run, n. a sheep-run at a distance from the Head-station (q.v.).

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. vi. p. 47 (1890):

"They'd come off a very far out-run, where they'd been, as one might say, neglected."

Out-station, n. a sheep or cattle station away from the Head-station (q.v.).

1844. 'Port Phillip Patriot,' July 11, p. 1, col. 3:

"There are four out-stations with huts, hurdles . . . and every convenience."

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discoveries in Australia,' vol. i. c. 8, p. 231:

"The usual fare at that time at the out-stations—fried pork and kangaroo."

1870. Paul Wentworth, 'Amos Thorne,' c. iii. p. 26:

"He . . . at last on an out-station in the Australian bush worked for his bread."

Overland, v. to take stock across the country.

1874. W. H. L. Ranken, 'Dominion of Australia,' c. xiii. p. 232:

"Herds used to be taken from New South Wales to South Australia across what were once considered the deserts of Riverina. That used to be called 'overlanding.'"

1890. Lyth, 'Golden South,' c. ix. p. 74:

"Several gentlemen were away from the two nearest stations, 'overlanding,' i.e. taking sheep, cattle, and flour to Melbourne."

Overlander, n. (1) In the days before railways, and when much of the intervening country was not taken up, to travel between Sydney and Melbourne, or Melbourne and Adelaide, was difficult if not dangerous. Those who made either journey were called Overlanders. In this sense the word is now only used historically, but it retains the meaning in the general case of a man taking cattle a long distance, as from one colony to another.

(2) A slang name for a Sundowner (q.v.).

1843. Rev. W. Pridden, 'Australia: Its History and Present Condition,' p. 335:

"Among the beings which, although not natives of the bush, appear to be peculiar to the wilds of Australia, the class of men called Overlanders must not be omitted. Their occupation is to convey stock from market to market, and from one colony to another."

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discovery in Australia,' vol. ii. c. vi. p. 237:

"The Eastern extent of the country of South Australia was determined by the overlanders, as they call the gentlemen who bring stock from New South Wales."

1880. Garnet Walch, 'Victoria in 1880,' p. 11:

"Overlanders from Sydney and Melbourne to Adelaide were making great sums of money."

1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' c. ix. p. 69:

"He gave us the advice of an experienced overlander."

1880. A. J. Vogan, 'Black Police,' p. 262:

"An 'overlander,'—for, as you havn't any of the breed in New Zealand, I'll explain what that is,—is Queensland-English for a long-distance drover; and a rough, hard life it generally is. . . . Cattle have to be taken long distances to market sometimes from these 'up-country' runs."

1890. 'Melbourne Argus,' June 7, p. 4, col. 1:

"Then came overlanders of another sort—practical men who went out to develop and not to explore."

Owl, n. an English bird-name. The species in Australia are—

Boobook Owl— Ninox boobook, Lath.

Chestnut-faced O.— Strix castanops, Gould.

Grass O.— S. candida, Tickell.

Lesser Masked O.— S. delicatula, Lath.

Masked O.— S. novae-hollandiae, Steph.

Powerful O.— Ninox strenua, Gould.

Sooty O.— Strix tenebricosa, Gould.

Spotted O.— Ninox maculata, Vig. and Hors.

Winking O.— N. connivens, Lath.

In New Zealand, the species are—Laughing Jackass, or L. Owl, Sceloglaux albifacies, Kaup (Maori name, Whekau, q.v.), and the Morepork, formerly Athene novae-zelandiae, Gray, now Spiloglaux novae-zelandiae, Kaup. (See Morepork.)

See also Barking Owl.

Owl-Parrot, n. a bird of New Zealand. See Kakapo.

Oyster, n. The Australian varieties are—Mud-Oyster, Ostrea angasi, Sow. (sometimes considered only a variety of O. edulis, Linn., the European species): New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia. O. rutupina, Jeffreys, "the native" of Colchester, England, is a variety and occurs in Tasmania. Drift-O., O. subtrigona, Sow., called so because its beds are thought to be shifted by storms and tides: New South Wales and Queensland. Rock-O., O. glomerata, Gould, probably the same species as the preceding, but under different conditions: all Eastern Australia. And other species more or less rare. See also Stewart Islander. Australian oysters, especially the Sydney Rock-Oyster, are very plentiful, and of excellent body and flavour, considered by many to be equal if not superior to the Colchester native. They cost 1s. a dozen; unopened in bags, they are 6d. a dozen—a contrast to English prices.

Oyster-Bay Pine, n. See Pine.

1857. 'Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land,' vol. i. p. 155:

"16 August, 1848 . . . A sample of the white resin of the Oyster Bay Pine (Callitris Australis, Brown) lay on the table. The Secretary stated that this tree has only been met with along a comparatively limited and narrow strip of land bordering the sea on the eastern coast of Tasmania, and upon Flinders and Cape Barren Islands in Bass's Straits; that about Swanport and the shores of Oyster Bay it forms a tree, always handsome and picturesque, and sometimes 120 feet in height, affording useful but not large timber, fit for all the ordinary purposes of the house carpenter and joiner in a country district."

1880. Mrs. Meredith, 'Tasmanian Friends and Foes,' p. 222:

"Those most picturesque trees, the Oyster Bay pines, which, vividly green in foliage, tapering to a height of eighty or one hundred feet, and by turns symmetrical or eccentric in form, harmonise and combine with rugged mountain scenery as no other of our trees here seem to do."

Oyster-catcher, n. common English bird-name. The Australasian species are—Pied, Haematopus longirostris, Vieill.; Black, H. unicolor, Wagler; and two other species—H. picatus, Vigors, and H. australasianus, Gould, with no vernacular name.

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discoveries in Australia,' vol. ii. c. vii. p. 174:

"Our game-bag was thinly lined with small curlews, oyster-catchers, and sanderlings."

1872. A. Domett, 'Ranolf,' p. 274:

"Slim oyster-catcher, avocet, And tripping beach-birds, seldom met Elsewhere."


Pa, or Pah, n. The former is now considered the more correct spelling. A Maori word to signify a native settlement, surrounded by a stockade; a fort; a fighting village. In Maori, the verb pa means, to touch, to block up. Pa = a collection of houses to which access is blocked by means of stockades and ditches.

1769. 'Captain Cook's Journal' (edition Wharton, 1893), p. 147:

"I rather think they are places of retreat or stronghold, where they defend themselves against the attack of an enemy, as some of them seemed not ill-design'd for that purpose."

Ibid. p. 156:

"Have since learnt that they have strongholds—or hippas, as they call them—which they retire to in time of danger."

[Hawkesworth spelt it, Heppahs; he = Maori definite article.]

1794. 'History of New South Wales' (1818), p. 175:

"[On the coast of New Zealand] they passed many huts and a considerable hippah, or fortified place, on a high round hill, from the neighbourhood of which six large canoes were seen coming towards the ship."

1842. W. R. Wade, 'Journey in New Zealand' (Hobart Town), p. 27:

"A native pa, or enclosed village, is usually surrounded by a high stockade, or irregular wooden fence, the posts of which are often of great height and thickness, and sometimes headed by the frightful carving of an uncouth or indecent image."

1858. 'Appendix to Journal of House of Representatives,' E-4, p. 4:

"They seem, generally speaking, at present inveterate in their adherence to their dirty native habits, and to their residence in pas."

