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A Dictionary of Austral English
by Edward Morris
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1855 W. Howitt, 'Two Years in Victoria,' vol. ii. p. 309:

"So long as that is wrong, the whole community will be wrong,— in colonial phrase, 'bailed up' at the mercy of its own tenants."

1862. G. T. Lloyd, 'Thirty-three Years in Tasmania and Victoria,' p. 192:

"'Come, sir, immediately,' rejoined Murphy, rudely and insultingly pushing the master; 'bail up in that corner, and prepare to meet the death you have so long deserved.'"

1879. W. J. Barry, 'Up and Down,' p. 112:

"She bailed me up and asked me if I was going to keep my promise and marry her."

1880. W. Senior, 'Travel and Trout,' p. 36:

"His troutship, having neglected to secure a line of retreat, was, in colonial parlance, 'bailed up.'"

1880. G. Walch, 'Victoria in 1880,' p.133:

"The Kelly gang . . . bailed up some forty residents in the local public house."

1882. A. J. Boyd, 'Old Colonials,' p. 76:

"Did I ever get stuck-up? Never by white men, though I have been bailed up by the niggers."

1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' p. 105:

"A little further on the boar 'bailed up' on the top of a ridge."

1888. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Robbery under Arms,' p. 368:

"One of the young cows was a bit strange with me, so I had to shake a stick at her and sing out 'Bail up' pretty rough before she'd put her head in. Aileen smiled something like her old self for a minute, and said, 'That comes natural to you now, Dick, doesn't it ?' I stared for a bit and then burst out laughing.It was a rum go, wasn't it? The same talk for cows and Christians. That's how things get stuck into the talk in a new country. Some old hand like father, as had been assigned to a dairy settler, and spent all his mornings in the cow-yard, had taken to the bush and tried his hand at sticking up people. When they came near enough of course he'd pop out from behind a tree, with his old musket or pair of pistols, and when he wanted 'em to stop, 'Bail up, d— yer,' would come a deal quicker and more natural-like to his tongue than 'Stand.' So 'bail up' it was from that day to this, and there'll have to be a deal of change in the ways of the colonies, and them as come from 'em before anything else takes its place between the man that's got the arms and the man that's got the money."

Bailing-up Pen, n. place for fastening up cattle.

1889. R. M. Praed, 'Romance of Station,' vol. i. c. ii. ['Eng. Dial. Dict.']:

"Alec was proud of the stockyard and pointed out . . . the superior construction of the 'crush,' or branding lane, and the bailing-up pen."

Bald-Coot, n. a bird-name, Porphyrio melanotus, Temm.; Blue, P. bellus, Gould. The European bald-coot is Fulica atra.

Ballahoo, n. a name applied to the Garfish (q.v.) by Sydney fishermen. The word is West Indian, and is applied there to a fast-sailing schooner; also spelled Bullahoo and Ballahou.

Balloon-Vine n. Australian name for the common tropical weed, Cardiospermum halicacabum, Linn., N.O. Sapindaceae: called also Heart-seed, Heart-pea, and Winter-cherry. It is a climbing plant, and has a heart-shaped scar on the seed.

Balsam of Copaiba Tree, n. The name is applied to the Australian tree, Geijera salicifolia, Schott, N.O. Rutaceae, because the bark has the odour of the drug of that name.

Bamboo-grass, n. an Australian cane-like grass, Glyceria ramigera, F. v. M. ; also called Cane Grass. Largely used for thatching purposes. Stock eat the young shoots freely.

Banana, n. There are three species native to Queensland, of which the fruit is said to be worthless—

Musa Banksii, F. v. M. M. Hillii, F. v. M. M. Fitzalani, F. v. M., N.O. Scitamineae.

The Bananas which are cultivated and form a staple export of Queensland are acclimatized varieties.

Banana-land, n. slang name for Queensland, where bananas grow in abundance.

Banana-lander, n. slang for a Queenslander (see above).

Banded Ant-eater, n. name given to a small terrestrial and ant-eating marsupial, Myrmecobius fasciatus, Waterh, found in West and South Australia. It is the only species of the genus, and is regarded as the most closely allied of all living marsupials to the extinct marsupials of the Mesozoic Age in Europe. It receives its name banded from the presence along the back of a well-marked series of dark transverse bands.

1871. G. Krefft, 'Mammals of Australia':

"The Myrmecobius is common on the West Coast and in the interior of New South Wales and South Australia: the Murrumbidgee River may be taken as its most eastern boundary."

1893. A. R. Wallace, 'Australasia,' p. 340:

"Thus we have here [W. Australia] alone the curious little banded ant-eater (Myrmecobius fasciatus), which presents the nearest approach in its dentition to the most ancient known mammals whose remains are found in the oolite and Trias of the Mesozoic epoch."

Banded-Kangaroo, i.q. Banded-Wallaby. See Lagostrophus and Wallaby.

Banded-Wallaby, n. sometimes called Banded-Kangaroo. See Lagostrophus and Wallaby.

Bandicoot, n. an insect-eating marsupial animal; family, Peramelidae; genus, Perameles. "The animals of this genus, commonly called Bandicoots in Australia, are all small, and live entirely on the ground, making nests composed of dried leaves, grass and sticks, in hollow places. They are rather mixed feeders; but insects, worms, roots and bulbs, constitute their ordinary diet." ('Encyclopaedia Britannica,' 9th edit., vol. xv. p. 381.) The name comes from India, being a corruption of Telugu pandi-kokku, literally "pig-dog," used of a large rat called by naturalists Mus malabaricus, Shaw, Mus giganteus, Hardwicke; Mus bandis coota, Bechstein. The name has spread all over India. The Indian animal is very different from the Australian, and no record is preserved to show how the Anglo-Indian word came to be used in Australia. The Bandicoots are divided into three genera—the True Bandicoots (genus Perameles, q.v.), the Rabbit Bandicoots (genus Peragale, q.v.), and the Pig-footed Bandicoots (q.v.) (genus Choeropus, q.v.). The species are—

Broadbent's Bandicoot— Perameles broadbenti, Ramsay.

Cockerell's B.— P. cockerelli, Ramsay.

Common Rabbit B.— Peragale lagotis, Reid.

Desert B.— P. eremiana, Spencer.

Doria's B.— Perameles dorerana, Quoy & Gaim.

Golden B.— P. aurata, Ramsay.

Gunn's B.— P. gunni, Gray.

Less Rabbit B.— Peragale minor, Spencer.

Long-nosed B.— Perameles nasuta, Geoffr.

Long-tailed B.— P. longicauda, Peters & Doria.

North-Australian B.— P. macrura, Gould.

Port Moresby B.— P. moresbyensis, Ramsay.

Raffray's B.— P. rafrayana, Milne-Edw.

Short-nosed B.— P. obesula, Shaw.

Striped B.— P. bougainvillii, Quoy & Gaim.

White-tailed Rabbit B.— P. lesicura. Thomas.

Pig-footed B.— Choeropus castanotis, Gray.

1802. D. Collins, 'Account of New South Wales', vol. ii. p. 188 (Bass's Diary at the Derwent, January 1799):

"The bones of small animals, such as opossums, squirrels, kangooroo rats, and bandicoots, were numerous round their deserted fire-places."

1820. W. C. Wentworth, 'Description o New South Wales,' p. 3:

"The animals are, the kangaroo, native dog (which is a smaller species of the wolf), the wombat, bandicoot, kangaroo-rat, opossum, flying squirrel, flying fox, etc. etc."

1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 316

"The bandicoot is about four times he size of a rat, without a tail, and burrows in the ground or in hollow trees."

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

"The bandicoot is as large as a rabbit. There are two kinds, the rat and the rabbit bandicoot."

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

"The common people are not destitute of what Wordsworth calls 'the poetry of common speech,' many of their similes being very forcibly and naturally drawn from objects familiarly in sight and quite Australian. 'Poor as a bandicoot,' 'miserable as a shag on a rock.'"

Ibid. p. 330:

"There is also a rat-like animal with a swinish face, covered with ruddy coarse hair, that burrows in the ground—the bandicoot. It is said to be very fine eating."

1845. J. O. Balfour, 'Sketch of New South Wales,' p. 26:

"The bandicoot is the size of a large rat, of a dark brown colour; it feeds upon roots, and its flesh is good eating. This animal burrows in the ground, and it is from this habit, I suppose, that when hungry, cold, or unhappy, the Australian black says that he is as miserable as the bandicoot."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals, p. 92:

"The bandicoots are good eating even for Europeans, and in my opinion are the only Australian mammals fit to eat. They resemble pigs, and the flesh tastes somewhat like pork."

Bangalay, n. a Sydney workmen's name for the timber of Eucalyptus botrioides, Smith. (See Gum.) The name is aboriginal, and by workmen is always pronounced Bang Alley.

Bangalow, n. an ornamental feathery-leaved palm, Ptychosperma elegans, Blume, N.O. Palmeae.

1851. J. Henderson, 'Excursions in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p.229

"The Bangalo, which is a palm. . . The germ, or roll of young leaves in the centre, and near the top, is eaten by the natives, and occasionally by white men, either raw or boiled. It is of a white colour, sweet and pleasant to the taste."

1884. W. R. Guilfoyle, 'Australian Botany,' p. 23:

"The aborigines of New South Wales and Queensland, and occasionally the settlers, eat the young leaves of the cabbage and bangalo palms."

1886. H. C. Kendall, 'Poems,' p. 193:

You see he was bred in a bangalow wood, And bangalow pith was the principal food His mother served out in her shanty."

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 592:

"Bangalow. . . . The small stems sometimes go under the name of 'Moreton Bay Canes.' It is a very ornamental, feathery-leaved palm."

Bang-tail muster. See quotation.

1887. W. S. S. Tyrwhitt, 'The New Churn in the Queensland Bush,' p. 61:

"Every third or fourth year on a cattle station, they have what is called a 'bang tail muster'; that is to say, all the cattle are brought into the yards, and have the long hairs at the end of the tail cut off square, with knives or sheep-shears. . . The object of it is. . .to find out the actual number of cattle on the run, to compare with the number entered on the station books."

Banker, n. a river full up to the top of the banks. Compare Shakspeare: "Like a proud river, peering o'er his bounds." ('King John,' III. i. 23.)

1888. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol, iii. p. 175

"The Murrumbidgee was running a 'banker'—water right up to the banks."

1890. Lyth, 'Golden South,' c. vii. p. 52:

"The driver stated that he had heard the river was 'a banker.'"

1896. H. Lawson, 'When the World was Wide,' p. 45:

"The creeks were bankers, and the flood Was forty miles round Bourke."

Ibid. p. 100:

"Till the river runs a banker, All stained with yellow mud."

Banksia, n. "A genus of Australian shrubs with umbellate flowers,—now cultivated as ornamental shrubs in Europe." ('O.E.D.') Called after Mr. Banks, naturalist of the Endeavour, afterwards Sir Joseph Banks. The so-called Australian Honeysuckle (q.v.). See also Bottle-brush.

1790. J. White, 'Voyage to New South Wales,' p. 221:

"The different species of banksia. The finest new genus hitherto found in New Holland has been destined by Linnaeus, with great propriety, to transmit to posterity the name of Sir Joseph Banks, who first discovered it in his celebrated voyage round the world."

1798. D. Collins, 'Account of English Colony in New South Wales,' p. 557:

"A few berries, the yam and fern root, the flowers of the different banksia, and at times some honey, make up the whole vegetable catalogue."

1829. Vigors and Horsfield, 'Transactions of the Linnaean Society,' vol. xv. p. 312:

"Scrubs where the different species of banksia are found, the flowers of which I (Mr. Caley) have reason to think afford it sustenance during winter."

