A Dictionary of Austral English
by Edward Morris
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

1880 (circa). 'Melbourne Punch,' [In the days of long trains]:

"George, there's somebody treading on my dress; cooee to the bottom of the stairs."

Coo-in-new, n. aboriginal name for "a useful verbenaceous timber-tree of Australia, Gmelina leichhardtii, F. v. M. The wood has a fine silvery grain, and is much prized for flooring and for the decks of vessels, as it is reputed never to shrink after a moderate seasoning." ('Century.') Usually called Mahogany-tree (q.v.).

Coolaman or Kooliman, n. an aboriginal word, Kamilaroi Dialect of New South Wales. [W. Ridley, 'Kamilaroi,' p. 25, derives it from Kulu, seed, but it is just as likely from Kolle, water.—J. Mathew.] A hollowed knot of a tree, used as a seed vessel, or for holding water. The word is applied to the excrescence on the tree as well as to the vessel; a bush hand has been heard to speak of a hump-backed man as 'cooliman-backed.'

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 269:

"Three koolimans (vessels of stringy bark) were full of honey water, from one of which I took a hearty draught."

1863. M. K. Beveridge, 'Gatherings among the Gum-trees,' p. 37:

"And the beautiful Lubrina Fetched a Cooliman of water."

[In Glossary.] Cooliman, a hollow knot of a tree for holding water.

186. W. Howitt, 'Discovery in Australia, vol. ii. p. 24:

"Koolimans, water vessels. . . The koolimans were made of the inner layer of the bark of the stringy-bark tree."

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. ii. p. 185:

"Coolaman, native vessel for holding water."

1885. Mrs. Praed, 'Australian Life,' p. 76:

"Cooliman, a vessel for carrying water, made out of the bark which covers an excrescence peculiar to a kind of gum-tree."

Cooper's-flag, n. another name in New Zealand for Raupo (q.v.).

Coopers-wood, n. the timber of an Australian tree, Alphitonia excelsa, Reiss, N.O. Rhamneae. The wood becomes dark with age, and is used for coopers' staves and various purposes.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 373:

"Variously called Mountain-ash, Red-ash, Leather-jacket, and Coopers-wood."

Coordaitcha. See Kurdaitcha.

Coot, n. common English birdname; the Australian species is Fulica australis, Gould. See also Bald-Coot.

Copper-head, n. See under Snake.

Copper Maori. This spelling has been influenced by the English word Copper, but it is really a corruption of a Maori word. There is a difference of opinion amongst Maori scholars what this word is. Some say Kapura, a common fire used for cooking, in contradistinction to a 'chief's fire,' at which he sat, and which would not be allowed to be defiled with food. Others say Kopa. The Maori word Kopa was (1) adj. meaning bent, (2) n. angle or corner, and (3) the native oven, or more strictly the hole scooped out for the oven.

1888. T. Pine, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' 'A local tradition of Raukawa,' vol. xxi. p. 417:

"So they set to work and dug holes on the flat, each hole about 2 ft. across and about 1 1/2 ft. deep, and shaped something like a Kopa Maori."

1889. H. D. M. Haszard, ibid. 'Notes on some Relics of Cannibalism,' vol. xxii. p. 104:

"In two distinct places, about four chains apart, there were a number of Kapura Maori, or native ovens, scattered about within a radius of about forty feet."

Coprosma, n. scientific and vernacular name fora large genus of trees and shrubs of the order Rubiaceae. From the Greek kopros, dung, on account of the bad smell of some of the species. See quotation. The Maori name is Karamu (q.v.). Various species receive special vernacular names, which appear in their places in the Dictionary.

1889. T. Kirk, 'Forest Flora of New Zealand,' p. 110:

"Corosma comprises about forty species, of which at least thirty are found in New Zealand, all of which are restricted to the colony except C. pumila, which extends to Australia. Five species are found in Australia, one of which is C. pumila mentioned above. A few species occur in the Pacific, Chili, Juan Fernandez, the Sandwich Islands, &c."

Coral, n. See Batswing-Coral.

Coral-Fern, n. name given in Victoria to Gleichenia circinata, Swartz, called in Bailey's list Parasol-Fern. See Fern.

Coral-Flower, n. a plant, Epacris (q.v.), Epacris microphylla, R. Br., N.O. Epacrideae.

Coral-Pea, n. another name for the Kennedya (q.v.).

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

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

Coranderrk, n. the aboriginal name for the Victorian Dogwood (q.v.). An "aboriginal station," or asylum and settlement for the remaining members of the aboriginal race of Victoria, is called after this name because the wood grew plentifully there.

Cordage-tree, n. name given in Tasmania to a Kurrajong (q.v.). The name Sida pulchella has been superseded by Plagianthus sidoides, Hook.

1835. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 108:

"Sida pulchella. Handsome Sida. Currijong or cordage tree of Hobart Town. . . . The bark used to be taken for tying up post and rail fences, the rafters of huts, in the earlier periods of the colony, before nails could be so easily procured."

Corella, n. any parrot of the genus Nymphicus; the word is dim. of late Lat. cora = korh, a girl, doll, etc. The Australian Corella is N. novae-hollandiae, and the name is also given to Licmetus nasicus, Temm, the Long-billed Cockatoo (q.v.). It is often used indiscriminately by bird-fanciers for any pretty little parrot, parrakeet, or cockatoo.

Cork-tree, n. See Bat's-wing Coral.

Corkwood, n. a New Zealand tree, Entelea arborescens, R. Br., N.O. Tiliaceae. Maori name, Whau.

1889. T. Kirk, 'Forest Flora of New Zealand,' p. 45:

"The whau . . . is termed corkwood by the settlers on account of its light specific gravity."

Cormorant, n. common English bird-name. In Australia the name is applied to the following birds:—

Black Cormorant— Graculus novae-hollandiae, Steph.

Little C.— G. melanoleucus, Vieill.

Little-black C.— G. stictocephalus, Bp. .

Pied C.— G. varius, Gm.

White-breasted Cormorant— G. leucogaster, Gould.

White-throated C.— G. brevirostris, Gould.

Cornstalk, n. a young man or a girl born and bred in New South Wales, especially if tall and big.

1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 116:

"The colonial-born, bearing also the name of cornstalks (Indian corn), from the way in which they shoot up."

1834. Geo. Benett, 'Wanderings in New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 341:

"The Australian ladies may compete for personal beauty and elegance with any European, although satirized as 'Cornstalks,' from the slenderness of their forms."

1849. J. P. Townsend, 'Rambles in New South Wales,' p. 68:

"Our host was surrounded by a little army of 'cornstalks.'. . . The designation 'cornstalk' is given because the young people run up like the stems of the Indian corn."

1869. W. R. Honey, 'Madeline Clifton,' Act III. sc. v. p. 30:

"Look you, there stands young cornstalk."

1878. 'The Australian,' vol. i. p. 526:

"If these are the heroes that my cornstalk friends worship so ardently, they must indeed be hard up for heroes."

1893. Haddon Chambers, 'Thumbnail Sketches of Australian Life,' p. 217:

"While in the capital I fell in with several jolly cornstalks, with whom I spent a pleasant time in boating, fishing, and sometimes camping out down the harbour."

Correa, n. the scientific name of a genus of Australian plants of the N.O. Rutaceae, so named after Correa de Serra, a Portuguese nobleman who wrote on rutaceous plants at the beginning of the century. They bear scarlet or green and sometimes yellowish flowers, and are often called Native Fuchsias (q.v.), especially C. speciosa, Andrews, which bears crimson flowers.

1827. R. Sweet, 'Flora Australasica,' p. 2:

"The genus was first named by Sir J. E. Smith in compliment to the late M. Correa de Serra, a celebrated Portuguese botanist."

1859. H. Kingsley, 'Geoffrey Hamlyn,' p. 384:

"The scarlet correa lurked among the broken quartz."

1877. F. v. Mueller, 'Botanic Teachings,' p. 70:

"With all wish to maintain vernacular names, which are not actually misleading, I cannot call a correa by the common colonial name 'native fuchsia,' as not the slightest structural resemblance and but little habitual similarity exists between these plants; they indeed belong to widely different orders."


"All Correas are geographically restricted to the south-eastern portion of the Australian continent and Tasmania, the genus containing but few species."

1880. Mrs. Meredith, 'Tasmanian Friends and Foes,' p. 23:

"I see some pretty red correa and lilac." [Footnote]: "Correa speciosa, native fuchsia of Colonies."

Corrobbery, n. This spelling is nearest to the accepted pronunciation, the accent falling on the second syllable. Various spellings, however, occur, viz.—Corobbery, Corrobery, Corroberry, Corroborree, Corrobbory, Corroborry, Corrobboree, Coroboree, Corroboree, Korroboree, Corroborri, Corrobaree, and Caribberie. To these Mr. Fraser adds Karabari (see quotation, 1892), but his spelling has never been accepted in English. The word comes from the Botany Bay dialect.

[The aboriginal verb (see Ridley's 'Kamilaroi and other Australian Languages,' p. 107) is korobra, to dance; in the same locality boroya or beria means to sing; probably koro is from a common Australian word for emu.—J. Mathew.]

(1) An aboriginal name for a dance, sacred, festive, or warlike.

1793. Governor Hunter, 'Port Jackson, p. 195:

"They very frequently, at the conclusion of the dance, would apply to us . . . for marks of our approbation . . . which we never failed to give by often repeating the word boojery, good; or boojery caribberie, a good dance."

1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 280:

"Dancing with their corrobery motion."

Ibid. p. 311:

"With several corrobery or harlequin steps."

1833. C. Sturt, 'Southern Australia,' vol. ii. c. iii. p. 55:

"They hold their corrobbores (midnight ceremonies)."

1836. C. Darwin, 'Journal of the Voyage of the Beagle' (ed. 1882), c. xix. p. 450:

"A large tribe of natives, called the white cockatoo men, happened to pay a visit to the settlement while we were there. These men as well as those of the tribe belonging to King George's Sound, being tempted by the offer of some tubs of rice and sugar were persuaded to hold a 'corrobery' or great dancing party." [Description follows.]

