1892. J. Fraser, 'The Aborigines of New South Wales,' p. 69:
"The name bumarang has always hitherto been written boomerang; but, considered etymologically, that is wrong, for the root of it is buma—strike, fight, kill; and -ara, -arai, -arang, are all of them common formative terminations."
1893. 'The Argus,' July 1, p. 8, col. 7:
"'I tell you, sir,' said Mr. Healy at an Irish political meeting, 'that there are at the present moment crystallizing in this city precedents which will some day come home to roost like a boomerang.'"
Boongary, n. the tree-kangaroo of North Queensland, a marsupial tree-climber, about the size of a large wallaby, Dendrolagus lumholtzii, Collett. A native name. Bangaray = Red Kangaroo, in Governor Hunter's vocabulary of the Port Jackson dialect (1793).
1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 226:
"The tree-kangaroo is without comparison a better-proportioned animal than the common kangaroo. The fore-feet, which are nearly as perfectly developed as the hind-feet, have large crooked claws, while the hind-feet are somewhat like those of a kangaroo, though not so powerful. The sole of the foot is somewhat broader and more elastic on account of a thick layer of fat under the skin. In soft ground its footprints are very similar to those of a child. The ears are small and erect, and the tail is as long as the body of the animal. The skin is tough, and the fur is very strong and beautiful. . . . Upon the whole the boongary is the most beautiful mammal I have seen in Australia. It is a marsupial, and goes out only in the night. During the day it sleeps in the trees, and feeds on the leaves."
Bora, n. a rite amongst the aborigines of eastern Australia; the ceremony of admitting a young black to the rights of manhood. Aboriginal word.
The word bur, given by Ridley, means not only girdle but 'circle.' In the man-making ceremonies a large circle is made on the ground, where the ceremonies take place.
1875. W. Ridley, 'Kamilaroi,' p. 24:
"Girdle—bor or bur. Hence Bora, the ceremony of initiation into manhood, where the candidate is invested with the belt of manhood."
1885. R. M. Praed, 'Australian Life,' p. 24:
"The great mystery of the Blacks is the Bora—a ceremony at which the young men found worthy receive the rank of warriors."
1892. J. Fraser, 'Aborigines of New South Wales,' p. 6:
"These ceremonies are . . . called the Bora."
Borage, Native, n. a plant, Pollichia zeylanica, F. v. M., N.O. Boragineae. The so-called Native Borage is not endemic to Australia. In India it is used as a cure for snake bites.
1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 124:
"The native borage (Trichodesina zeylanica, R. Br.)."
Borak, n. aboriginal word of New South Wales, meaning banter, chaff, fun at another's expense. (See quotation, 1845.) Prior to 1870 the word was much in use on the stations in New South Wales. About 1870 Victorian farmers' sons took shearing work there, and brought back the word with them. It was subsequently altered to barrack (q.v.).
1845. C. Griffith, 'Present State and Prospects of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales,' p. 162:
"The following is a specimen of such eloquence:—'You pilmillally jumbuck, plenty sulky me, plenty boom, borack gammon,' which, being interpreted, means—'If you steal my sheep I shall be very angry, and will shoot you and no mistake.'"
1856. W. W. Dobie, 'Recollections of a Visit to Port Phillip, Australia, in 1852-55' p. 93:
". . . he gravely assured me that it was 'merrijig' (very good), and that 'blackfellow doctor was far better than whitefellow doctor.' In proof of which he would say, 'Borak you ever see black fellow with waddie (wooden) leg. Bungalallee white fellow doctor cut him leg, borak black fellow stupid like it that."
1885. 'Australasian Printers' Keepsake,' p. 75:
"On telling him my adventures, how Bob in my misery had 'poked borack' at me. . . ."
1888. Alfred J.Chandler,' Curley' in 'Australian Poets,' 1788-1888, ed. Sladen, p. 100:
"Here broke in Super Scotty, 'Stop Your borak, give the bloomin' man a show.'"
1893. 'The Argus,' Aug. 26, p. 13, col. 1:
"It does not do for a man whose mission it is to wear stuff and a horse-hair wig to 'poke borak' at that venerable and eminently respectable institution—the law, and still worse is it for a practising barrister to actually set to work, even in the most kindly spirit, to criticise the judges, before whom at any moment he may be called upon to plead."
Borboby, n. i.q. Corrobbery (q.v.), but the word is rare.
1890. Carl Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals' [Title of illustration], p. 122:
"A warrior in great excitement just before Borboby commences."
Boree, n. aboriginal name for the tree Acacia pendula, A. Cunn., N.O. Leguminosae; a variety of Myall, probably from Queensland aboriginal word Booreah, fire. It would be preferred by black or white man as firewood over any other timber except giddea (q.v.).
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 363:
"Weeping, or true myall. It is sometimes called bastard gidgee in Western New South Wales. Called boree by aboriginals, and often boree, or silver-leaf boree, by the colonists of Western New South Wales. Nilyah is another New South Wales name."
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Squatter's Dream,' iii. p. 30:
"Myall and boree belts of timbers."
1893. 'The Times,' [Reprint] 'Letters from Queensland,' p. 6o:
"The timber, of course, when seen close at hand is strange. Boree and gidyah, coolibah and whitewood, brigelow, mulgah, and myall are the unfamiliar names by which you learn to recognise the commonest varieties."
Borer, n. name applied to an Australian insect. See quotation.
1876. W. Harcus, 'South Australia,' p. 110:
"There is another destructive insect called the 'borer,' not met with near the sea-coast, but very active and mischievous inland, its attacks being chiefly levelled against timber. This creature is about the size of a large fly."
Boronia, n. scientific and vernacular name of a genus of Australian plants, certain species of which are noted for their peculiar fragrance. The genus is especially characteristic of West Australia, to which out of fifty-nine species thirty-three are confined, while only five are known in Tasmania. Boronia belongs to the N.O. Rutaceae.
1835. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 72:
"Boronia variabilis. A beautiful little heath-like plant growing about the Cascade and other hills round about Hobart Town. . . . This genus is named after Borone, an Italian servant of the late Dr. Sibthorp, who perished at Athens. . . .Another species found in Van Diemen's Land is the Lemon plant of the mountains."
1896. 'The Melburnian,' vol. xxii., No. 3, August 28, p. 53:
"Winter does not last for ever, and now at each street corner the scent of boronia and the odour of wattle-blossom greet us from baskets of the flower-girl."
Boss-cockie, n. a slang name in the bush for a farmer, larger than a Cockatoo (see Cockatoo, n. 2), who employs other labour as well as working himself.
Botany Bay, n. lying to the south of the entrance to Port Jackson, New South Wales, the destination of the first two shiploads of convicts from England. As a matter of fact, the settlement at Botany Bay never existed. The "First Fleet," consisting of eleven sail under Governor Phillip, arrived at Botany Bay on January 18, 1788. The Governor finding the place unsuitable for a settlement did not land his people, but on January 25 removed the fleet to Port Jackson. On the next day (January 26) he landed his people at Sydney Cove, and founded the city of Sydney. The name, however, citing to popular imagination, and was used sometimes as the name of Australia. Seventy years after Governor Phillip, English schoolboys used "go to Botany Bay" as an equivalent to "go to Bath." Captain Cook and his naturalists, Banks and Solander, landed at Botany Bay, and the name was given (not at first, when the Bay was marked Stingray, but a little later) from the large number of plants collected there.
1770. 'Captain Cook's Original Journal,' ed. by Wharton, 1893, p. 247:
"6 May. . . .The great quantity of plants Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander found in this place occasioned my giving it the Name of Botany Bay."
"The Voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay," published in London.
1789. Captain Watkin Tench [Title]: "A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay," published in London.
1793 G. Barrington [Title]:
"Voyage to Botany Bay," [published in London.]
This was the popular book on the new settlement, the others being high priced. As Lowndes says, "A work of no authority, but frequently printed." Barrington, the pickpocket, whose name it bears, had nothing to do with it. It was pirated from Phillip, Collins, etc. It went through various editions and enlargements to 1810 or later. After 1795 the name was altered to 'Voyage to New South Wales.'
1798. D. Collins, 'Account of the English Colony in New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 502:
"The word 'Botany Bay' became a term of reproach that was indiscriminately cast on every one who resided in New South Wales."
1840. Thos. Hood, 'Tale of a Trumpet:
"The very next day She heard from her husband at Botany Bay."
1851. Rev. David Mackenzie, 'Ten Years in Australia,' p. 50:
". . . a pair of artificially black eyes being the Botany Bay coat of arms."
1852. J. West, 'History of Tasmania,' Vol. ii. p. 91:
"Some gentlemen, on a visit to a London theatre, to draw the attention of their friends in an opposite box, called out cooey; a voice in the gallery answered 'Botany Bay!'"
1894. 'Pall Mall Budget,' May 17, p. 20, col. 1:
"The owner of the ship was an ex-convict in Sydney—then called Botany Bay—who had waxed wealthy on the profits of rum, and the 'shangai-ing' of drugged sailors."
Botany-Bay Greens, n. a vegetable common to all the colonies, Atriplex cinereum, Poir, N.O. Salsolaceae.
1810. G. Barrington, 'History of New South Wales,' p. 263:
"Botany Bay greens are abundant; they much resemble sage in appearance; and are esteemed a very good dish by the Europeans."
1834. Ross, 'Van Diemen's Land Annual,' p. 134:
"I do not think it necessary to enter upon any description of the Barilla shrubs (Atriplex halimus, Rhagodur billardiera; and Salicornia arbuscula), which, with some others, under the promiscuous name of Botany Bay greens, were boiled and eaten along with some species of seaweed, by the earliest settlers, when in a state of starvation."
