A Dictionary of Austral English
by Edward Morris
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1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 13:

"While the primaeval 'dog-leg' fence of the Victorian bush, or the latter-day 'chock and log' are no impediments in the path of our foresters." [sc. kangaroos; see Forester.]

1888. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Robbery under Arms,' p. 71:

"As we rode up we could see a gunyah made out of boughs, and a longish wing of dog leg fence, made light but well put together."

Dog's Tongue, n. name given to the plant Cynoglossum suaveolens, R. Br., N.O. Asperifoliae.

Dogwood, n. various trees and their wood; none of them the same as those called dogwood in the Northern Hemisphere, but their woods are used for similar purposes, e.g. butchers' skewers, fine pegs, and small pointed wooden instruments. In Australia generally, Jacksonia scoparia, R. Br., also Myoporum platycarpum, R. Br. In Tasmania, Bedfordia salicina, De C., N.O. Compositae, which is also called Honeywood, and in New South Wales, Cottonwood (q.v.), and the two trees Pomaderris elliptica, Lab., and P. apetala, Lab., N.O. Rhamnaceae, which are called respectively Yellow and Bastard Dogwood. See also Coranderrk. In parts of Tasmania, Pomaderris apetala, Lab., N.O. Rhamn/ac?/eae, is also called Dogwood, or Bastard Dogwood.

1836. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 16:

"There is a secluded hollow of this kind near Kangaroo Bottom, near Hobart Town, where the common dogwood of the colony (pomaderris apetala) has sprung up so thick and tall, that Mr. Babington and myself having got into it unawares one day, had the greatest difficulty imaginable to get out after three or four hours' labour. Not one of the plants was more than six inches apart from the others, while they rose from 6 to 12 yards in height, with leaves at the top which almost wholly excluded the light of the sun."

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 11:

"Iron-bark ridges here and there, with spotted gum, with dogwood (Jacksonia) on a sandy soil." (p. 20): "A second creek, with running water, which from the number of dogwood shrubs (Jacksonia), in the full glory of their golden blossoms, I called 'Dogwood Creek.'"

1894. 'Melbourne Museum Catalogue—Economic Woods,' p. 46:

"Native dogwood, a hard, pale-brown, well-mottled wood; good for turnery."

Dogwood Poison-bush, n. a New South Wales name; the same as Ellangowan Poison-bush (q.v.).

Dollar, n. See Holy Dollar.

Dollar-bird, n. name given to the Roller (q.v.). See quotations.

1827. Vigors and Horsfield, 'Transactions of Linnaean Society,' vol. xv. p. 202:

"The settlers call it dollar-bird, from the silver-like spot on the wing."

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia;' vol. ii. pl. 17:

"Eurystomus Australis, Swains., Australian Roller. Dollar Bird of the Colonists. During flight the white spot in the centre of each wing, then widely expanded, shows very distinctly, and hence the name of Dollar Bird.'"

1851. I. Henderson, 'Excursions in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 183:

"The Dollar-bird derives its name from a round white spot the size of a dollar, on its wing. It is very handsome, and flies in rather a peculiar manner. It is the only bird which I have observed to perform regular migrations; and it is strange that in such a climate any one should do so. But it appears that the dollar-bird does not relish even an Australian winter. It is the harbinger of spring and genial weather."

Dollar-fish n. a name often given formerly to the John Dory (q.v.), from the mark on its side. See quotation, 1880. The name Dollar-fish is given on the American coasts to a different fish.

1880. Guenther, 'Study of Fishes,' p. 451:

"The fishermen of Roman Catholic countries hold this fish in special respect, as they recognize in a black round spot on its side the mark left by the thumb of St. Peter, when he took the piece of money from its mouth."

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish of New South Wales,' p. 62:

"The dory has been long known, and when the currency of the colony was in Mexican coin it was called a 'dollar-fish.'"

Dorca-Kangaroo, n. See Dorcopsis and Kangaroo.

Dorcopsis, n. the scientific name of a genus of little Kangaroos with pretty gazelle-like faces. (Grk. dorkas, a gazelle, and 'opsis, appearance.) They are called Dorca-Kangaroos, and are confined to New Guinea, and form in some respects a connecting link between Macropus and the Tree-Kangaroo (q.v.). There are three species—the Brown Dorca Kangaroo, Dorcopsis muelleri; Grey D., D. luctuosa, Macleay's D., D. macleayi. See Kangaroo (e).

Dottrel, n. formerly Dotterel, common English bird-name, applied in Australia to Charadrius australis, Gould.

Black-fronted Dottrel— Charadrius nigrifrons, Temm.

Double-banded D.— C. bicincta, Jord. and Selb.

Hooded D.— C. monacha, Geoff.

Large Sand D.— C. (AEgialitis) geoffroyi, Wag.

Mongolian Sand D.— C. (AEgialitis) mongolica, Pallas.

Oriental D.— C. veredus, Gould.

Red-capped Dottrel— Charadrius ruficapilla, Temm.; called also Sand-lark.

Red-necked D.— C. (AEgialitis) mastersi, Ramsay.

Ringed D.— C. hiaticula, Linn. [See also Red-knee.]

Dove, n. a well-known English bird-name, applied in Australia to the—

Barred-shouldered Dove— Geopelia humeralis, Temm.

Ground D.— G. tranquilla, Gould.

Little D.— G. cuneata, Lath. [See also Ground-dove.]

Dove-Petrel, n. a well-known English bird-name. The species in the-Southern Seas are—

Prion turtur, Smith.

Banks D.-P.— P. banksii, Smith.

Broad-billed D.-P.— P. vittata, Forst.

Fairy D.-P.— P. ariel, Gould.

Dover, n. a clasp knife, by a maker of that name, once much used in the colonies.

1878. 'The Australian,' vol. i. p. 418:

"In plates and knives scant is the shepherd's store, 'Dover' and pan are all, he wants no more."

1893. April 15, 'A Traveller's Note':

"'So much a week and the use of my Dover' men used to say in making a contract of labour."

1894. 'Bush Song' [Extract]:

"Tie up the dog beside the log, And come and flash your Dover."

Down, n. a prejudice against, hostility to; a peculiarly Australian noun made out of the adverb.

1856. W. W. Dobie, 'Recollections of a Visit to Port Philip,' p. 84:

". . . the bushranger had been in search of another squatter, on whom 'he said he had a down'. . ."

1884. J. W. Bull, 'Early Life in South Australia,' p. 179:

"It was explained that Foley had a private 'down' on them, as having stolen from him a favourite kangaroo dog."

1889. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia, vol. iv. p. 180:

"They [diggers] had a 'dead down' on all made dishes."

1893. Professor Gosman, 'The Argus,' April 24, p. 7, col. 4:

"That old prejudice in the minds of many men to the effect that those who represented the churches or religious people had a regular down upon freedom of thought."

1893. 'The Age,' June 24, p. 5, col. 1:

"Mr. M. said it was notorious in the department that one of the commissioners had had 'a down' on him."

1893. R. L. Stevenson, 'Island Nights' Entertainments,' p. 46:

"'They have a down on you,' says Case. 'Taboo a man because they have a down on him'' I cried. 'I never heard the like.'"

Down, adv. "To come, or be down," is the phrase used in Australian Universities for to be "plucked," or "ploughed," or "spun," i.e., to fail in an examination. It has been in use for a few years, certainly not earlier than 1886. The metaphor is either taken from a fall from a horse, or perhaps from the prize-ring. The use has no connection with being "sent down," or "going down," at Oxford or Cambridge.

Draft, v. to separate and sort cattle. An adaptation of the meaning "to select and draw off for particular service," especially used of soldiers.

1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' c. vi. p. 46:

"I should like to be drafting there again."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'The Squatter's Dream,' p. 2:

"There were those cattle to be drafted that had been brought from the Lost Waterhole."

Draft, n. a body of cattle separated from the rest of the herd.

1884. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Melbourne Memories,' c. ii. p. 22:

"A draft of out-lying cattle rose and galloped off."

Drafter, n. a man engaged in drafting cattle.

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xviii. p. 227:

"They behave better, though all the while keeping the drafters incessantly popping at the fence by truculent charges."

Drafting-gate, n. gate used in separating cattle and sheep into different classes or herds.

1890. 'The Argus,' Aug. 16, p. 4, col. 7:

"But the tent-flap seemed to go up and down quick as a drafting-gate."

Drafting-stick, n. a stick used in drafting cattle.

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

"We . . . armed ourselves with drafting-sticks and resolutely faced it."

Drafting-yard, n. a yard for drafting cattle.

1890. 'The Argus,' Aug. 16, p. 13, col. 1:

"There were drafting-yards and a tank a hundred yards off, but no garden."

Dray, n. an ordinary cart for goods. See quotation, 1872.

1833. C. Sturt, 'Southern Australia,' vol. i. Intro. p. xlix:

"They send their produce to the market . . . receiving supplies for home consumption on the return of their drays or carts from thence."

1872. C. H. Eden, "My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 31:

"A horse dray, as known in Australia, is by no means the enormous thing its name would signify, but simply an ordinary cart on two wheels without springs." [There are also spring-drays.]

1886. H. C. Kendall, 'Poems,' p. 41:

"One told by camp fires when the station drays Were housed and hidden, forty years ago."

Dromicia, n. the scientific name of the Australian Dormouse Phalangers, or little Opossum- or Flying-Mice, as they are locally called. See Opossum, Opossum-mouse, and Phalanger. They are not really the "Flying"-Mice or Flying-phalanger, as they have only an incipient parachute, but they are nearly related to the Pigmy Petaurists (q.v.) or small Flying-Phalangers. (Grk. dromikos, good at running, or swift.)

Drongo, n. This bird-name was "given by Le Vaillant in the form drongeur to a South African bird afterwards known as the Musical Drongo, Dicrurus musicus, then extended to numerous . . . fly-catching, crow-like birds." ('Century.') The name is applied in Australia to Chibia bracteata, Gould, which is called the Spangled Drongo.

1895. W. 0. Legge, 'Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science' (Brisbane), p. 448:

"There being but one member of the interesting Asiatic genus Drongo in Australia, it was thought best to characterize it simply as the Drongo without any qualifying term."

Drop, n. (Slang.) To "have the drop on" is to forestall, gain advantage over, especially by covering with a revolver.

It is curious that while an American magazine calls this phrase Australian (see quotation), the 'Dictionary of Slang'—one editor of which is the distinguished American, Godfrey C. Leland—says it is American. It is in common use in Australia.

1894. 'Atlantic Monthly,' Aug., p. 179.

"His terrible wife, if we may borrow a phrase from Australia, 'had the drop on him' in every particular."

Drooping Acacia, n. See Acacia.

Drove, v. to drive travelling cattle or sheep.

1890. A. J. Vogan, 'Black Police,' p. 334:

"I don't know how you'd be able to get on without the 'boys' to muster, track, and drove."

1896. A. B. Paterson, 'Man from Snowy River' [Poem 'In the Droving Days'], p. 95:

"For though lie scarcely a trot can raise, He can take me back to the droving days."