1859. A. S. Thomson, M.D., 'Story of New Zealand,' p. 132:

"The construction of the war pas . . . exhibits the inventive faculty of the New Zealanders better than any other of their works. . . . Their shape and size depended much on the nature of the ground and the strength of the tribe. They had double rows of fences on all unprotected sides; the inner fence, twenty to thirty feet high, was formed of poles stuck in the ground, slightly bound together with supple-jacks, withes, and torotoro creepers. The outer fence, from six to eight feet high, was constructed of lighter materials. Between the two there was a dry ditch. The only openings in the outer fence were small holes; in the inner fence there were sliding bars. Stuck in the fences were exaggerated wooden figures of men with gaping mouths and out-hanging tongues. At every corner were stages for sentinels, and in the centre scaffolds, twenty feet high, forty feet long, and six broad, from which men discharged darts at the enemy. Suspended by cords from an elevated stage hung a wooden gong twelve feet long, not unlike a canoe in shape, which, when struck with a wooden mallet, emitted a sound heard in still weather twenty miles off. Previously to a siege the women and children were sent away to places of safety."

1863. T. Moser, 'Mahoe Leaves,' p. 14:

"A pah is strictly a fortified village, but it has ceased to be applied to a fortified one only, and a collection of huts forming a native settlement is generally called a pah now-a-days."

1867. F. Hochstetter, 'New Zealand,' p. 22:

"They found the pah well fortified, and were not able to take it."

1879. Clement Bunbury, 'Fraser's Magazine, June, p. 761:

"The celebrated Gate Pah, where English soldiers in a panic ran away from the Maoris, and left their officers to be killed."

1889. Cassell's' Picturesque Australasia,' vol. iv. p. 46:

"A sally was made from the pah, but it was easily repulsed. Within the pah the enemy were secure."

Pachycephala, n. the scientific name for the typical genus of Pachycephalinae, founded in 1826 by Vigors and Horsfield. It is an extensive group of thick-headed shrikes, containing about fifty species, ranging in the Indian and Australian region, but not in New Zealand. The type is P. gutturalis, Lath., of Australia. ('Century.') They are singing-birds, and are called Thickheads (q.v.), and often Thrushes (q.v.). The name is from the Greek pachus, thick, and kephalae, the head.

Packer, n. used for a pack-horse.

1875. Wood and Lapham, 'Waiting for Mail,' p. 59:

"The boys took notice of a horse, some old packer he looked like."

1890. 'The Argus,' June 7, p. 4, col. 1:

"The Darling drover with his saddle-horses and packers."

Paddock. (1) 1n England, a small field; in Australia, the general word for any field, or for any block of land enclosed by a fence. The 'Home-paddock' is the paddock near the Homestation, and usually very large.

1832. J. Bischoff, 'Van Diemen's Land,' c. vi. p. 148:

"There is one paddock of 100 acres, fenced on four sides."

1844. 'Port Phillip Patriot,' July 25, p. 3, col. 6:

"A 300-acre grass paddock, enclosed by a two-rail fence."

1846. C. P. Hodgson, 'Reminiscences of Australia,' p. 42:

"The paddocks are so arranged that hills may afford shelter, and plains or light-timbered flats an escape from the enormous flies and other persecuting enemies."

1892. 'Scribner's Magazine,' Feb., p. 141:

"'Paddocks,' as the various fields are called (some of these 'paddocks' contain 12,000 acres)."

(2) An excavation made for procuring wash-dirt in shallow ground. A place built near the mouth of a shaft where quartz or wash-dirt is stored. (Brough Smyth, 'Glossary of Mining Terms,' 1869.)

1895. 'Otago Witness,' Nov. 21, p. 22, col. 5:

"A paddock was opened at the top of the beach, but rock-bottom was found."

Paddock, v. to divide into paddocks.

1873. A. Trollope, 'Australia and New Zealand,' c. xx. p. 302:

"When a run is paddocked shepherds are not required; but boundary riders are required."

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

Paddymelon, n. the name of a small Wallaby (q.v.), Macropus thetidis, Less. It is certainly a corruption of an aboriginal name, and is spelt variously pademelon, padmelon, and melon simply. (See Melon-holes.) This word is perhaps the best instance in Australia of the law of Hobson-Jobson, by which a strange word is fitted into a language, assuming a likeness to existing words without any regard to the sense. The Sydney name for kangaroo was patagorang. See early quotations. This word seems to give the first half of the modern word. Pata, or pada, was the generic name: mella an adjective denoting the species. Paddymalla (1827) marks an intermediate stage, when one-half of the word had been anglicised. At Jervis Bay, New South Wales, the word potalemon was used for a kangaroo.

1793. J. Hunter, 'Voyage,' p. 547:

"The pattagorang and baggaray frequently supplied our colonists with fresh meals, and Governor Phillip had three young ones, which were likely to live: he has not the least doubt but these animals are formed in the false belly."

1798. D. Collins, 'Account of English Colony in New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 548:

"The pat-ta-go-rang or kangooroo was (bood-yer-re) good, and they ate it whenever they were fortunate enough to kill one."

1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 310:

"The wallabee and paddymalla grow to about sixty pounds each."

1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 212:

"Had hunted down a paddymelon (a very small species of kangaroo, which is found in the long grass and thick brushes)."

1845. Clement Hodgkinson, 'Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay,' p. 45:

"The brush-kangaroos or pademellas were thus gradually enclosed."

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

"A small species of the kangaroo tribe, called by the sealers paddymelon, is found on Philip Island, while none have been seen on French Island."

1851. J. Henderson, 'Excursions in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 129:

"The small kind of kangaroo, however, called by the natives 'Paddy Melon,' and which inhabits the dense brushes or jungles, forms a more frequent, and more easily obtained article of food."

1863. M. K. Beveridge, 'Gatherings,' p. 41:

"An apron made from skin of Paddie-Melon."

1863. B. A. Heywood, 'Vacation Tour at the Antipodes,' p. 107:

"In the scrub beyond, numbers of a small kind of kangaroo called 'Paddy- Mellans,' resort."

[Footnote] "I cannot guarantee the spelling."

1888. Cassell's' Picturesque Australasia,' vol. ii. p. 90:

"The kangaroo and his relatives, the wallaby and the paddymelon."

1890. A. H. S. Lucas, 'Handbook of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science,' p. 62:

"Onychogale fraenatus and its ally O. lunatus. Mr. Le Souef reports that the former are fairly numerous in the Mallee country to the north-west of the Colony, and are there known as Pademelon." [This seems to be only a local use.]

1893. J. L. Purves, Q.C., in 'The Argus,' Dec. 14, p. 9, col. 7:

"On either side is a forest, the haunt of wombats and tree-bears, and a few paddymelons."

Paddymelon-Stick, n. a stick used by the aborigines for knocking paddymelons (q.v.) on the head.

1851. J. Henderson, 'Excursions in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 129:

"These are hunted in the brushes and killed with paddy mellun sticks with which they are knocked down. These sticks are about 2 feet long and an inch or less in diameter."

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 56:

"Nulla-mullahs, paddy-melon sticks, boomerangs, tomahawks, and heelimen or shields lay about in every direction."

Pah, n. i.q. Pa (q.v.).

Pake, n. Maori name for a coarse mat used against rain. A sack thrown over the shoulders is called by the settlers a Pake.