1838. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions,' vol. ii. p. 4:

"There can be little doubt that the corrobboree is the medium through which the delights of poetry and the drama are enjoyed in a limited degree, even by these primitive savages of New Holland."

1844. Mrs. Meredith. 'Notes and Sketches of New South Wales,' p. 91:

"Great preparations were made, as for a grand corrobory, or festival, the men divesting themselves of even the portions of clothing commonly worn, and painting their naked black bodies in a hideous manner with pipe-clay. After dark, they lit their fires, which are small, but kept blazing with constant additions of dry bark and leaves, and the sable gentry assembled by degrees as they completed their evening toilette, full dress being painted nudity. A few began dancing in different parties, preparatory to the grand display, and the women, squatting on the ground, commenced their strange monotonous chant, each beating accurate time with two boomerangs. Then began the grand corrobory, and all the men joined in the dance, leaping, jumping, bounding about in the most violent manner, but always in strict unison with each other, and keeping time with the chorus, accompanying their wild gesticulations with frightful yells, and noises. The whole 'tableau' is fearfully grand! The dark wild forest scenery around—the bright fire-light gleaming upon the savage and uncouth figures of the men, their natural dark hue being made absolutely horrible by the paintings bestowed on them, consisting of lines and other marks done in white and red pipe-clay, which gives them an indescribably ghastly and fiendish aspect—their strange attitudes, and violent contortions and movements, and the unearthly sound of their yells, mingled with the wild and monotonous wail-like chant of the women, make altogether a very near approach to the horribly sublime in the estimation of most Europeans who have witnessed an assembly of the kind."

1846. G. H. Haydon, 'Five Years in Australia Felix,' p. 103:

"They have no instrument of music, the corobery's song being accompanied by the beating of two sticks together, and by the women thumping their opossum rugs.'"

1847. J. D. Lang, 'Cooksland,' p. 447 [Footnote]:

"These words, which were quite as unintelligible to the natives as the corresponding words in the vernacular language of the white men would have been, were learned by the natives, and are now commonly used by them in conversing with Europeans, as English words. Thus corrobbory, the Sydney word for a general assembly of natives, is now commonly used in that sense at Moreton Bay; but the original word there is yanerwille. Cabon, great; narang, little; boodgeree, good; myall, wild native, etc. etc., are all words of this description, supposed by the natives [of Queensland] to be English words, and by the Europeans to be aboriginal words of the language of that district."

[The phrase "general assembly" would rise naturally in the mind of Dr. Lang as a Presbyterian minister; but there is no evidence of anything parliamentary about a corrobbery.]

1848. W. Westgarth, 'Australia Felix,' p. 78:

"The exact object or meaning of their famous corrobboree or native dance, beyond mere exercise and patience, has not as yet been properly ascertained; but it seems to be mutually understood and very extensively practised throughout Australia, and is generally a sign of mutual fellowship and good feeling on the part of the various tribes."

1849. J. P. Townsend, 'Rambles in New South Wales,' p. 100:

"When our blacks visited Sydney, and saw the military paraded, and heard the bands, they said that was 'white fellows' corrobbory.'"

185. E. Stone Parker, 'Aborigines of Australia,' p. 21:

"It is a very great mistake to suppose . . . that there is any kind of religious ceremony connected with the ordinary corrobory. . . . I may also remark that the term corrobory is not a native word."

[It is quite certain that it is native, though not known to Mr. E. Stone Parker.]

1862. G. T. Lloyd, 'Thirty-three Years in Tasmania and Victoria,' p. 49:

[In Tasmania] "the assembling of the tribes was always celebrated by a grand corroboree, a species of bestial bal masque. On such occasions they presented a most grotesque and demon-like appearance, their heads, faces, and bodies, liberally greased were besmeared alternately with clay and red ochre; large tufts of bushy twigs were entwined around their ankles, wrists, and waists; and these completed their toilet."

1879. J. D. Woods, 'Native Tribes of South Australia,' Introduction, pp. xxxii. and xxxiii.:

"The principal dance is common all over the continent, and 'corrobboree' is the name by which it is commonly known. It is not quite clear what a corrobboree is intended to signify. Some think it a war-dance—others that it is a representation of their hunting expeditions—others again, that it is a religious, or pagan, observance; but on this even the blacks themselves give no information."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 41:

"The good fortune to witness a korroboree, that is a festive dance by the natives in the neighbourhood."

1892. J. Fraser, 'The Aborigines of New South Wales,' p. 21:

"'Karabari' is an aboriginal name for those dances which our natives often have in the forests at night. Hitherto the name has been written corrobboree, but etymologically it should be karabari, for it comes from the same root as 'karaji,' a wizard or medicine-man, and 'bari' is a common formative in the native languages. The karabari has been usually regarded as a form of amusement . . . these dances partake of a semi-religious character."

[Mr. Fraser's etymology is regarded as far-fetched.]

(2) The song that accompanied the dance.

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 323:

"I feared he might imagine we were afraid of his incantations, for he sang most lamentable corroborris."

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 68:

". . . listen to the new corroborree. Great numbers arrive; the corroborree is danced night after night with the utmost enthusiasm. . . .These corroborrees travel for many hundreds of miles from the place where they originated. . . .These composers [of song and dance] pretend that the Spirit of Evil originally manufactured their corroborree."

1889. Rev. J. H. Zillman, 'Australian Life,' p. 132:

"The story was a grand joke among the blacks for many a day. It became, no doubt, the theme for a 'corroberee,' and Tommy was always after a hero amongst his countrymen."

(3) By transference, any large social gathering or public meeting.

1892. 'Saturday Review,' Feb.' 13, p. 168, col. 2:

"A corrobory of gigantic dimensions is being prepared for [General Booth's] reception [in Australia]." ('O.E.D.')

1895. Modern:

"There's a big corrobbery on to-night at Government House, and you can't get a cab for love or money."

(4) By natural transference, a noise, disturbance, fuss or trouble.

1874. Garnet Walch, 'Adamanta,' Act II. sc. ii. p. 27:

"How can I calm this infantile corroboree?"

1885. H. O. Forbes, 'Naturalist's Wanderings,' p. 295:

"Kingfishers . . . in large chattering corrobories in the tops of high trees."

1888. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Robbery under Arms,' p. 242:

"The boy raises the most awful corroboree of screams and howls, enough for a whole gang of bushrangers, if they went in for that sort of thing."

1897. 'The Herald,' Feb. 15, p. i, col. 1:

"Latest about the Cretan corroboree in our cable messages this evening. The situation at the capital is decidedly disagreeable. A little while ago the Moslems threw the Christians out and took charge. Now the last report is that there is a large force of Christians attacking the city and quite ready, we doubt not, to cut every Moslem throat that comes in the way."

Corrobbery, v. (1) To hold a corrobbery.

1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 61:

"They began to corrobery or dance.

(p. 206): They 'corroberried,' sang, laughed, and screamed."

1885. R. M. Pried, 'Australian Life,' p. 22:

"For some time the district where the nut [bunya] abounds is a scene of feasting and corroboreeing."

(2) By transference to animals, birds, insects, etc.

1846. C. P. Hodgson, 'Reminiscences of Australia,' p. 257:

"The mosquitoes from the swamps corroboreed with unmitigated ardour."

1871. C. Darwin, 'Descent of Man' (2nd ed. 1885), p. 406:

"The Menura Alberti [see Lyrebird] scratches for itself shallow holes, or, as they are called by the natives, corroborying places, where it is believed both sexes assemble."

(3) To boil; to dance as boiling water does.

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

"'Look out there! 'he continued; 'quart-pot corroborree,' springing up and removing with one hand from the fire one of the quart-pots, which was boiling madly, while with the other he dropped in about as much tea as he could hold between his fingers and thumb."

Ibid. p. 49:

"They had almost finished their meal before the new quart corroborreed, as the stockman phrased it."

Corypha-palm, n. an obsolete name for Livistona inermis, now called Cabbage-tree (q.v.).

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

"The bottle-tree and the corypha-palm were frequent."

Cottage, n. a house in which all the rooms are on the ground-floor. An auctioneer's advertisement often runs—"large weatherboard cottage, twelve rooms, etc.," or "double-fronted brick cottage." The cheapness of land caused nearly all suburban houses in Australia to be built without upper storeys and detached.

Cotton-bush, n. name applied to two trees called Salt-bush (q.v.). (1) Bassia bicornis, Lindl. (2) Kochia aphylla, R. Br., N.O. Salsolaceae. S. Dixon (apud Maiden, p. 132) thus describes it—

"All kinds of stock are often largely dependent on it during protracted droughts, and when neither grass nor hay are obtainable I have known the whole bush chopped up and mixed with a little corn, when it proved an excellent fodder for horses."

1876. W. Harcus, 'South Australia,' p. 126:

"This is a fine open, hilly district, watered, well grassed, and with plenty of herbage and cotton-bush."

Cotton-shrub, n. a name given in Tasmania to the shrub Pimelea nivea, Lab., N.O. Thymeleae.

Cotton-tree, n. an Australian tree, Hibiscus teliaceus, Linn., N.O. Malvaceae.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 624:

"The fibre of the bark [cotton-tree] is used for nets and fishing-lines by the aborigines."

Cotton-wood, n. the timber of an Australian tree, Bedfordia salicina, De C., N.O. Compositae. Called Dog-wood (q.v.) in Tasmania.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p.386:

"The 'dog-wood' of Tasmania, and the 'cotton-wood' of Southern New South Wales, on account of the abundant down on the leaves. A hard, pale-brown, well-mottled wood, said by some to be good for furniture. It emits a foetid smell when cut."

Coucal, n. a bird-name, "mentioned probably for the first time in Le Vaillant's 'Oiseaux d'Afrique,' beginning about 1796; perhaps native African. An African or Indian spear-headed cuckoo: a name first definitely applied by Cuvier in 1817 to the birds of the genus Centropus." ('Century.') The Australian species is Centropus phasianellus, Gould, or Centropus phasianus, Lath. It is called also Swamp-pheasant (q.v.), and Pheasant-cuckoo.

