1851. J. Henderson, 'Excursions in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 238
"The Burrowan, which grows in a sandy soil, and produces an inedible fruit, resembling the pine-apple in appearance."
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 41:
"Burrawang nut, so called because they used to be, and are to some extent now, very common about Burrawang, N.S.W. The nuts are relished by the aboriginals. An arrowroot of very good quality is obtained from them."
Bush, n. Not originally an Australian application. "Recent, and probably a direct adoption of the Dutch Bosch, in colonies originally Dutch" ('O.E.D.'), [quoting (1780) Forster, in 'Phil. Trans.' lxxi. 2, "The common Bush-cat of the Cape;" and (1818) Scott, 'Tapestr. Chamber,' "When I was in the Bush, as the Virginians call it"]. "Woodland, country more or less covered with natural wood applied to the uncleared or untitled districts in the British Colonies which are still in a state of nature, or largely so, even though not wooded; and by extension to the country as opposed to the towns." ('O.E.D.')
1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 48:
"I have spent a good deal of my time in the woods, or bush, as it is called here.'
1836. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 85:
"With the exception of two or three little farms, comprising about 20 or 30 acres of cultivation, all was 'bush' as it is colonially called. The undergrowth was mostly clear, being covered only with grass or herbs, with here and there some low shrubs."
1837. J. D. Lang, 'New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 253:
"His house was well enough for the bush, as the country is generally termed in the colony."
1855. From a letter quoted in Wathen's 'The Golden Colony,' p. 117:
"'The Bush,' when the word is used in the towns, means all the uninclosed and uncultivated country . . . when in the country, 'the Bush' means more especially the forest. The word itself has been borrowed from the Cape, and is of Dutch origin."
1857. 'The Argus,' Dec. 14, p. 5, col. 7:
"'Give us something to do in or about Melbourne, not away in the bush,' says the deputation of the unemployed."
1861. T. McCombie,' Australian Sketches,' p. 123:
"At first the eternal silence of the bush is oppressive, but a short sojourn is sufficient to accustom a neophyte to the new scene, and he speedily becomes enamoured of it."
1865. J. F. Mortlock, 'Experiences of a Convict,' p. 83:
"The 'bush,' a generic term synonymous with 'forest' or 'jungle,' applied to all land in its primaeval condition, whether occupied by herds or not."
1872. A. McFarland, 'Illawarra and Manaro,' p. 113:
"All the advantages of civilized life have been surrendered for the bush, its blanket and gunyah."
1873. A. Trollope, 'Australia and New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 250:
"The technical meaning of the word 'bush.' The bush is the gum-tree forest, with which so great a part of Australia is covered, that folk who follow a country life are invariably said to live in the bush. Squatters who look after their own runs always live in the bush, even though their sheep are pastured on plains. Instead of a town mouse and a country mouse in Australia, there would be a town mouse and a bush mouse; but mice living in the small country towns would still be bush mice."
Ibid. c. xx. p. 299:
"Nearly every place beyond the influence of the big towns is called 'bush,' even though there should not be a tree to be seen around."
1883. G. W. Rusden, 'History of Australia,' vol. i. p. 67, n.:
"Bush was a general term for the interior. It might be thick bush, open bush, bush forest, or scrubby bushterms which explain themselves."
1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' p. 40:
"The first thing that strikes me is the lifeless solitude of the bush. . . . There is a deep fascination about the freedom of the bush."
1890. E. W. Hornung [Title]:
"A Bride from the Bush."
1896. 'Otago Daily Times,' Jan. 27, p. 2, col. 5:
"Almost the whole of New South Wales is covered with bush. It is not the bush as known in New Zealand. It is rather a park-like expanse, where the trees stand widely apart, and where there is grass on the soil between them."
Bush, adj. or in composition, not always easy to distinguish, the hyphen depending on the fancy of the writer.
1836. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 75:
"The round trundling of our cart wheels, it is well known, does not always improve the labours of Macadam, much less a bush road."
1848. Letter by Mrs. Perry, given in Canon Goodman's 'Church in Victoria, during Episcopate of Bishop Perry,'p. 75:
"A hard bush sofa, without back or ends."
1849. J. Sidney, 'Emigrants' Journal, and Travellers' Magazine,' p. 40 (Letter from Caroline Chisholm):
"What I would particularly recommend to new settlers is 'Bush Partnership'—Let two friends or neighbours agree to work together, until three acres are cropped, dividing the work, the expense, and the produce—this partnership will grow apace; I have made numerous bush agreements of this kind . . . I never knew any quarrel or bad feeling result from these partnerships, on the contrary, I believe them calculated to promote much neighbourly good will; but in the association of a large number of strangers, for an indefinite period, I have no confidence."
1857. W. Westgarth, 'Victoria,' c. xi. p. 250:
"The gloomy antithesis of good bushranging and bad bush-roads."
[Bush-road, however, does not usually mean a made-road through the bush, but a road which has not been formed, and is in a state of nature except for the wear of vehicles upon it, and perhaps the clearing of trees and scrub.]
1864. 'The Reader,' April 2, p. 40, col. 1 ('O.E.D.'):
"The roads from the nascent metropolis still partook mainly of the random character of 'bush tracks.'"
1865. W. Hewitt, 'Discovery in Australia,' vol. ii. p. 211:
"Dr. Wills offered to go himself in the absence of any more youthful and, through bush seasoning, qualified person."
1880. 'Blackwood's Magazine,' Feb., p. 169 [Title]:
"Bush-Life in Queensland."
1881. R. M. Praed, 'Policy and Passion,' c. i. p. 59:
"The driver paused before a bush inn."
[In Australia the word "inn" is now rare. The word "hotel" has supplanted it.]
1889. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol. iv.p. 3:
"Not as bush roads go. The Australian habit is here followed of using 'bush' for country, though no word could be more ludicrously inapplicable, for there is hardly anything on the way that can really be called a bush."
1894. 'Sydney Morning Herald' (exact date lost):
"Canada, Cape Colony, and Australia have preserved the old significance of Bush—Chaucer has it so—as a territory on which there are trees; it is a simple but, after all, a kindly development that when a territory is so unlucky as to have no trees, sometimes, indeed, to be bald of any growth whatever, it should still be spoken of as if it had them."
1896. Rolf Boldrewood, in preface to 'The Man from Snowy River':
"It is not easy to write ballads descriptive of the bushland of Australia, as on light consideration would appear."
1896. H. Lawson, 'While the Billy boils,' p. 104:
"About Byrock we met the bush liar in all his glory. He was dressed like—like a bush larrikin. His name was Jim."
Bush-faller, n. one who cuts down timber in the bush.
1882. 'Pall Mall Gazette,' June 29, p. 2, col. 1:
"A broken-down, deserted shanty, inhabited once, perhaps, by rail-splitters or bush-fallers." ['O.E.D.,' from which this quotation is taken, puts (?) before the meaning; but "To fall" is not uncommon in Australia for "to fell."]
Bush-fire, n. forests and grass on fire in hot summers.
1868. C. Dilke, 'Greater Britain,' vol. ii. part iii. c. iii. p. 32:
"The smoke from these bush-fires extends for hundreds of miles to sea."
1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' c. xxii. p. 156:
"A reserve in case of bush-fires and bad seasons."
Bush-lawyer, n. (1) A Bramble. See Lawyer.
(2) Name often used for a layman who fancies he knows all about the law without consulting a solicitor. He talks a great deal, and 'lays down the law.'
1896. H. G. Turner, 'Lecture on J. P. Fawkner':
"For some years he cultivated and developed his capacity for rhetorical argument by practising in the minor courts of law in Tasmania as a paid advocate, a position which in those days, and under the exceptional circumstances of the Colony, was not restricted to members of the legal profession, and the term Bush Lawyer probably takes its origin from the practice of this period."
Bush-magpie, n. an Australian bird, more commonly called a Magpie (q.v.).
1888. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol. ii. p. 235:
". . . the omnipresent bush-magpie. Here he may warble all the day long on the liquid, mellifluous notes of his Doric flute, fit pipe indeed for academic groves . . . sweetest and brightest, most cheery and sociable of all Australian birds."
Bushman, n. (1) Settler in the bush. Used to distinguish country residents from townsfolk.
1852. 'Blackwood's Magazine,' p. 522 ('O.E.D.'):
"Where the wild bushman eats his loathly fare."
1880. J. Mathew, song, 'The Bushman:'
"How weary, how dreary the stillness must be! But oh! the lone bushman is dreaming of me."
1886. Frank Cowan: 'Australia; a Charcoal Sketch':
"The bushman . . . Gunyah, his bark hovel; Damper, his unleavened bread baked in the ashes; Billy, his tea-kettle, universal pot and pan and bucket; Sugar-bag, his source of saccharine, a bee-tree; Pheasant, his facetious metaphoric euphism for Liar, quasi Lyre-bird; Fit for Woogooroo, for Daft or Idiotic; Brumby, his peculiar term for wild horse; Scrubber, wild ox; Nuggeting, calf-stealing; Jumbuck, sheep, in general; an Old-man, grizzled wallaroo or kangaroo; Station, Run, a sheep- or cattle-ranch; and Kabonboodgery—an echo of the sound diablery for ever in his ears, from dawn to dusk of Laughing Jackass and from dusk to dawn of Dingo—his half-bird -and-beast-like vocal substitute for Very Good. . . ."
1896. H.Lawson, 'While the Billy boils,' p. 71:
"He was a typical bushman, . . . and of the old bush school; one of those slight active little fellows, whom we used to see in cabbage-tree hats, Crimean shirts, strapped trousers, and elastic-side boots."
(2) One who has knowledge of the bush, and is skilled in its ways. A "good bushman" is especially used of a man who can find his way where there are no tracks.
1868. J. Bonwick, 'John Batman, Founder of Victoria,' pp. 78, 79:
"It is hardly likely that so splendid a bushman as Mr. Batman would venture upon such an expedition had he not been well. In fact a better bushman at this time could not be met with."
1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. ii. p. 3:
"The worst bushman had to undertake the charge of the camp, cook the provisions, and look after the horses, during the absence of the rest on flying excursions."
1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' p. 40:
"Very slight landmarks will serve to guide a good bushman, for no two places are really exactly alike."
1891. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Sydney-side Saxon,' p. 78:
"One of the best bushmen in that part of the country: the men said he could find his way over it blindfold, or on the darkest night that ever was."
(3) Special sense. See quotation.
1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 80:
"Some were what is termed, par excellence, bushmen—that is, men who split rails, get posts, shingles, take contracts for building houses, stockyards, etc.—men, in fact, who work among timber continually, sometimes felling and splitting, sometimes sawing."
Bushmanship, n. knowledge of the ways of the bush.
1882. A. J. Boyd, 'Old Colonials,' p. 261:
"A good laugh at the bushmanship displayed."
Bushranger, n. one who ranges or traverses the bush, far and wide; an Australian highwayman; in the early days usually an escaped convict. Shakspeare uses the verb 'to range' in this connection.
"Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen In murders and in outrage, boldly here." ('Richard II.,' III. ii. 39.)
"Ranger" is used in modern English for one who protects and not for one who robs; as 'the Ranger' of a Park.
1806. May 4, 'Sydney Gazette' or 'New South Wales Advertiser, given in 'History of New South Wales,' p. 265:
"Yesterday afternoon, William Page, the bushranger repeatedly advertised, was apprehended by three constables."