Pakeha, n. Maori word for a white man. The word is three syllables, with even accent on all. A Pakeha Maori is an Englishman who lives as a Maori with the Maoris. Mr. Tregear, in his 'Maori Comparative Dictionary,' s.v. Pakepakeha, says: "Mr. John White [author of 'Ancient History of the Maoris'] considers that pakeha, a foreigner, an European, originally meant 'fairy,' and states that on the white men first landing sugar was called 'fairy-sand,' etc." Williams' 'Maori Dictionary' (4th edit.) gives, "a foreigner: probably from pakepakeha, imaginary beings of evil influence, more commonly known as patupaiarehe, said to be like men with fair skins." Some express this idea by "fairy." Another explanation is that the word is a corruption of the coarse English word, said to have been described by Dr. Johnson (though not in his dictionary), as "a term of endearment amongst sailors." The first a in Pakeha had something of the u sound. The sailors' word would have been introduced to New Zealand by whalers in the early part of the nineteenth century.

1820. 'Grammar and Vocabulary of Language of New Zealand' (Church Missionary Society), p. 187:

"Pakeha, s. an European; a white man."

1832. A. Earle, 'Narrative of Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand,' p. 146:

"The white taboo'd day, when the packeahs (or white men) put on clean clothes and leave off work" [sc. Sunday].

1845. E. J. Wakefield, 'Adventures in New Zealand,' c. i. p. 73:

"We do not want the missionaries from the Bay of Islands, they are pakeha maori, or whites who have become natives."

1854. W. Golder, 'Pigeons' Parliament,' canto iii. p. 44:

"Aiding some vile pakehas In deeds subversive of the laws."

1876. F. E. Maning [Title]:

"Old New Zealand, by a Pakeha Maori."

1884. T. Bracken, 'Lays of the Maori,' p. 15:

"Long ere the pale pakeha came to the shrine."

Palberry, n. a South Australian name for the Native Currant. See Currant. The word is a corruption of the aboriginal name Palbri, by the law of Hobson-Jobson.

Palm, Alexandra, n. a Queensland timber-tree, Ptychosperma alexandrae, F. v. M., N.O. Palmeae.

Palm, Black, n. a Queensland timber-tree, Ptychosperma normanbyi, F. v. M., N.O. Palmeae.

Palm, Cabbage, n. i.q. Cabbage-tree (q.v.)

Palm Nut, n. See under Nut.

Palm, Walking-Stick, n. a Queensland plant, Bacularia monostachya, F. v. M., N.O. Palmeae. So called because the stem is much used for making walking-sticks.

Panel, n. the part between two posts in a post-and-rail fence. See also Slip-panel.

1876. A. L. Gordon, 'Sea-spray,' p. 148:

"In the jar of the panel rebounding, In the crash of the splintering wood, In the ears to the earth-shock resounding, In the eyes flashing fire and blood."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xviii. p. 226:

"A panel of fencing is not quite nine feet in length."

Pan, or Pan-wash, Pan-out, Pan-off, verbs, to wash the dirt in the pan for gold. Some of the forms, certainly pan-out, are used in the United States.

1870. J. O. Tucker, 'The Mute,' p. 40:

"Others to these the precious dirt convey, Linger a moment till the panning's through."

1880. G. Sutherland, 'Tales of Gold fields,' p. 4:

"On the very day of their arrival they got a lesson in pan-washing."

Ibid. p. 36:

"All the diggers merely panned out the earth."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right,' c. vii. p. 79:

"These returned gnomes having been brought to light, at once commenced to pan off according to the recognized rule and practice."

Pannikin, n. a small tin cup for drinking. The word is not Australian. Webster refers to Marryat and Thackeray. The 'Century' quotes Blackmore. This diminutive of pan is exceedingly common in Australia, though not confined to it.

1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 200:

"He went to the spring and brought me a pannican full."

(p. 101): "Several tin pannicans."

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 87:

"We caught the rain in our pannikins as it dropt from our extended blankets."

1848. W. Westgarth, 'Australia Felix,' p. 190:

"There is a well-known story of two bullock-drivers, who, at a country public-house on their way to the town, called for a dozen of champagne, which they first emptied from the bottles into a bucket, and then deliberately drank off from their tin pannikins."

1871. C. L. Money, 'Knocking About in New Zealand,' p. 6:

"He was considered sufficiently rewarded in having the 'honour' to drink his 'pannikin' of tea at the boss's deal table."

1880. G. Sutherland, 'Tales of Goldfields,' p. 44:

"A small pannikin full of gold dust."

Pannikin-boss, or Pannikin-overseer, n. The term is applied colloquially to a man on a station, whose position is above that of the ordinary station-hand, but who has no definite position of authority, or is only a 'boss' or overseer in a small way.

Papa, n. Maori word for a bluish clay found along the east coast of the North Island.

Paper-bark Tree, or Paper-barked Tea-tree, n. Called also Milk-wood (q.v.). Name given to the species Melaleuca leucodendron, Linn. Its bark is impervious to water.

1842. 'Western Australia,' p. 81:

"There is no doubt, from the partial trial which has been made of it, that the wood of the Melaleuca, or tea-tree, could be rendered very serviceable. It is sometimes known by the name of the paper-bark tree from the multitudinous layers (some hundreds) of which the bark is composed. These layers are very thin, and are loosely attached to each other, peeling off like the bark of the English birch. The whole mass of the bark is readily stripped from the tree. It is used by the natives as a covering for their huts."

[Compare the New Zealand Thousand-jacket.]

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discoveries of Australia,' vol. i. c. v. p. 106:

"The face of the country was well but not too closely covered with specimens of the red and white gum, and paper-bark tree."

1847. E. W. Landor, 'The Bushman; or, Life in a New Country,' p. 212:

"Fish and other things are frequently baked in the bark of the papertree."

1857. J. Askew, 'Voyage to Australia and New Zealand,' p. 433:

"The dead bodies are burnt or buried, though some in North Australia place the corpse in the paper bark of the tea-tree, and deposit it in a hollow tree."

Paper-fish, n. a Tasmanian name. See Bastard Trumpeter and Morwong.

1883. 'Royal Commission on Fisheries of Tasmania,' p. xxxvi:

"The young [of the bastard trumpeter] are always coloured, more or less, like the red, and are known by some as 'paper-fish.' The mature form of the silver bastard is alone caught. This is conclusive as favouring the opinion that the silver is simply the mature form of the red."

Paradise, Bird of, n. English bird-name, originally applied in Australia to the Lyre-bird (q.v.), now given to Manucoda gouldii, Gray. Called also the Manucode (q.v.).

1802. D. Collins, 'Account of New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 300:

"By him [Wilson, a convict] the first bird of paradise ever seen in this country had been shot." [This was the Lyre-bird.]

Paradise-Duck, n. bird-name applied to the New Zealand duck, Casarca variegata, Gmel. See Duck quotation, 1889, Parker.

1845. E. J. Wakefield, 'Adventures in New Zealand,' c. 1. p. 57:

"These (wild ducks of different sorts) are principally the black, the grey, the blue-winged, and the paradise-duck, or 'pu tangi tangi,' as it is called by the natives. The last is nearly as large as a goose, and of beautiful plumage."

Paradoxus, n. a shortened form of the former scientific name of the Platypus, Paradoxus ornithorrhynchus. Sometimes further abbreviated to Paradox. The word is from the Greek paradoxos, 'Contrary to opinion, strange, incredible.' ('L. & S.')

1817. O'Hara, 'The History of New South Wales,' p. 452:

"In the reaches or pools of the Campbell River, the very curious animal called the paradox, or watermole, is seen in great numbers."

Paramatta/sic/, n. "A fabric like merino, of worsted and cotton. So named from Paramatta, a town near Sydney, New South Wales." (Skeat, 'Etymological Dictionary,' s.v.) According to some, the place named Parramatta means, in the local Aboriginal dialect, "eels abound," or "plenty of eels." Others rather put it that para = fish, and matta= water. There is a river in Queensland called the Paroo, which means "fish-river."