1835. Ibid. p. 69:
"Atriplex Halimus. Barrilla. Botany Bay Greens. This is the plant so common on the shores of Cape Barren and other islands of the Straits, from which the alkaline salt is obtained and brought up in boats to the soap manufactory at Hobart Town. It has been set down as the same plant that grows on the coast of Spain and other parts of Europe."
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 9:
"Once used as a pot-herb in New South Wales. Leichhardt used a species of Atriplex as a vegetable, and spoke very highly of it."
Botany-Bay Oak, or Botany-Bay Wood, n. a trade name in England for the timber of Casuarina. See Beef-wood.
Bottle-brush, n. name given to various species of Callistemon and Melaleuca, N.O. Myrtaceae; the Purple Bottle-brush is Melaleuca squamea, Lab. The name is also more rarely given to species of Banksia, or Honeysuckle (q.v.). The name bottle-brush is from the resemblance of the large handsome blossoms to the brush used to clean out wine-bottles.
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 359:
"Red Bottle-brush. The flowers of some species of Callistemon are like bottle-brushes in shape."
Bottle-Gourd, n. an Australian plant, Lagenaria vulgaris, Ser., N.O. Cucurbitaceae.
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 192:
"Bottle Gourd. This plant, so plentiful along the tropical coast of Queensland, is said to be a dangerous poison. It is said that some sailors were killed by drinking beer that had been standing for some time in a bottle formed of one of these fruits. (F. M. Bailey.)"
Bottle-Swallow, n. a popular name for the bird Lagenoplastis ariel, otherwise called the Fairy Martin. See Martin. The name refers to the bird's peculiar retort shaped nest. Lagenoplashs is from the Greek lagaenos, a flagon, and plautaes, a modeller. The nests are often constructed in clusters under rocks or the eaves of buildings. The bird is widely distributed in Australia, and has occurred in Tasmania.
Bottle-tree, n. an Australian tree, various species of Sterculia, i.q. Kurrajong (q.v.). So named from its appearance. See quotations.
1846. C. P. Hodgson, 'Reminiscences of Australia,' p. 264:
"The sterculia, or bottle-tree, is a very singular curiosity. It generally varies in shape between a soda-water and port-wine bottle, narrow at the basis, gradually widening at the middle, and tapering towards the neck."
1848. L. Leichhardt, Letter in 'Cooksland, by J. D. Lang, p. 91:
"The most interesting tree of this Rosewood Brush is the true bottle-tree, a strange-looking unseemly tree, which swells slightly four to five feet high, and then tapers rapidly into a small diameter; the foliage is thin, the crown scanty and irregular, the leaves lanceolate, of a greyish green; the height of the whole tree is about forty-five feet."
1865. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'History of the Discovery and Exploration of Australia,' vol. i. p. 127:
"It was on this range (Lat. 26 degrees, 42') that Mitchell saw the bottle-tree for the first time. It grew like an enormous pear-shaped turnip, with only a small portion of the root in the ground."
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 60:
"A 'Kurrajong.' The 'Bottle-tree' of N.E. Australia, and also called 'Gouty-stem,' on account of the extraordinary shape of the trunk. It is the 'Binkey' of the aboriginals.
"The stem abounds in a mucilaginous substance resembling pure tragacanth, which is wholesome and nutritious, and is said to be used as an article of food by the aborigines in cases of extreme need. A similar clear jelly is obtainable by pouring boiling water on chips of the wood."
Bottom, n. in gold-mining, the old river-bed upon which the wash-dirt rests, and upon which the richest alluvial gold is found; sometimes called the gutter.
1887. H. H. Hayter, 'Christmas Adventure,' p. 5:
"We reached the bottom, but did not find gold."
Bottom, v. to get to the bedrock, or clay, below which it was useless to sink (gold-mining).
1858. T. McCombie, 'History of Victoria,' c. xv. p. 219:
"In their anxiety to bottom their claims, they not seldom threw away the richest stuff."
Boundary-rider, n. a man who rides round the fences of a station to see that they are in order.
1890. E. W. Hornung, 'A Bride from the Bush,' p. 279:
"A boundary-rider is not a 'boss' in the Bush, but he is an important personage in his way. He sees that the sheep in his paddock draw to the water, that there is water for them to draw to, and that the fences and gates are in order. He is paid fairly, and has a fine, free, solitary life."
1892. 'Scribner's Magazine,' Feb., p. 147:
"The manager's lieutenants are the 'boundary-riders,' whose duty it is to patrol the estate and keep him informed upon every portion of it."
Bower-bird n. Australian bird. See quotation, 1891. See Ptilonorhynchinae. The following are the varieties—-
Fawn-breasted Bower-bird— Chlamydoderea cerviniventris, Gould.
Prionodura newtoniana, De Vis.
Chlambydodera nuchalis, Gould ('Birds of Australia,' vol.iv. pl. 9).
C. orientalis, Gould.
Ptilonorhynchus violaceus, Vieillot.
Chlamydodera maculata, Gould (ibid. pl. 8).
C. gutttata, Gould.
And the Regent-bird (q.v.).
1845. R. Howitt, 'Australia,' p. 140:
"The same person had the last season found, to his surprise, the playhouse, or bower, of the Australian satin bower-bird."
1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 28:
"Any shred of glass or metal which arrests the eye or reflects the rays of the sun is a gem in the bower-bird's collection, which seems in a sense to parody the art decorations of a modern home."
1891. 'Guide to Zoological Gardens, Melbourne':
"In one is a representation of the playing place of the spotted bowerbird. These bowers are quite independent of the birds' nests, which are built on neighbouring trees. They first construct a covered passage or bower about three feet long, and near it they place every white or bright object they can find, such as the bleached bones of animals, pieces of white or coloured stone, feathers, shells, etc., etc.; the feathers they place on end. When these curious playing places were first discovered, they were thought to be made by the native women for the amusement of their children. More than a bushel of small pieces of bleached bones or shells are often found at one of these curious sporting places. Sometimes a dozen or more birds will assemble, and they delight in chasing each other through the bower and playing about it."
Box, Box-tree, Box-gum, n. The name is applied to many Eucalypts, and to a few trees of the genus Tristania, as given below, all of the N.O. Myrtaceae, chiefly from the qualities of their timber, which more or less resembles "Boxwood." Most of these trees also bear other vernacular names, and the same tree is further often described vernacularly as different kinds of Box. China-, Heath-, and Native-Box (q.v. below) are of other Natural Orders and receive their names of Box from other reasons. The following table is compiled from Maiden:—
Bastard Box— Eucalyptus goniocalyx, F. v. M.; E. largiflorens, F. v. M. (called also Cooburn); E. longifolia, Link.; E. microtheca, F. v. M.; E. polyanthema, F. v. M.; E. populifolia, Hook. (called also Bembil or Bimbil Box and Red Box); Tristania conferta, R. Br.; T. laurana, R. Br., all of the N.O. Myrtaceae.
Black Box— Eucalyptus obliqua, L'Herit.; E. largiflorens, F. v. M.; E. microtheca, F. v. M.
Brisbane Box—- Tristania conferta, R. Br.
Broad-leaved Box— Eucalyptus acmenoides, Schau.
Brown Box— Eucalyptus polyanthema, Schau.
Brush Box— Tristania conferta, R. Br.
China Box— Murraya exotica, Linn., N.O. Rutaceae (not a tree, but a perfume plant, which is found also in India and China).
Dwarf, or Flooded Box— Eucalyptus microtheca, F. v. M. (Also called Swamp Gum, from its habit of growing on land inundated during flood time. An aboriginal name for the same tree is goborro.)
Grey Box— Eucalyptus goniocalyx, F. v. M.; E. hemiphloia, F. v. M.; E. largiflorens, F. v. M.; E. polyanthema, Schau.; E. saligna, Smith.
Gum-topped Box— Eucalyptus hemiphloia, F. v. M.
Heath Box— Alyxia buxifolia, R. Br., N.O. Apocyneae (called also Tonga-beanwood, owing to its scent)
Iron-bark Box— Eucalyptus obliqua, L'Herit.
Narrow-leaved Box— Eucalyptus microtheca, F. v. M.
Native Box— Bursaria spinosa, Cav., N.O. Pittosporeae. (Called also Box-thorn and Native-Olive. It is not a timber-tree but a forage- plant. See quotation, 1889.)
Poplar Box— Eucalyptus populifolia, Hook.
Red Box— Eucalyptus populifolia, Hook.; E. polyanthema, Schau.; Tristania conferta, R. Br.
Thozet's Box— Eucalyptus raveretiana, F. v. M.
White Box— Eucalyptus hemiphloia, F. v. M.; E. odorata, Behr.; E. populifolia, Hook.; Tristania conferta, R. Br.
Yellow Box— Eucalyptus hemiphloia, F. v. M. E. largiflorens, F. v. M. E. melliodora, A. Cunn.
1820. John Oxley, 'Two Expeditions,' p. 126:
"The country continued open forest land for about three miles, the cypress and the bastard-box being the prevailing timber; of the former many were useful trees."
1838. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions, vol. ii. p. 55:
"The small kind of tree . . . which Mr. Oxley, I believe, terms the dwarf-box, grows only on plains subject to inundation . . . . It may be observed, however, that all permanent waters are invariably surrounded by the 'yarra.' These peculiarities are only ascertained after examining many a hopeless hollow, where grew the 'goborro' only; and after I had found my sable guides eagerly scanning the 'yarra' from afar, when in search of water, and condemning any view of the 'goborro' as hopeless during that dry season."
[See Yarra, a tree.]
1865. W. Howitt, 'Discovery in Australia,' vol. ii. p. 6:
"Belts of open forest land, principally composed of the box-tree of the colonists, a species of eucalyptus (in no respect resembling the box of Europe)."