1820. W. C. Wentworth, 'Description of New South Wales,' p. 166:
[The settlements in Van Diemen's Land have] "been infested for many years past by a banditti of runaway convicts, who have endangered the person and property of every one. . . . These wretches, who are known in the colony by the name of bushrangers. . ."
1820. Lieut. Chas. Jeffreys, 'Van Dieman's [sic] Land,' p. 15:
"The supposition . . . rests solely on the authority of the Bush Rangers, a species of wandering brigands, who will be elsewhere described."
1838. T. L. 'Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions,' vol. i. p. 9:
"Bushrangers, a sub-genus in the order banditti, which happily can now only exist there in places inaccessible to the mounted police."
1845. R. Howitt, 'Australia,' p. 81:
"This country [Van Diemen's Land] is as much infested as New South Wales with robbers, runaway convicts, or, as they are termed, Bush-rangers."
1861. T. McCombie, 'Australian Sketches,' p. 77:
"The whole region was infested by marauding bands of bush-rangers, terrible after nightfall."
1887. J. F. Hogan, 'The Irish in Australia, p. 252:
"Whilst he was engaged in this duty in Victoria, a band of outlaws—'bushrangers' as they are colonially termed— who had long defied capture, and had carried on a career of murder and robbery, descended from their haunts in the mountain ranges."
Bush-ranging, n. the practice of the Bushranger (q.v.).
1827. 'Captain Robinson's Report,' Dec. 23
"It was a subject of complaint among the settlers, that their assigned servants could not be known from soldiers, owing to their dress; which very much assisted the crime of 'bush-ranging.'"
Bush-scrubber, n. a bushman's word for a boor, bumpkin, or slatternly person. See Scrubber.
1896. Modern. Up-country manservant on seeing his new mistress:
"My word! a real lady! she's no bush-scrubber!"
Bush-telegraph, n. Confederates of bushrangers who supply them with secret information of the movements of the police.
1878. 'The Australian,' vol. i. p. 507:
"The police are baffled by the false reports of the confederates and the number and activity of the bush telegraphs."
1893. Kenneth Mackay, 'Out Back,' p. 74:
"A hint dropped in this town set the bush telegraphs riding in all directions."
Bushwoman, n. See quotation.
1892. 'The Australasian,' April 9, p. 707, col. 1:
"But who has championed the cause of the woman of the bush— or, would it be more correct to say bushwoman, as well as bushman?—and allowed her also a claim to participate in the founding of a nation?"
Bush-wren, n. See Wren.
1888. W. L. Buller, 'Birds of New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 108:
[A full description.]
Bushed, adj., quasi past participle, lost in the bush; then, lost or at a loss.
1661. T. McCombie, 'Australian Sketches,' p. 115:
"I left my seat to reach a shelter, which was so many miles off, that I narrowly escaped being 'bushed.'"
1865. W. Howitt, 'Discovery in Australia,' vol. i. p. 283:
"The poor youth, new to the wilds, had, in the expressive phrase of the colonials, got bushed, that is, utterly bewildered, and thus lost all idea of the direction that he ought to pursue."
1885. R. M. Praed, 'Australian Life,' p. 29:
"I get quite bushed in these streets."
1896. 'The Argus,' Jan. 1, p. 4, col. 9:
"The Ministry did not assume its duty of leading the House, and Mr. Higgins graphically described the position of affairs by stating that the House was 'bushed;' while Mr. Shiels compared the situation to a rudderless ship drifting hither and thither."
Bustard, n. "There are about twenty species, mostly of Africa, several of India, one of Australia, and three properly European." ('Century.') The Australian variety is Eupodotis australis, Gray, called also Wild Turkey, Native Turkey, and Plain Turkey. See Turkey.
Buster, Southerly, n. The word is a corruption of 'burster,' that which bursts. A sudden and violent squall from the south. The name, used first in Sydney, has been adopted also in other Australian cities. See Brickfielder.
1863. F. Fowler, in 'Athenaeum,' Feb. 21, p. 264, col. 1:
"The cold wind or southerly buster which . . . carries a thick cloud of dust . . . across the city."
1878. 'The Australian,' vol. i. p. 587:
"Southerly Busters by 'Ironbark.'"
1886. F. Cowan, 'Australia, a Charcoal Sketch':
"The Buster and Brickfielder: austral red-dust blizzard; and red-hot Simoom."
1889. Rev. J. H. Zillmann, 'Australian Life,' p. 40:
"Generally these winds end in what is commonly called a 'southerly buster.' This is preceded by a lull in the hot wind; then suddenly (as it has been put) it is as though a bladder of cool air were exploded, and the strong cool southerly air drives up with tremendous force. However pleasant the change of temperature may be it is no mere pastime to be caught in a 'southerly buster,' but the drifting rain which always follows soon sets matters right, allays the dust, and then follows the calm fresh bracing wind which is the more delightful by contrast with the misery through which one has passed for three long dreary days and nights."
1893. 'The Australasian,' Aug. 12, p. 302, col. 1:
"You should see him with Commodore Jack out in the teeth of the 'hard glad weather,' when a southerly buster sweeps up the harbour."
1896. H. A.Hunt, in 'Three Essays on Australian Weather' (Sydney), p. 16:
An Essay on Southerly Bursters, . . . with Four Photographs and Five Diagrams."
[Title of an essay which was awarded the prize of L 25 offered by the Hon. Ralph Abercrombie.]
Butcher, n. South Australian slang for a long drink of beer, so-called (it is said) because the men of a certain butchery in Adelaide used this refreshment regularly; cf. "porter" in England, after the drink of the old London porters.
Butcher-bird, n. The name is in use elsewhere, but in Australia it is applied to the genus Cracticus. The varieties are—
The Butcher-bird— Cracticus torquatus, Lath.; formerly C. destructor, Gould.
Black B.— C. quoyi, Less.
Black-throated B.— C. nigrigularis, Gould.
Grey B. (Derwent Jackass)— C. cinereus, Gould (see Jackass).
Pied B.— C. picatus, Gould.
Rufous B.— C. rufescens, De Vis.
Silver-backed B.— C. argenteus, Gould.
Spalding's B.— C. spaldingi, Masters.
White-winged B.— C. leucopterus, Cav.
The bird is sometimes called a Crow-shrike.
1827. Vigors and Horsfield, 'Transactions of Linnaean Society,' vol. xv. p. 213:
"Mr. Caley observes—Butcher-bird. This bird used frequently to come into some green wattle-trees near my house, and in wet weather was very noisy; from which circumstance it obtained the name of 'Rain-bird.'"
1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. ii. Pl. 52:
"Cracticus Destructor. Butcher Bird, name given by colonists of Swan River, a permanent resident in New South Wales and South Australia. I scarcely know of any Australian bird so generally dispersed."
1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' p. 50:
"Close to the station one or two butcher-birds were piping their morning song, a strange little melody with not many notes, which no one who has heard it will ever forget."
Buttercup, n. The familiar English flower is represented in Australia and Tasmania by various species of Ranunculus, such as R. lappaceus, Sm., N.O. Ranunculaceae.
Butter-fish, n. a name given in Australia to Oligorus mitchellii, Castln. (see Murray Perch); in Victoria, to Chilodactylus nigricans, Richards. (see Morwong); in New Zealand, to Coridodax pullus, Forst., called also Kelp-fish. The name is in allusion to their slippery coating of mucus. See Kelp-fish.
1850. J. B. Clutterbuck, 'Port Phillip,' vol. iii. p. 44:
"In the bay are large quantities of . . . butter-fish."
1880. Guenther, 'Study of Fishes,' p. 533:
"The 'butter-fish,' or 'kelp-fish' of the colonists of New Zealand (C. pullus), is prized as food, and attains to a weight of four or five pounds."
Butterfly-conch, n. Tasmanian name for a marine univalve mollusc, Voluta papillosa, Swainson.
Butterfly-fish, n. a New Zealand sea-fish, Gasterochisma melampus, Richards., one of the Nomeidae. The ventral fins are exceedingly broad and long, and can be completely concealed in a fold of the abdomen. The New Zealand fish is so named from these fins; the European Butterfly-fish, Blennius ocellaris, derives its name from the spots on its dorsal fin, like the eyes in a peacock's tail or butterfly's wing.
Butterfly-Lobster, n. a marine crustacean, so called from the leaf-like expansion of the antennae. It is "the highly specialized macrourous decapod Ibacus Peronii." (W. A. Haswell.)
1880. Mrs. Meredith, 'Tasmanian Friends and Foes,' p. 248:
"Those curious crustaceans that I have heard called 'butterfly lobsters'. . . the shell of the head and body (properly known as the carapace) expands into something like wing-forms, entirely hiding the legs beneath them."
Butterfly-Plant, n. a small flowering plant, Utricularia dichotoma, Lab., N.O. Leutibularina.
Button-grass, n. Schaenus sphaerocephalus, Poiret, N.O. Cyperaceae. The grass is found covering barren boggy land in Tasmania, but is not peculiar to Tasmania. So called from the round shaped flower (capitate inflorescence), on a thin stalk four or five feet long, like a button on the end of a foil.
Buzzard, n. an English bird-name applied in Australia to Gypoictinia melanosternon, Gould, the Black-breasted Buzzard.
Cabbage Garden, a name applied to the colony of Victoria by Sir John Robertson, the Premier of New South Wales, in contempt for its size.
1889. Rev. J. H. Zillmann, 'Australian Life,' p. 30:
"'The cabbage garden,' old cynical Sir John Robertson, of New South Wales, once called Victoria, but a garden notwithstanding. Better at any rate 'the cabbage garden' than the mere sheep run or cattle paddock."
Cabbage-Palm, n. same as Cabbage-tree (1) (q.v.).
Cabbage-tree, n (1)Name given to various palm trees of which the heart of the young leaves is eaten like the head of a cabbage. In Australia the name is applied to the fan palm, Livistona inermis, R. Br., and more commonly to Livistona australis, Martius. In New Zealand the name is given to various species of Cordyline, especially to Cordyline indivisa. See also Flame-tree (2).
1769. 'Capt. Cook's Journal,' ed. Wharton (1893), p. 144:
"We likewise found one Cabage Tree which we cut down for the sake of the cabage."
1802. G.Barrington, 'History of New South Wales,' p. 60:
"Even the ships crews helped, except those who brought the cabbage trees."
1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discovery in Australia,' vol. ii. c. iv. p. 132:
"Cabbage-tree . . . grew in abundance."
1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 72:
"Several of my companions suffered by eating too much of the cabbage-palm."
1865. W. Howitt, 'Discovery in Australia,' vol. i. p. 414:
"Clumps of what the people of King George's Sound call cabbage-trees."
1867. F. Hochstetter, 'New Zealand,' p. 240:
"There stands an isolated 'cabbage-tree' (Ti of the natives; Cordyline Australis) nearly thirty feet high, with ramified branches and a crown of luxuriant growth."
(2) A large, low-crowned, broad-brimmed hat, made out of the leaves of the Cabbage-tree (Livistona).
1802. G. Barrington, 'History of New South Wales,' 335:
"This hat, made of white filaments of the cabbage-tree, seemed to excite the attention of the whole party."
1852. G. F. P., 'Gold Pen and Pencil Sketches,' xv.:
"With scowl indignant flashing from his eye, As though to wither each unshaven wretch, Jack jogs along, nor condescends reply, As to the price his cabbage-tree might fetch."