1833. C. Sturt, 'South Australia,' vol. ii. c. ii. p. 30:

"Some sandhills . . . crowned by banksias."

1845. J. Q. Balfour, 'Sketch of New South Wales,' p. 39:

"Many different species of banksia grow in great plenty in the neighbourhood of Sydney, and from the density of their foliage are very ornamental."

1846. L. Leichhardt, quoted by J. D. Lang, 'Cooksland,' p. 331:

"The table-land is covered by forests of stringy-bark, of melaleuca-gum, and banksia."

1851. 'Quarterly Review,' Dec., p. 40:

"In this they will find an extremely rich collection of bottle-brush-flowered, zigzag-leaved, grey-tinted, odd-looking things, to most eyes rather strange than beautiful, notwithstanding that one of them is named Banksia speciosa. They are the 'Botany Bays' of old-fashioned gardeners, but are more in the shrub and tree line than that of flowering pots. Banksia Solandei will remind them to turn to their 'Cook's Voyages' when they get home, to read how poor Dr. Solander got up a mountain and was heartily glad to get down again."

1877. F. v. Mueller, 'Botanic Teachings,' p. 46:

"The banksias are of historic interest, inasmuch as the genus was dedicated already by the younger Linne in 1781 to Sir Joseph Banks, from whom the Swedish naturalist received branchlets of those species, which in Captain Cook's first voyage more than 100 years ago (1770) were gathered by Banks at Botany-Bay and a few other places of the east coast of Australia."

1887. J. Bonwick, 'Romance of the Wool Trade,' p. 228:

"A banksia plain, with its collection of bottle-brush-like-flowers, may have its charms for a botanist, but its well-known sandy ground forbids the hope of good grasses."

Baobab, n. a tree, native of Africa, Adansonia digitata. The name is Ethiopian. It has been introduced into many tropical countries. The Australian species of the genus is A. gregorii, F. v. M., called also Cream of Tartar or Sour Gourd-tree, Gouty-stem (q.v.), and Bottle-tree (q.v.).

Barber, or Tasmanian Barber, n. a name for the fish Anthias rasor, Richards., family Percidae; also called Red-Perch. See Perch. It occurs in Tasmania, New Zealand, and Port Jackson. It is called Barber from the shape of the praeoperculum, one of the bones of the head. See quotation.

1841. John Richardson, 'Description of Australian Fish,' p. 73:

"Serranus Rasor.— Tasmanian Barber. . . . The serrature of the preoperculum is the most obvious and general character by which the very numerous Serrani are connected with each other . . . The Van Diemen's Land fish, which is described below, is one of the 'Barbers,' a fact which the specific appellation rasor is intended to indicate; the more classical word having been previously appropriated to another species. . . Mr. Lempriere states that it is known locally as the 'red perch or shad.'"

[Richardson also says that Cuvier founded a subdivision of the Serrani on the characters of the scales of the jaws, under the name of 'les Barbiers,' which had been previously grouped by Block under the title Anthias.]

Barcoo-grass, n. an Australian grass, Anthistiria membranacea, Lindl. One of the best pasture grasses in Queensland, but growing in other colonies also.

Barcoo Rot, n. a disease affecting inhabitants of various parts of the interior of Australia, but chiefly bushmen. It consists of persistent ulceration of the skin, chiefly on the back of the hands, and often originating in abrasions.

It is attributed to monotony of diet and to the cloudless climate, with its alternations of extreme cold at night and burning heat by day. It is said to be maintained and aggravated by the irritation of small flies.

1870. E. B. Kennedy, 'Four Years in Queensland,' p. 46:

"Land scurvy is better known in Queensland by local names, which do not sound very pleasant, such as 'Barcoo rot,' 'Kennedy rot,' according to the district it appears in. There is nothing dangerous about it; it is simply the festering of any cut or scratch on one's legs, arms or hands. . . They take months to heal. . . Want of vegetables is assigned as the cause."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 58:

"In Western Queensland people are also subject to bad sores on the hand, called Barcoo-rot."

Barcoo Vomit, n. a sickness occurring in inhabitants of various parts of the high land of the interior of Australia. It is characterized by painless attacks of vomiting, occurring immediately after food is taken, followed by hunger, and recurring as soon as hunger is satisfied.

The name Barcoo is derived from the district traversed by the river Barcoo, or Cooper, in which this complaint and the Barcoo Rot are common. See Dr. E. C. Stirling's 'Notes from Central Australia,' in 'Intercolonial Quarterly Journal of Medicine and Surgery,' vol. i. p. 218.

Bargan, n. a name of the Come-back Boomerang (q.v.). (Spelt also barragan.)

1892. J. Fraser, 'Aborigines of New South Wales,' p. 70:

"The 'come-back' variety (of boomerang) is not a fighting weapon. A dialect name for it is bargan, which word may be explained in our language to mean 'bent like a sickle or crescent moon.'"

Barking Owl, n. a bird not identified, and not in Gould (who accompanied Leichhardt).

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition, p. 47:

"The glucking-bird and the barking-owl were heard throughout the moonlight night."

Barrack, v. to jeer at opponents, to interrupt noisily, to make a disturbance; with the preposition "for," to support as a partisan, generally with clamour. An Australian football term dating from about 1880. The verb has been ruled unparliamentary by the Speaker in the Victorian Legislative Assembly. It is, however, in very common colloquial use. It is from the aboriginal word borak (q.v.), and the sense of jeering is earlier than that of supporting, but jeering at one side is akin to cheering for the other. Another suggested derivation is from the Irish pronunciation of "Bark," as (according to the usually accepted view) "Larrikin" from "larking." But the former explanation is the more probable. There is no connection with soldiers' "barracks;" nor is it likely that there is any, as has been ingeniously suggested, with the French word baragouin, gibberish.

1890. 'Melbourne Punch,' Aug. 14, p. 106, col. 3:

"To use a football phrase, they all to a man 'barrack' for the British Lion."

1893. 'The Age,' June 17, p. 15, col. 4:

"[The boy] goes much to football matches, where he barracks, and in a general way makes himself intolerable."

1893. 'The Argus,' July 5, p. 9, col. 4, Legislative Assembly:

"Mr. Isaacs:. . . He hoped this 'barracking' would not be continued." [Members had been interrupting him.]

1893. 'The Herald' (Melbourne), Sept. 9, p. 1, col. 6:

"He noticed with pleasure the decrease of disagreeable barracking by spectators at matches during last season. Good-humoured badinage had prevailed, but the spectators had been very well conducted."

Barracker, n. one who barracks (q.v.).

1893. 'The Age,' June 27, p. 6, col. 6:

"His worship remarked that the 'barracking' that was carried on at football matches was a mean and contemptible system, and was getting worse and worse every day. Actually people were afraid to go to them on account of the conduct of the crowd of 'barrackers.' It took all the interest out of the game to see young men acting like a gang of larrikins."

1894. '"The Argus,' Nov. 29, p. 4, col. 9:

"The 'most unkindest cut of all' was that the Premier, who was Mr. Rogers's principal barracker during the elections, turned his back upon the prophet and did not deign to discuss his plan."

Barracks, n. a building on a station with rooms for bachelors.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Colonial Reformer,' p. 100

"A roomy, roughly-finished building known as the 'barracks.' . . . . Three of the numerous bedrooms were tenanted by young men, . . . neophytes, who were gradually assimilating the love of Bush-land."

Barracouta, or Barracoota, n. The name, under its original spelling of Barracuda, was coined in the Spanish West Indies, and first applied there to a large voracious fish, Sphyraena pecuda, family Sphyraenidae. In Australia and New Zealand it is applied to a smaller edible fish, Thyrsites atun, Cuv. and Val., family Trichiuridae, called Snook (q.v.) at the Cape of Good Hope. It is found from the Cape of Good Hope to New Zealand.

1845. 'Voyage to Port Philip,' p. 40:

"We hook the barracuda fish."

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fishes of New South Wales,' p. 69:

"Sphyrenidae. The first family is the barracudas, or sea-pike." [Footnote]: "This name is no doubt the same as Barracouta and is of Spanish origin. The application of it to Thyrsites atun in the Southern seas was founded on some fancied resemblance to the West Indian fish, which originally bore the name, though of course they are entirely different."

(2) The word is used as a nickname for an inhabitant of Hobart; compare Cornstalk.

Barramunda, n. a fish, i.q. Burramundi (q.v.).

Basket-Fence, n. Local name for a stake-hedge. See quotation.

1872. G. S. Baden-Powell, 'New Homes for the Old Country,' p. 208:

"For sheep, too, is made the 'basket fence.' Stakes are driven in, and their pliant 'stuff' interwoven, as in a stake hedge in England."

Bastard Dory and John Dory (q.v.), spelt also Dorey, n. an Australian fish, Cyttus australis, family Cyttidae; the Australian representative of Zeus faber, the European "John Dory," and its close relative, is called Bastard Dorey in New Zealand, and also Boar-fish (q.v.).

1880. Guenther, 'Study of Fishes,' p. 387:

"Histiopterus. . . .The species figured attains to a length of twenty inches, and is esteemed as food. It is known at Melbourne by the names of 'Boar-fish' or 'Bastard Dorey' (fig.), Histiopterus recurvirostris."

Bastard Trumpeter, n. a fish. See Morwong, Paper-fish, and Trumpeter. In Sydney it is Latris ciliaris, Forst., which is called Moki in New Zealand; in Victoria and Tasmania, L. forsteri, Casteln.

1883. 'Royal Commission on the Fisheries of Tasmania,' p. 35:

"The bastard trumpeter (Latris Forsteri). . . .Scarcely inferior to the real trumpeter, and superior to it in abundance all the year round, comes the bastard trumpeter. . . This fish has hitherto been confounded with Latris ciliaris (Forst.); but, although the latter species has been reported as existing in Tasmanian waters, it is most probably a mistake: for the two varieties (the red and the white), found in such abundance here, have the general characters as shown above. . . They must be referred to the Latris Forsteri of Count Castelnau, which appears to be the bastard trumpeter of Victorian waters."

Bat-fish, n. The name in England is given to a fish of the family Maltheidae. It is also applied to the Flying Gurnard of the Atlantic and to the Californian Sting-ray. In Australia, and chiefly in New South Wales, it is applied to Psettus argenteus, Linn., family Carangidae, or Horse Mackerels. Guenther says that the "Sea Bats," which belong to the closely allied genus Platax, are called so from the extraordinary length of some portion of their dorsal and anal fins and of their ventrals.

Bathurst Bur, n. Explained in quotation.

1855. W. Howitt, 'Two Years in Victoria,' vol. i. p. 261:

"The Bathurst bur (Xanthium spinosuzn), a plant with long triple spines like the barbary, and burs which are ruinous to the wool of the sheep—otherwise, itself very like a chenopodium, or good-fat-hen."

Bats-wing-coral, n. the Australian wood Erythrina vespertilio, Bentham, N.O. Leguminosae.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 426:

"Batswing Coral. . . .The wood is soft, and used by the aborigines for making their 'heilamans,' or shields. It is exceedingly light and spongy, and of the greatest difficulty to work up to get anything like a surface for polishing."

Bauera, n. a shrub, Bauera rubioides, Andr., N.O. Saxifrageae, the Scrub Vine, or Native Rose; commonly called in Tasmania "Bauera,"and celebrated for forming impenetrable thickets in conjunction with "cutting grass," Cladium psittacorum, Labill.

1835. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 70:

"Bauera rubiaefolia. Madder leaved Bauera. A pretty little plant with pink flowers. This genus is named after the celebrated German draughtsman, whose splendid works are yet unrivalled in the art, especially of the Australian plants which he depicted in his voyage round New Holland with Capt. Flinders in the Investigator."