NOTE.—The town Parramatta, though formerly often spelt with one r, is now always spelt with two.

1846. C. P. Hodgson, 'Reminiscences of Australia,' p. 367:

"A peculiar tweed, made in the colony, and chiefly at Paramatta, hence the name."

1883. J. Hector, 'Handbook of New Zealand, p. 19:

"Paramattas, fine cloths originally made from the Paramatta wool, with silk warps, though now woollen."

Pardalote, n. anglicised form of the scientific bird-name Pardalotus (q.v.), generally called Diamond birds (q.v.); a genus of small short-tailed birds like the Flycatchers. The species are—

Black-headed Pardalote— Pardalotus melanocephalus, Gould.

Chestnut-rumped P.— P. uropygialis, Gould.

Forty-spotted P.— P. quadragintus, Gould; called also Forty-Spot (q.v.).

Orange-tipped P.— P. assimilis, Ramsay.

Red-browed P.— P. rubricatus, Gould.

Red-tipped P.— P. ornatus, Temm.

Spotted P.— P. punctatus, Temm.; the bird originally called the Diamond Bird (q.v.).

Yellow-rumped P.— P. xanthopygius, McCoy.

Yellow-tipped P.— P. affinis, Gould.—

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. ii. pl. 35:

"No species of the genus to which this bird belongs is more widely and generally distributed than the spotted pardalote, Pardalotus punctatus."

Pardalotus, n. scientific name for a genus of Australian birds, called Diamond birds (q.v.), and also Pardalotes (q.v.), from Grk. pardalowtos, spotted like the pard.

Parera, n. Maori name for the genus Duck (q.v.).

1855. Rev. R. Taylor, 'Te Ika a Maui,' p. 407:

"Family, Anatida—Parera, turuki (Anas superciliosa), the duck; very similar to the wild duck of England."

Parra, n. a popular use for the fuller scientific name Parra gallinacea. Called also the Jacana (q.v.), and the Lotus-bird (q.v.).

1893. 'The Argus,' March 25, p. 4, col. 6:

"The egg of the comb-crested parra shines amongst its neighbours so vividly that it at once catches the eye, and suggests a polished agate rather than an egg. The bird itself is something of a gem, too, when seen skipping with its long water-walking claws over the floating leaves of pink and blue water-lilies."

Parrakeet, n. (various spellings). From French. Originally from Spanish periquito, dim. of sp. perico, a little parrot. Hence used generally in English to signify any small parrot. The Australian species are—

Alexandra Parrakeet— Spathopterus (Polytelis) alexandra, Gould.

Beautiful P.— Psephotus pulcherrimus, Gould.

Black-tailed P.— Polytelis melanura, Vig. and Hors.; called also Rock-pebbler.

Blue-cheeked P.— Platycercus amathusiae, Bp.

Cockatoo P.— Calopsittacus novae-hollandiae Gmel.

Crimson-bellied P.— Psephotus haematogaster, Gould.

Golden-shouldered P.— Psephotus chrysopterygius, Gould.

Green P.— Platycercus flaviventris, Temm.

Ground P.— Pezoporus formosus, Lath.

Mallee P.— Platycercus barnardi, Vig. and Hors.

Many-coloured P.— Psephotus multicolor, Temm.

Night P.— Pezoporus occidentalis, Gould.

Pale-headed P:— Platycercus pallidiceps, Vig.

Pheasant P.— P. adelaidensis, Gould.

Red-backed P.— Psephotus haematonotus, Gould.

Red-capped P.— P. spurius, Kuhl.

Rock P.— Euphema petrophila, Gould.

Smutty P.— Platycercus browni, Temm.

Yellow P.— P. flaveolus, Gould.

Yellow-banded P. P. zonarius, Shaw.

Yellow-cheeked P. P. icterotis, Temm.

Yellow-collared P.— P. semitorquatus, Quoy and Gaim.; called also Twenty-eight (q.v.).

Yellow-mantled P.— P. splendidus, Gould.

Yellow-vented P.— Psephotus xanthorrhous, Gould.

See also Grass-Parrakeet, Musk-Parrakeet, Rosella, and Rosehill. The New Zealand Green Parrakeet (called also Kakariki, q.v.) has the following species—

Antipodes Island P.- Platycercus unicolor, Vig.

Orange-fronted P.— P. alpinus, Buller.

Red-fronted P.— P. novae-zelandiae, Sparrm.

Rowley's Parrakeet— Platycercus rowleyi, Buller.

Yellow-fronted P.— P. auriceps, Kuhl.

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Journal,' p. 80:

"The cockatoo-parrakeet of the Gwyder River (Nymphicus Novae-Hollandiae, Gould)."

1867. A. G. Middleton, 'Earnest,' p. 93:

"The bright parroquet, and the crow, black jet, For covert, wing far to the shade."

1889. Prof. Parker, 'Catalogue of New Zealand Exhibition,' p. 118:

"There are three species of parrakeet, the red-fronted (Platycercus Novae-Zelandiae), the yellow-fronted (P. auriceps), and the orange-fronted (P. alpinus). The genus Platycercus is found in New Zealand, New Guinea, and Polynesia."

Parrot-bill, n. See Kaka-bill.

Parrot-fish, n. name given in Australia to Pseudoscarus pseudolabrus; called in the Australian tropics Parrot-perch. In Victoria and Tasmania, there are also several species of Labricthys. In New Zealand, it is L. psittacula, Rich.

Parrot-Perch, n. See Parrot-fish.

Parrot's-food, n. name given in Tasmania to the plant Goodenia ovata, Sm., N.O. Goodeniaceae.

Parsley, Wild, n. Apium leptophyllum, F. v. M., N.O. Umbelliferae. Parsley grows wild in many parts of the world, especially on the shores of the Mediterranean, and this species is not endemic in Australia.

Parsnip, Wild, n. a poisonous weed, Trachymene australis, Benth., N.O. Umbelliferae.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 142:

"Recently (Dec. 1887) the sudden death of numbers of cattle in the vicinity of Dandenong, Victoria, was attributed to their having eaten a plant known as the wild parsnip. . . . Its action is so powerful that no remedial measures seem to be of any avail."

Parson-bird, n. the New Zealand bird Prosthemadera novae-zelandiae, Gmel.; Maori name, Tui (q.v.). See also Poe.

1855. Rev. R. Taylor, 'Te Ika a Maui,' p. 401:

"Cook named this beautiful and lively bird the parson and mocking-bird. It acquired the first name from its having two remarkable white feathers on the neck like a pair of clergyman's bands."

[Mr. Taylor is not correct. Cook called it the Poe-bird (q.v.). The name 'Parson-bird' is later.]

1857. C. Hursthouse, 'New Zealand the Britain of the South,' vol. i. p. 118:

"The most common, and certainly the most facetious, individual of the ornithology is the tui (parson-bird). Joyous Punchinello of the bush, he is perpetual fun in motion."

1858. C. W., 'Song of the Squatters,' 'Canterbury Rhymes' (2nd edit.), p. 47:

"So the parson-bird, the tui, The white-banded songster tui, In the morning wakes the woodlands With his customary music. Then the other tuis round him Clear their throats and sing in concert, All the parson-birds together."

1866. Lady Barker, 'Station Life in New Zealand,' p. 93:

"The tui, or parson-bird, most respectable and clerical-looking in its glossy black suit, with a singularly trim and dapper air, and white wattles of very slender feathers—indeed they are as fine as hair—curled coquettishly at each side of his throat, exactly like bands."