1864. 'Once a Week,' Dec. 31, p. 45, The Bulla Bulla Bunyip':
"Lushy Luke endeavoured to sober himself by dipping his head in the hollowed tree-trunk which serves for the water-trough of an up-country Australian inn. He forgot, however, to take off his 'cabbage-tree' before he ducked, and angry at having made a fool of himself, he gave fierce orders, in a thick voice, for his men to fall in, shoulder arms, and mark time."
1865. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'History of the Discovery and Exploration of Australia,' vol. i. pp. 160, 161:
"The cabbage-palm was also a new species, called by Mr. Brown the Livistonia inermis. It was abundant; but the cabbage (the heart of the young budding leaves) too small to be useful as an article of food, at least to a ship's company. But the leaves were found useful. These dried and drawn into strips were plaited into hats for the men, and to this day the cabbage-tree hat is very highly esteemed by the Australians, as a protection from the sun, and allowing free ventilation." [Note]: "A good cabbage-tree hat, though it very much resembles a common straw hat, will fetch as much as L3."
1878. 'The Australian,' vol. i. p. 527:
". . . trousers, peg-top shaped, and wore a new cabbage-tree hat."
1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 33:
"A brand-new cabbage-tree hat protected his head."
Cabbage-tree Mob, and Cabbagites, obsolete Australian slang for modern Larrikins (q.v)., because wearing cabbage-tree hats.
1852. G. C. Mundy, 'Our Antipodes '(edition 1855), p. 17:
"There are to be found round the doors of the Sydney Theatre a sort of 'loafers' known as the Cabbage-tree mob,—a class who, in the spirit of the ancient tyrant, one might excusably wish had but one nose in order to make it a bloody one. . . . Unaware of the propensities of the cabbagites he was by them furiously assailed."
Cad, n. name in Queensland for the Cicada (q.v.).
1896. 'The Australasian,' Jan. 11, p. 76, col. 1:
"From the trees sounds the shrill chirp of large green cicada (native cads as the bushmen call them)."
Caddie, n. a bush name for the slouch-hat or wide-awake. In the Australian bush the brim is generally turned down at the back and sometimes all round.
Cadet, n. term used in New Zealand, answering to the Australian Colonial Experience, or jackaroo (q.v.).
1866. Lady Barker, 'Station Life in New Zealand,' p. 68:
"A cadet, as they are called—he is a clergyman's son learning sheepfarming under our auspices."
1871. C. L. Money, 'Knocking About in New Zealand,' p. 6:
"The military designation of cadet was applied to any young fellow who was attached to a sheep or cattle station in the same capacity as myself. He was 'neither flesh nor fowl nor good red herring,' neither master nor man. He was sent to work with the men, but not paid."
Caloprymnus, n. the scientific name of the genus called the Plain Kangaroo-Rat. (Grk. kalos, beautiful, and prumnon, hinder part.) It has bright flanks. See Kangaroo-Rat.
Camp, n. (1) A place to live in, generally temporary; a rest.
1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' pp. 46, 47:
" I was shown my camp, which was a slab but about a hundred yards away from the big house. . . . I was rather tired, and not sorry for the prospect of a camp."
(2) A place for mustering cattle.
1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' p. 64:
"All about the run, at intervals of fire or six miles, are cattle-camps, and the cattle that belong to the surrounding districts are mustered on their respective camps."
1896. A. B. Paterson, 'Man from Snowy River,' p. 26:
"There was never his like in the open bush, And never his match on the cattle-camps."
(3) In Australia, frequently used for a camping-out expedition. Often in composition with "out," a camp-out.
1869. 'Colonial Monthly,' vol. iv.p. 289:
"A young fellow with even a moderate degree of sensibility must be excited by the novelty of his first 'camp-out' in the Australian bush."
1880. R. H. Inglis, 'Australian Cousins,' p. 233:
"We're going to have a regular camp; we intend going to Port Hocking to have some shooting, fishing, and general diversion."
(4) A name for Sydney and for Hobart, now long obsolete, originating when British military forces were stationed there.
1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 70:
"It is the old resident—he who still calls Sydney, with its population of twelve thousand inhabitants, the camp,—that can appreciate these things: he who still recollects the few earth-huts and solitary tents scattered through the forest brush surrounding Sydney Cove (known properly then indeed by the name of 'The Camp')."
1852. Mrs. Meredith, 'My Home in Tasmania,' vol. i. p. 193:
"Living during the winter in Hobarton, usually called 'the camp,' in those days."
Camp, v. (1) Generally in composition with "out," to sleep in the open air, usually without any covering. Camping out is exceedingly common in Australia owing to the warmth of the climate and the rarity of rain.
1867. Lady Barker, 'Station Life in New Zealand,' p. 125:
"I like to hear of benighted or belated travellers when they have had to 'camp out,' as it is technically called."
1875. R. and F. Hill, 'What we saw in Australia,' p. 208:
"So the Bishop determined to 'camp-out' at once where a good fire could be made."
1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. ii. p. 43:
"There is room here for fifty, rolled up on the floor; and should that fail them, there is no end of other places; or the bush, as a fall back, where, indeed, some of them prefer camping as it is."
1891. 'The Australasian,' Nov. 14, p. 963, col. 1: 'A Lady in the Kermadecs':
"For three months I 'camped out' there alone, shepherding a flock of Angoras."
(2) By extension, to sleep in any unusual place, or at an unusual time.
1893. 'Review of Reviews' (Australasian ed. ), March, p. 51:
"The campaign came to an abrupt and somewhat inglorious close, Sir George Dibbs having to 'camp' in a railway carriage, and Sir Henry Parkes being flood-bound at Quirindi."
"Visitor,—'Where's your Mother?' 'Oh, she's camping.'" [The lady was enjoying an afternoon nap indoors.]
(3) To stop for a rest in the middle of the day.
1891. Mrs. Cross (Ada Cambridge), 'The Three Miss Kings,' p. 180:
"We'll have lunch first before we investigate the caves—if it's agreeable to you. I will take the horses out, and we'll find a nice place to camp before they come."
(4) To floor or prove superior to. Slang.
1886. C. H. Kendall, 'Poems,' p. 207:
"At punching oxen you may guess There's nothing out can camp him. He has, in fact, the slouch and dress, Which bullock-driver stamp him."
Camphor-wood, n. an Australian timber; the wood of Callitris (Frenea) robusta, Cunn., N.O. Coniferae. Called also Light, Black, White, Dark, and Common Pine, as the wood varies much in its colouring. See Pine.
Canajong, n. Tasmanian aboriginal name for the plants called Pig-faces (q.v.).
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 44:
"Pig-faces. It was the canajong of the Tasmanian aboriginal. The fleshy fruit is eaten raw by the aborigines: the leaves are eaten baked."
Canary, n. (1) A bird-name used in New Zealand for Clitonyx ochrocephala, called also the Yellow-head. Dwellers in the back-blocks of Australia apply the name to the Orange-fronted Ephthianura (E. aurifrons, Gould), and sometimes to the White-throated Gerygone (Gerygone albigularis).
1888. W. L. Buller, 'Birds of New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 56:
"Clitonyx Ochrocephala. Yellow-head. 'Canary' of the colonists."
(2) Slang for a convict. See quotations. As early as 1673, 'canary-bird' was thieves' English for a gaol-bird.
1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 117:
"Convicts of but recent migration are facetiously known by the name of canaries, by reason of the yellow plumage in which they are fledged at the period of landing."
1870. T. H. Braim, 'New Homes,' c. ii. p. 72:
"The prisoners were dressed in yellow-hence called 'canary birds.'"
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. vi. p. 49:
"Can't you get your canaries off the track here for about a quarter of an hour, and let my mob of cattle pass ?"
Candle-nut, n. The name is given in Queensland to the fruit of Aleurites moluccana, Willd., N.O. Euphorbiaceae. The nuts are two or more inches diameter. The name is often given to the tree itself, which grows wild in Queensland and is cultivated in gardens there under the name of A. triloba, Forst. It is not endemic in Australia, but the vernacular name of Candle-nut is confined to Australia and the Polynesian Islands.
1883. F. M. Bailey, 'Synopsis of Queensland Flora,' p. 472:
"Candle-nut. The kernels when dried and stuck on a reed are used by the Polynesian Islanders as a substitute for candles, and as an article of food in New Georgia. These nuts resemble walnuts somewhat in size and taste. When pressed they yield a large proportion of pure palatable oil, used as a drying-oil for paint, and known as country walnut-oil and artists' oil."
Cane-grass, n. i.q. Bamboo-grass (q.v.).
Cape-Barren Goose, n. See Goose.
1852. Mrs. Meredith, 'My Home in Tasmania,' vol. i. p. 114, [Footnote]:
"The 'Cape Barren Goose' frequents the island from which it takes its name, and others in the Straits. It is about the same size as a common goose, the plumage a handsome mottled brown and gray, somewhat owl-like in character."
[Cape Barren Island is in Bass Strait, between Flinders Island and Tasmania. Banks Strait flows between Cape Barren Island and Tasmania. The easternmost point on the island is called Cape Barren.]
Cape-Barren Tea, n. a shrub or tree, Correa alba, Andr., N.O. Rutaceae.
1834. Ross, 'Van Diemen's Land Annual,' p. 134:
"Leptospermum lanigerum, hoary tea-tree; Acacia decurrens, black wattle; Correa alba, Cape Barren tea. The leaves of these have been used as substitutes for tea in the colony."
Cape Lilac, n. See Lilac.
Cape Weed, n. In Europe, Roccella tinctoria, a lichen from the Cape de Verde Islands, from which a dye is produced. In New Zealand, name given to the European cats-ear, Hypaechoris radicata. In Australia it is as in quotation below. See 'Globe Encyclopaedia,' 1877 (s.v.).
1878. W. R. Guilfoyle, 'First Book of Australian Botany,' p. 60:
"Cape Weed. Cryptostemma Calendulaceum. (Natural Order, Compositae.) This weed, which has proved such a pest in many parts of Victoria, was introduced from the Cape of Good Hope, as a fodder plant. It is an annual, flowering in the spring, and giving a bright golden hue to the fields. It proves destructive to other herbs and grasses, and though it affords a nutritious food for stock in the spring, it dies off in the middle of summer, after ripening its seeds, leaving the fields quite bare."
Caper-tree, n. The Australian tree of this name is Capparis nobilis, F. v. M., N.O. Capparideae. The Karum of the Queensland aboriginals. The fruit is one to two inches in diameter. Called also Grey Plum or Native Pomegranate. The name is also given to Capparis Mitchelli, Lindl. The European caper is Capparis spinosa, Linn.
1894. 'Melbourne Museum Catalogue, Economic Woods,' p. 10:
"Native Caper Tree or Wild Pomegranate. Natural Order, Capparideae. Found in the Mallee Scrub. A small tree. The wood is whitish, hard, close-grained, and suitable for engraving, carving, and similar purposes. Strongly resembles lancewood."
Captain Cook, or Cooker, n. New Zealand colonists' slang. First applied to the wild pigs of New Zealand, supposed to be descended from those first introduced by Captain Cook; afterwards used as term of reproach for any pig which, like the wild variety, obstinately refused to fatten. See Introduction.
1879. W. Quin, 'New Zealand Country Journal,' vol. iii. p. 55:
"Many a rare old tusker finds a home in the mountain gorges. The immense tusks at Brooksdale attest the size of the wild boars or Captain Cooks, as the patriarchs are generally named."