Count-fish, n. a large Schnapper (q.v.). See Cock-Schnapper.

1874. 'Sydney Mail,' 'Fishes and Fishing in New South Wales':

"The ordinary schnapper or count fish implies that all of a certain size are to count as twelve to the dozen, the shoal or school-fish eighteen or twenty-four to the dozen, and the squire, thirty or thirty-six to the dozen—the latter just according to their size, the redbream at per bushel."

Count-muster, n. a gathering, especially of sheep or cattle in order to count them.

1891. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Sydney-side Saxon,' p. 1:

"The old man's having a regular count-muster of his sons and daughters, and their children and off side relatives-that is, by marriage."

Cowdie, n. an early variant of Kauri (q.v.), with other spellings.

1889. T. Kirk, 'Forest Flora of New Zealand,' p. 143:

"The native name 'Kauri' is the only common name in general use. When the timber was first introduced into Britain it was termed 'cowrie' or 'kowdie-pine'; but the name speedily fell into disuse, although it still appears as the common name in some horticultural works."

Cowshorns, n. a Tasmanian orchid, Pterostylis nutans, R. Br.

Cow-tree, n. a native tree of New Zealand. Maori name, Karaka (q.v.).

1860. G. Bennett, 'Gatherings of a Naturalist,' p. 346:

"The karaka-tree of New Zealand (Corynocarpus laevigata), also called kopi by the natives, and cow-tree by Europeans (from that animal being partial to its leaves), grows luxuriantly in Sydney."

Crab, n. Of the various Australian species of this marine crustacean, Scylla serrata alone is large enough to be much used as food, and it is seldom caught. In Tasmania and Victoria, Pseudocarcinus gigas, called the King-Crab, which reaches a weight of 20 lbs., is occasionally brought to market. There is only one fresh-water crab known in Australia—Telphusa transversa.

1896. Spencer and Hall, 'Horne Expedition in Central Australia,' Zoology, p. 228:

"In the case of Telphusa transversa, the fresh-water crab, the banks of certain water holes are riddled with its burrows."

Crab-hole, n. a hole leading into a pit-like burrow, made originally by a burrowing crayfish, and often afterwards increased in size by the draining into it of water. The burrows are made by crayfish belonging to the genera Engaeus and Astacopsis, which are popularly known as land-crabs.

1848. Letter by Mrs. Perry, given in Canon Goodman's 'Church in Victoria, during Episcopate of Bishop Perry,' p. 72:

"Full of crab holes, which are exceedingly dangerous for the horses. There are holes varying in depth from one to three feet, and the smallest of them wide enough to admit the foot of a horse: nothing more likely than that a horse should break its leg in one. . . . These holes are formed by a small land-crab and then gradually enlarged by the water draining into them."

1859. H. Kingsley, 'Geoffrey Hamlyn,' p. 368:

"This brute put his foot in a crabhole, and came down, rolling on my leg.''

1875. Wood and Lapham, 'Waiting for the Mail,' p. 49:

"Across the creek we went . . . now tripping over tussocks, now falling into crab holes."

Crab-tree, n. i.q. Bitter-bark (q.v.).

Cradle, n. common in Australia, but of Californian origin. "A trough on rockers in which auriferous earth or sand is shaken in water, in order to separate and collect the gold." ('O.E.D.')

1849. 'Illustrated London News,' Nov. 17, p. 325, col. 1 ('O.E.D.'): [This applies to California, and is before the Australian diggings began]:

"Two men can keep each other steadily at work, the one digging and carrying the earth in a bucket, and the other washing and rocking the cradle."

1851. Letter by Mrs. Perry, quoted in Canon Goodman's 'Church in Victoria during Episcopate of Bishop Perry,' p. 171:

"The streets are full of cradles and drays packed for the journey."

1858. T. McCombie, 'History of Victoria,' c. xv. p. 215:

"Cradles and tin dishes to supply the digging parties."

1865. F. H. Nixon, 'Peter Perfume,' p. 56:

"They had cradles by dozens and picks by the score."

1884. T. Bracken, 'Lays of Maori,' p. 154:

"The music of the puddling mill, the cradle, and the tub."

Cradle, v. tr. to wash auriferous gravel in a miner's cradle.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right,' c. 21, p. 197:

"The laborious process of washing and 'cradling' the ore."

Crake, n. common English bird-name. The Australian varieties are—

Little Crake— Porzana palustris, Gould.

Spotless C.— P. tabuensis, Gmel.

Spotted C.— P. fluminea, Gould.

White-browed C.— P. cinereus, Vieill.

See also Swamp-crake.

Cranberry, Native, n. called also Ground-berry; name given to three Australian shrubs. (1) Styphelia (formerly Lissanthe) humifusa, Persoon, N.O. Epacrideae.

1834. J. Ross, 'Van Diemen's Land Annual,' p. 133:

"Astroloma humifusum. The native cranberry has a fruit of a green, reddish, or whitish colour, about the size of a black currant, consisting of a viscid apple-flavoured pulp inclosing a large seed; this fruit grows singly on the trailing stems of a small shrub resembling juniper, bearing beautiful scarlet blossoms in autumn."

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 8:

"Commonly called 'ground-berry.' In Tasmania the fruits are often called native cranberries. The fruits of these dwarf shrubs are much appreciated by school-boys and aboriginals. They have a viscid, sweetish pulp, with a relatively large stone. The pulp is described by some as being apple-flavoured, though I have always failed to make out any distinct flavour."

(2) Styphelia sapida, F. v. M., N.O. Epacrideae.

1866. 'Treasury of Botany,' p. 688 ('O.E.D.'):

"Lissanthe sapida, a native of South-eastern Australia, is called the Australian Cranberry, on account of its resemblance both in size and colour to our European cranberry, Vaccinium Oxyconos."

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 39:

"Native cranberry. The fruit is edible. It is something like the cranberry of Europe both in size and colour, but its flesh is thin, and has been likened to that of the Siberian crab. [Found in] New South Wales."

(3) Pernettya tasmanica, Hook., N.O. Ericeae (peculiar to Tasmania).

Crane, n. common English bird-name. In Australia used for (1) the Native-Companion (q.v.), Grus australianus, Gould; (2) various Herons, especially in New Zealand, where the varieties are—Blue Crane (Matuku), Ardea sacra, Gmel.; White Crane (Kotuku), Ardea egretta, Gmel. See Kotuku and Nankeen Crane. The Cranes and the Herons are often popularly confused.

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. vi. pl. 53:

"Ardea Novae-Hollandiae, Lath., White-fronted Heron, Blue Crane of the colonists. Herodias Jugularis, Blue Reef Heron, Blue Crane, colonists of Port Essington."

1848. Ibid. pl. 58:

"Herodias Immaculata, Gould [later melanopus], Spotless Egret, White Crane of the colonists."

1890. 'Victorian Consolidated Statutes, Game Act,' 3rd Schedule:

"[Close Season.] All Birds known as Cranes such as Herons, Egrets, &c. From First day of August to Twentieth day of December following in each year."

Craw-fish, n. a variant of Crayfish (q.v.).

Crawler, n. that which crawls; used specially in Australia of cattle.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Colonial Reformer,' p. 217:

"Well-bred station crawlers, as the stockmen term them from their peaceable and orderly habits."

Cray-fish, n. The Australasian Cray-fish belong to the family Parastacidae, the members of which are confined to the southern hemisphere, whilst those of the family Potamobiidae are found in the northern hemisphere. The two families are distinguished from one another by, amongst other points of structure, the absence of appendages on the first abdominal segment in the Parastacidae. The Australasian cray-fishes are classified in the following genera—Astacopsis, found in the fresh waters of Tasmania and the whole of Australia; Engaeus, a land-burrowing form, found only in Tasmania and Victoria; Paranephrops, found in the fresh waters of New Zealand; and Palinurus, found on the coasts of Australia and New Zealand. The species are as follows :—

(1) The Yabber or Yabbie Crayfish. Name given to the commonest fresh-water Australian Cray-fish, Astacopsis bicarinatus, Gray. This is found in waterholes, but not usually in running streams, over the greater part of the continent, and often makes burrows in the ground away from water, and may also do great damage by burrowing holes through the banks of dams and reservoirs and water-courses, as at Mildura. It was first described as the Port Essington Crayfish.

1845. Gray, in E. J. Eyre's 'Expeditions into Central Australia,' vol. i. p. 410:

"The Port Essington Cray fish. Astacus bicarinatus."

1885. F. McCoy, 'Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria,' Dec. 2, pl. 29:

"They are commonly known about Melbourne by the native name of Yabber or Yabbie."

(2) The Murray Lobster or the Spiny Cray-fish. Name given to the largest Australian fresh-water Cray-fish, Astacopsis serratus, Shaw, which reaches a length of over twelve inches, and is found in the rivers of the Murray system, and in the southern rivers of Victoria such as the Yarra, the latter being distinguished as a variety of the former and called locally the Yarra Spiny Cray-fish.

1890. F. McCoy, 'Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria,' Dec. 8, pl. 160: "

Our plate 160 illustrates a remarkable variety of the typical A. serratus of the Murray, common in the Yarra and its numerous affluents flowing southwards."

(3) The Tasmanian Cray-fish. Name given to the large fresh-water Cray-fish found in Tasmania, Astacopsis franklinii; Gray.

(4) The Land-crab. Name applied to the burrowing Cray-fish of Tasmania and Victoria, Engaeus fossor, Erich., and other species. This is the smallest of the Australian Cray-fish, and inhabits burrows on land, which it excavates for itself and in which a small store of water is retained. When the burrow, as frequently happens, falls in there is formed a Crab-hole (q.v.).

1892. G. M. Thomson, 'Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania,' p. 2:

"Only four of the previously described forms are fresh-water species, namely: Astacopsis franklinii and A. tasmanicus, Engaeus fossor and E. cunicularius, all fresh-water cray fishes."

(5) New Zealand Fresh-water Cray-fish. Name applied to Paranephrops zealandicus, White, which is confined to the fresh water of New Zealand.

