A Dictionary of Austral English
by Edward Morris
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1852. G. C. Mundy, 'Our Antipodes' (edition 1855), p. 219:

"Most of the trees of this colony owe their names to the sawyers who first tested their qualities; and who were guided by the colour and character of the wood, knowing and caring nothing about botanical relations. Thus the swamp-oak and she-oak have rather the exterior of the larch than any quercine aspect."

1853. S. Sidney, 'Three Colonies of Australia,' p. 277:

"A dull scene, sprinkled with funereal shiak or 'she-oak trees.'"

Ibid. p. 367:

"Groves of shea-oaks, eucalyptus and mimosa."

1857. W. Howitt, 'Tallangetta,' vol. i. p. 24:

"Trees of a peculiar character—the Casuarinas or Shiacks— part of which, with their more rigid and outstretched branches, resemble pine-trees, and others, with theirs drooping gracefully, resembling large trees of bloom."

1859. D. Bunce, 'Australasiatic Reminiscences,' p. 33:

"The trees forming the most interesting groups were the Casuarina torulosa, she-oak, and C. stricta, he-oak. . . . The name of the first is said to have been derived from 'sheeac,' the name of an American tree producing the beef-wood like our she-oak. C. stricta, or he-oak, has been named in contradistinction to the sexes, as if they constituted one dioecious plant, whereas they are two perfectly distinct species."

1860. J. D. Hooker, 'Botany of the Antarctic Voyage,' part iii. [Flora Tasmaniae], p. 348:

"Casuarina suberosa. This is an erect species, growing 15 feet high. . . It is well known as the 'He-oak,' in contradistinction to the C. quadrivalvis, or 'She-oak,' a name, I believe, adapted from the North American 'Sheack' though more nearly allied botanically to the Northern Oaks than any Tasmanian genus except Fagus, they have nothing to do with that genus in habit or appearance, nor with the Canadian 'Sheack.'"

1864. J. McDouall Stuart, 'Explorations in Australia,' p. 150:

"Within the last mile or two we have passed a few patches of Shea-oak, growing large, having a very rough and thick bark, nearly black. They have a dismal appearance."

1868. J. Bonwick, 'John Batman, Founder of Victoria,' p.103:

"Even Batman's hill, the memorial of his ancient encampment, has been levelled; and the she-oaks upon that grassy mound no longer sigh in the breeze a dirge for the hero of exploration."

1869. 'The Argus,' May 25, p. 5, col. 2:

"The she-oak trees, of which there are large quantities in the sandy soil of the salt-bush country, proved very serviceable during the late drought. Some of the settlers caused thousands of she-oaks to be stripped of their boughs, and it was a sight to see some of the famishing cattle rushing after the men who were employed in thus supplying the poor animals with the means of sustaining life. The cattle ate the boughs and the bark with the greatest avidity, and the bushman's axe as it felled the she-oak was music to their ears."

1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' p. 258:

"She-oaks are scraggy-looking poles of trees, rather like fir-trees."

1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 203:

"The rough bark of the she-oak and its soft sappy wood . . ."

1890. 'The Argus,' June 14, p. 4, col. 2:

"I came to a little clump of sheoaks, moaning like living things."

1895. 'Notes and Queries,' Aug. 3, p. 87:

"The process followed by the Australian colonists when they converted a native word for the Casuarina trees into 'she-oak.'"

1896. H. Lawson, 'When the World was Wide,' p. 204:

"The creek went down with a broken song, 'Neath the she-oaks high; The waters carried the song along, And the oaks a sigh."

(2) Slang name for colonial beer.

1888. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol. iii. p. 83:

"Their drivers had completed their regulation half-score of 'long-sleevers' of 'she-oak.'"

1890. Rolf Boldrewood,' Miner's Right,' c. vi. p. 59:

"Then have a glass of beer—it's only she-oak, but there's nothing wrong about it."

She-Oak nets, nets placed on each side of a gangway from a ship to the pier, to prevent sailors who have been indulging in she-oak (beer) falling into the water.

Shepherd, v. (1) to guard a mining claim and do a little work on it, so as to preserve legal rights.

1861. T. McCombie, 'Australian Sketches,' p. 135:

"Few of their claims however are actually 'bottomed,' for the owners merely watch their more active contemporaries."

(Footnote): "This is termed 'shepherding' a claim."

1890. 'Goldfields of Victoria,' p. 11:

"All the ground . . . is held in blocks which are being merely shepherded."

(2) By transference from (1). To follow or hang about a person in the hopes of getting something out of him. Compare similar use of shadow.

1896. Modern:

"The robbers knowing he had so much coin about him, determined to shepherd him till an opportunity occurred of robbery with impunity."

Shepherd, n. a miner who holds a claim but does not work it.

188-. 'Argus' (date lost):

"The term 'jumper,' being one of reproach, brought quite a yell from the supporters of the motion. Dr. Quick retorted with a declaration that the Grand Junction Company were all 'shepherds,' and that 'shepherds' are the worse of the two classes. The 'jumpers' sat in one gallery and certain representatives or deputy 'shepherds' in the other. Names are deceitful. . . . The Maldon jumpers were headed by quite a venerable gentleman, whom no one could suspect of violent exercise nor of regrettable designs upon the properties of his neighbours. And the shepherds in the other gallery, instead of being light-hearted beings with pipes and crooks—a la Watteau and Pope—looked unutterable things at the individuals who had cast sheep's eyes on their holding."

Shicer, n. (1) An unproductive claim or mine: a duffer. From the German scheissen.

1861. T. McCombie, 'Australian Sketches,' p. 135:

"A claim without gold is termed a 'shicer.'"

1861. Mrs. Meredith, 'Over the Straits,' c. ix. p. 256:

"It's a long sight better nor bottoming a shicer."

1863. 'Victorian Hansard,' May 10, vol. ix. p. 571:

"Mr. Howard asked whether the member for Collingwood knew the meaning of the word 'shicer.' Mr. Don replied in the affirmative. He was not an exquisite, like the hon. member (laughter), and he had worked on the goldfields, and he had always understood a shicer to be a hole with no gold."

1870. S. Lemaitre, 'Songs of Goldfields,' p. 15:

"Remember when you first came up Like shicers, innocent of gold."

1894. 'The Argus,' March 10, p. 4, col. 7:

"There are plenty of creeks in this country that have only so far been scratched—a hole sunk here and there and abandoned. No luck, no perseverance; and so the place has been set down as a duffer, or, as the old diggers' more expressive term had it, a 'shicer.'"

(2) Slang. By transference from (1). A man who does not pay his debts of honour.

1896. Modern:

"Don't take his bet, he's a regular shicer."

Shingle-splitting, vb. n. obsolete Tasmanian slang.

1830. 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 89:

"When a man gets behindhand with his creditors in Hobart Town, and rusticates in the country in order to avoid the unseasonable calls of the Sheriff's little gentleman, that delights to stand at a corner where four streets meet, so as the better to watch the motions of his prey, he is said to be shingle-splitting."

Shirallee, n. slang term for a swag or bundle of blankets.

Shout, v. to stand treat. (1) Of drink. (2) By transference, of other things. The successful digger used to call passers-by to drink at his expense. The origin may also be from noisy bar-rooms, or crowded bar-parlours, where the man who was to pay for the liquor or refreshment called or shouted for the waiter or barman. When many men drink together the waiter of course looks for payment from the man who first calls or shouts out for him to give him the order. Or is "pay the shout" a variant of "pay the shot," or tavern reckoning? In its first sense the word has reached the United States, and is freely employed there.

1859. H. Kingsley, 'Geoffrey Hamlyn,' p. 335:

"And so I shouted for him and he shouted for me."

1861. T. McCombie, 'Australian Sketches,' p. 80:

"Gentlemen required a great deal of attendance, did not 'shout' (the slang term for ordering grog) every quarter of an hour, and therefore spent comparatively nothing."

1867. A. L. Gordon, 'Sea-Spray' (Credat Judaeus), p. 139:

"You may shout some cheroots, if you like; no champagne For this child.'

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

"This 'shouting,' as 'treating' is termed in the colonies, is the curse of the Northern goldfields. If you buy a horse you must shout, the vendor must shout, and the bystanders who have been shouted to [more usual, for] must shout in their turn."

1885. D. Sladen, 'In Cornwall, etc.,' p. 156 [Title, 'The Sigh of the Shouter']:

"Give me the wealth I have squandered in 'shouting.'"

1887. J. F. Hogan, 'The Irish in Australia, p. 149:.

"Drinking is quite a common practice, and what is familiarly known as 'shouting' was at one time almost universal, though of late years this peculiarly dangerous evil has been considerably diminished in extent. To 'shout' in a public-house means to insist on everybody present, friends and strangers alike, drinking at the shouter's expense, and as no member of the party will allow himself to be outdone in this reckless sort of hospitality, each one 'shouts' in succession, with the result that before long they are all overcome by intoxication."

1891. W. Tilley, 'Wild West of Tasmania,' p. 30:

"Some heavy drinking is indulged in through the 'shouting' system, which is the rule."

1893. E. W. Hornung, 'Tiny Luttrell,' vol. ii. c. xv. p. 98:

"To insist on 'shouting' Ruth a penny chair overlooking the ornamental water in St. James's Park."

(p.99): "You shall not be late, because I'll shout a hansom too."

Shout, n. a free drink.

1864. H. Simcox, 'Outward Bound,' p. 81:

"The arms are left and off they go, And many a shout they're treated to."

1874. Garnet Walch, Head over Heels,' p. 83:

"I . . . gave the boys round a spread an' a shout."

1880. G. Sutherland, 'Tales of Goldfields,' p. 78:

"Two lucky diggers laid a wager which of them should treat the assembled company with the largest shout.'"

Shoveller, n. the English name for the duck Spatula clypeata, Linn., a species also present in Australia. The other Australian species is Spatula rhynchotis, Lath., also called Blue-wing.

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. vii. pl. 12:

"Spatula Rhynchotis, Australian Shoveller."

Shovel-nose, n. a New South Wales species of Ray-fish, Rhinobatus bougainvillei, Cuv.; called also the Blind Shark, and Sand Shark. In the Northern Hemisphere, the name is given to three different sharks and a sturgeon.

Shrike, n. a bird-name, generally used in Australia in composition. See Crow-Shrike, Cuckoo-Shrike, Shrike-Robin, Shrike-Thrush, and Shrike-Tit.

Shrike-Robin, n. a genus of Australasian Shrikes, Eopsaltria (q.v.). The species are—

Grey-breasted Shrike-Robin— Eopsaltria gularis, Quoy and Gaim.

Large-headed S.-R.— E. capito, Gould.

Little S.-R.— E. nana, Mull.

White-breasted S.-R.— E. georgiana, Quoy and Gaim.

Yellow-breasted S.-R.— E. australis, Lath.

1895. W. O. Legge, 'Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science' (Brisbane), p. 447:

"As regards portions of Gould's English nomenclatures, such as his general term 'Robin' for the genera Petroica, Paecilodryas, Eopsaltria, it was found that by retaining the term 'Robin' for the best known member of the group (Petroica), and applying a qualifying noun to the allied genera, such titles as Tree-robin, Scrub-robin, and Shrike-robin were easily evolved."

