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He has also impressed in Scotland this season with Motherwell currently third in the Premiership. Healy's stock continues to rise following Linfield's impressive run in Europe this summer when they narrowly missed out on reaching the group stages of the Europa League. Here's our main Belfast Live Facebook page. On Twitter, you can follow our account by clicking here. If you're a lover of photos, then check out our Instagram.

Rugby union handicap betting explained synonyms world sports betting soccer fixtures this week

Rugby union handicap betting explained synonyms

However the word bereave derives says Chambers from the Old English word bereafian, which meant robbed or dispossessed in a more general sense. It's a very old word: Reafian meaning rob appears in Beowulf The 'be' prefix is Old English meaning in this context to make or to cause, hence bereafian.

The 'be' prefix and word reafian are cognate similar with the Old Frisian North Netherlands word birava, and also with the Old High German word biroubon. These and other cognates similar words from the same root can be traced back to very ancient Indo-European roots, all originating from a seminal meaning of rob.

Incidentally Cassells says the meaning of bereave in association with death first appeared in English only in the s, so the robbed meaning persisted until relatively modern times given the very old origins of the word. Thanks J R for raising the question. In fact the expression 'baer-saerk' with 'ae' pronounced as 'a' in the word 'anyhow' , means bear-shirt, which more likely stemmed from the belief that these fierce warriors could transform into animals, especially bears and wolves, or at least carry the spirit of the animal during extreme battle situations.

Thanks Cornelia for this more precise derivation. This derivation is also supported by the Old Icelandic word 'Beserkr', meaning 'bear-shirt'. I am additionally informed thanks F Tims that: " By their account, the 'bar-sark' was worn only by members of the Norse chieftan's personal bodyguard, they being the most ferocious, and thus the most feared, of the Vikings plundering eastern Scotland and the hapless Dane-mark.

So, according to the book, the term does not apply to all invading Vikings, just the more obnoxious. In the book, also, the Norse word 'bar' or 'baer', as the case may be means 'wolf', from the hide of which the shirt was made, so it would be a 'wolf-shirt' Champions - Professed fighting men were often kept by kings and earls about their court as useful in feud and fray. Harald Fairhair's champions are admirably described in the contemporary Raven Song by Hornclofe - "Wolf-coats they call them that in battle bellow into bloody shields.

They wear wolves' hides when they come into the fight, and clash their weapons together These baer-sarks, or wolf coats of Harald give rise to an Old Norse term, 'baer sark', to describe the frenzy of fight and fury which such champions indulged in, barking and howling, and biting their shield-rims Voltaire wrote in ' If this is best of possible worlds If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others?.. Another famous writer of his time, though less renowned today American James Branch Cable, , might well have contributed to the popular use of the term when he used it in his novel 'The Silver Stallion' in , when he created a frequently repeated ironically amusing expression in its own right: ' The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true..

The fact that the quotes feature in the definitive quotations work, Bartletts Familiar Quotations first published and still going bears out the significance of the references. Related no doubt to this, the s expression 'biblical neckline' was a euphemistic sexual slang term for a low neckline a pun on the 'lo and behold' expression found in the bible. Thanks Ben for suggesting the specific biblical quote.

It is both a metaphor based on the size of the bible as a book, and more commonly a description by association to many of the particularly disastrous epic events described in the bible, for example: famines, droughts, plagues of locusts, wars, mass exodus, destruction of cities and races, chariots of fire, burning bushes, feeding of thousands, parting of seas, etc. The use of the word biblical to mean huge seems first to have been applied first to any book of huge proportions, which was according to Cassells etymology dictionary first recorded in in a work called Piers Ploughman.

It is logical that over the centuries since then that the extension of 'biblical proportions' to describe huge events would have occurred in common speech quite naturally, because the association is so appropriate and obvious. The slang 'big cheese' is a fine example of language from a far-away or entirely foreign culture finding its way into modern life and communications, in which the users have very awareness or appreciation of its different cultural origins.

This would suggest that some distortion or confusion led to the expression's development. It's easy to imagine that people confused the earlier meaning with that of the female garment and then given the feminine nature of the garment, attached the derogatory weak 'girly' or 'sissy' meaning. I received this helpful information thanks N Swan, April about the expression: " Hence perhaps the northern associations and s feel.

A catchphrase can get into the public vernacular very rapidly - in a very similar vein, I've heard people referring to their friends as a 'Nancy Boy Potter', a name taken directly from the schoolmaster sketch in Rowan Atkinson's mids one-man show Kipling reinforced the expression when he wrote in that the secret of power ' It's the liftable stick.

The term is found also in pottery and ceramic glazing for the same reason. Takes the biscuit seems according to Patridge to be the oldest of the variations of these expressions, which essentially link achievement metaphorically to being awarded a baked confectionery prize. Heaven knows why though, and not even Partridge can suggest any logic for that one. Incidentally, the expression 'takes the biscuit' also appears thanks C Freudenthal more than once in the dialogue of a disreputable character in one of James Joyce's Dubliners stories, published in I am informed additionally thanks J Finnie, Verias Vincit History Group, Oct of a different interpretation, paraphrased thus: Rather than bullets, historic accounts tell of men bitting down on leather straps when undergoing primative medical practice.

Biting on a round metal brass bullet would have been both a potential choking hazard, and extremely hard to do. However in the days of paper cartridges, a soldier in a firing line would have 'bitten off' the bullet, to allow him to pour the gunpowder down the barrel, before spitting the ball bullet down after the powder, then ramming the paper in as wadding. This would have left a salty nasty-tasting traces of gun powder in the soldier's mouth.

So, 'bite the bullet' in this respect developed as a metaphor referring to doing something both unpleasent and dangerous. If you can offer any further authoritative information about the origins of this phrase please let me know. With hindsight, the traditional surgical metaphor does seem a little shaky. When the rope had been extended to the bitter end there was no more left.

Captain Stuart Nicholls MNI contacted me to clarify further: "Bitter end is in fact where the last link of the anchor chain is secured to the vessel's chain locker, traditionally with a weak rope link. Nowadays it is attached through the bulkhead to a sturdy pin.

The term 'bitter end' is as it seems to pay out the anchor until the bitter end. Incidentally, the expression 'He's swinging the lead ' comes from days before sonar was used to detect under keel depth. A man was placed forward and swung a lead weight with a length of rope.

A difficult and tiring task, so seamen would often be seen from aft 'swinging the lead' instead of actually letting go. The origin also gave us the word 'bride'. Strictly for the birds. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable certainly makes no mention of it which suggests it is no earlier than 20th century.

The term alludes the small brains of birds, and expressions such as 'bird-brain', as a metaphor for people of limited intelligence. The balls were counted and if there were more blacks than reds or whites then the membership application was denied - the prospective new member was 'blackballed'.

In addition I am informed by one who seems to know To vote for admitting the new person, the voting member transfers a white cube to another section of the box. To vote against, a black ball is inserted. One black ball is enough to exclude the potential member. See also 'pipped at the post' the black ball was called a pip - after the pip of a fruit, in turn from earlier similar words which meant the fruit itself, eg pippin, and the Greek, pepe for melon - so pipped became another way or saying blackballed or defeated.

These, from their constant attendance about the time of the guard mounting, were nick-named the blackguards. These various explanations, origins and influences of the 'black Irish' expression, from a range of sources including Cassells, Hobson-Jobson, Oxford, Chambers, historical writings on Irish history, specialist online discussion groups, are as follows:.

In summary, despite there being no evidence in print, there seems to me to be sufficient historical evidence as to the validity of the Armada theory as being the main derivation and that other usages are related to this primary root. I say this because: there is truth in the history; it is likely that many Spanish came ashore and settled after the Armada debacle, and people of swarthy appearance were certainly called black. Also the Armada theory seems to predate the other possible derivations.

From this point the stories and legends about the Armada and the 'black Irish' descendents would have provided ample material for the expression to become established and grow. Following this, the many other usages, whether misunderstandings of the true origin and meaning ie. A simple example sent to me thanks S Price is the derogatory and dubious notion that the term refers to Irish peasants who burnt peat for fuel, which, according to the story, produces a fine soot causing people to take on a black appearance.

The 'black Irish' expression will no doubt continue to be open to widely varying interpretations and folklore. I am also informed thanks C Parker of perhaps another explanation for the 'Mediterranean' appearance darker skin and hair colouring notably of some Irish people and giving rise to the Black Irish term, namely the spread of refugee Spanish Moors across Europe, including into Ireland, in the 8th, 9th and 17th centuries.