1888. R. M. Johnston, 'Geology of Tasmania,' Intro. p. vi.:

"The Bauera scrub . . . is a tiny, beautiful shrub . . . Although the branches are thin and wiry, they are too tough and too much entangled in mass to cut, and the only mode of progress often is to throw one's self high upon the soft branching mass and roll over to the other side. The progress in this way is slow, monotonous, and exhausting."

1891. 'The Australasian,' April 4, p. 670, col. 2:

"Cutting-grass swamps and the bauera, where a dog can't hardly go, Stringy-bark country, and blackwood beds, and lots of it broken by snow."

1891. W. Tilley, 'Wild West of Tasmania,' p. 7:

"Interposing the even more troublesome Bauera shrub; whose gnarled branches have earned for it the local and expressive name of 'tangle-foot' or 'leg ropes.' [It] has been named by Spicer the 'Native Rose.'"

Beal, Bool, or Bull, n. a sweet aboriginal drink.

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

"A good jorum of bull (washings of a sugar bag)" [given to aborigines who have been working].

1839. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions,' vol. ii. p. 288:

"The flowers are gathered, and by steeping them a night in water the natives made a sweet beverage called 'bool.'"

1878. R. Brough Smyth, 'Aborigines of Victoria,' vol. i. p. 210:

"In the flowers of a dwarf species of banksia (B. ornata) there is a good deal of honey, and this was got out of the flowers by immersing them in water. The water thus sweetened was greedily swallowed by the natives. The drink was named beal by the natives of the west of Victoria, and was much esteemed."

Beal (2), n. i.q. Belar (q.v.).

Bean, Queensland, or Leichhardt, or Match-box, n. Entada scandens, Benth., N.O. Leguminosae. Though this bean has two Australian names, it is really widely distributed throughout the tropics. A tall climbing plant; the seeds are used for match-boxes.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 425:

"The seeds are about two inches across, by half-an-inch thick, and have a hard woody and beautifully polished shell, of a dark brown or purplish colour. These seeds are converted into snuff-boxes, scent-bottles, spoons, etc., and in the Indian bazaars they are used as weights. ('Treasury of Botany.') In the colonies we usually see the beans of this plant mounted with silver, as match-boxes. The wood itself is soft, fibrous, and spongy."

Bean-Tree, n. called also Moreton Bay Chestnut, Castanospermum australe, Cunn. and Fraser, N.O. Leguminosae; a tall tree with red flowers and large seed-pods. The timber of young specimens has beautiful dark clouding.

Bear, Native, n. the colonists' name for an animal called by the aborigines Koala, Koolah, Kool-la, and Carbora (Phascolarctus cinereus). It is a tree-climbing marsupial, about two feet in length, like a small bear in its heavy build. Its food is the young leaves of the Eucalyptus, and it is said that the Native Bear cannot be taken to England because it would die on board ship, owing to there being no fresh gum leaves. The writers are incorrect who call the animal a sloth.

1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 317

"Our coola (sloth or native bear) is about the size of an ordinary poodle dog, with shaggy, dirty-coloured fur, no tail, and claws and feet like a bear, of which it forms a tolerable miniature. It climbs trees readily and feeds upon their leaves."

1846. G. H. Haydon, 'Five Years in Australia Felix,' p. 57:

"The bear (phascolomys) of the colonists is in reality a species of sloth, and partakes of all the characteristics of that animal; it is of the marsupial order, and is found chiefly in the neighbourhood of thickly timbered high land; its flesh is used by the aborigines for food, but is tough and unpalatable; its usual weight is from eight to twelve pounds." [Note: Phascolomys is the name of the Wombat, not the Bear.]

1854. G. H. Hayden, 'The Australian Emigrant,' p. 126:

"The luckless carbora fell crashing through the branches." [Footnote] "The native name of an animal of the sloth species, but incorrectly called by the colonists a bear."

1855. W. Blandowski, 'Transactions of Philosophical Society of Victoria,' vol. i. p. 68:

"The koala or karbor (Phascolarctus cinereus) frequents very high trees, and sits in places where it is most sheltered by the branches. . . . Its fur is of the same colour as the bark . . . like the cat has the power of contracting and expanding the pupil of the eye . . . . Its skin is remarkably thick . . . dense woolly fur . . . . The natives aver that the koala never drinks water."

1865. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'History of the Discovery and Exploration of Australia,' vol. i. p. 448:

"They were soon entirely out of provisions, but found a sort of substitute by living on the native bear (Phascolarctus cinereus), which was plentiful even in the forests."

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 214:

"Look, high up in the branches of that tall tree is a native bear! It sits motionless. It has something the appearance of a solemn old man. How funny his great ears and Roman nose look! He sits on the branch as if it was a chair, holding with hand-like claws the surrounding twigs."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 9:

"We learned that a koala or native bear (Phascolarctus cinereus) was sitting on a tree near the but of a shepherd . . . not a dangerous animal. It is called 'native bear,' but is in no wise related to the bear family. It is an innocent and peaceful marsupial, which is active only at night, and sluggishly climbs the trees, eating leaves and sleeping during the whole day. As soon as the young has left the pouch, the mother carries it with her on her back. The Australian bear is found in considerable numbers throughout the eastern part of the continent, even within the tropical circle."

Bearded Lizard, n. See Jew Lizard.

Beardie, or Beardy, n. a fish. In Scotland the name is applied to the Bearded Loach, Nemachilus barbatus, of Europe; in New South Wales the name is given to the fish Lotella marginata, Macl., of the family Gadidae, or Cod-fishes, which is also called Ling (q.v.).

Beaver-rat, n. an aquatic rodent, something like the English water-rat, genus Hydromys.

1864. 'Proceedings of the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land' [paper by Morton Allport], p. 62:

"Common to both fresh and brackish water is the yellow bellied beaver-rat or musk-rat (Hydromys chrysogaster)."

Beech, n. There is only one true Beech in Australia, Fagus cunninghamii, Hook, N.O. Cupuliferae; but the name is applied to many other kinds of Australian trees, viz.—

(1) Simply to

Cryptocarya glaucescens, R. Br., N.O. Laurineae, called also Black Sassafras, White Laurel, She Beech, and Black Beech.

Flindersia australis, R. Br., N.O. Meliaceae, called also Flindosa Ash, Crow's Ash, and Rasp-pod, and invariably Myrtle to Tasmania.

Gmelina leichhardtii, F. v. M., N.O. Verbenaceae.

Monotoca elliptica, R. Br., N.O. Epacrideae.

Phyllanthus ferdinandi, Muell. and Arg., N.O. Euphorbiaceae, called also Pencil Cedar in Southern New South Wales.

Schizomeria ovata, D. Don, N.O. Saxifrageae, called also Corkwood, Light-wood, Coachwood, and White Cherry.

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

(2) With various epithets the name is also used as follows—

Evergreen Beech—

Fagus cunninghamii, Hook, N.O. Cupuliferae, called also Myrtle and Negro-head Beech.

Flindosy B.—

Flindersia schottiana, F. v. M., N.O. Meliaceae, called also Ash and Stave-wood.

Indian B.—

Pongamia glabra, Vent., N.O. Leguminosae, B. Fl.

Mountain B.—

Lomatia longifolia, R. Br., N.O. Proteaceae.

Native B.—

Callicoma serratifolia, Andr., N.O. Saxifragiae, "one of the trees called by the early colonists 'Black Wattle,' from the fancied resemblance of the flowers to those of some of the wattles." (Maiden, p. 389.)

Negro-head B., i.q. Evergreen B. (q.v. supra).

Queensland B.—

Gmelina leichhardtii , F. v. M., N.O. Verbenaceae, a tall valuable timber-tree.

Red B.—

Tarrietia trifoliata, F. v. M., N.O. Sterculiaceae.

She B.—

Cryptocazya obovata, R. Br., H.0. Laurineae, B. Fl., called also Bastard Sycamore.

White B.—

Elaeocarpus kirtoni, F. v. M., N.O. Tiliaceae, called also Mountain Ash.

(3) In New Zealand, there are six species of true beeches, which according to Kirk are as follows—

Blair's B.—

Fagus blairii, T. Kirk.

Entire-leaved B.—

F. solandri, Hook. f.

Mountain B.—

F. cliffortioides, Hook. f.

Pointed-leaved B.—

F. apiculata, Colenso.

Silver B.—

F. Menziesii, Hook. f.

Tooth-leaved B.—

F. fusca, Hook. f.

All these, however, are commonly called Birches.

See also the words Ash, Myrtle, Sassafras.

Bee-eater, n. a bird-name. The European Bee-eater is Merops apiaster; the Australian species is Merops ornatus, Lath. The bird was called "M. phrygius, the Embroidered Merops," by Shaw.

1793. G. Shaw, 'Zoology [and Botany] of New Holland,' p. 14:

"Specific character.—Black Merops varied with yellow. The bird figured in its natural size on the present plate is a species of Merops or Bee-eater; a tribe which appears to be peculiarly prevalent in the extensive regions of Australia, since more birds of this genus have been discovered than of any other, except the very numerous one of Psittacus."

[The birds, however, have been since this date further differentiated, and are now all classed in other genera, except the present species.]

1790. J. White, 'Voyage to New South Wales,' p. 144:

"The wattled bee-eater, of which a plate is annexed, fell in our way during the course of the day. . . . Under the eye, on each side, is a kind of wattle of an orange colour. . . This bird seems to be peculiar to New Holland."

Ibid. p. 190:

"We this day shot a knob-fronted bee-eater (see plate annexed). This is about the size of a black-bird." [Description follows.]

Beef-wood, n. the timber of various Australian trees, especially of the genus Casuarina, and some of the Banksias; often used as a synonym of She-oak (q.v.). The name is taken from the redness of the wood.

1826. J. Atkinson, 'Agriculture and Grazing in New South Wales,' p. 31:

"The wood is well known in England by the names of Botany Bay wood, or beef wood.The grain is very peculiar, but the wood is thought very little of in the colony; it makes good shingles, splits, in the colonial phrase, from heart to bark . . ."

1833. C. Sturt, 'Southern Australia,' vol. i. c. i. p. 22:

"They seemed to be covered with cypresses and beef-wood."

1846. C. Holtzapffel, 'Turning,' vol. i. p. 74:

"Beef wood. Red-coloured woods are sometimes thus named, but it is generally applied to the Botany-Bay oak."

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

"A shingle of the beef-wood looks precisely like a raw beef-steak."

1856. Capt. H. Butler Stoney, 'A Residence in Tasmania,' p. 265:

"We now turn our attention to some trees of a very different nature, Casuarina stricta and quadrivalvis, commonly called He and She oak, and sometimes known by the name of beef-wood, from the wood, which is very hard and takes a high polish, exhibiting peculiar maculae spots and veins scattered throughout a finely striated tint . . ."

1868. Paxton's 'Botanical Dictionary,' p. 116:

"Casuarinaceae,or Beefwoods. Curious branching, leafless trees or shrubs, with timber of a high order, which is both hard and heavy, and of the colour of raw beef, whence the vulgar name."

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants.' (See 'Index of vernacular names.')

Belar, n. (various spellings, Belah, billa, beela, beal), an aboriginal name for the tree Casuarina glauca. The colonists call the tree Bull-oak, probably from this native name.

1862. H. C. Kendall, 'Poems,' p. 18:

"A voice in the beela grows wild in its wail."

1868. J. A. B., 'Meta,' p. 19:

"With heartfelt glee we hail the camp, And blazing fire of beal."

[Footnote]: "Aboriginal name of the gum-tree wood."

1874. W. H. L. Ranken, 'Dominion of Australia,' c. vi. p. 110:

"These scrubs . . . sometimes crown the watersheds as 'belar.'"