Drum, n. a bundle; more usually called a swag (q.v.).

1866. Wm. Starner, 'Recollections of a Life of Adventure,' vol. i. p. 304

". . . and 'humping his drum' start off for the diggings to seek more gold."

1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 17:

"They all chaffed us about our swags, or donkeys, or drums, as a bundle of things wrapped in a blanket is indifferently called."

1886. Frank Cowan, 'Australia, Charcoal Sketch,' p. 31:

"The Swagman: bed and board upon his back—or, having humped his drum and set out on the wallaby . . ."

Drummer, n. a New South Wales name for the fish Girella elevata, Macl., of the same family as the Black-fish (q.v.).

Dry-blowing, n. a Western Australian term in gold-mining.

1894. 'The Argus,' March 28, p. 5, col. 5:

"When water is not available, as unfortunately is the case at Coolgardie, 'dry blowing' is resorted to. This is done by placing the pounded stuff in one dish, and pouring it slowly at a certain height into the other. If there is any wind blowing it will carry away the powdered stuff; if there is no wind the breath will have to be used. It is not a pleasant way of saving gold, but it is a case of Hobson's choice. The unhealthiness of the method is apparent."

Duboisine, n. an alkaloid derived from the plant Duboisia myoposides, N.O. Sofanaceae, a native of Queensland and New South Wales. It is used in medicine as an application to the eye for the purpose of causing the pupil to dilate, in the same way as atropine, an alkaloid obtained from the belladonna plant in Europe, has long been employed. Duboisine was discovered and introduced into therapeutics by a Brisbane physician.

Duck, n. the well-known English name of the birds of the Anatinae, Fuligulinae, and other series, of which there are about 125 species comprised in about 40 genera. The Australian genera and species are—-

Blue-billed Duck— Erismatura australis, Gould.

Freckled D.— Stictonetta naevosa, Gould.

Mountain D. (the Shel-drake, q.v.).

Musk D. (q.v.)— Biziura lobata, Shaw.

Pink-eared D., or Widgeon (q.v.)— Malacorhynchus membranaceus, Lath.

Plumed Whistling D.— Dendrocygna eytoni, Gould.

Whistling D.— D. vagans, Eyton. [Each species of the Dendrocygna called also by sportsmen Tree-duck.]

White-eyed D., or Hard-head (q.v.)— Nyroca australis, Gould.

Wild D.— Anas superciliosa, Gmel.

Wood D. (the Maned Goose; see Goose).

The following is a table of the ducks as compiled by Gould nearly fifty years ago.

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


Anas superciliosa, Gmel. Australian Wild Duck . . . 9

Anas naevosa, Gould, Freckled Duck . . . 10

Anas punctata, Cuv. Chestnut-breasted Duck . . . 11

Spatula Rhyncotis, Australian Shoveller . . . 12

Malacorhynchus membranaceus, . . . 13 Membranaceous Duck

Dendrocygna arcuata, Whistling Duck (q.v.) . . . 14

Leptolarsis Eytoni, Gould, Eyton's Duck . . . 15

Nyroca Australis, Gould, White-eyed Duck . . . 16

Erismatura Australis, Blue-billed Duck . . . 17

Biziura lobata, Musk Duck . . . 18

The following is Professor Parker's statement of the New Zealand Ducks.

1889. Prof. Parker, 'Catalogue of New Zealand Exhibition,' p. 117:

"There are eleven species of Native Ducks belonging to nine genera, all found elsewhere, except two—the little Flightless Duck of the Auckland Islands (genus Nesonetta) and the Blue Mountain Duck (Hymenolaemus). Among the most interesting of the non-endemic forms, are the Paradise Duck or Sheldrake (Casarca variegata), the Brown Duck (Anas chlorotis), the Shoveller or Spoonbill Duck (Rhynchaspis variegata), and the Scaup or Black Teal (Fuligula Novae-Zealandiae)."

Duckbill, n. See Platypus. Sometimes also called Duckmole.

Duckmole, n. See Platypus.

1825. Barron Field, 'First Fruits of Australian Poetry,' in 'Geographical Memoirs of New South Wales,' p. 496:

"When sooty swans are once more rare, And duck-moles the museum's care."

[Appendix : "Water or duck-mole."]

1875. Schmidt, 'Descent and Darwinism,' p. 237:

"The Ornithorhyncus or duck-mole of Tasmania."

Duck-shoving, and Duckshover, n. a cabman's phrase.

In Melbourne, before the days of trams, the wagonette-cabs used to run by a time-table from fixed stations at so much (generally 3d.) a passenger. A cabman who did not wait his turn on the station rank, but touted for passengers up and down the street in the neighbourhood of the rank, was termed a Duck-shover.

1870. D. Blair, 'Notes and Queries,' Aug. 6, p. 111:

"Duck-shoving is the term used by our Melbourne cabmen to express the unprofessional trick of breaking the rank, in order to push past the cabman on the stand for the purpose of picking up a stray passenger or so."

1896. 'Otago Daily Times,' Jan. 25, p. 3, col. 6:

"The case was one of a series of cases of what was technically known as 'duck shoving,' a process of getting passengers which operated unfairly against the cabmen who stayed on the licensed stand and obeyed the by-law."

Dudu, n. aboriginal name for a pigeon, fat-breasted, and very good eating.

1852. G. C. Mundy, 'Our Antipodes' (3rd ed. 1855), c. vii. p. 170:

"In the grassland, a sort of ground pigeon, called the dudu, a very handsome little bird, got up and went off like a partridge, strong and swift, re-alighting on the ground, and returning to cover."

Duff, v. to steal cattle by altering the brands.

1869. E. Carton Booth, 'Another England,' p. 138:

"He said there was a 'duffing paddock' somewhere on the Broken River, into which nobody but the owner had ever found an entrance, and out of which no cattle had ever found their way—at any rate, not to come into their owner's possession. . . . The man who owned the 'duffing paddock' was said to have a knack of altering cattle brands . . ."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Squatter's Dream,' c. xiv. p. 162:

"I knew Redcap when he'd think more of duffing a red heifer than all the money in the country."

1891. Rolf Boldrewood, 'A Sydneyside Saxon,' p. 95:

"As to the calves I'm a few short myself, as I think that half-caste chap of yours must have 'duffed.'"

Duffer, n. a cattle stealer, i.q. Cattle-duffer (q.v.).

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Colonial Reformer,' c. xxv. p. 352:

"What's a little money . . . if your children grow up duffers and planters?"

Duffer2, n. a claim on a mine which turns out unproductive, called also shicer (q.v.). [This is only a special application of the slang English, duffer, an incapable person, or a failure. Old English Daffe, a fool]

1861. T. McCombie, 'Australian Sketches,' p. 193:

"It was a terrible duffer anyhow, every ounce of gold got from it cost L 20 I'll swear."

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

"Tho' duffers are so common And golden gutters rare, The mining sons of woman Can much ill fortune bear."

1873. A.Trollope, 'Australia and New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 291:

"A shaft sunk without any produce from it is a duffer. . . . But of these excavations the majority were duffers. It is the duffering part of the business which makes it all so sad.So much work is done from which there is positively no return."

1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' p. 266:

"The place is then declared to be a 'duffer,' and abandoned, except by a few fanatics, who stick there for months and years."

1891. 'The Australasian,' Nov. 21, p. 1014:

"Another duffer! Rank as ever was bottomed! Seventy-five feet hard delving and not a colour!"

Duffer out, v. A mine is said to duffer out, when it has ceased to be productive.

1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia,' p. 279:

"He then reported to the shareholders that the lode had 'duffered out,' and that it was useless to continue working."

1889. Cassell's 'Picturesque Australasia,' vol. iv. p. 73:

"Cloncurry has, to use the mining parlance, duffered out."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right,' c. vi. p. 58:

"'So you're duffered out again, Harry,' she said."

Dugong Oil, n. an oil obtained in Australia, from Halicore dugong, Gmel., by boiling the superficial fat. A substitute for cod-liver oil. The dugongs are a genus of marine mammals in the order Sirenia. H. dugong inhabits the waters of North and North-east Australia, the southern shores of Asia, and the east coast of Africa. The word is Malay.

Dug-out, n. a name imported into New Zealand from America, but the common name for an ordinary Maori canoe.

Duke Willy, n. See Whistling Dick.

Dummy, n. (1) In Australia, when land was thrown open for selection (q.v.), the squatters who had previously the use of the land suffered. Each squatter exercised his own right of selection. Many a one also induced others to select nominally for themselves, really for the squatter. Such selector was called a dummy. The law then required the selector to swear that he was selecting the land for his own use and benefit. Some of the dummies did not hesitate to commit perjury. Dictionaries give "dummy, adj. fictitious or sham." The Australian noun is an extension of this idea. Webster gives "(drama) one who plays a merely nominal part in any action, sham character." This brings us near to the original dumby, from dumb, which is radically akin to German dumm, stupid.

1866. D. Rogerson, 'Poetical Works, p. 23:

"The good selectors got most of the land, The dummies being afraid to stand."

1866. H. Simcox, 'Rustic Rambles, p. 21:

"See the dummies and the mediums, Bagmen, swagmen, hastening down."

1872. A. McFarland, 'Illawarra and Manaro,' p. 125:

"Since free selection was introduced, a good many of the squatters (they say, in self-defence) have, in turn, availed themselves of it, to secure 'the eyes' or water-holes of the country, so far as they could by means of 'dummies,' and other blinds."

1879. R. Niven, 'Fraser's Magazine,' April, p. 516:

"This was the, in the colony, well-known 'dummy' system. Its nature may be explained in a moment. It was simply a swindling transaction between the squatter on the one hand and some wretched fellow on the other, often a labourer in the employment of the squatter, in which the former for a consideration induced the latter to personate the character of a free selector, to acquire from the State, for the purpose of transferring to himself, the land he most coveted out of that thrown open for selection adjoining his own property."

1892. 'Scribner's Magazine,' Feb. p. 140:

"By this device the squatter himself, all the members of the family, his servants, shepherds, boundary-riders, station-hands and rabbiters, each registered a section, the dummies duly handing their 'selection' over to the original holder for a slight consideration."

(2) Colloquial name for the grip-car of the Melbourne trams. Originally the grip-car was not intended to carry passengers: hence the name.

1893. 'The Herald' (Melbourne), p. 5, col. 5:

"Linked to the car proper is what is termed a dummy."

1897. 'The Argus,' Jan. 2, p. 7, col. 5:

"But on the tramcar, matters were much worse. The front seat of the dummy was occupied by a young Tasmanian lady and her cousin, and, while one portion of the cart struck her a terrible blow on the body, the shaft pinned her by the neck against the front stanchion of the dummy."

Dummy, v. to obtain land in the way above described.

1873. A.Trollope, 'Australia and New Zealand,' c. vi. p. 101:

"Each partner in the run has purchased his ten thousand, and there have been many Mrs. Harrises. The Mrs. Harris system is generally called dummying—putting up a non-existent free-selector—and is illegal. But I believe no one will deny that it has been carried to a great extent."