If anyone knows of any specific references which might support this notion and to link it with the Black Irish expression please tell me. Nor sadly do official dictionaries give credence to the highly appealing suggestion that the black market expression derives from the illicit trade in stolen graphite in England and across the English channel to France and Flanders, during the reign of Elizabeth I It is true that uniquely pure and plentiful graphite deposits were mined at Borrowdale, Cumbria, England.

And there was seemingly a notable illegal trade in the substance. In the 16th century graphite was used for moulds in making cannon balls, and was also in strong demand for the first pencils. The Borrowdale mine was apparently the only large source of pure graphite in Europe, perhaps globally, and because of its military significance and value, it was taken over by the Crown in Elizabeth I's reign.

The mine and its graphite became such a focus of theft and smuggling that, according to local history thanks D Hood , this gave rise to the expression 'black market'. Frustratingly however, official reference books state that the black market term was first recorded very much later, around This is a pity because the Borrowdale graphite explanation is fascinating, appealing, and based on factual history.

However, while a few years, perhaps a few decades, of unrecorded use may predate any first recorded use of an expression, several hundred years' of no recorded reference at all makes it impossible to reliably validate such an origin. We might conclude that given the research which goes into compiling official reference books and dictionaries, underpinned by the increasing opportunity for submitted evidence and corrections over decades, its is doubtful that the term black market originated from a very old story or particular event.

If there were any such evidence it would likely have found its way into the reference books by now. The expression black market is probably simply the logical use of the word black to describe something illegal, probably popularised by newspapers or other commentators.

The word black is a natural choice and readily understood for describing anything negative, theatening or illicit, and has been used, in some cases for centuries, to describe all sorts of unapproved, sinister or illegal things - e. The first use and popularity of the black market term probably reflect the first time in Western history that consumer markets were tightly regulated and undermined on a very wide and common scale, in the often austere first half of the s, during and between the world wars of and more so in Further to the above entry I am informed thanks Dr A Summers, Mar of another fascinating suggestion of origin: " The market town of Crieff in Perthshire was the main cattle market up till , but at the start there was opposition from the Provost in Perth, so there was an illegal trade in cattle before it became the official Drover's Tryst or cattle market.

The cattle were known as The Black hence the origin of the regiment The Black Watch, a militia started to protect the drovers from rustlers so the illegal market was known as the 'black market' Legend has it that whoever kisses the blarney stone will enjoy the same ability as MacCarthy. When a person is said to 'have kissed the Blarney stone', it is a reference to their having the gift of persuasion.

Another interpretation thanks R Styx , and conceivably a belief once held by some, is that sneezing expelled evil spirits from a person's body. A contributory factor was the association of sneezing with the Black Death Bubonic Plague which ravaged England and particularly London in the 14th and 17th centuries. In more recent times the expression has been related ack D Slater to the myth that sneezing causes the heart to stop beating, further reinforcing the Bless You custom as a protective superstition.

Perhaps also influenced by African and African-American 'outjie', leading to okey without the dokey , meaning little man. Various references have been cited in Arabic and Biblical writings to suggest that it was originally based on Middle- and Far-Eastern customs, in which blood rituals symbolised bonds that were stronger than family ones. However the expression has certainly been in use for hundreds of years with its modern interpretation - ie.

In this sense, the metaphor is such an obvious one that it is likely to have evolved separately from the supposed 'blood brothers' meaning, with slightly different variations from different societies, over the many hundreds of years that the expression has been in use. Bloody seems to have acquired the unacceptable 'swearing' sense later than when first used as a literal description bloody battle, bloody body, bloody death, bloody assizes, etc or as a general expression of extreme related to the older associations of the blood emotions or feelings in the four temperaments or humours , which were very significant centuries ago in understanding the human condition and mood, etc.

The modern expression bloody-minded still carries this sense, which connects with the qualities of the blood temperament within the four humours concept. The mild oath ruddy is a very closely linked alternative to bloody, again alluding to the red-faced characteristics within the four humours.

Oxford Word Histories confirms bloody became virtually unprintable around the mids, prior to which it was not an offensive term even when used in a non-literal sense i. In terms of a major source or influence on the expression's development, Oxford agrees largely with Brewer's dictionary of phrase and fable, which explains that the use of the word 'bloody' in the expletive sense " Rowdy aristocrats were called 'Bloods' after the term for a thoroughbred horse, a 'blood-horse' as in today's 'bloodstock' term, meaning thoroughbred horses.

Clearly, the blood-horse metaphor captures both the aristocratic and unpredictable or wild elements of this meaning. The use of blood in this 'aristocratic' sense would have been reinforced by other similar metaphors: 'blood' was and still is a term used also to refer to family descent, and appears in many other lineage-related expressions, such as 'blood is thicker than water' people are more loyal to their family members than to other people and 'blue blood' royalty or aristocratic people - an expression coming into England from France where 'sang blue' means of high aristocratic descent, the notion originating in Spain when it was believed that pre-Moorish old Spanish families had blue blood whereas the common people's blood was black.

The blue blood imagery would have been strengthened throughout Western society by the idea of aristocratic people having paler skin, which therefore made their veins and blood appear more blue than normal people's. It is commonly suggested thanks B Bunker, J Davis that 'bloody' is a corruption of a suggested oath, 'By our Lady', which could have contributed to the offensive perception of the expression, although I believe would not have been its origin as an expletive per se.

Whatever, extending this point thanks A Sobot , the expression 'By our Lord' might similarly have been retrospectively linked, or distorted to add to the 'bloody' mix. The flag is a blue rectangle with a solid white rectangle in the middle; 'peter' is from the French, 'partir' meaning 'to leave'.

Additionally, ack G Jackson , the blue and white 'blue peter' flag is a standard nautical signal flag which stands for the letter 'P'. The letter 'P' is associated with the word 'peter' in many phonetic alphabets, including those of the English and American military, and it is possible that this phonetic language association was influenced by the French 'partir' root.

Phonetic alphabet details. This table meaning of board is how we got the word boardroom too, and the popular early s piece of furniture called a sideboard. See also the expression 'sweep the board', which also refers to the table meaning of board. In this sense the expression also carried a hint of sarcastic envy or resentment, rather like it's who you know not what you know that gets results, or 'easy when you know how'.

Since then the meaning has become acknowledging, announcing or explaining a result or outcome that is achieved more easily than might be imagined. Nowadays the term 'bohemian' does not imply gypsy associations necessarily or at all, instead the term has become an extremely broad and flexible term for people, behaviour, lifestyle, places, atmosphere, attitudes, etc. Thus, a person could be described as bohemian; so could a coffee-shop, or a training course or festival. Bohemian is a fascinating word - once a geographical region, and now a description of style which can be applied and interpreted in many different ways.

The sense is in giving someone a small concession begrudgingly, as a token, or out of sympathy or pity. The giver an individual or a group is in a position of dominance or authority, and the recipient of the bone is seeking help, approval, agreement, or some other positive response. It is a simple metaphor based on the idea of throwing a hungry dog a bone to chew on a small concession instead of some meat which the dog would prefer. The metaphor also alludes to the sense that a bone provides temporary satisfaction and distraction, and so is a tactical or stalling concession, and better than nothing.

It is not widely used in the UK and it is not in any of my reference dictionaries, which suggests that in the English language it is quite recent - probably from the end of the 20th century. According to various online discussions about this expression it is apparently featured in a film, as the line, "Throw me a bone down here Apparently ack Matthew Stone the film was first Austin Powers movie 'Austin Powers:International Man of Mystery' , from a scene in which Dr Evil is trying to think of schemes, but because he has been frozen for years, his ideas have either already happened or are no longer relevant and so attract little enthusiasm, which fits the expression's meaning very well.

I am further informed ack P Nix " It most certainly appeared prior to the Austin Powers movies since the usage of it in the movie was intended to be a humorous use of the already commonly used expression. It is also commonly used in the United States as 'Toss me a bone. In Argentina we use that expression very often. It is not pityful pitying at all It may have a funny meaning too I'm not sure of the origin of this phrase, but it was used in in French in 'The Law' by Frederic Bastiat.

Here it is translated - 'The excluded classes will furiously demand their right to vote - and will overthrow society rather than not to obtain it. Even beggars and vagabonds will then prove to you that they also have an incontestable title to vote. They will say to you: "We cannot buy wine, tobacco, or salt without paying the tax. And a part of the tax that we pay is given by law - in privileges and subsidies - to men who are richer than we are.

Others use the law to raise the prices of bread, meat, iron, or cloth. Thus, since everyone else uses the law for his own profit, we also would like to use the law for our own profit. We demand from the law the right to relief, which is the poor man's plunder. To obtain this right, we also should be voters and legislators in order that we may organize Beggary on a grand scale for our own class, as you have organized Protection on a grand scale for your class.