Bell-bird, n. name given to several birds, from their note, like the tinkling of a bell. In Australia, a Honey-eater, Myzantha melanophrys, Gould ('Birds of Australia,' vol. iv. pl. 80), the 'Australian Bell-bird' (the same bird as Myzantha flavirostris, V. and H.), chiefly found in New South Wales; also Oreoica gutturalis, Gould (vol. ii. pl. 81), the 'Bell-bird' of Western Australia; and Oreoica cristata, Lewin. In New Zealand, Anthornis melanura, Sparrm., chief Maori names, Korimako (q.v.) in North, and Makomako in South. Buller gives ten Maori names. The settlers call it Moko (q.v.). There is also a Bell-bird in Brazil.

1774. J. Hawkesworth, 'Voyages,' vol. ii. p. 390 [Journal of Jan. 17, 1770):

"In the morning we were awakened by the singing of the birds; the number was incredible, and they seemed to strain their throats in emulation of each other. This wild melody was infinitely superior to any that we had ever heard of the same kind; it seemed to be like small bells most exquisitely tuned, and perhaps the distance, and the water between, might be no small advantage to the sound. Upon enquiry we were informed that the birds here always began to sing about two hours after midnight, and continuing their music till sunrise were, like our nightingales, silent the rest of the day."

[This celebrated descriptive passage by Dr. Hawkesworth is based upon the following original from 'Banks's Journal,' which now, after an interval of 122 years, has just been published in London, edited by Sir J. D. Hooker.]

1770. J. Banks, 'Journal,' Jan. 17 (edition 1896):

"I was awakened by the singing of the birds ashore, from whence we are distant not a quarter of a mile. Their numbers were certainly very great. They seemed to strain their throats with emulation, and made, perhaps, the most melodious wild music I have ever heard, almost imitating small bells, but with the most tunable silver sound imaginable, to which, maybe, the distance was no small addition. On inquiring of our people, I was told that they had observed them ever since we had been here, and that they began to sing about one or two in the morning, and continue till sunrise, after which they are silent all day, like our nightingales."

1802. G. Barrington, 'History of New South Wales,' c. viii. p. 84:

"The cry of the bell-bird seems to be unknown here."

1827. Vigors and Horsfield, 'Transactions of Linnaean Society,' vol. xv. p. 319:

"Mr. Caley thus observes on this bird: 'Dell-bird or Bell-bird. So called by the colonists. It is an inhabitant of bushes, where its disagreeable noise (disagreeable at least to me) [but not to the poets] may be continually heard; but nowhere more so than on going up the harbour to Paramatta, when a little above the Flats.'"

1835. T. B. Wilson, 'Voyage Round the World,' p. 259:

"During the night, the bell bird supplied, to us, the place of the wakeful nightingale . . . a pleasing surprise, as we had hitherto supposed that the birds in New Holland were not formed for song."

1839. E. J. Wakefield, 'Adventures in New Zealand,' p. 23:

"Every bough seemed to throng with feathered musicians: the melodious chimes of the bell-bird were specially distinct."

1845. R. Howitt, 'Australia,' p. 102:

"Look at the bell-bird's nest, admire the two spotted salmon coloured eggs."

Ibid. ('Verses written whilst we lived in tents'), p. 171:

"Through the Eucalyptus shade, Pleased could watch the bell-bird's flutter, Blending with soft voice of waters The delicious tones they utter."

1846. Lady Martin, 'Bush journey, 1846, Our Maoris,' p. 93:

"We did hear the birds next morning as Captain Cook had described —first the bell-bird gave its clear, full note, and then came such a jargoning as made one's heart glad."

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. ii. pl. 81:

"Oreoica gutturalis, Gould. Crested Oreoica. Bell-bird, Colonists of Swan River [Western Australia]. . . I find the following remarks in my note-book— 'Note, a very peculiar piping whistle, sounding like weet-weet-weet-weet-oo, the last syllable fully drawn out and very melodious. . . . In Western Australia, where the real Bell-bird is never found, this species has had that appellation given to it,—a term which must appear ill-applied to those who have heard the note of the true Bell-bird of the brushes of New South Wales, whose tinkling sound so nearly resembles that of a distant sheep-bell as occasionally to deceive the ears of a practised shepherd."

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

"Every now and then we stood, by common consent, silent and almost breathless, to listen to the bell-bird, a dingy little fellow, nearly as large as a thrush with the plumage of a chaffinch, but with such a note! How can I make you hear its wild, sweet, plaintive tone, as a little girl of the party said 'just as if it had a bell in its throat;' but indeed it would require a whole peal of silver bells to ring such an exquisite chime."

1868. F. Napier Broome, 'Canterbury Rhymes,' second edition, p. 108:

"Where the bell-bird sets solitudes ringing, Many times I have heard and thrown down My lyre in despair of all singing."

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 21:

"Listen to the bell-bird. Ping, ping, sounds through the vast hushed temple of nature."

1883. G. W. Rusden, 'History of Australia,' vol. i. p. 81:

"The bell-bird, with metallic but mellow pipe, warns the wanderer that he is near water in some sequestered nook."

1886. H. C. Kendall, 'Poems,' p. 8:

"And softer than slumber and sweeter than singing, The notes of the bell-bird are running and ringing."

1888. W. L. Buller, 'Birds of New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 85:

"Anthornis melanura. Chatham Island Bell-bird (A. Melanocephala), the Bell-bird—so-called from the fanciful resemblance of one of its notes to the distant tolling of a bell."

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

"Bell-bird, Korimako,or Makomako (Anthornis melanura), is still common in many parts of the South Island—e.g. in the neighbourhood of Dunedin; but has almost disappeared from the North Island. Its song is remarkably fine."

1893. W. P. Reeves, 'The Passing of the Forest,' 'Review of Reviews,' Feb. 1893, p. 45:

"Gone are the forest birds, arboreal things, Eaters of honey, honey-sweet in song; The tui, and the bell-bird—he who sings That brief rich music one would fain prolong.'

1896. G. A. Keartland, 'Horne Expedition in Central Australia,' Part II., Zoology, Aves, p. 74:

"In the north they [Oreoica] are frequently called 'Bell-birds,' but bear no resemblance to Manorhina melanophrys in plumage, shape, or note. The Oreoica is such an accomplished ventriloquist that it is difficult to find."

Bell-bottomed, adj. a particular fashion of trouser affected by the larrikin (q.v.).

1891. 'The Argus,' Dec. 5, p. 13, col. 2:

"Can it be that the pernicious influence of the House is gradually tingeing the high priests of the bell-bottomed ballottee with conservatism!"

Bell-Frog, Golden, n. See Golden Bell-Frog.

Bell-topper, n. The ordinary Australian name for the tall silk-hat.

1860. W. Kelly, 'Life in Victoria,' p. 268 [Footnote]:

"Bell-topper was the derisive name given by diggers to old style hat, supposed to indicate the dandy swell."

Benjamin, n. a husband, in Australian pigeon-English.

1870. Chas. H. Allen, 'A Visit to Queensland and her Goldfields,' p. 182:

"There are certain native terms that are used by the whites also as a kind of colonial slang, such as 'yabber,' to talk; 'budgeree,' good; 'bale,' no; 'yan,' to go; 'cabon,' much; and so on.

"With the black people a husband is now called a 'benjamin,' probably because they have no word to their own language to express this relationship."

Benjamin-Tree, n. also called Weeping Fig in Queensland, Ficus benjaminea, Linn., N.O. Urticaceae.

Bent-grass. n. See Grass.

1835. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 65:

"Agrostis virginica. Virginian Agrostis, or Bent-grass. . . . Many species of this genus go under the general name of Bent-grass. Their roots spread along among light and sandy soil in which they generally grow with joints like the Squitch or Couch grass of England."

Berigora, n. aboriginal name for a bird of genus Falco, from beri, claw, and gora, long. See Hawk

1827. Vigors and Horsfield, 'Transactions of Linnaean Society,' vol. xv. p. 185:

"The native name of this bird which we have adopted as its specific name, is Berigora. It is called by the settlers Orange-speckled Hawk."

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' I. i. pl. 11:

"Hieracidea berigora. Brown Hawk. Berigora, Aborigines of New South Wales. Orange-speckled Hawk of the Colonists."

Berley, n. term used by Australian fishermen for ground bait. It is probably of aboriginal origin.

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish and Fisheries of New South Wales,' p. 75:

"With hook and line along the rocks of our sea-coast these fishes are caught, but the bait should be crabs. It is usual to wrench legs and shell off the back, and cast them out for Berley."

1896. 'Badminton Magazine,' August, p. 201:

"I would signal to the sharks by opening and washing out a few of the largest fish at the boat's head, sometimes adding bait chopped small to serve for what Australian fishermen call Berley."

Betcherrygah, n. bird-name, Melopsittacus undulatus, Shaw. See Budgerigar.

Bettongia, n. the scientific name of the genus of Prehensile-tailed Kangaroo-Rats, whose aboriginal name is Bettong. They are the only ground-dwelling marsupials with prehensile tails, which they use for carrying bunches of grasses and sticks. See Kangaroo-Rat.

Biddy-biddy, or Biddybid, n. a corruption of Maori name piripiri. It is a kind of bur.

1880. T. H. Potts, 'Out in the Open, 'New Zealand Country Journal,' vol. xii. p. 95:

"Piri-piri (acaena sanguisorbe) by settlers has been converted or corrupted into biddy-biddy; a verb has been formed on it, which is in very constant use for a good part of the year at least. To biddy, is to rid one of burrs, as 'I'll just biddy my clothes before I come in.' Small birds are occasionally found in a wretched state of discomfort in which they appear a moving mass of burrs. Parroquets, pipets, and the little white-eyes, have been found victims suffering from these tenacious burrs of the piri-piri, just moving little brown balls unable to fly till picked up and released from their bonds."

1896. 'Otago Witness,' Jan. 23, vol. ii. p. 36:

"Yes, biddybids detract very materially from the value of the wool, and the plant should not be allowed to seed where sheep are depastured. They are not quite so bad as the Bathurst burr, but they are certainly in the same category."

Biddy, v. See Biddy-biddy, n.

Bidgee Widgee, n. name given to a Tasmanian Bur (q.v.).

Bidyan Ruffe, n. a fresh-water fish of New South Wales, Therapon richardsonii, Castln., family Percidae. Mr. J. Douglas Ogilby, Assistant Zoologist at the Australian Museum, Sydney, says in a letter "The Bidyan Ruffe of Sir Thomas Mitchell is our Therapon ellipticus, Richards (T. richardsonii, Castln.). Found in all the rivers of the Murray system, and called Kooberry by the natives." It is also called the Silver Perch and sometimes Bream.

1838. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions,' vol. i. p. 95 [Note]:

"Bidyan is the aboriginal name."

Ibid. vol. i. p. 135:

"Abundance of that which the men commonly called bream (Cernua bidyana), a very coarse but firm fish, which makes a groaning noise when taken out of the water."

Big-head, n. a fish. The name is used locally for various fishes; in Australia it is Eleotris nudiceps, Castln., family Gobiidae, a river fish. Of the genus Eleotris, Guenther says that as regards form they repeat almost all the modifications observed among the Gobies, from which they differ only in having the ventral fins non-coalescent. See Bull-head (2).

Billabong, n. an effluent from a river, returning to it, or often ending in the sand, in some cases running only in flood time.

In the Wiradhuri dialect of the centre of New South Wales, East coast, billa means a river and bung dead. See Bung. Billa is also a river in some Queensland dialects, and thus forms part of the name of the river Belyando. In the Moreton Bay dialect it occurs in the form pill , and in the sense of 'tidal creek.' In the 'Western Australian Almanack' for 1842, quoted in J. Fraser's 'Australian Language,' 1892, Appendix, p. 50, Bilo is given for River.