Shrike-Thrush, n. a genus of Australasian Shrikes, Collyriocincla (q.v.). The species are—

Bower's Shrike-Thrush— Collyriocincla boweri, Ramsay.

Brown S.-T.— C. brunnea, Gould.

Buff-bellied S.-T.— C. rufiventris, Gould.

Grey S.-T.— C. harmonica, Lath.; called also Port Jackson Thrush (q.v.).

Little Shrike-Thrush— Collyriocincla parvula, Gould.

Pale-bellied S.-T.— C. pallidirostris, Sharpe.

Rufous-breasted S.-T.— C. rufigaster, Gould.

Whistling S.-T.— C. rectirostris, Jard. and Selb.; see Duke Willy.

1896. 'The Melburnian,' Aug. 28, p. 54:

"With gathering shadows the spotted thrush of England gives forth from the top-most pine branch his full and varied notes; notes which no Australian bird can challenge, not even the shrike-thrush on the hill side, piping hard to rival his song every bright spring morning."

Shrike-Tit, n. a genus of Australian Shrikes, Falcunculus (q.v.). The species are—Falcunculus frontatus, Lath.; White-bellied S.-T., F. leucogaster, Gould.

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

"Shrike-tit. [Close season.] From the 1st day of August to the 10th day of December next following in each year."

Shrimp, n. The only true shrimp (Crangon) which Australian waters are known to possess is found in the Gulf of St. Vincent, South Australia. (Tenison-Woods.) In Tasmania, the Prawn (Penoeus spp.) is called a Shrimp.

1883. 'Royal Commission, Report on Fisheries of Tasmania,' p. 9:

"The prawn (Penoeus sp.), locally known among fishermen as the shrimp, abounds all around our coasts."

Sida-weed, n. i.q. Queensland Hemp. See Hemp.

Signed Servant, n. obsolete contraction for Assigned Servant (q.v.).

Silky-Oak, n. a tree, often tall, Grevillea robusta, Cunn., N.O. Proteaceae, producing a useful timber in demand for various purposes. See Grevillea, Maple, and Oak.

Silver, or Silver-fish, n. a Tasmanian name for Caranx georgianus, Cuv. and Val., family Carangidae, the White or Silver Trevally. See Trevally.

1875. 'Spectator' (Melbourne), June 19, 1881:

"Common fish such as . . . garfish, strangers, silvers, and others."

1880. Mrs. Meredith, 'Tasmanian Friends and Foes,' p. 252 [Footnote]:

"To convey anything like a correct idea of this extremely beautiful fish, it should be 'laid in' with a ground of burnished silver, and the delicate tints added. The skin is scaleless, and like satin, embossed all over in little raised freckles, and with symmetrical dark lines, resembling the veining of a leaf. In quality they are a good deal like mullet."

Silver-Belly, n. name given (1) in New South Wales, to the fish Silver-Bream (q.v.); (2) in Tasmania, to various species of Atherinidae.

Silver-Bream, or White-Bream, n. a New South Wales fish, Gerres ovatus, Gunth., family Percidae; also called Silver-Belly (q.v.). For another use, see Trevally.

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish of New South Wales,' p. 43:

"Mr. Hill, in the series of essays already referred to, speaks of a silver-bream or white-bream. It is probable he refers to Gerres ovatus, a common fish of very compressed form, and very protractile mouth. They probably never enter fresh-water. . . . It is necessary to cook the silver-belly, as it is often called, perfectly fresh."

Silver-Eye, n. a bird-name. Same as Wax-eye, White-eye, or Blight-bird (q.v.).

1888. W. L. Buller, 'Birds of New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 77:

"Zosterops caerulescens, Lath. I have myself arrived at the conclusion that the Silver-eye, although identical with the Australian bird, is in reality an indigenous species."

1888. James Thomas, 'To a Silver Eye:' 'Australian Poets 1788-1888' (edition Sladen), p. 550:

"Thou merry little silver-eye, In yonder trailing vine, I, passing by this morning, spied That ivy-built nest of thine."

Silver Jew-fish, n. a New South Wales name for the young of the fish called Teraglin, or of the true Jew-fish (q.v.); it is uncertain which.

Silver-leaf Boree, n. i.q. Boree (q.v.).

Silver-Perch, n. a fresh-water fish, i.q. Bidyan Ruffe (q.v.).

Silver-tail, n. a bush term for a "swell": a man who goes to the manager's house, not to the men's hut. See Hut.

1890. A. J. Vogan, 'The Black Police,' p. 116:

"A select circle of long-limbed members of those upper circles who belong to the genus termed in Australian parlance 'silver-tailed,' in distinction to the 'copper-tailed' democratic classes."

Silver-Trevally, n. See Trevally.

Sittella, n. an Australian genus of small creeping-birds, called also Tree-Runners (q.v.). Sittella is the Latin diminutive of sitta, which is from the Greek sittae, a woodpecker, whose habits the Tree-runners or Sittellae have. Gould's enumeration of the species is given in quotation.

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

"Sittella chrysoptera, Orange-winged Sittella; S. leucocephala, Gould, White-headed S.; S. leucoptera,Gould, White-winged S.; S. pileata, Gould, Black-capped S.; S. tenuirostris, Gould, Slender-billed S.

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

"Sittella Striata, Gould, Striated Sittella."

1875. Gould and Sharpe, 'Birds of New Guinea,' vol. iii. pl. 28:

"Sittella albata, Pied Sittella."

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

"Sittellas. [Close season.] From the first day of August to the 10th day of December next following in each year."

1896. F. G. Aflalo, 'Natural History of Australia,' p. 136:

"Four species of Sitilla [sic] which, except that they do not lay their eggs in hollow trees, bear some resemblance to our nuthatch."

Skate, n. The New Zealand fish called a Skate is Raja nasuta, a different species of the same genus as the European Skate.

Skipjack, or Skipjack-Pike, n. This fish, Temnodon saltator, Cuv. and Val., is the same as the British and American fish of that name. It is called Tailor (q.v.) in Sydney. The name Skipjack used also to be given by the whalers to the Australian fish Trevally (q.v.).

1872. Hutton and Hector, 'Fishes of New Zealand,' p. 111:

"It is quoted by Richardson that this fish [trevally], which he says is the Skipjack of the sealers, used to be a staple article of food with the natives."

Skipper, i.q. Hopping fish (q.v.).

Skirr, n. imitative.

1884. Marcus Clarke, 'Memorial Volume,' p. 127:

"How many nights have I listened to the skirr of the wild cats."

Skirting, n. generally used in the plural. In sheep-shearing, the inferior parts of the wool taken from the extremities.

1890. 'The Argus,' Sept. 20, p. 13, col. 7:

"At the 'skirting-table' we will stand for a little while, and watch while the fleece just brought in is opened out by the 'roller,' and the inferior portions removed."

Skullbanker, or Scowbanker, n. a slang name in Australia for a loafer, a tramp.

1866. A. Michie, 'Retrospects and Prospects of the Colony,' p. 9:

"A skull-banker is a species of the genus loafer—half highwayman, half beggar. He is a haunter of stations, and lives on the squatters, amongst whom he makes a circuit, affecting to seek work and determining not to find it."

Slab, n. In English, the word slab, as applied to timber, means "an outside piece taken from a log in sawing it into boards, planks, etc." ('Webster.') In Australia, the word is very common, and denotes a piece of timber, two or three inches thick a coarse plank, axe-hewn, not sawn. Used for the walls of rough houses.

1844. 'Port Phillip Patriot,' July 25, p. 3 col. 5:

A substantial slab building with verandah."

1845. 'Voyage to Port Phillip,' p. 52:

"His slab-built hut, with roof of bark."

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discoveries in Australia,' vol. i. c. ix. p. 266:

"The house in which this modern Robinson Crusoe dwelt was what is called a Slab Hut, formed of rough boards and thatched with grass."

1861. Mrs. Meredith, 'Over the Straits,' c. iv. p. 130:

"A bare, rough, barn-like edifice built of slabs."

1869. J. Townend, 'Reminiscences of Australia,' p. 155:

"We passed through Studley Park, with here and there a slab house or tent."

1874. G. Walch, 'Head over Heels,' p. 81:

"The moonlight . . . poured on the hut, slabs an' roof."

1885. R. M. Praed, 'Australian Life,' p. 8:

"The hut was built of logs and slabs."

[p. 73]: "The usual bush-hut of slabs and bark."

[p.144]:"The neighbours congregated in the rough hut of unplaned slabs."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'The Miner's Right,' c. vi. p. 61:

"Slab huts of split heavy boards, Australian fashion, placed vertically."

Slab, v. tr. mining term: to keep up the sides of a shaft with timber slabs.

1871. J. J. Simpson, 'Recitations,' p. 24:

"So dig away, drive away, slab and bail."

Sleepy Lizard, i.q. Blue-tongued Lizard (q.v.).

Slip-panel. Same as Slip-rail (q.v.). See also Panel.

1893. 'The Australasian,' Aug.12, p. 302, col. 1:

"Take him round by the water-hole and wait for me at the slip-panels."

Slip-rail, n. part of a fence so fitted that it can be removed so as to serve as a gate. Used also for the gateway thus formed. Generally in the plural. Same as Slip- panel.

1870. A. L. Gordon, 'Bush Ballads From the Wreck,' p. 24:

"Down with the slip-rails; stand back."

1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 43:

"He [a horse] would let down the slip-rails when shut into the stockyard, even if they were pegged, drawing the pegs out with his teeth."

1885. R. M. Praed, 'Australian Life,' p. 79:

"Many men rode through the sliprails and turned out their horses."

1891. Canon Goodman, 'Church in Victoria during Episcopate of Bishop Perry,' p. 98:

"Some careless person had neglected to replace the slip-rails of the paddock into which his horses had been turned the previous evening."

1896. H. Lawson, 'When the World was Wide,' p. 104:

"Then loudly she screamed: it was only to drown The treacherous clatter of slip-rails let down."

Sloth, Native, i.q. Native Bear. See Bear, and Koala.

Slusher, or Slushy, n. cook's assistant at shearing-time on a station.

1890. 'The Argus,' Sept.20, p.13, col. 6:

"'Sundays are the most trying days of all,' say the cuisiniers, 'for then they have nothing to do but to growl.' This man's assistant is called 'the slusher.'

1896. A. B. Paterson, 'Man from Snowy River,' p. 162:

"The tarboy, the cook, and the slushy, the sweeper that swept the board, The picker-up, and the penner, with the rest of the shearing horde."

1896. 'The Field,' Jan. 18, p. 83, col. 1:

"He employs as many 'slushies' as he thinks necessary, paying them generally L1 per week."

Slush-lamp, n. a lamp made by filling an old tin with fat and putting a rag in for wick. The word, though not exclusively Australian, is more common in the Australian bush than elsewhere. Compare English slush-horn, horn for holding grease; slush-pot, pot for holding grease, etc.

1883. J. Keighley, 'Who are You?' p. 45:

"The slush-lamp shone with a smoky light."

1890. 'The Argus,' Sept.20, p.13, col. 6:

"Occasionally the men will give Christy Minstrel concerts, when they illuminate the wool-shed with slush-lamps, and invite all on the station."