1896. 'The Champion' (Melbourne), Jan. 11:

"The verb 'to dummy' and the noun 'dummyism' are purely Australian, quotations to illustrate the use of which can be obtained from 'Hansard,' the daily papers, and such works as Epps' monograph on the 'Land Tenure Systems of Australasia.'"

Dummyism, n. obtaining land by misrepresentation. See Dummy, n.

1875. 'The Spectator' (Melbourne), June 19, p. 8, col. 2:

"'Larrikinism' was used as a synonym for 'blackguardism,' and 'dummyism' for perjury."

1876. 'The Argus,' Jan. 26, p. 6, col. 6:

"Mr. Bent thought that a stop should be put to all selection and dummyism till a land law was introduced."

1887. J. F. Hogan, 'The Irish in Australia, p. 98:

"This baneful and illegal system of land-grabbing is known throughout the colonies by the expressive name of 'dummyism,' the persons professing to be genuine selectors, desirous of establishing themselves on the soil, being actually the agents or the 'dummies of the adjoining squatters."

Dump, n. a small coin formerly used in Australia and Tasmania. Its history is given in the quotations. In England the word formerly meant a heavy leaden counter; hence the expression, "I don't care a dump." See Holy Dollar.

1822. 'Hobart Town Gazette,' December 14:

"Government Public Notice.—The Quarter Dollars, or 'Dumps,' struck from the centre of the Spanish Dollar, and issued by His Excellency Governor Macquarie, in the year 1813, at One Shilling and Threepence each, will be exchanged for Treasury Bills at Par, or Sterling money."

1823. 'Sydney Gazette,' Jan. ['Century']:

"The small colonial coin denominated dumps have all been called in. If the dollar passes current for five shillings the dump lays claim to fifteen pence value still in silver money."

1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 44

"He only solicits the loan of a 'dump,' on pretence of treating his sick gin to a cup of tea."

Ibid. p. 225:

"The genuine name of an Australian coin, in value 1s. 3d."

1852. J. West, 'History of Tasmania,' vol. ii. p. 141:

"Tattered promissory notes, of small amount and doubtful parentage, fluttered about the colony; dumps, struck out from dollars, were imitated by a coin prepared without requiring much mechanical ingenuity."

1870. T. H. Braim, 'New Homes,' c. iii. p. 131:

"The Spanish dollar was much used. A circular piece was struck out of the centre about the size of a shilling, and it was called a 'dump.'"

1879. W. J. Barry, 'Up and Down,' p. 5:

"The coin current in those days (1829) consisted of ring- dollars and dumps, the dump being the centre of the dollar punched out to represent a smaller currency."

1893. 'The Daily News' (London), May 11, p. 4:

"The metallic currency was then [1819-25] chiefly Spanish dollars, at that time and before and afterwards the most widely disseminated coin in the world, and they had the current value of 5s. But there were too few of them, and therefore the centre of them was cut out and circulated under the name of 'dumps' at 1s. 3d. each, the remainder of the coin—called by way of a pun, 'holy dollars'—still retaining its currency value of 5s."

Dump, v. to press closely; applied to wool. Bales are often marked "not to be dumped."

1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 98:

"The great object of packing so close is to save carriage through the country, for however well you may do it, it is always re-pressed, or 'dumped,' as it is called, by hydraulic pressure on its arrival in port, the force being so great as to crush two bales into one."

1875. R. and F. Hill, 'What we saw in Australia,' p. 207:

"From the sorting-tables the fleeces are carried to the packing-shed; there, by the help of machinery, they are pressed into sacks, and the sacks are then themselves heavily pressed and bound with iron bands, till they become hard cubes. This process is called 'dumping.'"

Dumplings, n. i.q. Apple-berry (q.v.).

Dundathee, or Dundathu Pine, n. the Queensland species (Agathis robusta, Sal.) of the Kauri Pine (q.v.); and see Pine.

Dungaree-Settler, n. Now obsolete. See quotation.

1852. Anon, 'Settlers and Convicts; or, Recollections of Sixteen Years' Labour in the Australian Backwoods,' p. 11:

"The poor Australian settler (or, according to colonist phraseology, the Dungaree-settler; so called from their frequently clothing themselves, their wives, and children in that blue Indian manufacture of cotton known as Dungaree) sells his wheat crop."

Dunite, n. an ore in New Zealand, so called from Dun mountain, near Nelson.

1883. J. Hector, 'Handbook of New Zealand,' p. 56:

"Chrome ore. This ore, which is a mixture of chromic iron and alumina, is chiefly associated with magnesian rock, resembling olivine in composition, named Dunite by Dr. Hochstetter."

Dust, n. slang for flour.

1893. Dec. 12, 'A Traveller's Note':

"A bush cook said to me to-day, we gave each sundowner a pannikin of dust."

Dwarf-box, n. Eucalyptus microtheca, F. v. M. See Box. This tree has also many other names. See Maiden's 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 495.

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

"Dwarf-box and the acacia pendula prevailed along the plains."


Eagle, n. There are nine species of the true Eagle, all confined to the genus Haliaetus, such as the Baldheaded Eagle (H. leucocephalus), the national emblem of the United States. ('Century.') In Australia the name is assigned to—

Little Eagle— Aquila morphnoides, Gould.

Wedge-tailed E. (Eagle-hawk)— A. audax, Lath.

Whistling E.— Haliaetus sphenurus, Vieill.

White-bellied Sea E.— H. leucogaster, Gmel.

White-headed Sea E.— Haliaster girrenera, Vieill.

Eaglehawk, n. an Australian name for the bird Uroaetus, or Aquila audax, Lath. The name was applied to the bird by the early colonists of New South Wales, and has persisted. In 'O.E.D.' it is shown that the name was used in Griffith's translation (1829) of Cuvier's 'Regne Animal' as a translation of the French aigle-autour, Cuvier's name for a South American bird of prey of the genus Morphnus, called Spizaetus by Vieillot; but it is added that the word never came into English use. See Eagle. There is a town in Victoria called Eaglehawk. The Bendigo cabmen make the name a monosyllable, "Glawk."

1834. L. E. Threlkeld, 'Australian Grammar, p. 56:

"The large eaglehawk, which devours young kangaroos, lambs, etc."

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. i. pl. 1:

"Aquila Fucosa, Cuv., [now A. audax, Lath.] Wedge-tailed eagle. Eaglehawk, Colonists of New South Wales."

1863. B. A. Heywood, 'Vacation Tour at the Antipodes,' p. 106:

"We knew it was dying, as two large eaglehawks were hovering about over it."

1880. Fison and Howitt, 'Kamilaroi and Kurnai,' p. 251:

"The hair of a person is tied on the end of the throwing-stick, together with the feathers of the eagle hawk."

1885. H. Finch-Hatton, 'Advance Australia', p. 106:

"Since the destruction of native dogs and eagle-hawks by the squatters, who stocked the country with sheep, the kangaroos have not a single natural enemy left."

1888. D. Macdonald, 'Gum Boughs,' p. 35:

"On the New South Wales side of the river the eagle-hawk is sometimes so great a pest amongst the lambs that the settlers periodically burn him out by climbing close enough to the nest to put a fire-stick in contact with it."

Eagle-hawking, n. bush slang: plucking wool off dead sheep.

Eagle-Ray, n. name belonging to any large Ray of the family Myliobatidae; the New Zealand species is Myliobatis nieuhofii.

Eastralia, n. recent colloquial name, fashioned on the model of Westralia (q.v.), used in West Australia for the Eastern Colonies. In Adelaide, its application seems confined to New South Wales.

Ebony, n. a timber. The name is applied in Australia to two species of Bauhinia, B. carronii, F. v. M., and B. hookeri, F. v. M., N.O. Leguminosae. Both are called Queensland or Mountain Ebony.

Echidna, n. a fossorial Monotreme, in general appearance resembling a Porcupine, and often called Spiny Ant-eater or Porcupine, or Porcupine Ant-eater. The body is covered with thick fur from which stiff spines protrude; the muzzle is in the form of a long toothless beak; and the tongue is very long and extensile, and used largely for licking up ants; the feet are short, with strong claws adapted for burrowing. Like the Marsupials, the Echidna is provided with a pouch, but the animal is oviparous, usually laying two eggs at a time, which are carried about in the pouch until the young ones are hatched, when they are fed by a secretion from mammary glands, which do not, however, as in other mammals, open on to a nipple. The five-toed Echidnas (genus Echidna) are found in New Guinea, Australia, and Tasmania, while the three-toed Echidnas (genus Proechidna) are confined to New Guinea. The species are—Common E., Echidna aculeata, Shaw; Bruijn's E., Proechidna bruijni, Peters and Doria; Black-spined E., Proechidna nigro-aculeata, Rothschild. The name is from Grk. 'echidna, an adder or viper, from the shape of the long tongue.

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

"The native porcupine or echidna is not very common."

1843. J.Backhouse, 'Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies,' p. 89:

"The Porcupine of this land, Echidna hystrix, is a squat species of ant-eater, with short quills among its hair: it conceals itself in the day time among dead timber in the hilly forests."

1851. 'Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land,' vol. i. p. 178:

"Mr. Milligan mentioned that one of the Aborigines of Tasmania reports having often discovered the nest of the Echidna Setosa, porcupine or ant eater, of the colony; that on several occasions one egg had been found in it, and never more: this egg has always been found to contain a foetus or chick, and is said to be round, considerably less than a tennis ball, and without a shell. The mother is said to sit continuously (for a period not ascertained) in the manner of the common fowl over the eggs; she does not leave the young for a considerable time after having hatched it; at length, detaching it from the small teat, she moves out hurriedly and at long intervals in quest of food, the young one becoming, at each successive return, attached to the nipple. . . The Platypus (Ornithorhyncus paradoxus) is said to lay two eggs, having the same external membranous covering, but of an oblong shape."

1860. G. Bennett,' Gatherings of a Naturalist in Australasia,' p. 147:

"The Porcupine Ant-eater of Australia (Echidna hystrix) (the native Porcupine or Hedgehog of the colonists), and the Ornithorhynchus, to which it is allied in internal organization, form the only two genera of the order Monotremata."

1888. Cassell's' Picturesque Australasia,' vol. ii. p. 230:

"Among the gigantic boulders near the top he may capture the burrowing ant-eating porcupine, though if perchance he place it for a moment in the stoniest ground, it will tax all his strength to drag it from the instantaneous burrow in which it will defiantly embed itself."

1892. A.Sutherland, 'Elementary Geography of British Colonies,' p. 273:

"The echidna is an animal about a foot or 18 inches long, covered with spines like a hedgehog. It lives chiefly upon ants. With its bill, which is like a duck's but narrower, it burrows into an ant's-hill, and then with its long, whip-like, sticky tongue, draws the ants into its mouth by hundreds."

1894. R. Lydekker, 'Marsupialia and Monotremata,' p. 247:

"In order to enable them to procure with facility their food of ants and their larvae, echidnas are provided with very large glands, discharging into the mouth the viscid secretion which causes the ants to adhere to the long worm-like tongue when thrust into a mass of these insects, after being exposed by the digging powers of the claws of the echidna's limbs. . . . When attacked they roll themselves into a ball similar to the hedgehog."