Billabong is often regarded as a synonym for Anabranch (q.v.); but there is a distinction. From the original idea, the Anabranch implies rejoining the river; whilst the Billabong implies continued separation from it; though what are called Billabongs often do rejoin.

1862. W. Landsborough, 'Exploration of Australia,' p. 30:

"A dried-up tributary of the Gregory, which I named the Macadam."

[Footnote]: "In the south, such a creek as the Macadam is termed a billy-bonn [sic], from the circumstance of the water carrier returning from it with his pitcher (billy) empty (bong, literally dead)."

1865. W. Howitt, 'Discovery in Australia, vol. i. p. 298:

"What the Major calls, after the learned nomenclature of Colonel Jackson, in the 'Journal of the Geographical Society,' anabranches, but which the natives call billibongs, channels coming out of a stream and returning into it again."

1880. P. J. Holdsworth, 'Station Hunting on the Warrego:'

"In yon great range may huddle billabongs."

1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 25:

"What a number of swallows skim about the 'billabongs' along the rivers in this semi-tropical region."

1893. 'The Argus,' April 8, p. 4, col. 1:

"Let's make a start at once, d'ye hear; I want to get over to the billabong by sunrise."

Billet, n. an appointment, a position; a very common expression in Australia, but not confined to Australia; adapted from the meaning, "an official order requiring the person to whom it is addressed to provide board and lodging for the soldier bearing it." ('O.E.D.')

1890. E. W. Hornung, 'A Bride from the Bush,' p. 267:

"If ever she went back to Australia, she'd remember my young man, and get him a good billet."

Billy, n. a tin pot used as a bushman's kettle. The word comes from the proper name, used as abbreviation for William. Compare the common uses of 'Jack,' 'Long Tom,' 'Spinning Jenny.' It came into use about 1850. It is not used in the following.

1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 48:

"He then strikes a light and makes a fire to boil his kettle and fry his bacon."

About 1850, the billy superseded the quart-pot (q.v.), chiefly because of its top-handle and its lid. Another suggested derivation is that billy is shortened from billycan, which is said to be bully-can (sc. Fr. bouili). In the early days "boeuf bouilli" was a common label on tins of preserved meat in ship's stores. These tins, called "bully-tins," were used by diggers and others as the modern billy is (see quotation 1835). A third explanation gives as the origin the aboriginal word billa (river or water).

1835. T. B. Wilson, 'Voyage Round the World,' p. 238:

"An empty preserved meat-canister serving the double purpose of tea-kettle and tea-pot."

[The word billy is not used, but its origin is described.]

1857. W. Howitt, 'Tallangetta,' vol. i. p. 202:

"A tin pan bearing the familiar name of a billy."

1871 J. J. Simpson, 'Recitations,' p. 5:

"He can't get a billy full for many a mile round."

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 41:

"A billy (that is a round tin pitcher with a lid) in his hand."

1889. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol. iv. p. 69:

"A tin can, which the connoisseurs call for some reason or other a 'billy.'"

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Squatter's Dream,' p. 24:

"A very black camp-kettle, or billy, of hot tea."

1892. 'The Australasian,' April 9, p. 707, col. 4:

"How we praised the simple supper (we prepared it each in turn), And the tea! Ye gods! 'twas nectar. Yonder billy was our urn."

Billy-can, n. a variation of the above, more used by townsmen than bushmen.

1892. 'The Australasian,' April 9, p. 707, col. 4:

"But I said, 'Dear friend and brother, yonder billy-can is mine; You may confiscate the washing that is hanging on the line, You may depredate the larder, take your choice of pot and pan; But, I pray thee, kind sundowner, spare, oh spare, my billy-can.'"

Bingy [g soft], n. stomach or belly. Aboriginal. The form at Botany Bay was bindi; at Jervis Bay, binji.

1851. Rev. David Mackenzie, 'Ten Years in Australia,' p. 140:

"They lay rolling themselves on the ground, heavily groaning in pain, and with their hands rubbing their bellies, exclaiming, 'Cabonn buggel along bingee' (that is, I am very sick in the stomach)."

Birch, n. In New Zealand, the trees called birches are really beeches (q.v.), but the term birch is used very vaguely; see quotation 1889. In Tasmania, the name is applied to Dodonaea ericifolia, Don., N.O. Sapindaceae.

1853. J. Hector, 'Handbook of New Zealand,' p. 125:

"White-birch of Nelson and Otago (from colour of bark), Black-heart Birch of Wellington, Fagus solandri, Hook, a lofty, beautiful ever-green tree, 100 feet high. Black-birch (Tawhai) of Auckland and Otago (from colour of bark), Red-birch of Wellington and Nelson (from colour of timber), Fagus fusca, N.O. Cupuliferae, a noble tree 60 to 90 feet high."

1889. T. Kirk, 'Forest Flora of New Zealand,' p. 91:

"Like all small-leaved forest trees it [Fagus solandri, Hook. f.] is termed 'birch' by the bushman. . . . It is not too much to say that the blundering use of common names in connection with the New Zealand beeches, when the timber has been employed in bridges and constructive works, has caused waste and loss to the value of many thousands of pounds."

Bird-catching Plant, n. a New Zealand shrub or tree, Pisonia brunoniana, Endl., N.O. Nyctagineae; Maori name, Parapara.

1883. R. H. Govett, 'Transactions of the New Zealand Institute,' vol. xvi. Art. xxviii. p. 364::

"A Bird-killing Tree. . . . In a shrub growing in my father's garden at New Plymouth, two Silver-eyes (Zosterops) and an English Sparrow had been found with their wings so glued by the sticky seed-vessels that they were unable to move, and could only fly away after having been carefully washed."

1889. T. Kirk, 'Forest Flora of New Zealand,' p. 293:

"It is sometimes termed the 'birdcatching plant' by settlers and bushmen . . . It will always be a plant of special interest, as small birds are often found captured by its viscid fruits, to which their feathers become attached as effectively as if they were glued."

Bird's-nest fungus, n. a small fungus of the genus Cyathus, four species of which occur in Queensland.

Bitter-Bark, n. an Australian tree, Petalostigma quadrilo culare, F. v. M., N.O. Euphorbiacea. Called also Crab-tree, Native Quince, Emu apple, and Quinine-tree. The bark contains a powerful bitter essence, which is used medicinally. The name is also applied to Tabernaemontana orientalis, R. Br., N.O. Apocyneae, and to Alstonia constricta, F. v. M., N.O. Aporynacece, which is also called Feverbark.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 204:

"Bitter Bark. This small tree has an intensely bitter bark, and a decoction of it is sometimes sold as 'bitters."

Bitter-Leaf, n. a Tasmanian name for the Native Hop. See Hops and Hopbush.

Bittern, n. bird-name well known in England. The Australian species are—

The Bittern—

Botaurus paeciloptilus, Wagl.

Black B.—

Butoroides flavicollis, Lath.

Green B.—

B. javanica, Horsfield.

Little B.—

Ardetta pusilla, Vieill.

Blackberry, Native, or Bramble, n. called also Raspberry. Three species of the genus Rubus occur in Queensland—Rubus moluccanus, Linn., R. parvifolius, Linn., R.

rosifolius, Smith, N.O. Rosaceae See also Lawyer.

Blackbird, n. "A cant name for a captive negro, or Polynesian, on board a slave or pirate ship." ('O.E.D.') But no instance is given of its use for a negro.

1871. 'Narrative of the Voyage of the Brig Carl' [pamphlet]

"They were going to take a cruise round the islands 'black-bird' catching."

1872. 'The Argus,' Dec. 21, Supplement, p. 2, col. 1 [Chief Justice's charge in the case of the 'Carl Outrage']:

"They were not going pearl-fishing but blackbird-hunting. It is said you should have evidence as to what blackbird-hunting meant. I think it is a grievous mistake to pretend to ignorance of things passing before our eyes everyday. We may know the meaning of slang words, though we do not use them. Is there not a wide distinction between blackbird-hunting and a legitimate labour-trade, if such a thing is to be carried on? What did he allude to? To get labourers honestly if they could, but, if not, any way?"

1881. 'Chequered Career,' p.188 ('O.E.D.')

"The white men on board know that if once the 'blackbirds' burst the hatches . . . they would soon master the ship."

Black-birding, n. kidnapping natives of South Sea islands for service in Queensland plantations.

1871. 'Narrative of the Voyage of the Brig Carl' [pamphlet]:

"All the three methods, however, of obtaining labour in the South Seas—that which was just and useful, that which was of suspicious character, and that which was nothing, more or less, than robbery and murder—were in use the same time, and all three went by the same general slang term of 'blackbirding,' or 'blackbird catching.'"

1872. Rev. H. S. Fagan, 'The Dark Blue' (Magazine), June, p. 437:

"Well, you see how it is that C is not safe, even though he is a missionary bishop, after A has made the name of missionary an offence by his ingenious mode of 'black-birding.'"

1892. Gilbert Parker, 'Round the Compass in Australia,' p. 78:

"In the early days of sugar-planting there may have been black-birding, but it was confined to a very few, and it is done away with altogether now."

Black-birding, adj.

1883. 'The Academy,' Sept. 8, p. 158 ('O.E.D.')

"[He] slays Bishop Patteson by way of reprisal for the atrocities of some black-birding crew."

Blackboy, n. a grass-tree. Name applied to all species of the genus Xanthorroea, but especially to X. preissii, Endl., N.O. Liliaceae. Compare Maori-head.

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discovery in Australia,' ii. 4, 132:

"Black Boy . . . gum on the spear, resin on the trunk."

Ibid. ii. 12, 280 [Note]

"These trees, called blackboys by the colonists, from the resemblance they bear in the distance to natives."

1873. A. Trollope, 'Australia and New Zealand,' vol. ii. p. 92:

"Gas admirably fitted for domestic purposes had been extracted from the shrub called the 'blackboy.' I regret to state that the gas . . . is not . . . at present known in the colony."

1886. R. Henty, 'Australiana,' p. 15:

"The common grass-tree or 'blackboy,' so called from its long dark stem and dark seed head (when dry)."

1896. 'The Australasian,' Feb. 15, p. 313 (with an Illustration):

"The Blackboy trees are a species of grass-tree or Xanthorrhoea, exuding a gummy substance used by the blacks for fastening glass and quartz-barbs to their spears. Many years ago, when coal was scarce in Western Australia, an enterprising firm . . . erected a gas-making plant, and successfully lit their premises with gas made from the Blackboy."

1896. Modern:

A story is told of a young lady saying to a naval officer:— "I was this morning watching your ship coming into harbour, and so intently that I rode over a young blackboy." The officer was shocked at her callousness in expressing no contrition.

Black-Bream, n. an Australian fish, Chrysophrys australis, Gunth., family Sparidae, or Sea-Breams; called in Tasmania Silver-Bream, the fish there called Black-Bream being another of the Sparidae, Girella tricuspidata, Cuv. and Val. See Tarwhine and Black-fish.

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish of New South Wales,' p. 42:

"Chrysophrys comprises the tarwhine and black-bream of the Sydney fishermen. . . . We have two species in Australia. . . . The black-bream, C. australis, Gunth., and the tarwhine, C. sarba, Forsk. . . . The Australian bream is as common on the south as on the east coast. It affords excellent sport to anglers in Victoria."

Blackbutt, n. Eucalyptus pilularis, Smith, Victoria; E. regnans, F. v. M., New South Wales; a timber tree, a gum. Another name is Flintwood. The lower part of the trunk is black.

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 49:

"The range . . . having with the exception of the Blackbutt all the trees . . . of Moreton Bay."

1863. M. K. Beveridge, 'Gatherings among Gum-trees,' p. 86:

"'Tis there the 'blackbut' rears its head."