1894. E. Wakefield, 'New Zealand after Fifty Years,' p. 85:
"The leanness and roughness of the wild pig gives it quite a different appearance from the domesticated variety; and hence a gaunt, ill-shaped, or sorry-looking pig is everywhere called in derision a 'Captain Cook.'"
Carbora, n. aboriginal name for (1) the Native Bear. See Bear.
(2) A kind of water worm that eats into timber between high and low water on a tidal river.
Cardamom, n. For the Australian tree of this name, see quotation.
1890. C. Lumholtz,' Among Cannibals,' p. 96:
"The Australian cardamom tree." [Footnote]: "This is a fictitious name, as are the names of many Australian plants and animals. The tree belongs to the nutmeg family, and its real name is Myristica insipida. The name owes its existence to the similarity of the fruit to the real cardamom. But the fruit of the Myristica has not so strong and pleasant an odour as the real cardamom, and hence the tree is called insipida."
Carp, n. The English fish is of the family Cyprinidae. The name is given to different fishes in Ireland and elsewhere. In Sydney it is Chilodactylus fuscus, Castln., and Chilodactylus macropterus, Richards.; called also Morwong (q.v.). The Murray Carp is Murrayia cyprinoides, Castln., a percoid fish. Chilodactylis belongs to the family Cirrhitidae, in no way allied to Cyprinidae, which contains the European carps. Cirrhitidae, says Guenther, may be readily recognized by their thickened undivided lower pectoral rays, which in some are evidently auxiliary organs of locomotion, in others, probably, organs of touch.
Carpet-Shark, n. i.q. Wobbegong (q.v.)
Carpet-Snake, n. a large Australian snake with a variegated skin, Python variegata, Gray. In Whitworth's 'Anglo-Indian Dictionary,' 1885 (s.v.), we are told that the name is loosely applied (sc. in India) to any kind of snake found in a dwelling-house other than a cobra or a dhaman. In Tasmania, a venomous snake, Hoplocephalus curtus, Schlegel. See under Snake.
Carrier, n. a local name for a water-bag.
1893. A. F. Calvert, 'English Illustrated,' Feb., p. 321:
"For the water-holders or 'carriers' (made to fit the bodies of the horses carrying them, or to 'ride easily' on pack-saddles)."
Carrot, Native, (1) Daucus brachiatus, Sieb., N.O. Umbelliferae. Not endemic in Australia.
1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 64:
"The native carrot . . . was here withered and in seed."
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 124:
"Native carrot. Stock are very fond of this plant when young. Sheep thrive wonderfully on it where it is plentiful. It is a small annual herbaceous plant, growing plentifully on sandhills and rich soil; the seeds, locally termed 'carrot burrs,' are very injurious to wool, the hooked spines with which the seeds are armed attaching themselves to the fleece, rendering portions of it quite stiff and rigid. The common carrot belongs, of course, to this genus, and the fact that it is descended from an apparently worthless, weedy plant, indicates that the present species is capable of much improvement by cultivation."
(2) In Tasmania Geranium dissectum, Linn., is also called "native carrot."
Cascarilla, Native, n. an Australian timber, Croton verreauxii, Baill., N.O. Euphorbiaceae.
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 408:
"Native cascarilla. A small tree; wood of a yellowish colour, close-grained and firm."
Cassowary, n. The word is Malay, the genus being found in "the Islands in the Indian Archipelago." ('O.E.D.') The Australian variety is Casuarius australis, Waller. The name is often erroneously applied (as in the first two quotations), to the Emu (q.v.), which is not a Cassowary.
1789. Governor Phillip, 'Voyage,' c. xxii. p. 271:
"New Holland Cassowary. [Description given.] This bird is not uncommon to New Holland, as several of them have been seen about Botany Bay, and other parts. . . . Although this bird cannot fly, it runs so swiftly that a greyhound can scarcely overtake it. The flesh is said to be in taste not unlike beef."
1802. G. Barrington, 'History of New South Wales,' c. xi. p. 438:
"The cassowary of New South Wales is larger in all respects than the well-known bird called the cassowary."
1869. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia' (Supplement):
"Casuarius Australis, Wall., Australian Cassowary, sometimes called Black Emu."
1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 73:
"One day an egg of a cassowary was brought to me; this bird, although it is nearly akin to the ostrich and emu, does not, like the latter, frequent the open plains, but the thick brushwood. The Australian cassowary is found in Northern Queensland from Herbert river northwards, in all the large vine-scrubs on the banks of the rivers, and on the high mountains of the coasts."
Ibid. p. 97.
"The proud cassowary, the stateliest bird of Australia . . . this beautiful and comparatively rare creature.'"
1891. 'Guide to Zoological Gardens, Melbourne':
"The Australian cassowary. . . . They are somewhat shorter and stouter in build than the emu."
Casuarina, n. the scientific name of a large group of trees common to India, and other parts lying between India and Australasia, but more numerous in Australia than elsewhere, and often forming a characteristic feature of the vegetation. They are the so-called She-oaks (q.v.). The word is not, however, Australian, and is much older than the discovery of Australia. Its etymology is contained in the quotation, 1877.
1806. 'Naval Chronicles,' c. xv. p. 460:
"Clubs made of the wood of the Casuarina."
1814. R. Brown, 'Botany of Terra Australis,' in M. Flinders' 'Voyage to Terra Australis,' vol. ii. p. 571:
"Casuarinae. The genus Casuarina is certainly not referable to any order of plants at present established . . . it may be considered a separate order. . . . The maximum of Casuarina appears to exist in Terra Australis, where it forms one of the characteristic features of the vegetation."
1855. G. C. Mundy, 'Our Antipodes,' p. 160:
"The dark selvage of casuarinas fringing its bank."
1861. T. McCombie, 'Australian Sketches,' p. 10:
"The vegetation assumed a new character, the eucalyptus and casuarina alternating with the wild cherry and honeysuckle."
1877. F. v. Mueller, 'Botanic Teachings,' p. 34:
"The scientific name of these well-known plants is as appropriate as their vernacular appellation is odd and unsuited. The former alludes to the cassowary (Casuarius), the plumage of which is comparatively as much reduced among birds, as the foliage of the casuarinas is stringy among trees. Hence more than two centuries ago Rumph already bestowed the name Casuarina on a Java species, led by the Dutch colonists, who call it there the Casuaris-Boom. The Australian vernacular name seems to have arisen from some fancied resemblance of the wood of some casuarinas to that of oaks, notwithstanding the extreme difference of the foliage and fruit; unless, as Dr. Hooker supposes, the popular name of these trees and shrubs arose from the Canadian 'Sheack.'"
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 397:
"From a fancied resemblance of the wood of casuarinas to that of oak, these trees are called 'oaks,' and the same and different species have various appellations in various parts."
1890. C. Lumholtz; 'Among Cannibals,' p. 33:
"Along its banks (the Comet's) my attention was drawn to a number of casuarinas—those leafless, dark trees, which always make a sad impression on the traveller; even a casual observer will notice the dull, depressing sigh which comes from a grove of these trees when there is the least breeze.'"
Cat-bird, n. In America the name is given to Mimus carolinensis, a mocking thrush, which like the Australian bird has a cry resembling the mewing of a cat. The Australian species are—
The Cat-bird— Ailuraedus viridis, Lath.
Spotted C.— Ailuraedus maculosus, Ramsay. Pomatostomus rubeculus, Gould.
Tooth-billed C.— Scenopaeus dentirostris, Ramsay.
1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. iv. pl. 11:
"Its loud, harsh and extraordinary note is heard; a note which differs so much from that of all other birds, that having been once heard it can never be mistaken. In comparing it to the nightly concert of the domestic cat, I conceive that I am conveying to my readers a more perfect idea of the note of this species than could be given by pages of description. This concert, like that of the animal whose name it bears, is performed either by a pair or several individuals, and nothing more is required than for the hearer to shut his eyes from the neighbouring foliage to fancy himself surrounded by London grimalkins of house-top celebrity."
1888. D.Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 36:
"One of the most peculiar of birds' eggs found about the Murray is that of the locally-termed 'cat-bird,' the shell of which is veined thickly with dark thin threads as though covered with a spider's web."
1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals.' p. 96:
"The cat-bird (AEluraedus maculosus), which makes its appearance towards evening, and has a voice strikingly like the mewing of a cat."
1893. 'The Argus,' March 25:
"Another quaint caller of the bush is the cat-bird, and its eggs are of exactly the colour of old ivory."
1896. G. A. Keartland, 'Horne Expedition in Central Australia,' pt. ii. Zoology, p. 92:
"Their habit of mewing like a cat has gained for them the local cognomen of cat-birds."
Cat-fish, n. The name is applied in the Old World to various fishes of the family Siluridae, and also to the Wolf-fish of Europe and North America. It arises from the resemblance of the teeth in some cases or the projecting "whiskers" in others, to those of a cat. In Victoria and New South Wales it is a fresh-water fish, Copidoglanis tandanus, Mitchell, brought abundantly to Melbourne by railway. It inhabits the rivers of the Murray system, but not of the centre of the continent. Called also Eel-fish and Tandan (q.v.). In Sydney the same name is applied also to Cnidoglanis megastoma, Rich., and in New Zealand Kathetostoma monopterygium. Cnidoglanis and Cnidoglanis are Siluroids, and Kathetostoma is a"stargazer," i.e. a fish having eyes on the upper surface of the head, belonging to the family Trachinidsae.
1851. J. Henderson, 'Excursions in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 207:
"The Cat-fish, which I have frequently caught in the McLeay, is a large and very ugly animal. Its head is provided with several large tentacatae, and it has altogether a disagreeable appearance. I have eat its flesh, but did not like it."
1880. Mrs. Meredith, 'Tasmanian Friends and Foes,' p. 213 [Footnote]:
"Mr. Frank Buckland . . . writing of a species of rock-fish, says—'I found that it had a beautiful contrivance in the conformation of its mouth. It has the power of prolongating both its jaws to nearly the extent of half-an-inch from their natural position. This is done by a most beautiful bit of mechanism, somewhat on the principle of what are called 'lazy tongs.' The cat-fish possesses a like feature, but on a much larger scale, the front part of the mouth being capable of being protruded between two and three inches when seizing prey.'"
Cat, Native, n. a small carnivorous marsupial, of the genus Dasyurus. The so-called native cat is not a cat at all, but a marsupial which resembles a very large rat or weasel, with rather a bushy tail. It is fawn-coloured or mouse-coloured, or black and covered with little white spots; a very pretty little animal. It only appears at night, when it climbs fences and trees and forms sport for moonlight shooting. Its skin is made into fancy rugs and cloaks or mantles.
The animal is more correctly called a Dasyure (q.v.). The species are—
Black-tailed Native Cat Dasyurus geoffroyi, Gould.
Common N.C. (called also Tiger Cat, q.v.)— D. viverrimus, Shaw.
North Australian N.C.— D. hallucatus, Gould.
Papuan N.C.— D. albopienetatus, Schl.
Slender N.C.— D. gracilis, Ramsay.
Spotted-tailed N.C. (called also Tiger Cat)— D. maculatus, Kerr.
1880. Mrs. Meredith, 'Tasmanian Friends and Foes,' p. 67:
"The native cat is similar [to the Tiger Cat; q.v.] but smaller, and its for is an ashy-grey with white spots. We have seen two or three skins quite black, spotted with white, but these are very rare."