Echu, n. the name of an Australian bird which has not been identified. The word does not occur in the ornithological lists.

1862. H. C. Kendall, 'Poems—Evening Hymn,' p. 53:

"The echu's songs are dying with the flute-bird's mellow tone."

1896. 'The Australasian,' Jan. 11, p. 73, col. 1:

"'Yeldina' (Rochester) writes—While I was on the Murray, a few days before Christmas last, some miles below Echuca, my attention was attracted to the melancholy note, as of a bird which had lost its mate, calling ee-k-o-o, e-e-koo, which was repeated several times, after which a pause, then ee-koo, ee-ko, coolie, coolie, ee-koo. This happened in the scrub at sunset, and came, I think, from a bird smaller than the Australian minah, and of a greenish yellowish hue, larger, but similar to the members of the feathered tribe known to young city 'knights of the catapult' as greenies. It was while returning to camp from fishing that I noticed this bird, which appeared of solitary habits."

"'Crossbolt' (Kew) writes—The echu is probably identical with a handsome little bird whose peculiar cry 'e-e-choo' is familiar to many bush ramblers. It is the size of a small wood-swallow; black head, back, wings, and tail more or less blue-black; white throat; neck and breast light to rich brown. The female is much plainer, and would scarcely be recognized as the mate of the former. The melodious 'e-e-choo' is usually answered from a distance, whether by the female or a rival I cannot say, and is followed by a prolonged warbling."

Eel, n. The kinds present in Australia are—

Common Eel— Anguilla australis, Richards.

Conger E.— Conger labiatus, Castin., and Gonorhynchus grayi, Richards.

Green E. (New South Wales)— Muroena afra, Bl.

Silver E.— Muroenesox cinereus, Forsk.; also called the Sea-eel (New South Wales). Conger wilsoni, Castln. (Melbourne).

The New Zealand Eels are—

Black Eel— Anguilla australis, Richards.

Conger E.— Conger vulgaris, Cuv.

Sand E.— Gonorynchus grayi, Richards.

Serpent E.— Ophichthys serpens, Linn.

Silver E.— Congromuroena habenata, Richards.

Tuna E.— Anguilla aucklandii, Richards.

The Sand Eel does not belong to the Eel family, and is only called an Eel from its habits.

Eel-fish, n. Plotosus tandanus, Mitchell. Called also Catfish (q.v.), and Tandan (q.v.).

1838. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions,' vol. i. pl. 5, p.. 44 and 95 [Note]:

"Plotosus tandanus, tandan or eel-fish. Tandan is the aboriginal name."

Egret, n. an English bird-name. The following species are present in Australia, some being European and others exclusively Australian—

Lesser Egret— Herodias melanopus, Wagl.

Little E.— H. garzetta, Linn.

Pied E.— H. picata, Gould.

Plumed Egret— H. intermedia, v. Hasselq.

White E.— H. alba, Linn.

Elder, n. See next word.

Elderberry, Native, n. The two Australian species of the Elder are Sambucus gaudichaudiana, De C., and S. xanthocarpa, F. v. M., N.O. Caprifoliaceae.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 56:

"Native elderberry. The fruit of these two native elders is fleshy and sweetish, and is used by the aborigines for food."

Elephant-fish, n. a fish of New Zealand, South Australian, and Tasmanian waters, Callorhynchus antarcticus, Lacep., family Chimaeridae. "It has a cartilaginous prominence of the snout, ending in a cutaneous flap" (Gunth.), suggesting a comparison with an elephant's trunk. Called also King of the Herrings (q.v.).

1802. G. Barrington, 'Voyage to New South Wales,' p. 388:

"The sea affords a much greater plenty, and at least as great a variety as the land; of these the elephant fish were very palatable food."

Ellangowan Poison-bush, n. a Queensland name for Myoporum deserti, Cunn., N.O. Myoporinae,; called "Dogwood Poison-bush" in New South Wales. Ellangowan is on the Darling Downs in Queensland. Poisonous to sheep, but only when in fruit.

Emancipatist, and Emancipist, n. (the latter, the commoner), an ex-convict who has served out his sentence. The words are never used now except historically.

1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 118:

"Emigrants who have come out free from England, and emancipists, who have arrived here as convicts, and have either been pardoned or completed their term of servitude."

1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 302:

"Men who had formerly been convicts, but who, after their period of servitude had expired, were called 'emancipists.'"

1837. Jas. Mudie, 'Felonry of New South Wales,' p. vii:

"The author begs leave to record his protest against the abuse of language to the misapplication of the terms emancipists and absentees to two portions of the colonial felonry. An emancipist could not be understood to mean the emancipated but the emancipator. Mr. Wilberforce may be honoured with the title of emancipist; but it is as absurd to give the same appellation to the emancipated felons of New South Wales as it would be to bestow it upon the emancipated negroes of the West Indies."

1845. J. O. Balfour, 'Sketch of New South Wales,' p. 69:

"The same emancipist will, however, besides private charity, be among the first and greatest contributors to a new church."

1852. 'Fraser's Magazine,' vol. xlvi. p. 135:

"The convict obtained his ticket-of-leave . . . became an emancipist . . . and found transportation no punishment."

Emu, n. an Australian bird, Dromaius novae-hollandiae, Lath. There is a second species, Spotted Emu, Dromaius irroratus, Bartlett. An earlier, but now unusual, spelling is Emeu. Emeus is the scientific name of a New Zealand genus of extinct struthious birds. The word Emu is not Australian, but from the Portuguese Ema, the name first of the Crane, afterwards of the Ostrich. Formerly the word Emu was used in English for the Cassowary, and even for the American Ostrich. Since 1885 an Emu has been the design on the twopenny postage stamp of New South Wales.

1613. 'Purchas Pilgrimmage,' pt. I. Vol v. c. xii. p. 430 ('O.E.D.'):

"The bird called Emia or Eme is admirable."

1774. Oliver Goldsmith, 'Natural History,' vol. iii. p. 69, Book III. c. v. [Heading]

"The Emu."

1788. 'History of New South Wales' (1818), p. 53:

"A bird of the ostrich genus, but of a species very different from any other in the known world, was killed and brought in. Its length was between seven and eight feet; its flesh was good and thought to resemble beef. It has obtained the name of the New South Wales Emu."

1789. Captain W. Tench, 'Expedition to Botany Bay,' p. 123:

"The bird which principally claims attention is a species of ostrich, approaching nearer to the emu of South America than any other we know of."

1793 Governor Hunter, 'Voyage,' p. 69:

"Some were of opinion that it was the emew, which I think is particularly described by Dr. Goldsmith from Linneus: others imagined it to be the cassowary, but it far exceeds that bird in size . . . two distinct feathers grew out from every quill."

1802. D. Collins, 'Account of English Colony in New South Wales,' vol. ii. p. 307:

"These birds have been pronounced by Sir Joseph Banks, of whose judgment none can entertain a doubt, to come nearer to what is known of the American ostrich than to either the emu of India or the ostrich of Africa."

1804. 'Rev. R. Knopwood's Diary' (J. J. Shillinglaw— 'Historical Records of Port Phillip,' 1879), p. 115:

[At the Derwent] 26 March, 1804—"They caught six young emews [sic], about the size of a turkey, and shot the old mother."

1832. J. Bischof, 'Van Diemen's Land,' p. 165:

"We saw an emu track down the side of a hill."

1846. J. L. Stokes, 'Discovery in Australia,' vol. i. c. ix. p.276

"The face of the emu bears a most remarkable likeness to that of the aborigines of New South Wales."

1846. C. P. Hodgson, 'Reminiscences of Australia,' p. 160:

"They will pick up anything, thimbles, reels of cotton, nails, bullets indiscriminately: and thus the proverb of 'having the digestion of an emu' has its origin."

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

"Dromaius Novae Hollandiae. The Emu. New Holland Cassowary.—'Governor Phillips' Voyage, 1789.'"

1850. J. B. Clutterbuck, 'Port Phillip in 1849,' p. 42:

"The emu strides with such rapidity over the plains as to render its capture very difficult even by the swiftest greyhound."

1872. C. H. Eden, "My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 52:

"A couple of grave-looking emus. These wobble away at an ungainly but rapid pace directly they sight us, most probably vainly pursued by the dray dogs which join us farther on, weary and unsuccessful—indeed the swiftest dog finds an emu as much as he can manage."

1878. A. Newton, in 'Encyclopedia Britannica' (9th edit.), vol. viii. p. 173:

"Next to the ostrich the largest of existing birds, the common emeu. . .''

1881. A.C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 210:

". . . points out two emus to John. . . . They resemble ostriches, but are not so large, and the tail droops more. . . . John can distinguish every point about them, from their black cast-iron looking legs, to the bare neck and small head, with its bright eye and strong flat beak."

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

"Emu. [Close Season.] From the 14th day of June to the 20th day of December following in each year."

1893. 'The Argus,' March 25,p. 4, col. 5:

"The chief in size is the egg of the cassowary, exactly like that of the emu except that the colour is pale moss green instead of the dark green of the emu."

Emu-Apple, n. See Apple.

Emu-Bush, n. an Australian shrub, Eremophila longifolia, F. v. M., N.O. Myoporineae.

1875. T. Laslett, 'Timber and Timber Trees,' p. 206:

"Emu-tree. A small Tasmanian tree; found on low marshy ground used for turners' work."

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 317:

"Emu-bush. Owing to emus feeding on the seeds of this and other species. Heterodendron oleaefolium, Desf."

Ibid. p. 132:

"The seeds, which are dry, are eaten by emus."

Emu-Wren, n. a bird-name. See Malurus.

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. iii. pl. 31:

"Stipituras Malachurus, Less. Emu Wren. The decomposed or loose structure of these [tail] feathers, much resembling those of the emu, has suggested the colonial name of Emu-Wren for this species, an appellation singularly appropriate, inasmuch as it at once indicates the kind of plumage with which the bird is clothed, and the Wren-like nature of its habits."

1860. G. Bennett, 'Gatherings of a Naturalist,' p. 213:

"The delicate little emeu wren."

1865. Lady Barker (letter from 'Melbourne), 'Station Life in New Zealand,' p. 8:

"Then there is the emu-wren, all sad-coloured, but quaint, with the tail-feathers sticking up on end, and exactly like those of an emu, on the very smallest scale, even to the peculiarity of two feathers growing out of the same little quill."

Eopsaltria, n. scientific name for the genus of Australian birds called Shrike-Robins (q.v.). (Grk. 'aeows, dawn, and psaltria, a female harper.)

Epacris, n. scientific name of the typical genus of the order Epacrideae, a heath-like flower of which there are twenty- five species, mostly Australian. From Greek 'epi, upon, and 'akron, top (the flowers grow in spikes at the top of the plant). In Australia they are frequently confused with and called Ericas.