Now don't tell us beggars that you will act for us, and then toss us, as Mr. Mimerel proposes, , francs to keep us quiet, like throwing us a bone to gnaw. We have other claims. And anyway, we wish to bargain for ourselves as other classes have bargained for themselves! The extract does not prove that the expression was in wide use in France in the mids, but it does show a similar and perhaps guiding example for interpreting the modern usage.

If you know anything more about the origins of "throw me a bone" - especially the expression occurring in a language other than English, please tell me. The gannet-like seabird, the booby, is taken from Spanish word for the bird, bobo, which came into English around There seems no evidence for the booby bird originating the meaning of a foolish person, stupid though the booby bird is considered to be.

The sense of booby meaning fool extended later to terms like booby-trap and booby-hatch lunatic asylum , and also to the verb form of boob, meaning to make a mistake or blunder i. I am informed thanks Mr Morrison that the wilderness expert Ray Mears suggested booby-trap derives from the old maritime practice of catching booby seabirds when they flew onto ships' decks.

The US later early 20th C adapted the word boob to mean a fool. The ultimate origins can be seen in the early development of European and Asian languages, many of which had similar words meaning babble or stammer, based on the repetitive 'ba' sound naturally heard or used to represent the audible effect or impression of a stammerer or a fool. It is probable that this basic 'baba' sound-word association also produced the words babe and baby, and similar variations in other languages.

The mainly UK-English reference to female breasts boob, boobs, boob-tube, etc is much more recent s - boob-tube was s although these derive from the similar terms bubby and bubbies. Separately, thanks B Puckett, since the s, 'boob-tube' has been US slang for a television, referring to idiocy on-screen, and the TV cathode-ray 'tube' technology, now effectively replaced by LCD flatscreens.

Incidentally a UK 'boob-tube' garment is in the US called a 'tube-top'. Returning to boobs meaning breasts, Partridge amusingly notes that bubby is 'rare in the singular Bubby and bubbies meaning breasts appeared in the late s, probably derived from the word bub, both noun and verb for drink, in turn probably from Latin bibire, perhaps reinforced by allusion to the word bubble, and the aforementioned 'baba' sound associated with babies.

My thanks to John L for raising the question of the booby, initially seeking clarification of its meaning in the Gilbert and Sullivan line from Trial by Jury, when the judge sings "I'd a frock-tailed coat of a beautiful blue, and brief that I bought for a booby Men who 'took the King's shilling' were deemed to have contracted to serve in the armed forces, and this practice of offering the shilling inducement led to the use of the technique in rather less honest ways, notably by the navy press-gangs who would prey on drunks and unsuspecting drinkers close to port.

Unscrupulous press-gangers would drop a shilling into a drinker's pint of ale, which was then in a pewter or similar non-transparent vessel , and if the coin was undetected until the ale was consumed the press-gangers would claim that the payment had been accepted, whereupon the poor victim would be dragged away to spend years at sea.

Pubs and drinkers became aware of this practice and the custom of drinking from glass-bottom tankards began. The 'bottoms up' expression then naturally referred to checking for the King's shilling at the bottom of the tankard. Ack J Burbedge. This expression is a wonderful example of how certain expressions origins inevitably evolve, without needing necessarily any particular origin.

There might be one of course, but it's very well buried if there is, and personally I think the roots of the saying are entirely logical, despite there being no officially known source anywhere. Partridge for instance can offer only that brass monkey in this sense was first recorded in the s with possible Australian origins. Cassells says late s and possible US origins.

The OED is no more helpful either in suggesting the ultimate source. Allen's English Phrases is more revealing in citing an source unfortunately not named : "He was told to be silent, in a tone of voice which set me shaking like a monkey in frosty weather In fact the expression most likely evolved from another early version 'Cold enough to freeze the tail off a brass monkey', which apparently is first recorded in print in Charles A Abbey's book Before the Mast in the Clippers, around , which featured the author's diaries from his time aboard American clippers fast merchant sailing ships from The switch from tail to balls at some stage probably around the turn of the s proved irresistible to people, for completely understandable reasons: it's much funnier, much more illustrative of bitter cold, and the alliteration repeating of the B sound is poetically much more pleasing.

The notion of a brass monkey would have appealed on many levels: monkeys have long been associated with powerful imagery three wise monkeys - see no evil, etc and the word is incorporated within various popular terminology monkey wrench, monkey puzzle, monkey suit, etc. And aside from the allusion to brass monkey ornaments, brass would have been the metal of choice because it was traditionally associated with strength and resilience more so than copper or tin for instance ; also brass is also very much more phonetically enjoyable than iron, steel or bronze.

It simply sounds good when spoken. Zinc and platinum are complete non-starters obviously. So it had to be brass. The choice of monkey - as opposed to any other creature - is also somehow inevitable given a bit of logical thought. Here goes Certain iconic animals with good tails can be discounted immediately for reasons of lacking euphonic quality meaning a pleasing sound when spoken ; for example, brass horse, brass mouse, brass rat, brass scorpion, brass crocodile and brass ass just don't roll off the tongue well enough.

No good either would have been any creatures not possessing a suitably impressive and symbolic tail, which interestingly would effectively have ruled out virtually all the major animal images like cow, elephant, pig, bear, dog, rabbit, lion, tiger, and most of the B-list like rhino, giraffe, deer, not to mention C-listers like hamster, badger, tortoise, all birds, all fish and all insects.

We can also forget the well-endowed lemurs, platypii, and chameleons for reasons of obscurity: a metaphor must be reasonably universal to become popular. Which pretty well leaves just a cat and a monkey, and who on earth has ever seen a brass cat? It's just not a notion that conveys anything at all. So it kind of just had to be a monkey because nothing else would have worked. That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it unless anyone has a better idea. This is the way that a lot of expressions become established and hugely popular - they just are right in terms of sound and imagery, and often it's that simple.

Incidentally a popular but entirely mythical theory for the 'freeze the balls off a brass monkey' version suggests a wonderfully convoluted derivation from the Napoleonic Wars and the British Navy's Continental Blockade of incoming French supplies. The story goes that where the British warships found themselves in northerly frozen waters the cannonballs contracted shrank in size due to cold more than their brass receptacle supposedly called the 'monkey' and fell onto the deck.

Or so legend has it. Unfortunately there was never a brass receptacle for cannonballs called a monkey. Ships did actually have a 'monkey rail' just above the quarter rail, wherever that was but this was not related to cannonballs at all, and while there was at one time a cannon called a monkey, according to Longridge's The Anatomy of Nelson's Ships, cannonballs were actually stored on the gun deck on wooden boards with holes cut in them, called short garlands, not monkeys.

What we see here is an example of a mythical origin actually supporting the popularity of the expression it claims to have spawned, because it becomes part of folklore and urban story-telling, so in a way it helps promote the expression, but it certainly isn't the root of it.

To understand the root, very commonly we need simply to understand how language works, and then it all makes sense. I am grateful for A Zambonini's help in prompting and compiling this entry. Neck was a northern English 19th slang century expression some sources suggest with origins in Australia meaning audacity or boldness - logically referring to a whole range of courage and risk metaphors involving the word neck, and particularly with allusions to hanging, decapitation, wringing of a chicken's neck - 'getting it in the neck', 'sticking your neck out', and generally the idea of exposing or extending one's neck in a figurative display of intentional or foolhardy personal risk.

As regards brass, Brewer lists 'brass' as meaning impudence. The modern OED meanings include effrontery shameless insolence. Brassy means pretentious or impudent. Brass is also an old 19thC word for a prostitute. Some of these meanings relate to brass being a cheap imitation of gold. Some of the meanings also relate to brass being a very hard and resilient material. Phonetically there is also a similarity with brash, which has similar meanings - rude, vulgarly self-assertive probably derived from rash, which again has similar meanings, although with less suggestion of intent, more recklessness.

At some stage during the 20th century brass and neck were combined to form brass neck and brass necked. Many sources identify the hyphenated brass-neck as a distinctly military expression same impudence and boldness meanings , again 20th century, and from the same root words and meanings, although brass as a slang word in the military has other old meanings and associations, eg, top brass and brass hat, both referring to officers because of their uniform adornments , which would have increased the appeal and usage of the brass-neck expression in military circles.

Most dramatically, the broken leg suffered by assassin John Wilkes Booth. Booth, an actor, assassinated President Lincoln's on 14 April , at Ford's Theatre in Washington DC and broke his leg while making his escape, reportedly while jumping from Lincoln's box onto the stage. Later research apparently suggests the broken leg was suffered later in his escape, but the story became firmly embedded in public and thesbian memory, and its clear connections with the expression are almost irresistible, especially given that Booth was considered to have been daringly lucky in initially escaping from the theatre.