1885. H. H.Hayter, 'Carboona,' p. 35:
"A blanket made of the fur-covered skins of the native cat."
1894. 'The Argus,' June 23, p. 11, col. 4:
"The voices of most of our night animals are guttural and unpleasing. The 'possum has a throaty half-stifled squeak, the native cat a deep chest-note ending with a hiss and easily imitated." [See Skirr.]
Catholic Frog, n. name applied to a frog living in the inland parts of New South Wales, Notaden bennettii, Guenth., which tides over times of drought in burrows, and feeds on ants. Called also "Holy Cross Toad." The names are given in consequence of a large cross-shaped blackish marking on the back.
1801. J. J. Fletcher, 'Proceedings of the Linnaean Society, New South Wales,' vol. vi. (2nd series), p. 265:
"Notaden bennettii, the Catholic frog, or as I have heard it called the Holy Cross Toad, I first noticed in January 1885, after a heavy fall of rain lasting ten days, off and on, and succeeding a severe drought."
Cat's Eyes, n. Not the true Cat's-eye, but the name given in Australia to the opercula of Turbo smaragdus, Martyn, a marine mollusc. The operculum is the horny or shelly lid which closes the aperture of most spiral shell fish.
Cat's-head Fern, n. Aspidium aculeatum, Sw.:
1880. Mrs. Meredith, 'Tasmanian Friends and Foes,' p. 220:
"The cat's-head fern; though why that name was given to it I have not the remotest idea. . . . It is full of beauty—the pinnules so exquisitely formed and indented, and gemmed beneath with absolute constellations of Spori Polystichum vestitum."
Catspaw, n. a Tasmanian plant, Trichinium spathulatum, Poir., N.O. Amarantaceae.
Cat's Tail, n. See Wonga.
Cattle-bush, n. a tree, Atalaya hemiglauca, F. v. M., N.O. Sapindacea. It is found in South Australia, New South Wales, and Queensland, and is sometimes called Whitewood.
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 117:
"Cattle-bush . . . The leaves of this tree are eaten by stock, the tree being frequently felled for their use during seasons of drought."
Cattle-duffer, n. a man who steals cattle (usually by altering their brands). See also Duffer.
1886. 'Melbourne Punch,' July 15, Cartoon Verses:
"Cattle-duffers on a jury may be honest men enough, But they're bound to visit lightly sins in those who cattle duff."
Cattle-racket, n. Explained in quotation.
1852. 'Settlers and Convicts; or Recollections of Sixteen Years' Labour in the Australian Backwoods,' p. 294:
"A Cattle-racket. The term at the head of this chapter was originally applied in New South Wales to the agitation of society which took place when some wholesale system of plunder in cattle was brought to light. It is now commonly applied to any circumstance of this sort, whether greater or less, and whether springing from a felonious intent or accidental."
Caustic-Creeper, n. name given to Euphorbia drummondii, Boiss., N.O. Euphorbiaceae.
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 127:
"Called 'caustic-creeper' in Queensland. Called 'milk-plant' and 'pox-plant' about Bourke. This weed is unquestionably poisonous to sheep, and has recently (Oct. 1887) been reported as having been fatal to a flock near Bourke, New South Wales. . . . When eaten by sheep in the early morning, before the heat of the sun has dried it up, it is almost certain to be fatal. Its effect on sheep is curious. The head swells to an enormous extent, becoming so heavy that the animal cannot support it, and therefore drags it along the ground; the ears suppurate. (Bailey and Gordon.)"
Caustic-Plant, or Caustic-Vine, n. Sarcostemma australis, R. Br., N.O. Asclepiadea. Cattle and sheep are poisoned by eating it.
Cavally, n. the original form of the Australian fish-name Trevally (q.v.). The form Cavally is used to Europe, but is almost extinct in Australia; the form Trevally is confined to Australia.
Cedar, n. The true Cedar is a Conifer (N.O. Coniferae) of the genus Cedrus, but the name is given locally to many other trees resembling it in appearance, or in the colour or scent of their wood. The New Zealand Cedar is the nearest approach to the true Cedar, and none of the so-called Australian Cedars are of the order Coniferae. The following are the trees to which the name is applied in Australia:—
Bastard Pencil Cedar— Dysoxylon rfum, Benth., N.O. Meliaceae.
Brown C.— Ehretia acuminata, R. Br., N.O. Asperifoliae.
Ordinary or Red C.— Cedrela australis, F. v. M. Cedrela toona, R. Br., N.O. Meliaceae. [C. toona is the "Toon" tree of India: its timber is known in the English market as Moulmein Cedar; but the Baron von Mueller doubts the identity of the Australian Cedar with the "Toon" tree; hence his name australis.]
Pencil C.— Dysoxylon Fraserianum, Benth., N.O. Meliaceae.
Scrub White C.— Pentaceras australis, Hook. and Don., N.O. Rutacea.
White C.— Melia composita, Willd., N.O. Meliaceae.
Yellow C.— Rhus rhodanthema, F. v. M., N.O. Anacardiacae.
In Tasmania, three species of the genus Arthrotaxis are called Cedars or Pencil Cedars; namely, A. cupressoides, Don., known as the King William Pine; A. laxifolza, Hook., the Mountain Pine; and A. selaginoides, Don., the Red Pine. All these are peculiar to the island.
In New Zealand, the name of Cedar is applied to Libocedrus bidwillii, Hook., N.O. Coniferae; Maori name, Pahautea.
1838. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions, vol. i. p. 328:
"The cedar of the colony (Cedrela toona, R. Br.), which is to be found only in some rocky gullies of the coast range."
1883. F. M. Bailey, 'Synopsis of Queensland Flora,' p. 63:
"Besides being valuable as a timber-producing tree, this red cedar has many medicinal properties. The bark is spoken of as a powerful astringent, and, though not bitter, said to be a good substitute for Peruvian bark in the cure of remitting and intermitting fevers."
1883. J. Hector, 'Handbook of New Zealand,' p. 123:
"Pahautea, Cedar. A handsome conical tree sixty to eighty feet high, two to three feet in diameter. In Otago it produces a dark-red, freeworking timber, rather brittle . . . frequently mistaken for totara."
Celery, Australian, or Native, n. Apium australe, Thon. Not endemic in Australia. In Tasmania, A. prostratum, Lab., N.O. Umbelliferae.
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 7:
"Australian Celery. This plant may be utilised as a culinary vegetable. (Mueller.) It is not endemic in Australia."
Celery-topped Pine. n. See Pine. The tree is so called from the appearance of the upper part of the branchlets, which resemble in shape the leaf of the garden celery.
1889. T. Kirk, 'Forest Flora of New Zealand,' p. 9:
"The tanekaha is one of the remarkable 'celery-topped pines,' and was discovered by Banks and Solander during Cook's first voyage."
Centaury, Native, n. a plant, Erythraea australis, R. Br., N.O. Gentianeae. In New South Wales this Australian Centaury has been found useful in dysentery by Dr. Woolls.
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 175:
"Native centaury . . . is useful as a tonic medicine, especially in diarrhoea and dysentery. The whole plant is used and is pleasantly bitter. It is common enough in grass-land, and appears to be increasing in popularity as a domestic remedy."
Centralia, n. a proposed name for the colony South Australia ,(q.v.).
1896. J. S. Laurie, 'Story of Australasia,' p. 299:
"For telegraphic, postal, and general purposes one word is desirable for a name—e.g. why not Centralia; for West Australia, Westralia; for New South Wales, Eastralia?"
Cereopsis, n. scientific name of the genus of the bird peculiar to Australia, called the Cake Barren Goose. See Goose. The word is from Grk. kaeros, wax, and 'opsis, face, and was given from the peculiarities of the bird's beak. The genus is confined to Australia, and Cereopsis novae-hollandiae is the only species known. The bird was noticed by the early voyagers to Australia, and was extraordinarily tame when first discovered.
Channel-Bill, n. name given to a bird resembling a large cuckoo, Scythrops novae-hollandiae, Lath. See Scythrops.
Cheesewood, n. a tree, so-called in Victoria (it is also called Whitewood and Waddywood in Tasmania), Pittosporum bicolor, Hook., N.O. Pittosporeae.
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 588:
"Cheesewood is yellowish-white, very hard, and of uniform texture and colour. It was once used for clubs by the aboriginals of Tasmania. It turns well, and should be tested for wood engraving. ('Jurors' Reports, London International Exhibition of 1862.') It is much esteemed for axe-handles, billiard-cues, etc."
Cherry, Herbert River, n. a Queensland tree, Antidesma dallachyanum, Baill., N.O. Euphorbiaceae. The fruit is equal to a large cherry in size, and has a sharp acid flavour.
Cherry, Native, n. an Australian tree, Exocarpus cupressiformis, R. Br., N.O. Santalaceae.
1801. 'History of New South Wales' (1818), p. 242:
"Of native fruits, a cherry, insipid in comparison of the European sorts, was found true to the singularity which characterizes every New South Wales production, the stone being on the outside of the fruit."
1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 411:
"The shrub which is called the native cherry-tree appears like a species of cyprus, producing its fruit with the stone united to it on the outside, the fruit and the stone being each about the size of a small pea. The fruit, when ripe, is similar in colour to the Mayduke cherry, but of a sweet and somewhat better quality, and slightly astringent to the palate, possessing, upon the whole, an agreeable flavour."
1852. G. C. Mundy, 'Our Antipodes' (edition 1851, p. 219:
"The cherry-tree resembles a cypress but is of a tenderer green, bearing a worthless little berry, having its stone or seed outside, whence its scientific name of exocarpus."
1855. W. Howitt, 'Two Years in Victoria,' vol. i. p. 33:
"We also ate the Australian cherry, which has its stone, not on the outside, enclosing the fruit, as the usual phrase would indicate, but on the end with the fruit behind it. The stone is only about the size of a sweet-pea, and the fruit only about twice that size, altogether not unlike a yew-berry, but of a very pale red. It grows on a tree just like an arbor vitae, and is well tasted, though not at all like a cherry in flavour."
1877. F. v. Mueller, 'Botanic Teachings,' p. 40:
"The principal of these kinds of trees received its generic name first from the French naturalist La Billardiere, during D'Entrecasteaux's Expedition. It was our common Exocarpus cupressiformis, which he described, and which has been mentioned so often in popular works as a cherry-tree, bearing its stone outside of the pulp. That this crude notion of the structure of the fruit is erroneous, must be apparent on thoughtful contemplation, for it is evident at the first glance, that the red edible part of our ordinary exocarpus constitutes merely an enlarged and succulent fruit-stalklet (pedicel), and that the hard dry and greenish portion, strangely compared to a cherry-stone, forms the real fruit, containing the seed."
1889. J. H. 'Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 30:
"The fruit is edible. The nut is seated on the enlarged succulent pedicel. This is the poor little fruit of which so much has been written in English descriptions of the peculiarities of the Australian flora. It has been likened to a cherry with the stone outside (hence the vernacular name) by some imaginative person."
1893. 'Sydney Morning Herald,' Aug. 19, p. 7, col. 1:
"Grass-trees and the brown brake-fern, whips of native cherry, and all the threads and tangle of the earth's green russet vestment hide the feet of trees which lean and lounge between us and the water, their leaf heads tinselled by the light."
Cherry-picker, n. bird-name. See quotation.