1888. Dr. Thomson, apud Buller, 'Birds of New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 95:

"Sitting on the branch of a tree, as a pro tempore pulpit, he shakes his head, bending to one side and then to another, as if he remarked to this one and to that one; and once and again, with pent-up vehemence, contracting his muscles and drawing himself together, his voice waxes loud, in a manner to awaken sleepers to their senses."

1890. W. Colenso, 'Bush Notes,' 'Transactions of the New Zealand Institute,' vol. xxxiii. art. lvii. p. 482:

"It is very pleasing to hear the deep rich notes of the parson-bird—to see a pair of them together diligently occupied in extracting honey from the tree-flowers, the sun shining on their glossy sub-metallic dark plumage."

Partridge-Pigeon, n. an Australian pigeon.

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 8:

"The partridge-pigeon (Geophaps scripta) abounded in the Acacia groves."

Partridge-wood, n. another name for the Cabbage-Palm (q.v.).

Passion-flower, Native, n. Several species of the genus Passiflora are so called in Australia; some are indigenous, some naturalised.

1859. H. Kingsley, 'Geoffrey Hamlyn,' p. 398:

"The native passion-flower, scarlet and orange, was tangled up with the common purple sarsaparilla and the English honeysuckle and jessamine."

Pastoralist, n. The squatters are dropping their old name for this new one. A Pastoralist is a sheep or cattle-farmer, the distinction between him and an Agriculturist being, that cultivation, if he undertakes it at all, is a minor consideration with him.

1891. March 15 [Title]:

"The Pastoralists' Review," No. 1.

1892. 'Scribner's Magazine,' Feb., p. 147:

"A combination has been formed by the squatters under the name of the Pastoralists' Union."

Patagorang, n. one of the aboriginal names for the Kangaroo (q.v.), and see Paddy-melon.

Pataka, n. Maori word for storehouse, supported on a post to keep off rats. See Whata.

1845. E. J. Wakefield, 'Adventures in New Zealand,' c. i. p. 283:

"We landed at the pataka, or stage."

Patiki, n. the Maori name for the Flounder (q.v.). The accent is on the first syllable of the word.

1820. 'Grammar and Vocabulary of the Language of New Zealand' (Church Missionary Society), p. 190:

"Patiki, s. a fish so called."

1844. F. Tuckett, 'Diary,' May 31:

"A fine place for spearing soles or patike (the best of fish)."

1855. Rev. R. Taylor, 'Te Ika a Maui,' p. 412:

"Patiki, common name for the sole and flat-fish; the latter is found in rivers, but decreases in size as it retires from the sea."

1879. Captain Mair, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. xii. art. xlvi. p. 316:

"Large patiki, flat-fish, are occasionally speared up the river."

Patriot, n. Humorously applied to convicts.

1796. In 'History of Australia,' by G. W. Rusden (1894), p. 49 [Footnote]:

"In 1796 the Prologue (erroneously imputed to a convict Barrington, but believed to have been written by an officer) declared:

'True patriots we, for be it understood We left our country for our country's good.'"

Patter, v. to eat. Aboriginal word, and used in pigeon- English, given by Collins in his vocabulary of the Port Jackson dialect. Threlkeld says, ta is the root of the verb, meaning "to eat."

1833. C. Sturt, 'Southern Australia,' vol. ii. c. vii. p. 223:

"He himself did not patter (eat) any of it."

Patu, n. Maori generic term for all hand-striking weapons. The mere (q.v.) is one kind.

1882. T. H. Potts, 'Out in the Open,' p. 82:

"It (fern-root) was soaked, roasted, and repeatedly beaten with a small club (patu) on a large smooth stone till it was supple."

Paua, n. the Maori name for the Mutton- fish (q.v.). Also used as the name for Maori fishhooks, made of the paua shell; the same word being adopted for fish, shell, and hook.

1820. 'Grammar and Vocabulary of Language of New Zealand' (Church Missionary Society), p. 191:

"Paua, s. a shell-fish so called."

1855. Rev. R. Taylor, 'Te Ika a Maui,' p. 416:

"Pawa (Haliotis iris), or mutton-fish. This beautiful shell is found of considerable size; it is used for the manufacture of fish-hooks."

1855. Ibid. p.397:

"The natives always tie a feather or two to their paua, or fish-hooks."

1877. W. L. Buller, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. x. art. xix. p. 192:

"Elaborately carved, and illuminated with paua shell."

1882. T. H. Potts, 'Out in the Open,' p. 162:

"Immense piles of paua shells (Haliotis iris), heaped up just above the shore, show how largely these substantial molluscs were consumed."

Payable, adj. In Australia, able to be worked at a profit: that which is likely to pay; not only, as in England, due for payment.

1884. R. L. A. Davies, 'Poems and Literary Remains,' p. 38:

"We . . . expect to strike a payable lead on a hill near . . . A shaft is bottomed there, and driving is commenced to find the bottom of the dip."

1890. 'Goldfields of Victoria,' p. 15:

"Good payable stone has been struck."

1894. 'The Argus,' March 28, p. 5, col. 5:

"Good payable reefs have been found and abandoned through ignorance of the methods necessary to obtain proper results."

Pea, Coral, n. See Coral Pea.

Pea, Darling, n. See Darling Pea.

Pea, Desert, n. See Sturt's Desert Pea.

Pea, Flat, n. See Flat Pea.

Pea, Glory, n. another name for the Clianthus (q.v.).

Pea, Heart, n. i.q. Balloon-Vine (q.v.).

Pea-plant, n. The term is applied sometimes to any one of various Australian plants of the N.O. Leguminosae.

Peach-berry, n. a Tasmanian berry, Lissanthe strigosa, Smith, N.O. Epacrideae.

Peach, Native, n. another name for the Quandong (q.v.), and for Emu-Apple (q.v.).

1877. F. v. Mueller, 'Botanic Teachings, p. 42:

"The so-called native Peach-tree of our desert tracts is a true Santalum, S. acuminatum."

Peacocking, vb. n. Australian slang. To peacock apiece of country means to pick out the eyes of the land by selecting or buying up the choice pieces and water-frontages, so that the adjoining territory is practically useless to any one else.

1894. W. Epps, 'Land Systems of Australasia,' p. 28:

"When the immediate advent of selectors to a run became probable, the lessees endeavoured to circumvent them by dummying all the positions which offered the best means of blocking the selectors from getting to water. This system, commonly known as 'peacocking' . . ."

Pear, Native, name given to a timber-tree, Xylomelum pyriforme, Sm., N.O. Proteaceae (called also Wooden Pear), and to Hakea acicularis. See Hakea.

1852. G. C. Mundy, 'Our Antipodes' (edition 1855), p. 219:

"The pear-tree is, I believe, an eucalyptus, and bears a pear of solid wood, hard as heart of oak."

[It is not a eucalypt.]

Pear, Wooden, i.q. Native Pear. See above.

Pearl-Perch, n. a rare marine fish of New South Wales, excellent for food, Glaucosoma scapulare, Ramsay, family Percidae.

Pedgery, n. i.q. Pituri (q.v.).

Pee-wee, n. a New South Wales name for the Magpie-Lark (q.v.).

Peg-out, v. tr. to mark out a gold-claim under the Mining Act, or a Free-Selection (q.v.) under the Land Act, by placing pegs at the corners of the land selected. Used also metaphorically.

1858. W. H. Hall, 'Practical Experiences at the Diggings in Victoria,' p. 23:

"I selected an unoccupied spot between two holes . . . pegged out eight square feet, paid the licence fee."