1889. T. J. Parker, 'Studies in Biology' (Colonial Museum and Geological Survey Department, New Zealand), p. 5:

"Paranephrops which is small and has to be specially collected in rivers, creeks or lakes."

(6) Sydney Cray-fish. Name given to the large salt-water Cray-fish, rarely called Craw-fish, or Spiny Lobster, found along the Sydney coast, Palinurus huegeli, Heller.

1890. F. McCoy, 'Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria,' Dec. 16, pl. 159:

"This species, which is the common Sydney Craw-fish, is easily distinguished from the southern one, the P. Lalandi, which is the common Melbourne Craw-fish."

(7) Southern Rock-Lobster or Melbourne Crayfish. Name given to the large salt-water Cray-fish, sometimes called Craw-fish, found along the southern coast and common in the Melbourne market, Palinurus lalandi, Lam.

1890. F. McCoy, 'Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria,' Dec. 15, pl. 150:

"I suggest the trivial name of Southern Rock Lobster for this species, which abounds in Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand, as well as the Cape of Good Hope . . . does not appear to have been noticed as far north as Sydney."

The name Craw-fish is merely an ancient variant of Cray-fish, though it is said by Gasc, in his French Dictionary, that the term was invented by the London fishmongers to distinguish the small Spiny Lobster, which has no claws, from the common Lobster, which has claws. The term Lobster, in Australia, is often applied to the Sydney Cray-fish (see 7, above).

Creadion, n. scientific name given by Vieillot in 1816 to a genus of birds peculiar to New Zealand, from Greek kreadion, a morsel of flesh, dim. of kreas, flesh. Buller says, "from the angle of the mouth on each side there hangs a fleshy wattle, or caruncle, shaped like a cucumber seed and of a changeable bright yellow colour." ('Birds of New Zealand,' 1886, vol. i. p. 18.) The Jack-bird (q.v.) and Saddle-back (q.v.) are the two species.

1855. Rev. R. Taylor, 'Te Ika a Maui,' p. 404:

"Family Sturnidae—Tieki (Creadion Carunculatus). This is a beautiful black bird with a chestnut band across the back and wings; it has also a fleshy lappet on either side of the head. The tieki is considered a bird of omen: if one flies on the right side it is a good sign; if on the left, a bad one."

Cream of Tartar tree, n. i.q. Baobab (q.v.).

Creek, n. a small river, a brook, a branch of a river. "An application of the word entirely unknown in Great Britain." ('O.E.D.') The 'Standard Dictionary' gives, as a use in the United States, "a tidal or valley stream, between a brook and a river in size." In Australia, the name brook is not used. Often pronounced crick, as in the United States.

Dr. J. A.H. Murray kindly sends the following note:—"Creek goes back to the early days of exploration. Men sailing up the Mississippi or other navigable river saw the mouths of tributary streams, but could not tell with out investigation whether they were confluences or mere inlets, creeks. They called them creeks, but many of them turned out to be running streams, many miles long—tributary rivers or rivulets. The name creek stuck to them, however, and thus became synonymous with tributary stream, brook."

1793. Governor Hunter, 'Voyage,' p. 516:

"In the afternoon a creek obliged them to leave the banks of the river, and go round its head, as it was too deep to cross: having rounded the head of this creek. . ."

1802. G. Barrington, 'History of New South Wales,' p. 228:

"They met with some narrow rivers or creeks."

1809. Aug. 6, 'History of New South Wales' (1818), p. 327:

"Through Rickerby's grounds upon the riverside and those of the Rev. Mr. Marsden on the creek."

1826. Goldie, in Bischoff's 'Van Diemen's Land' (1832), p. 162:

"There is a very small creek which I understand is never dry."

1848. W. Westgarth, 'Australia Felix,' p. 17:

"The creeks and rivers of Australia have in general a transitory existence, now swollen by the casual shower, and again rapidly subsiding under the general dryness and heat of the climate."

1854. 'Bendigo Advertiser,' quoted in 'Melbourne Morning Herald,' May 29:

"A Londoner reading of the crossing of a creek would naturally imagine the scene to be in the immediate neighbourhood of the coast, instead of being perhaps some hundreds of miles in the interior, and would dream of salt water, perriwinkles and sea-weed, when he should be thinking of slimy mud-holes, black snakes and gigantic gum-trees."

1861. Mrs. Meredith, 'Over the Straits,' c. iv. p. 134:

"The little rivulet, called, with that singular pertinacity for error which I have so often noticed here, 'the creek.'"

1865. Lady Barker, 'Station Life in, New Zealand,' p. 29:

"The creek, just like a Scotch burn, hurrying and tumbling down the hillside to join the broader stream in the valley."

1870. P. Wentworth, 'Amos Thorne,' i. p. 11:

"A thirsty creek-bed marked a line of green."

1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 39:

"In the rivers, whether large watercourses, and dignified by the name of 'river,' or small tributaries called by the less sounding appellation 'creeks."

1887. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol. i. p. 41:

"Generally where the English language is spoken a creek means a small inlet of the sea, but in Australia a creek is literally what it is etymologically, a crack in the ground. In dry weather there is very little water; perhaps in the height of summer the stream altogether ceases to run, and the creek becomes a string of waterholes; but when the heavens are opened, and the rain falls, it reappears a river."

Creeklet, n. diminutive of Creek.

1884. T. Bracken, 'Lays of Maori,' p. 91:

"One small creeklet day by day murmurs."

Creeper, n. The name (sc. Tree-creeper) is given to several New Zealand birds of the genus Certhiparus, N.O. Passeres. The Maori names are Pipipi, Toitoi, and Mohona.

1888. W. L. Buller, 'Birds of New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 51:

"Certhiparus Novae Zelandiae, Finsch. New Zealand Creeper." [A full description.]

Cronk, adj. Derived from the German krank—sick or ill.

(1) A racing term used of a horse which is out of order and not "fit" for the contest; hence transferred to a horse whose owner is shamming its illness and making it "run crooked" for the purpose of cheating its backers.

(2) Used more generally as slang, but not recognized in Barere and Leland's 'Slang Dictionary.'

1893. 'The Herald' (Melbourne), July 4, p. 2, col. 7:

"He said he would dispose of the cloth at a moderate figure because it was 'cronk.' The word 'cronk,' Mr. Finlayson explained, meant 'not honestly come by.'"

Crow, n. common English bird-name. The Australian species is—White-eyed, Corvus coronoides V. and H. In New Zealand (Maori name, Kokako) the name is used for the Blue-wattled Crow, Glaucopis wilsoni and for the (N. island) Orange-wattled, G. cinerea, Gmel. (S. island).

Crow-shrike, n. Australian amalgamation of two common English bird-names. The Crow-shrikes are of three genera, Strepera, Gymnorrhima, and Cracticus. The varieties of the genus Strepera are—

Black Crow-shrike— Strepera fuliginosa, Gould.

Black-winged C.— S. melanoptera, Gould.

Grey C.— S. cuneicaudata, Vieill.

Hill C.— S. arguta, Gould.

Leaden C.— S. plumbea, Gould.

Pied C.— S. graculina, White.

Birds of the genus Gymnorrhina are called Magpies (q.v.). Those of the genus Cracticus are called Butcher-birds (q.v.).

Crush, n. a part of a stockyard. See quotations.

1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 69:

"A crush, which is an elongated funnel, becoming so narrow at the end that a beast is wedged in and unable to move."

1891. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Sydney-side Saxon,' p. 87:

"There were some small yards, and a 'crush,' as they call it, for branding cattle."

Cuckoo, n. common English bird-name. The Australian birds to which it is applied are—

Black-eared Cuckoo— Mesocalius osculans, Gould.

Bronze C.— Chalcoccyx plagosus, Lath.

Brush C.— Cacomantis insperatus. [Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. iv. pl.87.]

Chestnut-breasted C.— C. castanei-ventris, Gould.

Fantailed C.— C. flabelliformis, Lath.

Little-bronze C.— Chalcoccyx malayanus, Raffles.

Narrow-billed bronze C.— C. basalis, Hors.

Oriental C.— Cuculus intermedius, Vahl.

Pallid C.— Cacomantis pallidus and C. canorus, Linn.

Square-tailed C.— C. variolosus, Hors.

Whistling-bronze C.— Chalcoccyx lucidus, Gmel.

In New Zealand, the name is applied to Eudynamis taitensis (sc. of Tahiti) Sparm., the Long-tailed Cuckoo; and to Chrysococcyx lucidus, Gmel., the Shining Cuckoo. The name Cuckoo has sometimes been applied to the Mopoke (q.v.) and to the Boobook (q.v.). See also Pheasant-cuckoo.

1855. G. W. Rusden, 'Moyarra,' Notes, p. 30:

"The Australian cuckoo is a nightjar, and is heard only by night."

1868. W. Carleton, 'Australian Nights,' p. 19:

"The Austral cuckoo spoke His melancholy note, 'Mopoke.'"

1889. Prof. Parker, 'Catalogue of New Zealand Exhibition,' p. 118:

"There are two species of the Longtailed Cuckoo (Eudynamis taitensis), and the beautiful Bronze or Shining Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx lucidus). They are both migratory birds. The Long-tailed Cuckoo spends its winter in some of the Pacific islands, the Shining Cuckoo in Australia."

Cuckoo-shrike, n. This combination of two common English bird-names is assigned in Australia to the following—

Barred Cuckoo-shrike Graucalus lineatus, Swains.

Black-faced C.— G. melanops, Lath.

Ground C.— Pteropodocys phasianella, Gould.

Little C.— Graucalus mentalis, Vig. and Hors.

Small-billed C.— G. parvirostris, Gould.

White-bellied C.— G. hyperleucus, Gould.

Cucumber-fish, n. i.q. Grayling (q.v.).

Cucumber-Mullet, n. i.q. Grayling (q.v.).

Cultivation paddock, n. a field that has been tilled and not kept for grass.

1853. Chas. St. Julian and Ed. K. Silvester, 'The Productions, Industry, and Resources of New South Wales,' p. 170:

"Few stations of any magnitude are without their 'cultivation paddocks,' where grain and vegetables are raised . . ."