Smelt, n. name given, in Melbourne, to the fish Clupea vittata, Castln., family Clupeidae, or Herrings (q.v.); in New Zealand and Tasmania, to Retropinna richardsonii, Gill, family Salmonidae. Its young are called Whitebait (q.v.). The Derwent Smelt is a Tasmanian fish, Haplochiton sealii, family Haplochitonidae, fishes with an adipose fin which represent the salmonoids in the Southern Hemisphere; Prototroctes is the only other genus of the family known (see Grayling). Haplochiton is also found in the cold latitudes of South America.

Sminthopsis, n. the scientific name for the genus of Narrow-footed Pouched Mice, which, like the English field-mice, are entirely terrestrial in their habits. See Pouched Mouse. In Homer's' Iliad,' Bk. I. ver. 39, Smintheus is an epithet of Apollo. It is explained as "mouse-killer," from sminthos, a field-mouse, said to be a Cretan word.

Smoke, v. (slang). See quotation.

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

"He said to the larrikins, 'You have done for him now; you have killed him.' 'What!' said one of them, 'do not say we were here. Let us smoke.' 'Smoke,' it may be explained, is the slang for the 'push' to get away as fast as possible."

Smooth Holly, n. See Holly.

Snailey, n. bullock with horn slightly curled.

1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' c. ix. p. 68:

"Snaileys and poleys, old and young, coarse and fine, they were a mixed herd in every sense."

1891. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Sydney-side Saxon,' p. 133:

"There's a snaily Wallanbah bullock I haven't seen this two years."

Snake, n. The Australian land snakes belong principally to the four families, Typhlopidae, Boidae, Colubridae, and Elapidae. The proportion of venomous to non-venomous species increases from north to south, the five species known in Tasmania being all venomous. The smallest forms, such as the "blind" or "worm" snakes, are only a few inches in length, while the largest Python may reach a length of perhaps eighteen feet.

Various popular names have been given to different species in different colonies, the same name being unfortunately not infrequently applied to quite distinct species. The more common forms are as follows:—

Black Snake.

Name applied in Australia to Pseudechis porphyriacus, Shaw, which is more common in the warmer parts, and comparatively rare in the south of Victoria, and not found in Tasmania. In the latter the name is sometimes given to dark-coloured varieties of Hoplocephalus curtus, and in Victoria to those of H. superbus. The characteristic colour is black or black-brown above and reddish beneath, but it can be at once distinguished from specimens of H. superbus, which not infrequently have this colour, by the presence of a double series of plates at the hinder end, and a single series at the anterior end of the tail, whereas in the other species named there is only a single row along the whole length of the tail underneath.

1799. D. Collins, 'Account of New South Wales' (edition 1802), vol. ii. p. 189 [Bass Diary at the Derwent, Tasmania]:

"The most formidable among the reptiles was the black snake with venomous fangs."

[This refers to some species of Hoplocephalus, and not to the Australian Black Snake, which does not occur in Tasmania.]

Black and white ringed Snake.

Name applied to Vermicella annulata, Gray, the characteristic colouration of which consists of a series of alternating dark and light rings. It is found especially in the dry, warmer parts of the interior.

Brown Snake.

Name given to three species of the genus Diemenia— (1) the Common Brown Snake, D. superciliosa, Fischer; (2) the small-scaled Brown Snake, D. microlepidota, McCoy; and (3) the shield-fronted Brown Snake, D. aspidorhyncha, McCoy. All are venomous, and the commonest is the first, which is usually known as the Brown Snake.

1890. A. H. S. Lucas, 'Handbook of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science,' Melbourne, p. 71:

"The most abundant of these are the tiger snake, Hoplocephalus curtus, the most widespread, active, and dangerous of them all: the brown snake, Diemenia superciliosa, pretty generally distributed."

Carpet Snake.

Name applied in Australia to Python variegata, Gray, a non-venomous snake reaching a length of ten feet. The name has reference to the carpet-like pattern on the scales. The animal crushes its prey to death, and can hang from branches by means of its prehensile tail. In Tasmania, the name is unfortunately applied to a venomous snake, Hoplocephalus curtus, Schlegel.

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' c. i. p. 16:

"Brown brought a carpet snake and a brown snake with yellow belly."

1878. F. McCoy, 'Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria,' Decade ii. pl. 13:

"The pattern has some resemblance to some of the commoner sorts of Kidderminster carpets, as suggested by the popular name of Carpet Snake . . . the name . . . is, unfortunately, applied to the poisonous Tiger Snake in Tasmania, producing some confusion."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals, p. 294:

"One of the snakes most common is the Australian python (Morelia variegata), the largest snake found in Australia, which here in Northern Queensland may even attain a length of more than twenty feet."

Copper-head Snake.

Name applied in Australia to Hoplocephalus superbus, Gunth., a venomous snake which is very common in Tasmania, where it is often called the Diamond Snake (q.v.). In Victoria, it is often confused with the Black Snake; unlike the latter, it is more common in the south than in the north. It derives its popular name from the colour of the head.

1885. F. McCoy, 'Prodromus of the Natural History of Victoria,' Decade i. pl. 2:

"In Tasmania the name Diamond snake is unfortunately given to this species, for that name properly belongs to a perfectly harmless snake of New South Wales, so that the numerous experiments made in Tasmania to test the value of some pretended antidotes, were supposed in London to have been made with the true Diamond snake, instead of, as was the case, with this very poisonous kind. . . . I have adopted the popular name 'copperhead' for this snake from a well-known vendor of a supposed antidote for snake-bites."

1896. 'The Melburnian,' Aug. 28, p. 54:

"Those heather lands round Caulfield and Oakleigh where the copperhead snake basks, coiled on the warm silver sand."

Death-adder; also called Deaf-adder.

An Australian snake, Acanthophis antarctica. It is usually found in hot sandy districts, and is supposed to be the most venomous of the Australian snakes. Large specimens reach a length of upwards of three feet, the body having a diameter of about two inches: at the end of the tail is a short spine popularly known as the animal's "sting."

1878. F. McCoy, 'Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria,' Decade ii. pl. 12:

"The popular name seems to be indifferently Death Adder or Deaf Adder. The harmless horny spine at the end of the tail is its most dangerous weapon, in the popular belief."


Name applied in New South Wales and Queensland to Python spilotes, Lacep., a non-venomous snake reaching a large size. In Tasmania the same name is given to Hoplocephalus superbus, Gray, a venomous snake more properly called the Copperhead Snake.

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 78:

"Charley killed a diamond snake, larger than any he had ever seen before."

1850. J. B. Clutterbuck, 'Port Phillip,' c. iii. p. 43:

"The diamond snake is that most dreaded by the natives."

1869. G. Krefft, 'The Snakes of Australia,' p. 29:

"Diamond snakes are found in almost every kind of country that offers them sufficient shelter."

1895. G. Metcalfe, 'Australian Zoology,' p. 27:

"As a rule, diamond snakes have almost every scale of the body marked with a yellow spot in the centre. . . . The abdominal plates are yellow, and more or less blotched with black, and many species . . . have a number of diamond-shaped yellow spots upon the body, formed by a few of the lighter scales, and hence their name has probably arisen."

Green Tree-Snake.

Name given, owing to its colour, to the commonest Australian tree-snake, Dendrophis punctulata, Gray. It is a non-venomous form, feeding on frogs, young birds, and eggs, and rarely exceeds the length of six feet.

1869. G. Krefft, 'The Snakes of Australia,' p. 24:

"Young and half grown Tree Snakes are olive-green above and light brown below . . . when angry, the body of this serpent expands in a vertical direction, whilst all venomous snakes flatten their necks horizontally. The green Tree snake, in a state of excitement is strongly suggestive of one of the popular toys of childhood."

Little Whip-Snake.

Name applied to a small venomous species of snake, Hoplocephalus flagellum, McCoy. Common in parts of Victoria, but not exceeding a foot in length.

1859. H. Kingsley, 'Geoffrey Hamlyn,' vol. ii. c. xxvii. p. 190:

"He wished it had been a whip-snake instead of a magpie."

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

"A whip-snake . . . reared itself upon its lithe body, and made a dart at Barrington's arm."

1890. Lyth, 'Golden South,' c. iii. p. 24:

"I saw a large 'whip-snake' lying on the path."


Name applied in Australia and Tasmania to Hoplocephalus curtus, Schlegel, but this species is often also known in the latter as the Carpet Snake (q.v.). The popular name is derived from the cross-banded colouring along the body, and also from its activity. It varies much in colour from a dark olive green to a light yellowish brown, the darker cross bands being sometimes almost indistinguishable. It may reach a length of four feet, and is viviparous, producing about thirty young ones in January or February.

1875. 'The Spectator' (Melbourne), Aug. 21, p. 190, col. 1:

"On Tuesday a tiger-snake was seen opposite the door of the Sandridge police court."

1885. F. McCoy, 'Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria,' Decade i. pl. 3:

"This species, which goes under the colonial name in Victoria of Tiger snake, from its tawny cross banded colouring and ferocity, is well known to frequently inflict bites rapidly fatal to men and dogs. . . . In Tasmania this is popularly called 'Carpet snake,' a name which properly belongs to the harmless snake so called on the mainland."

Two-hooded Furina-Snake.

Name applied to a small, venomous snake, Furina bicuculata, McCoy.

1879. F. McCoy, 'Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria,' Decade iii. pl. 32:

"Furina bicuculata (McCoy). The Two-hooded Furina-snake. . . . This rare and beautiful little snake is a clear example of the genus Furina."


Name given to a small venomous species of whip-snake, Hoplocephalus coronoides, Gunth., found in Tasmania and Victoria, and reaching a length of about eighteen inches.

1890. A. H. S. Lucas, 'Handbook of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science,' Melbourne, p. 71:

"Whip snakes, H. flagellum and H. coronoides."


Name given to various species of the genus Typhlops, comprising small, non-venomous, smooth, round-bodied snakes, which burrow in warm sandy soil, and feed upon insects such as ants. The eyes are covered over by translucent plates, and the tail scarcely tapering at all, and sometimes having two black spots, gives the animal the appearance of having a head at each end. The commoner forms are the Blackish Worm-Snake (Typhlops nigrescens, Gray), and Schlegel's Worm-Snake (T. polygrammicus, Schlegel).

1881. F. McCoy, 'Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria,' Decade vi. pl. 103:

"The 'Blackish Worm snake' is not uncommon in the northern warmer parts of the colony. . . . These worm snakes are perfectly harmless, although, like the Slow-Worms and their allies in other countries, they are popularly supposed to be very poisonous."

Sneeze-weed, Myriogyne minuta, Less., Cotula or Centipeda cunninghamii, De C., and many other botanical synonyms. A valuable specific for Sandy-Blight (q.v.).

1877. F. v. Mueller, 'Botanic Teachings,' p. 58:

"The Sneeze-weed (Cotula or Centipeda Cunninghamii). A dwarf, erect, odorous herb . . . can be converted into snuff."