1880. G. Sutherland, 'Tales of Goldfields,' p. 58:

"He was in high hopes that he might be one of the first to peg out ground on the goldfield."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'The Miner's Right,' c. iii. p. 32:

"The pegging out, that is, the placing of four stout sticks, one at each corner, was easy enough."

1891. W. Tilley, 'Wild West of Tasmania,' p. 8:

"Making their way to Heemskirk, where they were the first to peg out land for ten."

Ibid. Preface:

"The writer . . . should be called on to defend his conduct in pegging out an additional section on the outskirts of the field of literature."

Pelican, n. English bird-name. The pelicans occur in nearly all temperate or tropical regions. The Australian species is Pelecanus conspicillatus, Temm.

1885. R. M. Praed, 'Head Station,' p. 256 [Title of chapter 39]:

"Where the pelican builds her nest."

Penguin, n. common English bird-name. The species in Australia are—

Crested Penguin— Catarractes chrysocome, Lath.

Fairy P.— Eudyptula undina, Gould.

Little P.— E. minor, Forst.

For the New Zealand species, see the quotation, and also Korora.

1889. Professor Parker, 'Catalogue of New Zealand Exhibition,' p. 119:

"The Penguins are characteristic Southern Hemisphere sea-birds, being represented in the Northern by the Puffins. They are flightless, but their wings are modified into powerful fins or flappers. Among the most interesting forms are the following— the King Penguin, Aptenodytes longirostris; Rock Hopper P., Pygoscelis taeniatus; Yellow-Crowned P., Eudyptes antipodum; Crested P., E. pachyrhynchus; Little Blue P., E. minor and undina."

Pennyroyal, Native, n. Mentha gracilis, R. Br., N.O. Labiatae. Much more acrid than the European species of Mentha; but used widely as a herbal medicine. Very common in all the colonies. See also Mint.

Pepper, Climbing, n. Piper novae-hollandiae, Miq., N.O. Piperaceae. Called also Native Pepper, and Native Pepper-vine. A tall plant climbing against trees in dense forests.

Peppermint, or Peppermint-tree, n. a name given to various Eucalypts, from the aromatic nature of their leaves or extracted essence. See quotation below from White, 1790. There are many species, and various vernacular names, such as Brown Peppermint, Dandenong P., Narrow-leaved P., White P., etc. are given in various parts to the same species. See Maiden's note on Eucalyptus amygdalina, under Gum. Other vernacular names of different species are Bastard-Peppermint, Peppermint-Box, Peppermint-Gum.

1790. J. White, 'Voyage to New South Wales' (Appendix by Dr. Smith or John Hunter), pp. 226-27:

"The Peppermint Tree, Eucalyptus piperita. . . . The name of peppermint-tree has been given to this plant by Mr. White on account of the very great resemblance between the essential oil drawn from its leaves and that obtained from the Peppermint (Mentha piperita) which grows in England. This oil was found by Mr. White to be much more efficacious in removing all cholicky complaints than that of the English Peppermint, which he attributes to its being less pungent and more aromatic."

1832. J. Bischoff, 'Van Diemen's Land,' c. ii. p. 23:

"The peppermint, so called from the leaves imparting to the taste that flavour, grows everywhere throughout the island."

1874. Garnet Walch, I Head over Heels,' p. 75:

"Well, mate, it's snug here by the logs That's peppermint—burns like a match."

1880. G. Sutherland, 'Tales of Goldfields,' p. 30:

"A woody gully filled with peppermint and stringy-bark trees."

1884. R. L. A. Davies, 'Poems and Literary Remains,' p. 231:

"The peppermints rose like pillars, with funereal branches hung, Where the dirge for the dead is chanted, And the mourning hymn is sung."

1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 116:

"Down among the roots of a peppermint bush."

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' 439:

"It [Eucalyptus capitella, Smith] is one of the numerous 'peppermints' of New South Wales and Victoria, and is noteworthy as being the first eucalypt so called, at any rate in print."

Pepper, Native, i.q. Climbing Pepper (see above), Piper Novae-Hollandiae, Miq.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 198:

"'Native Pepper.' An excellent tonic to the mucous membrane. . . . One of the largest native creepers, the root being at times from six inches to a foot in diameter. The plant climbs like ivy to the tops of the tallest trees, and when full-grown weighs many tons, so that a good supply of the drug is readily obtainable."

Pepper-tree, n. The name is given to two trees, neither of which are the true pepper of commerce (Piper). They are—

(1) Schinus molle, which is a native of South America, of the Cashew family, and is largely cultivated for ornament and shade in California, and in the suburbs and public parks and gardens of all Australian towns where it has been naturalised. It is a very fast growing evergreen, with feathery leaves like a small palm or fern, drooping like a weeping willow. It flowers continuously, irrespective of season, and bears a cluster of red-berries or drupes, strongly pungent,-whence its name.

(2) The other tree is indigenous in Australia and Tasmania; it is Drimys aromatica, F. v. M., formerly called Tasmania aromatica, R. Br., N.O. Magnoliaceae. In New Zealand the name is applied to Drimys /corr./ axillaris, Forst. (Maori, Horopito; q.v.).

1830. 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 65:

"A thick grove of the pepper-shrub, Tasmania fragrans of Smith. It grows in a close thicket to the height of from six to ten feet. When in blossom, in the spring months of November or December, the farina of the flower is so pungent, especially if shaken about by the feet of horses or cattle, that it is necessary to hold a handkerchief to the nose in order to avoid continual sneezing."

1839. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia,' vol. ii. p. 280:

"We also found the aromatic tree, Tasmania aromatica. . . . The leaves and bark of this tree have a hot, biting, cinnamon-like taste, on which account it is vulgarly called the pepper-tree."

1880. Mrs. Meredith, 'Tasmanian Friends and Foes,' p. 231:

"The handsome red-stemmed shrub known as native pepper. . . . Something like cayenne and allspice mixed, . . . the aromatic flavour is very pleasant. I have known people who, having first adopted its use for want of other condiments, continue it from preference."

1888. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol. iii. p. 138:

"Bright green pepper-trees with their coral berries."

Peragale, n. the scientific name of the genus of Australian marsupial animals called Rabbit- Bandicoots. See Bandicoot. (Grk. paera, a bag or wallet, and galae, a weasel.)

Perameles, n. scientific name for the typical genus of the family of Australian marsupial animals called Bandicoots (q.v.), or Bandicoot-Rats. The word is from Latin pera (word borrowed from the Greek), a bag or wallet, and meles (a word used by Varro and Pliny), a badger.

Perch, n. This English fish-name is applied with various epithets to many fishes in Australia, some of the true family Percidae, others of quite different families. These fishes have, moreover, other names attached to them in different localities. See Black Perch, Fresh-water P., Golden P., Magpie P., Murray P., Pearl P., Red P., Red Gurnet P., Rock P., Sea P., Parrot Fish, Poddly, Burramundi, Mado, and Bidyan Ruffe.

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish of New South Wales,' p. 31:

"Lates colonorum, the perch of the colonists . . , really a fresh-water fish, but . . . often brought to the Sydney market from Broken Bay and other salt-water estuaries. . . . The perch of the Ganges and other East Indian rivers (L. calcarifer) enters freely into brackish water, and extends to the rivers of Queensland."

[See Burramundi. L. colonorum is called the Gippsland Perch, in Victoria.]

1882. Ibid. p. 45:

"The other genus (Chilodactylus) is also largely represented in Tasmania and Victoria, one species being commonly imported from Hobart Town in a smoked and dried state under the name of 'perch.'"

