A Dictionary of Austral English
by Edward Morris
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1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 44:

"Pig-faces. It was the canajong of the Tasmanian aboriginal. The fleshy fruit is eaten raw by the aborigines: the leaves are eaten baked."

Pig-faced Lady, n. an old name in Tasmania for the Boar-fish (q.v.).

Pig-fish, n. name given to the fish Agriopus leucopaecilus, Richards., in Dunedin; called also the Leather-jacket (q.v.). In Sydney it is Cossyphus unimaculatus, Gunth., a Wrasse, closely related to the Blue-groper. In Victoria, Heterodontus phillipi, Lacep., the Port Jackson Shark. See Shark.

Pig-footed Bandicoot, n. name given to Choeropus castanotis, Gray, an animal about the size of a rabbit, belonging to the family Peramelidae, which includes all the bandicoots. It lives in the sandy, dry interior of the continent, making a small nest for itself on the surface of the ground out of grass and twigs. The popular name is derived from the fact that in the fore-feet the second and third toes are alone well developed, the first and fifth being absent, and the fourth very rudimentary, so that the foot has a striking resemblance to that of a pig. See also Bandicoot.

1838. T. L. Mitchell, 'Expeditions into Eastern Australia,' p. 131:

"The feet, and especially the fore feet, were singularly formed, the latter resembling those of a hog."

1893. A. R. Wallace, 'Australasia,' p. 68:

"Another peculiar form, the Choeropus, or pig-footed bandicoot."

Pigmeater, n. a beast only fit for pigs to eat: one that will not fatten.

1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' c. xiv. p. 105:

"Among them was a large proportion of bullocks, which declined with fiendish obstinacy to fatten. They were what are known by the stock-riders as 'ragers' [q.v.] or 'pig-meaters.'"

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Colonial Reformer,' p. 218:

"'Pig-meaters!' exclaimed Ernest; 'what kind of cattle do you call those? Do bullocks eat pigs in this country?' 'No, but pigs eat them, and horses too, and a very good way of getting rid of rubbish.'"

Piharau, n. Maori name for Geotria chilensis, Gray, a New Zealand Lamprey (q.v.).

1845. E. J. Wakefield, 'Adventures in New Zealand,' vol. ii. p. 15:

"We procured an abundant supply of piarau, a 'lamprey,' which is taken in large numbers in this river, and some others in the neighbourhood, when the waters are swollen."

Pihoihoi, n. Maori name for a New Zealand bird, the Ground-lark (q.v.). The word has five syllables.

Pike, n. name applied in Australia and Tasmania to two species of marine fish—Sphyraena obtusata, Cuv. and Val.; S. novae-hollandiae; Gunth. See also Sea-pike.

Pilchard, n. The fish which visits the Australian shores periodically, in shoals larger than the Cornish shoals, is Clupea sagax, Jenyns, the same as the Californian Pilchard, and closely related to the English Pilchard, which is Clupea pilchardus.

Pilgrims, Canterbury, n. The first settlers in Canterbury, New Zealand, were so called in allusion to the pilgrims to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket. Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales' were told by such pilgrims. The name was given probably by Mr. William Lyon, who in 1851 wrote the 'Dream.' See quotation, 1877.

1865. Lady Barker, 'Station Life in New Zealand,' p. 20:

"The 'Pilgrims,' as the first comers are always called. I like the name; it is so pretty and suggestive."

1877. W. Pratt, 'Colonial Experiences or Incidents of Thirty-four Years in New Zealand,' p. 234:

"In the 'Dream of a Shagroon,' which bore the date Ko Matinau, April 1851, and which first appeared in the 'Wellington Spectator' of May 7, the term 'Pilgrim' was first applied to the settlers; it was also predicted in it that the 'Pilgrims' would be 'smashed,' and the Shagroons left in undisputed possession of the country for their flocks and herds."

Pilot-bird, n. This name is given to a sea-bird of the Caribbean Islands. In Australia it is applied to Pycnoptilus floccosus, Gould.

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

"Here, close together, are eggs of the lyre-bird and the pilot-bird—the last very rare, and only found quite lately in the Dandenong Ranges, where the lyre-bird, too, has its home."

Pimelea, n. scientific name for a large genus of shrubs or herbs, N.O. Thymeleaceae. There are over seventy species, all confined to Australia and New Zealand. They bear terminal or axillary clusters of white, rose, or yellow flowers, and being very beautiful plants, are frequently cultivated in conservatories. A gardener's name for some of the species is Rice-flower. Several of the species, especially P. axiflora, F. v. M., yield excellent fibre, and are among the plants called Kurrajong (q.v.); another name is Toughbark. For etymology, see quotation, 1793.

1793. J. E. Smith, 'Specimen of Botany of New Holland,' p. 32:

"Gaertner . . . adopted the name of Pimelea from the manuscripts of Dr. Solander. It is derived from pimelae, fat, but is rather a pleasantly sounding than a very apt denomination, unless there may be anything oily in the recent fruit."

Pimlico, n. another name for the Friar-bird (q.v.).

Pin-bush, n. i.q. Needle-bush (q.v.)

Pinch-out, v. to thin out and disappear (of gold-bearing). This use is given in the 'Standard,' but without quotations; it may be American.

18W. 'Goldfields of Victoria,' p. 22:

"Sometimes 100 to 200 tons of payable quartz would be raised from one of these so-called reefs, when they would pinch out, and it would be found that they were unconnected with other leaders or veins."

Pine, n. The Pines are widely distributed in Australasia, and include some of the noblest species. The name, with various epithets, is given to a few other trees besides those of the Natural Order Coniferae,; the following is a list of the various Pines in Australasia. They belong to the Natural Order Coniferae,, unless otherwise indicated—

Black Pine— Frenela endlicheri, Parlat. Irenela robusta,A. Cunn.

(Of Otago)— Podocarpus ferruginea,Don.; Maori name, Miro (q.v.).; P. spicata, R. Br.; Maori name, Mai, or Matai (q.v.).

Celery-topped P. (q.v.)— (In Australia)— Phyllocladus rhomboidalis, Rich.

(In New Zealand)—

P. trichomanoides, Don.; Maori name, Tanekaha (q.v.); P. glauca, and P. alpinus; Maori name, Toatoa, and often also called Tanekaha.

Colonial P.— Araucaria cunninghamii, Ait.

Common P.— Frenela robusta, A. Cunn.

Cypress P.— Frenela endlicheri, Parlat. F. rhomboidea, Endl. F. robusta (var. microcarpa), A. Cunn. F. robusta (var. verrucosa), A. Cunn.

Dark P.— (In Western New South Wales)— Frenela robusta, A. Cunn.

Dundathu P.— Dammara robusta, F. v. M.

Hoop P.— Araucaria cunninghamii, Ait.

Huon P. (q.v.)— Dacrydium franklinii, Hook.

Illawarra Mountain P.— Frenela rhomboidea, Endl.

Kauri P. (q.v.) Agathis australis, Salis.

Lachlan P.— Frenela robusta, A. Cunn.

Light P.— (Of Western New South Wales)— Frenela rhomboidea, Endl.

Macquarie P.— Dacrydium franklinii, Hook.

Mahogany Pine— Podocarpus totara, A. Cunn.; Maori name, Totara, (q.v.).

Moreton Bay P.— Araucaria cunninghamii, Ait.

Mountain Cypress P.— Frenela parlatorii, F. v. M.

Murray P.— Frenela endlicheri, Parlat.

Murrumbidgee P.— Frenela robusta, A. Cunn.

New Caledonian P.— (Of New Caledonia and the New Hebrides)— Araucaria cookii, Cook.

Norfolk Island P.— Araucaria excelsa, Hook.

Oyster Bay P. (q.v.)— (In Tasmania)— Frenela rhomboidea, Endl.

Port Macquarie P.— Frenela macleayana, Parlat.

Prickly P.— (In Queensland)— Flindersia maculosa, F. v. M., N.O. Meliaceae; called also Leopard Tree (q.v.).

Queensland Kauri P.— Dammara robusta, F. v. M.

Red P.— (In Australia)— Frenela endlicheri, Parlat. (In New Zealand)— Dacrydium cupressinum, Soland; called also Rimu (q.v.).

Rock P.— (In Western New South Wales)— Frenela robusta (var. verrucosa), A. Cunn.

Screw P.— Pandanus odoratissimus, Linn., N.O. Pandaneae; not endemic in Australia.

Scrub P.— Frenela endlicheri, Parlat.

She P.— (In Queensland)— Podocarpus elata, R. Br.

Silver P.— Dacrydium colensoi, Hook.; i.q. Yellow Pine.

Stringy Bark P.— Frenela parlatorei, F. v. M.

Toatoa P.— Phyllocladus alpinus, Hook.; Maori name, Toatoa (q.v.).

White P.— (In Australia)— Frenela robusta, A. Cunn. F. robusta (var. microcarpa), A. Cunn. Podocarpus elata, R. Br.

(In New Zealand)— P. dacryoides, A. Rich.; Maori name, Kahikatea (q.v.).

Yellow P.— Dacrydium colensoi, Hook.; Maori name, Manoao (q.v.).

1832. J. Bischoff, 'Van Diemen's Land,' p. 180:

"The Green Forest . . . comprises myrtle, sassafras, celery-top pine, with a little stringy-bark."

1838. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions,' vol- i. p. 51.

"On the little hill beside the river hung pines (Callitris pyramidalis) in great abundance."

Piner, n. In Tasmania, a man employed in cutting Huon Pine.

1891. W. Tilley, 'Wild West of Tasmania,' p. 43:

"The King River is only navigable for small craft . . . Piners' boats sometimes get in."

Pinkwood, n. a name for a Tasmanian wood of a pale reddish mahogany colour, Eucryphia billardieri, Sparrm., N.O. Saxifrageae,, and peculiar to Tasmania; also called Leatherwood; and for the Wallaby- bush, Beyera viscosa, Miq., N.O. Euphorbiaceae, common to all the colonies of Australasia.

Piopio, n. Maori name for a thrush of New Zealand, Turnagra crassirostris, Gmel. See Thrush.

Pipe, n. an obsolete word, explained in quotations.

1836. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 105:

"These were the days of 'pipes.' Certain supposed home truths . . . were indited in clear and legible letters on a piece of paper which was then rolled up in the form of a pipe, and being held together by twisting at one end was found at the door of the person intended to be instructed on its first opening in the morning."

1852. J. West, 'History of Tasmania,' vol. i. p. 107:

"Malice or humour in the early days expressed itself in what were called pipes—a ditty either taught by repetition or circulated on scraps of paper: the offences of official men were thus hitched into rhyme. These pipes were a substitute for the newspaper, and the fear of satire checked the haughtiness of power."

Pipe-fish, n. common fishname. The species present in Australia and New Zealand is Ichthyocampus filum, Gunth., family Syngnathidae, or Pipe-fishes.

Piper, n. an Auckland name for the Garfish (q.v.). The name is applied to other fishes in the Northern Hemisphere.

1872. Hutton and Hector, 'Fishes of New Zealand,' p. 118:

"Angling for garfish in Auckland Harbour, where it is known as the piper, is graphically described in 'The Field,' London, Nov. 25, 1871. . . . the pipers are 'just awfu' cannibals,' and you will be often informed on Auckland wharf that 'pipers is deeth on piper.'"