1886. Dr. Woolls, in 'Sydney Morning Herald,' Dec. 25 (quoted by Maiden):

"Dr. Jockel is, I believe, the first medical man in Australia who has proved the value of Myriogyne in a case of ophthalmia. This weed, growing as it does on the banks of rivers and creeks, and in moist places,, is common in all the Australian colonies and Tasmania, and it may be regarded as almost co-extensive with the disease it is designed to relieve."

Snipe, n. The species of Snipe known in Australia are—Scolopax australis, Lath.; Painted S., Rhynchaea australis, Gould. This bird breeds in Japan and winters in Australia. The name is also used as in the quotation.

1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 210:

"Along the shore are flocks of a species of bird which some sportsmen and the game-sellers in the city are pleased to call snipe. They are probably tringa, a branch of the sea-plover family."

Snook, n. The name is applied in the Old World to various fishes, including the Garfish (q.v.). At the Cape of Good Hope, it is applied to Thyrsites atun, Cuv. and Val., and this name for the same fish has extended to New Zealand, where (as in all the other colonies) it is more generally called the Barracouta (q.v.). Under the word Cavally, 'O.E.D.' quotes—

1697. Dampier, 'Voyage,' vol. i:

"The chiefest fish are bonetas, snooks, cavallys."

Snook is an old name, but it is doubtful whether it is used in the Old World for the same fish. Castelnau says it is the snook of the Cape of Good Hope.

1872. Hutton and Hector, 'Fishes of New Zealand,' p. 14, under 'Thyrsites Atun, Barracoota':

"This is, I believe, the fish called snoek in Cape Colony."

1880. Guenther, 'Study of Fishes,' p. 436:

"Th. atun from the Cape of Good Hope, South Australia, New Zealand, and Chili, is preserved, pickled or smoked. In New Zealand it is called 'barracuda' or 'snoek,' and exported from the colony into Mauritius and Batavia as a regular article of commerce."

Snowberry, n. a Tasmanian name for the Wax-cluster (q.v.).

Snow-Grass, n. Poa caespitosa, G. Forst., another name for Wiry grass (q.v.). See also Grass.

1875. Wood and Lapham, 'Waiting for the Mail,' p. 31:

"Tethering my good old horse to a tussock of snow-grass."

Snow-line, n. In pastoralists' language of New Zealand, "above the snow-line" is land covered by snow in winter, but free in summer.

Soak, or Soakage, n. a Western and Central Australian term. See quotation.

1895. 'The Australasian,' Sept. 7, p. 461, col. 1:

"'Inquirer.'—The term soak in Western Australia, as used on maps and plans, signifies a depression holding moisture after rain. It is also given to damp or swampy spots round the base of granite rocks. Wells sunk on soaks yield water for some time after rain. All soaks are of a temporary character."

Soak-hole, n. an enclosed place in a stream in which sheep are washed.

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 82:

"Parallel poles, resting on forks driven into the bed of the water-hole, were run out on the surface of the stream, forming square soak-holes, a long, narrow lane leading to the dry land."

Soldier, or Soldier-Ant, n. "one of that section of a colony of some kinds of ants which does the fighting, takes slaves, etc." ('Century Dict.') In Australia, the large red ants are called Soldier-Ants. Compare Bulldog-Ant.

1854. G. H. Haydon, 'The Australian Emigrant,' p. 59:

"It was a red ant, upwards of an inch in length—'that's a soldier, and he prods hard too.'"

1865. W. Howitt, 'Discovery in Australia,' vol. ii. p. 308:

"The pain caused by a wound from this grass-seed is exactly like that from the bite of a soldier-ant."

Soldier-bird, or Poor Soldier, or Old-Soldier bird, n. another name for the Friar-bird (q.v.).

1859. D. Bunce, 'Australasiatic Reminiscences,' p. 62:

"The notes peculiar to the Ornithorhynchus paradoxus, or platypus, wattle-bird, and leather-head, or old soldier bird, added in no small degree to the novelties. . . . The wattle-bird has been not inaptly termed the 'what's o'clock,'—the leather-head the 'stop where-you-are.'"

[Mr. Bunce's observations are curiously confused. The 'Soldier-bird' is also called 'Four o'clock,' but it is difficult to say what 'wattle bird' is called 'what's o'clock'; the 'notes' of the platypus must be indeed 'peculiar.']

1896. Mrs. Langloh Parker, 'Australian Legendary Tales,' p. 108 [Title of Tale]:

"Deegeenboyah the Soldier-bird."

Sole, n. The name is given to various Australian fishes. In Sydney, to Synaptura nigra, Macl.; in Melbourne, to Rhombosolea bassensis, Castln.; in New Zealand, to Rhombosolea monopus, Gunth., and Peltorhamphus novae-zelandiae, Gunth.; in Tasmania, to Ammotretis rostratus, Gunth., family Pleuronectidae. Rhombosolea monopus is called the Flounder, in Tasmania. See also Lemon-Sole.

Solomon's Seal, n. Not the Old World plant, which is of the genus Polygonatum, but the Tasmanian name for Drymophila cyanocarpa, R. Br., N.O. Liliacea; also called Turquoise Berry.

Sonny, n. a common nominative of address to any little boy. In Australia, the word is not infrequently pronounced as in the quotation. The form of the word came from America.

1896. A. B. Paterson, 'Man from Snowy River,' p. 10:

"But maybe you're only a Johnnie, And don't know a horse from a hoe? Weel, weel, don't get angry, my Sonny, But, really, a young 'un should know."

Sool, v. Used colloquially—(1) to excite a dog or set him on; (2) to worry, as of a dog. Common in the phrase "Sool him, boy!" Shakspeare uses "tarre him on" in the first sense.

Shakspeare, 'King John,' IV. i. 117:

"And like a dog that is compelled to fight, Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on."

1896. Mrs. Langloh Parker, 'Australian Legendary Tales,' p. 90:

"She went quickly towards her camp, calling softly, 'Birree gougou,' which meant 'Sool 'em, sool 'em,' and was the signal for the dogs to come out."

Sorrel, Queensland. See Queensland Sorrel.

Sour-Gourd, n. Same as Baobab (q.v.).

Sour-Plum, n. the Emu-apple. See Apple.

South Australia, n. the name of a colony, established in 1836, with Adelaide as its capital. It is not a good name, for it is not the most southerly colony, and the "Northern Territory" forms a part of South Australia. Central Australia would be a better name, but not wholly satisfactory, for by Central Australia is now meant the central part of the colony of South Australia. The name Centralia has been proposed as a change.

Southern Cross, n. The constellation of the Southern Cross is of course visible in places farther north than Australia, but it has come to be regarded as the astronomical emblem of Australasia; e.g. the phrase "beneath the Southern Cross " is common for "in Australia or New Zealand."

1863. S. Butler, 'First Year in Canterbury Settlement,' p. 13:

"The southern cross is a very great delusion. It isn't a cross. It is a kite, a kite upside down, an irregular kite upside down, with only three respectable stars and one very poor and very much out of place. Near it, however, is a truly mysterious and interesting object called the coal sack: it is a black patch in the sky distinctly darker than all the rest of the heavens. No star shines through it. The proper name for it is the black Magellan cloud."

1868. Mrs. Riddell, 'Lay of Far South,' p. 4:

"Yet do I not regret the loss, Thou hast thy gleaming Southern Cross."

1887. R. M. Praed, 'Longleat of Kooralbyn,' c. iv. p. 35:

"The Southern Cross rose gem-like above the horizon."

Spade-press, n. a make-shift wool-press in which the fleeces are rammed down with a spade.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xvii. p. 202:

"The spade-press—that friendly adjunct of the pioneer squatter's humble wool-shed."

Spaniard, n. a prickly bushy grass of New Zealand, Aciphylla colensoi.

1857. 'Paul's Letters from Canterbury,' p. 108:

"The country through which I have passed has been most savage, one mass of Spaniards."

1862. J. Von Haast, 'Geology of Westland,' p. 25:

"Groves of large specimens of Discaria toumatoo, the Wild Irishman of the settlers, formed with the gigantic Aciphylla Colensoi, the Spaniard or Bayonet-grass, an often impenetrable thicket."

1863. S. Butler, 'First Year of Canterbury Settlement,' p. 67:

"The Spaniard (spear-grass or bayonet-grass) 'piked us intil the bane,' and I assure you we were hard set to make any headway at all."

1875. Lady Barker, 'Station Amusements in New Zealand,' p. 35:

"The least touch of this green bayonet draws blood, and a fall into a Spaniard is a thing to be remembered all one's life."

1882. T. H. Potts, 'Out in the Open,' p. 287:

"Carefully avoiding contact with the long-armed leaves of Spaniards (Aciphylla), which here attain the larger dimensions, carrying flower-spikes up to six feet long."

1890. 'Transactions of the New Zealand Institute,' vol. xxiii. p. 197:

"Here were rats which lived under the dead leaves of the prickly 'Spaniard,' and possibly fed on the roots. The Spaniard leaves forked into stiff upright fingers about 1 in. wide, ending in an exceedingly stiff pricking point."

1896. 'Otago Witness,' May 7, p. 48 "Prickly as the points of the Spaniard."

Spear-grass, n. name given to several grasses whose spear-like seeds spoil the wool of sheep, but which are yet excellent forage plants. They are—(1) all the species of Stipa; (2) Heteropogon contortus, Roem. and Schult., and others (see quotations); (3) and in New Zealand, one or two plants of the umbelliferous genus Aciphylla; also called Spaniard (q.v.).

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 44:

"Very disagreeable, however, was the abundance of burr and of a spear-grass (Aristida)."

1865. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'History of the Discovery and Exploration of Australia,' vol. ii. p. 463 [Note]:

"On the south coast there is a grass seed which has similar properties. The seeds are sharp and covered with fine barbs, and once they penetrate the skin they will work their way onwards. They catch in the wool of sheep, and in a short time reach the intestines. Very often I have been shown the omentum of a dead sheep where the grass seeds were projecting like a pavement of pegs. The settlers call it spear-grass, and it is, I believe, a species of Anthistiria."

1874. W. H. L. Ranken, 'Dominion of Australia,' c. v. p. 86:

"Sheep in paddocks cannot be so well kept clear of spear-grass."

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 90:

"Heteropogon contortus, Spear Grass. A splendid grass for a cattle-run, as it produces a great amount of feed, but is dreaded by the sheep-owner on account of its spear-like seeds."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 23:

"A nocuous kind of grass, namely the dreaded spear-grass (Andropogon contortus), which grows on the coast, and which rendered sheep-raising impossible."

Spear-Lily, n. See Lily.

Spearwood, the wood of three trees so called, because the aborigines made their spears from it—Acacia doratoxylon, A. Cunn., A. homalophylla, A. Cunn., both N.O. Leguminosae; and Eucalyptus doratoxylon, F. v. M., N.O. Myrtaceae.

Speedwell, Native, n. The English Speedwell is a Veronica. There is a Tasmanian species, Veronica formosa, R. Br., N.O. Scrophulariaceae.

Spell, n. In England, a turn at work or duty; in Australasia, always a period of rest from duty. It is quite possible that etymologically Spell is connected with Ger. spielen, in which case the Australasian use is the more correct. See 'Skeat's Etymological Dictionary.'

1865. J. O. Tucker, 'Australian Story,' c. i. p. 84:

"The only recompense was . . . to light his pipe and have a 'spell.'"