1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. iv. p. 70:
"Melithreptus Validirostris, Gould. Strong-billed Honey-eater [q.v.]. Cherry-picker, colonists of Van Diemen's Land."
Chestnut Pine, n. See Pine.
Chewgah-bag, n. Queensland aboriginal pigeon-English for Sugar-bag (q.v.).
Chinkie, n. slang for a Chinaman. "John," short for John Chinaman, is commoner.
1882. A. J. Boyd, 'Old Colonials,' p. 233:
"The pleasant traits of character in our colonialised 'Chinkie,' as he is vulgarly termed (with the single variation 'Chow')."
Chock-and-log, n. and adj. a particular kind of fence much used on Australian stations. The Chock is a thick short piece of wood laid flat, at right-angles to the line of the fence, with notches in it to receive the Logs, which are laid lengthwise from Chock to Chock, and the fence is raised in four or five layers of this chock-and-log to form, as it were, a wooden wall. Both chocks and logs are rough-hewn or split, not sawn.
1872. G. S. Baden-Powell,'New Homes for the Old Country,' p. 207:
"Another fence, known as 'chock and log,' is composed of long logs, resting on piles of chocks, or short blocks of wood."
1890. 'The Argus.' Sept. 20, p. 13, col. 5:
"And to finish the Riverine picture, there comes a herd of kangaroos disturbed from their feeding-ground, leaping through the air, bounding over the wire and 'chock-and-log' fences like so many india-rubber automatons."
Choeropus, n. the scientific name for the genus of Australian marsupial animals with only one known species, called the Pigfooted-Bandicoot (q.v.), and see Bandicoot. (Grk. choiros, a pig, and pous, foot.) The animal is about the size of a rabbit, and is confined to the inland parts of Australia.
Christmas, n. and adj. As Christmas falls in Australasia at Midsummer, it has different characteristics from those in England, and the word has therefore a different connotation.
1852. Mrs. Meredith, 'My Home in Tasmania,' p. 184:
"Sheep-shearing in November, hot midsummer weather at Christmas, the bed of a river the driest walk, and corn harvest in February, were things strangely at variance with my Old-World notions."
1896. H. Lawson, 'When the World was Wide,' p. 164:
"One Christmas time when months of drought Had parched the western creeks, The bush-fires started in the north And travelled south for weeks."
Christmas-bush, n. an Australian tree, Ceratopetalum gummiferum, Smith, N.O. Saxifrageae. Called also Christmas-tree (q.v.), and Officer-bush.
1888. Mrs. McCann, 'Poetical Works,' p. 226:
"Gorgeous tints adorn the Christmas bush with a crimson blush."
Christmas-tree, n. In Australia, it is the same as Christmas-bush (q.v.). In New Zealand, it is Metrosideros tomentosa, Banks, N.O. Myrtaceae; Maori name, Pohutukawa (q.v.).
1867. F. Hochstetter, 'New Zealand,' p. 240:
"Some few scattered Pohutukaua trees (Metrosideros tomentosa), the last remains of the beautiful vegetation . . . About Christmas these trees are full of charming purple blossoms; the settler decorates his church and dwelling with its lovely branches, and calls the tree 'Christmas-tree'! "
1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 186:
"The Christmas-tree is in a sense the counterpart of the holly of the home countries. As the scarlet berry gives its ruddy colour to Christmas decorations in 'the old country,' so here the creamy blossoms of the Christmas-tree are the only shrub flowers that survive the blaze of midsummer."
1889. E. H. and S. Featon, 'New Zealand Flora,' p. 163:
"The Pohutukawa blossoms in December, when its profusion of elegant crimson-tasselled flowers imparts a beauty to the rugged coast-line and sheltered bays which may fairly be called enchanting. To the settlers it is known as the 'Christmas-tree,' and sprays of its foliage and flowers are used to decorate churches and dwellings during the festive Christmastide. To the Maoris this tree must possess a weird significance, since it is related in their traditions that at the extreme end of New Zealand there grows a Pohutukawa from which a root descends to the beach below. The spirits of the dead are supposed to descend by this to an opening, which is said to be the entrance to 'Te Reinga.'"
Chucky-chucky, n. aboriginal Australian name for a berry; in Australia and New Zealand, the fruit of species of Gaultheria. See Wax Cluster.
1885. R. M. Praed, 'Australian Life,' p. 146:
"To gather chucky-chuckies—as the blacks name that most delicious of native berries."
1891. T. H. Potts, 'Out in the Open,' 'New Zealand Country Journal,' vol. xv. p. 198:
"When out of breath, hot and thirsty, how one longed for a handful of chuckie-chucks. In their season how good we used to think these fruits of the gaultheria, or rather its thickened calyx. A few handfuls were excellent in quenching one's thirst, and so plentifully did the plant abound that quantities could soon be gathered. In these rude and simple days, when housekeepers in the hills tried to convert carrots and beet-root into apricot and damson preserves, these notable women sometimes encouraged children to collect sufficient chuckie-chucks to make preserve. The result was a jam of a sweet mawkish flavour that gave some idea of a whiff caught in passing a hair-dresser's shop."
Chum, n. See New Chum.
Chy-ack, v. simply a variation of the English slang verb, to cheek.
1874. Garnet Walch, 'Adamanta,' Act ii. sc. ii. p. 27:
"I've learnt to chi-ike peelers."
[Here the Australian pronunciation is also caught. Barere and Leland give "chi-iked (tailors), chaffed unmercifully," but without explanation.]
1878. 'The Australian,' vol. i. p. 742 :
"The circle of frivolous youths who were yelping at and chy-acking him."
1894. E. W. Hornung, 'Boss of Taroomba,' p. 5:
"It's our way up here, you know, to chi-ak each other and our visitors too."
Cicada, n. an insect. See Locust.
1895. G. Metcalfe, 'Australian Zoology,' p. 62:
"The Cicada is often erroneously called a locust. . . . It is remarkable for the loud song, or chirruping whirr, of the males in the heat of summer; numbers of them on the hottest days produce an almost deafening sound."
Cider-Tree, or Cider-Gum, n. name given in Tasmania to Eucalyptus gunnii, Hook., N.O. Myrtaceae. See Gum.
1830. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 119:
"Specimens of that species of eucalyptus called the cider-tree, from its exuding a quantity of saccharine liquid resembling molasses. . . . When allowed to remain some time and to ferment, it settles into a coarse sort of wine or cider, rather intoxicating if drank to any excess."
City, n. In Great Britain and Ireland the word City denotes "a considerable town that has been, (a) an episcopal seat, (b) a royal burgh, or (c) created to the dignity, like Birmingham, Dundee, and Belfast, by a royal patent. In the United States and Canada, a municipality of the first class, governed by a mayor and aldermen, and created by charter." ('Standard.') In Victoria, by section ix. of the Local Government Act, 1890, 54 Victoria, No. 1112, the Governor-in-Council may make orders, #12:
"To declare any borough, including the city of Melbourne and the town of Geelong, having in the year preceding such declaration a gross revenue of not less than twenty thousand pounds, a city."
Claim, n. in mining, a piece of land appropriated for mining purposes: then the mine itself. The word is also used in the United States. See also Reward-claim and Prospecting-claim.
1858. T. McCombie, 'History of Victoria,' c. xiv. p. 213:
"A family named Cavanagh . . . entered a half-worked claim."
1863. H. Fawcett, 'Political Economy,' pt. iii. c. vi. p. 359 ('O.E.D.'):
"The claim upon which he purchases permission to dig."
1887. H. H. Hayter, 'Christmas Adventure,' p. 3:
"I decided . . . a claim to take up."
Clay-pan, n. name given, especially in the dry interior of Australia, to a slight depression of the ground varying in size from a few yards to a mile in length, where the deposit of fine silt prevents the water from sinking into the ground as rapidly as it does elsewhere.
1875. John Forrest, 'Explorations in Australia,' p. 260:
"We travelled down the road for about thirty-three miles over stony plains; many clay-pans with water but no feed."
1896. Baldwin Spencer, 'Horne Expedition in Central Australia,' Narrative, vol. i. p. 17:
"One of the most striking features of the central area and especially amongst the loamy plains and sandhills, is the number of clay-pans. These are shallow depressions, with no outlet, varying in length from a few yards to half a mile, where the surface is covered with a thin clayey material, which seems to prevent the water from sinking as rapidly as it does in other parts."
Clean-skins, or Clear-skins, n. unbranded cattle or horses.
1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 206:
"These clean-skins, as they are often called, to distinguish them from the branded cattle."
1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' c. xv. p. 109:
"Strangers and pilgrims, calves and clear-skins, are separated at the same time."
1889. Rev. J. H. Zillmann, 'Australian Life,' p. 82:
"'Clear-skins,' as unbranded cattle were commonly called, were taken charge of at once."
1893. 'The Argus,' April 29, p.4, col. 4:
"As they fed slowly homeward bellowing for their calves, and lowing for their mates, the wondering clean-skins would come up in a compact body, tearing, ripping, kicking, and moaning, working round and round them in awkward, loblolly canter."
Clearing lease, n. Explained in quotation.
1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discoveries in Australia,' vol. i. c. x. p. 321:
"[They] held a small piece of land on what is called a clearing lease—that is to say, they were allowed to retain possession of it for so many years for the labour of clearing the land."
Clematis, n. the scientific and vernacular name of a genus of plants belonging to the N.O. Ranunculaceae. The common species in Australia is C. aristata, R. Br.
1834. Ross, 'Van Diemen's Land Annual,' p. 124:
"The beautiful species of clematis called aristata, which may be seen in the months of November and December, spreading forth its milk-white blossoms over the shrubs . . . in other places rising up to the top of the highest gum-trees."
Clianthus, n. scientific name for an Australasian genus of plants, N.O. Leguminosae, containing only two species—in Australia, Sturt's Desert Pea (q.v.), C. dampieri; and in New Zealand, the Kaka-bill (q.v.), C. puniceus. Both species are also called Glory-Pea, from Grk. kleos, glory, and anthos, a flower.
1892. 'Otago Witness,' Nov.24, 'Native Trees':
"Hooker says the genus Clianthus consists of the Australian and New Zealand species only, the latter is therefore clearly indigenous. 'One of the most beautiful plants known' (Hooker). Sir Joseph Banks and Dr. Solandel found it during Cook's first voyage."
Climbing-fish, n. i.q. Hopping-fish (q.v.).
Climbing-Pepper, n. See Pepper.
Clitonyx, n. the scientific name of a genus of New Zealand birds, including the Yellow-head (q.v.) and the White-head (q.v.); from Greek klinein, root klit, to lean, slant, and 'onux, claw. The genus was so named by Reichenbach in 1851, to distinguish the New Zealand birds from the Australian birds of the genus Orthonyx (q.v.), which formerly included them both.
Clock-bird, n. another name for the Laughing Jachass. See Jackass.
Clock, Settlers', n. i.q. Clock-bird, (q.v.)
Cloudy-Bay Cod, n. a New Zealand name for the Ling (q.v.). See also Cod.
Clover-Fern, n. another name for the plant called Nardoo (q.v.).
Clover, Menindie, n. an Australian fodder plant, Trigonella suavissima, Lind., N.O. Leguminoseae.
1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 143:
'From its abundance in the neighbourhood of Menindie, it is often called Menindie-clover.' It is the 'Australian shamrock' of Mitchell. This perennial, fragrant, clover-like plant is a good pasture herb."