1894. 'Melbourne Museum Catalogue, Economic Woods,' p. 30:

"A tree of considerable size. . . The bark smooth and falling off in flakes upward, and on the branches."

1897. 'The Age,' Feb. 22, p. 5, col. 3:

"Mr. Richards stated that the New South Wales black butt and tallow wood were the most durable and noiseless woods for street-paving, as well as the best from a sanitary point of view."

Black-Cod, n. a New Zealand fish, Notothenia angustata.

Blackfellow, n. an aboriginal Australian.

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discovery in Australia,' i. 4, 74:

"The native Miago . . . appeared delighted that these 'black fellows,' as he calls them, have no throwing sticks."

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 9:

"The well-known tracks of blackfellows are everywhere visible."

1871. Dingo, 'Australian Rhymes,' p. 14:

"Wurragaroo loved Wangaraday In a blackfellow's own peculiar way."

Black-Fern, n. The Tasmanian species so called is Athyrium australe, Presl., N.O. Polypodeae.

Black-fish, n. The name is given, especially in Sydney, to the sea-fishes Girella simplex, Richards (see Ludrick), and Girella tricuspidata, Cuv. and Val.; also to a fresh-water fish all over Australia, Gadopsis marmoratus, Richards. G. marmoratus is very common in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and parts of Tasmania. There are local varieties. It is much esteemed as a food fish, but is, like all mud fishes, rich and oily. Girella belongs to the family Sparida, or Sea-Breams, and Gadopsis to the Gadopsidae, a family allied to that containing the Cod fishes. The name was also formerly applied to a whale.

1853. C. St. Julian and E. K. Silvester, 'Productions, Industry, and Resources of New South Wales,' p. 115:

"There is a species of whale called by those engaged in the south sea fishing the Black-fish or Black-whale, but known to the naturalist as the Southern Rorqual, which the whalemen usually avoid."

1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 100

"Nothing is better eating than a properly cooked black-fish. The English trout are annihilating them, however."

Black-Line. See Black-War.

Black-Perch, n. a river fish of New South Wales. Therapon niger, Castln., family Percidae. A different fish from those to which the name is applied elsewhere. See Perch.

Black-and-white Ringed Snake. See under Snake.

Black Rock-Cod, n. an Australian fish, chiefly of New South Wales, Serranus daemeli, Gunth.; a different fish from the Rock-Cod of the northern hemisphere. The Serrani belong to the family Percidae, and are commonly called "Sea-perches."

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish of New South Wales,' p. 33:

"The genus Serranus comprises most of the fishes known as 'rock cod.'. . . One only is sufficiently useful as an article of food to merit notice, and that is the 'black rock cod' (Serranus damelii, Guenther), without exception the very best of all our fishes."

Black-Snake. See under Snake.

Black-Swan. See Swan.

Black Thursday, the day of a Victorian conflagration, which occurred on Feb. 6, 1851. The thermometer was 112 degrees in the shade. Ashes from the fire at Macedon, 46 miles away, fell in Melbourne. The scene forms the subject of the celebrated picture entitled "Black Thursday," by William Strutt, R.B.A.

1859. Rev. J. D. Mereweather, 'Diary of a Working Clergyman in Australia,' p. 81:

"Feb. 21 . . . Dreadful details are reaching us of the great bush fires which took place at Port Phillip on the 6th of this month . . . . Already it would seem that the appellation of 'Black Thursday' has been given to the 6th February, 1851, for it was on that day that the fires raged with the greatest fury."

1889. Rev. J. H. Zillman, 'Australian Life,' p. 39:

"The old colonists still repeat the most terrible stories of Black Thursday, when the whole country seemed to be on fire. The flames leaped from tree to tree, across creeks, hills, and gullies, and swept everything away. Teams of bullocks in the yoke, mobs of cattle and horses, and even whole families of human beings, in their bush-huts, were completely destroyed, and the charred bones alone found after the wind and fire had subsided."

Black-Tracker, n. an aboriginal employed in tracking criminals.

1867. 'Australia as it is,' pp. 88-9:

"The native police, or 'black trackers,' as they are sometimes called, are a body of aborigines trained to act as policemen, serving under a white commandant—a very clever expedient for coping with the difficulty . . . of hunting down and discovering murderous blacks, and others guilty of spearing cattle and breaking into huts . . ."

1870. 'The Argus,' March 26, p. 5, col. 4:

"The troopers, with the assistance of two black trackers, pursued the bushrangers . . ."

1870. Ibid. April 13, p. 6, col. 7:

. . . two members of the police force and a black tracker . . . called at Lima station . . ."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right,' c. xvii. p. 165:

"Get the black-trackers on the trail."

1893. 'The Argus,' April 8, p. 4, col. 3 .

"Only three weeks before he had waddied his gin to death for answering questions put to her by a blacktracker, and now he advanced to Charlie . . . and said,. . . 'What for you come alonga black fella camp?'"

1896. 'The Argus,' March 30, p. 6, col. 9:

"About one hundred and fifty horsemen have been out to-day in addition to the local police. The black-trackers arrived by the train last night, and commenced work this morning."

Black-Trevally. See Trevally.

Black-War, or Black-Line, a military operation planned in 1830 by Governor Arthur for the capture of the Tasmanian aborigines. A levy en masse of the colonists was ordered. About 5000 men formed the "black line," which advanced across the island from north to south-east, with the object of driving the tribes into Tasman's Peninsula. The operation proved a complete failure, two blacks only being captured at a cost to the Government of L 30,000.

1835. H. Melville, 'History of Van Diemen's Land,' p. 103:

"The parties forming the 'black line,' composed, as they were, of a curious melange of masters and servants, took their respective stations at the appointed time. As the several parties advanced, the individuals along the line came closer and closer together —the plan was to keep on advancing slowly towards a certain peninsula, and thus frighten the Aborigines before them, and hem them in."

1852. J. West, 'History of Tasmania,' vol, ii. p. 54:

"Thus closed the Black War. This campaign of a month supplied many adventures and many an amusing tale, and, notwithstanding the gravity of his Excellency, much fun and folly . . . . Five thousand men had taken the field. Nearly L 30,000 had been expended, and probably not much less in time and outlay by the settlers, and two persons only were captured."

Black Wednesday, n. a political phrase for a day in Victoria (Jan. 9, 1878), when the Government without notice dismissed many Civil Servants, including heads of departments, County Court judges and police magistrates, on the ground that the Legislative Council had not voted the money for their salaries.

1878. 'Melbourne Punch,' May 16, vol. xlvi. p. 195 [Title of Cartoon]:

"In Memoriam. Black Wednesday, 9th January 1878."

1896. 'The Argus,' [Sydney telegram] Aug. 18, p. 6, col. 4:

"The times in the public service at present reminded him of Black Wednesday in Victoria, which he went through. That caused about a dozen suicides among public servants. Here it had not done so yet, but there was not a head of a department who did not now shake in his shoes."

Blackwood, n. an Australian timber, Acacia melanoxylon, R. Br.; often called Lightwood; it is dark in colour but light in weight.

1828. 'Report of Van Diemen's Land Company,' Bischoff, 'Van Diemen's Land, 1832,' p. 118

"Without a tree except a few stumps of blackwood."

1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' p. 21:

"Grassy slopes thickly timbered with handsome Blackwood trees."

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 359:

"Called 'Blackwood' on account of the very dark colour of the mature wood."

1894. 'Melbourne Museum Catalogue, Economic Woods,' p. 4:

"Blackwood, Lightwood—rather frequent on many rich river-flats . . . .It is very close-grained and heavy, and is useful for all purposes where strength and flexibility are required."

Bladder Saltbush, n. a Queensland shrub, Atriplex vesicarium, Heward, N.O. Salsolaceae. The Latin and vernacular names both refer to "the bladdery appendage to fruiting perianth." (Bailey.) See Saltbush.

Blandfordia, n. the scientific name of the Gordon-Lily (see under Lily). The plant was named after George, Marquis of Blandford, son of the second Duke of Marlborough. The Tasmanian aboriginals called the plant Remine, which name has been given to a small port where it grows in profusion on the west coast.

Bleeding-Heart, n. another name for the Kennedya (q.v.).

1896. 'The Melburnian,' Aug. 28, p. 53:

"The trailing scarlet kennedyas, aptly called the 'bleeding- heart' or 'coral-pea,' brighten the greyness of the sandy peaty wastes."

Blight. See Sandy-blight.

Blight-bird, n. a bird-name in New Zealand for the Zosterops (q.v.). Called also Silver-eye (q.v.), Wax-eye, and White-eye (q.v.). It is called Blight-bird because it eats the blight on trees.

1882. T. H. Potts, 'Out in the Open,' p. 130:

"The white-eye or blight-bird, with cheerful note, in crowded flocks, sweeps over the face of the country, and in its progress clears away multitudes of small insect pests."

1885. A. Hamilton, 'Native Birds of Petane, Hawke's Bay,' 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. xviii. p. 125:

"Zosterops lateralis, white-eye, blight-bird. One of our best friends, and abundant in all parts of the district."

1888. W. L. Buller, 'Birds of New Zealand,' (2nd ed.) vol. i. p. 82:

"By the settlers it has been variously designated as Ring-eye, Wax-eye, White-eye, or Silver-eye, in allusion to the beautiful circlet of satiny-white feathers which surrounds the eyes; and quite as commonly the 'Blightbird' or 'Winter-migrant.' . . . It feeds on that disgusting little aphis known as American blight, which so rapidly covers with a fatal cloak of white the stems and branches of our best apple-trees; it clears our early cabbages of a pestilent little insect, that left unchecked would utterly destroy the crop; it visits our gardens and devours another swarming parasite that covers our roses."

Blind Shark, or Sand Shark, n. i.q. Shovel-nose (q.v.).

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods 'Fish and Fisheries of New South Wales, p. 97:

"Rhinobatus granulatus or shovel-nose, which is properly speaking a Ray, is called here the blind or sand shark, though, as Mr. Hill remarks, it is not blind. He says 'that it attains the length of from 6 to 7 feet, and is also harmless, armed only with teeth resembling small white beads secured closely upon a cord; it however can see tolerably well, and searches on sandy patches for crustaceae and small shell fish.'"

1886. J. Douglas-Ogilby, 'Catalogue of the Fishes of New South Wales,' p. 5:

"Rhinobatus Granulatus . . . I have not seen a New South Wales example of this fish, which appears to have been confounded with the following by writers on the Australian fauna. Rhinobatus Bongainvillei, Muell and Heule, Habitat Port Jackson. Shovel-nosed Ray of Sydney fishermen."

Blind-your-Eyes, n. another name for the Milky Mangrove. See Mangrove.

, doing the, v. lounging in the fashionable promenade. In Melbourne, it is Collins Street, between Elizabeth and Swanston Streets. In Sydney, "The Block" is that portion of the city bounded by King, George, Hunter, and Pitt Streets. It is now really two blocks, but was all in one till the Government purchased the land for the present Post Office, and then opened a new street from George to Pitt Street. Since then the Government, having purchased more land, has made the street much wider, and it is now called Martin's Place.

1869. Marcus Clarke, 'Peripatetic Philosopher,' (in an Essay on 'Doing the Block') (reprint), p. 13:

"If our Victorian youth showed their appreciation for domestic virtues, Victorian womanhood would 'do the Block' less frequently."

1872. 'Glimpses of Life in Victoria by a Resident,' p. 349:

"A certain portion of Collins street, lined by the best drapers' and jewellers' shops, with here and there a bank or private office intervening, is known as 'the Block,' and is the daily resort of the belles and beaux. . . ."

1875. R. and F. Hill, 'What We Saw in Australia,' p. 267:

"To 'do the block' corresponds in Melbourne to driving in Hyde Park."