1877. F. v. Mueller, 'Botanic Teachings,' p. 15:
"The Honey-Eucalypt (Eucalyptus melliodora). This tree passes by the very unapt vernacular name Yellow Box-tree, though no portion of it is yellow, not even its wood, and though the latter resembles the real boxwood in no way whatever. Its systematic specific name alludes to the odour of its flowers, like that of honey, and as the blossoms exude much nectar, like most eucalypts, sought by bees, it is proposed to call it the small-leaved Honey-Eucalypt, but the Latin name might as easily be conveyed to memory, with the advantage of its being a universal one, understood and used by all nations."
1881. A.C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 46:
"Poor country, covered with ti-tree, box, and iron-bark saplings, with here and there heavy timber growing on sour-looking ridges."
1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 7:
"The clumps of box-gums clinging together for sympathy."
1888. J. Howlett Ross, 'Laureate of the Centaurs,' p. 41:
"Box shrubs which were not yet clothed with their creamy-white plumes (so like the English meadowsweet)."
1889. P. Beveridge, 'Aborigines of Victoria and Riverina,' p. 59:
"These spears are principally made from a tall-growing box (one of the eucalypts) which often attains to an altitude of over 100 feet; it is indigenous to the north-western portion of the colony, and to Riverina; it has a fine wavy grain, consequently easily worked when in a green state. When well seasoned, however, it is nearly as hard as ebony."
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 121:
"Native box is greedily eaten by sheep, but its thorny character preserves it from extinction upon sheep-runs: usually a small scrub, in congenial localities it developes into a small tree."
Box, n. See succeeding verb.
1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 67:
"Great care must of course be taken that no two flocks come into collision, for a 'box,' as it is technically called, causes an infinity of trouble, which is the reason that the stations are so far apart."
Box, v. to mix together sheep that ought to be kept separate apparently from "to box" in the sense of to shut up in narrow limits ('O.E.D.' v. i. 5); then to shut up together and so confuse the classification; then the sense of shutting up is lost and that of confusion remains.
1881. A.C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 253:
"All the mobs of different aged lambs which had been hitherto kept apart were boxed up together."
1889. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Robbery under Arms,' p. 356:
"After they'd got out twenty or thirty they'd get boxed, like a new hand counting sheep, and have to begin all over again."
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Colonial Reformer,' p. 84:
"At nightfall, the fifteen flocks of sheep were all brought in, and 'boxed,' or mixed together, to Ernest's astonishment."
1890. Tasma, 'In her Earliest Youth,' p. 166:
"He must keep tally when the sheep are being counted or draughted, I'm not sure which, and swear—no, he needn't swear—when they get boxed."
1896. A. B. Paterson, 'Man from Snowy River,' p. 54:
"But the travelling sheep and the Wilga sheep were boxed on the Old Man Plain. 'Twas a full week's work ere they drafted out and hunted them off again."
Boxer, n. This word means in Australia the stiff, low-crowned, felt hat, called a billy-cock or bowler. The silk-hat is called a bell-topper (q.v.).
1897. 'The Argus,' Jan. 9, p. 14, col. 2:
"And will you wear a boxer that is in a battered state ? I wonder, will you—now that you're a knight?"
Box-wood, n. a New Zealand wood, Olea lanceolata, Hook., N.O. Jasminea (Maori name, Maire). Used by the 'Wellington Independent' (April 19, 1845) for woodcuts, and recommended as superior to box-wood for the purpose. See also Box, n.
Boyla, n. aboriginal word for a sorcerer.
1865. W. Howitt, 'Discovery in Australia,' vol. i. p. 384:
"The absolute power of boylas or evil sorcerers . . . he chanted gloomily:—
Oh, wherefore would they eat the muscles? Now boylas storm and thunder make. Oh, wherefore would they eat the muscles ?"
Bramble, Native, n. See Blackberry.
Bread, Native, n. a kind of fungus. "The sclerotium of Polyporus mylitta, C. et M. Until quite recently the sclerotium was known, but not the fructification. It was thought probable that its fruit would be ascomycetous, and on the authority of Berkeley it was made the type of a genus as Mylitta Australis. It is found throughout Eastern Australia and Tasmania. The aborigines ate it, but to the European palate it is tough and tasteless, and probably as indigestible as leather." (L. Rodway.)
1843. James Backhouse, 'Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies,' p. 40:
"Natural Order. Fungi. . . . Mylitta Australis. Native Bread. This species of tuber is often found in the Colony, attaining to the size of a child's head: its taste somewhat resembles boiled rice. Like the heart of the Tree-fern, and the root of the Native Potato, cookery produces little change."
1848. 'Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land,' vol. i. p. 157:
"11th October, 1848 . . . Specimens of the fungus known as 'native bread,' Mylitta Australis, lay upon the table. A member observed that this substance, grated and made into a pudding with milk alone, had been found by him very palatable. Prepared in the same way, and combined with double its weight of rice or sago, it has produced a very superior dish. It has also been eaten with approval in soup, after the manner of truffle, to which it is nearly allied."
1857. Dr. Milligan, in Bishop Nixon's 'Cruise of the Beacon,' p. 27:
"But that which afforded the largest amount of solid and substantial nutritious matter was the native bread, a fungus growing in the ground, after the manner of the truffle, and generally so near the roots of trees as to be reputed parasitical."
1896. 'Hobart Mercury,' Oct. 30, p. 2, last col.:
"A large specimen of 'native bread,' weighing 12 lb., has been unearthed on Crab Tree farm in the Huon district, by Mr. A. Cooper. It has been brought to town, and is being examined with interest by many at the British Hotel. It is one of the fungi tribe that forms hard masses of stored food for future use."
Breadfruit-tree, name given by the explorer Leichhardt to the Queensland tree, Gardenia edulis, F. v. M., N.O. Rubiaceae.
Breakaway, n.(1) A bullock that leaves the herd.
1893. 'The Argus,' April 29, p. 4, col. 4:
"The smartest stock horse that ever brought his rider up within whip distance of a breakaway or dodged the horns of a sulky beast, took the chance."
(2) The panic rush of sheep, cattle, or other animals at the sight or smell of water.
1891: "The Breakaway," title of picture by Tom Roberts at Victorian Artists' Exhibition.
Bream, n. The name is applied in Australia to various species of Chrysophrys, family Sparidae, and to other fishes of different families. The Black-Bream (q.v.) is C. australis, Gunth. The Bony-Bream is also called the Sardine (q.v.). The Silver-Bream (q.v.) or White-Bream is Gerres ovatus, Gunth., family Percidae. The Red-Bream is a Schnapper (q.v.) one year old. The popular pronunciation is Brim, and the fishes are all different from the various fishes called Bream in the northern hemisphere. See also Tarwhine and Blue-fish.
Brickfielder, n. (1) Originally a Sydney name for a cold wind, blowing from the south and accompanied by blinding clouds of dust; identical with the later name for the wind, the Southerly Buster (q.v.). The brickfields lay to the south of Sydney, and when after a hot wind from the west or north-west, the wind went round to the south, it was accompanied by great clouds of dust, brought up from the brickfields. These brickfields have long been a thing of the past, surviving only in "Brickfield Hill," the hilly part of George Street, between the Cathedral and the Railway Station. The name, as denoting a cold wind, is now almost obsolete, and its meaning has been very curiously changed and extended to other colonies to denote a very hot wind. See below (Nos. 2 and 3), and the notes to the quotations.
1833. Lieut. Breton, R.N., 'Excursions in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land,' p. 293:
"It sometimes happens that a change takes place from a hot wind to a 'brickfielder,' on which occasions the thermometer has been known to fall, within half an hour, upwards of fifty degrees! That is to say, from above 100 degrees to 50 degrees! A brickfielder is a southerly wind, and it takes its local name from the circumstances of its blowing over, and bringing into town the flames [sic] of a large brick-field: it is nearly as detestable as a hot wind."
[Lieut. Breton must have had a strong imagination. The brickfields, at that date, were a mile away from the town, and the bringing in of their flames was an impossibility. Perhaps, however, the word is a misprint for fumes; yet even then this earliest quotation indicates part of the source of the subsequent confusion of meaning. The main characteristic of the true brickfielder was neither flames nor fumes,—and certainly not heat,—but choking dust.]
1839. W. H. Leigh, 'Reconnoitering Voyages, Travels, and Adventures in the new Colony of South Australia,' etc., p. 184:
"Whirlwinds of sand come rushing upon the traveller, half blinding and choking him,—a miniature sirocco, and decidedly cousin-german to the delightful sandy puffs so frequent at Cape Town. The inhabitants call these miseries 'Brickfielders,' but why they do so I am unable to divine; probably because they are in their utmost vigour on a certain hill here, where bricks are made."
[This writer makes no allusion to the temperature of the wind, whether hot or cold, but lays stress on its especial characteristic, the dust. His comparison with the sirocco chiefly suggests the clouds of sand brought by that wind from the Libyan Desert, with its accompanying thick haze and darkness ('half blinding and choking'), rather than its relaxing warmth.]
1844. John Rae, 'Sydney Illustrated,' p. 26:
"The 'brickfielder' is merely a colonial name for a violent gust of wind, which, succeeding a season of great heat, rushes in to supply the vacuum and equalises the temperature of the atmosphere; and when its baneful progress is marked, sweeping over the city in thick clouds of brick-coloured dust (from the brickfields), it is time for the citizens to close the doors and windows of their dwellings, and for the sailor to take more than half his canvas in, and prepare for a storm."
[Here the characteristic is again dust from the brickfields, as the origin of the name, with cold as an accompaniment.]
1844. Mrs.Meredith, 'Notes and Sketches of New South Wales,' p. 44:
"These dust winds are locally named 'brickfielders,' from the direction in which they come" [i.e. from neighbouring sandhills, called the brickfields].