Pipi, n. Maori name of a shellfish, sometimes (erroneously) called the cockle, Mezodesma novae-zelandiae.

1820. 'Grammar and Vocabulary of Language of New Zealand' (Church Missionary Society), p. 193:

"Pipi, s. a cockle."

1881. J. L.Campbell, 'Poenamo,' p. 107:

"With most deliciously cooked kumeras, potatoes and peppies" [sic].

Ibid. p. 204:

"The dernier ressort—fern-root, flavoured with fish and pippies."

1882. T. H. Potts, 'Out in the Open,' p.25:

"Each female is busily employed in scraping the potatoes thoroughly with pipi-shells."

Piping-Crow, n. name applied sometimes to the Magpie (q.v.).

1845. 'Voyage to Port Phillip,' etc., p. 53:

"The warbling melops and the piping crow, The merry forest fill with joyous song."

Pipit, n. another name for Ground-Lark (q.v.).

Pitau, n. Maori name for the Tree-fern. In Maori, the word means—(1) Soft, tender, young shoots. The verb pihi means "begin to grow"; pi means "young of birds," also "the flow of the tide." (2) Centre-fronds of a fern. (3) Name of a large fern.

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

"The pitau, or tree-ferns, growing like a palm-tree, form a distinguishing ornament of the New Zealand forest."

Pitchi, n. name given to a wooden receptacle hollowed out of a solid block of some tree, such as the Batswing Coral (Erythrina vespertio), or Mulga (Acacia aneura), and carried by native women in various parts of Australia for the purpose of collecting food in, such as grass seed or bulbs, and sometimes for carrying infants. The shape and size varies much, and the more concave ones are used for carrying water in. The origin of the word is obscure; some think it aboriginal, others think it a corruption of the English word pitcher.

1896. E. C. Stirling, 'Home Expedition in Central Australia, Anthropology, pt. iv. p. 99:

"I do not know the origin of the name 'Pitchi,' which is in general use by the whites of the parts traversed by the expedition, for the wooden vessels used for carrying food and water and, occasionally, infants."

Pitta, n. The name is Telugu for the Indian Ant-thrush; a few species are confined to Australia; they are—

Blue-breasted Pitta— Pitta macklotii, Mull. and Schleg.

Noisy P.— P. strepitans, Temm.

Rainbow P.— P. iris, Gould.

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

"Pitta strepitans, Temm., Noisy Pitta. There are also Rainbow Pitta, Pitta iris, and Vigor's Pitta, P. Macklotii.

1869. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia' (Supplement):

"Pitta Macklotii, Mull. and Schleg."

Pittosporum, n. a genus of plants so called from the viscous pulp which envelops the seeds. (Grk. pitta, pitch, and sporos, seed.) There are about fifty species, which are found in Africa and Asia, but chiefly in Australasia. They are handsome evergreen shrubs, and some grow to a great height; the white flowers, being very fragrant, have been sometimes likened to orangeblossoms, and the rich evergreen leaves obtain for some of them the name of Laurels. They are widely cultivated in the suburbs of cities as ornamental hedges. See Mock-Orange, Hedge-Laurel, Native Laurel, etc.

Pituri, or Pitchery, n. Native name for Duboisia hopwoodii, F. v. M., a shrub growing in the sand-hills of certain districts of Queensland, New South Wales, and Central Australia. The leaves are chewed as a narcotic by the natives of many parts, and form a valuable commodity of barter. In some parts of Central Australia the leaf is not chewed, but is only used for the purpose of making a decoction which has the power of stupefying emus, which under its influence are easily captured by the natives. Other spellings are Pitchiri, Pedgery, and Bedgery. Perhaps from betcheri, another form of boodjerrie, good, expressing the excellent qualities of the plant. Compare Budgerigar.

1863. 'Proceedings of the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land,' April, p. 1:

"'Pitcherry,' a narcotic plant brought by King, the explorer, from the interior of Australia, where it is used by the natives to produce intoxication. . . . In appearance it resembled the stem and leaves of a small plant partly rubbed into a coarse powder. . . . On one occasion Mr. King swallowed a small pinch of the powder, and described its effects as being almost identical with those produced by a large quantity of spirits."

1883. F. M. Bailey,' Synopsis of Queensland Flora,' p. 350:

"Pitury of the natives. The leaves are used by the natives of Central Australia to poison emus, and is chewed by the natives as the white man does the tobacco."

1883. G. W. Rusden, 'History of Australia,' vol. i. p. 101:

"In one part of Central Australia the leaves and twigs of a shrub called pidgery by the natives are dried and preserved in closely woven bags. . . . A small quantity has an exhilarating effect, and pidgery was highly prized."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 49:

"The leaves contain a stimulant, which possesses qualities similar to those of tobacco and opium, and are chewed by several tribes in the interior of Australia. Pituri is highly valued as a stimulant, and is taken for barter far and wide."

1890. A. S. Vogan, 'Black Police,' p. 94:

"One of the virtues that the native drug Pitchurie is supposed to possess when used by the old men is the opening up of this past life, giving them the power and perquisites of seers."

1893. Mr. Purcell, 'Lecture before Geographical Society, Sydney,' Jan.:

"Mr. Purcell had travelled over nearly the whole of Queensland, and had only seen the plant growing in a very limited area west of the Mullyan River, 138th meridian of east long., and on the ranges between the 23rd and 24th parallel of south latitude. He had often questioned the Darling blacks about it, and they always replied by pointing towards the north west. The blacks never, if they could possibly help it, allowed white men to see the plant. He himself had not been allowed to see it until he had been initiated into some of the peculiar rites of the aborigines. Mr. Purcell showed what he called the pitchery letter, which consisted of a piece of wood covered with cabalistic marks. This letter was given to a pitchery ambassador, and was to signify that he was going to the pitchery country, and must bring back the amount of pitchery indicated on the stick. The talisman was a sure passport, and wherever he went no man molested the bearer. This pitchery was by no means plentiful. It grew in small clumps on the top of sandy ridges, and would not grow on the richer soil beneath. This convinced him that it never grew in any other country than Australia. The plant was cooked by being placed in an excavation in which a fire had been burning. It then became light and ready for transport. As to its use in the form of snuff, it was an excellent remedy for headaches, and chewed it stopped all craving for food. It had been used with success in violent cases of neuralgia, and in asthma also it had proved very successful. With regard to its sustaining properties, Mr. Purcell mentioned the case of a blackboy who had travelled 120 miles in two days, with no other sustenance than a chew of pitchery."

Pivot City, The, a nickname for Geelong.

1860. W. Kelly, 'Life in Victoria,' vol. i. p. 160 [Footnote]:

"The Pivot City is a sobriquet invented by the citizens to symbolize it as the point on which the fortunes of the colony would culminate and revolve. They also invented several other original terms—a phraseology christened by the Melbourne press as the Geelongese dialect."

Piwakawaka, n. Maori name for the Pied Fantail (Rhipidura flabellifera, Gray).

1835. W. Yate, 'Account of New Zealand,' p. 57:

"Piwakawaka, or tirakaraka. This restless little bird is continually on the wing, or hopping from twig to twig."

1855. Rev. R. Taylor, 'Te Ika a Maui,' p. 403:

"Piwakawaka, tirakaraka, the fantailed fly-catcher, a pretty, restless, lively bird; very sociable, and fond of displaying its beautiful little fan-tail. It has a head like the bullfinch, with one black-and-white streak under the neck coming to a point in the centre of the throat. Wings very sharp and pointed. It is very quick and expert in catching flies, and is a great favourite, as it usually follows the steps of man. It was sacred to Maui."

1885. A. Reischek, 'Transactions of the New Zealand Institute,' vol. xviii. art. xviii. p. 102:

"Rhipidura—fantail (Piwakawaka). Every one admires the two species of these fly-catchers, and their graceful evolutions in catching their prey."

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

"During this extended visit of mine to the woods, I have noticed the piwakawaka, or fly-catcher (Rhipidura flabellifera). This interesting little flycatcher, with its monotonous short cry, always seems to prefer making the acquaintance of man in the forest solitudes."

1895. W. S.Roberts, 'Southland in 1856,' p. 53:

"The pied fantail, Piwakawaka (Rhipidura flabellifera) is the best flycatcher New Zealand possesses, but it will not live in confinement. It is always flitting about with broadly expanded tail in pursuit of flies. It frequently enters a house and soon clears a room of flies, but if shut in all night it frets itself to death before morning."

Plain, n. In Australian use, the word not only implies flatness, but treelessness.

1824. Edward Curr, 'Account of the Colony of Van Diemen's Land,' p. 55:

"The district called Macquarie Plains, the greater part of which rises into hills of moderate height, with open and fertile valleys interspersed, while the plains bear a strong resemblance to what are called sheep downs in England."

1848. T. L. Mitchell, 'Tropical Australia,' p. 136:

"The country was grassy, and so open as almost to deserve the colonial name of 'plain.'"

1873. A. Trollope, 'Australia and New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 250:

"Squatters who look after their own runs always live in the bush, even though their sheep are pastured on plains."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 73:

"One day an egg of a cassowary was brought to me; this bird, although it is nearly akin to the ostrich and emu, does not, like the latter, frequent the open plains, but the thick brushwood. The Australian cassowary is found in Northern Queensland from Herbert river northwards, in all the large vine-scrubs on the banks of the rivers, and on the high mountains of the coasts."

Plain Currant, n. a wild fruit, Grewia polygama, Roxb., N.O. Tiliaceae.

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 295:

"I found a great quantity of ripe Grewia seeds, and on eating many of them, it struck me that their slightly acidulous taste, if imparted to water, would make a very good drink; I therefore . . . boiled them for about an hour; the beverage . . . was the best we had tasted on our expedition."

Plain Wanderer, n. an Australian bird, Pedionomus torquatus, Gould.

Plant, v. tr. and n. common in Australia for to hide, and for the thing hidden away. As remarked in the quotations, the word is thieves' English.

1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 59:

"A number of the slang phrases current in St. Giles's Greek bid fair to become legitimatized in the dictionary of this colony: plant, swag, pulling up, and other epithets of the Tom and Jerry school, are established— the dross passing here as genuine, even among all ranks."

1848. Letter by Mrs. Perry, given in 'Canon Goodman's Church in Victoria during the Episcopate of Bishop Perry,' p. 78:

". . . Shady Creek, where he 'planted' some tea and sugar for his brother on his return. Do you know what 'planting' is? It is hiding the tea, or whatever it may be, in the hollow of a tree, or branch, or stone, where no one is likely to find it, but the one for whom it is meant."

1855. G. C. Mundy, 'Our Antipodes,' p. 22:

"Some refreshments planted there for us by the Major—for that is the colonial phrase, borrowed from the slang of London burglars and thieves, for any article sent forward or left behind for consumption in spots only indicated to those concerned—after the manner of the ca^ches of the French Canadian trappers on the American prairies. To 'spring' a plant is to discover and pillage it."

1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 36:

"The way he could hide, or, as it is called in the bush, 'plant' himself, was something wonderful."

1889. Cassell's' Picturesque Australasia,' vol. iv. p. 178:

"The gold had not been handed over to the Commissioner at all, but was planted somewhere in the tent."

1893. 'The Age,' May 9, p. 5, col. 4:

"A panic-smitten lady plants her money."

[Title of short article giving an account of an old lady during the bank panic concealing her money in the ground and being unable to find it.]