1876. Wm. Brackley Wildey, 'Australasia and the Oceanic Region,' p. 234:

"The streets are thronged with handsome women, veritable denizens of the soil, fashionably and really tastefully attired, 'doing the block,' patrolling Collins-street, or gracefully reclining in carriages. . . ."

1890. Tasma, 'In her Earliest Youth,' p. 126:

"You just do as I tell you, and we'll go straight off to town and 'do the block.'"

1894. 'The Herald' (Melbourne), Oct. 6, p. 6, col. 1:

"But the people doing the block this morning look very nice."

Block, on the.(1) On the promenade above referred to.

1896. 'The Argus,' July 17, p. 4. col. 7:

" We may slacken pace a little now and again, just as the busy man, who generally walks quickly, has to go slowly in the crowd on the Block."

(2) Term in mining, fully explained in 'The Miner's Right,' chapters vii. and viii.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'The Miner's Right,' p. 86:

"I declare the Liberator Lead to be 'on the block.'"

'Extract from Mining Regulation 22' (Ibid. p. 77):

"The ground shall be open for taking up claims in the block form."

Blood-bird, n. name given to the Sanguineous Honey-eater. See Honey-eater.

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. iv. pl. 63:

"Myzomela sanguinolenta, Sanguineous Honey-eater. Blood-bird of the Colonists of New South Wales."

Blood-sucker, n. popular name for certain species of Lizards belonging to the genus Amphibolurus (Grammatophora). Especially applied to A. muricata, Shaw.

1852. Mrs. Meredith, 'My Home in Tasmania,' vol. ii. p. 37:

"Another description of lizard is here vulgarly called the 'bloodsucker.' "

1890. F. McCoy, 'Prodromus of the Natural History of Victoria,' Dec. 12, pl. cxi.:

"Why the popular name of 'Bloodsucker' should be so universally given to this harmless creature by the Colonists (except on the locus a non lucendo principle) I cannot conceive."

1890. A. H. S. Lucas, 'Handbook of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science,' Melbourne, p. 70:

"Two species of 'blood sucker' so absurdly designated."

Blood-wood, or Blood-tree, n. a name applied, with various epithets, to many of the Gum-trees (q.v.), especially to—(1) Eucalyptus corymbosa, Smith, sometimes called Rough-barked bloodwood; (2) E. eximia, Schauer, Mountain or Yellow bloodwood; (3) Baloghia lucida, Endl., N.O. Euphorbiaceae, called Brush Bloodwood. The sap is blood-red, running copiously when cut across with a knife.

1827. Vigors and Horsfield, 'Transactions of Linnaean Society,' vol. xv. p. 271:

"The natives tell me it breeds in the winter in Mun'ning-trees or Blood-trees of the colonists (a species of Eucalyptus)."

1847. L.Leichhardt,' Overland Expedition,' p. 292:

"The bergue was covered with fine bloodwood trees, stringy-bark, and box."

1892. A. J. North, 'Proceedings of Linnaean Society,' New South Wales, vol. vii. series 2, p. 396:

"I traced her to a termite nest in a bloodwood tree (Eucalyptus corymbosa)."

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' 448:

"It [E. eximia] is called 'bloodwood,' partly because kino exudes in the concentric circles of the wood . . . partly because its fruits are in shape very similar to those of E. corymbosa."

Blow, n. stroke of the shears in sheep-shearing.

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

"The shearers must make their clip clean and thorough. If it be done so incompetently that a 'second blow' is needed, the fleece is hacked."

Blow,/2/ n. braggadocio, boasting.

1890. Lyth, 'Golden South,' viii. p. 71:

"Is there not very much that the Australian may well be proud of, and may we not commend him for a spice of blow?"

1891. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Sydney-Side Saxon,' p. 77:

"He can walk as fast as some horses can trot, cut out any beast that ever stood on a camp, and canter round a cheese-plate. This was a bit of blow."

1893. 'The Australasian,' Aug. 12, p. 102, col. 1:

"Now Digby Holland will think it was mere Australian blow."

Blow, v. to boast; abbreviated from the phrase "to blow your own trumpet." The word is not Australian though often so regarded. It is common in Scotland and in the United States.

1873. A. Trollope, 'Australia and New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 387:

"The blast of the trumpet as heard in Victoria is louder than all the blasts—and the Melbourne blast beats all the other blowing of that proud colony. My first, my constant, my parting advice to my Australian cousins is contained in two words, 'don't blow.'"

Blower, n. a boaster. (See Blow, v.)

1890. Rolf Boldrewood,' A Colonial Reformer,' p. 411:

"A regular Sydney man thinks all Victorians are blowers and speculators."

Blowing, verbal n. boasting.

1873. A. Trollope, 'Australia and New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 387:

"A fine art much cultivated in the colonies, for which the colonial phrase of 'blowing' has been created."

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. ii. p. 9:

"Blowing (that is, talking loudly and boastingly on any and every subject)."

1885. R. M. Praed, 'Australian Life,' p. 45:

"He was famous for 'blowing' in Australian parlance . . . of his exploits."

Bluebell, n. The name is given in Tasmania to the flower Wahlenbergia gracilis, De C., N.O. Campanulaceae.

Blueberry, n. i.q. Native Currant (q.v.). The name is also given to Dianella longifolia, R. Br., N.O. Liliaceae.

Blueberry Ash, n. a Victorian tree, Elaeocarpus holopetalus, F. v. M.

1894. 'Melbourne Museum Catalogue, Economic Woods,' p. 15:

"Blueberry Ash or Prickly Fig. A noble tree, attaining a height of 120 feet. Wood pale, fine-grained; exquisite for cabinet work."

Blue-bush, n. an Australian forage plant, a kind of Salt-bush, Kochia pyrainidata, Benth, N.O. Chenopodiaceae.

1876. W. Harcus. 'South Australia,' p. 124:

"[The country] would do splendidly for sheep, being thickly grassed with short fine grass, salt and blue bush, and geranium and other herbs."

Blue-Cod, n. name given to a New Zealand fish, Percis colias, family Trachinidae. Called also in New Zealand Rock-Cod (q.v.). The fish is of a different family from the Cod of the northern hemisphere.

Blue-creeper, n. name given to the creeper, Comesperma volubile, Lab., N.O. Campanulaceae.

Blue-eye, n. a bird name. The Blue faced Honey-eater (q.v.).

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. iv. pl. 68:

"Entomyza cyanotis, Swains. Blue-faced Entomyza. Blue-eye of the colonists."

Blue-fish, n. name given in Sydney to Girella cyanea, of the family Sparidae, or Sea-Breams. It is different from the Blue-fish of the American coasts, which is of the family Carangidae.

Blue-Groper, n. a fish of New South Wales and Tasmania, Cossyphus gouldii, one of the Labridae or Wrasses, often called Parrot-Fish in Australia. Called also Blue-head in Tasmania. Distinct from the fish called the Groper (q.v).

Blue-gum, n. See under Gum. It is an increasing practice to make a single word of this compound, and to pronounce it with accent on the first syllable, as 'wiseman,' 'goodman.'

Blue-head, n. Tasmanian name for the fish called the Blue-Groper (q.v.)

Blue Lobelia, n. The indigenous species in Tasmania which receives this name is Lobelia gibbosa, Lab., N.O. Campanulaceae.

Blue-pointer, n. a name given in New South Wales to a species of Shark, Lamna glauca, Mull. and Heule, family Lamnidae, which is not confined to Australasia.

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish of New South Wales,' p. 95:

"On the appearance of a 'blue pointer' among boats fishing for schnapper outside, the general cry is raised, 'Look out for the blue pointer.' . . . These are high swimming fishes, and may be readily seen when about pushing their pursuits; the beautiful azure tint of their back and sides, and independent manner they have of swimming rapidly and high among the boats in search of prey, are means of easy recognition, and they often drive the fishermen away."

Bluestone, n. a kind of dark stone of which many houses and public buildings are built.

1850. 'The Australasian' (Quarterly), Oct. [Footnote], p. 138:

"The ancient Roman ways were paved with polygonal blocks of a stone not unlike the trap or bluestone around Melbourne."

1855. R. Brough Smyth, 'Transactions of Philosophical Society, Victoria,' vol. i. p. 25:

"The basalt or 'bluestone,' which is well adapted to structural purposes, and generally obtains where durability is desired."

1883. J. Hector, 'Handbook to New Zealand,' p. 62:

"Basalts, locally called 'bluestones,' occur of a quality useful for road-metal, house-blocks, and ordinary rubble masonry."

1890. 'Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania,' p. xx. [Letter from Mr. S. H. Wintle]:

"The newer basalts, which in Victoria have filled up so extensively Miocene and Pliocene valleys, and river channels, are chiefly vesicular Zeolitic dolerites and anaemesites, the former being well represented by the light-coloured Malmsbury 'bluestone' so extensively employed in buildings in Melbourne."

Blue-tongued Lizard, n. name given to Tiliqua nigroluteus, Gray, a common Australian and Tasmanian lizard belonging to the family Scincidae. The name is derived from its blue-coloured tongue, and on account of its sluggish habits it is also often called the Sleepy lizard.

1887. F. McCoy, 'Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria,' Dec. 14, pl. 131:

"Not uncommon about Melbourne, where it is generally called the 'Blue-tongued Lizard,' or 'Sleepy Lizard.'"

Blue-wing, n. a sportsman's name (as in England) for the bird called the Shoveller (q.v.).

Bluey, n. (1) A blue blanket commonly used by swagmen in Australia. He wraps his bundle in it, and the whole is called a Swag (q.v.). To hump bluey means to go on the tramp, carrying a swag on the back.

(2) In the wet wildernesses of Western Tasmania a rough shirt or blouse is made of this material, and is worn over the coat like an English smock-frock. Sailors and fishermen in England call it a "Baltic shirt."

1890. 'The Argus,' Aug. 16, p. 13, col. 2:

"We shall have to hump bluey again."

1891. R. Wallace, 'Rural Economy and Agriculture of Australia and New Zealand,' p. 73:

"'Humping bluey' is for a workman to walk in search of work."

1891. W. Tilley, 'The Wild West of Tasmania,' p. 29:

"Leehan presents an animated scene . . . . Heavily laden drays, pack-horses and mules, form constant processions journeying from Dundas or Trial; miners with their swags, surveyors in their 'blueys' . . . all aid effectively in the panorama."

Board, n. term used by shearers. See quotation.

1893. 'The Herald' (Melbourne), Dec. 23, p. 6, col. 1:

"'The board' is the technical name for the floor on which the sheep are shorn."

With a full board, with a full complement of shearers.

1894. 'The Herald,' Oct. 6, p. 1. Col. 2:

"The secretary of the Pastoralists' Association . . . reports that the following stations have started shearing with full boards."

Boar-fish, n. a name applied in England to various dissimilar fishes which have projecting snouts. ('Century.') In New Zealand it is given to Cyttus australis, family Cyttidae, which is related to the John Dory (q.v.). This name is sometimes applied to it, and it is also called Bastard Dory (q.v.). In Melbourne the Boar-fish is Histiopterus recurvirostris, family Percidae, and Pentaceropsis recurvirostris, family Pentacerotidae. Mrs. Meredith, in 'Tasmanian Friends and Foes,' 1880 (pl. vi.), figures Histiopterus recurvirostris with the vernacular name of Pig-faced Lady. It is a choice edible fish.

Boil down, v. to reduce a statement to its simplest form; a constant term amongst pressmen. Over the reporters' table in the old 'Daily Telegraph' office (Melbourne) there was a big placard with the words-"Boil it down." The phrase is in use in England. 'O.E.D.' quotes 'Saturday Review,' 1880. The metaphor is from the numerous boiling-down establishments for rendering fat sheep into tallow. See quotation, 1878.