1873. A. Trollope, 'Australia and New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 84:

"Having a spell—what we should call a short holiday."

Spell, v. to rest.

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discoveries in Australia,' vol. ii. p. 42:

"In order to spell the oars, we landed at a point on the east side."

1880. G. n. Oakley, in 'Victoria in 1880,' p. 114:

"He 'spelled' upon the ground; a hollow gum Bore up his ample back and bade him rest; And creaked no warning when he sat upon A war-ant's nest."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xxiv. p. 328:

"There's a hundred and fifty stock-horses there, spelling for next winter's work."

1896. Baldwin Spencer, 'Horne Expedition in Central Australia,' Narrative, p. 48:

"We camped beside a water-pool containing plenty of fish, and here we spelled for a day to allow some of us to go on and photograph Chamber's Pillar."

Sphenura, n. scientific name for a genus of Australian birds called the Bristle-Birds (q.v.). From Grk. sphaen, "a wedge," and 'oura, "a tail." The name was given by Sir Frederick McCoy.

Spider, n. See Katipo.

Spider-Orchis, n. name given in Tasmania to the Orchid Caladenia pulcherrima, F. v. M.

Spiloglaux, n. See Sceloglaux.

Spinach, Australian, n. name applied to species of Chenopodium, N.O. Salsolaceae; called also Fat-hen. The name is also applied to various wild pot herbs.

Spinach, New Zealand, n. Tetragonia expansa, Murr., N.O. Ficoideae; called also Iceplant, in Tasmania. It is a trailing Fig-marigold, and was discovered in New Zealand by Captain Cook, though it is also found in Japan and South America. Its top leaves are eaten as spinach, and Cook introduced it to England, where it is also known as Summer Spinach.

Spine-bill, n. an Australian "Honey-eater," but not now so classed. There are two species—

The Slender Spine-bill— Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris, Gould; inhabiting Australia and Tasmania, and called Cobbler's Awl in the latter colony.

White-eyebrowed S.— A. superciliosus, Gould; of Western Australia.

Though related to the genus Myzomela, the pattern of their colouration differs widely.

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. iv. pl. 61:

"Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris. Slender-billed Spine-bill. Cobbler's Awl, Colonists of Van Diemen's Land."

Ibid. pl. 62:

"Acanthorhynchus superciliosus, Gould. White-eyebrowed Spine-bill."

Spinetail, n. an Australian bird, Orthonyx spinicauda; called also Pheasant's Mother (q.v.), Log-runner (q.v.). The name is used elsewhere for different birds. See Orthonyx.

Spinifex, n. a grass known in India, China, and the Pacific, but especially common on Australasian shores. The word means, literally, thorn-making, but it is not classical Latin. "The aggregated flowers form large clusters, and their radiating heads, becoming detached at maturity, are carried by the wind along the sand, propelled by their elastic spines and dropping their seeds as they roll." (Mueller.) This peculiarity gains for the Hairy Spinifex (Spinifex hirsutus, Labill.) the additional name of Spiny Rolling Grass. See also quotation, 1877. This chief species (S. hirsutus) is present on the shores of nearly all Australasia, and has various synonyms—S. sericeus, Raoul.; S. inermis, Banks and Sol.; Ixalum inerme, Forst.; S. fragilis, R.B., etc. It is a "coarse, rambling, much-branched, rigid, spinous, silky or woolly, perennial grass, with habitats near the sea on sandhills, or saline soils more inland." (Buchanan.)

The Desert Spinifex of the early explorers, and of many subsequent writers, is not a true Spinifex, but a Fescue; it is properly called Porcupine Grass (q.v.), and is a species of Triodia. The quotations, 1846, 1887, 1890, and 1893, involve this error.

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discoveries in Australia,' vol. ii. c. vi. p. 209:

"In the valley was a little sandy soil, nourishing the Spinifex."

1877. Baron von Mueller, 'Botanic Teachings,' p. 125:

"The Desert Spinifex of our colonists is a Fescue, but a true Spinifex occupies our sand-shores; . . . the heads are so buoyant as to float lightly on the water, and while their uppermost spiny rays act as sails, they are carried across narrow inlets, to continue the process of embarking."

1887. J. Bonwick, 'Romance of Wool Trade,' p. 239:

"Though grasses are sadly conspicuous by their absence, saline plants, so nutritious for stock, occur amidst the real deserts of Spinifex."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 43:

"On the broad sandy heights . . . the so-called spinifex is found in great abundance. This grass (Triodia irritans) is the traveller's torment, and makes the plains, which it sometimes covers for hundreds of miles, almost impassable. Its blades, which have points as sharp as needles, often prick the horses' legs till they bleed."

1893. A. F. Calvert, 'English Illustrated Magazine,' Feb., p. 325:

"They evidently preferred that kind of watercress to the leaves of the horrid, prickly Spinifex, so omnipresent in the north-western district."

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

"A species of Triodia ('porcupine grass,' or incorrectly 'spinifex' of explorers and residents) dominates sandy ground and the sterile slopes and tops of the sandstone table-lands."

Spiny-Lizard, n. i.q. Mountain Devil (q.v.).

Split-stuff, n. timber sawn into lengths and then split.

1852. Mrs. Meredith, 'My Home in Tasmania,' vol. i. p. 159:

"'Sawed stuff' and 'split stuff,' by which is meant timber which is sawn into regular forms and thicknesses, as flooring boards, joints, battens, &c., and that which is split into 'posts and rails,' slabs, or paling. Some of the species of eucalyptus, or gum-trees, are peculiarly adapted for splitting. The peppermint-tree (Eucalyptus piperita) and the 'Stringy Bark' are remarkable for the perfectly straight grain which they often exhibit, and are split with surprising evenness and regularity into paling and boards for 'weather-boarding' houses and other purposes, in lengths of six or eight feet by one foot wide, and half or one-third of an inch thick. . . . Any curve in a tree renders it unfit for splitting, but the crooked- grained wood is best for sawing. . . . All houses in the colony, with few exceptions, are roofed with split shingles."

Splitter, n. a wood-cutter, cutting timber in the bush, and splitting it into posts and rails, palings or shingles. See quotation under Split-stuff.

1845. R. Howitt, 'Australia,' p. 105:

"There were two splitters located near us . . . they had a licence to split timber on the crown lands."

1870. A. L. Gordon, 'Bush Ballads—Wolf and Hound,' p. 32:

"At the splitter's tent I had seen the track Of horse hoofs, fresh on the sward."

Spoonbill, n. a bird-name widely used. The Australian species are—

Royal Spoonbill— Platalea regia.

Yellow-billed S.— P. flavipes.

P. regia has a fine crest in the breeding season; hence the name.

1863. M. K. Beveridge, 'Gatherings among Gum-trees,' p. 79:

"The sun is sinking in the western sky, And ibises and spoonbills thither fly.

Spotted-tree. Same as Leopard-tree (q.v.).

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 216:

"Spotted or Leopard Tree. The gum from this tree forms good adhesive mucilage. It reminds one strongly of East-India gum-arabic of good quality. During the summer months large masses, of a clear amber-colour, exude from the stem and branches. It has a very pleasant taste, is eaten by the aboriginals, and forms a very common bushman's remedy in diarrhoea."

Spotted-Orchis, n. Tasmanian name for the Orchid Dipodium punctatum, R. Br.

Spotting, n. New Zealand equivalent for the Australian "picking the eyes out," and "peacocking." Under Free-selection (q.v.), the squatter spotted his run, purchasing choice spots.

Spotty, n. a New Zealand fish, a Wrass, Labrichthys bothryocosmus, Richards.; also called Poddly (q.v.), and Kelp-fish (q.v.).

1878. P. Thomson, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. xi. art. lii. p. 384:

"Wrasse, parrot-fish, and spotties are often in the market. There are two kinds of spotties, a big and a little. The wrasse and the parrot-fish are mostly caught outside amongst the kelp, and these, with the spotty, are indiscriminately called kelp-fish by the fishermen."

Sprag, n. In gold-mining. See quotation. The word is used in England, applied to coal-mining.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right,' c. iii. p. 23:

"A 'sprag,' being a stout piece of hard wood, was inserted between the rope and the iron roller on which the rope ran."

Squat, v. to be a squatter (q.v.) in any of the senses of that word.

1846. Feb. 11, 'Speech by Rev. J. D. Lang,' quoted in 'Phillipsland,' p. 410:

In whatever direction one moves out of Melbourne, whether north, east, or west, all he sees or hears is merely a repetition of this colonial note—'I squat, thou squattest, he squats; we squat, ye or you squat, they squat.'. . . Exeunt omnes. 'They are all gone out a-squatting.'"

1846. T. H. Braim, 'History of New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 236:

"The regulations . . . put an end to squatting within the boundaries of location, and reduced it to a system without the boundaries."

1852. G. C. Mundy, 'Our Antipodes' (edition 1855), p. 136:

"The Speaker squats equally and alternately on the woolsack of the House and at his wool-stations on the Murrumbidgee. One may squat on a large or small scale, squat directly or indirectly, squat in person or by proxy."

1854. W. Golder, 'Pigeons' Parliament,' p. 68:

"Some spot, Found here and there, where cotters squat With self-permission."

1861. T. McCombie, 'Australian Sketches,' p. 119:

"Squatting, in its first phase, was confined to the region round about Sydney; it was not until the pass through the Blue Mountains was discovered that the flocks and herds of the colonists began to expand."

Squattage, n. a squatter's station. The word can hardly be said to have prevailed.

1864. W. Westgarth, 'Colony of Victoria,' p. 272:

"The great Riverine district, which is one vast series of squattages . . . the toil and solitude of a day's journey between the homesteads of adjacent squattages."

Squatter, n. (1) One who squats; that is, settles on land without a title or licence. This is an English use.

1835. T. A. Murray (Evidence before Legislative Council of New South Wales on Police and Gaols):

"There are several parties of squatters in my neighbourhood. I detected, not long since, three men at one of their stations in the act of slaughtering one of my own cattle. I have strong reason to suspect that these people are, in general, illicit sellers of spirits."

1835. W. H. Dutton (Evidence before same Committee):

"These persons (squatters) are almost invariably the instigators and promoters of crime, receivers of stolen property, illegal vendors of spirits, and harbourers of runaways, bushrangers, and vagrants."

1843. Rev. W. Pridden, 'Australia Its History and Present Condition,' pp. 332-3:

"The squatters, as they are called, are men who occupy with their cattle, or their habitations, those spots on the confines of a colony or estate which have not yet become any person's private property. By the natural increase of their flocks and herds, many of these squatters have enriched themselves; and having been allowed to enjoy the advantages of as much pasture as they wanted in the bush, without paying any rent for it to the government, they have removed elsewhere when the spot was sold, and have not unfrequently gained enough to purchase that or some other property. Thus . . . the squatter has been converted into a respectable settler. But this is too bright a picture to form an average specimen. . . . Unfortunately, many of these squatters have been persons originally of depraved and lawless habits, and they have made their residence at the very outskirts of civilization a means of carrying on all manner of mischief. Or sometimes they choose spots of waste land near a high road . . . there the squatters knock up what is called a 'hut.' In such places stolen goods are easily disposed of, spirits and tobacco are procured in return."