Clover-Tree, n. a Tasmanian tree, called also Native Laburnun. See under Laburnum.
Coach, n. a bullock used as a decoy to catch wild cattle. This seems to be from the use of coach as the University term for a private tutor.
1874. W. H. L. Ranken, 'Dominion of Australia,' c. vi. p. 110:
"To get them [sc. wild cattle] a party of stockmen take a small herd of quiet cattle, 'coaches.'"
Coach, v. to decoy wild cattle or horses with tame ones.
1874. W. H. L. Ranken, 'Dominion of Australia,' c. vi. p. 121:
"Here he [the wild horse] may be got by 'coaching' like wild cattle."
Coach-whip Bird, n. Psophodes crepitans, V. and H. (see Gould's 'Birds of Australia,' vol. iii. pl. 15); Black-throated C.B., P. nigrogularis, Gould. Called also Whipbird and Coachman.
1827. Vigors and Horsfield, 'Transactions of Linnaean Society,' vol. xv. p. 330:
"This bird is more often heard than seen. It inhabits bushes. The loud cracking whip-like noise it makes (from whence the colonists give it the name of coachwhip), may be heard from a great distance."
1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 158:
"If you should hear a coachwhip crack behind, you may instinctively start aside to let the mail pass; but quickly find it is only our native coachman with his spread-out fantail and perked-up crest, whistling and cracking out his whip-like notes as he hops sprucely from branch to branch."
1844. Mrs. Meredith, 'Notes and Sketches of New South Wales,' p. 137:
"Another equally singular voice among our feathered friends was that of the 'coachman,' than which no title could be more appropriate, his chief note being a long clear whistle, with a smart crack of the whip to finish with."
1845. R. Howitt, 'Australia,' p. 177:
"The bell-bird, by the river heard; The whip-bird, which surprised I hear, In me have powerful memories stirred Of other scenes and strains more dear; Of sweeter songs than these afford, The thrush and blackbird warbling clear." —Old Impressions.
1846. G. H. Haydon, 'Five Years in Australia Felix,' p. 71:
"The coach-whip is a small bird about the size of a sparrow, found near rivers. It derives its name from its note, a slow, clear whistle, concluded by a sharp jerking noise like the crack of a whip."
1855. W. Howitt, 'Two Years in Victoria,' vol. ii. p. 76:
"The whip-bird, whose sharp wiry notes, even, are far more agreeable than the barking of dogs and the swearing of diggers."
1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 24:
"That is the coach-whip bird. There again. Whew-ew-ew-ew-whit. How sharply the last note sounds."
1887. R. M. Praed, 'Longleat of Kooralbyn,' c. vi. p. 54:
"The sharp st—wt of the whip-bird . . . echoed through the gorge."
1888. James Thomas, 'May o' the South,' 'Australian Poets 1788-1888' (ed. Sladen), p. 552:
"Merrily the wagtail now Chatters on the ti-tree bough, While the crested coachman bird 'Midst the underwood is heard."
Coast, v. to loaf about from station to station.
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Squatter's Dream,' xxv. 295:
"I ain't like you, Towney, able to coast about without a job of work from shearin' to shearin'."
Coaster, n. a loafer, a Sundowner (q.v.).
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Squatter's Dream,' viii. 75:
"A voluble, good-for-nothing, loafing impostor, a regular 'coaster.'"
Cobb, n. sometimes used as equivalent to a coach. "I am going by Cobb." The word is still used, though no Mr. Cobb has been connected with Australian coaches for many years. See quotation.
1861. T. McCombie, 'Australian Sketches,' p. 184:
"Mr. Cobb was an American, and has returned long ago to his native country. He started a line of conveyances from Melbourne to Castlemaine some time after the gold discoveries. Mr. Cobb had spirit to buy good horses, to get first-class American coaches, to employ good Yankee whips, and in a couple of years or so he had been so extensively patronised that he sold out, and retired with a moderate fortune." [But the Coaching Company retained . . . the style of Cobb & Co.]
1879 (about). 'Queensland Bush Song':
"Hurrah for the Roma Railway! Hurrah for Cobb and Co.! Hurrah, hurrah for a good fat horse To carry me Westward Ho!"
Cobbler, n. (1) The last sheep, an Australian shearing term. (2) Another name for the fish called the Fortescue (q.v.)
1893. 'The Herald' (Melbourne), Dec. 23, p. 6, col. 1:
"Every one might not know what a 'cobbler' is. It is the last sheep in a catching pen, and consequently a bad one to shear, as the easy ones are picked first. The cobbler must be taken out before 'Sheep-ho' will fill up again. In the harvest field English rustics used to say, when picking up the last sheaf, 'This is what the cobbler threw at his wife.' 'What?' 'The last,' with that lusty laugh, which, though it might betray 'a vacant mind,' comes from a very healthy organism."
Cobblers-Awl, n. bird-name. The word is a provincial English name for the Avocet. In Tasmania, the name is applied to a Spine-Bill (q.v.) from the shape of its beak.
1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. iv. pl. 61:
"Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris, Lath., Slender-billed Spine-bill. Cobbler's Awl, Colonists of Van Diemen's Land. Spine-bill, Colonists of New South Wales."
Cobbler's Pegs, name given to a tall erect annual weed, Erigeron linifolius, Willd., N.O. Compositae and to Bidens pilosus, Linn., N.O. Compositae.
Cobbra, n. aboriginal word for head, skull. [Kabura or Kobbera, with such variations as Kobra, Kobbera, Kappara, Kopul, from Malay Kapala, head: one of the words on the East Coast manifestly of Malay origin.—J. Mathew. Much used in pigeon converse with blacks. 'Goodway cobra tree' = 'Tree very tall.'] Collins, 'Port Jackson Vocabulary,' 1798 (p. 611), gives 'Kabura, ca-ber-ra.' Mount Cobberas in East Gippsland has its name from huge head-like masses of rock which rise from the summit.
1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 31:
"The black fellow who lives in the bush bestows but small attention on his cobra, as the head is usually called in the pigeon-English which they employ."
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xiii. p. 134:
"I should be cock-sure that having an empty cobbra, as the blacks say, was on the main track that led to the grog-camp."
Cock-a-bully, n. a popular name for the New Zealand fish Galaxias fasciatus, Gray, a corruption of its Maori name Kokopu (q.v.).
1896. 'The Australasian,' Aug. 28, p. 407, col. 3:
"During my stay in New Zealand my little girl caught a fish rather larger than an English minnow. Her young companions called it a 'cock-a bully.' It was pretty obvious to scent a corruption of a Maori word, for, mark you, cock-a-bully has no meaning. It looks as if it were English and full of meaning. Reflect an instant and it has none. The Maori name for the fish is 'kokopu'"
Cockatiel, -eel, n. an arbitrary diminutive of the word Cockatoo, and used as another name for the Cockatoo-Parrakeet, Calopsitta novae-hollandiae, and generally for any Parrakeet of the genus Calopsitta. ('O.E.D.')
Cockatoo, n. (1) Bird-name. The word is Malay, Kakatua. ('O.E.D.') The varieties are—
Banksian Cockatoo— Calyptorhynchus banksii, Lath.
Bare-eyed C.— Cacatua gymnopis, Sclater.
Black C.— Calyptorhynchus funereus, Shaw.
Blood-stained C.— Cacatua sanguinea, Gould.
Dampier's C.— Licmetis pastinator, Gould.
Gang-gang C.— Callocephalon galeatum, Lath. [See Gang-gang.]
Glossy C.— Calyptorhynchus viridis, Vieill.
Long-billed C.— Licmetis nasicus, Temm. [See Corella.]
Palm C.— Microglossus aterrimus, Gmel.
Pink C.— Cacatua leadbeateri, V. & H. (Leadbeater, q.v.).
Red-tailed C.— Calyptorhynchus stellatus, Wagl.
Rose-breasted C.— Cacatua roseicapilla, Vieill. [See Galah. Gould calls it Cocatua eos.
White C.— Cacatua galerita, Lath.
White-tailed C.— Calyptorhynchus baudinii, Vig.
See also Parrakeet.
1839. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions, vol. ii. p. 62:
"We saw to-day for the first time on the Kalare, the redtop cockatoo (Plyctolophus Leadbeateri)."
1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' c. viii. p. 272:
"The rose-breasted cockatoo (Cocatua eos, Gould) visited the patches of fresh burnt grass."
Ibid. p. 275:
"The black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus Banksii) has been much more frequently observed of late."
1857. Daniel Bunce, 'Australasiatic Reminiscences,' p. 175:
"Dr. Leichhardt caught sight of a number of cockatoos; and, by tracking the course of their flight, we, in a short time, reached a creek well supplied with water."
1862. G. Barrington, 'History of New South Wales,' c. ix. p. 331:
"White cockatoos and parroquets were now seen."
1890. 'Victorian Statutes, Game Act, Third Schedule':
"Black Cockatoos. Gang-gang Cockatoos. [Close season.] From the 1st day of August to the 10th day of December next following in each year."
1893. 'The Argus,' March 25, p.4, col. 6:
"The egg of the blood-stained cockatoo has not yet been scientifically described, and the specimen in this collection has an interest chiefly in that it was taken [by Mr. A. J. Campbell] from a tree at Innamincka waterholes, not far from the spot where Burke the explorer died."
(2) A small farmer, called earlier in Tasmania a Cockatooer (q.v.). The name was originally given in contempt (see quotations), but it is now used by farmers themselves. Cocky is a common abbreviation. Some people distinguish between a cockatoo and a ground-parrot, the latter being the farmer on a very small scale. Trollope's etymology (see quotation, 1873) will not hold, for it is not true that the cockatoo scratches the ground. After the gold fever, circa 1860, the selectors swarmed over the country and ate up the substance of the squatters; hence they were called Cockatoos. The word is also used adjectivally.
1863. M. K. Beveridge, 'Gatherings among the Gum-trees,' p. 154:
"Oi'm going to be married To what is termed a Cockatoo— Which manes a farmer."
1867. Lady Barker, 'Station Life in New Zealand,' p. 110:
"These small farmers are called cockatoos in Australia by the squatters or sheep-farmers, who dislike them for buying up the best bits on their runs; and say that, like a cockatoo, the small freeholder alights on good ground, extracts all he can from it, and then flies away, to 'fresh fields and pastures new.' . . . However, whether the name is just or not, it is a recognised one here; and I have heard a man say in answer to a question about his usual 'occupation, 'I'm a cockatoo.'"
1873. A. Trollope, 'Australia and New Zealand,' vol. ii. p. 135:
"The word cockatoo in the farinaceous colony has become so common as almost to cease to carry with it the intended sarcasm. . . . It signifies that the man does not really till his land, but only scratches it as the bird does."
1882. A. J. Boyd, 'Old Colonials,' p. 32:
"It may possibly have been a term of reproach applied to the industrious farmer, who settled or perched on the resumed portions of a squatter's run, so much to the latter's rage and disgust that he contemptuously likened the farmer to the white-coated, yellow-crested screamer that settles or perches on the trees at the edge of his namesake's clearing."
1889. 'Cornhill Magazine,' Jan., p. 33:
"'With a cockatoo' [Title]. Cockatoo is the name given to the small, bush farmer in New Zealand."
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right,' c. xliii. p. 377:
"The governor is a bigoted agriculturist; he has contracted the cockatoo complaint, I'm afraid."