Perish, doing a, modern slang from Western Australia. See quotation.

1894. 'The Argus,' March 28, p. 5, col. 4:

"When a man (or party) has nearly died through want of water he is said to have 'done a perish.'"

Perpetual Lease, though a misnomer, is a statutory expression in New Zealand. Under the former Land Acts, the grantee of a perpetual lease took a term of thirty years, with a right of renewal at a revalued rent, subject to conditions as to improvement and cultivation, with a right to purchase the freehold after six years' occupation.

Perriwinkle, n. See quotation. The most popular form in Melbourne is Turbo undulatus, Chemnitz. T. constricta is also called the Native Whelk.

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish and Fisheries of New South Wales,' p. 122:

"Trochocochlea constricta, Lam., is used as a substitute for the British perriwinkle, but it is only consumed to a very small extent."

Perth Herring, i.q. Sardine (q.v.), and see Herring.

Petaurist, n. the general name for a Flying-Phalanger (q.v.), Flying-Opossum (q.v.), Australian Flying-Squirrel (q.v.). (Grk. petauristaes, a rope-dancer or tumbler). See Petaurus.

Petauroides, n. a genus closely allied to Petaurus (q.v.), containing only one species, the Taguan Flying-Phalanger.

Petaurus, n. the scientific name given by Shaw in 1793 to the Australian genus of Petaurists (q.v.), or so-called Flying-Squirrels (q.v.), or Flying-Phalangers (q.v.), or Flying-Opossums. The name was invented by zoologists out of Petaurist. In Greek, petauron was the perch or platform from which a "rope-dancer" stepped on to his rope. 'L. & S.' say probably from pedauros, Aeolic for meteowros, high in air.

Pething-pole, n. a harpoon-like weapon used for pething (pithing) cattle; that is, killing them by piercing the spinal cord (pith, or provincial peth).

1886. P. Clarke, 'New Chum in Australia,' p. 184 ('Century'):

"So up jumps Tom on the bar overhead with a long pething-pole, like an abnormally long and heavy alpenstock, in his hand; he selects the beast to be killed, stands over it in breathless . . . silence, adjusts his point over the centre of the vertebra, and with one plunge sends the cruel point with unerring aim into the spinal cord."

Petrogale, n. the scientific name for a Rock-Wallaby (q.v.). The name was given by J. E. Gray, in the 'Magazine of Natural History' (vol. i. p. 583), 1837. (Grk. petra, rock, and galae, a weasel.)

Pezoporus, n. scientific name of a genus of Parrakeets peculiar to Australia, of which one species only is known, P. formosus, the Ground Parrakeet, or Swamp Parrakeet. From Grk. pezoporos, "going on foot." It differs from all the other psittaci in having a long hind toe like that of a lark, and is purely terrestrial in its habits.

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. i. pl. 46:

"Pezoporus Formosus, Ill., Ground-parrakeet; Swamp-parrakeet, Colonists of Van Diemen's Land; Ground-parrakeet, New South Wales and Western Australia."

Phalanger, n. the scientific name for the animal called an Opossum (q.v.) in Australia, and including also the Flying-squirrel (q.v.), and other Marsupials. See also Flying-Phalanger. The word is sometimes used instead of Opossum, where precise accuracy is desired, but its popular use in Australia is rare. The Phalangers are chiefly Australian, but range as far as the Celebes. The word is from the Greek phalanx, one meaning of which is the bone between the joints of the fingers or toes. (The toes are more or less highly webbed in the Phalanger.)

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'The Miner's Right,' p. 249:

"The cry of the night-bird, the rustle of the phalangers and the smaller marsupials, as they glided through the wiry frozen grass or climbed the clear stems of the eucalypti."

1891. 'Guide to Zoological Gardens, Melbourne':

"A pair of the Short-headed Phalanger (Belideus breviceps) occupy the next division."

1894. R. Lydekker, 'Marsupialia,' p. 75:

"The second great family of the herbivorous Diprotodont Marsupials is typically represented by the creatures properly known as phalangers, which the colonists of Australia persist in misnaming opossums. It includes however several other forms, such as the Flying-Phalangers [q.v.] and the Koala [q.v.]."

Phascolarctus, n. the scientific name of the genus of the Koala (q.v.) or Native Bear, of which there is only one species, P. cinereus. It is, of course, marsupial.(Grk. phaskowlos, a leather apron, and 'arktos, a bear.) See Bear.

Phascologale, n. contracted often to Phascogale: the scientific name for the genus of little marsupials known as the Kangaroo-Mouse or Pouched-Mouse (q.v.). (Grk. phaskowlos, a leather apron, and galae, a weasel.) "The pretty little animals belonging to the genus thus designated, range over the whole of Australia and New Guinea, together with the adjacent islands and are completely arboreal and insectivorous in their habits. The [popular] name of Pouched-Mouse is far from being free from objection, yet, since the scientific names of neither this genus nor the genus Sminthopsis lend themselves readily for conversion into English, we are compelled to use the colonial designation as the vernacular names of both genera. . . . The largest of the thirteen known species does not exceed a Common Rat in size, while the majority are considerably smaller." (R. Lydekker, 'Marsupialia,' p. 166.)

1853. J. West, 'History of Tasmania,' vol. i. p. 324:

"The phascogales are small insectivorous animals found on the mountains and in the dense forest-parts of the island, and little is known of their habits."

Phascolome, and Phascolomys, n. The first is the anglicised form of the second, which is the scientific name of the genus called by the aboriginal name of Wombat (q.v.) (Grk. phaskowlos = leathern bag, and mus = mouse.)

Phasmid, n. the name for the insects of the genus Phasma (Grk. phasma = an appearance), of the family Phasmidae, curious insects not confined to Australia, but very common there. The various species are known as Leaf-insects, Walking leaves, Stick-caterpillars, Walking-sticks, Spectres, etc., from the extraordinary illusion with which they counterfeit the appearance of the twigs, branches, or leaves of the vegetation on which they settle. Some have legs only, which they can hold crooked in the air to imitate twigs; others have wings like delicate leaves, or they are brilliant green and covered with thorns. They imitate not only the colour and form of the plant, but its action or motion when swayed slightly by the wind.

1872. A. Domett, 'Ranolf,' p. 209:

"A span-long Phasmid then he knew, Stretching its fore-limbs like a branching twig."

Pheasant, n. This common English bird-name is applied in Australia to two birds, viz.—

(1) The Lyre-bird (q.v.).

(2) The Lowan (q.v.), and see Turkey.

For Pheasant-fantail, see Fantail.

1877 (before). Australie, 'From the Clyde to Braidwood,' quoted in 'Australian Ballads and Rhymes' (edition Sladen, p. 10):

". . . Echoing notes Of lyre-tailed pheasants, in their own rich notes, Mocking the song of every forest-bird."

1885. Wanderer, 'Beauteous Terrorist, etc., p. 60:

"And have we no visions pleasant Of the playful lyre-tail'd pheasant?"

Pheasant-Cuckoo, n. another name for the Coucal (q.v.), Centropus phasianellus, Gould. See also Swamp-Pheasant.

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discoveries in Australia,' vol. i. c. vi. p. 125:

"I shot over the island and enjoyed some very fair sport, especially with the pheasant-cuckoo."

Pheasant's Mother, n. an old name of an Australian bird. See Orthonyx.

1860. G. Bennett, 'Gatherings of a Naturalist,' p. 180:

"That remarkable little bird, the 'Pheasant's Mother' of the colonists, or Spine-tailed Orthonyx (Orthonyx spinicauda), about which also ornithologists have some difference of opinion respecting its situation in the natural system:'

Philander, n. an old scientific name, now abandoned, for certain species of the Kangaroo family. The word was taken from the name of the explorer, Philander de Bruyn. See quotation.