His luck ran out though as he was shot and killed resisting capture twelve days later. Etymologist Michael Sheehan is among those who suggests the possible Booth source, although he cites and prefers Eric Partridge's suggestion that the saying derives from " The phrase in the German theatre was Hals und Beinbruch, neck and leg break Interestingly according to Cassells, break a leg also means 'to be arrested' in US slang first recorded from , and 'to hurry' from , which again seems to fit with the JW Booth story.

Bear in mind that actual usage can predate first recorded use by many years. Cassells reminds us that theatrical superstition discourages the use of the phrase 'good luck', which is why the coded alternative was so readily adopted in the theatre. Cassells inserts a hyphen and expands the meaning of the German phrase, 'Hals-und Beinbruch', to 'may you break your neck and leg', which amusingly to me and utterly irrelevantly, seems altogether more sinister. Such are the delights of translation. Incidentally my version of Partridge's dictionary also suggests break a leg, extending to 'break a leg above the knee', has been an English expression since first recorded meaning " Broken-legged also referred to one who had been seduced.

Such are the delights of early English vulgar slang.. As a footnote pun intended to the seemingly natural metaphor and relationship between luck and leg-breaking is the wonderful quote penned by George Santayana Spanish-Amercian literary philosopher, in his work Character and Opinion in the United States : "All his life [the American] jumps into the train after it has started and jumps out before it has stopped; and he never once gets left behind, or breaks a leg.

On a different track, I am informed, which I can neither confirm nor deny thanks Steve Fletcher, Nov : " In older theatres the device used to raise the curtain was a winch with long arms called 'legs'. If the performance was very successful the legmen might have to raise the curtain so many times they might - 'break a leg' Anyone who has spent time on stage in the theater [US spelling] knows how jealous other players can be of someone whom the audience is rapt with.

By way of the back-handed compliment intended to undermine the confidence of an upcoming star, an envious competitor might gush appreciation at just how great one is and with work how much greater one will be. The young star goes out flush with flattery and, preoccupied with his future fame, promptly falls on his proverbial face.

So, one learns in time to be suspicious of disingenuous praise. On the other hand, someone genuinely wishing you well will say 'Break a leg'. This mocks the false flattery and acknowledges that that stage can be perilous to someone with their head in the clouds. If not paying attention one could literally break a leg by falling into the pit. The reverse psychology helps one to 'stay grounded' so to speak. The Italian saying appears to be translatable to 'Into the wolf's mouth,' which, to me is a reference to the insatiable appetite of the audience for diversion and novelty.

And if you don't satisfy them, they will 'eat you alive' In Italian it is often actually considered bad luck to wish someone good luck 'Buona Fortuna' , especially before an exam, performance or something of the kind. Italians instead use the expression 'In bocca al lupo', which literally means 'Into the wolf's mouth' And this thanks J Yuenger, Jan , which again I can neither confirm nor deny: " I see you had a question on 'Break a leg,' and as a theatre person I had always heard of break a leg as in 'bend a knee,' apparently a military term.

The idea being that if you tell an actor to break a leg, it is the same as telling him to deliver a performance worthy of a bow. As a common theme I've seen running through stage superstitions, actors need to be constantly reminded that they need to do work in order to make their performances the best. Thus, if you wished an actor good luck, they would stop trying as hard at the show, because luck was on their side Break a leg derives from wishing an actor to be lucky enough to be surprised by the presence of royalty in the theatre US theater , as in a 'command performance'.

These shows would start by acknowledging the presence of the royal guests with the entire cast on stage at bended knee. The suggestion of 'a broken leg' wishes for the actor the good fortune of performing for royalty and the success that would follow due to their visit to your theatre I am German, and we indeed have the saying 'Hals-und Beinbruch' which roughly means 'break a neck and leg'.

The origin of that saying is not proven but widely believed to originate from the Jewish 'hazloche un broche' which means 'luck and blessing', and itself derives from the Hebrew 'hazlacha we bracha', with the same meaning.

For Germans failing to understand 'hazloch un broche', this sounds similar to 'hals und bruch' meaning 'neck and break'. Given that this has no real meaning, a natural interpretation would be 'hals und beinbruch', especially since 'bein' did not only mean 'leg', but also was used for 'bones' in general, giving the possible translation of 'break your neck and bones'. That it was considered back luck to wish for what you really want 'Don't jinx it!

Such ironic wishes - 'anti-jinxes' - appear in most languages - trying to jinx the things we seek to avoid. In Germany 'Hals-und Beinbruch' is commonly used when people go skiing. Fishermen use a variation: 'Mast-und Schotbruch', which means on a boat 'break the the main poles' which hold the sails. The German 'break' within 'Hals-und Beinbruch' it is not an active verb, like in the English 'break a leg', but instead a wish for the break to happen.

The German 'Hals- und Beinbruch' most likely predates the English 'break a leg', and the English is probably a translation of the German Thanks to Neale for the initial question. If anyone can offer any more about Break a Leg please let me know. This sense is supported by the break meaning respite or relaxation, as in tea-break.

Both senses seem to have developed during the 19th century. Earliest usage of break meaning luck was predominantly USA, first recorded in according to Partridge. The term Brummie extends also to anything from Birmingham, and also more widely to the surrounding West Midlands region of the UK, especially when used by UK folk living quite a long way from Birmingham. Many English southerners, for example, do not have a very keen appreciation for the geographical and cultural differences between Birmingham and Coventry, or Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

Interestingly, although considered very informal slang words, Brum and Brummie actually derive from the older mids English name for Birmingham: Brummagem, and similar variants, which date back to the Middle Ages. In past times Brummagem also referred informally to cheap jewellery and plated wares, fake coins, etc. The root word is bakh'sheesh in Arabic, notably from what was Persia now Iran , with variations in Urdu and Turkish, meaning a gift or a present.

I am grateful for the following note from Huw Thomas in the Middle East: " It comes from the Arabic word bakh'sheesh, meaning 'free' or 'gift'. In Arabic today, it refers to the tip given to a restaurant waiter. The precise reference to buck a male deer in this sense - buckshot, buckknife, or some other buckhorn, buckskin or other buck-related item - is not proven and remains open to debate, and could be a false trail.

While 'pass the buck' seems generally accepted among the main dictionaries and references as card-playing terminology for passing the deal or pot, and is generally accepted as the metaphorical origin of the modern expression meaning to pass the problem or responsibility, uncertainty remains as to what exactly the buck was.

No-one knows for sure. To complicate matters further, buck and bucking are words used in card-playing quite aside from the 'pass the buck' expression referring to dealing. For example - an extract from the wonderful Pictorial History of the Wild West by Horan and Sann, published in , includes the following reference to Wild Bill Hickock: " He didn't wear down the two-inch heels of his sixty-dollar boots patrolling the streets to make law 'n order stick.

He spent most of his time bucking the cards in the saloons This reference is simply to the word buck meaning rear up or behave in a challenging way, resisting, going up against, challenging, taking on, etc. So while we can be fairly sure that the card-playing terminology 'pass the buck' is the source of the modern saying, we cannot be certain of what exactly the buck was.

My thanks to S Karl for prompting the development of this explanation. I am grateful ack K Eshpeter for the following contributed explanation: "It wasn't until the s when Harry Truman became president that the expression took on an expanded meeting. Truman was a man of the people and saw the office of president of the US as a foreboding responsibility for which he had ultimate accountability.

He kept a sign on his desk in the Oval Office to remind him of this and it is where the expression 'The Buck Stops Here' originated. Most people will know that bugger is an old word - it's actually as old as the 12th century in English - and that it refers to anal intercourse. A bugger is a person who does it. Bugger is the verb to do it. Buggery is the old word describing the act or offence, as was, and remains, in certain circumstances and parts of the world. The commonly unmentionable aspect of the meaning see Freud's psychosexual theory as to why bottoms and pooh are so emotionally sensitive for many people caused the word to be developed, and for it to thrive as an oath.

It's all about fear, denial and guilt. What's more surprising about the word bugger is where it comes from: Bugger is from Old French end of the first millennium, around AD , when the word was bougre, which then referred to a sodomite and a heretic, from the Medieval Latin word Bulgarus, which meant Bulgarian, based on the reputation of a sect of Bulgarian heretics, which was alleged and believed no doubt by their critics and opponents to indulge in homosexual practices.

It is fascinating that a modern word like bugger, which has now become quite a mild and acceptable oath, contains so much richness of social and psychological history. In terms of fears and human hang-ups it's got the lot - religious, ethnic, sexual, social - all in one little word. See also sod , whose usage and origins are related. This metaphor may certainly have helped to reinforce the expression, but is unlike to have been the origin.