1860. A Lady, 'My Experiences in Australia,' p. 173:

"Besides this large horse paddock, there was a space cleared of trees, some twenty to thirty acres in extent, on the banks of the creek, known as the 'Cultivation Paddock,' where in former days my husband had grown a sufficient supply of wheat for home consumption."

1893. 'The Argus,' June 17, p. 13, col. 4:

"How any man could have been such an idiot as to attempt to make a cultivation paddock on a bed of clay passed all my knowledge.'

Curlew, n. common English bird-name. The Australian species is Numenius cyanopus, Vieill. The name, however, is more generally applied to AEdicnemus grallarius, Lath.

1862. H. C. Kendall, 'Poems,' p. 43:

"They rend the air like cries of despair, The screams of the wild curlew."

1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 18:

"Truly the most depressing cry I ever heard is that of the curlew, which you take no notice of in course of time; but which to us, wet, weary, hungry, and strange, sounded most eerie."

1890. 'Victorian Statutes, Game Act, Third Schedule':

"Southern Stone Plover or Curlew."

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

"The calling of the stone plover. It might as well be a curlew at once, for it will always be a curlew to country people. Its first call, with the pause between, sounds like 'Curlew'—that is, if you really want it to sound so, though the blacks get much nearer the real note with 'Koo-loo,' the first syllable sharp, the second long drawn out."

1896. Dr. Holden, of Hobart, 'Private letter,' Jan.:

"There is a curlew in Australia, closely resembling the English bird, and it calls as that did over the Locksley Hall sand-dunes; but Australians are given to calling AEdicnemus grallarius Latham (our Stone Plover), the 'curlew,' which is a misnomer. This also drearily wails, and after dark."

Currajong or Currijong, i.q. Kurrajong (q.v.).

Currant, Native, n. The name is given to various shrubs and trees of the genus Coprosma, especially Coprosma billardieri, Hook., N.O. Rubiare(e; also to Leucopogon richei, Lab., N.O. Epacrideae, various species of Leptomeria, N.O. Santalaceae, and Myoporum serratum, R. Br., N.O. Myoporineae. The names used for M. serratum, chiefly in South Australia, are Blueberry Tree, Native Juniper, Native Myrtle, Palberry, and Cockatoo Bush.

See also Native Plum.

1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 220:

"Our native currants are strongly acidulous, like the cranberry, and make an excellent preserve when mixed with the raspberry."

1834. Ross, 'Van Diemen's Land Annual,' p. 133:

"Leucopogon lanceolatum. A large bush with numerous harsh leaves, growing along the sea shore, with some other smaller inland shrubs of the same tribe, produces very small white berries of a sweetish and rather herby flavour. These are promiscuously called white or native currants in the colony."

["The insignificant and barely edible berries of this shrub are said to have saved the life of the French botanist Riche, who was lost in the bush on the South Australian coast for three days, at the close of the last century." (Maiden.) The plant is now called L. Richei.]

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 19:

"Native Currant. . . . This plant bears a small round drupe, about the size of a small pea. Mr. Backhouse states that (over half a century ago) when British fruits were scarce, it was made into puddings by some of the settlers of Tasmania, but the size and number of the seeds were objectionable."

Currant, Plain, n. See Plain Currant.

Currency, n. (1) Name given especially to early paper-money in the Colonies, issued by private traders and of various values, and in general to the various coins of foreign countries, which were current and in circulation. Barrington, in his 'History of New South Wales '(1802), gives a table of such specie.

1824. Edward Curr, 'Account of the Colony of Van Diemen's Land,' p.5:

"Much of this paper-money is of the most trifling description. To this is often added 'payable in dollars at 5s. each.' Some . . . make them payable in Colonial currency."

[p. 69, note]: "25s. currency is about equal to a sovereign."

1826. Act of Geo. IV., No. 3 (Van Diemen's Land):

"All Bills of Exchange, Promissory Notes . . . as also all Contracts and Agreements whatsoever which shall be drawn and circulated or issued, or made and entered into, and shall be therein expressed . . . to be payable in Currency, Current Money, Spanish Dollars . . . shall be . . . Null and Void."

1862. Geo. Thos. Lloyd, 'Thirty-three years in Tasmania and Victoria,' p. 9:

"Every man in business . . . issued promissory notes, varying in value from the sum of fourpence to twenty shillings, payable on demand. These notes received the appellation of paper currency. . . . The pound sterling represented twenty-five shillings of the paper-money."

(2) Obsolete name for those colonially-born.

1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. ii. (Table of Contents):

"Letter XXI.—Currency or Colonial-born population."

Ibid. p. 33:

"Our colonial-born brethren are best known here by the name of Currency, in contradistinction to Sterling, or those born in the mother-country. The name was originally given by a facetious paymaster of the 73rd Regiment quartered here—the pound currency being at that time inferior to the pound sterling."

1833. H. W. Parker, 'Rise, Progress, and Present State of Van Diemen's Land,' p. 18:

"The Currency lads, as the country born colonists in the facetious nomenclature of the colony are called, in contradistinction to those born in the mother country."

1840. Martin's 'Colonial Magazine,' vol. iii. p. 35:

"Currency lady."

1849. J. P. Townsend, 'Rambles in New South Wales,' p. 68:

"Whites born in the colony, who are also called 'the currency'; and thus the 'Currency Lass' is a favourite name for colonial vessels." [And, it may be added, also of Hotels.]

1852. Mrs. Meredith, 'My Home in Tasmania,' vol. i. p. 6:

"A singular disinclination to finish any work completely, is a striking characteristic of colonial craftsmen, at least of the 'currency' or native-born portion. Many of them who are clever, ingenious and industrious, will begin a new work, be it ship, house, or other erection, and labour at it most assiduously until it be about two-thirds completed, and then their energy seems spent, or they grow weary of the old occupation, and some new affair is set about as busily as the former one."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Colonial Reformer,' p. 35:

"English girls have such lovely complexions and cut out us poor currency lasses altogether."

Ibid. p. 342:

"You're a regular Currency lass . . . always thinking about horses."

Cushion-flower, n. i.q. Hakea laurina, R. Br. See Hakea.

Cut out, v. (1) To separate cattle from the rest of the herd in the open.

1873. Marcus Clarke, 'Holiday Peak, &c.,' p. 70:

"The other two . . . could cut out a refractory bullock with the best stockman on the plains."

1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' c. x. p. 72:

"We . . . camped for the purpose of separating our cattle, either by drafting through the yard, or by 'cutting out' on horse-back."

1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' p. 70:

"Drafting on the camp, or 'cutting out' as it is generally called, is a very pretty performance to watch, if it is well done."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Squatter's Dream,' c. ii. p. 13:

"Tell him to get 'Mustang,' he's the best cutting-out horse."

1893. 'The Argus,' April 29, p. 4. col. 4:

"A Queenslander would have thought it was as simple as going on to a cutting-out camp up North and running out the fats."

(2) To finish shearing.

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

"When the stations 'cut out,' as the term for finishing is, and the shearers and rouseabout men leave."

Cutting-grass, n. Cladium psittacorum, Labill., N.O. Cyperaceae. It grows very long narrow blades whose thin rigid edge will readily cut flesh if incautiously handled; it is often called Sword-grass.

1858. T. McCombie 'History of Victoria,' vol. i. p. 8:

"Long grass, known as cutting-grass between four and five feet high, the blade an inch and a half broad, the edges exquisitely sharp."

1891. W. Tilley, 'Wild West of Tasmania,' p. 42:

"Travelling would be almost impossible but for the button rush and cutting grass, which grow in big tussocks out of the surrounding bog."

1894. 'The Age,' Oct. 19, p. 5, col. 8:

"'Cutting grass' is the technical term for a hard, tough grass about eight or ten inches high, three-edged like a bayonet, which stock cannot eat because in their efforts to bite it off it cuts their mouths."


Dabchick, n. common English bird-name. The New Zealand species is Podiceps rufipectus. There is no species in Australia.

Dacelo, n. Name given by "W. E. Leach, 1816. An anagram or transposition of Lat. Alcedo, a Kingfisher." ('Century.') Scientific name for the Jackass (q.v.).

Dactylopsila, n. the scientific name of the Australian genus of the Striped Phalanger, called locally the Striped Opossum; see Opossum. It has a long bare toe. (Grk. daktulos, a finger, and psilos, bare.)

Daisy, Brisbane, n. a Queensland and New South Wales plant, Brachycome microcarpa, F. v. M., N.O. Compositae.

Daisy, Native, n. a Tasmanian flower, Brachycome decipiens, Hook., N.O. Compositae.

Daisy Tree, n. two Tasmanian trees, Astur stellulatus, Lab., and A. glandulosus, Lab., N.O. Compositae. The latter is called the Swamp-Daisy-Tree.

Dam, n. In England, the word means a barrier to stop water in Australia, it also means the water so stopped, as 'O.E.D.' shows it does in Yorkshire.

1873. Marcus Clarke, 'Holiday Peak, &c.,' p. 76:

"The dams were brimming at Quartz-borough, St. Roy reservoir was running over."

1892. 'Scribner's Magazine,' Feb., p. 141:

"Dams as he calls his reservoirs scooped out in the hard soil."

1893. 'The Leader,' Jan. 14:

"A boundary rider has been drowned in a dam."

1893. 'The Times,' [Reprint] 'Letters from Queensland,' p. 68:

"At present few stations are subdivided into paddocks smaller than 20,000 acres apiece. If in each of these there is but one waterhole or dam that can be relied upon to hold out in drought, sheep and cattle will destroy as much grass in tramping from the far corners of the grazing to the drinking spot as they will eat. Four paddocks of 5,000 acres each, well supplied with water, ought to carry almost double the number of sheep."

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

"[The murderer] has not since been heard of. Dams and waterholes have been dragged . . . but without result."

Dammara, n. an old scientific name of the genus, including the Kauri Pine (q.v.). It is from the Hindustani, damar, 'resin.' The name was applied to the Kauri Pine by Lambert in 1832, but it was afterwards found that Salisbury, in 1805, had previously constituted the genus Agathis for the reception of the Kauri Pine and the Dammar Pine of Amboyna. This priority of claim necessitated the modern restoration of Agathis as the name of the genus.