Plantain, Native, an Australian fodder plant, Plantago varia, R. Br., N.O. Plantagineae.

Plant-Caterpillar, n. name given in Australasia to species of caterpillars which are attacked by spores of certain fungi; when chrysalating in the earth the fungus grows inside the body of the caterpillar, kills the latter, and then forces its way out between the head joints, and sends an upgrowth which projects beyond the surface of the ground and gives rise to fresh spores. Many examples are known, of which the more common are—Cordyceps robertsii, Hook., in New Zealand; Cordyceps gunnii, Berk, in Tasmania; Cordyceps taylori, Berk, in Australia. See Aweto.

1892. M. C. Cooke, 'Vegetable Wasps and Plant Worms,' p. 139:

"The New Zealanders' name for this plant-caterpillar is 'Hotete,' 'Aweto,' 'Weri,' and 'Anuhe.'. . The interior of the insect becomes completely filled by the inner plant, orthallus (mycelium): after which the growing head of the outer plant or fungus, passing to a state of maturity, usually forces its way out through the tissue of the joint between the head and the first segment of the thorax . . . it is stated that this caterpillar settles head upward to undergo its change, when the vegetable developes /sic/ itself."

Planter, n. a cattle-thief, so called from hiding the stolen cattle.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xxv. p. 352:

"What's a little money . . . if your children grow up duffers [sc. cattle-duffers, q.v.] and planters?"

Platycercus, n. scientific name of a genus of Parrakeets, represented by many species. The word is from the shape of the tail. (Grk. platus, broad, and kerkos, tail.) The genus is distributed from the Malay Archipelago to the Islands of the Pacific. The name was first given by Vigors and Horsfield in 1825.

See Parrakeet and Rosella.

Platypus, n. a remarkable Monotreme (q.v.), in shape like a Mole, with a bill like a Duck. Hence its other names of Duck-bill or Duck-Mole. It has received various names—Platypus anatinus, Duck-billed Platypus, Ornithorhynchus, Ornithorhynchus paradoxus, Paradoxus, Water-mole, etc. (Grk. platus = broad, pous = foot, 'ornithos = of a bird, runchos = beak or bill.) The name Platypus is now the name by which it is always popularly known in Australia, but see quotation from Lydekker below (1894). From the British Museum Catalogue of Marsupials and Monotremes (1888), it will be found that the name Platypus, given by Shaw in 1799, had been preoccupied as applied to a beetle by Herbst in 1793. It was therefore replaced, in scientific nomenclature, by the name Ornithorhynchus, by Blumenbach in 1800. In view of the various names, vernacular and scientific, under which it is mentioned by different writers, all quotations referring to it are placed under this word, Platypus. The habits and description of the animal appear in those quotations. From 1882 to 1891 the Platypus figured on five of the postage stamps of Tasmania.

1802. G. Barrington, 'History of New South Wales,' c. xi. p. 425:

"This animal, which has obtained the name of Ornithorhynchus paradoxus, is still very little known."

1802. D. Collins, 'Account of English Colony in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 35:

[List of Engravings.] "Ornithorhynchus paradoxus."

[At p. 63]:

"Ornithorhynchus (an amphibious animal of the mole kind)."

1809. G. Shaw, 'Zoological Lecturer,' vol. i. p. 78:

"This genus, which at present consists but of a single species and its supposed varieties, is distinguished by the title of Platypus or Ornithorhynchus. . . Its English generic name of duckbill is that by which it is commonly known."

1815. 'History of New South Wales' (1818), p. 447:

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

1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 325:

"I cannot omit to mention likewise the Ornithorynchus, that remarkable animal which forms a link between the bird and beast, having a bill like a duck and paws webbed similar to that bird, but legs and body like those of a quadruped, covered with thick coarse hair, with a broad tail to steer by."

1836. C. Darwin, 'Naturalist's Voyage,' c. xix. p. 321:

"Had the good fortune to see several of the Ornithorhynchus paradoxus. . . . Certainly it is a most extraordinary animal; a stuffed specimen does not at all give a good idea of the appearance of the head and beak when fresh, the latter becoming hard and contracted."

1848. W. Westgarth, 'Australia Felix,' p. 131:

"The specimen which has excited the greatest astonishment is the Ornithorynchus paradoxus, which, fitted by a series of contrivances to live equally well in both elements, unites in itself the habits and appearance of a bird, a quadruped, and a reptile."

1850. J. B. Clutterbuck, 'Port Phillip in 1849,' p. 42:

"Platypus, water-mole or duckbill."

1860. G.Bennett, 'Gatherings of a Naturalist,' p. 96:

"The Ornithorhynchus is known to the colonists by the nme of the watermole, from some resemblance which it is supposed to bear to the common European mole (Talpa Europoea, Linn.)"

1860. G. Bennett, 'Gatherings of a Naturalist,' p. 95:

"When first a preserved skin was sent to England, it excited great distrust, being considered a fraud upon the naturalist. . . It was first described and figured by Shaw in the year 1799, in the 'Naturalist's Miscellany,' vol. x., by the name of Platypus anatinus, or Duck-billed Platypus, and it was noticed in Collins's 'New South Wales' 2nd ed. [should be vol. ii. not 2nd ed.], 4to. p. 62, 1802, where it is named Ornithorhyncus paradoxus, Blum. . . There is a rude figure given of this animal in Collins's work."

1884. Marcus Clarke, 'Memorial Volume,' p. 177:

"The Platypus Club is in Camomile Street, and the Platypi are very haughty persons."

1890. 'Victorian Statutes—the Game Act' (Third Schedule):

[Close Season.] "Platypus. The whole year."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 30:

"In the Dee river . . . I observed several times the remarkable platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) swimming rapidly about after the small water-insects and vegetable particles which constitute its food. It shows only a part of its back above water, and is so quick in its movements that it frequently dives under water before the shot can reach it."

1891. 'Guide to Zoological Gardens, Melbourne':

"In the next division the platypus and its burrows are shown. These curious oviparous animals commence their long burrows under water, and work upwards into dry ground. The nest is constructed in a little chamber made of dry leaves and grass, and is very warm and comfortable; there is a second entrance on dry ground. The young are found in the months of September and October, but occasionally either a little earlier or later; generally two or three at a time."

1892. A. Sutherland, 'Elementary Geography of British Colonies,' p. 273:

"The platypus is covered with fur like an otter, and has four webbed feet, like those of a duck, and a black duck-like bill. It makes a burrow in a river bank, but with an opening below the level of the water. It swims and dives in quiet shady river-bends, and disappears on hearing the least noise."

1894. R. Lydekker, 'Marsupialia,' p. 233:

"The duck-bill was originally described under the name of Platypus anatinus, which was Anglicised into duck-billed platypus, but since the generic name [Platypus] had been previously employed for another group of animals, it had, by the rules of zoological nomenclature, to give place to the later Ornithorhynchus, although Shaw's specific name ofanatina still holds good. On these grounds it is likewise preferable to discard the Anglicised term Duck-billed Platypus in favour of the simpler Duck-bill or Duck-Mole."

[Mr. Lydekker is a scientific Englishman, who has not lived in Australia, and although the names of Duck-bill and Duck-mole are perhaps preferable for more exact scientific use, yet by long usage the name Platypus has become the ordinary vernacular name, and is the one by which the animal will always be known in Australian popular language.]

Plover, n. The bird called the Plover exists all over the world. The species present in Australia are—

Black-breasted Plover— Sarciophorus pectoralis, Cuv.

Golden P.— Charadrius fulvus, Gmel.

Grey P.— C. helveticus, Linn.

Long-billed Stone P.— Esacus magnirostris, Geoff.

Masked P.— Lobivanellus personatus, Gould.

Spur-winged P.— Lobivanellus lobatus, Lath.

Stone P.— OEdicnemus grallarius, Lath.

And in New Zealand—Red-breasted Plover, Charadrius obscurus, Gmel. (Maori name, Tututuriwhata); Crook-billed, Anarhynchus frontalis, Quoy and Gaim. The authorities vary in the vernacular names and in the scientific classification. See also Sand-Plover and Wry-billed-Plover.

Plum, n. sometimes called Acacia Plum, a timber tree, Eucryphia moorei, F. v. M., N.O. Saxifrageae; called also Acacia and "White Sally."

Plum, Black, n. the fruit of the tree Cargillia australis, R. Br., N.O. Ebenaceae.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 14:

"The fruits are of the size of a large plum and of a dark purple colour. They are eaten by the aboriginals."

Plum, Burdekin, or Sweet Plum, n. a timber tree, Spondias pleiogyna, F. v. M., N.O. Anacardiaceae. Wood like American walnut.

Plum, Grey, n. (1) A timber-tree. One of the names for Cargillia pentamera, F. v. M., N.O. Ebenaceae. Wood used for tool-handles. (2) Provincial name for the Caper-Tree (q.v.).

Plum, Native, or Wild Plum, n. another name for the Brush-Apple. See Apple. The Native Plum, peculiar to Tasmania, and called also Port-Arthur Plum, is Cenarrhenes nitida, Lab., N.O. Proteaceae.

Plum, Queensland, n. i.q. Sweet Plum (q.v. infra).

Plum, Sour, n. another name for Emu-Apple (q.v.).

Plum, Sweet, n. a wild fruit, Owenia venosa, F. v. M., N.O. Meliaceae.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 49:

"Queensland Plum, Sweet Plum. This plant bears a fine juicy red fruit with a large stone. . . . It is both palatable and refreshing."

Plum, White, n. local name for Acacia (q.v.).

Plum, Wild, n. i.q. Native Plum (q.v.).

Plum-tree, n. the tree, Buchanania mangoides, F. v. M., N.O. Anacardiaceae.

Podargus, n. scientific name of a genus of Australian birds, called the Frogsmouth (q.v.) and Mopoke. From Grk. podargos, swift or white-footed. (Hector's horse in the 'Iliad' was named Podargus.—'Il.' viii. 185.)

1890. 'Victorian Statutes-Game Act' (Third Schedule):

[Close Season.] "Podargus or Mopokes, the whole year."

Poddly, n. a New Zealand and Australian fish, Sebastes percoides, Richards.; called in Victoria Red-Gurnet Perch. The name is applied in England to a different fish.

1872. Hutton and Hector, 'Fishes of New Zealand,' p. 108:

"The pohuia-karou is the proper sea-perch of these waters, that name having been applied by mistake to a small wrasse, which is generally called the spotty or poddly."

Poddy, n. a Victorian name for the Sand-Mullet. See Mullet.

Poe, n. same as Tui (q.v.) and Parson-bird (q.v.). The name, which was not the Maori name, did not endure.

17]7. Cook's' Voyage towards the South Pole and round the World' [2nd Voyage], vol. i. pp. 97, 98:

"Amongst the small birds I must not omit to particularise the wattlebird, poy-bird. . . . The poy-bird is less than the wattle-bird; the feathers of a fine mazarine blue, except those of its neck, which are of a most beautiful silver-grey. . . . Under its throat hang two little tufts of curled snow-white feathers, called its poies, which being the Otaheitean word for ear-rings occasioned our giving that name to the bird, which is not more remarkable for the beauty of its plumage than for the sweetness of its note."

[In the illustration given it is spelt poe-bird, and in the list of plates it is spelt poi.]