Ephthianura, n. scientific name of a genus of very small Australian birds, anglicized as Ephthianure. For species see quotation, 1848. A fourth species has been discovered since Gould's day, E. crocea, Castln. and Ramsay, which inhabits Northern Australia. The name was first given by Gould, in the 'Proceedings of the Zoological Society of 1837,' p. 148, as a genus novum. The origin of the word is not certain, but as the tail is unusually small, it is suggested that the name is from the Greek 'oura, tail, and Homeric imperfect 3rd person sing. 'ephthien, wasted away, from phthiow (= phthinow). [The word occurs Iliad xviii. 446.] //phthio is ONLY in Homer!! Iliad AND Odyssey GJC//

1848. J. Gould,' Birds of Australia,' vol. iii. pl. 64:

"Ephthianura Albifrons, White-fronted Ephthianura," pl. 65. "Aurifrons, Gould, Orange-fronted E.," pl. 66. "Tricolor, Gould, Tricoloured E.'"

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

"Close season.—Ephthianuras. The whole year."

Escapee, n. one who has escaped. Especially used of French convicts who escape from New Caledonia. The word is formed on the model of absentee, refugee, etc., and is manifestly influenced by Fr. e/chappe/. Escaper is the historical English form. (See Bible, 2 Kings ix. 15, margin.) //He means, of course, the so-called Authorised Version" which reads, ftn. 5: "let no escaper go, etc." Even though the Revised Version was published in 1885. GJC//

1880. 'Melbourne Argus,' July 22, p. 2, col. 3 ('O.E.D.'):

"The ten New Caledonia escapees . . . are to be handed over to the French consul."

Eucalyn, n. a sugar obtained, together with laevulose, by fermentation of melitose (q.v.) with yeast, or by boiling it with dilute acids.

Eucalypt, n. shortened English form of Eucalyptus used especially in the plural, Eucalypts. Eucalypti sounds pedantic.

1880. T. W. Nutt, 'Palace of Industry,' p. 11:

"Stems of the soaring eucalypts that rise Four hundred friendly feet to glad the skies."

1887. J. F. Hogan, 'The Irish in Australia,' p. 126:

"There is no unmixed good, it is said, on this mundane sphere, and the evil that has accompanied the extensive settlement of Gipps Land during recent years is to be found in the widespread destruction of the forests, resulting in a disturbance of the atmospheric conditions and the banishment of an ever-active agent in the preservation of health, for these eucalypts, or gum-trees, as they are generally called, possess the peculiar property of arresting fever-germs and poisonous exhalations. They have been transplanted for this especial purpose to some of the malaria-infested districts of Europe and America, and with pronounced success. Australia, to which they are indigenous, has mercilessly hewn them down in the past, but is now repenting of its folly in that respect, and is replanting them at every seasonable opportunity."

1892. A. Sutherland, 'Elementary Geography of British Colonies,' p. 270:

"Throughout the whole of Australia the prevailing trees are eucalypts, known generally as gum-trees on account of the gum which they secrete, and which may be seen standing like big translucent beads on their trunks and branches."

Eucalyptene, n. the name given by Cloez to a hydrocarbon obtained by subjecting Eucalyptol (q.v.) to dehydration by phosphorus pentoxide. The same name has also been given by other chemists to a hydrocarbon believed to occur in eucalyptus oil.

Eucalyptian, adj. playfully formed; not in common use.

1870. A. L. Gordon, 'Bush Ballads,' p. 8:

"Gnarl'd, knotted trunks Eucalyptian Seemed carved, like weird columns Egyptian, With curious device—quaint inscription And hieroglyph strange."

Eucalyptic, adj. full of gumtrees.

1873. J. Brunton Stephens, 'Black Gin, etc.,' p.6:

"This eucalyptic cloisterdom is anything but gay."

Eucalyptol, n. a volatile oil of camphor-like smell, extracted from the oil of Eucalyptus globulus, Labill., E. amygdalina, Labill., etc. Chemically identical with cineol, got from other sources.

Eucalyptus, n. the gum tree. There are 120 species, as set forth in Baron von Mueller's 'Eucalyptographia, a Descriptive Atlas of the Eucalypts of Australia.' The name was first given in scientific Latin by the French botanist L'Heritier, in his Sertum Anglicum, published in 1788. From the Greek 'eu, well, and kaluptein, to cover. See quotation, 1848. N.O. Myrtaceae. The French now say Eucalyptus; earlier they called it l'acajou de la nouvelle Hollande. The Germans call it Schoenmutze. See Gum.

1823. Sidney Smith, 'Essays,' p. 440:

"A London thief, clothed in Kangaroo's skins, lodged under the bark of the dwarf eucalyptus, and keeping sheep, fourteen thousand miles from Piccadilly, with a crook bent into the shape of a picklock, is not an uninteresting picture."

1833. C. Sturt, 'Southern Australia,' vol. i. c. ii. p. 80:

"A large basin in which there are stunted pines and eucalyptus scrub."

1848. W. Westgarth, 'Australia Felix,' p. 132:

"The scientific term Eucalyptus has been derived from the Greek, in allusion to a lid or covering over the blossom, which falls off when the flower expands, exposing a four-celled capsule or seed-vessel."

1851. G. W. Rusden, 'Moyarra,' canto i. p. 8:

"The eucalyptus on the hill Was silent challenge to his skill."

1879. 'Temple Bar,' Oct., p. 23 ('0. E. D.'):

"The sombre eucalypti . . . interspersed here and there by their dead companions."

1886. J. A. Froude, 'Oceana,' p. 118:

"At intervals the bush remained untouched, but the universal eucalyptus, which I had expected to find grey and monotonous, was a Proteus it shape and colour, now branching like an oak or a cork tree, now feathered like a birch, or glowing like an arbutus with an endless variety of hue—green, orange, and brown."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right, c. v. p. 46:

"A lofty eucalyptus . . . lay with its bared roots sheer athwart a tiny watercourse."

Euro, n. one of the aboriginal names for a Kangaroo (q.v.); spelt also Yuro.

1885. Mrs. Praed, 'Head Station,' p. 192:

"Above and below . . . were beetling cliffs, with ledges and crannies that afforded foothold only to yuros and rock-wallabies."

Exclusionist, n. and adj. See quotation.

1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. ii. pp. 118-19:

". . . one subdivision of the emigrant class alluded to, is termed the exclusionist party, from their strict exclusion of the emancipists from their society."

Exileism, n. a word of same period as Exiles (q.v.).

1893. A. P. Martin, 'Life of Lord Sherbrooke,' vol. i. p. 381:

"A gentleman who was at this time engaged in pastoral pursuits in New South Wales, and was therefore a supporter of exileism.'"

Exiles, n. euphemistic name for convicts. It did not last long.

1847, A. P. Martin, 'Life of Lord Sherbrooke' (1893), vol. i. p. 378:

"The cargoes of criminals were no longer to be known as 'convicts,' but (such is the virtue in a name!) as 'exiles.' It was, as Earl Grey explained in his despatch of Sept 3, 1847, 'a scheme of reformatory discipline.'"

1852. G. B. Earp, 'Gold Colonies of Australia,' p. 100:

"The convict system ceased in New South Wales in 1839; but 'exiles' as they were termed, i.e. men who had passed their probation at home, were forwarded till 1843."

Expiree, n. a convict whose term of sentence had expired.

1852. G. C. Mundy, 'Our Antipodes' (ed. 1885), p. 107:

"A hireling convict - emancipist, expiree, or ticket of leave."

Expiree, adj. See preceding.

1847. J. D. Lang, 'Cooksland,' p. 271:

"Very many of their servants, being old hands or expiree convicts from New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, are thoroughly unprincipled men."

1883. E. M. Curr, 'Recollections of Squatting in Victoria' (1841-1351), p. 40:

"Hiring men in Melbourne in 1841 was not by any means an agreeable job, as wages were high, and labourers (almost all old gaol-birds and expiree convicts) exceedingly independent and rowdy."


Fairy Gardens, n. a miner's term, explained in quotation.

1852. F. Lancelott, 'Australia, as it is', vol. ii. p. 221:

"On the south-eastern portion of this county is the world-famed Burra Burra copper mine. . . . Some of the cuttings are through solid blocks of ore, which brilliantly glitter as you pass with a lighted candle, while others are formed in veins of malachite, and from their rich variegated green appearance are not inaptly called by the miners 'Fairy gardens.'"

Fake-mucker, n. a Tasmanian name for the Dusky Robin (Petroica vittata). See Robin.

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

Black Falcon— Falco subniger, Gray.

Black-cheeked F.— F. melanogenys, Gould.

Grey F.— F. hypoleucus, Gould.

Little F.— F. lunulatus, Lath.

See also Nankeen-Hawk.

Fantail, n. bird-name applied in England to a pigeon; in Australia and New Zealand, to the little birds of the genus Rhipidura (q.v.). It is a fly-catcher. The Australian species are—

Rhipidura albiscapa, Gould.

Black-and-White Fantail (called also the Wagtail, q.v.)— R. tricolor, Vieill.

Dusky F.— R. diemenensis, Sharpe.

Northern F.— R. setosa, Quoy and Gaim.

Pheasant F.— Rhipidura phasiana, De Vis.

Rufous F.— R. rufifrons, Lath.

Western F.— R. preissi, Cab.

White-tailed F.— R. albicauda, North.

Wood F.— R. dryas, Gould.

The New Zealand species are—

Black F.— Rhipidura fuliginosa, Sparrm. (Tiwaiwaka).

Pied F.— R. flabellifera, Gmel. (Piwakawaka).

In Tasmania, the R. diemenensis is called the Cranky Fantail, because of its antics.

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Journal,' vol. ii. p. 80:

"We also observed the . . . fantailed fly-catcher (Rhipidura)."

1888. W. L. Buller, 'Birds of New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 69:

"The Red Fantail, ever flitting about with broadly expanded tail, and performing all manner of fantastic evolutions, in its diligent pursuit of gnats and flies, is one of the most pleasing and attractive objects in the New Zealand forest. It is very tame and familiar."

Farinaceous City, or Village, n. a playful name for Adelaide. The allusion is to wheat being the leading export of South Australia.

1873. A. Trollope, 'Australia and New Zealand,' vol. ii. p. 184:

"[Adelaide] has also been nicknamed the Farinaceous City. A little gentle ridicule is no doubt intended to be conveyed by the word."

Fat-cake, n. ridiculous name sometimes applied to Eucalyptus leucoxylon, F. v. M., according to Maiden ('Useful Native Plants,' p. 471).

Fat-hen, n. a kind of wild spinach. In England the name is applied to various plants of thick foliage.

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 40:

"The fat-hen (Atriplex) . . ."

1872. C. H. Eden, 'My Wife and I in Queensland,' p. 120:

"Another wild vegetable brew in the sandy beds of the rivers and creeks, called 'fat-hen.' It was exactly like spinach, and not only most agreeable but also an excellent anti-scorbutic, a useful property, for scurvy is not an unknown thing in the bush by any means."

1881. A.C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. i. p. 156:

"Boiled salt junk, with fat-hen (a kind of indigenous spinach)."

1889. J. M. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 16:

"Chenopodium murale, Linn., Australian spinach. Bentham considers this may have been introduced."