Damper, n. a large scone of flour and water baked in hot ashes; the bread of the bush, which is always unleavened. [The addition of water to the flour suggests a more likely origin than that given by Dr. Lang. See quotation, 1847.]

1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 190

"The farm-men usually make their flour into flat cakes, which they call damper, and cook these in the ashes . . ."

1833. C. Sturt, 'Southern Australia,' vol. ii. c. viii. p. 203:

"I watched the distorted countenances of my humble companions while drinking their tea and eating their damper."

1845. J. O. Balfour, 'Sketches of New South Wales,' p. 103:

"Damper (a coarse dark bread)."

1846. G. H. Haydon, 'Five Years in Australia Felix,' p. 122:

"I must here enlighten my readers as to what 'damper' is. It is the bread of the bush, made with flour and water kneaded together and formed into dough, which is baked in the ashes, and after a few months keeping is a good substitute for bread."

[The last clause contains a most extraordinary statement— perhaps a joke. Damper is not kept for months, but is generally made fresh for each meal. See quotation, 1890, Lumholtz.]

1847. J. D. Lang, 'Cooksland,' p. 122:

"A cake baked in the ashes, which in Australia is usually styled a damper." [Footnote]: "This appellation is said to have originated somehow with Dampier, the celebrated navigator."

1867. F. Hochstetter, 'New Zealand,' p. 284:

"'Damper' is a dough made from wheat-flour and water without yeast, which is simply pressed flat, and baked in the ashes; according to civilized notions, rather hard of digestion, but quite agreeable to hungry woodmen's stomachs."

1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 20:

"At first we had rather a horror of eating damper, imagining it to be somewhat like an uncooked crumpet. Experience, however, showed it to be really very good. Its construction is simple, and is as follows. Plain flour and water is mixed on a sheet of bark, and then kneaded into a disc some two or three inches thick to about one or two feet in diameter, great care to avoid cracks being taken in the kneading. This is placed in a hole scraped to its size in the hot ashes, covered over, and there left till small cracks caused by the steam appear on the surface of its covering. This is a sign that it is nearly done, and in a few minutes the skilful chef will sound it over with his "Wedges of damper (or bread baked in hot ashes) were cut from time to time from great circular flat loaves of that palatable and wholesome but somewhat compressed-looking bread."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 32:

"Damper is the name of a kind of bread made of wheat flour and water. The dough is shaped into a flat round cake, which is baked in red-hot ashes. This bread looks very inviting, and tastes very good as long as it is fresh, but it soon becomes hard and dry."

Damson, Native, n. called also Native Plum, an Australian shrub, Nageia spinulosa, F. v. M., N.O. Coniferae.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 53:

"Native Damson or Native Plum. This shrub possesses edible fruit, something like a plum, hence its vernacular names. The Rev. Dr. Woolis tells me that, mixed with jam of the Native Currant (Leptomeria acida), it makes a very good pudding."

Dandelion, Native, n. a flowering plant, Podolepis acuminata, R. Br., N.O. Compositae.

Daphne, Native, n. an Australian timber, Myoporum viscorum, R. Br., N.O. Myoporineae; called also Dogwood and Waterbush.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 575:

"Native Daphne. . . . Timber soft and moderately light, yet tough. It is used for building purposes. It dresses well, and is straight in the grain."

Darling Pea, n. an Australian plant, Swainsonia galegifolia, R. Br., N.O. Leguminosae; i.q. Indigo Plant (q.v.). See also Poison-bush. The Darling Downs and River were named after General (later Sir Ralph) Darling, who was Governor of New South Wales from Dec. 19, 1825 to Oct. 21, 1831. The "pea" is named from one of these.

Darling Shower, n. a local name in the interior of Australia, and especially on the River Darling, for a dust storm, caused by cyclonic winds.

Dart, n. (1) Plan, scheme, idea [slang]. It is an extension of the meaning—"sudden motion."

1887. J. Farrell, 'How: he died,' p. 20:

"Whose 'dart' for the Looard Was to appear the justest steward That ever hiked a plate round."

1890. 'The Argus,' Aug. 9, p. 4, col. 2:

"When I told them of my 'dart,' some were contemptuous, others incredulous."

1892. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Nevermore,' p. 22:

"Your only dart is to buy a staunch horse with a tip-cart."

(2) Particular fancy or personal taste.

1895. Modern:

"'Fresh strawberries eh!—that's my dart,' says the bushman when he sees the fruit lunch in Collins-street."

Darter, n. common English name for birds of the genus Plotus. So called from the way it "darts" upon its prey. The Australian species is Plotus novae- hollandiae, Gould.

Dasyure, and Dasyurus, n. the scientific name of the genus of Australian animals called Native Cats. See under Cat. The first form is the Anglicized spelling and is scientifically used in preference to the misleading vernacular name. From the Greek dasus, thick with hair, hairy, shaggy, and 'oura, tail. They range over Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, and the adjacent islands. Unlike the Thylacine and Tasmanian Devil (q.v.), which are purely terrestrial, the Dasyurus are arboreal in their habits, while they are both carnivorous and insectivorous.

The Thylacine, Tasmanian Devil, Pouched Mice, and Banded Ant-eater have sometimes been incorrectly classed as Dasyures, but the name is now strictly allotted to the genus Dasyurus, or Native Cat.

Date, Native, n. a Queensland fruit, Capparis canescens, Banks, N.O. Capparideae. The fruit is shaped like a pear, and about half an inch in its largest diameter. It is eaten raw by the aborigines.

Deadbeat, n. In Australia, it means a man "down on his luck," "stone-broke," beaten by fortune. In America, the word means an impostor, a sponge. Between the two uses the connection is clear, but the Australian usage is logically the earlier.

Dead-bird, n. In Australia, a recent slang term, meaning "a certainty." The metaphor is from pigeon-shooting, where the bird being let loose in front of a good shot is as good as dead.

Dead-finish, n. a rough scrubtree.

(1)Albizzia basaltica, Benth., N.O. Leguminosae.

(2) Acacia farnesiana, Willd., N.O. Leguminosae. See quotation, 1889.

1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia', p. 272:

"On the eastern face of the coast range are pine, red cedar, and beech, and on the western slopes, rose-wood, myall, dead-finish, plum-tree, iron-wood and sandal-wood, all woods with a fine grain suitable for cabinet-making and fancy work."

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 355:

"Sometimes called by the absurd name of 'Dead Finish.' This name given to some species of Acacia and Albizzia, is on account of the trees or shrubs shooting thickly from the bottom, and forming an impenetrable barrier to the traveller, who is thus brought to a 'dead finish' (stop)"

1893. 'The Times,' [Reprint] 'Letters from Queensland,' p. 60:

"The hawthorn is admirably represented by a brush commonly called 'dead finish.'" [p. 61]: "Little knolls are crowned with 'dead finish' that sheep are always glad to nibble."

Dead-wood Fence, n. The Australian fence, so called, is very different from the fence of the same name in England. It is high and big, built of fallen timber, logs and branches. Though still used in Australia for fencing runs, it is now usually superseded by wire fences.

1852. Mrs. Meredith, 'My Home in Tasmania,' vol. i. p. 157:

"A 'dead-wood fence,' that is, a mass of timber four or five feet thick, and five or six high, the lower part being formed of the enormous trunks of trees, cut into logs six or eight feet long, laid side by side, and the upper portion consisting of the smaller branches skilfully laid over, or stuck down and twisted."

1872. G. Baden-Powell, 'New Homes for the Old Country,' p. 207:

"A very common fence is built by felling trees round the space to be enclosed, and then with their stems as a foundation, working up with the branches, a fence of a desirable height."

Deal, Native, n. an Australian timber, Nageia elata, F. v. M., N.O. Coniferae. For other vernacular names see quotation.

1869. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 589:

"Pine, white pine, called she-pine in Queensland; native deal, pencil cedar. This tree has an elongated trunk, rarely cylindrical; wood free from knots, soft, close, easily worked, good for joiners' and cabinet-work; some trees afford planks of great beauty. (Macarthur.) Fine specimens of this timber have a peculiar mottled appearance not easily described, and often of surpassing beauty."

[See also Pine.]

December, n. a summer month in Australia. See Christmas.

1885. J. Hood, 'Land of the Fern,' p. 34:

"Warm December sweeps with burning breath Across the bosom of the shrinking earth."

Deepsinker, n. (1) The largest sized tumbler; (2) the long drink served in it. The idea is taken from deep-sinking in a mining shaft.

1897. 'The Argus,' Jan. 15, p. 6, Col 5:

"As athletes the cocoons can run rings round the beans; they can jump out of a tumbler—whether medium, small, or deepsinker is not recorded."

Deep Yellow-Wood, n. Rhus rhodanthema, F. v. M., N.O. Anacardiaceae. A tree with spreading head; timber valuable. See Yellow-Wood.

Deferred Payment, n. a legal phrase. "Land on deferred payment"; "Deferred payment settler"; "Pastoral deferred payment." These expressions in New Zealand have reference to the mode of statutory alienation of Crown lands, known in other colonies as conditional sale, etc., i.e. sale on time payment, with conditions binding the settler to erect improvements, ending in his acquiring the fee-simple. The system is obsolete, but many titles are still incomplete.

Dell-bird, n. another name for the Bell-bird (q.v.).

Dendrolagus, n. the scientific name of the genus of Australian marsupials called Tree-Kangaroos (q.v.). (Grk. dendron, a tree, and lagows, a hare.) Unlike the other kangaroos, their fore limbs are nearly as long as the hinder pair, and thus adapted for arboreal life. There are five species, three belong to New Guinea and two to Queensland; they are the Queensland Tree-Kangaroo, Dendrolagus lumholtzi; Bennett's T.-k., D. bennettianus; Black T.-k., D. ursinus : Brown T.-k., D. inustus; Doria's T.-k., D. dorianus. See Kangaroo.

Derry, n. slang. The phrase "to have a down on" (see Down) is often varied to "have a derry on." The connection is probably the comic-song refrain, "Hey derry down derry."