1865. W. Howitt, 'Discovery in Australia,' vol. i. p. 111:

"This bird they called the Wattlebird, and also the Poy-bird, from its having little tufts of curled hair under its throat, which they called poies, from the Otaheitan word for ear-rings. The sweetness of this bird's note they described as extraordinary, and that its flesh was delicious, but that it was a shame to kill it."

Pohutukawa, n. Maori name for a magnificent New Zealand tree, Metrosideros tomentosa, A. Cunn., N.O. Myrtaceae, called Christmas-tree and Fire-tree by the settlers. There is a Maori verb, pohutu, to splash. Kawa (n.) is a sprig of any kind used in religious ceremonies; the name would thus mean Splashed sprig. The wood of the tree is very durable, and a concoction of the inner bark is useful in dysentery.

1835. W. Yate, 'Some Account of New Zealand,' p. 46:

"Pohutukawa (Callistemon ellipticus). This is a tree of remarkably robust habits and diffuse irregular growth."

1855. G. Grey, 'Polynesian Mythology,' p. 142:

"On arrival of Arawa canoe, the red flowers of the pohutakawa were substituted for the red ornaments in the hair."

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

"In the clefts of the rocks were growing shrubs, with here and there the larger growth of a pohutukawa, a large crooked-limbed evergreen tree found in New Zealand, and bearing, about Christmas, a most beautiful crimson bloom. The boat-builders in New Zealand use the crooked limbs of this tree for the knees and elbows of their boats."

1873. 'Catalogue of Vienna Exhibition':

"Pohutukawa for knees, ribs, and bent-pieces, invaluable to ship-builder. It surpasses English oak. Confined to Province of Auckland."

1875. T. Laslett, 'Timber and Timber Trees,' p. 310:

"The pohutukawa-tree (Metrosideros tomentosa) requires an exposed situation . . . is crooked, misshapen. . . . The natives speak of it (the timber) as very durable."

1886. J. A. Fronde, 'Oceana,' p. 308:

"Low down on the shore the graceful native Pokutukawa [sic] was left undisturbed, the finest of the Rata tribe—at a distance like an ilex, only larger than any ilex I ever saw, the branches twisted into the most fantastic shapes, stretching out till their weight bears them to the ground or to the water. Pokutukawa, in Maori language, means 'dipped in the sea-spray.' In spring and summer it bears a brilliant crimson flower."

Pointers, n. two of the bullocks in a team. See quotation.

1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 36:

"Twelve bullocks is the usual number in a team, the two polers and the leaders being steady old stagers; the pair next to the pole are called the 'pointers,' and are also required to be pretty steady, the remainder being called the 'body bullocks,' and it is not necessary to be so particular about their being thoroughly broken in."

Poison-berry Tree, n. Pittosporum phillyroides, De C., N.O. Pittosporeae.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 588:

"Butter-Bush of Northern Australia; Willow-Tree of York Peninsula; Native Willow, Poison-berry Tree (South Australia). The berries are not poisonous—only bitter."

Poison-Bush, n. name given to a genus of poisonous Australian shrubs, Gastrolobium (q.v.).

Out of the thirty-three described species of the genus Gastrolobium, only one is found out of Western Australia; G. grandiflorum, F. v. M., is the poison-bush of the Queensland interior and of Central Australia. The name is also given to Swainsonia Greyana, Lindl., N.O. Leguminosae.

The Darling-Pea (q.v.), or Indigo-Plant (q.v.), has similar poisonous effects to the Gastrolobium. These species of Gastrolobium go under the various names of Desert Poison-Bush, York-Road Poison-Bush, Wallflower; and the names of Ellangowan Poison-Bush (Queensland), and Dogswood Poison-Bush (New South Wales), are given to Myoporum deserti, A. Cunn., N.O. Myoporineae, while another plant, Trema aspera, Blume., N.O. Urticaceae, is called Peach-leaved Poison-Bush.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 129:

"These plants are dangerous to stock, and are hence called 'Poison Bushes.' Large numbers of cattle are lost annually in Western Australia through eating them. The finest and strongest animals are the first victims; a difficulty of breathing is perceptible for a few minutes, when they stagger, drop down, and all is over with them. . . . It appears to be that the poison enters the circulation, and altogether stops the action of the lungs and heart."

Ibid. p. 141:

"This plant [S. greyana] is reported to cause madness, if not death itself, to horses. The poison seems to act on the brain, for animals affected by it refuse to cross even a small twig lying in their path, probably imagining it to be a great log. Sometimes the poor creatures attempt to climb trees, or commit other eccentricities."

Poison-Tree, or Poisonous Tree, n. another name for the Milky Mangrove. See Mangrove. The Scrub Poison-Tree is Exsaecaria dallachyana, Baill., N.O. Euphorbiaceae.

Pomegranate, Native, n. another name for the Caper-tree(q.v.).

Pomegranate, Small Native, n. another name for the Native Orange. See Orange.

Pongo, n. aboriginal name for the Flying-Squirrel (q.v.).

1888. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Robbery under Arms,' p. 149:

"Then an old 'possum would sing out, or a black-furred flying-squirrel—pongos, the blacks call 'em—would come sailing down from the top of an ironbark tree, with all his stern sails spread, as the sailors say, and into the branches of another, looking as big as an eagle-hawk."

Poor-Soldier, or Soldier-Bird (q.v.), n. another name for the Friar-bird (q.v.), and so named from its cry.

Poplar, n. In Queensland, a timber-tree, Carumbium populifolium, Reinw., N.O. Euphorbiaceae. In Central Australia, the Radish-tree (q.v.).

Poplar-Box, n. See Box.

Poplar-leaved Gum, n. See Gum.

Porangi, adj. Maori word for sad, sorry, or sick; cranky.

1845. E. J. Wakefield, 'Adventures in New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 137:

"The combatants . . . took especial pains to tell us that it was no fault of ours, but the porangi or 'foolishness' of the Maori."

Ibid. vol. ii. p. 238:

"Watanui said E Abu was porangi, 'a fool.'"

1872. A. Domett, 'Ranolf,' p. 435:

"'Twas nothing—he was not to mind her—she Was foolish—was 'porangi'—and would be Better directly—and her tears she dried."

1882. R. C. Barstow, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. xv. art. liii. p. 423:

"A man who told such marvellous stories that he was deemed to be porangi or insane."

Porcupine, Ant-eating, i.q. Echidna (q.v.).

Porcupine-Bird, n. a bird inhabiting the Porcupine-Grass (q.v.) of Central Australia; the Striated Grass Wren, Amytis striata, Gould. See Wren.

1886. G. A. Keartland, 'Horne Expedition in Central Australia,' Part ii. Zoology, Aves, p. 79:

"Amytis Striata, Gould. Striated Wren. . . . They are found almost throughout Central Australia wherever the porcupine grass abounds, so much so, that they are generally known as the 'Porcupine bird.'"

Porcupine-Fish, n. name given to several species of the genus Diodon, family Gymnodontes, poisonous fishes; also to Dicotylichthys punctulatus, Kaup., an allied fish 1n which the spines are not erectile as in Diodon, but are stiff and immovable. Chilomycterus jaculiferus, Cuv., another species, has also stiff spines, and Atopomycterus nycthemerus, Cuv., has erectile spines. See Toad-fish and Globe-fish.

Porcupine-Grass, n. the name given to certain species of Triodia, of which the more important are T. mitchelli, Benth., T. pungens, R. Br., and T. irritans, R. Br. This grass forms rounded tussocks, growing especially on the sand-hills of the desert parts of Australia, which may reach the size of nine or ten feet in diameter. The leaves when dry form stiff, sharp-pointed structures, which radiate in all directions, like knitting-needles stuck in a huge pincushion. In the writings of the early Australian explorers it is usually, but erroneously, called Spinifex (q.v.). The aborigines collect the resinous material on the leaves of T. pungens, and use it for various purposes, such as that of attaching pieces of flint to the ends of their yam-sticks and spear-throwers.

1865. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'History of the Discovery and Exploration of Australia,' vol. i. p. 284:

"It [Triodia] grows in tufts like large beehives, or piles of thrift grass, and the leaves project out rigidly in all directions, just like Chevaux-de-frise. Merely brushing by will cause the points to strike into the limbs, and a very short walk in such country soon covers the legs with blood. . . . Unfortunately two or three species of it extend throughout the whole continent, and form a part of the descriptions in the journal of every explorer."

1880 (before). P. J. Holdsworth, 'Station-hunting on the Warrego,' quoted in 'Australian Ballads and Rhymes' (ed. Sladen), p. 115:

"Throughout that night, Cool dews came sallying on that rain-starved land, And drenched the thick rough tufts of bristly grass, Which, stemmed like quills (and thence termed porcupine), Thrust hardily their shoots amid the flints And sharp-edged stones."

1889. E. Giles, 'Australia Twice Traversed,' vol. i. p. 76:

"No porcupine, but real green grass made up a really pretty picture, to the explorer at least."

1889. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol. iv. p. 148:

"These were covered with spinifex, or porcupine-grass, the leaves of which are needle-pointed."

1896. R. Tate, 'Horne Expedition in Central Australia,' Botany, p. 119:

"In the Larapintine Region . . . a species of Triodia ('porcupine grass' or, incorrectly, 'spinifex' of explorers and residents) dominates sand ground and the sterile slopes and tops of the sandstone table-lands."

Porcupine-grass Ant, n. popular name given to Hypoclinea flavipes, Kirby, an ant making its nest round the root of the Porcupine grass (Triodia pungens), and often covering the leaves of the tussock with tunnels of sandgrains fastened together by resinous material derived from the surface of the leaves.

1896. Baldwin Spencer, 'Home Expedition in Central Australia.'

"Watching the Porcupine-grass ants, which are very small and black bodies with yellowish feet, I saw them constantly running in and out of these chambers, and on opening the latter found that they were always built over two or more Coccidae attached to the leaf of the grass."

Porcupine-Parrot, n. See quotation.

1896. G. A. Keartland, 'Report of the Horne Expedition in Central Australia,' Part ii. Zoology, Aves, p. 107:

"Geopsittacus occidentalis. Western Ground Parrakeet. . . . As they frequent the dense porcupine grass, in which they hide during the day, a good dog is necessary to find them. They are locally known as the 'Porcupine Parrot.'"

Poroporo, n. Maori name for the flowering shrub Solanum aviculare, Forst.; called in Australia, Kangaroo Apple. Corrupted into Bullybul (q.v.). /See, rather, Bull-a-bull/

1857. C. Hursthouse, 'New Zealand, the Britain of the South, p. 136:

"The poroporo, the nicest or least nasty of the wild fruits, is a sodden strawberry flavoured with apple-peel; but if rashly tasted an hour before it is ripe, the poroporo is an alum pill flavoured with strychnine."

1880. W. Colenso, 'Transactions New Zealand Institute,' vol. xiii. art. i. p. 32:

"The large berry of the poro-poro (Solanum aviculare) was also eaten; it is about the size of a small plum, and when ripe it is not unpleasant eating, before it is ripe it is very acrid. This fruit was commonly used by the early colonists in the neighbourhood of Wellington in making jam."

Porphyrio, n. the Sultana-bird, or Sultana. The bird exists elsewhere. In Australia it is generally called the Swamp-Hen (q.v.).

1875. A. Domett, 'Ranolf,' p. 213:

"The crimson-billed porphyrio, that jerking struts Among the cool thick rushes."