Felonry, n. See quotation.

1837. Jas. Mudie, 'Felonry of New South Wales,' p. 6:

"The author has ventured to coin the word felonry, as the appellative of an order or class of persons in New South Wales—an order which happily exists in no other country in the world. A legitimate member of the tribe of appellatives . . . as peasantry, tenantry, yeomanry, gentry."

1858. T. McCombie, 'History of Victoria,' c. xv. p. 24:

"The inundation of the Australian colonies with British Felonry."

1888. Sir C. Gavan Duffy, 'Contemporary Review,' vol. liii. p.14 ['Century']:

"To shut out the felonry of Great Britain and Ireland."

Ferns. The following list of Australian ferns is taken from 'The Fern World of Australia,' by F. M. Bailey of Brisbane (1881), omitting from his list all ferns of which the vernacular and scientific names coincide with the names of ferns elsewhere.

Bat's-wing Fern— Pteris incisa, Thunb.

Black Tree F. of New Zealand— Cyathea medullaris, Sw.

Blanket F.— Grammitis rutaefolia, R. Br.

Braid F.— Platyzoma microphyllum, R. Br.

Caraway F.— Athyrium umbrosum, J. Sm.

Curly F.— Cheilanthes tenuifolia, Sw.

Deer's-tongue F.— Acrostichum conforme, Sw.

Ear F.— Pteris falcata, R. Br.

Elk's-horn F.— Platycerium alcicorne, Desv.

Fan F.— Gleichenia flabellata, R. Br.

Golden Swamp F.— Acrostichum aureum, Linn.

Grass-leaved F. (q.v.)— Vittaria elongata, Sw.

*Hare's-foot F.— F. Davallia pyxidata, Cav.

Jersey F.— Grammitis leptophylla, Sw.

*Lady F.— Aspidium aculeatum, Sw.

*Maiden-hair F.— Adiantum, spp.

Meadow-rue Water F.— Ceratoptoris thalictroides, Brong.

Parasol F.— Gleichenia circinata, Sw.

Pickled-cabbage F.— Lomaria capensis, Willd.

Potato F. (q.v.)— Marattia fraxinea, Sm.

Prickly F. (q.v.)— Alsophila australis, R. Br.

Prickly-tree Fern— Alsophila leichhardtiana, F. v. M.

Ribbon F.— Ophioglossum pendulum, Linn.

Shiny F.— Polypodium aspidoides, Bail.

Snake's-tongue F.— Lygodium, spp.

The following are not in Baileys List:

Parsley F.— Cheilanthes tenuifolia, Sw. (Name Parsley applied to a different Fern elsewhere.)

Sword F.— Grammitis australis, R. Br.

Umbrella F., Tasmanian name for Fan F. (q.v.).

Other ferns not in this list appear elsewhere. See also Ferntree. _ * Elsewhere the name is applied to a different species. ——

Fern-bird, n. a New Zealand bird of the genus Sphenoecus. Also called Grass-bird, and New Zealand Pipit. There are three species—

The Fern-bird— Sphenoecus punctatus, Gray.

Chatham Island F.-b.— S. rufescens, Buller.

Fulvous F.-b.— S. fulvus, Gray.

1885. 'Transactions of the New Zealand Institute,' vol. xviii. p. 125:

"The peculiar chirp of the fern bird is yet to be heard among the tall fern."

1885. A. Hamilton, 'Native Birds of Petane, Hawke's Bay':

"Fern-bird. The peculiar chirp of this lively little bird is yet to be heard among the tall fern, though it is not so plentiful as in days gone by."

1888. W. L. Buller, 'Birds of New Zealand,' vol. i. p. 59:

"Fern Bird . . . This recluse little species is one of our commonest birds, but is oftener heard than seen. It frequents the dense fern of the open country and the beds of Raupo."

Fern-tree, n. Name applied to various species of ferns which grow to a large size, the stem in the fully grown plant reaching often a height of many feet before the leaves are given off. Such Tree-ferns clothe the sides of deep and shady gullies amongst the hills, and give rise to what are known as Fern-tree gullies, which form a very characteristic feature of the moister coastal Ranges of many parts of Australia. The principal Fern-trees or Tree-ferns, as they are indiscriminately called, of Australia and Tasmania are—

Dicksonia antarctica, Lab.; Alsophila australis, R. Br.; Todea africana, Willd.; Cyathea cunninghami, J. Hook.; Alsophila excelsa, R. Br.;

the last named, however, not occurring in Tasmania or Victoria.

1836. Ross, 'Hobart Town Almanack,' p. 164:

"We entered a beautiful fern-tree grove, that also concealed the heavens from view, spreading like a plantation or cocoa-nut tree orchard, but with far more elegance and effect."

1839. C. Darwin, 'Voyage of Beagle' (ed. 1890), p. 177:

"Tree-ferns thrive luxuriantly in Van Diemen's Land (lat. 45 degrees), and I measured one trunk no less than six feet in circumference. An arborescent fern was found by Forster in New Zealand in 46 degrees, where orchideous plants are parasitical on the trees. In the Auckland Islands, ferns, according to Dr. Dieffenbach, have trunks so thick and high that they may be almost called tree-ferns."

1857. F. R. Nixon (Bishop of Tasmania), 'Cruise of the Beacon,' p. 26:

"With these they [i.e. the Tasmanian Aborigines] mingled the core or pith of the fern trees, Cibotium Bollardieri and Alsophila Australis (of which the former is rather astringent and dry for a European palate, and the latter, though more tolerable, is yet scarcely equal to a Swedish turnip.)"

1870. S. H. Wintle, 'Fragments of Fern Fronds,' p. 39:

"Where the feet of the mountains are bathed by cool fountains, The green, drooping fern trees are seen."

1878. William Sharp, 'Australian Ballads,' 'Canterbury Poets' (Scott, 1888), pp. 180-81:

"The feathery fern-trees make a screen, Where through the sun-glare cannot pass— Fern, gum, and lofty sassafras."

"Under a feathery fern-tree bough A huge iguana lies alow."

1884. R. L. A. Davies, 'Poems and Literary Remains,' p. 83:

"There were mossy fern-trees near me, With their graceful feathered fronds, Which they slowly waved above me, Like hoar magicians' wands."

1893. A.R. Wallace, 'Australasia,' vol. i. p. 53:

"Here are graceful palms rising to 70 or even 100 feet; the Indian fig with its tortuous branches clothed with a drapery of curious parasites; while graceful tree ferns, 30 feet high, flourish in the damp atmosphere of the sheltered dells."

Fern-tree Gully. See Fern-tree and Gully.

Fever-bark, n. another name for Bitter-bark (q.v.).

Fibrous Grass, n. a Tasmanian grass (see Grass), Stipa semiibarbata, R. Br., N.O. Gramineae.

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

"Fibrous grass (Stipa semibarbata, Br.). After the seed has ripened the upper part of the stem breaks up into fibre, which curls loosely and hangs down waving in the wind."

Fiddle-back, n. name given in Australia to the beetle, Schizorrhina australasiae.

Fiddler, n. a New South Wales and Victorian name for a species of Ray, Trygonorhina fasciata, Mull. and Heule, family Rhinobatidae.

Fig-bird, n. a bird-name. Sphecotheres maxillaris, Lath.; Yellow bellied, S. flaviventris, Gould. S. maxillaris is also called Mulberry-bird (q.v.).

Fig-eater, n. a bird, i.q. Grape-eater (q.v.).

Fig-tree, n. The name is applied in Australia to the following species:—

Blue Fig— Elaeocarpus grandis, F. v. M., N.O. Tiliaceae.

Clustered F.— Ficus glomerata, Willd., N.O. Urticaceae.

Moreton Bay F.— P. macrophylla, Desf., N.O. Urticaciae //sic. check//.

Prickly F.— Elaeocarpus holopetalus, F. v. M., N.O. Tiliaceae.

Purple F., or White F., or Rough-leaved F., or Flooded F. [Clarence River]— Ficus scabra, G. Forst., N.O. Urticaciae.

Ribbed F.— F. pleurocarpa, F. v. M., N.O. Urticaciae.

Rusty F., or Narrow-leaved F. [or Port Jackson]— F. rubiginosa, Desf., N.O. Urticaciae; called also Native Banyan.

1862. H. C. Kendall, 'Poems,' p.119:

"And I forget how lone we sit beneath this old fig-tree."

1870. F. S. Wilson, 'Australian Songs,' p. 115:

"The fig-tree casts a pleasant shade On the straggling ferns below."

1882. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 537:

"Moreton Bay fig. This noble-looking tree has a wood which is sometimes used, though it is very difficult to season."

[It is a handsome evergreen with dark leaves, larger than those of a horse-chestnut, much used as an ornament in street and gardens, especially in Sydney and Adelaide. The fig is not edible.]

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right, c. 44, p. 380:

"The . . . venerable church with its alleys of araucaria and Moreton Bay fig-trees."

File-fish, n. name given in New Zealand to the fish Monacanthus rudis, Richards, family Sclerodermi; in New South Wales to species of the genus Balistes. The first of the spines of the dorsal fin is roughened in front like a file. Balistes maculatus is the "Spotted File-fish" of Sydney. It is closely allied to the genus Monacanthus, called Leather-jacket (q.v.), which is much more numerously represented in Australasia.

Finch, n. a bird-name, first applied in Australia, in 1848, by Gould, to the genus Poephila (Grass-lover), and since extended to other genera of birds. The species are—

Banded Finch— Stictoptera bichenovii, Vig. and Hors.

Black-ringed F.— S. annulosa, Gould.

Black-rumped F.— Poephila atropygialis, Diggles.

Black-throated F.— P. cincta, Gould.

Chestnut-breasted F.— Munia castaneothorax, Gould.

Chestnut-eared F.— Taeniopygia castanotis, Gould.

Crimson F.— Neochmia phaeton, Homb. and Jacq.

Fire-tailed F.— Zonaeginthus bellus, Lath.

Gouldian F.— Poephila gouldiae, Gould.

Long-tailed F.— P. acuticauda, Gould.

Masked F.— P. personata, Gould.

Painted F.— Emblema picta, Gould.

Plum-head F.— Aidemosyne modesta, Gould.

Red-browed F.— AEgintha temporalis, Lath.

Red-eared F.— Zonaeginthus oculatus, Quoy and Gaim.

Red-tailed F.— Bathilda ruficauda, Gould.

Scarlet-headed F.— Poephila mirabilis, Homb. and Jacq.

Spotted-sided F.— Staganopleura guttata, Shaw.

White-Breasted F.— Munia pectoralis, Gould.

White-eared F.— Poephila leucotis, Gould.

Yellow-rumped F.— Munia flaviprymna, Gould.

Fire-stick, n. name given to the lighted stick which the Australian natives frequently carry about, when moving from camp to camp, so as to be able to light a fire always without the necessity of producing it by friction. The fire-stick may be carried in a smouldering condition for long distances, and when traversing open grass country, such as the porcupine-grass covered districts of the interior, the stick is used for setting fire to the grass, partly to destroy this and partly to drive out the game which is hiding amongst it. The fire-stick (see quotations) is also used as emblematic of the camp-fire in certain ceremonies.