More probable is the derivation suggested by Brewer in that first, bears became synonymous with reducing prices, notably the practice of short selling, ie. This terminology, Brewer suggests referring to Dr Warton's view on the origin came from the prior expression, 'selling the skin before you have caught the bear'. This proverb was applied to speculators in the South Sea Bubble scheme, c. So was the huntsman by the bear oppressed, whose hide he sold before he caught the beast The bull and bear expressions have been in use since at least as far back as ; according to financial writer Don Luskin, reference and explanation of bull and bear meanings appears in the book Every Man His Own Broker, or, A Guide to Exchange Alley, by Thomas Mortimer.

Luskin says his 10th edition copy of the book was printed in Other references: David W. The bum refers both to bum meaning tramp, and also to the means of ejection, i. Bum also alludes to a kick up the backside, being another method of propulsion and ejection in such circumstances. Less easy to understand is the use of the word rush, until we learn that the earlier meaning of the word rush was to drive back and repel, also to charge, as in Anglo-French russher, and Old French russer, the flavour of which could easily have been retained in the early American-English use of the word.

Hatchet is a very old word, meaning axe, and probaby derived from Old German happa for scythe or sickle. The hatchet as an image would have been a natural representation of a commoner's weapon in the middle ages, and it's fascinating that the US and British expressions seem to have arisen quite independently of each other in two entirely different cultures. I am grateful Bryan Hopkins for informing me that in the Book of Mormon, a history of the ancient Native American Indians, an episode is described in which a large group ' This is not to say of course that the expression dates back to that age, although it is interesting to note that the custom on which the saying is based in the US is probably very ancient indeed.

Unrelated but interestingly, French slang for the horse-drawn omnibus was 'four banal' which translated then to 'parish oven' - what a wonderful expression. Bear in mind that a wind is described according to where it comes from not where it's going to. A South wind comes from the South. Sailing 'by' a South wind would mean sailing virtually in a South direction - 'to the wind' almost into the wind.

Different sails on a ship favoured winds from different directions, therefore to be able to sail 'by and large' meant that the ship sailed well 'one way or another' - 'to the wind and off it'. Also, the expression used when steering a course of 'by and large' meant being able to using both methods of wind direction in relation to the ship and so was very non-specific.

Early Scottish use of the word cadet, later caddie, was for an errand boy. The golf usage of the caddie term began in the early s. From the early sixteenth century, European philosophers and mapmakers assumed a great southern continent existed south of Asia. They called this hypothetical place Terra Australis , Latin for 'southern land'.

The first European contact with Australia was in the early seventeenth century, when Dutch explorers touched on parts of the Australian continent. As a result of their explorations, that part of the mainland lying west of the meridian which passes through Torres Strait was named Nova Hollandia Latin for 'New Holland'.

Cook entered the word Astralia misspelt thus in his journal the following August. However he did so only in reference to an earlier seeker of the southern land, the Portuguese-born navigator Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, who in had named the New Hebrides Austrialis de Spiritu Santo. Cook says: The Islands discover'd by Quiros call'd by him Astralia del Espiritu Santo lays in this parallel but how far to the East is hard to say.

Cook himself called the new continent New Holland , a name that acknowledges the early Dutch exploration; the eastern coast he claimed for Britain and called New South Wales. The first written record of Australia an anglicised form of Terra Australis as a name for the known continent did not occur until George Shaw in his Zoology of New Holland refers to:. It was Matthew Flinders, English navigator and the first person to circumnavigate and map Australia's coastline , who first expressed a strong preference for the name Australia.

He gave his reasons in It is necessary, however, to geographical propriety, that the whole body of land should be designated under one general name; on this account, and under the circumstances of the discovery of the different parts, it seems best to refer back to the original Terra Australis, or Australia; which being descriptive of its situation, having antiquity to recommend it, and no reference to either of the two claiming nations, is perhaps the least objectionable that could have been chosen; for it is little to apprehended, that any considerable body of land, in a more southern situation, will be hereafter discovered.

To these geographical, historical and political reasons for preferring the name, he adds in his account of his voyages that Australia is 'agreeable to the ear, and an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth'. Australia was championed too by Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales from , who was aware of Flinders' preference and popularised the name by using it in official dispatches to London. He writes in of:.

With Macquarie's kickstart Australia eventually proved to be the popular choice. Although the name New Holland continued alongside it for some time, by William Westgarth noted that 'the old term New Holland may now be regarded as supplanted by that happier and fitter one of Australia'. A Queenslander. The term derives from the joking notion as perceived from the southern states of Australia that Queenslanders spend their time putting bends into bananas.

An article from 15 July in the Queenslander provides a forerunner to the term when a man is asked by the Queen what his occupation is:. Further to enlighten her Majesty he explained that bananas grew straight on the trees, and so just before they ripened, his was the job to mount the ladder, and with a specialised twist of the wrist, put into the fruit the Grecian bend that was half its charm.

The association of bananas with Queensland 'banana land' is based on the extensive banana-growing industry in tropical Queensland. The Queensland border has been called the Banana curtain and Brisbane has been called Banana city. Banana bender , in reference to a Queenslander, is first recorded in and is till commonly heard. What do you say to a quick look at the banana-benders? Soon after white settlement in the word bandicoot the name for the Indian mammal Bandicota indica was applied to several Australian mammals having long pointed heads and bearing some resemblance to their Indian namesake.

In David Collins writes of the 'bones of small animals, such as opossums From s the word bandicoot has been used in various distinctively Australian phrases as an emblem of deprivation or desolation. In H.

Watson in Lecture on South Australia writes: 'The land here is generally good; there is a small proportion that is actually good for nothing; to use a colonial phrase, "a bandicoot an animal between a rat and a rabbit would starve upon it".

Probably from the perception of the bandicoot's burrowing habits, a new Australian verb to bandicoot arose towards the end of the nineteenth century. It means 'to remove potatoes from the ground, leaving the tops undisturbed'. Usually this activity is surreptitious. The bandicooter goes at night to a field of ripe potatoes and carefully extracts the tubers from the roots without disturbing the tops. Extremely unhappy. Bandicoots are small marsupials with long faces, and have been given a role in Australian English in similes that suggest unhappiness or some kind of deprivation see above.

The expression miserable as a bandicoot was first recorded in the s. The large woody cone of several Banksia species, originally as a character in children's stories. Banksia is the name of an Australian genus of shrubs and trees with about 60 species. It was named after the botanist Sir Joseph Banks, who was on the Endeavour with James Cook on his voyage of discovery in After flowering, many banksias form thick woody cones, often in strange shapes.

It was on such grotesque shapes that May Gibbs modelled her banksia men in Snugglepot and Cuddlepie of 'She could see the glistening, wicked eyes of Mrs. Snake and the bushy heads of the bad Banksia men'. Prichard Bid me to Love : Louise See what I've got in my pocket for you Bill : diving into a pocket of her coat and pulling out a banksia cone A banksia man.

Oh Mum! Smith Saddle in the Kitchen : Hell was under the well near the cow paddock, deep and murky and peopled by gnarled and knobby banksia men who lurked there waiting for the unguarded to fall in. A topic of great public interest, especially a political one.

The term derives from the notion that a topic is so interesting that it could halt proceedings at a barbecue - and anything that could interrupt an Aussie barbecue would have to be very significant indeed! The term was coined by Australian prime minister John Howard in in the context of balancing work pressures with family responsibilities.

Barbecue stopper is now used in a wide range of contexts. For an earlier discussion of the term see our Word of the Month article from August The name of the Barcoo River in western Queensland has been used since the s as a shorthand reference for the hardships, privations, and living conditions of the outback. Poor diets were common in remote areas, with little access to fresh vegetables or fruit, and as a result diseases caused by dietary deficiencies, such Barcoo rot —a form of scurvy characterised by chronic sores—were common.

Another illness probably caused by poor diet was Barcoo sickness also called Barcoo vomit , Barcoo spew , or just Barcoo , a condition characterised by vomiting. Barcoo can also typify the laconic bush wit. To give support or encouragement to a person, team, etc. Some claim barrack comes from Australian pidgin to poke borak at 'to deride', but its origin is probably from Northern Irish barrack 'to brag; to be boastful'. By itself barrack meant 'to jeer' and still does in British English , but the form barrack for transformed the jeering into cheering in Australian English.

The opening of the starting gates to begin a horserace. In horseracing the barrier is a starting gate at the racecourse. The word barrier is found in a number of horseracing terms in Australian English including barrier blanket a heavy blanket placed over the flanks of a racehorse to calm it when entering a barrier stall at the start of a race , barrier trial a practice race for young, inexperienced, or resuming racehorses , and barrier rogue a racehorse that regularly misbehaves when being placed into a starting gate.