1890. 'Victorian Statutes-the Game Act' (Third Schedule):

[Close Season.] ". . . Land-rail, all other members of the Rail family, Porphyrio, Coots, &c. From the First day of August to the Twentieth day of December following."

Port-Arthur Plum. See Plum, Native.

Port-Jackson Fig, n. See Fig.

Port-Jackson Shark, Heterodontus phillipii, Lacep., family Cestraciontidae; called also the Shell-grinder.

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish of New South Wales,' p. 10:

"The Cestracion or Port Jackson shark (Heterodontus)."

Ibid. p. 97:

"It was supposed that Port Jackson alone had this shark . . . It has since been found in many of the coast bays of Australia."

Port-Jackson Thrush, n. the best known bird among the Australian Shrike-thrushes (q.v.), Colluricincla harmonica, Lath.; called also the Austral Thrush, and Harmonic Thrush by Latham. It is also the C. cinerea of Vigors and Horsfield and the Turdus harmonicus of Latham, and it has received various other scientific and vernacular names; Colonel Legge has now assigned to it the name of Grey Shrike-Thrush. Gould called it the "Harmonious Colluricincla."

1790. J. White, 'Voyage to New South Wales,' p. 157:

"The Port-Jackson thrush, of which a plate is annexed, inhabits the neighbourhood of Port Jackson. The top of head blueish-grey; back is a fine chocolate brown; wings and tail lead-colour; under part dusky white. . . . The bill, dull yellow; legs brown."

1822. John Latham, 'General History of Birds,' vol. v. p. 124:

"Austral Thrush. [A full description.] Inhabits New South Wales."

[Latham describes two other birds, the Port Jackson Thrush and the Harmonic Thrush, and he uses different scientific names for them. But Gould, regarding Latham's specimens as all of the same species, takes all Latham's scientific and vernacular names as synonyms for the same bird.]

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. ii. pl. 74:

"The Colluricincla harmonica is one of the oldest known of the Australian birds, having been described in Latham's 'Index Ornithologicus,' figured in White's 'Voyage' and included in the works of all subsequent writers."

Port-Macquarie Pine. See Pine.

Post-and-Rail Tea, slang name for strong bush-tea: so called because large bits of the tea, or supposed tea, float about in the billy, which are compared by a strong imagination to the posts and rails of the wooden fence so frequent in Australia.

1851. 'The Australasian' (a Quarterly), p. 298:

"Hyson-skin and post-and-rail tea have been superseded by Mocha, claret, and cognac."

1855. G. C. Mundy, 'Our Antipodes,' p. 163:

"A hot beverage in a tin pot, which richly deserved the colonial epithet of 'post-and-rail' tea, for it might well have been a decoction of 'split stuff,' or 'ironbark shingles,' for any resemblance it bore to the Chinese plant."

1870. T. H. Braim, 'New Homes,' c. i. p. 28:

"The shepherd's wife kindly gave us the invariable mutton-chop and damper and some post-and-rail tea."

1883. Keighley, 'Who are you?' p. 36:

"Then took a drink of tea. . . . Such as the swagmen in our goodly land Have with some humour named the 'post-and-rail.'"

Potato-Fern, n. a fern (Marattia fraxinea, Smith) with a large part edible, sc. the basal scales of the frond. Called also the Horseshoe-fern.

Potato, Native, n. a sort of Yam, Gastrodia sesamoides, R. Br., N.O. Orchideae.

1834. Ross, 'Van Diemen's Land Annual,' p. 131:

"Produces bulb-tubers growing one out of another, of the size, and nearly the form, of kidney potatoes; the lowermost is attached by a bundle of thick fleshy fibres to the root of the tree from which it derives its nourishment. These roots are roasted and eaten by the aborigines; in taste they resemble beet-root, and are sometimes called in the colony native potatoes."

1857. F. R. Nixon, 'Cruise of the Beacon,' p. 27:

"And the tubers of several plants of this tribe were largely consumed by them, particularly those of Gastrodi sessamoides [sic], the native potato, so called by the colonists, though never tasted by them, and having not the most remote relation to the plant of that name, except in a little resemblance of the tubers, in shape and appearance, to the kidney potato."

Potoroo, n. aboriginal name for a Kangaroo-Rat (q.v.). See also Potorous and Roo.

1790. John White, 'Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales,' p. 286:

"The Poto Roo, or Kangaroo Rat." [Figure and description.] "It is of a brownish grey colour, something like the brown or grey rabbit, with a tinge of a greenish yellow. It has a pouch on the lower part of its belly."

Potorous, n. the scientific name of the genus of the Kangaroo-Rats (q.v.). The aboriginal name was Potoroo; see Roo. They are also called Rat-Kangaroos.

Pouched-lion, or Marsupial Lion, n. a large extinct Phalanger (q.v.), Thylacoleo carnifex, Owen. The popular name was given under the idea, derived from the presence of an enormous cutting-tooth, that the animal was of fierce carnivorous habits. But it is more generally regarded as closely allied to the phalangers, who are almost entirely vegetarians.

Pouched-Mouse, n. the vernacular name adopted for species of the genera Phascologale (q.v.), Sminthopsis, Dasyuroides and Antechinomys. They are often called Kangaroo-mice (q.v.). The species are—

Brush-tailed Pouched-Mouse— Phascologale penicillata, Shaw.

Chestnut-necked P.-M.— P. thorbechiana, Schl.

Crest-tailed P.-M.— P. cristicauda, Krefft.

Fat-tailed P.-M.— P. macdonnellensis, Spencer.

Freckled P.-M.—- P. apicalis, Gray.

Lesser-tailed P.-M.— P. calura, Gould.

Little P.-M.— P. minima, Geoff.

Long-tailed P.-M.— P. longicaudata, Schleg.

Orange-bellied P.-M.— P. doria, Thomas.

Pigmy P.-M.— P. minutissima, Gould.

Red-tailed P.-M.— P. wallacii, Grey.

Swainson's P.-M.— P. swainsoni, Water.

Yellow-footed Pouched-Mouse— Phascologale flavipes, Water.

The Narrow-footed Pouched-Mice belong to the genus Sminthopsis, and differ from the Phascologales in being entirely terrestrial in their habits, whereas the latter are usually arboreal; the species are—

Common Narrow-footed Pouched-Mouse— Sminthopsis murina, Water.

Finke N.-f. P.-M.— S. larapinta, Spencer.

Sandhill N.-f. P.-M.— S. psammophilus, Spencer.

Stripe-faced N.-f. P.-M.— S. virginiae, De Tarrag.

Thick-tailed N.-f. P.-M.— S. crassicaudata, Gould.

White-footed N.-f. P.-M. S. leucopus, Grey.

The third genus, Dasyuroides, has only one species— Byrne's Pouched-Mouse, D. byrnei, Spencer.

The fourth genus, Antechinomys, has only one known species—the Long-legged Jumping Pouched-Mouse, A. laniger, Gould.

Pounamu, or Poenamu, n. the Maori name for Nephrite, Jade, or Greenstone (q.v.). In the second spelling the e is hardly sounded.

1773. Hawkesworth, 'Cook's Voyages,' vol. ii. p. 400:

"Two Whennuas or islands [afterwards called New Zealand] which might be circumnavigated in a few days, and which he called Tovy Poenammoo; the literal translation of this word is 'the water of green talc,' and probably if we had understood him better we should have found that Tovy Poenammoo was the name of some particular place where they got the green talc or stone of which they make their ornaments and tools, and not a general name for the whole southern district."

1867. F. Hochstetter, 'New Zealand,' p. 362:

"A magnificent Mere punamu, a battle-axe, fifteen inches long, and cut out of the most beautiful, transparent nephrite, an heirloom of his illustrious ancestors, which he kept as a sacred relic."

1881. J. L. Campbell [Title of book describing early days of New Zealand]:


Pratincole, n. The bird called a Pratincole (inhabitant of meadows: Lat. pratum and incola) exists elsewhere, and more often under the familiar name of Chat. The Australian species are—Glareola grallaria, Temm.; Oriental, G. orientalis, Leach.

Pre-empt, n. a slang abbreviation for pre-emptive right.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xxiv. p. 322:

"My friend has the run and the stock and the pre-empts all in his own hands."

Pretty-Faces, n. a fancy name for a small kangaroo. Not very common.

1887. W. S. S.Tyrwhitt, 'The New Chum in the Queensland Bush,' p. 145:

"Kangaroos are of several different kinds. First, the large brown variety, known as kangaroo proper; next the smaller kind, known as pretty faces or whip tails, which are rather smaller and of a grey colour, with black and white on the face."

Prickfoot, n. a Tasmanian plant, Eryngium vesiculosum, Lab., N.O. Umbelliferae.

Prickly Fern, n. Alsophila australis, R. Br., N.O. Filices.

1862. W. Archer, 'Products of Tasmania,' p. 41:

"Prickly fern-tree (Alsophila Australis, Br.). This very handsome ferntree occasionally attains a height of thirty feet. It is not, by any means, so common a fern-tree as Dicksonia antarctica (Lab.)."

Prickly Mimosa, n. See Mimosa and Prickly Moses, under Moses.

1835. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 6:

Acacia verticillata. Whorl leaved Acacia, or Prickly Mimosa, so called from its sharp pointed leaves standing out in whorls round the stem like the spokes of a wheel."

Prickly Pine, n. See Pine.

Prickly Wattle, n. See Wattle.

Primage, n. The word is of old commercial use, for a small sum of money formerly paid to the captain or master of the ship, as his personal perquisite, over and above the freight charges paid to the owners or agents, by persons sending goods in a ship. It was called by the French pot-de-vin du maitre,—a sort of pourboire, in fact. Now-a-days the captain has no concern with the freight arrangements, and the word in this sense has disappeared. It has re-appeared in Australia under a new form. In 1893 the Victorian Parliament imposed a duty of one per cent. on the Prime, as the Customs laws call the first entry of goods. This tax was called Primage, and raised such an outcry among commercial men that in 1895 it was repealed.

Primrose, Native, n. The name is given in Tasmania to Goodenia geniculata, R. Br., N.O. Goodeniaceae. There are many species of Goodenia in Australia, and they contain a tonic bitter which has not been examined.

Prion, n. a sea-bird. See Dove-Petrel. (Grk. priown, a saw.) The sides of its bill are like the teeth of a saw.

1885. W. O. Legge, 'Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science' (Brisbane), p. 448:

"The name Prion, as almost universally applied elsewhere to the Blue Petrels, has been kept [in Australia] as an English name."

Prop, v. of a horse: to stop suddenly.

1870. E. B. Kennedy, 'Four Years in Queensland,' p. 194:

"Another man used to teach his horse (which was free from vice) to gallop full speed up to the verandah of a house, and when almost against it, the animal would stop in his stride (or prop), when the rider vaulted lightly over his head on to the verandah."

1880. W. Senior, 'Travel and Trout,' p.52:

"How on a sudden emergency the sensible animal will instantaneously check his impetuosity, 'prop,' and swing round at a tangent."

1884. Rolf Boldrewood,' Melbourne Memories,' c. xxi. p. 152:

"Traveller's dam had an ineradicable taste for propping."

1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' p. 153:

"His horse propped short, and sent him flying over its head."

Prop, n. a sudden stop.