1893, 'The Argus,' June 17, p. 13, col. 4:
"Hire yourself out to a dairyman, take a contract with a rail-splitter, sign articles with a cockatoo selector; but don't touch land without knowing something about it."
Cockatoo, v. intr. (1) To be a farmer.
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Squatter's Dream,' c. xx. p. 245:
"Fancy three hundred acres in Oxfordshire, with a score or two of bullocks,and twice as many black-faced Down sheep. Regular cockatooing."
(2) A special sense—to sit on a fence as the bird sits.
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Colonial Reformer,' c. xviii. p. 224:
"The correct thing, on first arriving at a drafting-yard, is to 'cockatoo,' or sit on the rails high above the tossing horn-billows."
Cockatooer, n. a variant of Cockatoo (q.v.), quite fallen into disuse, if quotation be not a nonce use.
1852. Mrs. Meredith, 'My Home in Tasmania,' vol. ii. p. 137:
"A few wretched-looking huts and hovels, the dwellings of 'cockatooers,' who are not, as it might seem, a species of bird, but human beings; who rent portions of this forest . . . on exorbitant terms . . . and vainly endeavour to exist on what they can earn besides, their frequent compulsory abstinence from meat, when they cannot afford to buy it, even in their land of cheap and abundant food, giving them some affinity to the grain-eating white cockatoos."
Cockatoo Fence, n. fence erected by small farmers.
1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' c. xxii. p. 155:
"There would be roads and cockatoo fences . . . in short, all the hostile emblems of agricultural settlement."
1890. Lyth, 'Golden South,' c. xiv. p. 120:
"The fields were divided by open rails or cockatoo fences, i.e. branches and logs of trees laid on the ground one across the other with posts and slip-rails in lieu of gates."
Cockatoo Bush, n. i.q. Native Currant (q.v).
Cockatoo Orchis, n. a Tasmanian name for the Orchid, Caleya major, R. Br.
Cock-eyed Bob, a local slang term in Western Australia for a thunderstorm.
1894. 'The Age,' Jan. 20, p. 13, col. 4:
"They [the natives of the northwest of Western Australia] are extremely frightened of them [sc. storms called Willy Willy, q.v.], and in some places even on the approach of an ordinary thunderstorm or 'Cock-eyed Bob,' they clear off to the highest ground about."
Cockle, n. In England the name is given to a species of the familiar marine bivalve mollusc, Cardium. The commonest Australian species is Cardium tenuicostatum, Lamarck, present in all extra-tropical Australia. The name is also commonly applied to members of the genus Chione.
Cock-Schnapper, n. a fish; the smallest kind of Schnapper (q.v.). See also Count-fish.
1882. Rev. I. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish of New South Wales,' p. 41:
"The usual method of estimating quantity for sale by the fisherman is, by the schnapper or count-fish, the school-fish, and squire, among which from its metallic appearance is the copper head or copper colour, and the red bream. Juveniles rank the smallest of the fry, not over an inch or two in length, as the cock-schnapper. The fact, however, is now generally admitted that all these are one and the same genus, merely in different stages of growth."
Cod, n. This common English name of the Gadus morrhua is applied to many fishes in Australia of various families, Gadoid and otherwise. In Melbourne it is given to Lotella callarias, Guenth., and in New South Wales to several fishes of the genus Serranus. Lotella is a genus of the family Gadidae, to which the European Cod belongs; Serranus is a Sea perch (q.v.). See Rock Cod, Black Rock Cod, Red Rock Cod, Black Cod, Elite Cod, Red Cod, Murray Cod, Cloudy Bay Cod, Ling, Groper, Hapuku, and Haddock.
Coffee-Bush, n. a settlers' name for the New Zealand tree the Karamu (q.v.). Sometimes called also Coffee-plant.
Coffer-fish, n. i.q. Trunk-fish (q.v.).
Coffee Plant, or Coffee Berry, n. name given in Tasmania to the Tasmanian Native Holly (q.v.).
Colonial Experience, n. and used as adj. same as cadet (q.v.) in New Zealand; a young man learning squatting business, gaining his colonial experience. Called also jackaroo (q.v.).
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Colonial Reformer,' p. 95:
"You're the first 'colonial experience' young fellow that it ever occurred to within my knowledge."
Colonial Goose, n. a boned leg of mutton stuffed with sage and onions. In the early days the sheep was almost the sole animal food. Mutton was then cooked and served in various ways to imitate other dishes.
Colour, n. sc. of gold. It is sometimes used with 'good,' to mean plenty of gold: more usually, the 'colour' means just a little gold, enough to show in the dish.
1860. Kelly, 'Life in Victoria,' vol. i. p. 222:
". . . they had not, to use a current phrase, 'raised the colour.'"
1890. Rolf Boldrewood. 'Miner's Right,' c. xiv. p. 149:
"This is the fifth claim he has been in since he came here, and the first in which he has seen the colour."
1891. W. Lilley, 'Wild West of Tasmania,' p. 14:
"After spending a little time there, and not finding more than a few colours of gold, he started for Mount Heemskirk."
Convictism, n. the system of transportation of convicts to Australia and Van Diemen's Land, now many years abolished.
1852. J. West, 'History of Tasmania,' vol. i. p. 309:
"May it remain nailed to the mast until these colonies are emancipated from convictism."
1864. 'Realm,' Feb. 24, p.4 ('O.E.D.'):
"No one who has not lived in Australia can appreciate the profound hatred of convictism that obtains there."
1880. G. Sutherland, 'Tales of Goldfields,' p. 16:
"They preferred to let things remain as they were, convictism included."
Coobah, n. an aboriginal name for the tree Acacia salicina, Lindl., N.O.Leguminosae. See Acacia. The spellings vary, and sometimes begin with a K.
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Squatter's Dream,' v. 46:
"A deep reach of the river, shaded by couba trees and river-oaks."
1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xxviii. p. 400:
"The willowy coubah weeps over the dying streamlet."
Coo-ee, or Cooey, n. and interj. spelt in various ways. See quotations. A call borrowed from the aborigines and used in the bush by one wishing to find or to be found by another. In the vocabulary of native words in 'Hunter's Journal,' published in 1790, we find "Cow-ee = to come."
1827. P. Cunningham, 'New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 23:
"In calling to each other at a distance, the natives make use of the word Coo-ee, as we do the word Hollo, prolonging the sound of the coo, and closing that of the ee with a shrill jerk. . . . [It has] become of general use throughout the colony; and a newcomer, in desiring an individual to call another back, soon learns to say 'Coo-ee' to him, instead of Hollo to him."
1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 162:
"He immediately called 'coo-oo-oo' to the natives at the fire."
1836. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 84:
"There yet might be heard the significant 'cooy' or 'quhy,' the true import of which was then unknown to our ears."
1839. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions,' p. 46:
"Although Mr. Brown made the woods echo with his 'cooys.'" [See also p. 87, note.]
1845. Clement Hodgkinson, 'Australia from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay,' p. 28:
"We suddenly heard the loud shrill couis of the natives."
1846. C. P. Hodgson, 'Reminiscences of Australia,' p. 231:
"Their cooieys are not always what we understand by the word, viz., a call in which the first note is low and the second high, uttered after sound of the word cooiey. This is a note which congregates all together and is used only as a simple 'Here.'"
1852. J. West, 'History of Tasmania,' vol. ii. p. 91:
"Like the natives of New South Wales, they called to each other from a great distance by the cooey; a word meaning 'come to me.' The Sydney blacks modulated this cry with successive inflexions; the Tasmanian uttered it with less art. It is a sound of great compass. The English in the bush adopt it: the first syllable is prolonged; the second is raised to a higher key, and is sharp and abrupt."
1862. W. Landsborough, 'Exploration of Australia,' [Footnote] p. 24:
"Coo-oo-oo-y is a shrill treble cry much used in the bush by persons wishful to find each other. On a still night it will travel a couple of miles, and it is thus highly serviceable to lost or benighted travellers."
1869. J. F. Townend, 'Reminiscences of Australia,' p. 155:
"The jingling of bells round the necks of oxen, the cooey of the black fellow . . . constituted the music of these desolate districts."
1873. J. B. Stephens, 'Black Gin,' p. 82:
"Hi! . . . cooey! you fella . . . open 'im lid."
1880. Fison and Howitt, 'Kamilaroi and Kurnai,' p. 183:
"A particular 'cooee' . . . was made known to the young men when they were initiated."
1880. G. Sutherland, 'Tales of the Goldfields,' p. 40:
"From the woods they heard a prolonged cooee, which evidently proceeded from some one lost in the bush."
1885. R. M. Praed, 'Australian Life,' p. 276:
"Two long farewell coo-ees, which died away in the silence of the bush."
1890. E. W. Hornung, 'A Bride from the Bush,' p. 184:
"The bride encircled her lips with her two gloved palms, and uttered a cry that few of the hundreds who heard it ever forgot—'coo-ee!' That was the startling cry as nearly as it can be written. But no letters can convey the sustained shrillness of the long, penetrating note represented by the first syllable, nor the weird, die-away wail of the second. It is the well-known bushcall,the 'jodel' of the black fellow."
Cooee, within, adv. within easy distance.
1887. G. L. Apperson, in 'All the Year Round,' July 30, p. 67, col. 1 ('O.E.D.'):
"A common mode of expression is to be 'within cooey' of a place. . . . Now to be 'within cooey' of Sydney is to be at the distance of an easy journey therefrom."
1893. 'The Herald' (Melbourne), June 26, p. 2, col. 6:
"Witness said that there was a post-office clock 'within coo-ee,' or within less than half-a-mile of the station."
1896. H. Lawson, 'When the World was Wide,' p. 80:
"Just to camp within a cooey of the Shanty for the night."
Cooee, v.intr. to utter the call.
1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 81:
"Our sable guides 'cooed' and 'cooed' again, in their usual tone of calling to each other at a distance."
1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition, p. 115:
"Brown cooyed to him, and by a sign requested him to wait for us."
1847. J. D. Lang, 'Phillipsland,' p. 85 [Footnote]:
"Cooey is the aboriginal mode of calling out to any person at a distance, whether visible or not, in the forest. The sound is made by dwelling on the first syllable, and pronouncing the second with a short, sharp, rising inflexion. It is much easier made, and is heard to a much greater distance than the English holla! and is consequently in universal use among the colonists. . . . There is a story current in the colony of a party of native-born colonists being in London, one of whom, a young lady, if I recollect aright, was accidentally separated from the rest, in the endless stream of pedestrians and vehicles of all descriptions, at the intersection of Fleet Street with the broad avenue leading to Blackfriars Bridge. When they were all in great consternation and perplexity at the circumstance, it occurred to one of the party to cooey, and the well-known sound, with its ten thousand Australian associations, being at once recognised and responded to, a reunion of the party took place immediately, doubtless to the great wonderment of the surrounding Londoners, who would probably suppose they were all fit for Bedlam."
1848. W. Westgarth, 'Australia Felix,' p. 90:
"They [the aborigines] warily entered scrubs, and called out (cooyed) repeatedly in approaching water-holes, even when yet at a great distance."
1852. J. West, 'History of Tasmania,' vol. ii. p. 91:
"A female, born on this division of the globe, once stood at the foot of London Bridge, and cooyed for her husband, of whom she had lost sight, and stopped the passengers by the novelty of the sound; which however is not unknown in certain neighbourhoods of the metropolis. 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!'"