Barrier rise is first recorded in the s. For a more detailed discussion of this term see our Word of the Month article from October Wilson's colt Merman, who, like Hova, was comparatively friendless at barrier rise. The word battler has been in the English language for a long time.

The word is a borrowing from French in the Middle English period, and meant, literally, 'a person who battles or fights', and figuratively 'a person who fights against the odds or does not give up easily'. The corresponding English word was feohtan which gives us modern English 'to fight'. English also borrowed the word war from the French in the twelfth century; it's the same word as modern French guerre. But the word battler , at the end of the nineteenth century, starts to acquire some distinctively Australian connotations.

For this reason, it gets a guernsey in the Australian National Dictionary. It describes the person with few natural advantages, who works doggedly and with little reward, who struggles for a livelihood and who displays courage in so doing. In Kylie Tennant writes: 'She was a battler, Snow admitted; impudent, hardy, cool, and she could take a "knock-back" as though it didn't matter, and come up to meet the next blow'.

In this tradition, K. Roughly speaking, there are three kinds of people in this country: the rich, the middle class and the battlers'. In the 21st century the term has been used in various political contests as this quotation in the Australian from 1 July demonstrates: 'The Prime Minister, who has built his success on an appeal to Australia's battlers, is about to meet thousands more of them in his northern Sydney seat of Bennelong'.

This sense is first recorded in the Bulletin in 'I found patch after patch destroyed. Almost everyone I met blamed the unfortunate "battler", and I put it down to some of the Sydney "talent" until I caught two Chows vigorously destroying melon-vines'.

Again in the Bulletin in we find: 'They were old, white-bearded, travel-stained battlers of the track'. A person who frequents racecourses in search of a living, esp. The word is used in Australia with this sense from the end of the nineteenth century. Cornelius Crowe in his Australian Slang Dictionary gives: ' Battlers broken-down backers of horses still sticking to the game'. In A. Wright in The Boy from Bullarah notes: 'He betook himself with his few remaining shillings to the home of the battler - Randwick [a racecourse in Sydney]'.

In we find in the Bulletin : 'A bludger is about the lowest grade of human thing, and is a brothel bully A battler is the feminine'. Chandler in Darkest Adelaide c. Meanings 2. This is still the person of the Henry Lawson tradition, who, 'with few natural advantages, works doggedly and with little reward, struggles for a livelihood and displays courage in so doing '.

But perhaps the battler of contemporary Australia is more likely to be paying down a large mortgage rather than working hard to put food on the table! Berley is ground-bait scattered by an angler in the water to attract fish to a line or lure. Anglers use a variety of baits for berley, such as bread, or fish heads and guts. Poultry mash and tinned cat food make more unusual berleying material, although this pales beside a Bulletin article in suggesting 'a kerosene-tinful of rabbit carcasses boiled to a pulp' as the best berley for Murray cod.

The first evidence for the noun occurs in the s. The origin of the word is unknown. To display or boast of one's wealth; to exaggerate one's own importance, achievements, etc. In pre-decimal currency days the larger the denomination, the bigger the banknote. Big-noting arose from the connection between flashing large sums of money about and showing off. He had admitted producing it to 'big note' himself in the eyes of the young woman and her parents. Foster Man of Letters : He's never been one to big-note himself.

A member of a gang of motorcyclists. Bikie follows a very common pattern in Australian English by incorporating the -ie or -y suffix. This suffix works as an informal marker in the language. In early use bikie often referred to any member of a motorcycle motorbike gang or club - often associated with youth culture.

In more recent times the term is often associated with gangs of motorcylists operating on the fringes of legality. Bikie is first recorded in the s. For a more detailied discussion of the term see our Word of the Month article from March Some bikies procure, distribute and sell drugs through their 'associates', who in turn sell them to kids. The bilby is either of two Australian bandicoots, especially the rabbit-eared bandicoot Macrotis lagotis , a burrowing marsupial of woodlands and plains of drier parts of mainland Australia.

The word is a borrowing from Yuwaalaraay an Aboriginal language of northern New South Wales and neighbouring languages. The bilby is also known as dalgyte in Western Australia and pinky in South Australia. Since the early s there have been attempts to replace the Easter bunny with the Easter bilby. At Easter it is now possible to buy chocolate bilbies. Bilby is first recorded in the s. An arm of a river, made by water flowing from the main stream usually only in time of flood to form a backwater, blind creek, anabranch, or, when the water level falls, a pool or lagoon often of considerable extent ; the dry bed of such a formation.

Billabongs are often formed when floodwaters recede. A vessel for the boiling of water, making of tea, etc. It is not, as popularly thought, related to the Aboriginal word billabong. Billy is first recorded in the s. Burrows Adventures of a Mounted Trooper in the Australain Constabulary : A 'billy' is a tin vessel, something between a saucepan and a kettle, always black outside from being constantly on the fire, and looking brown inside from the quantity of tea that is generally to be seen in it.

Billycart is a shortened form of the Australian term billy-goat cart which dates back to the s. In earlier times the term applied to a small cart, often two-wheeled, that was pulled by a goat. These billycarts were used for such purposes as home deliveries, and they were also used in races.

The term was then applied to any homemade go-cart. Billycart is recorded in the first decade of the 20th century. Winton Cloudstreet : Bits of busted billycarts and boxes litter the place beneath the sagging clothesline. Any of several plants bearing barbed fruits, especially herbs of the widespread genus Calotis ; the fruit of these plants.

Bindi-eye is oftened shortened to bindi , and can be spelt in several ways including bindy-eye and bindii. Bindi-eye is usually considered a weed when found in one's lawn. Many a child's play has been painfully interrupted by the sharp barbs of the plant which have a habit of sticking into the sole of one's foot. Bindy-eye is first recorded in the s. A fight or skirmish; a collision. Bingle is perhaps from Cornish dialect bing 'a thump or blow'.

Most other words derived from Cornish dialect in Australian English were originally related to mining, including fossick. The word is frequently used to refer to a car collision. Bingle is first recorded in the s.

Carr Surfie : There was this clang of metal on metal and both cars lurched over to the shoulder and we nearly went for a bingle. A mongrel. A dog or other animal which is made up of a bit of this and a bit of that. This meaning is common today, but when bitser first appeared in the s it referred to any contraption or vehicle that was made of spare parts, or had odd bits and pieces added. The small girl pondered. My friends call him a "bitzer"', she replied.

My favourite was a bitser named Sheila. The black stump of Australian legend first appears in the late 19th century, and is an imaginary marker at the limits of settlement. Anywhere beyond the black stump is beyond civilisation, deep in the outback, whereas something this side of the black stump belongs to the known world.

Although the towns of Blackall, Coolah and Merriwagga each claim to possess the original black stump , a single stump is unlikely to be the origin of this term. It is more probable that the burnt and blackened tree stumps, ubiquitous in the outback, and used as markers when giving directions to travellers is the origin - this sense of black stump is recorded from Tracks have been made, commencing nowhere and ending the same, roads have been constructed haphazard, bridges have been built that had no roads leading either to or from them, railways have terminated at the proverbial black stump.

Beyond the Black Stump. Not shown on the petrol station maps, even. A very unperceptive person; such a person as a type. This term often appears in the phrase even blind Freddy could see that. Although the term may not derive from an actual person, early commentators associate it with a blind Sydney character or characters. Australian lexicographer Sidney Baker wrote in that 'Legend has it that there was a blind hawker in Sydney in the s, named Freddy, whose blindness did not prevent his moving freely about the central city area'.

Other commentators suggest a character who frequented various Sydney sporting venues in the first decades of the 20th century could be the original Freddy. The term itself is first recorded in It applied to a person of great heart, who displayed courage, loyalty, and mateship.

To defeat a competitor by a very small margin; to win narrowly. This verb derives from the noun blouse meaning 'the silk jacket worn by a jockey'. As the origin of this word would indicate, much of the evidence is from the sport of horseracing. For a detailed discussion of blouse see our Word of the Month article from November This word is a survival of British slang bludger , meaning 'a prostitute's pimp'.

The word is ultimately a shortening of bludgeoner. A bludgeoner not surprisingly was a person who carried a bludgeon 'a short stout stick or club'. It appears in a mid-nineteenth century English slang dictionary as a term for 'a low thief, who does not hesitate to use violence'. By the s the 'prostitute's pimp' sense of bludger is found in Australian sources.

In the Sydney Slang Dictionary of bludgers are defined as 'plunderers in company with prostitutes'. Cornelius Crowe, in his Australian Slang Dictionary , defines a bludger as 'a thief who will use his bludgeon and lives on the gains of immoral women'. Thus bludger came to mean 'one who lives on the earnings of a prostitute'.