Ibid. p. 334:

"The rich proprietors have a great aversion to the class of squatters, and not unreasonably, yet they are thus, many of them, squatters themselves, only on a much larger scale. . ."

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discoveries in Australia,' vol. i. c. ix. p. 260:

"This capital of Australia Felix had for a long time been known to some squatters from Tasmania."

1846. T. H. Braim, 'History of New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 235:

"A set of men who were to be found upon the borders of every large estate, and who were known by the name of squatters. These were ticket-of-leave holders, or freedmen who erected a but on waste land near a great public road, or on the outskirts of an estate."

1897. Australian Steam Navigation Company, 'Guide Book,' p. 29:

"Nowaday squatters may be interested and possibly shocked on learning that in March, 1836, a petition was being largely signed for the prevention of 'squatting, through which so much crime was daily occurring,' inasmuch as 'squatting' was but another term for sly grog selling, receiving stolen property, and harbouring bushrangers and assigned servants. The term 'squatter,' as applied to the class it now designates—without which where would Australia now be?—was not in vogue till 1842."

(2) A pastoral tenant of the Crown, often renting from the Crown vast tracts of land for pasturage at an almost nominal sum. The term is still frequently, but incorrectly, used for a man rearing and running stock on freehold land. Pastoralist is now the more favoured term.

1840. F. P. Labillicre, 'Early History of the Colony of Victoria' (edition 1878), vol. ii. p. 189:

"In a memorandum of December 19th, 1840, 'on the disposal of Lands in the Australian Provinces,' Sir George Gipps informs the Secretary of State on the subject, and states that,—'A very large proportion of the land which is to form the new district of Port Phillip is already in the licensed occupation of the Squatters of New South Wales, a class of persons whom it would be wrong to confound with those who bear the same name in America, and who are generally persons of mean repute and of small means, who have taken unauthorized possession of patches of land. Among the Squatters of New South Wales are the wealthiest of the land, occupying, with the permission of the Government, thousands and tens of thousands of acres. Young men of good families and connexions in England, officers of the army and navy, graduates of Oxford and Cambridge, are also in no small number amongst them.'"

1844. 'Port Phillip Patriot,' July 8, p. 3, col. 3:

"The petitioner has already consigned the whole country to the class squatter in perpetuity."

1845. R. Howitt, 'Australia,' p. 165:

"The squatters of Australia Felix will meet on horseback, upon Batman's Hill, on the 1st of June, for the purpose of forming a Mutual Protection Society. From the Murray to the sea-beach, from the Snowy Mountains to the Glenelg, let no squatter be absent."

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

"'Squatters.' A word not to be found in 'Johnson's Dictionary'; of Canadian extraction, literally to sit on the haunches: in Australia a term applied to the sheep farmers generally; from their being obliged frequently to adopt that position."

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition' (Introd.), p. 15:

"We were received with the greatest kindness by my friends the 'squatters,' a class principally composed of young men of good education, gentlemanly habits, and high principles."

1848. W. Westgarth, 'Australia Felix,' p. 168:

"The Port Phillip squatters, as occupants of the territory of New South Wales, were afterwards required to take out an annual depasturing licence in terms of a Colonial Act passed at Sydney."

(p. 246): "The modern squatters, the aristocratic portion of the colonial community."

1851. 'Australasian,' p. 298:

"In 1840 the migratory flockmaster had become a settled squatter. A wretched slab but is now his home; for furniture he has a rough bush-made table, and two or three uncouth stools."

1861. T. McCombie, Australian Sketches,' p. 128:

"The term squatter was applied in the first instance to signify, as in America, such as erected huts on unsold land. It thus came to be applied to all who did not live on their own land, to whom the original and more expressive name of settler continued to be applied. When the owners of stock became influential from their education and wealth, it was thought due to them to change this term for one more suitable to their circumstances, as they now included in their order nearly every man of mark or wealth in Australia. The Government suggested the term 'tenants of the Crown,' the press hinted at 'licensed graziers,' and both terms were in partial use, but such is the prejudice in favour of what is already established, that both were soon disused, and the original term finally adopted."

1862. G. T. Lloyd, 'Thirty-three Years in Tasmania and Victoria,' p. 478:

"The term 'squatter' . . . is thus derived:—A flock-master settling in Australia could drive his stock to, and occupy, any tract of country, which, from its extent and pastoral capabilities, might meet his comprehensive views; always provided, that such lands had not been already appropriated. . . . Early flock-masters were always confirmed in their selection of lands, according to the quantity of stock they possessed. . . . The Victorian Squatter who can number but five or six thousand sheep is held to be a man of no account. . . . Those only, who can command the shearing of from ten to forty thousand fleeces annually, are estimated as worthy of any note."

1866. Lady Barker, 'Station Life in New Zealand,' p. 47:

"The squatters (as owners of sheepstations are called)."

1868. J. Bonwick, 'John Batman, Founder of Victoria,' p. 94:

"In the language of the times, Messrs. Evans, Lancey, and subsequently J. P. Fawkner, were squatters. That term is somewhat singular as applied to the latter, who asserts that he founded the colony to prevent its getting into the hands of the squatters. The term was then applied to all who placed themselves upon public lands without licence."

1873. A. Trollope, 'Australia and New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 265:

"It is not too much to say that all the early success of Australia was due to the squatters of New South Wales, who followed the steps of Captain McArthur."

1878. 'The Australian,' vol. i. p. 532:

"I have been a super, a small freeholder, and a middling-sized squatter, at different times."

1889. Rev. J. H. Zillmann, 'Australian Life,' p. 165:

"The Squatters are the large leaseholders and landed proprietors of the colony, whose cry has always been that the country was unfit for agricultural settlement, and only adapted for the pastoral pursuits in which they were engaged. . . . It is true the old squatter has been well-nigh exterminated."

1893. J. F. Hogan, 'Robert Lowe,' p. 36:

"The pastoral enterprise of the adventurous squatters. Originally unrecognized trespassers on Crown lands. . . ."

(3) Applied as a nickname to a kind of Bronze-wing Pigeon (q.v.).

1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 122:

"On the plains you find different kinds of pigeons, the squatters being most common—plump, dust-coloured little fellows, crouching down to the ground quite motionless as you pass. I have frequently killed them with my stock-whip."

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 114:

"Gentle little squatter-pigeons cooed lovingly in answer to their mates on all sides."

Squatterarchy, n. squatters collectively.

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

"The Squatterarchy of the Koorong rose up in a body and named its hero, martyr."

Squatterdom, n. the state of being a squatter, or collective word for squatters; the squatter-party.

1866 (circiter). 'Political parody':

"The speaker then apologised, the Members cried, Hear, Hear; And e'en the ranks of squatterdom could scarce forbear to cheer."

1868. J. Bonwick, 'John Batman, Founder of Victoria,' p. 94:

"Writes to another at a distance upon the subject of squatterdom."

Squatting, adj.

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition' (Introd.), p. 13:

"During my recent excursions through the squatting districts, I had accustomed myself to a comparatively wild life."

1847. J. D. Lang, 'Cooksland,' p. 268:

"The large extent of land occupied by each Squatting Station."

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

"A gathering of the squatting and bush life of Australia."

Squattocracy, n. squatters collectively.

1846. C. P. Hodgson, 'Reminiscences of Australia,' p. 118:

"Throughout the Colony generally, English are the most numerous, then the Scotch, then the Irish, amongst the Squattocracy."

1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 59:

"The howl for the abolition of the squattocracy had not yet been fostered under the malign influence of shortsighted politicians."

1885. R. M. Praed, 'Head Station,' p. 35 ('Century'):

"The bloated squattocracy represents Australian conservatism."

1890. E. W. Hornung, 'A Bride from the Bush,' p. 243:

"The hearty, hospitable manner of the colonial 'squatocracy.'"

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Squatter's Dream,' c. iv. p. 42:

"He trusted to pass into the ranks of the Squatocracy."

Squattocratic, adj. connected with previous word.

1854. 'Melbourne Morning Herald,' Feb. 18, p. 4, col. 5:

"Squattocratic Impudence." [A heading.]

Squeaker, n. a vernacular name applied to various birds from their cries. See quotations.

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. ii. pl. 45:

"Strepera Anaphonensis, Grey Crow-shrike; Squeaker of the Colonists."

1855. W. Blandowski, 'Transactions of Philosophical Society, Victoria,' vol. i. p. 63:

"The Squeaker (Strepera anaphonensis) is a shy and solitary bird, living entirely on the flats, and is remarkable on account of its frequenting only the same locality. He is hence easily distinguished from the Gymnorhina tibicen, whose shrill and piping voice is so well known on all the high lands."

1896. A. J. North, 'List of Insectivorous Birds of New South Wales,' part i. p. 1:

"A local name is often more apt to mislead and confuse than to assist one in recognizing the particular species on which it is bestowed. This is chiefly due to the same local name being applied to two or more species.For instance, Corcorax melanorhamphus, Xerophila leucopsis, and Myzantha garrula are all locally known in different parts of the Colony by the name of 'Squeaker.'"

Squid, n. a marine animal. The Australian species is Sepioteuthis australis, Quoy and Gaim.

1883. 'Report of the Royal Commission on the Fisheries of Tasmania,' p. xi:

"None of the Squid family seems to be sought after, although certain kinds are somewhat abundant in our waters. It is stated by the New South Wales Fisheries Enquiry Commission, 1880, that 'the cephalopods might be made a source of a considerable profit for exportation to Japan and China. In both these countries all animal substances of a gelatinous character are in great request, and none more than those of the cuttle-fish tribe; the squid (Sepioteuthis australis) is highly appreciated, and in consequence is highly prized. The cuttle-fish (sepia) is of rather inferior quality, and the star-fish of the fishermen (octopus) not used at all.'"

1892. R L. Stevenson, 'The Wrecker,' p. 345:

"You can't fill up all these retainers on tinned salmon for nothing; but whenever I could get it, I would give 'em squid. Squid's good for natives, but I don't care for it, do you?— or shark either."

Squire, n. name given to the fish called Schnapper at two years old. See Schnapper.

Squirrel, n. See Flying-Squirrel.

Stamper, or Stamphead, n. "A cast-iron weight, or head, fixed on to a shank or lifter, and used for stamping or reducing quartz to a fine sand." (Brough Smyth, 'Glossary.') The word is used elsewhere as a term in machinery. In Australia, it signifies the appliance above described. The form stamphead is the earlier one. The shorter word stamper is now the more usual.

1869. J. F. Blanche, 'Prince's Visit,' p. 25:

"For steam and stampers now are all the rage."

1880. A. Sutherland, 'Tales of Goldfields,' p. 76:

"The battery was to have eight stampers."

1890. 'Goldfields of Victoria,' p. 11:

"This, with the old battery, brings the number of stampers up to sixty."

Ibid. p. 15:

"A battery of twenty-six stamp heads."

Star of Bethlehem. The Old World plant is Ornithogalum umbellatum; the name is given in Australia to Chamaescilla corymbosa, and in Tasmania to Burchardia umbellata, R. Br., both of the Liliaceae.