[Here dust is the only characteristic observed, with the direction of the wind as the origin of its name.]
1845. J. O. Balfour, 'Sketch of New South Wales,' p. 4:
"The greatest peculiarity in the climate is what is called by colonists a brickfielder. This wind has all the characteristics of a sirocco in miniature . . . . Returning home, he discovers that the house is full of sand; that the brickfielder has even insinuated itself between the leaves of his books; at dinner he will probably find that his favourite fish has been spoiled by the brickfielder. Nor is this all; for on retiring to rest he will find that the brickfielder has intruded even within the precincts of his musquito curtains."
[Here again its dust is noted as the distinguishing feature of the wind, just as sand is the distinguishing feature of the 'sirocco' in the Libyan Desert, and precipitated sand,—'blood rain' or 'red snow,'—a chief character of the sirocco after it reaches Italy.]
1847. Alex. Marjoribanks, 'Travels in New South Wales,' p. 61:
"The hot winds which resemble the siroccos in Sicily are, however, a drawback . . . but they are almost invariably succeeded by what is there called a 'brickfielder,' which is a strong southerly wind, which soon cools the air, and greatly reduces the temperature."
[Here the cold temperature of the brickfielder is described, but not its dust, and the writer compares the hot wind which precedes the brickfielder with the sirocco. He in fact thinks only of the heat of the sirocco, but the two preceding writers are thinking of its sand, its thick haze, its quality of blackness and its suffocating character,—all which applied accurately to the true brickfielder.]
1853. Rev. H. Berkeley Jones, 'Adventures in Australia in 1852 and 1853,' p. 228:
"After the languor, the lassitude, and enervation which some persons experience during these hot blasts, comes the 'Brickfielder,' or southerly burster."
[Cold temperature noticed, but not dust.]
1853. 'Fraser's Magazine,' 48, p. 515:
"When the wind blows strongly from the southward, it is what the Sydney people call a 'brickfielder'; that is, it carries with it dense clouds of red dust or sand, like brick dust, swept from the light soil which adjoins the town on that side, and so thick that the houses and streets are actually hidden; it is a darkness that may be felt."
[Here it is the dust, not the temperature, which determines the name.]
(2) The very opposite to the original meaning,—a severe hot wind. In this inverted sense the word is now used, but not frequently, in Melbourne and in Adelaide, and sometimes even in Sydney, as the following quotations show. It will be noted that one of them (1886) observes the original prime characteristic of the wind, its dust.
1861. T. McCombie,' Australian Sketches,' p. 79:
"She passed a gang of convicts, toiling in a broiling 'brickfielder.'"
1862. F. J. Jobson, 'Australia with Notes by the Way,' p. 155:
"The 'brickfielders' are usually followed, before the day closes, with 'south-busters' [sic.]."
1886. F. Cowan, 'Australia, a Charcoal Sketch':
"The Buster and Brickfielder: austral red-dust blizzard; and red-hot Simoom."
This curious inversion of meaning (the change from cold to hot) may be traced to several causes. It may arise—
(a) From the name itself. People in Melbourne and Adelaide, catching at the word brickfielder as a name for a dusty wind, and knowing nothing of the origin of the name, would readily adapt it to their own severe hot north winds, which raise clouds of dust all day, and are described accurately as being 'like a blast from a furnace,' or 'the breath of a brick-kiln.' Even a younger generation in Sydney, having received the word by colloquial tradition, losing its origin, and knowing nothing of the old brickfields, might apply the word to a hot blast in the same way.
(b) From the peculiar phenomenon.—A certain cyclonic change of temperature is a special feature of the Australian coastal districts. A raging hot wind from the interior desert (north wind in Melbourne and Adelaide, west wind in Sydney) will blow for two or three days, raising clouds of dust; it will be suddenly succeeded by a 'Southerly Buster' from the ocean, the cloud of dust being greatest at the moment of change, and the thermometer falling sometimes forty or fifty degrees in a few minutes. The Sydney word brickfielder was assigned originally to the latter part—the dusty cold change. Later generations, losing the finer distinction, applied the word to the whole dusty phenomenon,and ultimately specialized it to denote not so much the extreme dustiness of its later period as the more disagreeable extreme heat of its earlier phase.
(c) From the apparent, though not real, confusion of terms, by those who have described it as a 'sirocco.'—The word sirocco (spelt earlier schirocco, and in Spanish and other languages with the sh sound, not the s) is the Italian equivalent of the Arabic root sharaga, 'it rose.' The name of the wind, sirocco, alludes in its original Arabic form to its rising, with its cloud of sand, in the desert high-lands of North Africa. True, it is defined by Skeat as 'a hot wind,' but that is only a part of its definition. Its marked characteristic is that it is sand-laden, densely hazy and black, and therefore 'choking,' like the brickfielder. The not unnatural assumption that writers by comparing a brickfielder with a sirocco, thereby imply that a brickfielder is a hot wind, is thus disposed of by this characteristic, and by the notes on the passages quoted. They were dwelling only on its choking dust, and its suffocating qualities,—'a miniature sirocco.' See the following quotations on this character of the sirocco:—
1841. 'Penny Magazine,' Dec. 18, p. 494:
"The Islands of Italy, especially Sicily and Corfu, are frequently visited by a wind of a remarkable character, to which the name of sirocco, scirocco, or schirocco, has been applied. The thermometer rises to a great height, but the air is generally thick and heavy . . . . People confine themselves within doors; the windows and doors are shut close, to prevent as much as possible the external air from entering; . . . but a few hours of the tramontane, or north wind which generally succeeds it, soon braces them up again. [Compare this whole phenomenon with (b) above.] There are some peculiar circumstances attending the wind. . . . Dr. Benza, an Italian physician, states:—'When the sirocco has been impetuous and violent, and followed by a shower of rain, the rain has carried with it to the ground an almost impalpable red micaceous sand, which I have collected in large quantities more than once in Sicily. . . . When we direct our attention to the island of Corfu, situated some distance eastward of Sicily, we find the sirocco assuming a somewhat different character. . . . The more eastern sirocco might be called a refreshing breeze [sic]. . . . The genuine or black sirocco (as it is called) blows from a point between south-east and south-south-east.'"
1889. W. Ferrell, 'Treatise on Winds,' p. 336:
"The dust raised from the Sahara and carried northward by the sirocco often falls over the countries north of the Mediterranean as 'blood rain,' or as 'red snow,' the moisture and the sand falling together. . . .The temperature never rises above 95 degrees."
1889. 'The Century Dictionary,' s.v. Sirocco:
"(2) A hot, dry, dust-laden wind blowing from the highlands of Africa to the coasts of Malta, Sicily and Naples. . . . During its prevalence the sky is covered with a dense haze."
(3) The illustrative quotations on brickfielder, up to this point, have been in chronological consecutive order. The final three quotations below show that while the original true definition and meaning, (1), are still not quite lost, yet authoritative writers find it necessary to combat the modern popular inversion, (2).
1863. Frank Fowler, 'The Athenaeum,' Feb. 21, p. 264, col. 1:
"The 'brickfielder' is not the hot wind at all; it is but another name for the cold wind, or southerly buster, which follows the hot breeze, and which, blowing over an extensive sweep of sandhills called the Brickfields, semi-circling Sydney, carries a thick cloud of dust (or 'brickfielder') across the city."
[The writer is accusing Dr. Jobson (see quotation 1862, above) of plagiarism from his book 'Southern Lights and Shadows.']
1890. Lyth, 'Golden South,' vol. ii. p. 11:
"A dust which covered and penetrated everything and everywhere. This is generally known as a 'brickfielder.'"
1896. 'Three Essays on Australian Weather,' 'On Southerly Buster,' by H. A. Hunt, p. 17:
"In the early days of Australian settlement, when the shores of Port Jackson were occupied by a sparse population, and the region beyond was unknown wilderness and desolation, a great part of the Haymarket was occupied by the brickfields from which Brickfield Hill takes its name. When a 'Southerly Burster' struck the infant city, its approach was always heralded by a cloud of reddish dust from this locality, and in consequence the phenomenon gained the local name of 'brickfielder.' The brickfields have long since vanished, and with them the name to which they gave rise, but the wind continues to raise clouds of dust as of old under its modern name of 'Southerly Burster."
Bricklow, n. obsolete form of Brigalow (q.v.).
Brigalow, n. and adj. Spellings various. Native name, Buriargalah. In the Namoi dialect in New South Wales, Bri or Buri is the name for Acacia pendula, Cunn.; Buriagal, relating to the buri; Buriagalah == place of the buri tree. Any one of several species of Acacia, especially A. harpophylla, F. v. M., H.O. Leguminosae. J. H. Maiden ('Useful Native Plants,' p. 356, 1889) gives its uses thus:
"Wood brown, hard, heavy, and elastic; used by the natives for spears, boomerangs, and clubs. The wood splits freely, and is used for fancy turnery. Saplings used as stakes in vineyards have lasted twenty years or more. It is used for building purposes, and has a strong odour of violets.'
1846. L. Leichhardt, quoted by J. D. Lang, 'Cooksland,' p. 312:
"Almost impassable bricklow scrub, so called from the bricklow (a species of acacia)."
1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 4:
"The Bricklow Acacia, which seems to be identical with the Rosewood Acacia of Moreton Bay; the latter, however, is a fine tree, 50 to 60 feet high, whereas the former is either a small tree or a shrub. I could not satisfactorily ascertain the origin of the word Bricklow, but as it is well understood and generally adopted by all the squatters between the Severn River and the Boyne, I shall make use of the name. Its long, slightly falcate leaves, being of a silvery green colour, give a peculiar character to the forest, where the tree abounds."—[Footnote]: "Brigaloe Gould."