1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' c. xvi. p. 115:

"The 'touchy' mare gave so sudden a 'prop,' accompanied by a desperate plunge, that he was thrown."

Prospect, v. to search for gold. In the word, and in all its derivatives, the accent is thrown back on to the first syllable. This word, in such frequent use in Australia, is generally supposed to be of Australian origin, but it is in equal use in the mining districts of the United States of America.

1861. T. McCombie, 'Australian Sketches,' p. 10:

"The forest seemed alive with scouts 'prospecting.'"

1864. J. Rogers, 'New Rush,' pt. i. p. 18:

"Behold him, along with his partner set out, To prospect the unexplor'd ranges about."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'The Miner's Right,' p. 46:

"A promising place for prospecting. Yet nowhere did I see the shafts and heaps of rock or gravel which tell in a gold country of the hasty search for the precious metal."

1894. 'The Argus,' March 10, p. 4, col. 6:

"The uses of the tin dish require explanation. It is for prospecting. That is to say, to wash the soil in which you think there is gold."

Prospect, n. the result of the first or test-dish full of wash-dirt.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'The Miner's Right,' c. v. p. 54:

"The first prospect, the first pan of alluvial gold drift, was sent up to be tested."

1890. 'Goldfields of Victoria,' p. 17:

"I have obtained good dish prospects after crudely crushing up the quartz."

Prospecting, verbal n. and adj. See Prospect, v.

1890. 'Goldfields of Victoria,' p. 16:

"Prospecting in my division is on the increase."

Ibid. p. 13:

"The Egerton Company are doing a large amount of prospecting work."

Prospecting Claim = the first claim marked in a gold-lead. See Reward Claim.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'The Miner's Right,' c. v. p. 53:

"This, however, would be but half the size of the premier or prospecting claim."

Prospector, n. one who searches for gold on a new field. See Prospect, v.

1890. 'Goldfields of Victoria,' p. 19:

"The Government prospectors have also been very successful."

1891. W. Tilley, 'Wild West of Tasmania,' p. 11:

"He incidentally mentioned his gold find to another prospector . . . The last went out to the grounds and prospected, with the result that he discovered the first payable gold on the West Coast, for which he obtained a reward claim."

Pseudochirus, n. the scientific name of the genus of Ring-tailed Phalangers. (See Opossum.) They have prehensile tails, by which they hold in climbing, as with a hand. (Grk. pseudo-, false, and cheir, hand.)

Psophodes, n. scientific name of a genus of birds peculiar to Australia, and represented there by two species. See Coach-whip Bird. The name comes from the bird's peculiar note. (Grk. psophowdaes, noisy.)

Ptilonorhynchinae, n. pl. scientific name assigned to the Australian group of birds called the Bower-birds (q.v.). (Grk. ptilon, a feather, rhunchos, a beak.)

Pudding-ball, n. a fish; corruption of the aboriginal name of it, puddinba (q.v.), by the law of Hobson-Jobson.

1847. J. D. Lang, 'Cooksland,' p. 96:

"The species of fish that are commonest in the Bay (Moreton) are mullet, bream, puddinba (a native word corrupted by the colonists into pudding-ball) . . . The puddinba is like a mullet in shape, but larger, and very fat; it is esteemed a great delicacy."

1896. 'The Australasian,' Aug. 28, p. 407 col. 4:

"'Pudding-ball' is the name of a fish. It has nothing to do with pudding, nothing with any of the various meanings of ball. The fish is not specially round. The aboriginal name was 'pudden-ba.' Voila tout."

Pukeko, n. Maori name for the bird Porphyrio melanonotus, the Swamp-Hen (q.v.).

1896. 'Otago Witness,' June 11, p. 51:

"Two pukaki [sic] flew across their path."

Punga, n. the trunk of the tree-fern that is known as Cyathea medullaris, the "black fern " of the settlers. It has an edible pith.

1855. Rev. R. Taylor, 'Te Ika a Maui,' p. 115:

"Some of the trees were so alarmed that they held down their heads, and have never been able to hold them up since; amongst these were the ponga (a fern-tree) and the kareao (supple-jack), whose tender shoots are always bent."

1888. J. White, 'Ancient History of Maori,' vol. iv. p. 191:

"When Tara-ao left his pa and fled from the vengeance of Karewa, he and his people were hungry and cut down ponga, and cooked and ate them."

1888. J. Adams, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. xxi. art. ii. p. 36:

"The size and beauty of the puriri, nikau, and ponga (Cyathea medullaris) are worthy of notice."

1892. E. S. Brookes, 'Frontier Life,' p. 139:

"The Survey Department graded a zigzag track up the side to the top, fixing in punga steps, so that horses could climb up."

Punga-punga, n. Maori name for the pollen of the raupo (q.v.).

1880. W. Colenso, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. xiii. art. i. p. 28:

"Another curious article of vegetable food was the punga-punga, the yellow pollen of the raupo flowers. To use it as food it is mixed with water into cakes and baked. It is sweetish and light, and reminds one strongly of London gingerbread."

Puriri, n. Maori name for the New Zealand tree, Vitex littoralis, A. Cunn., N.O. Verbenaceae; called also New Zealand Oak, New Zealand Teak, and Ironwood. It is very hard.

1842. W. R. Wade, 'Journey in New Zealand' (Hobart Town), p. 200:

"Puriri, misnamed Vitex littoralis, as it is not found near the sea-coast."

1875. T. Laslett, 'Timber and Timber Trees,' p. 311:

"The Puriri Tree (Vitex littoralis). The stems . . . vary from straight to every imaginable form of curved growth. . . The fruit, which is like a cherry, is a favourite food of the woodpigeon."

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

"A deep ravine, over which grey-stemmed purtris stretched out afar their gnarled trunks, laden with deep green foliage, speckled with the warm gleam of ruddy blossoms."

1881. J. L. Campbell, 'Poenamo,' p. 102:

"The darker, crimped and varnished leaf of the puriri, with its bright cherry-like berry."

1889. T. Kirk, 'Forest Flora of New Zealand,' p. 209:

"The Puriri . . . on account of the strength of its timber it is sometimes termed by the settlers 'New Zealand Oak,' but it would be far more correct to name it 'New Zealand Teak.'"

Purple Berry, n. Tasmanian name for Billardiera longiflora, Lab., N.O. Pittosporeae. See Pittosporum.

1880. Mrs. Meredith, 'Tasmanian Friends and Foes,' p. 11 [Note]:

"Billardiera longiflora, the well-known beautiful climber, with pale greenish bell-flowers and purple fruit." [Also pl. i.]

Purple Broom, n. See Broom.

Purple Coot, n. another name for the Swamp-Hen (q.v.).

Purple Fig, n. See under Fig-tree.

Push, n. a gang. The word is of late very common in Australia. It was once a prison term. Barrere and Leland quote from M. Davitt's 'Leaves from a Prison Diary,' "the upper ten push." In Thieves' English it is—(1) a crowd; (2) an association for a particular robbery. In Australia, its use began with the larrikins (q.v.), and spread, until now it often means clique, set, party, and even jocularly so far as "the Government House Push."

1890. 'The Argus,' July 26, p. 4, col. 3:

"'Doolan's push' were a party of larrikins working . . . in a potato paddock near by."

1892. A topical song by E. J. Lonnen began:

"I've chucked up my Push for my Donah."

1893. 'The Australasian,' June 24, p. 1165, col. 4:

"He [the young clergyman] is actually a member of every 'push' in his neighbourhood, and the effect has been not to degrade the pastor, but to sweeten and elevate the 'push.'"

1893. 'Sydney Morning Herald,' June 26, p. 8, col. 7:

"For a long time past the 'push' at Miller's Point, which consists of young fellows for the most part under twenty-one years of age, have been a terrible source of annoyance, and, indeed, of actual danger. A few years ago the police by resolute dealings with the larrikin pest almost put it down in the neighbourhood, the part of it which was left being thoroughly cowed, and consequently afraid to make any disturbance. Within the past eighteen months or two years the old 'push' has been strengthened by the addition of youths just entering on manhood, who, gradually increasing in numbers, have elbowed their predecessors out of the field. Day by day the new 'push' has become more daring. From chaffing drunken men and insulting defenceless women, the company has taken to assault, to daylight robbery."

1893. 'The Argus,' July 1, p. 10, col. 7:

"The Premier, in consultation with the inspector-general of the police, has made arrangements to protect life and property against the misconduct of the lawless larrikin 'pushes' now terrorising Sydney."

1894. 'Sydney Morning Herald' (date lost):

"The word larrikin is excellently descriptive of the irresponsible, mischievous, anti-social creature whose eccentric action is the outcome of too much mutton. This immoral will-o'-the-wisp, seized with a desire to jostle, or thump, or smash, combines for the occasion with others like himself, and the shouldering, shoving gang is well called a push."

Pyrrholaemus, n. scientific name of the genus of the Australian birds called the Red-throats; from Grk. purros, "flame-coloured," "red," and laimos, "throat."


Quail, n. a bird which exists under some form all over the world. The Australian species are—

Black-breasted Quail— Turnix melanogaster, Gould.

Brown Q.— Synoicus australis, Lath. [Called also Swamp-Quail.]

Chestnut-backed Q.— Turnix castanotus, Gould.

Chestnut-bellied Q.— Excalfatoria australis, Gould.

Little Q.— Turnix velox, Gould.

Painted Q.— T. varies, Lath. [Haemipodius melinatus, Gould.]

Red-backed Q.— T. maculosa, Gould.

Red-chested Q.— T. pyrrhothorax, Gould.

Stubble Q.— Coturnix pectoralis, Gould.

In New Zealand there is a single species, Coturnix novae-zelandiae, Quoy and Gaim.

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discoveries in Australia,' vol. ii. c. vii. p. 259:

"It is known to the colonists as the painted quail; and has been called by Mr. Gould . . . Haemipodius melinatus."

1859. H. Kingsley, 'Geoffrey Hamlyn,' p. 298:

"The painted quail, and the brush quail, the largest of Australian gamebirds, I believe, whirred away from beneath their horses' feet."

1862. H. C. Kendall, 'Poems,' p. 67:

"The swamp fowl and timorous quail . . . Will start from their nests."

1889. Prof. Parker, 'Catalogue of New Zealand Exhibition,' p. 117:

"This group also is represented by a single species, the New Zealand quail (Coturnix Novae-Zelandiae), belonging to a widely distributed genus. It was formerly very abundant in New Zealand; but within the last fifteen or twenty years has been completely exterminated, and is now only known to exist on the Three Kings Island, north of Cape Maria Van Diemen."

Quail-Hawk, n. name given to the bird Falco, or Harpa novae-zelandiae. See Hawk.

1882. T. H. Potts, 'Out in the Open,' p. 37:

"In New Zealand the courageous family of the Raptores is very feebly represented; the honourable post of head of the family in all fairness must be assigned to the falcon, which is commonly known by the name of the quail- or sparrow-hawk, not that it is identical with, or that it even bears much resemblance to, the bold robber of the woods of Great Britain—'the hardy sperhauke eke the quales foe,' as Chaucer has it."

Quandong, n. (various spellings) aboriginal name for—(1) a tree, Santalum acuminatum, De C., S. persicarium, F. v. M., N.O. Santalaceae. In the Southern Colonies it is often called the Southern Quandong, and the tree is called the Native Peach-Tree (q.v.). The name is given to another large scrub-tree, Elaeocarpus grandis, F. v. M., N.O. Tiliaceae. The fruit, which is of a blue colour and is eaten by children, is also called the Native Peach.