1878. F. P. Labilliere, 'Early History of the Colony of Victoria,' vol. ii. p. 330:

"The first step which turned the tide of ill-fortune was the introduction of the system of boiling down sheep. When stock became almost worthless, it occurred to many people that, when a fleece of wool was worth from half-a-crown to three shillings in England, and a sheep's tallow three or four more, the value of the animal in Australia ought to exceed eighteenpence or two shillings. Accordingly thousands of sheep were annually boiled down after shearing . . . until . . . the gold discovery; and then 'boiling down,' which had saved the country, had to be given up. . . . The Messrs. Learmonth at Buninyong . . . found it answered their purpose to have a place of their own, instead of sending their fat stock, as was generally done, to a public 'boiling down' establishment."

1895. 'The Argus,' Aug. 17, p. 8, col. 2:

"Boiled down, the matter comes to this."

Bonduc Nuts, n. a name in Australia for the fruit of the widely distributed plant Caesalpina bonducella, Flem., N.O. Leguminosae. Called Molucca Beans in Scotland and Nicker Nuts elsewhere.

Bonito, n. Sir Frederick McCoy says that the Tunny, the same fish as the European species Thynnus thynnus, family Scombridae, or Mackerels, is called Bonito, erroneously, by the colonists and fishermen. The true Bonito is Thynnus pelamys, Linn., though the name is also applied to various other fishes in Europe, the United States, and the West Indies.

Bony-Bream, i.q. Sardine (q.v.).

Boobook, n. an owl. Ninox boobook (see Owl); Athene boobook (Gould's 'Birds of Australia,' vol.i. pl. 32)." From cry or note of bird. In the Mukthang language of Central Gippsland, BawBaw, the mountain in Gippsland, is this word as heard by the English ear." (A. W. Howitt.) In South Australia the word is used for a mopoke.

1827. Vigors and Horsfield, 'Transactions of Linnaean Society,' vol. xv. p. 188:

"The native name of this bird, as Mr. Caley informs us, is Buck'buck. It may be heard nearly every night during winter, uttering a cry, corresponding with that word. . . .The lower order of the settlers in New South Wales are led away by the idea that everything is the reverse in that country to what it is in England : and the cuckoo, as they call this bird, singing by night, is one of the instances which they point out."

1894. 'The Argus,' June 23, p. 11, col. 4:

"In most cases—it may not be in all—the familiar call, which is supposed to sound like 'More-pork,' is not the mopoke (or podargus) at all, but the hooting of a little rusty red feather-legged owl, known as the Boobook. Its double note is the opposite of the curlew, since the first syllable is dwelt upon and the second sharp. An Englishman hearing it for the first time, and not being told that the bird was a 'more-pork,' would call it a night cuckoo."

Booby, n. English bird-name. Used in Australia for the Brown-Gannet. See Gannet.

Boobyalla, or Boobialla, n. the aboriginal name for the tree Acacia longifolia, Willd., N.O. Leguminosae, also called Native Willow. A river in Tasmania bears the name of Boobyalla, the tree being plentiful on the coast.

1835. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p63:

"Acacia sophora. Sophora podded Acacia or Booby-aloe. This species forms a large shrub on the sand-hills of the coast."

1843. J. Backhouse, 'Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies,' p. 59:

"The sandbanks at the mouth of Macquarie Harbour are covered with Boobialla, a species of Acacia, the roots of which run far in the sand."

1855. J. Milligan, 'Vocabulary of Dialects of the Aboriginal Tribes of Tasmania,' 'Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania,' vol. iii. p. 238:

"Wattle tree—seaside. (Acacia Maritinia) Boobyallah."

1861. Mrs. Meredith, 'Over the Straits,' vol. ii. p. 62:

"Boobyalla bushes lay within the dash of the ceaseless spray."

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 359:

"Boobyalla . . . an excellent tree for binding coast-sands."

1894. 'Melbourne Museum Catalogue, Economic Woods,' p. 4:

"On the coast it is known by the native name, Boobyalla."

Boomah, or Boomer, n. name of a very large kangaroo, Macropus giganteus, Shaw. The spelling "boomah" seems due to a supposed native origin. See quotation, 1872, the explanation in which is probably erroneous. It is really from the verb to boom, to rush with violence.

1830. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 110:

"Snapped the boomah's haunches, and he turned round to offer battle."

1833. Lieut. Breton, 'Excursions in New South Wales, Western Australia, and Van Diemen's Land,' p. 251:

"Boomah. Implies a large kangaroo."

Ibid. p. 254:

"The flying gin (gin is the native word for woman or female) is a boomah, and will leave behind every description of dog."

1852. Mrs. Meredith, 'My Home in Tasmania,' vol. i. p. 244:

"The Great or Forest Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), the 'Forester' of the Colonists. . . .The oldest and heaviest male of the herd was called a 'Boomer,' probably a native term."

1853. J. West, 'History of Tasmania,' vol. i. p. 325:

"The forester (Macropus major, Shaw), the male being known by the name of 'boomer,' and the young female by that of 'flying doe,' is the largest and only truly gregarious species."

1854. G. H. Haydon, 'The Australian Emigrant,' p. 124:

"It was of an old man kangaroo,a regular boomer."

1855. G. C. Mundy, 'Our Antipodes,' p. 169:

"An officer from Van Diemen's Land told me that he had once killed in that colony a kangaroo of such magnitude, that, being a long way from home, he was unable, although on horseback, to carry away any portion except the tail, which alone weighed thirty pounds. This species is called the boomah, and stands about seven feet high."

1857. W. Howitt, 'Tallangetta,' vol. i. p. 47:

"Sometimes starting a grand boomah, or great red kangaroo."

1862. F. J. Jobson, 'Australia,' c. v. p. 124:

"Some of the male kangaroos, called 'boomers,' were described as being four or five feet high."

1864. J. Rogers, 'New Rush,' p. 55:

"The Boomer starts, and ponders What kind of beasts we be."

1867. W. Richardson, 'Tasmanian Poems,' p. 26:

"The dogs gather round a 'boomer' they've got."

1872. Mrs. E. Millett, 'An Australian Parsonage,' p. 195:

"A tall old Booma, as the natives call the male kangaroo, can bring his head on a level with the face of a man on horseback. . . . A kangaroo's feet are, in fact, his weapons of defence with which, when he is brought to bay, he tears his antagonists the dogs most dreadfully, and instances are not wanting of even men having been killed by a large old male. No doubt this peculiar method of disposing of his enemies has earned him the name of Booma, which in the native language signifies to strike."

1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 16:

"As he plunged into the yellow waters, the dogs were once more by his side, and again the 'boomer' wheeled, and backed against one of the big trees that stud these hollows."

Applied generally to something very large.

1885. 'Australasian Printers' Keepsake,' p. 76:

"When the shades of evening come, I choose a boomer of a gum."

Boomerang, n. a weapon of the Australian aborigines, described in the quotations. The origin of the word is by no means certain. One explanation is that of Mr. Fraser in quotation, 1892. There may perhaps be an etymological connection with the name woomera (q.v.), which is a different weapon, being a throwing stick, that is, an instrument with which to throw spears, whilst the boomerang is itself thrown; but the idea of throwing is common to both. In many parts the word is pronounced by the blacks bummerang. Others connect it with the aboriginal word for "wind," which at Hunter River was burramaronga, also boomori. In New South Wales and South Queensland there is a close correspondence between the terms for wind and boomerang.

1827. Captain P. P. King, 'Survey of Intertropical and West Coasts of Australia,' vol. i. p. 355:

"Boomerang is the Port Jackson term for this weapon, and may be retained for want of a more descriptive name."

1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 108:

"We gambolled all the way up, throwing small pieces of bark at each other, after the manner of the native youths, who practise this with a view of strengthening their arms, and fitting them for hurling a curious weapon of war called a 'bomering,' which is shaped thus:" / /

Ibid. p. 280:

"Around their loins was the opossum belt, in one side of which they had placed their waddies, with which they meant to break the heads of their opponents, and on the other was the bomering, or stick, with which they threw their spears."

[This is a confusion between boomerang and woomera (q.v.). Perhaps Mr. Dawson wrote the second word, and this is a misprint.]

1839. Major T. L. 'Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia,' vol. ii. p. 348:

"The bommereng, or their usual missile, can be thrown by a skilful hand, so as to rise upon the air, and thus to deviate from the usual path of projectiles, its crooked course being, nevertheless, equally under control."

1845. R. Howitt, 'Australia,' p. 186:

"The admirable dexterity with which they fling the bomerangs. To our thinking the thrower was only sending the instrument along the ground, when suddenly, after spinning along it a little way, it sprung up into the air, performing a circle, its crescent shape spinning into a ring, constantly spinning round and round, until it came and fell at his feet."

1845. O. Wendell Holmes, 'Modest Request' (in Poems):

"Like the strange missile which the Australian throws, Your verbal boomerang slaps you on the nose."

1849. J. P. Townsend, 'Rambles in New South Wales,' p. 39:

"This instrument, called a bommereng, is made of wood, and is much like the blade of a scimitar. I believe it has been introduced into England as a plaything for children."

1850. J. B. Clutterbuck, 'Port Phillip in 1849,' p. 57:

"The boomerang is an extraordinary missile, formed in the shape of a crescent, and when propelled at an object, apparently point blank, it turns in any direction intended by the thrower, so that it can actually be directed in this manner against a person standing by his side. The consummate art visible in its unnatural-looking progression greatly depends upon the manner in which it is made to rebound from the ground when thrown."

1865. W. Howitt, 'Discovery in Australia,' vol. ii. p. 107;

"He [Sir Thomas Mitchell] applied to the screw propeller the revolving principle of the boomerang of the Australian natives."

1867. G. G. McCrae, 'Balladeadro,' p. 25:

"While circling thro' the air there sang The swift careering boomerang."

1888. A. Seth, 'Encyclopaedia Britannica,' vol. xxiv. p. 530, col. 2:

"He [Archbishop Whately] was an adept in various savage sports, more especially in throwing the boomerang."

1889. P. Beveridge, 'Aborigines of Victoria and Riverina,' p. 49:

"Boomerang: a thin piece of wood, having the shape of a parabola, about eighteen inches or two feet long from point to point, the curve being on the thin side. Of the broad sides of the missile one is slightly convex, the other is flat. The thin sides are worked down finely to blunt edges. The peculiar curve of the missile gives it the property of returning to the feet of the thrower. It is a dangerous instrument in a melee. Of course the wood from which it is made is highly seasoned by fire. It is therefore nearly as hard as flint."

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

[A full description of the use of the boomerang is given, with illustrations.]

"The boomerang is a curved, somewhat flat, and slender weapon, made from a hard and heavy wood, Brigalow (Acacia excelsa), or Myall (Acacia pendula), but the best one I found was made of a lighter kind of wood. The curving of the boomerang, which often approaches a right angle, must be natural, and in the wood itself. One side is perfectly flat, and the other slightly rounded. The ends are pointed."

1890. G. W. Rusden, 'Proceedings, Royal Colonial Institute,' vol. xxii. p. 62:

"You hardly ever see an allusion in the English Press to the boomerang which does not refer to it as a weapon of war which returns to the thrower, whereas the returning boomerang is not a weapon of war, and the boomerang which is a weapon of war does not return to the thrower. There are many kinds of boomerang—some for deadly strife, some for throwing at game, and the returning boomerang, which is framed only for amusement. If a native had no other missile at hand, he would dispatch it at a flight of ducks. Its circular course, however, makes it unfit for such a purpose, and there is a special boomerang made for throwing at birds. The latter keeps a straight course, and a native could throw it more than two hundred yards."

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