1894. R. Lydekker, 'Marsupialia,' p. 36:

"Aru Island Wallaby. Macropus brunnii, Cuvier (1817). Didelphys brunnii, Schreber (1778). . . Distribution.— Aru and Kei Islands. This species has an especial interest as being the first member of the Kangaroo-family known to Europeans, specimens having been seen in the year 1711 by [Philander de] Bruyn living in the gardens of the Dutch Governor of Batavia. They were originally described under the name of Philander or Filander."

Phormium, n. scientific name of the genus to which New Zealand Flax (P. tenax) belongs. See Flax. (Grk. phormion, dim. of phormos, anything plaited of reeds or rushes.)

Pialler, v. used as pigeon-English, especially in Queensland and New South Wales, in the sense of yabber, to speak.

1834. L. E. Threlkeld, 'Australian Grammar,' p. 10:

[As a barbarism] "piyaller, to speak."

1885. R. M. Praed, 'Head Station,' p. 314:

"Hester seized the shrinking black and led him forward, wildly crying that she would 'pialla' the Great Spirit, so that no evil should befall him."

Piccaninny, and Pickaninny, n. a little child. The word is certainly not Australian. It comes from the West Indies (Cuban piquinini, little, which is from the Spanish pequeno, small, and nino, child). The English who came to Australia, having heard the word applied to negro children elsewhere, applied it to the children of the aborigines. After a while English people thought the word was aboriginal Australian, while the aborigines thought it was correct English. It is pigeon-English.

1696. D'Urfey's 'Don Quixote,' pt. iii. c. v. p. 41 (Stanford):

"Dear pinkaninny [sic], If half a guiny To Love wilt win ye."

1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 12:

"'I tumble down pickaninny here,' he said, meaning that he was born there."

1845. R. Howitt, 'Australia,' p. 103:

"Two women, one with a piccaninny at her back."

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 520:

"Bilge introduced several old warriors . . . adding always the number of piccaninies that each of them had."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 305:

"We can even trace words which the Europeans have imported from the natives of other countries—for example picaninny, a child. This word is said to have come originally from the negroes of Africa, through white immigrants. In America the children of negroes are called picaninny. When the white men came to Australia, they applied this name to the children of the natives of this continent."

Piccaninny, used as adj. and figuratively, to mean little.

1848. W. Westgarth, 'Australia Felix,' p. 104:

"The hut would be attacked before 'piccaninny sun.'"

[Footnote]: "About daylight in the morning."

1884. J. W. Bull, 'Early Life in South Australia,' p. 69:

[An Englishman, speaking to blacks] "would produce from his pocket one of his pistols, and say, 'Picaninny gun, plenty more.'"

Pick-it-up, n. a boys' name for the Diamond bird (q.v.).

1896. G. A. Keartland, 'Horne Expedition in Central Australia,' part ii. Zoology, Aves, p. 69:

"Pardalotus ornatus and Pardalotus affinis give forth a treble note which has secured for them the name of 'Pick-it-up' from our country boys."

Picnic, n. Besides the ordinary meaning of this word, there is a slang Australian use denoting an awkward adventure, an unpleasant experience, a troublesome job. In America the slang use is "an easy or agreeable thing." ('Standard.') The Australasian use is an ironical inversion of this.

1896. Modern:

"If a man's horse is awkward and gives him trouble, he will say, 'I had a picnic with that horse,' and so of any misadventure or disagreeable experience in travelling. So also of a troublesome business or other affair; a nursemaid, for instance, will say, 'I had a nice picnic with Miss Nora's hair.'"

Picton Herring, n. a name for several fishes when dried (like "kipper"), especially for the Sea-Mullet, or Makawhiti or Aua (q.v.) (Maori names); and for the New South Wales fish called Maray (q.v.).

Pieman Jolly-tail, n. See Jolly-tail.

Pig-Dog, n. a dog used in hunting wild pigs.

1845. E. J. Wakefield, 'Adventures in New Zealand,' c. ii. p. 6:

"The pig-dogs are of rather a mongrel breed, partaking largely of the bull-dog, but mixed with the cross of mastiff and greyhound, which forms the New South Wales kangaroo-dog" [q.v.]

1877. R. Gillies, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. x. art. xliii. p. 321:

"A pig-dog of the bull-terrier breed."

Pigeon, n. The Australian species are—

Bronze-wing Pigeon (q.v.)— Phaps chalcoptera, Lath.

Brush Bronze-wing P.— P. elegans, Temm.

Crested P.— Ocyphaps lophotes, Temm.

Flock or Harlequin Bronze-wing (called also Squatter, q.v.)— Phaps histrionica, Gould.

Little-Green P.— Chalcophaps chrysochlora, Wagl.

Naked-eye Partridge-P.— Geophaps smithii, Jard. and Selb.

Nutmeg P.— Carpophaga spilorrhoa, G. R. Gray.

Partridge-P.— Geophaps scripta, Temm.

Pheasant-tailed P.— Macropygia phasianella, Temm.

Plumed P.— Lophophaps plumifera, Gould.

Red-plumed Pigeon— Lophophaps ferruginea, Gould. [He gives vernacular "Rust-coloured."]

Rock P.— Petrophassa albipennis, Gould.

Top-knot P.— Lopholaimus antarcticus, Shaw.

White-bellied Plumed P.— Lophophaps leucogaster, Gould.

Wonga-wonga P. (q.v.)— Leucosarcia picata, Lath.

See also Fruit-Pigeon, Harlequin Pigeon, Partridge-Pigeon, Torres Straits Pigeon.

For New Zealand Pigeon, see Kuku.

Pigeon-berry Tree, n. i.q. Native Mulberry. See Mulberry.

Pig-face, Pig-faces, and Pig's-face, or Pig's-faces. Names given to an indigenous "iceplant," Mesembryanthemum aequilaterale, Haw., N.O. Ficoideae, deriving its generic name from the habit of expanding its flower about noon.

1834. Ross, 'Van Diemen's Land Annual,' p. 133:

"Mesembryanthemum aequilaterale, pig faces; called by the aborigines by the more elegant name of canagong. The pulp of the almost shapeless, but somewhat ob-conical, fleshy seed vessel of this plant, is sweetish and saline; it is about an inch and a half long, of a yellowish, reddish, or green colour."

1844. Mrs. Meredith, 'Notes and Sketches of New South Wales,' p. 45:

"Great green mat-like plants of the pretty Mesembryanthemum aequilaterale, or fig-marigold, adorned the hot sandy banks by the road-side. It bears a bright purple flower, and a five-sided fruit, called by the children 'pig-faces.'"

1848. W. Westgarth, 'Australia Felix,' p. 132:

"The pig's face is an extremely common production of the Australian soil, growing like a thick and fleshy grass, with its three-sided leaf and star-shaped pink or purple flower, occupying usually a rocky or dry light soil."

1879. C. W. Schuermann, in 'The Native Tribes of South Australia,' p. 217:

"Though this country is almost entirely destitute of indigenous fruits of any value to an European, yet there are various kinds which form very valuable and extensive articles of food for the aborigines; the most abundant and important of these is the fruit of a species of cactus, very elegantly styled pig's-faces by the white people, but by the natives called karkalla. The size of the fruit is rather less than that of a walnut, and it has a thick skin of a pale reddish colour, by compressing which, the glutinous sweet substance inside slips into the mouth."

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