Star-fern, n. name given in Victoria to Gleichenia flabellata, R. Br.; called also Fan-fern. See Fern.

Starling, n. English bird-name. The Australian species is the Shining Starling, Calornis metallica. The common English starling is also acclimatised.

Start, n. The young Australian has a fine contempt for the English word to begin, which he never uses where he can find any substitute. He says commence or start, and he always uses commence followed by the infinitive instead of by the verbal noun, as "The dog commenced to bark."

1896. Modern talk in the train:

"The horse started to stop, and the backers commenced to hoot."

Station, n. originally the house with the necessary buildings and home-premises of a sheep-run, and still used in that sense: but now more generally signifying the run and all that goes with it. Stations are distinguished as Sheep-stations and Cattle-stations.

1833. C. Sturt, 'Southern Australia,' vol. i. (Introd.):

"They . . . will only be occupied as distant stock-stations."

1861. T. McCombie, 'Australian Sketches,' p. 120:

"Their [squatters'] huts or houses, gardens, paddocks, etc., form what is termed a station, while the range of country over which their flocks and herds roam is termed a run."

1868. J. Bonwick, 'John Batman, Founder of Victoria,' p. 35:

"The lecturer assured his audience that he came here to prevent this country being a squatting station."

1870. A. L. Gordon, 'Bush Ballads,' p. 17:

"The sturdy station-children pull the bush flowers on my grave."

1890. E. D. Cleland, 'The White Kangaroo,' p. 4:

"Station—the term applied in the colonies to the homesteads of the sheep-farmers or squatters."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood,'Miner's Right,' c. xviii. p. 171:

"Men who in their youth had been peaceful stockmen and station-labourers."

1896. A. B. Paterson, 'Man from Snowy River,' p. 125:

"I'm travelen' down the Castlereagh and I'm a station-hand, I'm handy with the ropin' pole, I'm handy with the brand, And I can ride a rowdy colt, or swing the axe all day, But there's no demand for a stationhand along the Castlereagh."

Station-jack, n. a form of bush cookery.

1853. 'The Emigrant's Guide to Australia.' (Article on Bush-Cookery, from an unpublished MS. by Mrs. Chisholm], pp. 111-12:

"The great art of bush-cookery consists in giving a variety out of salt beef and flour . . . let the Sunday share be soaked on the Saturday, and beat it well . . . take the . . . flour and work it into a paste; then put the beef into it, boil it, and you will have a very nice pudding, known in the bush as 'Station jack.'"

Stavewood, n. another name for the Flindosy Beech. See Beech.

Stay-a-while, n. a tangled bush; sometimes called Wait-a-while (q.v.).

Steamer, n. obsolete name for a colonial dish. See quotation.

1820. Lieut. C. Jeffreys, R.N., 'Geographical and Descriptive Delineations of the Island of Van Dieman's Land,' p. 69:

"Their meal consisted of the hindquarters of a kangaroo cut into mincemeat, stewed in its own gravy, with a few rashers of salt pork; this dish is commonly called a steamer."

1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 309:

"Our largest animals are the Kangaroos . . . making most delicious stews and steaks, the favourite dish being what is called a steamer, composed of steaks and chopped tail, (with a few slices of salt pork) stewed with a very small quantity of water for a couple of hours in a close vessel."

Stewart Islander, n. name given to the oyster, Ostrea chiloensis, Sowerby; so called because it is specially abundant on Stewart Island off the south coast of New Zealand. The Stewart Island forms are mud oysters, those of Sydney Cove growing on rock. See Oyster.

Stick-Caterpillar, n. See Phasmid.

Stick-up, v. tr. (1) The regular word for the action of bushrangers stopping passers-by on the highway and robbing them.

(2) In the case of a bank or a station, simply to rob.

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discoveries in Australia,' vol. ii. c. xiii. p. 502:

"It was only the previous night that he had been 'stuck up' with a pistol at his head."

1855. W. Howitt, 'Two Years in Victoria,' vol. ii. p. 187:

"Unless the mail came well armed, a very few men could 'stick it up,' without any trouble or danger."

1857. 'Melbourne Punch,' Feb. 19, p. 26, col. 1:

"I have been stuck up, trampled in the mud."

1869. J. Townend, 'Reminiscences of Australia,' p. 140:

"Five or six bushrangers took up a position about a mile from town, and (to use a colonial phrase) 'stuck up' every person that passed."

1869. Mrs. W. M. Howell, 'The Diggings and the Bush,' p. 93:

"The escort has been 'stuck up,' and the robbers have taken notes to the value of L700, and two thousand ounces of gold."

1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' p. 253:

"We had a revolver apiece in case of being 'stuck up' on the road."

1888. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Robbery under Arms,' p. 168:

"We could make more money in one night by 'sticking up' a coach or a bank than in any other way in a year . . . Any one who has been stuck up himself knows that there's not much chance of doing much in the resisting line." [The operation is then explained fully.]

1890. Lyth, 'Golden South,' c.viii. p. 68:

"Accounts of bushrangers 'sticking up' stations, travellers, and banks were very frequent."

1893. 'Sydney Morning Herald,' Aug. 26, p. 4. col. 6:

"The game of sticking up hotels used to be in the old days a popular one, and from the necessary openness of the premises the practice was easy to carry out."

(3) Humorously applied to a collector or a beggar. In 'Twenty- five Years of St. Andrews' (vol. ii. p. 87), A. K. H. B. tells a story of a church dignitary, who was always collecting money for church building. When a ghost appeared at Glamis Castle, addressing the ghost, the clergyman began—that "he was most anxious to raise money for a church he was erecting; that he had a bad cold and could not well get out of bed; but that his collecting-book was on the dressing-table, and he would be 'extremely obliged' for a subscription." An Australian would have said he "stuck up" the ghost for a subscription.

1890. E. W. Hornung, 'A Bride from the Bush,' p. 297:

"You never get stuck up for coppers in the streets of the towns."

(4) Bring a kangaroo to bay.

1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' c. iii. p. 24:

"We knew that she had 'stuck up' or brought to bay a large forester."

1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 15:

"The fiercest fighter I ever saw 'stuck up' against a red gum-tree."

(5) Simply to stop.

1863. S. Butler, 'First Year in Canterbury Settlement,' p. 68:

"This [waterfall] 'stuck us up,' as they say here concerning any difficulty."

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

"We are stuck up for an hour or more, and can get a good feed over there."

(6) To pose, to puzzle.

1896. Modern:

"I was stuck up for an answer."

"That last riddle stuck him up."

1897. 'The Australasian,' Jan. 2, p. 33, col. 1:

"The professor seems to have stuck up any number of candidates with the demand that they should 'construct one simple sentence out of all the following.'"

Sticker-up, n. sc. a bushranger.

1879. W. J. Barry, 'Up and Down,' p. 197:

"They had only just been liberated from gaol, and were the stickers-up, or highwaymen mentioned."

Sticker-up/2, n. a term of early bush cookery, the method, explained in first quotation, being borrowed from the aborigines.

1830. 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 112:

"Which he cooked in the mode called in colonial phrase a sticker up. A straight twig being cut as a spit, the slices were strung upon it, and laid across two forked sticks leaning towards the fire."

1852. Mrs. Meredith, 'My Home in Tasmania,' vol. i. p. 55:

"Here I was first initiated into the bush art of 'sticker-up' cookery . . . the orthodox material here is of course kangaroo, a piece of which is divided nicely into cutlets two or three inches broad and a third of an inch thick. The next requisite is a straight clean stick, about four feet long, sharpened at both ends. On the narrow part of this, for the space of a foot or more, the cutlets are spitted at intervals, and on the end is placed a piece of delicately rosy fat bacon. The strong end of the stick-spit is now stuck fast and erect in the ground, close by the fire, to leeward; care being taken that it does not burn." ". . . to men that are hungry, stuck-up kangaroo and bacon are very good eating." . . . "our 'sticker-up' consisted only of ham."

1862. G. T. Lloyd, 'Thirty-three Years in Tasmania and Victoria,' p. 103:

"Pounds of rosy steaks . . . skilfully rigged after the usual approved fashion (termed in Bush parlance a sticker-up'), before the brilliant wood fire, soon sent forth odours most grateful to the hungered way-worn Bushmen."

Stilt, n. English bird-name. In New Zealand, the species are—

The Black Stilt— Himantopus novae-zelandiae, Gould; Maori name, Kaki.

Pied S., or Whiteheaded S.— H. leucocephalus, Gould; Maori name, Tutumata.

White-necked S.— H. albicollis, Buller.

H. leucocephalus (the White-headed Stilt) is also present in Australia, and the world-wide species, H. pectoralis, Du Bus. (the Banded Stilt), is found through all Australasia.

Stingareeing, n. the sport of catching Stingrays, or Stingarees.

1872. Hutton and Hector, 'Fishes of New Zealand,' p. 121:

"It has been recently discovered by the writer of the animated article in the 'Field' on Fishing in New Zealand [London, Nov. 25, 1871], that 'stingareeing' can be made to afford sport of a most exciting kind."

Stinging-tree, n. a Queensland name for the Giant Nettle, or Nettle-tree (q.v.)

1890. A. J. Vogan, 'The Black Police,' p. 209:

"The stinging-tree, . . . the most terrible of all vegetable growths. This horrible guardian of the Queensland jungle stands from five to fifteen feet in height, and has a general appearance somewhat similar to that of a small mulberry-tree. Their peculiarly soft and inviting aspect is caused by an almost invisible coating of microscopic cillia, and it is to these that the dangerous characteristics of the plant are due. The unhappy wanderer in these wilds, who allows any part of his body to come in contact with those beautiful, inviting tongues of green, soon finds them veritable tongues of fire, and it will be weeks, perhaps months, ere the scorching agony occasioned by their sting is entirely eradicated."

Sting-moth, n. an Australian moth, Doratifera vulnerans. The larva has at each end of the body four tubercles bearing stinging hairs. ('Standard.')

Stinkwood, n. The name is given to various woods in different parts of the world, from their unpleasant smell. In Tasmania, it is applied to the timber of Zieria smithii, Andr., N.O. Rutaceae.

1832. J. Bischoff, 'Van Diemen's Land,' p. 175:

"The timber in this district I found to be principally myrtle, sassafras, and stinkwood."

Stint, n. English bird-name. The Australian species are—

Curlew Stint— Tringa subarquata, Gmel.

Little S.— T. ruficollis.

Sharp-tailed S.— T. acuminata, Horsf.

Stitch-bird, n. a bird of New Zealand. See quotation.

1885. Hugh Martin, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. xviii. art. xxii. p. 112:

"Pogonornis cincta (Hihi, Matahiore, stitch-bird), North Island."

[From a list of New Zealand birds that ought to be protected.]

1888. W. L. Buller, 'Birds of New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 101:

"Pogonornis cincta, Gray. [A full description.]"

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

"Stitch-bird (Pogonornis cincta), formerly abundant in the North Island, but now extinct on the main-land, and found only in some of the outlying islets. The rarest and one of the most beautiful of native Passerines."

Stock, n. The word has many meanings. In the one from which the Australian compounds are made, it denotes horses, cattle, or sheep, the farmer's stock in trade. Of course, this use is not peculiar to Australia, but it is unusually common there.