1847. J. D. Lang,' Cooksland,'p. 126, n.:

"When their fire-stick has been extinguished, as is sometimes the case, for their jins or vestal virgins, who have charge of the fire, are not always sufficiently vigilant."

1896. F. J. Gillen, 'Horne Expedition in Central Australia,' Anthropology, pt. iv. p. 170:

"Carrying fire-sticks, they place rings, woven of fur and vegetable down, round the boy's neck and arms and sometimes over and under the shoulders; the fire-sticks are then handed to him, the lubras saying: Take care of the fire; keep to your own camp.'"

Firetail, n. name applied in Victoria to the bird AEgintha temporalis, Lath.; and in Tasmania to Zonaeginthus (Estrelda) bellus, Lath. In New South Wales, AE. temporalis is known as the Red-head.

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. iii. pl. 78:

"Estrelda Bella, Fire-tailed finch. Fire-tail, Colonists of Van Diemen's Land."

Fire-tree, n. a tree of New Zealand; another name for Pohutukawa (q.v.). For Queensland Fire-tree, see Tulip-tree.

Fireweed, n. a name given to several weeds, such as Senecio lautus, Sol., N.O. Compositae; so called because they spring up in great luxuriance where the forest has been burned off.

Fish-hawk, n. English name applied to Pandion leucocephalus, Gould; called also the Osprey.

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. i. pl. 6:

"Pandion Leucocephalus, Gould, White-headed osprey. Little fish hawk, Colonists of New South Wales. Fish-hawk, Colonists of Swan River.''

Fist, v. to use the hands. The word is not unknown in English in the sense of to grip. (Shakspeare, 'Cor.' IV. v. 124)

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

"'Fist it,' a colonial expression, which may convey to the uninitiated the idea that knives, forks, plates, etc., are unknown in the bush; such was formerly the case, but the march of improvement has banished this peculiar simplicity."

Five-corners, n. name given to the fruit of an Australian tree and to the tree itself, Syphelia triflora, Andr., N.O. Epacrideae. There are many species of Styphelia (q.v.), the fruit of several being edible.

1889. J. H. Maiden,' Useful Native Plants,' p. 61:

"Five-corners. These fruits have a sweetish pulp with a large stone. They form part of the food of the aboriginals, and are much appreciated by school boys. When from a robust plant they are of the size of a large pea, and not at all bad eating."

1896. H. Lawson, 'When the World was Wide,' p. 158:

"Still I see in my fancy the dark-green and blue Of the box-covered hills where the five-corners grew."

Flame-tree, n. The name is given in India and elsewhere to several trees with bright scarlet, or crimson, flowers. In Australia, two different trees are called Flame-trees—

(1) A tree of Eastern Australia, with profuse bright coral-like flowers, Brachychiton acerifolium, F. v. M., N.O. Sterculiaceae.

(2) A tree of Western Australia, with brilliant orange-coloured flowers, Nuytsia floribunda, N.O. Loranthaceae; which is also called Tree Mistletoe, and, locally, a Cabbage-tree.

1885. R. M. Praed, 'Australian Life,' p. 96:

"There are flame-trees showing in spring vivid patches of crimson."

Flannel Flower, n. an Australian flower, Actinotus helianthi, Labill., N.O. Compositae. It ranges from Gippsland to Southern Queensland, but is particularly abundant in New South Wales. Sometimes called the Australian Edelweiss. For the reason of the name see quotation.

1895. J. H. Maiden, 'Flowering Plants of New South Wales,' p. 9:

"We only know one truly local name for this plant, and that is the 'Flannel Flower'—a rather unpoetical designation, but a really descriptive one, and one universally accepted. It is, of course, in allusion to the involucre, which looks as if it were snipped out of white flannel. It is also known to a few by the name of Australian Edelweiss."

Flathead, n. name given to several Australian marine fishes, Platycephalus fuscus, Cuv. and Val., and other species of Platycephalus, family Cottidae. The Red Flathead is P. bassensis, Cuv.and Val., and the Rock F. is P. laevigatus, Cuv.and Val. See also Tupong and Maori-chief.

1793. Governor Hunter, 'Voyage,' p. 410 (Aboriginal Vocabulary):

"Paddewah, a fish called a flathead."

1832. J. Bischoff, 'Van Diemen's Land,' c. ii. p. 32:

"The market of Hobart Town is supplied with small rock cod, flatheads, and a fish called the perch."

Flat Pea, n. a genus of Australian flowering plants, Platylobium, N.O. Leguminosae.

1793. 'Transactions of Linnaean Society,' vol. ii. p. 350:

"Its name I have deduced from platus, broad, and lobos, a pod."

"P. formosum. Orange flat-pea . . . A figure of this . . . will soon be given in the work I have undertaken on the botany of New Holland."

[The figure referred to will be found at p. 17 of the 'Specimen of the Botany of New Holland.']

Flax, Native, n. The European flax is Linum usitatissimum, N.O. Liniae. There is a species in Australia, Linum marginale, Cunn., N.O. Linaceae, called Native Flax. In New Zealand, the Phormium is called Native Flax. See next word.

1889. J. M. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 626:

"'Native flax.' Although a smaller plant than the true flax, this plant yields fibre of excellent quality. It is used by the blacks for making fishing-nets and cordage."

Flax, New Zealand, n. Phormium tenax, N.O. Liliaceae. A plant yielding a strong fibre. Called also, in New Zealand, Native Flax, and Flax Lily.

1807. J. Savage, 'Some account of New Zealand,' p. 56:

"Small baskets made of the green native flax."

1845. E. J. Wakefield, 'Adventures in New Zealand,' vol. i, p. 63:

"The plant is called Phormium tenax by naturalists. The general native name for the plant, we are told, is 'korari,' but each sort, and there are ten or twelve, has its distinctive name. Any portion of the leaf, when gathered, becomes here 'kie kie,' or literally, 'tying stuff.' The operation of scraping is called 'kayo,' the fibre when prepared, 'muka.'" [Mr. Tregear says that Wakefield's statements are mistaken.]

1851. Mrs. Wilson, 'New Zealand,' p. 23:

"His robe of glossy flax which loosely flows."

1861. C. C. Bowen, 'Poems,' p. 57:

"And flax and fern and tutu grew In wild luxuriance round."

1870. T. H. Braiui, 'New Homes,' c. viii. p. 375:

"The native flax (Phormium tenax) is found in all parts of New Zealand; it grows to the height of about nine feet."

1872. A. Domett, 'Ranolf,' v.3, p. 93:

"In flowing vest of silky flax, undyed."

1893. 'Murray's Handbook to New Zealand,' p. 29:

"The so-called native flax (phormium tenax)."

Flax-blade, n. the leaf of the New Zealand Flax (q.v.).

1872. A. Domett, 'Ranolf,' i. 5, p. 11:

"With flax-blades binding to a tree The Maid who strove her limbs to free."

Flax-bush, n. the bush of the New Zealand Flax.

1854. W. Golder, 'Pigeons' Parliament,' Intro. p. v:

"I had . . . to pass a night . . . under the shade of a flax-bush."

1872. A. Domett, 'Ranolf,' x. 4, p. 171:

"And the louder flax-bushes With their crowding and crossing Black stems, darkly studded With blossoms red-blooded."

Flax-flower, n. the flower of the New Zealand Flax (q.v.).

1872. A. Domett, 'Ranolf,' xiv. 3, p. 221:

"little isles Where still the clinging flax-flower smiles."

Flax-leaf, n. the blade of the New Zealand Flax (q.v.).

1884. T. Bracken, 'Lays of Maori' p. 69:

"Zephyrs stirred the flax-leaves into tune.

Flax-lily, n. (1) An Australian fibre plant, Dianella laevis, var. aspera, R. Br., N.O. Liliaceae. (2) Phormium tenax. See Flax, New Zealand.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 621:

"Flax-lily. The fibre is strong, and of a silky texture. The aboriginals formerly used it for making baskets, etc. All the colonies except Western Australia."

Flindosa, and Flindosy, n. two trees called Beech (q.v.).

Flintwood, n. another name for Blackbutt (q.v.), Eucalyptus pillularis.

1889. J. H. Maiden, 'Useful Native Plants,' p. 502:

"From the great hardness of the wood it is often known as flintwood."

Flounder, n. The Flounders in Australia are—

In Sydney, Pseudorhombus russelli, Gray; in Melbourne, Rhombosolea victoriae, Castln.; in New Zealand and Tasmania, R. monopus, Gunth. Maori name, Patiki; family Pleuronectidae. They are all excellent eating.

1876. P. Thomson, 'Transactions of New Zealand Institute,' vol. ix. art. lxvii., p. 487:

"Patiki (flounder). Flounders are in the market all the year."

Flower-pecker, n. bird-name used elsewhere, but in Australia assigned to Dicaeum hirundinaceum, Lath.

Flowering Rush, n. name given to the rush or reed, Xyris operculata, Lab., N.O. Xyrideae.

Flute-bird, n. another name for the bird Gymnorrhina tibicen, Lath. Called also Magpie (q.v.).

1862. H. C. Kendall, 'Poems,' p. 53:

"The flute-bird's mellow tone."

Fly-catcher, n. bird-name used elsewhere. The Australian species are—

Black-faced Flycatcher— Monarcha melanopsis, Vieill.

Blue F.— Myiagra concinna, Gould.

Broad-billed F.— M. latirostris, Gould.

Brown F. [called also Jacky Winter (q.v.)] Micraeca fascinans, Lath.

Leaden F.— Myiagra rubecula, Lath.

Lemon-breasted F.— Micraeca flavigaster, Gould.

Lesser Brown F.— M. assimilis, Gould.

Little F.— Seisura nana, Gould.

Pale F.— Micraeca pallida.

Pearly F.— Monarcha canescens, Salvad.

Pied Fly-catcher— Arses kaupi, Gould.

Restless F.— Seisura inquieta, Lath. [called also Razor- grinder, q.v., and Dishwasher, q.v.]

Satin F.— Myiagra nitida, Gould [called Satin-robin, q.v., in Tasmania]

Shining F.— Piezorhynchus nitidus, Gould.

Spectacled F.— P. gouldi, Gray.

White-bellied F.— P. albiventris, Gould.

White-eared F.— P. leucotis, Gould.

Yellow-breasted F.— Machaerhynchus flaviventer, Gould.

1790. J. White, 'Voyage to New South Wales,' p. 161:

"We this day caught a yellow-eared fly-catcher (see annexed plate). This bird is a native of New Holland." [Description follows.]

Fly-eater, n. the new vernacular name for the Australian birds of the genus Gerygone (q.v.), and see Warbler. The species are—

Black-throated Fly-eater— Gerygone personata, Gould.

Brown F.— G. fusca, Gould.

Buff-breasted F.— G. laevigaster, Gould.

Green-backed F.— G. chloronota, Gould.

Large-billed F.— G. magnirostris, Gould.

Southern F.— G. culicivora, Gould.