1839. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions,' p. 135:

"In all these scrubs on the Murray the Fusanus acuminatus is common, and produces the quandang nut (or kernel)."

1857. W. Howitt, 'Tallangetta,' vol. i. p. 41:

"Abundance of fig, and medlar and quince trees, cherries, loquots, quondongs, gooseberry, strawberry, and raspberry trees."

1867. G. G. McCrae, 'Balladeadro,' p. 10:

"Speed thee, Ganook, with these swift spears— This firebrand weeping fiery tears, And take this quandang's double plum, 'Twill speak alliance tho' 'tis dumb."

1887. R. M. Praed, 'Longleat of Kooralbyn,' c. xx. p. 199:

"They came upon a quantong-tree, and pausing beneath it, began to pick up the fallen fruit. . . . There were so many berries, each containing a shapely nut, that Honoria might string a dozen necklaces."

1890. Lyth, 'Golden South,' c. ix. p. 79:

"I have forgotten to mention the quandong, a shrub bearing a fruit the size and colour of cherries."

(2) The fruit of this tree, and also its kernel.

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

"She had gone to string on a necklet of seeds from the quongdong tree.'

1887. R. M. Praed, 'Longleat of Kooralbyn,' c. xix. p. 196:

"Miss Longleat was wild after quandongs."

[Footnote]: "A berry growing in the scrub, the kernels of which are strung into necklaces."

1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 9:

"Another fruit of fraudulent type growing on the plains is the quandong. Something in shape and colour like a small crab-apple, it is fair enough to the eye, but in taste thoroughly insipid."

Quart-pot, n. a tin vessel originally imported as a measure, and containing an exact imperial quart. It had no lid, but a side handle. Before 1850 the word Quart-pot, for a kettle, was as universal in the bush as "Billy" (q.v.) is now. The billy, having a lid and a wire handle by which to suspend it over the fire, superseded the quart-pot about 1851. In addition to the Billy, there is a Quart-pot still in use, especially in South Australia and the back-blocks. It has two sidehandles working in sockets, so as to fold down flat when travelling. The lid is an inverted pannikin fitted into it, and is used as a drinking-cup.

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 43:

"'Look out there!' he continued; 'quart-pot corroborree,' springing up and removing with one hand from the fire one of the quart-pots, which was boiling madly."

Quart-pot Tea, n. Explained in quotations. Cf. Billy-tea.

1878. Mrs. H. Jones, 'Long Years in Australia,' p. 87:

"Ralph, taking a long draught of the quart-pot tea, pronounced that nothing was ever like it made in teapots, and Ethel thought it excellent, excepting that the tea-leaves were troublesome."

188. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia, p. 111:

"'Quart-pot' tea, as tea made in the bush is always called, is really the proper way to make it. . . . The tea is really made with boiling water, which brings out its full flavour, and it is drunk before it has time to draw too much."

Quartz, n. a mineral; the common form of native silica. It is abundantly diffused throughout the world, and forms the common sand of the sea-shore. It occurs as veins or lodes in metamorphic rocks, and it is this form of its presence in Australia, associated with gold, that has made the word of such daily occurrence. In fact, the word Quartz, in Australian mining parlance, is usually associated with the idea of Gold-bearing Stone, unless the contrary be stated. Although some of the following compound words may be used elsewhere, they are chiefly confined to Australia.

1871. C. L. Money, 'Knocking About in New Zealand,' p. 21:

"Quartz is the mother of gold, and wherever there is an abundance of it, gold may reasonably be expected to exist somewhere in the neighbourhood."

1890. 'The Argus,' June 16, p. 6. col. 1:

"Two runaway apprentices from a ship are said to have first crushed quartz."

1890. R. A. F. Murray, 'Reports and Statistics of the Mining Department [of Victoria] for the Quarter ending 31st December':

"The quartz here is very white and crystalline, with ferruginous, clayey joints, and—from a miner's point of view—of most unpromising or 'hungry' appearance."

Quartz-battery, n. a machine for crushing quartz, and so extracting gold.

1890. 'The Argus,' July 26, p. 4, col. 4:

"There was a row [noise] like a quartz-battery."

Quartz-blade, n. blade of a miner's knife used for picking lumps of gold out of the stone.

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

"They had slashed open his loins with a quartz-blade knife."

Quartz-crushing, adj. See Quartz.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right,' c. xxxix. p. 341:

"The dull reverberating clash of the quartz-crushing batteries."

Quartz-field, n. a non-alluvial goldfield.

1890. 'The Argus,' June 16, p. 6, col. 1:

"Our principal quartz-field."

Quartz-lodes, and Quartz-mining. See Quartz.

1880. G. Sutherland, 'Tales of Goldfields,' p. 32:

"He chose the piece which the New North Clunes now occupy for quartz-mining; but the quartz-lodes were very difficult to follow."

Quartz-reefer, n. a miner engaged in Quartz-reefing, as distinguished from one digging in alluvial. See above.

Quartz-reefing, n. (1) The operation of mining. See Reef, verb. (2) A place where there is gold mixed with quartz.

1861. Mrs. Meredith, 'Over the Straits,' c. iv. p. 133:

"You'd best go to a quartz-reefin'. I've been surfacing this good while; but quartz-reefin's the payinest game, now."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right,' c. xxix. p. 263:

"[He] had located himself in a quartz-reefing district."

Queensland, n. a colony named after the Queen, on the occasion of its separation from New South Wales, in 1859. Dr. J. D. Lang wanted to call it "Cooksland," and published a book under that title in 1847. Before separation it was known as "the Moreton Bay District."

Queensland Asthma-Herb, n. See Asthma-Herb.

Queensland Bean. n. See Bean.

Queensland Beech, n. See Beech.

Queensland Ebony, n. See Ebony.

Queensland Hemp, n. See Hemp.

Queensland Kauri, n. another name for Dundathu Pine. See Kauri and Pine.

Queensland Nut, n. a wild fruit-tree, Macadamia ternifolia, F. v. M., N.O. Proteaceae.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 40:

"'Queensland Nut.' This tree bears an edible nut of excellent flavour, relished both by Aborigines and Europeans. As it forms a nutritious article of food to the former, timber-getters are not permitted to fell the trees. It is well worth extensive cultivation, for the nuts are always eagerly bought."

Queensland Nutmeg, n. a timber-tree, Myristica insipida, R. Br., N.O. Myristiceae. Not so strongly aromatic as the true nutmeg.

Queensland Plum, n. See Plum, Sweet.

Queensland Poplar, n. See under Poplar.

Queensland Sorrel, n. a plant, Hibiscus heterophyllus, Vent., N.O. Malvaceae, chewed by the aborigines, as boys chew English Sorrel.

Queenwood, n. a timber-tree, Davidsonia pruriens, F. v. M., N.O. Leguminosae.

Quince, Native, n. i.q. Bitter-bark, Emu-Apple, and Quinine-tree, all which see.

Quince, Wild, n. another name for the Black Ash-tree. See Ash.

Quinine-Tree, n. i.q. Horseradish Tree (q.v.), and used also for the Bitter-bark or Emu-Apple Tree (q.v.).

Quoll, n. the aboriginal name for the Native Cat (q.v.), but not now in use.

1770. J. Banks, 'Journal,' Aug. 26 (edition Hooker, 1896), p. 301:

"Another animal was called by the natives je-quoll; it is about the size of, and something like, a pole-cat, of a light brown, spotted with white on the back, and white under the belly. . . . I took only one individual."

Ibid. p. 323:

"They very often use the article ge, which seems to answer to our English a, as ge gurka—a rope."

[In Glossary]:

"Gurka—a rope." /?/


Rabbiter, n. a man who lives by trapping rabbits, or who is employed to clear stations from them.

1892. E. W. Hornung, 'Under Two Skies,' p. 114:

"He would give him a billet. He would take him on as a rabbiter, and rig him out with a tent, camp fixings, traps, and perhaps even a dog or two."

Rabbit-rat, n. name sometimes given to ahapalote (q.v.), in New South Wales.

Radish-Tree, n. an Australian timber-tree, Codonocarpus cotinifolius, F. v. M., N.O. Phytolaceae; called also Poplar in Central Australia.

1894. 'Melbourne Museum Catalogue—Economic Woods,' No. 61:

"Radish-Tree: occurs in the Mallee-scrub very sparingly; attaining a height of thirty feet. The poplar of the Central Australian explorers. Whole tree strong-scented."

Rager, n. an old and fierce bullock or cow, that always begins to rage in the stock-yard.

1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' c. xiv. p. 105:

"Amongst them was a large proportion of bullocks, which declined with fiendish obstinacy to fatten. They were what are known by the stockriders as 'ragers,' or 'pig-meaters'" [q.v.].

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xvi. p. 196:

"Well, say a hundred off for ragers.'"

Rail, n. common English birdname. There are many varieties in New Zealand and Australia, especially in the former colony, and the authorities differ as to whether some should be classed as distinct species. Some are common to Australasia, others endemic in New Zealand or Australia; their distribution in this respect is marked below in parentheses. Several species receive more than one vernacular name, as the following list shows—

Banded Rail (N.Z. and A.)— Rallus philippensis, Linn.

Chestnut-bellied R. (A.)— Eulabeornis castaneiventris, Gould.

Dieffenbach's R. (see quotation below)— Rallus dieffenbachii, Gray.

Hutton's R. (N.Z.)— Cabalus modestus, Hutton.

Land R. (N.Z. and A.)— Rallus philippensis, Linn.

Marsh R. (Australasia)— Ortygometra tabuensis, Finsch. and Hard.

Pectoral R. (N.Z. and A.)— Rallus philippensis, Linn.

Red-necked R. (A.)— Rallina tricolor, Gray.

Slate-breasted R. (A.)— Hypotaenidia brachipus, Swains.

Swainson's R. (N.Z. and A.)— Rallina brachipus, Swains.

Swamp R. (Australasia)— Ortygometra tabuensis, Finsch. and Hard.

Tabuan R. (Australasia)— O. tabuensis, Finsch. and Hard.

Weka R. (N.Z. See Weka.)—

See also Takahe and Notornis.

1888. W.L. Buller, 'Birds of New Zealand,' p. 121:

"Dieffenbach's Rail. . . . This beautiful Rail was brought from the Chatham Islands by Dr. Dieffenbach in 1842, and named by Mr. Gray in compliment to this enterprising naturalist. The adult specimen in the British Museum, from which my description was taken, is unique, and seems likely to remain so."

1893. Prof Parker, 'Catalogue of New Zealand Exhibition,' p. 116:

"Hutton's rail, the third of the endemic rails . . . is confined to the Chatham Islands."

Rain-bird, n. The name is popularly given in many parts of the world to various birds. The Rain-bird of Queensland and the interior is the Great Cuckoo or Channel-bill (Scythrops novae-hollandiae, Lath., q.v.).

1860. G. Bennett, 'Gatherings of a Naturalist,' p. 283:

"We discovered a nest of full-fledged birds of the Australian Shrike or Butcher-bird, also called Rain-bird by the colonists (Vanga destructor). They were regarded by our companions as a prize, and were taken accordingly to be caged, and instructed in the art of whistling tunes, in which they are great adepts."