It retained this meaning until the midth century. From the early twentieth century it moved out to be a more general term of abuse, especially as applied to a person who appears to live off the efforts of others as a pimp lives on the earnings of a prostitute.

It was then used to refer to a person engaged in non-manual labour - a white-collar worker. This sense appears as early as , but its typical use is represented by this passage from D. Whitington's Treasure Upon Earth : '"Bludgers" he dubbed them early, because in his language anyone who did not work with his hands at a laboring job was a bludger'.

And so it came to mean 'an idler, one who makes little effort'. In the war newspaper Ack Ack News in we find: 'Who said our sappers are bludgers? Cleary in Just let me be writes: 'Everything I backed ran like a no-hoper. Four certs I had, and the bludgers were so far back the ambulance nearly had to bring 'em home'. And thence to 'a person who does not make a fair contribution to a cost, enterprise etc.

Niland writes in The Shiralee : 'Put the nips into me for tea and sugar and tobacco in his usual style. The biggest bludger in the country'. In J. O'Grady writes: 'When it comes to your turn, return the "shout". Otherwise the word will spread that you are a "bludger", and there is no worse thing to be'. The term dole bludger i. From the following year we have a citation indicating a reaction to the use of the term: Cattleman Rockhampton 'Young people are being forced from their country homes because of a lack of work opportunities and the only response from these so-called political protectors is to label them as dole bludgers'.

Throughout the history of the word, most bludgers appear to have been male. The term bludgeress made a brief appearance in the first decade of this century - 'Latterly, bludgers, so the police say, are marrying bludgeresses' Truth 27 September - but it was shortlived. The word bluey in Australian English has a variety of meanings.

The most common is the swag i. There's the everlasting swaggie with his bluey on his back who is striking out for sunset on the Never-never track. Goodge, Hits! The association of the swaggie and his bluey continues in more recent evidence for the term:. A swaggie suddenly appeared out of the bush, unshaven, with wild, haunted eyes, his bluey and billycan on his back.

Cross, George and Widda-Woman That bluey is later transferred to luggage in general, is perhaps not surprising in an urban society which romanticises its 'bush' tradition:. Canberra Times 19 Nov. The word has been used to denote another item of clothing - denim working trousers or overalls - but the citation evidence indicates the last citation being that this usage is no longer current.

More familiar is the use of bluey to describe a summons, especially for a traffic offence originally printed on blue paper :. Perhaps the most Australian use of bluey is the curious use of it to describe a red-headed person first recorded in :. Paterson, Shearer's Colt : 'Bluey', as the crowd called him, had found another winner. All red-haired men are called 'Bluey' in Australia for some reason or other.

Conquest, Dusty Distances : I found out later that he was a native of New South Wales, called ' Bluey because of his red hair - typical Australian logic. A more literal use of bluey in Australian English is its application to fauna whose names begin with blue and which is predominantly blue in colour:. Ornithologists refer to them as some species of wood swallow They're all 'blueys' to us. There are two senses of the word bodgie in Australian English, both probably deriving from an earlier now obsolete word bodger.

The obsolete bodger probably derives from British dialect bodge 'to work clumsily'. In Australian English in the s and s bodger meant: 'Something or occasionally someone which is fake, false, or worthless'. The noun was also used adjectivally. Typical uses:. Hardy, Power without Glory : This entailed the addition of as many more 'bodger' votes as possible.

Baker, The Australian Language : An earlier underworld and Army use of bodger for something faked, worthless or shoddy. For example, a faked receipt or false name.. The word bodger was altered to bodgie , and this is now the standard form:. White, Silent Reach : This heap is hot - else why did they give it a one-coat spray job over the original white duco and fix it with bodgie number plates? In the s another sense of bodgie arose.

The word was used to describe a male youth, distinguished by his conformity to certain fashions of dress and larrikin behaviour; analogous to the British 'teddy boy':. This sense of bodgie seems to be an abbreviation of the word bodger with the addition of the -ie -y suffix. Mr Hewett says his research indicates that the term 'bodgie' arose around the Darlinghurst area in Sydney. It was just after the end of World War II and rationing had caused a flourishing black market in American-made cloth.

This sense of bodgie belongs primarily to the s, but bodgie in the sense 'fake, false, inferior, worthless' is alive and flourishing in Australian English. An uncultured and unsophisticated person; a boorish and uncouth person. The early evidence is largely confined to teenage slang. Some lexicographers have suspected that the term may derive from the Bogan River and district in western New South Wales, but this is far from certain, and it seems more likely to be an unrelated coinage.

The term became widespread after it was used in the late s by the fictitious schoolgirl 'Kylie Mole' in the television series The Comedy Company. In the Daily Telegraph 29 November , in an article headed 'Same name a real bogan', a genuine schoolgirl named Kylie Mole 'reckons it really sux' " [i.

Someone who wears their socks the wrong way or has the same number of holes in both legs of their stockings. A complete loser'. The earliest evidence we have been able to find for the term is in the surfing magazine Tracks September 'So what if I have a mohawk and wear Dr Martens boots for all you uninformed bogans?

The term has also generated a number of other terms including bogan chick , boganhood , and cashed-up bogan CUB. She had a quiet, middle-class upbringing in Box Hill, attending a private girls' school. Our geographic reach is flexible; residents of Taree and like communities, for example, may readily qualify for Boganhood, usually with little or no burdensome paperwork.

Affectionate, even I'm a bogan because I'm overweight. For further discussions of bogan see our Word of the Month article from Novemeber , and a article 'Bogan: from Obscurity to Australia's most productive Word' in our newsletter Ozwords. To swim or bathe.

Bogey is a borrowing from the Aboriginal Sydney Language. The earliest records show the term being used in the pidgin English of Aborigines:. Bogie d'oway. These were Colby's words on coming out of the water. Dawson, Present State of Australia : 'Top bit, massa, bogy,' bathe and he threw himself into the water. Yes, said Mr Dixon, any two of ye that can swim. Harris, Settlers and Convicts : In the cool of the evening had a 'bogie' bathe in the river.

Flory was much puzzled till she found out that a 'bogey', in colonial phraseology, meant a bath. Mackenzie, Aurukun Diary : A bogey is the Queensland outback word for a bath or bathe. A bogey hole is a 'swimming or bathing hole'. The verb is rare now in Australian English.

For an earlier discussion of bogey see our Word of the Month article from February A wave that forms over a submerged offshore reef or rock, sometimes in very calm weather or at high tide merely swelling but in other conditions breaking heavily and producing a dangerous stretch of broken water.

The word is now commonly used for the reef or rock itself. Horrobin Guide to Favourite Australian Fish ed. Bombora probably derives from the Aboriginal Sydney Language where it may have referred specifically to the current off Dobroyd Head, Port Jackson. Used allusively to refer to a hasty departure or speedy action.

Bondi is the Sydney suburb renowned worldwide for its surf beach. Trams last ran on the line in , but the phrase has remained a part of Australian English. Bonzer is an adjective meaning 'surpassingly good, splendid, great'. In the early records the spelling bonzer alternates with bonser , bonza , and bonzor. The adjective, noun, and adverb are all recorded from the early years of the 20th century:.

Yuong Jack Hansen undertook to sit him but failed at every attempt. Jack states he got a 'bonza on the napper', at one time when thrown. Cable By Blow and Kiss : Came back grinning widely, with the assurance that it [ sc. A fool or simpleton; a stupid person; an uncouth person. Boofhead derives from buffle-headed 'having a head like a buffalo' OED and bufflehead 'a fool, blockhead, stupid fellow' OED.

Bufflehead has disappeared from standard English, but survives in its Australian form boofhead. It was popularised by the use of boofhead as the name of a dimwitted comic strip character invented by R. Clark and introduced in the Sydney Daily Mail in May For an earlier discussion of the word see our Word of the Month article from December We get their boofheads so they can have ours. Boomerang is an Australian word which has moved into International English.

The word was borrowed from an Aboriginal language in the early years of European settlement, but the exact language is still uncertain. Early evidence suggests it was borrowed from a language in, or just south of, the Sydney region. While the spelling boomerang is now standard, in the early period the word was given a variety of spellings: bomerang , bommerang , bomring , boomereng , boomering , bumerang [etc].

The Australian Aboriginal boomerang is a crescent-shaped wooden implement used as a missile or club, in hunting or warfare, and for recreational purposes. The best-known type of boomerang , used primarily for recreation, can be made to circle in flight and return to the thrower.