1862. H. C. Kendall, 'Poems,' p. 79:
"Good-bye to the Barwan and brigalow scrubs."
1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 190:
"Now they pass through a small patch of Brigalow scrub. Some one has split a piece from a trunk of a small tree. What a scent the dark-grained wood has!"
1889. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia;' vol. iv. p. 69:
"There exudes from the Brigalow a white gum, in outward appearance like gum-arabic, and even clearer, but as a 'sticker' valueless, and as a 'chew-gum' disappointing."
1892. Gilbert Parker, 'Round the Compass in Australia,' p. 23:
"The glare of a hard and pitiless sky overhead, the infinite vista of saltbush, brigalow, stay-a-while, and mulga, the creeks only stretches of stone, and no shelter from the shadeless gums."
Brill, n. a small and very bony rhomboidal fish of New Zealand, Pseudorhombus scaphus, family Pleuronectidae. The true Brill of Europe is Rhombus levis.
Brisbane Daisy, n. See Daisy, Brisbane.
Bristle-bird, n. a name given to certain Australian Reed-warblers. They are—Sphenura brachyptera, Latham; Long-tailed B.—S. longirostris, Gould; Rufous-headed B.—S. broadbentii, McCoy. See Sphenura.
1827. Vigors and Horsfield, 'Transactions of Linnaean Society,' vol. xv. p. 232:
"He (Mr. Caley) calls it in his notes 'Bristle Bird.'"
Broad-leaf, n. a settlers' name for Griselinia littoralis, Raoul; Maori name, Paukatea.
1879. W. N. Blair, 'Building Materials of Otago,' p. 155:
"There are few trees in the [Otago] bush so conspicuous or so well known as the broad-leaf. . . . It grows to a height of fifty or sixty feet, and a diameter of from three to six; the bark is coarse and fibrous, and the leaves a beautiful deep green of great brilliancy."
1879. J. B. Armstrong, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. xii. Art. 49, p. 328:
"The broadleaf (Griselinia littoralis) is abundant in the district [of Banks' Peninsula], and produces a hard red wood of a durable nature."
1882. T. H. Potts, 'Out in the Open,' p. 103:
"The rough trunks and limbs of the broadleaf."
Broker, n. Australian slang for a man completely ruined, stonebroke.
1891. 'The Australasian,' Nov. 21, p. 1014:
"We're nearly 'dead brokers,' as they say out here. Let's harness up Eclipse and go over to old Yamnibar."
Bronze-wing, n. a bird with a lustrous shoulder, Phaps chalcoptera, Lath. Called also Bronze-wing Pigeon.
1790. J. White, 'Voyage to New South Wales,' p. 145:
"One of the gold-winged pigeons, of which a plate is annexed. [Under plate, Golden-winged Pigeon.] This bird is a curious and singular species remarkable for having most of the feathers of the wing marked with a brilliant spot of golden yellow, changing, in various reflections of light, to green and copper-bronze, and when the wing is closed, forming two bars of the same across it."
1832. J. Bischoff, 'Van Diemen's Land,' vol. ii. p. 31:
"The pigeons are by far the most beautiful birds in the island; they are called bronze-winged pigeons."
1857. W. Howitt, 'Tallangetta,' vol. ii. p. 57:
"Mr. Fitzpatrick followed his kangaroo hounds, and shot his emus, his wild turkeys, and his bronze-wings."
1865. 'Once a Week.' 'The Bulla-Bulla Bunyip.'
"Hours ago the bronze-wing pigeons had taken their evening draught from the coffee-coloured water-hole beyond the butcher's paddock, and then flown back into the bush to roost on 'honeysuckle' and in heather."
1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 122:
"Another most beautiful pigeon is the 'bronze-wing,' which is nearly the size of the English wood-pigeon, and has a magnificent purply-bronze speculum on the wings."
1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 33:
"Both the bronze-wing and Wonga-Wonga pigeon are hunted so keenly that in a few years they will have become extinct in Victoria."
1893. 'The Argus,' March 25, p. 4, col. 6:
"Those who care for museum studies must have been interested in tracing the Australian quail and pigeon families to a point where they blend their separate identities in the partridge bronze-wing of the Central Australian plains. The eggs mark the converging lines just as clearly as the birds, for the partridge-pigeon lays an egg much more like that of a quail than a pigeon, and lays, quail fashion, on the ground."
Brook-Lime, n. English name for an aquatic plant, applied in Australia to the plant Gratiola pedunculata, R. Br., N.O. Scrophularinae. Also called Heartsease.
Broom, n. name applied to the plant Calycothrix tetragona, Lab., N.O. Myrtaceae.
Broom, Native, n. an Australian timber, Viminaria denudala, Smith, N.O. Leguminosae.
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 612:
"Native broom. Wood soft and spongy."
Broom, Purple, n. a Tasmanian name for Comesperma retusum, Lab., N.O. Polygaleae.
Brown Snake, n. See under Snake.
Brown-tail, n. bird-name for the Tasmanian Tit. See Tit.
1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. iii, pl. 54:
"Acanthiza Diemenensis, Gould. Brown-tail, colonists of Van Diemen's Land."
Brown Tree-Lizard, n. of New Zealand, Naultinus pacificus.
Browny or Brownie, n. a kind of currant loaf.
1890. E. D. Cleland, 'The White kangaroo,' p. 57:
"Cake made of flour, fat and sugar, commonly known as 'Browny.'"
1890. 'The Argus,' Sept. 20, p. 13, col. 57:
"Four o'clock. 'Smoke O!' again with more bread and brownie (a bread sweetened with sugar and currants)."
1892. Gilbert Parker, 'Round the Compass,' p. 36:
"Roast mutton and brownie are given us to eat."
Brumby, Broombie (spelling various), n. a wild horse. The origin of this word is very doubtful. Some claim for it an aboriginal, and some an English source. In its present shape it figures in one aboriginal vocabulary, given in Curr's 'Australian Race' (1887), vol. iii. p. 259. At p. 284, booramby is given as meaning "wild" on the river Warrego in Queensland. The use of the word seems to have spread from the Warrego and the Balowne about 1864. Before that date, and in other parts of the bush ere the word came to them, wild horses were called clear-skins or scrubbers, whilst Yarraman (q.v.) is the aboriginal word for a quiet or broken horse. A different origin was, however, given by an old resident of New South Wales, to a lady of the name of Brumby, viz. "that in the early days of that colony, a Lieutenant Brumby, who was on the staff of one of the Governors, imported some very good horses, and that some of their descendants being allowed to run wild became the ancestors the wild horses of New South Wales and Queensland." Confirmation of this story is to be desired.
1880. 'The Australasian,' Dec. 4, p. 712, col. 3:
"Passing through a belt of mulga, we saw, on reaching its edge, a mob of horses grazing on the plains beyond. These our guide pronounced to be 'brumbies,' the bush name here [Queensland] for wild horses."
1888. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol. ii. p. 176:
"The wild horses of this continent known all over it by the Australian name of 'brumbies.'"
Ibid. p. 178:
"The untamed and 'unyardable' scrub brumby."
1888. R. Kipling, 'Plain Tales from the Hills,' p. 160:
"Juggling about the country, with an Australian larrikin; a 'brumby' with as much breed as the boy. . . . People who lost money on him called him a 'brumby.'"
1888. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Robbery under Arms.' p. 67:
"The three-cornered weed he rode that had been a 'brumbee.'"
1895. 'Chambers' Journal,' Nov. 2, Heading 'Australian Brumbie Horses':
"The brumbie horse of Australia, tho' not a distinct equine variety, possesses attributes and qualities peculiar to itself, and, like the wild cattle and wild buffaloes of Australia, is the descendant of runaways of imported stock."
1896. 'Sydney Morning Herald,' (Letter from 'J. F. G.,' dated Aug. 24):
"Amongst the blacks on the Lower Balonne, Nebine, Warrego, and Bulloo rivers the word used for horse is 'baroombie,' the 'a' being cut so short that the word sounds as 'broombie,' and as far as my experience goes refers more to unbroken horses in distinction to quiet or broken ones ('yarraman')."
1896. H. Lawson, 'When the World was Wide,' p. 156:
"Yet at times we long to gallop where the reckless bushman rides In the wake of startled brumbies that are flying for their hides."
Brush, n. at first undergrowth, small trees, as in England; afterwards applied to larger timber growth and forest trees. Its earlier sense survives in the compound words; see below.
1820. Oxley, 'New South Wales' ('O.E.D.'):
"The timber standing at wide intervals, without any brush or undergrowth."
1833. C. Sturt, 'Southern Australia,' (2nd ed.) vol. i. p. 62:
"We journeyed . . . at one time over good plains, at another through brushes."
1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. i. Introd. p. 77:
"Jungle, or what in New South Wales would be called brush."
Ibid. vol. v. Pl. 59:
"Those vast primeval forests of New South Wales to which the colonists have applied the name of brushes."
1853. Chas. St. Julian and Edward K. Silvester, 'The Productions, Industry, and Resources of New South Wales,' p. 20:
"What the colonists term 'brush' lands are those covered with tall trees growing so near each other and being so closely matted together by underwood, parasites, and creepers, as to be wholly impassable."
1883. G. W. Rusden, 'History of Australia,' vol. i. p. 67, note:
"Brush was allotted to the growth of large timber on alluvial lands, with other trees intermixed, and tangled vines. The soil was rich, and 'brushland' was well understood as a descriptive term. It may die away, but its meaning deserves to be pointed out."
Brush-Apple, n. See Apple.
Brush-Bloodwood, n. See Bloodwood.
Brush-Cherry, n. an Australian tree, Trochocarpa laurina, R. Br., and Eugenia myrtifolia, Simms. Called also Brush-Myrtle.