White-throated F.— G. albogularis, Gould.

Yellow-breasted F.— G. flavida, Ramsay.

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

"[The habits and habitats of the genus as] applied to Gerygone suggested the term Fly-eater, as distinguished from Fly-catcher, for this aberrant and peculiarly Australasian form of small Fly-catchers, which not only capture their food somewhat after the manner of Fly-catchers, but also seek for it arboreally."

Flyer, n. a swift kangaroo.

1866. T. McCombie, 'Australian Sketches,' second series, p. 172:

"I may here state that the settlers designate the old kangaroos as 'old men' and 'old women,' the full-grown animals are named 'flyers,' and are swifter than the British hare."

Flying-Fox, n. a gigantic Australian bat, Pteropus poliocephalus, Temm. It has a fetid odour and does great damage to fruits, and is especially abundant in New South Wales, though often met with in Victoria. Described, not named, in first extract.

1793. Governor Hunter, 'Voyage,' p. 507:

"The head of this bat strongly resembles that of a fox, and the wings of many of them extend three feet ten inches. . . . [Description of one domesticated.] . . . They are very fat, and are reckoned by the natives excellent food. . . . It was supposed more than twenty thousand of them were seen within the space of one mile."

1827. P. Cunningham, 'Two Years in New South Wales,' vol. i. p. 315:

"One flying fox is an immense bat, of such a horrific appearance, that no wonder one of Cook's honest tars should take it for the devil when encountering it in the woods."

1830. R. Dawson, 'Present State of Australia,' p. 310:

". . . a flying fox, which one of them held in his hand. It was, in fact, a large kind of bat, with the nose resembling in colour and shape that of a fox, and in scent it was exactly similar to it. The wing was that of a common English bat, and as long as that of a crow, to which it was about equal in the length and circumference of its body."

1849. J. P. Townsend, 'Rambles in New South Wales,' p. 97:

"Some of the aborigines feed on a large bat popularly called 'the flying fox.' . . We found the filthy creatures, hanging by the heels in thousands, from the higher branches of the trees."

1863. B. A. Heywood, 'Vacation Tour at the Antipodes,' p. 102:

"The shrill twitter of the flying fox, or vampire bat, in the bush around us."

1871. Gerard Krefft, 'Mammals of Australia':

"The food on which the 'Foxes' principally live when garden fruit is not in season, consists of honey-bearing blossoms and the small native figs abounding in the coast-range scrubs. . . . These bats are found on the east coast only, but during very dry seasons they occur as far west as the neighbourhood of Melbourne."

1881. A.C. Grant, 'Bush Life in Queensland,' vol. ii. p. 20:

"A little further on they came to a camp of flying foxes. The huge trees on both sides of the river are actually black with them. The great bats hang by their hooked wings to every available branch and twig, squealing and quarrelling. The smell is dreadful. The camp extends for a length of three miles. There must be millions upon millions of them."

Flying-Mouse, n. See Opossum-mouse and Flying-Phalanger.

Flying-Phalanger, n. included in the class of Phalanger (q.v.). The "flying" Phalangers "have developed large parachute-like expansions of skin from the sides of the body, by means of which they are able to take long flying leaps from bough to bough, and thus from tree to tree. While the great majority of the members of the family are purely vegetable feeders, . . . a few feed entirely or partly on insects, while others have taken to a diet of flesh." (R. Lydekker.)

They include the so-called Flying-Squirrel, Flying-Mouse, etc. There are three genera—

Acrobates (q.v.), called the Flying-Mouse, and Opossum-Mouse (q.v.).

Petauroides commonly called the Taguan, or Taguan Flying-Squirrel.

Petaurus (q.v.), commonly called the Flying Squirrel.

The species are—

Lesser F.-Ph.— Petaurus breviceps.

Papuan Pigmy F.-Ph.— Acrobates pulchellus (confined to Northern Dutch New Guinea).

Pigmy F.-Ph.— A. pygmaeuss.

Squirrel F.-Ph.— Petaurus sciureus.

Taguan F.-Ph.— Petauroides volans.

Yellow-bellied F.-Ph.— P. australis.

Flying-Squirrel, n. popular name for a Flying-Phalanger, Petaurus sciureus, Shaw, a marsupial with a parachute-like fold of skin along the sides by which he skims and floats through the air. The name is applied to entirely different animals in Europe and America.

1789. Governor Phillip, 'Voyage to Botany Bay,' c. xv. p. 151:

"Norfolk Island flying squirrel." [With picture.]

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

"The flying squirrels are of a beautiful slate colour, with a fur so fine that, although a small animal, the hatters here give a quarter dollar for every skin."

1849. J. P. Townsend, 'Rambles in New South Wales,' p. 37:

"The squeal and chirp of the flying squirrel."

1850. R. C. Gunn, 'Proceedings of the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land,' vol. i. p. 253:

"In the year 1845 I drew the attention of the Tasmanian Society to the interesting fact that the Petaurus sciureus, or Flying Squirrel, of Port Phillip, was becoming naturalized in Van Diemen's Land. . . . No species of Petaurus is indigenous to Tasmania. . . . It does not appear from all that I can learn, that any living specimens of the Petaurus schireus were imported into Van Diemen's Land prior to 1834; but immediately after the settlement of Port Phillip, in that year, considerable numbers of the flying squirrel were, from their beauty, brought over as pets by the early visitors."

1851. J. B. Clutterbuck, 'Port Phillip in 1849,' p. 78:

"The flying squirrel, another of the opossum species of the marsupial order, is a beautiful little creature, and disposed over the whole of the interior of New South Wales: its fur is of a finer texture than that of the opossum."

1855. W. Blandowski, 'Transactions of Philosophical Society of Victoria,' vol. i. p. 70:

"The common flying squirrel (Petaurus sciureus) is very plentiful in the large gum trees near the banks of a creek or river, and appears to entertain a peculiar aversion to the high lands."

1890. C. Lumholtz, 'Among Cannibals,' p. 90:

"Flying squirrel."


"The marsupial flying phalanger is so called by the Australians."

Fly-Orchis, n. name applied in Tasmania to the orchid, Prasophyllum patens, R. Br.

Forest, n. See quotation.

1839. T. L. Mitchell, 'Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia,' vol i. p. 71 [Footnote]:

"A 'forest' means in New South Wales an open wood with grass. The common 'bush' or 'scrubb' consists of trees and saplings, where little grass is to be found."

[It is questionable whether this fine distinction still exists.]

Forester, n. the largest Kangaroo, Macropus giganteus, Zimm.

1832. J. Bischoff, 'Van Diemen's Land,' vol. ii. p. 27:

"There are three or four varieties of kangaroos; those most common are denominated the forester and brush kangaroo."

1847. L. Leichhardt, 'Overland Expedition,' p. 423:

"I called this river the 'Red Kangaroo River,' for in approaching it we first saw the red forester of Port Essington."

1862. H. C. Kendall, 'Poems,' p. 67:

"And the forester snuffing the air Will bound from his covert so dark."

1880. Mrs. Meredith, 'Tasmanian Friends and Foes,' p. 15:

"We have never had one of the largest kind—the Forester Kangaroo (Macropus gigantes)—tame, for they have been so hunted and destroyed that there are very few left in Tasmania, and those are in private preserves, or very remote out-of-the-way places, and rarely seen. . . . The aborigines called the old father of a flock a Boomer. These were often very large: about five feet high in their usual position, but when standing quite up, they were fully six feet . . . and weighing 150 or 200 pounds."

1890. Rolf Boldrewood, 'Miner's Right,' c. xix. p. 181:

"The dogs . . . made for them as if they had been a brace of stray foresters from the adjacent ranges."

Forest-Oak, n. See Oak.

Forget-me-not, n. The species of this familiar flower is Myosotis australis, R. Br., N.O. Asperifoliae.

Fortescue, or 40-skewer, n. a fish of New South Wales, Pentaroge marmorata, Cuv. and Val., family Scorpaenidae; called also the Scorpion, and the Cobbler. All its names allude to the thorny spines of its fins. The name Fortescue is an adaptation of Forty-skewer by the law of Hobson-Jobson.

1882. Rev. J. E. Tenison-Woods, 'Fish of New South Wales,' p. 49:

"Of this fish Mr. Hill says: The scorpion or Fortescue, as these fish are popularly termed by fishermen, have been known for a long time, and bear that name no doubt in memory of the pain they have hitherto inflicted; and for its number and array of prickles it enjoys in this country the alias 'Forty-skewer' or 'Fortescure.' "

1896. F. G. Aflalo, 'Natural History of Australia,' p. 228:

"Fortescue is a terrible pest, lurking among the debris in the nets and all but invisible, its spines standing erect in readiness for the unwary finger. And so intense is the pain inflicted by a stab, that I have seen a strong man roll on the ground crying out like a madman."

Forty-legs, n. name given to a millipede, Cermatia smithii.

Forty-spot, n. name for a bird, a Pardalote (q.v.). Pardalote itself means spotted "like the pard." See also Diamond-bird.

1848. J. Gould, 'Birds of Australia,' vol. ii. pl. 37:

"Pardalotus quadragintus, Gould, Forty-spotted pardalote. Forty-spot, Colonists of Van Diemen's Land."

1896. 'The Australasian,' Aug. 28, p. 407, col. 5:

"'Lyre bird' is obvious; so, too, is 'forty-spot'; only one wonders why the number 40 was pitched upon. Was it a guess? Or did the namer first shoot the bird and count?"

Fossick, v. intrans. to dig, but with special meanings. Derived, like fosse, a ditch, and fossil, through French from Lat. fossus, perfect part. of fodere, to dig. Fossicking as pres. part., or as verbal noun, is commoner than the other parts of the verb.

(1) To pick out gold.

1852. W. H. Hall, 'Practical Experiences at the Diggings in Victoria,' p. 16:

"Or fossicking (picking out the nuggets from the interstices of the slate formation) with knives and trowels."

(2) To dig for gold on abandoned claims or in waste-heaps.

1865. F. H. Nixon, 'Peter Perfume,' p. 59:

"They'll find it not quite so 'welly good' As their fossicking freak at the Buckland."

1873. A.Trollope, 'Australia and New Zealand,' c. xix. p. 286:

"Here we found about a dozen Chinamen 'fossicking' after gold amidst the dirt of the river, which had already been washed by the first gold-seekers."

1880. G. Sutherland, 'Tales of Goldfields,' p. 22:

"He commenced working along with several companions at surface digging and fossicking."

1894. 'The Argus,' March 14, p. 4, col. 6:

"The easiest and simplest of all methods is 'fossicking.' An old diggings is the place for this work, because there you will learn the kind of country, formation, and spots to look for gold when you want to break new ground. 'Fossicking' means going over old workings, turning up boulders, and taking the clay from beneath them, exploring fissures in the rock, and scraping out the stuff with your table knife, using your pick to help matters. Pulling up of trees, and clearing all soil from the roots, scraping the bottoms of deserted holes, and generally keeping your eye about for little bits of ground left between workings by earlier miners who were in too great a hurry looking after the big fish to attend much to small fry."

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