1896. 'The Argus,' March 19, p. 5, col. 9:

"Mr. Croker: Certainly. We will tender it as evidence. (To the witness.) Have you any particular 'derry' upon this Wendouree?—No; not at all. There are worse vessels knocking about than the Wendouree."

Dervener, n. See quotation, and Derwenter.

1896. 'The Argus,' Jan. 2, p. 3, col. 4, Letters to the Editor:

"'Dervener.'—An expression used in continental Australia for a man from the Derwent in Tasmania. Common up till 1850 at least.—David Blair."

Ibid. Jan. 3, p. 6, col. 6:

"With respect to 'dervener,' the word was in use while the blue shirt race existed [sc. convicts], and these people did not become extinct until after 1860.—Cymro-Victoria."

Derwenter, n. a released convict from Hobart Town, Tasmania, which is on the River Derwent.

1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' c. xx. p. 140:

"An odd pair of sawyers, generally 'Derwenters,' as the Tasmanian expirees were called."

Desert Lemon, n. called also Native Kumquat, Atalantia glauca, Hook., N.O. Rutacea.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 8:

"The native kumquat or desert lemon. The fruit is globular, and about half an inch in diameter. It produces an agreeable beverage from its acid juice."

Desert-Oak, n. an Australian tree, Casuarina decaisneana, F. v. M. See Casuarina and Oak.

1896. Baldwin Spencer, 'Horne Expedition in Central Australia,' Narrative, p. 49:

"We had now amongst these sandhills come into the region of the 'Desert Oak' (Casuarina Decaisneana). Some of the trees reach a height of forty or fifty feet, and growing either singly or in clumps form a striking feature amongst the thin sparse scrub. . . . The younger ones resemble nothing so much as large funeral plumes. Their outlines seen under a blazing sun are indistinct, and they give to the whole scene a curious effect of being 'out of focus.'"

Devil, Tasmanian, n. an animal, Sarcophilus ursinus, Harris. Formerly, but erroneously, referred to the genus Dasyurus (q.v.), which includes the Native Cat (see under Cat): described in the quotations.

1832. J. Bischoff, 'Van Diemen's Land,' vol. ii. p. 29:

"The devil, or as naturalists term it, Dasyurus ursinus, is very properly named."

1853. J. West, 'History of Tasmania,' vol. i. p. 323:

"The devil (Dasyurus ursinus, Geoff.), about the size of a bull terrier, is an exceedingly fierce and disgusting-looking animal, of a black colour, usually having one white band across the chest, and another across the back, near the tail. It is a perfect glutton, and most indiscriminate in its feeding."

1862. F. J. Jobson, 'Australia,' c. vii. p. 186:

"Dasyurus ursinus—a carnivorous marsupial. Colonists in Tasmania, where only it exists . . . called it the 'devil,' from the havoc it made among their sheep and poultry."

1891. 'Guide to Zoological Gardens, Melbourne':

"In the next division is a pair of Tasmanian devils (Dasyurus ursinus); these unprepossessing-looking brutes are hated by every one in Tasmania, their habitat, owing to their destructiveness amongst poultry, and even sheep. They are black in colour, having only a white band across the chest, and possess great strength in proportion to their size."

Devil's Guts, n. The name is given in Australia to the Dodder-Laurel (see Laurel), Cassytha filiformis, Linn., N.O. Lauraceae. In Tasmania the name is applied to Lyonsia straminea, R. Br., N.O. Apocyneae.

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

"Lyonsia (Lyonsia straminea, Br.). Fibres of the bark fine and strong. The lyonsia is met with, rather sparingly, in dense thickets, with its stems hanging like ropes among the trees."

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

"This and other species of Cassythia are called 'dodder-laurel.' The emphatic name of 'devil's guts' is largely used. It frequently connects bushes and trees by cords, and becomes a nuisance to the traveller." [This plant is used by the Brahmins of Southern India for seasoning their buttermilk. ('Treasury of Botany.')]

Ibid. p. 162:

"It is also used medicinally."

Devil-on-the-Coals, n. a Bushman's name for a small and quickly-baked damper.

1862. Rev. A. Polehampton, 'Kangaroo Land,' p. 77:

"Instead of damper we occasionally made what is colonially known as 'devils on the coals.' . . . They are convenient when there is not time to make damper, as only a minute or so is required to bake them. They are made about the size of a captain's biscuit, and as thin as possible, thrown on the embers and turned quickly with the hand."

Diamond Bird, n. a bird-name. In the time of Gould this name was only applied to Pardalotus punctatus, Temm. Since that time it has been extended to all the species of the genus Pardalotus (q.v.). The broken colour of the plumage suggested a sparkling jewel.

1827. Vigors and Horsfield, 'Transactions of Linnaean Society,' vol. xv. p. 238:

"We are informed by Mr. Caley that this species is called diamond bird by the settlers, from the spots on its body. By them it is reckoned as valuable on account of its skin."

Diamond Snake, n. In Queensland and New South Wales, Pythonon spilotes, Lacep.; in Tasmania, Hoplocephalus superhus, Gray, venomous. See under Snake.

Digger, n. a gold-miner. The earliest mines were alluvial. Of course the word is used elsewhere, but in Australia it has this special meaning.

1852. Title:

"Murray's Guide to the Gold Diggings.—The Australian Gold Diggings; where they are, and how to get at them; with letters from Settlers and Diggers telling how to work them. London: Stewart & Murray) 1852."

1853. Valiant, 'Letter to Council,' given in McCombie's 'History of Victoria' (1853), c. xvi. p. 248:

"It caused the diggers, as a body, to pause in their headlong career."

1855. W. Howitt, 'Land, Labour, and Gold,' vol. ii. p. 148, Letter xxx:

"Buckland River, January 29th, 1854. The diggers here are a very quiet and civil race, at the same time that they are a most active and laborious one. . . . The principal part of the diggers here are from the Ovens."

1864. J. Rogers, 'New Rush,' pt. ii. p. 31:

"Drink success to the digger's trade, And break up to the squatter's."

1896. H. Lawson, 'While the Billy boils,' p. 148:

"His Father's Mate had always been a general favourite with the diggers and fossickers, from the days when he used to slip out first thing in the morning and take a run across the frosty flat in his shirt."

Digger's Delight, n. a flower, Veronica perfoliata, R. Br., N.O. Scrophularaneae, described in quotations.

1878. W. R. Guilfoyle, 'First Book of Australian Botany,' p. 64:

"Digger's Delight, Veronica perfoliata, N.O. Scrophularineae. A pretty, blue-flowering shrub, with smooth stem-clasping leaves; found in the mountainous districts of Victoria and New South Wales, and deriving its common name from a supposition that its presence indicated auriferous country. It is plentiful in the elevated cold regions of Australia."

1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 147:

"Such native flowers as the wild violet, the shepherd's purse, or the blue-flowered 'digger's delight.' This latter has come, perhaps, with the seeds from some miner's holding amongst the iron-barks in the gold country, and was once supposed to grow only on auriferous soils. When no one would think of digging for gold in this field, the presence of the flower is, perhaps, as reliable an indication of a golconda underneath as the reports and information on the strength of which many mining companies are floated."

Diggerdom, n. collective noun, the diggers.

1855. W. Howitt, 'Two Years in Victoria,' vol. i. p. 43:

"Diggerdom is gloriously in the ascendant here."

Diggeress, n. a digger's wife.

1855. W. Howitt, 'Two Years in Victoria,' vol. i. p. 43:

"The digger marching off, followed by his diggeress, a tall, slim young woman, who strode on like a trooper. . . . Open carriages driving about, crowded with diggers and their diggeresses."

1864. J. Rogers, 'New Rush,' pt. ii. p. 36:

"I'm tir'd of being a diggeress, And yearn a farmer's home to grace."

Diggings, n. a place where gold-mining is carried on. The word is generally regarded as singular. Though common in Australia, it is very old, even in the sense of a place where digging for gold is carried on.

1769. De Foe's 'Tour of Great Britain,' i. 39 ('O.E.D.'):

"King Henry VIII. was induced to dig for Gold. He was disappointed, but the Diggings are visible at this Day."

1852. J. Morgan, 'Life and Adventures of William Buckley' (published at Hobart), p. 183 [quoting from the 'Victoria Commercial Review,' published at Melbourne, by Messrs. Westgarth, Ross, & Co., under date September 1, 1851]:

"The existence of a 'goldfield' was not ascertained until May last. . . . Numbers of persons are daily 'prospecting' throughout this Colony and New South Wales in search of gold. . . .In Victoria, as well as in New South Wales, regular 'diggings' are now established."

1852. Murray, 'The Australian Gold Diggings: where they are and how to get at them,' p. 1;

"It cannot but be acceptable to the crowds of intending colonists and gold seekers, to present them with a picture of the 'Progress of the Diggins,' [sic] drawn by the diggers."

1858. T. McCombie, 'History of Victoria,' c. xv. p. 234:

"Immigrants who had not means to start to the diggings."

1870. J. O. Tucker, 'The Mute,' p. 48:

"Ye glorious diggings 'neath a southern clime! I saw thy dawn."

['Ye,' 'thy.' Is this singular or plural?]

1887. H. H. Hayter, 'Christmas Adventure,' p. i:

"Fryer's creek, a diggings more than 90 miles from Melbourne."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right,' c. vii. p. 71:

"It was a goldfield and a diggings in far-away Australia."

Dilli, later Dilly-bag, n. an aboriginal word, coming from Queensland, for a bag made either of grasses or of fur twisted into cord. Dhilla is the term for hair in Kabi dialect, Mary River, Queensland. Dirrang and jirra are corresponding words in the east of New South Wales. The aboriginal word dilli has been tautologically increased to dilly-bag, and the word is used by bushmen for a little bag for odds-and-ends, even though made of calico or holland.

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 90:

"In their 'dillis' (small baskets) were several roots or tubers."

Ibid. p. 195:

"A basket (dilli) which I examined was made of a species of grass."