Brush-Deal, n. a slender Queensland tree, Cupania anacardioides, A. Richard. See Brush, above.
Brusher, n. a Bushman's name, in certain parts, for a small wallaby which hops about in the bush or scrub with considerable speed. "To give brusher," is a phrase derived from this, and used in many parts, especially of the interior of Australia, and implies that a man has left without paying his debts. In reply to the question "Has so-and-so left the township? "the answer, "Oh yes, he gave them brusher," would be well understood in the above sense.
Brush-Kangaroo, n. another name for the Wallaby (q.v.).
1802. G. Barrington, 'History of New South Wales,' c. viii. p. 273:
"A place . . . thickly inhabited by the small brush-kangaroo."
1830. 'Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society,' i. 29:
"These dogs . . . are particularly useful in catching the bandicoots, the small brush kangaroo, and the opossum."
1832. J. Bischoff, 'Van Diemen's Land,' c. ii. p. 28:
"The brush-kangaroo . . . frequents the scrubs and rocky hills."
1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' c. iii. p. 24:
"Violet was so fast that she could catch the brush-kangaroo (the wallaby) within sight."
Brush-Myrtle, i.q. Brush-Cherry (q.v.)
Brush-Turkey, n. See Turkey.
Brush-Turpentine, n. another name for the tree Syncarpia leptopetala, F. v. M., N.O. Myrtaceae, called also Myrtle (q.v.).
Bubrush, n. See Wonga and Raupo.
Buck, v. Used "intransitively of a horse, to leap vertically from the ground, drawing the feet together like a deer, and arching the back. Also transitively to buck off." ('O.E.D.') Some say that this word is not Australian, but all the early quotations of buck and cognate words are connected with Australia. The word is now used freely in the United States; see quotation, 1882.
1870. E. B. Kennedy, 'Four Years in Queensland,' p. 193:
"Having gained his seat by a nimble spring, I have seen a man (a Sydney native) so much at his ease, that while the horse has been 'bucking a hurricane,' to use a colonial expression, the rider has been cutting up his tobacco and filling his pipe, while several feet in the air, nothing to front of him excepting a small lock of the animal's mane (the head being between its legs), and very little behind him, the stern being down; the horse either giving a turn to the air, or going forward every buck."
1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 131:
"'Well,' said one, 'that fellow went to market like a bird.' 'Yes,' echoed another, 'Bucked a blessed hurricane.' 'Buck a town down,' cried a third. 'Never seed a horse strip himself quicker,' cried a fourth."
1882. Baillie-Grohman, 'Camps in the Rockies,' ch. iv. p. 102 ('Standard'):
"There are two ways, I understand, of sitting a bucking horse . . . one is 'to follow the buck,' the other 'to receive the buck.'"
1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' p. 55:
"The performance is quite peculiar to Australian horses, and no one who has not seen them at it would believe the rapid contortions of which they are capable. In bucking, a horse tucks his head right between his fore-legs, sometimes striking his jaw with his hind feet. The back meantime is arched like a boiled prawn's; and in this position the animal makes a series of tremendous bounds, sometimes forwards, sometimes sideways and backwards, keeping it up for several minutes at intervals of a few seconds."
Buck, n. See preceding verb.
1868. Lady Barker, 'Station Life in New Zealand,' p. 224:
"I never saw such bucks and jumps into the air as she [the mare] performed."
1886. H. C. Kendall, 'Poems,' p. 206:
"For, mark me, he can sit a buck For hours and hours together; And never horse has had the luck To pitch him from the leather."
Bucker, Buck-jumper, n. a horse given to bucking or buck-jumping.
1853. H. Berkeley Jones, 'Adventures in Australia in 1852 and 1853,' [Footnote] p. 143:
"A 'bucker' is a vicious horse, to be found only in Australia."
1884. 'Harper's Magazine,' July, No. 301, p. 1 ('O.E.D.'):
"If we should . . . select a 'bucker,' the probabilities are that we will come to grief."
1893. Haddon Chambers, 'Thumbnail Sketches of Australian Life,' p. 64:
"No buck jumper could shake him off."
1893. Ibid. p. 187:
"'Were you ever on a buck-jumper?' I was asked by a friend, shortly after my return from Australia."
Buck-jumping, Bucking, verbal nouns.
1855. W. Howitt, 'Two Years in Victoria,' vol. i. p. 43:
"At length it shook off all its holders, and made one of those extraordinary vaults that they call buck-jumping."
1859. H. Kingsley, 'Geoffrey Hamlyn,' vol. ii. p. 212:
"That same bucking is just what puzzles me utterly."
1859. Rev. J. D. Mereweather, 'Diary of a Working Clergyman in Australia and Tasmania, kept during the years 1850-1853,' p. 177:
"I believe that an inveterate buckjumper can be cured by slinging up one of the four legs, and lunging him about severely in heavy ground on the three legs. The action they must needs make use of on such an occasion somewhat resembles the action of bucking; and after some severe trials of that sort, they take a dislike to the whole style of thing. An Irishman on the Murrumbidgee is very clever at this schooling. It is called here 'turning a horse inside out.'"
1885. Forman (Dakota), item 26, May 6, 3 ('O.E.D.'):
"The majority of the horses there [in Australia] are vicious and given to the trick of buck jumping." [It may be worth while to add that this is not strictly accurate.]
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Colonial Reformer,' p. 94:
"'I should say that buck jumping was produced in this country by bad breaking,' said Mr. Neuchamp oracularly. 'Don't you believe it, sir. Bucking is like other vices—runs in the blood.'"
Buck-shot, n. a settlers' term for a geological formation. See quotation.
1851. 'The Australasian Quarterly,' p. 459:
"The plain under our feet was everywhere furrowed by Dead men's graves, and generally covered with the granulated lava, aptly named by the settlers buck-shot, and found throughout the country on these trappean 'formations. Buck-shot is always imbedded in a sandy alluvium, sometimes several feet thick."
Buddawong, n. a variation of Burrawang (q.v.).
1877. Australie, 'The Buddawong's Crown,' 'Australian Poets,' 1788-1888, ed. Sladen, p. 39:
"A Buddawong seed-nut fell to earth, In a cool and mossy glade, And in spring it shot up its barbed green swords, Secure 'neath the myrtle's shade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
And the poor, poor palm has died indeed. But little the strangers care, 'There are zamias in plenty more,' they say, But the crown is a beauty rare."
Budgeree, adj. aboriginal word for good, which is common colloquially in the bush. See Budgerigar.
1793. J.Hunter, 'Port Jackson,' p. 195:
"They very frequently, at the conclusion of the dance, would apply to us . . . for marks of our approbation . . . which we never failed to give by often repeating the word boojery, good; or boojery caribberie, a good dance."
Budgerigar, or Betcherrygah, n. aboriginal name for the bird called by Gould the Warbling Grass-parrakeet; called also Shell-parrot and Zebra- Grass-parrakeet. In the Port Jackson dialect budgeri, or boodgeri, means good, excellent. In 'Collins' Vocabulary' (1798), boodjer-re = good. In New South Wales gar is common as first syllable of the name for the white cockatoo, as garaweh. See Galah. In the north of New South Wales kaar= white cockatoo. The spelling is very various, but the first of the two above given is the more correct etymologically. In the United States it is spelt beauregarde, derived by 'Standard' from French beau and regarde, a manifest instance of the law of Hobson -Jobson.
1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 297:
"The betshiregah (Melopsittacus Undulatus, Gould) were very numerous."
1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. v. Pl. 44:
"Melopsittacus Undulatus. Warbling Grass-Parrakeet. Canary Parrot—colonists. Betcherrygah—natives of Liverpool Plains."
1857. Letter, Nov.17, in 'Life of Fenton J. A. Hort' (1896), vol. i. p. 388:
"There is also a small green creature like a miniature cockatoo, called a Budgeragar, which was brought from Australia. He is quaint and now and then noisy, but not on the whole a demonstrative being."
1857. W. Howitt, 'Tallangetta,' vol. i. p. 48:
"Young paroquets, the green leeks, and the lovely speckled budgregores."
1865. Lady Barker, 'Station Life in New Zealand,' p. 7:
"I saw several pairs of those pretty grass or zebra parroquets, which are called here by the very inharmonious name of 'budgereghars.'"
2890. Lyth, 'Golden South,' c. xiv. p. 127:
"The tiny budgeriegar, sometimes called the shell parrot."
Bugle, n. name given to the Australian plant Ajuga australis, R. Br., N.O. Labiatae.
Bugler, n. a name given in Tasmania to the fish Centriscus scolopax, family Centriscidae; called in Europe the Trumpet-fish, Bellows-fish, the latter name being also used for it in Tasmania. The structure of the mouth and snout suggests a musical instrument, or, combined with the outline of the body, a pair of bellows. The fish occurs also in Europe.
Bugong, or Bogong, or Bougong, n. an Australian moth, Danais limniace, or Agrotis spina, eaten by the aborigines.
1834. Rev. W. B. Clarke, 'Researches in the Southern Gold Fields of New South Wales' (second edition), p. 228:
"These moths have obtained their name from their occurrence on the 'Bogongs' or granite mountains. They were described by my friend Dr. Bennett in his interesting work on 'New South Wales,' 1832-4, as abundant on the Bogong Mountain, Tumut River. I found them equally abundant, and in full vigour, in December, coming in clouds from the granite peaks of the Muniong Range. The blacks throw them on the fire and eat them."
1859. H. Kingsley, 'Geoffrey Hamlyn,' p. 355:
"The westward range is called the Bougongs. The blacks during summer are in the habit of coming thus far to collect and feed on the great grey moths (bougongs) which are found on the rocks."
1871. 'The Athenaeum,' May 27, p. 660:
"The Gibbs Land and Murray districts have been divided into the following counties: . . . Bogong (native name of grubs and moths)."