Rainbow-fish, n. a New Zealand fish, Heteroscharus castelnaui, Macl.

Rama-rama, n. Maori name for a New Zealand shrub, Myrtus bullata, Banks and Sol. The name is used in the North Island. It is often corrupted into Grama.

Rangatira, n. Maori word for a chief, male or female; a master or mistress (Williams); therefore an aristocrat, a person of the gentle class, distinguished from a tau-rikarika, a nobody, a slave.

1820. 'Grammar and Vocabulary of Language of New Zealand' (Church Missionary Society), p. 200:

"Ranga tira, a gentleman or lady."

1845. E. J. Wakefield, 'Adventures in New Zealand,' c. i. p. 173:

"I took care to tell them that the rangatira, or 'chief' missionaries, would come out with the settlers."

Ibid. c. ii. p. 461:

"Rangatira is Maori for 'chief,' and Rangatira-tango is therefore truly rendered 'chieftainship.'"

1893. 'Otago Witness, 'Dec. 21, p. 11:

"Te Kooti is at Puketapu with many Rangatiras; he is a great warrior,—a fighting chief. They say he has beaten the pakehas" (q.v.).

Ranges, n. the usual word in Australia for "mountains." Compare the use of "tiers" in Tasmania.

Rangy, adj. mountainous.

1880. G. Sutherland, 'Tales of Goldfields,' p. 89:

"He tramps over the most rangy and inaccessible regions of the colonies."

1883. E. M. Curr, 'Recollections of Squatting in Victoria' (1841-1851), p. 46:

"The country being rangy, somewhat scrubby, and destitute of prominent features."

Raspberry, Wild, or Native, n. Rubus gunnianus, Hook., N.O. Rosaceae; peculiar to Tasmania, and so called there. In Australia, the species is Rubus rosafolius, Smith. See also Lawyer and Blackberry.

Raspberry-jam Tree, n. name given to Acacia acuminata, Benth., especially of Western Australia. Though Maiden does not give the name, he says (Useful Native Plants,' p. 349), "the scent of the wood is comparable to that of raspberries."

1846. L. Leichhardt, quoted by J. D. Lang, 'Cooksland,' p. 328:

"Plains with groves or thickets of the raspberry-jam-tree."

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discoveries in Australia,' vol. ii. c. iv. p. 132:

"Raspberry-jam . . . acacia sweet-scented, grown on good ground."

1865. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'History of the Discovery and Exploration of Australia,' vol. ii. p. 68:

"The other trees besides the palm were known to the men by colonial appellations, such as the bloodwood and the raspberry-jam. The origin of the latter name, let me inform my readers, has no connection whatever with any produce from the tree."

1896. 'The Australasian,' Feb. 15, p. 313:

"The raspberry-jam-tree is so called on account of the strong aroma of raspberries given out when a portion is broken."

[On the same page is an illustration of these trees growing near Perth, Western Australia.]

Rasp-pod, n. name given to a large Australian tree, Flindersia australis, R. Br., N.O. Meliaceae.

Rat, n. True Rodents are represented in Australia and Tasmania by six genera; viz., Mus, Conilurus (= Hapalotis), Xeromys, Hydromys, Mastacomys, Uromys, of which the five latter are confined to the Australian Region.

The genus Hydromys contains the Eastern Water Rat, sometimes called the Beaver Rat (Hydromys chrysogaster, Geoffroy), and the Western Water Rat (H. fulvolavatus, Gould).

Conilurus contains the Jerboa Rats (q.v.).

Xeromys contains a single species, confined to Queensland, and called Thomas' Rat (Xeromys myoides, Thomas).

Mastacomys contains one species, the Broad-toothed Rat (M. fuscus, Thomas), found alive only in Tasmania, and fossil in New South Wales.

Uromys contains two species, the Giant Rat (U. macropus, Gray), and the Buff-footed Rat (U. cervinipes, Gould).

Mus contains twenty-seven species, widely distributed over the Continent and Tasmania.

1851. 'Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land,' vol. i. p. 301:

"The Secretary read the following extracts from a letter of the Rev. W. Colenso to Ronald C. Gunn, Esq., of Launceston, dated Waitangi, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, 4th September, 1850:— 'I have procured two specimens of the ancient, and all but quite extinct, New Zealand Rat, which until just now (and notwithstanding all my endeavours, backed, too, by large rewards) I never saw. It is without doubt a true Mus, smaller than our English black rat (Mus Rattus), and not unlike it. This little animal once inhabited the plains and Fagus forests of New Zealand in countless thousands, and was both the common food and great delicacy of the natives— and already it is all but quite classed among the things which were."

1880. A. R. Wallace, 'Island Life,' p. 445:

"The Maoris say that before Europeans came to their country a forest rat abounded, and was largely used for food . . . Several specimens have been caught . . . which have been declared by the natives to be the true Kiore Maori—as they term it; but these have usually proved on examination to be either the European black rat or some of the native Australian rats . . . but within the last few years many skulls of a rat have been obtained from the old Maori cooking-places and from a cave associated with moa bones, and Captain Hutton, who has examined them, states that they belong to a true Mus, but differ from the Mus rattus."

Rata, n. Maori name for two New Zealand erect or sub-scandent flowering trees, often embracing trunks of forest trees and strangling them: the Northern Rata, Metrosideros robusta, A. Cunn., and the Southern Rata, M. lucida, Menz., both of the N.O. Myrtaceae. The tree called by the Maoris Aka, which is another species of Metrosederos (M. florida), is also often confused with the Rata by bushmen and settlers.

In Maori, the adj. rata means red-hot, and there may be a reference to the scarlet appearance of the flower in full bloom. The timber of the Rata is often known as Ironwood, or Ironbark. The trees rise to sixty feet in height; they generally begin by trailing downwards from the seed deposited on the bark of some other tree near its top. When the trailing branches reach the ground they take root there and sprout erect. For full account of the habit of the trees, see quotation 1867 (Hochstetter), 1879 (Moseley), and 1889 (Kirk).

1843. E. Dieffenbach, 'Travels in New Zealand,' p. 224:

"The venerable rata, often measuring forty feet in circumference and covered with scarlet flowers—while its stem is often girt with a creeper belonging to the same family (metrosideros hypericifolia?)."

1848. Rev. R. Taylor, 'Leaf from the Natural History of New Zealand,' p. 21:

"Rata, a tree; at first a climber; it throws out aerial roots; clasps the tree it clings to and finally kills it, becoming a large tree (metrosideros robusta). A hard but not durable wood."

1854. W. Golder, 'Pigeons' Parliament,' canto 1, p. 14:

"Unlike the neighbouring rata cast, And tossing high its heels in air."

1867. F. Hochstetter, 'New Zealand,' p. 135:

"The Rata (Metrosideros robusta), the trunk of which, frequently measuring forty feet in circumference, is always covered with all sorts of parasitical plants, and the crown of which bears bunches of scarlet blossoms."

1872. A. Domett, 'Ranolf,' p. 264:

"Nay, not the Rata! howsoe'er it bloomed, Paling the crimson sunset; for you know, Its twining arms and shoots together grow Around the trunk it clasps, conjoining slow Till they become consolidate, and show An ever-thickening sheath that kills at last The helpless tree round which it clings so fast."

1875. T. Laslett, 'Timber and Timber Trees,' p. 310:

"The Rata-Tree (Metrosideros robusta). This magnificent tree. . . . height 80 to 100 feet . . . a clear stem to 30 and even 40 feet . . . very beautiful crimson polyandrous flowers . . . wood red, hard, heavy, close-grained, strong, and not difficult to work."

1879. H. n. Moseley, 'Notes of a Naturalist on Challenger,' p. 278:

One of the most remarkable trees . . . is the Rata. . . . This, though a Myrtaceous plant, has all the habits of the Indian figs, reproducing them in the closest manner. It starts from a seed dropped in the fork of a tree, and grows downward to reach the ground; then taking root there, and gaining strength, chokes the supporting tree and entirely destroys it, forming a large trunk by fusion of its many stems. Nevertheless, it occasionally grows directly from the soil, and then forms a trunk more regular in form."

1883. F. S. Renwick, 'Betrayed,' p. 39:

"That bark shall speed where crimson ratas gleam."

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

"The foliage of many of the large trees is quite destroyed by the crimson flowering rata, the king of parasites, which having raised itself into the upper air by the aid of some unhappy pine, insinuates its fatal coils about its patron, until it has absorbed trunk and branch into itself, and so gathered sufficient strength to stand unaided like the chief of forest trees, flaunting in crimson splendour."

1889. T. Kirk, 'Forest Flora of New Zealand,' p. 263:

"It is invariably erect, never climbing, although bushmen and settlers frequently state that it climbs the loftiest trees, and sooner or later squeezes them to death in its iron clasp. In proof of this they assert that, when felling huge ratas, they often find a dead tree in the centre of the rata: this is a common occurrence, but it by no means follows that this species is a climber. This error is simply due to imperfect observation, which has led careless observers to confuse Metrosideros florida [the Akal which is a true climber, with M. robusta."

1892. 'Otago Witness,' Nov. 10 ['Native Trees']:

"Rata, or Ironwood. It would be supposed that almost every colonist who has seen the rata in bloom would desire to possess a plant."

1893. 'The Argus,' Feb. 4 [Leading Article]:

"The critic becomes to the original author what the New Zealand rata is to the kauri. That insidious vine winds itself round the supporting trunk and thrives on its strength and at its expense, till finally it buries it wholly from sight and flaunts itself aloft, a showy and apparently independent tree."

Rat-tail Grass, n. name given to— (1) Ischaemum laxum, R. Br., N.O. Gramineae.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 92:

"Rat-tail Grass. An upright, slender growing grass; found throughout the colony, rather coarse, but yielding a fair amount of feed, which is readily eaten by cattle."

(2) Sporobolus indicus, R. Br., N.O. Gramineae.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 109:

"Rat-tail Grass. A fine, open, pasture grass, found throughout the colonies. Its numerous penetrating roots enable it to resist severe drought. It yields a fair amount of fodder, much relished by stock, but is too coarse for sheep. The seeds form the principal food of many small birds. It has been suggested as a paper-making material."

[See Grass.]

Raupo, n. Maori name for a New Zealand bulrush, Typha angustifolia, Linn. The leaves are used for building native houses. The pollen, called Punga-Punga (q.v.), was collected and made into bread called pua. The root was also eaten. It is not endemic in New Zealand, but is known in many parts, and was called by the aborigines of Australia, Wonga, and in Europe "Asparagus of the Cossacks." Other names for it are Bulrush, Cat's Tail, Reed Mace, and Cooper's Flag.

1827. Augustus Earle, 'Narrative of Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand,' 'New Zealand Reader,' p. 67:

"Another party was collecting rushes, which grow plentifully in the neighbourhood, and are called raupo."

1833. Henry Williams's Diary, 'Carleton's Life,' p. 151:

"The Europeans were near us in a raupo whare [rush-house]."

1835. W. Yate, 'Account of New Zealand,' p. 205:

"To engage the natives to build raupo, that is, rush-houses."

1842. W. R. Wade, 'A Journey in the North Island of New Zealand,' 'New Zealand Reader,' p. 122:

"The raupo, the reed-mace of New Zealand, always grows in swampy ground. The leaves or blades when full grown are cut and laid out to dry, forming the common building material with which most native houses are constructed."

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]."

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