1802. G. Barrington, 'History of New South Wales,' c. ix. p. 320:

"The cattle suffered much, and some of both the public and private stock perished."

Stock-agent, n. more usually in the form Stock and Station-agent. The circumstances of Australian life make this a common profession.

Stock-holder, n. a grazier; owner of large herds of cattle, or flocks of sheep.

1820. Lieut. Chas. Jeffreys, 'Delineations of Van Dieman's Land' [sic], p. 25:

"Near this is the residence of D. Rose, Esq., formerly an officer of the 73rd regiment, and now a large land and stockholder."

1824. E. Curr, 'Account of Van Diemen's Land,' p. 83:

"The most negligent stock-holders now carefully house their wool, and many take the trouble to wash their sheep."

Stock-horse, n. horse accustomed to go after cattle used in mustering and cutting-out (q.v.).

1874. W. H. L. Ranken, 'Dominion of Australia,' c. vi. p. 122:

"The Australian stock-horse is a wonderful animal. . . . He has a wonderful constitution, splendid feet, great endurance, and very good temper."

1890. 'The Argus,' June 14, p.4, col. 1:

"A twenty-year-old stock-horse."

Stock-hut, n. the hut of a stock-man.

1833. C. Sturt, 'Southern Australia,' vol. ii. c. ii. p. 21:

"We crossed the Underaliga creek a little below the stock-hut."

Stock-keep, v. a quaint compound verb.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. x. p. 96 (1890):

"'What can you do, young man?' 'Well, most things . . . fence, split, milk, drive bullocks, stock-keep, plough."

Stock-keeper, n. equivalent to a shepherd, or herdsman.

1821. Governor Macquarie, 'Government Notice,' June 30, 1821, in E. Curr's 'Van Diemen's Land' (1824), p. 154:

"To yard the flocks at night . . . for the purpose of keeping the stock-keepers in check, and sufficient shepherds should be kept to ensure constant attention to the flock."

1828. Governor Arthur in J. Bischoff's 'Van Diemen's Land,' 1832, p. 185:

"Every kind of injury committed against the defenceless natives by the stock-keepers."

Stock-man, n. used in Australia for a man employed to look after stock.

1821. Governor Macquarie, 'Government Notice,' June 30, 1821, in E. Curr's 'Van Diemen's Land' (edition 1824), p. 155:

"It is the common practice with owners of flocks to allow their shepherds to acquire and keep sheep . . . it affords to the stock-men a cover frequently for disposing dishonestly of sheep belonging to their master."

1822. G. W. Evans, 'Description of Van Diemen's Land,' p. 68:

"At its junction there is a fine space, named by the stockmen Native Hut Valley."

1833. C. Sturt,' Southern Australia,'vol. i. c. i. p. 6:

"He was good enough to send for the stockman (or chief herdsman)."

1846. J L. Stokes, 'Discoveries in Australia,' vol. ii. c. xii. p. 402:

"An exchange of looks I caught the overseer and stockman indulging in."

1854. W. Golder, 'Pigeons' Parliament,' p. 96:

"Here and there a stockman's cottage stands."

1882. A. J. Boyd, 'Old Colonials,' p. 5:

"Would you still exchange your comfortable home and warm fireside . . . for a wet blanket, a fireless camp, and all the other etceteras of the stockman's life?"

1886. H. C. Kendall, 'Poems,' p. 17:

"One stooped—a stockman from the nearer hills To loose his wallet strings."

Stock-rider, n. a man employed to look after cattle, properly on an unfenced station.

1870. A. L. Gordon, 'Bush Ballads' [Title]:

"The Sick Stock-rider."

1892. Gilbert Parker, 'Round the Compass in Australia,' p. 33:

"'Thus far into the bowels of the land Have we marched on without impediment,'

said a lithe-limbed stock-rider, bearded like a pard, as he lit his pipe—the bushman's only friend. And this was once a fellow of St. John's, Cambridge."

Stock-riding, n. the occupation of a Stock-rider (q.v.).

1880. Fison and Howitt, 'Kamilaroi and Kurnai,' p. 260 [Footnote]:

"Like other Australian aborigines, the Kurnai have a natural aptitude for stock-riding."

Stock-route, n. When land is first let in surveyed blocks to a Squatter (q.v.), and is, of course, unfenced, the lessee is required by law to leave passages through it from two to four chains wide, at certain intervals, as a right-of-way for travelling sheep and cattle. These are called Stock-routes. He may fence these routes if he chooses—which he very rarely does—but if he fences across the route he must provide gates or slip-rails (q.v.), or other free passage.

1896. 'The Argus,' May 21, p. 5, Col. 1:

"To-day the Land Board dealt with the application for the re-appraisement of the Yantara pastoral holding. The manager said that owing to deterioration of the feed through the rabbits, from 9 to 10 acres were required to carry a sheep. . . . Thirteen trial wells had been put down on the holding, all of which had bottomed on a drift of salt water. Four stock routes passed through the area, one being the main stock route from South-western Queensland. . . . Wild dogs had been troublesome since the February rains. . . . There were Government bores on the run."

1896. A. B. Paterson, 'Man from Snowy River,' p. 51:

"Now Saltbush Bill was a drover tough, as ever the country knew, He had fought his way on the Great Stock Routes from the sea to the Big Barcoo."

Stock-up, v. complete the number of animals on a station, so that it may carry its full complement.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Squatter's Dream,' c. vii. p. 68:

"I shall decide to stock up as soon as the fences are finished."

Stock-whip, n. whip for driving cattle. See quotations.

1857. W. Howitt, 'Tallangetta,' vol. i. p. 100:

"The stock-whip, with a handle about half a yard long and a thong of three yards long, of plaited bullock-hide, is a terrible instrument in the hands of a practised stockman. Its sound is the note of terror to the cattle; it is like the report of a blunderbuss, and the stockman at full gallop will hit any given spot on the beast that he is within reach of, and cut the piece away through the thickest hide that bull or bison ever wore."

1870. A. L. Gordon, 'Bush Ballads,' p. 14:

"With a running fire of stock-whips and a fiery run of hoofs."

1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 76:

"The stock-whip, which bears such a prominent part in all dealings with cattle, is from twelve to fourteen feet in length, with a short light handle of about fourteen inches long, to which it is attached by a leather keeper as on a hunting crop. . . . The whip is made of a carefully selected strip of green hide, great attention having been paid to curing it."

Stocks-man, n. an unusual form for Stock-man (q.v.).

1862. F. J. Jobson, 'Australia,' c. vi. p. 145:

"We saw the stocksman seated upon his bony long-limbed steed."

Stone-lifter, n. a Melbourne name for the fish Kathetostoma laeve, Bl., family Trachinidae, one of the genera of the "Stargazers" (Uranoscopina), which have eyes on the surface of the head.

Stonewall, v. intr. (1) A Parliamentary term: to make use of the forms of the House so as to delay public business.

(2) To obstruct business at any meeting, chiefly by long-winded speeches.

(3) To play a slow game at cricket, blocking balls rather than making runs.

1876. 'Victorian Hansard,' Jan., vol. xxii. p. 1387:

"Mr. G. Paton Smith wished to ask the honourable member for Geelong West whether the six members sitting beside him (Mr. Berry) constituted the 'stone wall' that had been spoken of? Did they constitute the stone wall which was to oppose all progress—to prevent the finances being dealt with and the business of the country carried on? It was like bully Bottom's stone wall. It certainly could not be a very high wall, nor a very long wall, if it only consisted of six."

1884. G. W. Rusden, 'History of Australia,' vol. iii. p. 405:

"Abusing the heroic words of Stonewall Jackson, the Opposition applied to themselves the epithet made famous by the gallant Confederate General."

1894. 'The Argus,' Jan. 26, p. 3, col. 5:

"The Tasmanians [sc. cricketers] do not as a rule stonewall."

Stonewood, n. Callistemon salignus, De C., N.O. Myrtaceae; called also the River Tea-tree.

1894. 'Melbourne Museum Catalogue—Economic Woods,' No. 48:


Store, n. a bullock, cow, or sheep bought to be fattened for the market.

1874. W. H. L. Ranken, 'Dominion of Australia,' c. xiii. p. 233:

"They then, if 'stores,' pass to the rich salt-bush country of Riverina."

Store-cattle, n. lean cattle bought to be fattened for the market; often contracted to stores (q.v.).

1885. R. M. Praed, 'Head-Station,' p. 74:

"Oh, we're not fit for anything but store-cattle: we are all blady grass."

Stranger, n. name given in Victoria and Tasmania to the Rock-Whiting, Odax richardsoni, Gunth., family Labridae. The Stranger, which is a marine fish, is caught occasionally in the fresher water of the upper estuary of the Derwent; hence its name. See Whiting.

1875. 'Spectator' (Melbourne), June 19, 1881, p. 1:

"Common fish such as . . . garfish, strangers, silvers, and others.'

Stringy-bark, n. (1) any one of various Gums, with a tough fibrous bark used for tying, for cordage, for roofs of huts, etc.

1845. J. O. Balfour, 'Sketch of New South Wales,' p. 37:

"The string bark [sic] tree is also useful, and its bark, which is of a fibrous texture, often more than an inch in thickness, parts easily from the wood, and may be obtained ten or twelve feet in length, and seven or eight in breadth."

1848. W. Westgarth, 'Australia Felix,' p. 73:

"The natives appear also to like the fruit of the pandanus, of which large quantities are found in their camps, soaking in water contained in vessels formed of stringy-bark."

1850. J. B. Clutterbuck, 'Port Phillip in 1849,' p. 27:

"In truth, the forests of Australia (consisting principally of woods of iron-bark, stringy-bark, and other species of the Eucalyptus) seen at a distance, just before sunset, are noble objects—perfect pictures."

1862. G. T. Lloyd, 'Thirty-three Years in Tasmania and Victoria,' p. 29:

"The stringy bark tree is so named from the ropy nature of its bark, which is frequently used for tying on the rods and thatch of sheds, huts, and barns in the country."

1862. W. Archer, 'Products of Tasmania,' p. 39:

"Gum-topped String-bark, sometimes called white gum (Eucalyptus gigantea, var.). A tree resembling the Blue Gum in foliage, with rough bark similar to Stringy Bark towards the stem."

1865. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'History of the Discovery and Exploration of Australia,' vol. i. p. 237:

"Stringy-bark trees were also seen—so called, because the rough bark has a brown tenacious fibre, like that of the cocoanut, which can be split off in sheets to make the roofs of houses, or unravelled into a fibre that will tie like string."

1868. Carleton, 'Australian Nights,' p. 2:

"The mia-mia that the native dark Had formed from sheets of stringy bark."

1873. T. Laslett, 'Timber and Timber Trees,' p. 204:

"The Stringy-bark tree is of straight growth, and takes its name from the strip-like character of its bark. . . . The wood is of a brown colour, hard, heavy, strong and close in the grain. It works up well . . . in ship-building, for planking, beams, keels and keelsons, and in civil architecture for joists, flooring, etc. Upon the farms it is used for fences and agricultural implements: it is also employed for furniture and for all ordinary purposes."

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