1878. R. Brough Smyth, 'The Aborigines of Victoria,' vol. i. p. 207
"The moths—the Bugong moths(Agrolis suffusa) are greedily devoured by the natives; and in former times, when they were in season, they assembled in great numbers to eat there, and they grew fat on this food." [Also a long footnote.]
1890. Richard Helms, 'Records of the Australian Museum,' vol. i. No. 1:
"My aim was to obtain some 'Boogongs,' the native name for the moths which so abundantly occur on this range, and no doubt have given it its name."
1896. 'Sydney Mail,' April 4, Answers to Correspondents:
"It cannot be stated positively, but it is thought that the name of the moth 'bogong' is taken from that of the mountain. The meaning of the word is not known, but probably it is an aboriginal word."
Bull-a-bull, or Bullybul, n. a child's corruption of the Maori word Poroporo (q.v.), a flowering shrub of New Zealand. It is allied to the Kangaroo-Apple (q.v.).
1845. 'New Plymouth's National Song,' in Hursthouse's 'New Zealand,' p. 217:
"And as for fruit, the place is full Of that delicious bull-a-bull."
Bullahoo, n. See Ballahoo.
Bull-ant, n. contracted and common form of the words Bull-dog Ant (q.v.).
Bull-dog Ant, n. (frequently shortened to Bull-dog or Bull-ant), an ant of large size with a fierce bite. The name is applied to various species of the genus Myrmecia, which is common throughout Australia and Tasmania.
1878. Mrs. H. Jones, 'Long Years in Australia,' p. 93:
"Busy colonies of ants (which everywhere infest the country). . . One kind is very warlike—the 'bull-dog': sentinels stand on the watch, outside the nest, and in case of attack disappear for a moment and return with a whole army of the red-headed monsters, and should they nip you, will give you a remembrance of their sting never to be forgotten."
1888. Alleged 'Prize Poem,' Jubilee Exhibition:
"The aborigine is now nearly extinct, But the bull-dog-ant and the kangaroo rat Are a little too thick—I think."
1896. A. B. Paterson, 'Man from Snowy River,' p. 142:
"Where the wily free-selector walks in armour-plated pants, And defies the stings of scorpion and the bites of bull-dog ants."
Bull-dog Shark, i.q. Bull-head (1) (q.v.).
Bull-head, n. The name is applied to many fishes of different families in various parts of the world, none of which are the same as the following two. (1) A shark of Tasmania and South Australia of small size and harmless, with teeth formed for crushing shells, Heterodontus phillipi , Lacep., family Cestraciontidae; also called the Bull-dog Shark, and in Sydney, where it is common, the Port-Jackson Shark : the aboriginal name was Tabbigan. (2) A freshwater fish of New Zealand, Eleotris gobioides, Cuv.and Val., family Gobiidae. See Bighead.
Bulln-Bulln, n. an aboriginal name for the Lyre-bird (q.v.). This native name is imitative. The most southerly county in Victoria is called Buln-Buln; it is the haunt of the Lyre-bird.
1857. D. Bunce, 'Travels with Leichhardt in Australia,' p. 70:
"We afterwards learned that this was the work of the Bullen Bullen, or Lyre-bird, in its search for large worms, its favourite food."
1871. 'The Athenaeum,' May 27, p. 660:
"The Gipps Land and Murray districts have been divided into the following counties: . . . Buln Buln (name of Lyre-bird)."
Bull-Oak, n. See Oak.
Bullocky, n. and adj. a bullockdriver." In the bush all the heavy hauling is done with bullock-drays. It is quite a common sight up the country to see teams of a dozen and upwards." (B. and L.)
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xii. p. 121:
"By George, Jack, you're a regular bullocky boy."
Bull-puncher, or Bullock-puncher, n. slang for a bullockdriver. According to Barrere and Leland's 'Slang Dictionary,' the word has a somewhat different meaning in America, where it means a drover. See Punch.
1872. C. N. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 49:
"The 'bull-puncher,' as bullock-drivers are familiarly called."
1873. J. Mathew, song 'Hawking,' in 'Queenslander,' Oct. 4:
"The stockmen and the bushmen and the shepherds leave the station, And the hardy bullock-punchers throw aside their occupation."
1889. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol. iv. p. 143:
"These teams would comprise from five to six pairs of bullocks each, and were driven by a man euphoniously termed a 'bull-puncher.' Armed with a six-foot thong, fastened to a supple stick seven feet long. . . ."
Bull-rout, n. a fish of New South Wales, Centropogon robustus, Guenth., family Scorpaenidae.
1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish of New South Wales,' p. 48:
"It emits a loud and harsh grunting noise when it is caught. . . . The fisherman knows what he has got by the noise before he brings his fish to the surface. . . . When out of the water the noise of the bull-rout is loudest, and it spreads its gills and fins a little, so as to appear very formidable. . . . The blacks held it in great dread, and the name of bull-rout may possibly be a corruption of some native word."
Bull's-eye, n. a fish of New South Wales, Priacanthus macracanthus, Cuv.and Val. Priacanthus, says Guenther, is a percoid fish with short snout, lower jaw and chin prominent, and small rough scales all over them and the body generally. The eye large, and the colour red, pink, or silvery.
1884. E. P. Ramsay, 'Fisheries Exhibition Literature,' vol. v. p. 311:
"Another good table-fish is the 'bull's-eye,' a beautiful salmon-red fish with small scales. . . . At times it enters the harbours in considerable numbers; but the supply is irregular."
Bulls-wool, n. colloquial name for the inner portion of the covering of the Stringybark-tree (q.v.). This is a dry finely fibrous substance, easily disintegrated by rubbing between the hands. It forms a valuable tinder for kindling a fire in the bush, and is largely employed for that purpose. It is not unlike the matted hair of a bull, and is reddish in colour, hence perhaps this nickname, which is common in the Tasmanian bush.
Bully, n. a Tasmanian fish, Blennius tasmanianus, Richards., family Blennidae.
Bulrush, n. See Wonga and Raupo.
Bung, to go, v. to fail, to become bankrupt. This phrase of English school-boy slang, meaning to go off with an explosion, to go to smash (also according to Barrere and Leland still in use among American thieves), is in very frequent use in Australia. In Melbourne in the times that followed the collapse of the land-boom it was a common expression to say that Mr. So-and-so had "gone bung," sc. filed his schedule or made a composition with creditors; or that an institution had "gone bung," sc. closed its doors, collapsed. In parts of Australia, in New South Wales and Queensland, the word "bung" is an aboriginal word meaning "dead," and even though the slang word be of English origin, its frequency of use in Australia may be due to the existence of the aboriginal word, which forms the last syllable in Billabong (q.v.), and in the aboriginal word milbung blind, literally, eye-dead.
(a) The aboriginal word.
1847. J. D. Lang, 'Cooksland,' p. 430:
"A place called Umpie Bung, or the dead houses." [It is now a suburb of Brisbane, Humpy-bong.]
1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. ii. p. 175 [in Blacks' pigeon English]:
"Missis bail bong, ony cawbawn prighten. (Missis not dead, only dreadfully frightened.)"
1882. A. J. Boyd, 'Old Colonials,' p. 73:
"But just before you hands 'im [the horse] over and gets the money, he goes bong on you" (i.e. he dies).
1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' p: 142:
"Their [the blacks'] ordinary creed is very simple. 'Directly me bung (die) me jump up white feller,' and this seems to be the height of their ambition."
1895. 'The Age,' Dec. 21, p. 13, col. 6:
"'Then soon go bong, mummy,' said Ning, solemnly.
'Die,' corrected Clare. You mustn't talk blacks' language.'
'Suppose you go bong,' pursued Ning reflectively, 'then you go to Heaven.'"
(b) The slang word.
1885. 'Australian Printers' Keepsake,' p. 40:
"He was importuned to desist, as his musical talent had 'gone bung,' probably from over-indulgence in confectionery."
1893. 'The Argus,' April 15 (by Oriel), p. 13, col. 2:
"Still change is humanity's lot. It is but the space of a day Till cold is the damask cheek, and silent the eloquent tongue, All flesh is grass, says the preacher, like grass it is withered away, And we gaze on a bank in the evening, and lo, in the morn 'tis bung."
1893. Professor Gosman, 'The Argus,' April 24, p. 7, col. 4:
"Banks might fail, but the treasures of thought could never go 'bung.'"
1893. 'The Herald' (Melbourne), April 25, p. 2, col. 4:
"Perhaps Sydney may supply us with a useful example. One member of the mischief-making brotherhood wrote the words 'gone bung' under a notice on the Government Savings Bank, and he was brought before the Police Court charged with damaging the bank's property to the extent of 3d. The offender offered the Bench his views on the bank, but the magistrates bluntly told him his conduct was disgraceful, and fined him L 3 with costs, or two months' imprisonment."
Bunga or Bungy, n. a New Zealand settlers' corruption of the Maori word punga (q.v.).
Bunt, n. a Queensland fungus growing on wheat, fetid when crushed. Tilletia caries, Tul., N.O. Fungi.
Bunya-Bunya, n. aboriginal word. [Bunyi at heads of Burnett, Mary, and Brisbane rivers, Queensland; baanya, on the Darling Downs.] An Australian tree, Araucaria bidwillii, Hooker, with fruit somewhat like Bertholletia excelsa, N.O. Coniferae. Widgi-Widgi station on the Mary was the head-quarters for the fruit of this tree, and some thousands of blacks used to assemble there in the season to feast on it; it was at this assembly that they used to indulge in cannibalism ; every third year the trees were said to bear a very abundant crop. The Bunya-Bunya mountains in Queensland derive their name from this tree.