1885. R. M. Praed, 'Australian Life,' p. 34:

"I learned too at the camp to plait dilly-bags."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xvii. p. 210:

"Mayboy came forward dangling a small dilly-bag."

1896. A.J. North, 'Report of Australian Museum,' p. 26:

"Dilly-bag (partly wool and partly grass)."

Dingle-bird, n. a poetical name for the Australian Bell-bird (q.v.).

1870. F. S. Wilson, 'Australian Songs,' p. 30:

"The bell-like chimings of the distant dingle-bird."

1883. C. Harpur, 'Poems,' p. 78:

"I . . . list the tinkling of the dinglebird."

Dingo, n. the native dog of Australia, Canis dingo. "The aborigines, before they obtained dogs from Europeans, kept the dingo for hunting, as is still done by coast tribes in Queensland. Name probably not used further south than Shoalhaven, where the wild dog is called Mirigang." (A. W. Howitt.)

1790. J. White, 'Voyage to New South Wales,' p. 280:

[A dingo or dog of New South Wales. Plate. Description by J. Hunter.] "It is capable of barking, although not so readily as the European dogs; is very ill-natured and vicious, and snarls, howls, and moans, like dogs in common. Whether this is the only dog in New South Wales, and whether they have it in a wild state, is not mentioned; but I should be inclined to believe they had no other; in which case it will constitute the wolf of that country; and that which is domesticated is only the wild dog tamed, without having yet produced a variety, as in some parts of America."

1798. D. Collins, 'Account of English Colony in New South Wales,' p. 614 [Vocab.]:

"Jungo—-Beasts, common name. Tein-go—-Din-go. Wor-re-gal—-Dog."

1820. W. C. Wentworth, 'Description of New South Wales,' p. 62:

"The native dog also, which is a species of the wolf, was proved to be fully equal in this respect [sport] to the fox; but as the pack was not sufficiently numerous to kill these animals at once, they always suffered so severely from their bite that at last the members of the hunt were shy in allowing the dogs to follow them."

1834. L. E. Threlkeld, 'Australian Grammar,' p. 55:

"Tigko—-a bitch."

1852. G. C. Mundy, 'Our Antipodes '(1855), p. 153:

"I have heard that the dingo, warragal or native dog, does not hunt in packs like the wolf and jackal."

1860. William Story, 'Victorian Government Prize Essays,' p. 101:

"The English hart is so greatly superior, as an animal of chase, to that cunning poultry thief the fox, that I trust Mister Reynard will never be allowed to become an Australian immigrant, and that when the last of the dingoes shall have shared the fate of the last English wolf, Australian Nimrods will resuscitate, at the antipodes of England, the sterling old national sport of hart hunting, conjointly with that of African boks, gazelles, and antelopes, and leave the fox to their English cousins, who cannot have Australian choice."

1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 103:

"In the neighbourhood of Brisbane and other large towns where they have packs, they run the dingoes as you do foxes at home."

1880. Garnet Walch, 'Victoria in 1880,' p. 113:

"The arms of the Wimmera should be rabbit and dingo, 'rampant,' supporting a sun, 'or, inflamed.'"

1881. A. C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 71:

"Dingoes, the Australian name for the wild dogs so destructive to sheep. They were . . . neither more nor less than wolves, but more cowardly and not so ferocious, seldom going in large packs. They hunted kangaroos when in numbers, or driven to it by hunger; but usually preferred smaller and more easily obtained prey, as rats, bandicoots, and 'possums."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 38:

"On the large stations a man is kept whose sole work it is to lay out poison for the dingo. The black variety with white breast generally appears in Western Queensland along with the red."

1891. 'Guide to Zoological Gardens, Melbourne':

"The dingo of northern Australia can be distinguished from his brother of the south by his somewhat smaller size and courageous bearing. He always carries his tail curled over his back, and is ever ready to attack any one or anything; whilst the southern dingo carries his tail low, slinks along like a fox, and is easily frightened. The pure dingo, which is now exceedingly rare in a wild state, partly through the agency of poison, but still more from the admixture of foreign breeds, is unable to bark, and can only express its feelings in long-drawn weird howls."

1894. 'The Argus,' June 23, p. l1, col. 4:

"Why is the first call of a dingo always apparently miles away, and the answer to it—another quavering note slightly more shrill—so close at hand? Is it delusion or distance?"

Dinornis, n. the scientific name given by Professor Owen to the genus of huge struthious birds of the post-Pliocene period, in New Zealand, which survive in the traditions of the Maoris under the name of Moa (q.v.). From the Greek deinos, terrible, and 'ornis, bird.

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

"The specimens [fossil-bones] transmitted . . . were confided to the learned Professor [Owen] for determination; and these materials, scanty as they were, enabled him to define the generic characters of Dinornis, as afforded by the bones of the hind extremity."

Ibid. p. xxiv:

"Professor Owen had well-nigh exhausted the vocabulary of terms expressive of largeness by naming his successive discoveries ingens, giganteus, crassus, robustus, and elephantopus, when he had to employ the superlative Dinornis maximus to distinguish a species far exceeding in stature even the stately Dinornis giganteus. In this colossal bird . . . some of the cervical vertebrae almost equal in size the neck-bones of a horse! The skeleton in the British Museum . . . measures 11 feet in height, and . . . some of these feathered giants attained to a still greater stature."

Dipper, n. a vessel with a handle at the top of the side like a big tin mug. That with which one dips. The word is not Australian, but is of long standing in the United States, where it is used as a name for the constellation of the Great Bear.

1893. 'Australasian Schoolmaster,' Feb.:

"These answers have not the true colonial ring of the following, which purports to be the remark of the woman of Samaria: 'Sir, the well is very deep, and you haven't got a dipper.'"

Dips, n. Explained in quotation.

1859. G. Bunce, 'Travels with Leichhardt,' p. 161:

". . . Dr. Leichhardt gave the party a quantity of dough boys, or as we called them, dips. . ."

[p. 171]: "In this dilemma, Dr. Leichhardt ordered the cook to mix up a lot of flour, and treated us all to a feed of dips. These were made as follows:—a quantity of flour was mixed up with water, and stirred with a spoon to a certain consistency, and dropped into a pot of boiling water, a spoonful at a time. Five minutes boiling was sufficient, when they were eaten with the water in which they were boiled."

Dirt, n. In Australia, any alluvial deposit in which gold is found; properly Wash-dirt. The word is used in the United States. See quotation, 187.

1853. Mrs. Chas. Clancy, 'Lady's Visit to the Gold Diggings,' p. 109:

"And after doing this several times, the 'dirt,' of course, gradually diminishing, I was overjoyed to see a few bright specks."

1857. Borthwick, 'California,' [Bartlett, quoted in 'O.E.D.'] p. 120:

"In California, 'dirt' is the universal word to signify the substance dug; earth, clay, gravel, or loose slate. The miners talk of rich dirt and poor dirt, and of stripping off so many feet of 'top dirt' before getting to 'pay-dirt,' the latter meaning dirt with so much gold in it that it will pay to dig it up and wash it."

1870. J. O. Tucker, 'The Mute,'p. 40:

"Others to these the precious dirt convey, Linger a moment till the panning's through."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right,' c. xiv. p. 142:

"We were clean worked out . . . before many of our neighbours at Greenstone Gully, were half done with their dirt."

Ibid. c. xviii. p. 177:

"We must trust in the Oxley 'dirt' and a kind Providence."

Dish, n. and adj. a small and rough vessel in which gold is washed. The word is used in the United States.

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

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

Dishwasher, n. an old English bird-name for the Water-Wagtail; applied in Australia to Seisura inquieta, Lath., the Restless Fly-catcher (q.v.). Seisura is from Grk. seiein (to shake), and 'oura (a tail), being thus equal in meaning to Wagtail. Also called Dishlick, Grinder, and Razor-grinder (q.v.).

1827. Vigors and Horsfield, 'Transactions of the Linnaean Society,' vol. xv. p. 250:

"This bird is called by the colonists Dishwasher. It is very curious in its actions. In alighting on the stump of a tree it makes several semi-circular motions, spreading out its tail, and making a loud noise somewhat like that caused by a razor-grinder when at work."

Distoechurus, n. the scientific name of the genus of the New Guinea Pentailed-Phalanger, or so-called Opossum-mouse (q.v.). It has a tail with the long hairs arranged in two opposite rows, like the vanes of a feather.(Grk. distoichos, with two rows, and 'oura, a tail.)

Diver, n. common bird-name used in Australia for a species of Grebe.

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. vii. pl. 80:

"Podiceps australis, Gould; Australian Tippet Grebe; Diver of the Colonists."

Doctor, n. word used in the South Australian bush for "the cook."

1896. 'The Australasian,' June 13, p. 1133, col. 1:

"'The doctor's in the kitchen, and the boss is in the shed; The overseer's out mustering on the plain; Sling your bluey down, old boy, for the clouds are overhead, You are welcome to a shelter from the rain.'"

Dodder Laurel, n. i.q. Devil's Guts (q.v.).

Dog-fish, n. The name belongs to various fishes of distinct families, chiefly sharks. In Australia, it is used for the fish Scyllium lima, family Scylliidae. In New South Wales it is Scyllium maculatum, Bl. The Sprite Dog-fish of New Zealand is Acanthias maculatus, family Spinacidae. The Spotted Dog-fish of New South Wales is Scyllium anale. The Dusky Dogfish of New South Wales is Chiloscyllium modestum, Gunth., and there are others in Tasmania and Australia.

Dogleg, adj. applied to a primitive kind of fence made of rough timber. Crossed spars, which are the doglegs, placed at intervals, keep in place a low rail resting on short posts, and are themselves fixed by heavy saplings resting in the forks above.

1875. R. and F. Hill, 'What we saw in Australia,' p. 61:

". . . we made acquaintance with the 'dog's leg' fence. This is formed of bare branches of the gum-tree laid obliquely, several side by side, and the ends overlapping, so that they have somewhat the appearance that might be presented by the stretched-out legs of a crowd of dogs running at full speed. An upright stick at intervals, with a fork at the top, on which some of the cross-branches rest, adds strength to the structure."

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19     Next Part
Home - Random Browse