1843. L. Leichhardt, Letter in 'Cooksland, by J. D. Lang, p. 82:
"The bunya-bunya tree is noble and gigantic, and its umbrella-like head overtowers all the trees of the bush."
1844. Ibid. p. 89:
"The kernel of the Bunya fruit has a very fine aroma, and it is certainly delicious eating."
1844. 'Port Phillip Patriot,' July 25:
"The Bunya-Bunya or Araucaria on the seeds of which numerous tribes of blacks are accustomed to feed."
1879. W. R. Guilfoyle, 'First Book of Australian Botany,' p. 58:
"A splendid timber tree of South Queensland, where it forms dense forests, one of the finest of the Araucaria tribe, attaining an approximate height of 200 feet. The Bunya-Bunya withstands drought better than most of the genus, and flourishes luxuriantly in and around Melbourne."
1887. J. Mathew, in Curr's 'Australian Race,' vol. iii. p. 161:
[A full account.] "In laying up a store of bunyas, the blacks exhibited an unusual foresight. When the fruit was in season, they filled netted bags with the seeds, and buried them."
1889. Hill, quoted by J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 7:
"The cones shed their seeds, which are two to two and a half inches long by three-quarters of an inch broad; they are sweet before being perfectly ripe, and after that resemble roasted chestnuts in taste. They are plentiful once in three years, and when the ripening season arrives, which is generally in the month of January, the aborigina&ls assemble in large numbers from a great distance around, and feast upon them. Each tribe has its own particular set of trees, and of these each family has a certain number allotted, which are handed down from generation to generation with great exactness. The bunya is remarkable as being the only hereditary property which any of the aborigines are known to possess, and it is therefore protected by law. The food seems to have a fattening effect on the aborigines, and they eat large quantities of it after roasting it at the fire."
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 377:
"The 'Bunya-bunya' of the aboriginals—a name invariably adopted by the colonists."
1892. J. Fraser, 'Aborigines of New South Wales,' p. 50:
"The Bunya-bunya tree, in the proper season, bears a fir cone of great size—six to nine inches long-and this, when roasted, yields a vegetable pulp, pleasant to eat and nutritious."
1893. 'Sydney Morning Herald,' Aug. 19, p. 7, col. 1:
"There is a beautiful bunya-bunya in a garden just beyond, its foliage fresh varnished by the rain, and toning from a rich darkness to the very spring tint of tender green."
Bunyip, n. (1) the aboriginal name of a fabulous animal. See quotations. For the traditions of the natives on this subject see Brough Smyth, 'Aborigines of Victoria,' vol. i. p. 435.
1848. W. Westgarth, 'Australia Felix,' p. 391:
"Certain large fossil bones, found in various parts of Australia Felix, have been referred by the natives, when consulted on the subject by the colonists, to a huge animal of extraordinary appearance, called in some districts the Bunyup, in others the Kianpraty, which they assert to be still alive. It is described as of amphibious character, inhabiting deep rivers, and permanent water-holes, having a round head, an elongated neck, with a body and tail resembling an ox. These reports have not been unattended to, and the bunyup is said to have been actually seen by many parties, colonists as well as aborigines. . . .[A skull which the natives said was that of a 'piccinini Kianpraty' was found by Professor Owen to be that of a young calf. The Professor] considers it all but impossible that such a large animal as the bunyup of the natives can be now living in the country. [Mr. Westgarth suspects] it is only a tradition of the alligator or crocodile of the north."
1849. W. S. Macleay, 'Tasmanian journal,' vol. iii. p. 275:
"On the skull now exhibited at the Colonial Museum of Sydney as that of the Bunyip."
1855. G. C. Mundy, 'Our Antipodes,' p. 214:
"Did my reader ever hear of the Bunyip (fearful name to the aboriginal native!) a sort of 'half-horse, half-alligator,' haunting the wide rushy swamps and lagoons of the interior?"
1859. H. Kingsley, 'Geoffrey Hamlyn,' p. 258:
"The river is too deep, child, and the Bunyip lives in the water under the stones."
1865. 'Once a Week,' Dec. 31, p. 45, The Bulla Bulla Bunyip':
"Beyond a doubt, in 'Lushy Luke's' belief, a Bunyip had taken temporary lodgings outside the town. This bete noire of the Australian bush Luke asserted he had often seen in bygone times. He described it as being bigger than an elephant, in shape like a 'poley' bullock, with eyes like live coals, and with tusks like a walrus's. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"What the Bunyip is, I cannot pretend to say, but I think it is highly probable that the stories told by both old bushmen and blackfellows, of some bush beast bigger and fiercer than any commonly known in Australia, are founded on fact. Fear and the love of the marvellous may have introduced a considerable element of exaggeration into these stories, but I cannot help suspecting that the myths have an historical basis."
1872. C. Gould, 'Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania,' 1872, p. 33:
"The belief in the Bunyip was just as prevalent among the natives in parts hundreds of miles distant from any stream in which alligators occur. . . . Some other animal must be sought for." . . . [Gould then quotes from 'The Mercury' of April 26, 1872, an extract from the 'Wagga Advertiser']: "There really is a Bunyip or Waa-wee, actually existing not far from us . . . in the Midgeon Lagoon, sixteen miles north of Naraudera . . . I saw a creature coming through the water with tremendous rapidity . . . . The animal was about half as long again as an ordinary retriever dog, the hair all over its body was jet black and shining, its coat was very long." [Gould cites other instances, and concludes that the Bunyip is probably a seal.]
1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 202:
"In the south-eastern part of Australia the evil spirit of the natives is called Bunjup, a monster which is believed to dwell in the lakes. It has of late been supposed that this is a mammal of considerable size that has not yet been discovered . . . is described as a monster with countless eyes and ears. . . . He has sharp claws, and can run so fast that it is difficult to escape him. He is cruel, and spares no one either young or old."
1894. 'The Argus,' June 23, p. 11, col. 4:
"The hollow boom so often heard on the margin of reedy swamps —more hollow and louder by night than day—is the mythical bunyip, the actual bittern."
(2) In a secondary sense, a synonym for an impostor.
1852. G. C. Mundy, 'Our Antipodes' (edition 1855), p. 214:
"One advantage arose from the aforesaid long-deferred discovery —a new and strong word was adopted into the Australian vocabulary: Bunyip became, and remains a Sydney synonoyme for impostor, pretender, humbug, and the like. The black fellows, however, unaware of the extinction, by superior authority, of their favourite loup-garou, still continue to cherish the fabulous bunyip in their shuddering imagination."
1853. W. C. Wentworth—Speech in August quoted by Sir Henry Parkes in 'Fifty Years of Australian History' (1892), vol. i. p. 41:
"They had been twitted with attempting to create a mushroom, a Brummagem, a bunyip aristocracy; but I need scarcely observe that where argument fails ridicule is generally resorted to for aid."
Burnet, Native, n. The name is given in Australia to the plant Acaena ovina, Cunn., N.O. Rosaceae.
Burnett Salmon, n. one of the names given to the fish Ceratodus forsteri, Krefft. See Burramundi.
Burnt-stuff, n. a geological term used by miners. See quotation.
1853. Mrs. Chas. Clancy, 'Lady's Visit to Gold Diggings,' p. 112:
"The top, or surface soil, for which a spade or shovel is used, was of clay. This was succeeded by a strata almost as hard as iron—technically called 'burnt-stuff'—which robbed the pick of its points nearly as soon as the blacksmith had steeled them at a charge of 2s. 6d. a point."
Bur, n. In Tasmania the name is applied to Acaena rosaceae, Vahl., N.O. Rosaceae.
Burramundi, or Barramunda, n. a fresh-water fish, Osteoglossum leichhardtii, Guenth., family Osteoglossidae, found in the Dawson and Fitzroy Rivers, Queensland. The name is also incorrectly applied by the colonists to the large tidal perch of the Fitzroy River, Queensland, Lates calcarifer, Guenth., a widely distributed fish in the East Indies, and to Ceratodus forsteri, Krefft, family Sirenidae, of the Mary and Burnett Rivers, Queensland. Burramundi is the aboriginal name for O. leichhardtii. The spelling barramunda is due to the influence of barracouta (q.v.). See Perch.
1873. A. Trollope, 'Australia and New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 189:
"There is a fish too at Rockhampton called the burra mundi,— I hope I spell the name rightly,—which is very commendable."
1880. Guenther, 'Study of Fishes,' p. 357:
"Ceratodus. . . . Two species, C. forsteri and C. miolepis, are known from fresh-waters of Queensland. . . . Locally the settlers call it 'flathead,' 'Burnett or Dawson salmon,' and the aborigines 'barramunda,' a name which they apply also to other largescaled fresh-water fishes, as the Osteoglossum leichhardtii. . . . The discovery of Ceratodus does not date farther back than the year 1870."
1882. W. Macleay, 'Descriptive Catalogue of Australian fishes' ('Proceedings of the Linnaean Society of New South Wales,' vol. vi. p. 256):
"Osteoglossum leichhardtii, Gunth. Barramundi of the aborigines of the Dawson River."
1892. Baldwin Spencer, 'Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria,' vol. iv. [Note on the habits of Ceratodus forsterii]
"It has two common names, one of which is the 'Burnett Salmon' and the other the 'Barramunda" . . . the latter name . . . is properly applied to a very different form, a true teleostean fish (Osteoglossum leichhardtii) which is found . . . further north . . . in the Dawson and Fitzroy . . . Mr. Saville Kent states that the Ceratodus is much prized as food. This is a mistake, for, as a matter of fact, it is only eaten by Chinese and those who can afford to get nothing better."
Burrawang, or Burwan, n. an Australian nut-tree, Macrozamia spiralis, Miq.
1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 221:
"The burwan is a nut much relished by our natives, who prepare it by roasting and immersion in a running stream, to free it from its poisonous qualities."