Although boomerang -like objects were known in other parts of the world, the earliest examples and the greatest diversity of design is found in Australia. A specimen of a preserved boomerang has been found at Wyrie Swamp in South Australia and is dated at 10, years old. Boomerangs were not known throughout the entirety of Australia, being absent from the west of South Australia, the north Kimberley region of Western Australia, north-east Arnhem Land, and Tasmania.

In some regions boomerangs are decorated with designs that are either painted or cut into the wood. Very early in Australian English the term boomerang was used in transferred and figurative senses, especially with reference to something which returns to or recoils upon its author. These senses are now part of International English, but it is interesting to look at the earliest Australian evidence for the process of transfer and figurative use:.

By the s the verbal sense developed another meaning: 'to return in the manner of a boomerang; to recoil upon the author ; to ricochet'. Australia's a big country An' Freedom's humping bluey And Freedom's on the wallaby Oh don't you hear her Cooee, She's just begun to boomerang She'll knock the tyrants silly.

On 13 November the Canberra Times reported that 'Greg Chappell's decision to send England in appeared to have boomeranged'. These verbal senses of boomerang have also moved into International English. For a further discussion of boomerang see the article 'Boomerang, Boomerang, Thou Spirit of Australia! The phrase is first recorded in the s. A tax avoidance scheme. In the late s a large number of bottom of the harbour schemes were operating in corporate Australia.

The term is usually used attributively. Hyland Diamond Dove : The feller in the dock was some fabulous creature - part lawyer, part farmer - who'd been caught in a bottom-of-the-harbour tax avoidance scheme.

An employee responsible for maintaining the outer fences on a station, or a publicly owned vermin-proof fence. This sense of boundary rider is recorded from the s but in more recent years, as a result of changes in technology and modes of transport, this occupation has become relatively rare. Since the s the term has been used of a boundary umpire in Australian Rules Football, a cricketer in a fielding position near the boundary, and a roving reporter at a sporting game.

For a more detailed discussion of the original sense of boundary rider and the later sporting senses see our Word of the Month article from December McGinnis Tracking North : Mechanisation had finally reached the open-range country. There were no more pumpers or boundary riders. Be the unlikely winner of an event; to win an event coming from well behind. For a detailed discussion of this phrase see our blog 'Doing a Bradbury: an Aussie term born in the Winter Olympics' which includes a video of Bradbury's famous win , and our Word of the Month article from August The Socceroos need some of that luck.

The practice of improperly increasing the membership of a local branch of a political party in order to ensure the preselection of a particular candidate. The term is a specific use of branch meaning 'a local division of a political party'. While the practice described by branch stacking has been around for a very long time, the word itself is first recorded in the s.

Leaving immediately; making a hasty departure; at full speed. It is likely that this expression was first used in horseracing to refer to a horse that moved very quickly out of the starting gates. Bray Blossom : 'Come on youse blokes! First sign of a better offer and they are off like a bride's nightie. An invitation to bring a plate of food to share at a social gathering or fundraiser. There are many stories of new arrivals in Australia being bamboozled by the instruction to bring a plate.

As the locals know, a plate alone will not do. In earlier days the request was often ladies a plate , sometimes followed by gentlemen a donation. Ladies bring a plate. Please bring a plate. All welcome. A wild horse. The origin for this term is still disputed. Curr in Australian Race gives booramby meaning 'wild' in the language of the Pitjara or Pidjara or Bidjara people of the region at the headwaters of the Warrego and Nogoa Rivers in south-western Queensland.

This is in the general location of the earliest evidence, but the language evidence has not been subsequently confirmed. This origin was popularised by Paterson in an introduction to his poem 'Brumby's run' printed in A common suggestion is that brumby derives from the proper name Brumby. This theory was also noted by E. Morris in Austral English in 'A different origin was, however, given by an old resident of New South Wales, to a lady of the name Brumby, viz.

Over the years, various Messrs Brumby have been postulated as the origin. More recently, Dymphna Lonergan suggested that the word comes from Irish word bromaigh , the plural form of the word for a young horse, or colt. McGinnis Wildhorse Creek : The country's rotten with brumbies.

A forlorn hope; no prospect whatever. One explanation for the origin of the term is that it comes from the name of the convict William Buckley, who escaped from Port Phillip in and lived for 32 years with Aboriginal people in southern Victoria. A second explanation links the phrase to the Melbourne firm of Buckley and Nunn established in , suggesting that a pun developed on the 'Nunn' part of the firm's name with 'none' and that this gave rise to the formulation 'there are just two chances, Buckley's and none'.

This second explanation appears to have arisen after the original phrase was established. For an earlier discussion about the origin of the term buckley's chance see the article 'Buckley's' in our Ozwords newsletter. It should have been Buckley. Olympus explains that he altered it because he didn't want the Fitzroy men to have 'Buckley's chance'. A pair of close-fitting male swimming briefs made of stretch fabric. The Australian term is probably a variation of the international English grape smugglers for such a garment.

The term is a jocular allusion to the appearance of the garment. Budgie smugglers is first recorded in the late s. For a more detailed discussion of the word see our Word of the Month article from December That, and a thin pair of Speedos so figure-hugging you can see every goosebump - flimsy togs that are known not-all-that-affectionately by us Brown boys as budgie smugglers! A kind of fine powdery dirt or dust, often found in inland Australia. Roads or tracks covered with bulldust may be a hazard for livestock and vehicles, which can become bogged in it.

It is probably called bulldust because it resembles the soil trampled by cattle in stockyards. The word can also be used as a polite way of saying bullshit. Both senses of the word are first recorded in the s. This 'bull' dust might be about two feet deep, and cakes on the surface, so that it is hard to penetrate. I told him that nothing would get within a 'bull's roar' of Agricolo to interfere with him, and such was the case. The term is often found in this phrasal form where it now has several meanings: 'to be financially bankrupt, to come to nought; to fail, to collapse, to break down'.

These figurative senses of bung emerged in the late 19th century. An amphibious monster supposed to inhabit inland waterways. Descriptions of it vary greatly. Some give it a frightful human head and an animal body. Many descriptions emphasise its threat to humans and its loud booming at night. It inhabits inland rivers, swamps, and billabongs. The word comes from the Aboriginal Wathaurong language of Victoria. Bunyip is first recorded in the s.

For a more detailed discussion of this word see the article 'There's a Bunyip Close behind us and he's Treading on my Tail' in our Ozwords newsletter. Venture an attempt; give something a try. This is an Australian alteration of the standard English phrase give it a whirl. Give it a burl is first recorded in the early years of the 20th century. We'll give it a burl, eh? We wanted to give it a burl and see how it went.

We'd do it again. What do you think this is, bush week? These senses of bush week go back to the early 20th century. The phrase originally implied the notion that people from the country are easily fooled by the more sophisticated city slickers. The speaker resents being mistaken for a country bumpkin. Glassop Lucky Palmer : I get smart alecks like you trying to put one over on me every minute of the day.

What do you think this is? Bush Week? Murray Goodbye Lullaby : They had already been warned about the breastfeeding business Beat it, you two! The act or process of criticising the Australian Government and its bureaucracy. Canberra , the capital of Australia, has been used allusively to refer to the Australian Government and its bureaucracy since the s. The term Canberra bashing emerged in the s, and is also applied in criticisms of the city itself.

For a more detailed discussion of the term see our Word of the Month article from February Politicians on both sides have shown a willingness to put the boot into a national capital. In a political context a decision made by a party leader etc. This term also takes the form captain's call. Captain's pick is derived from sporting contexts in which a team captain has the discretion to choose members of the team.

The political sense emerged in Australian English in For a more detailed discussion of this term see our Word of the Month article from January To die; to break down; to fail. Also spelt kark , and often taking the form cark it. The word is probably a figurative use of an earlier Australian sense of cark meaning 'the caw of a crow', which is imitative.

Beilby Gunner : 'That wog ya roughed up - well, he karked. A derogatory term for a person who espouses left-wing views but enjoys an affluent lifestyle. It is modelled on the originally British term, champagne socialist , which has a similar meaning.

The term chardonnay socialist appeared in the s, not long after the grape variety Chardonnay became very popular with Australian wine drinkers. Williamson Emerald City : I'm going to keep charting their perturbations.. A checkout operator at a supermarket. This term usually refers to female checkout operators hence chick , an informal word for a young woman , but with changes in the gender makeup of the supermarket workforce the term is occasionlly applied to males.

Checkout chick is first recorded in the s. For a more detailed discussion of the term see our Word of the Month article from May A domestic fowl; a chicken. Chook is the common term for the live bird, although chook raffles , held in Australian clubs and pubs, have ready-to-cook chooks as prizes.

The term has also been transferred to refer to other birds, and often in the form old chook it can refer to a woman. See our Word of the Month articles 'chook run' and 'chook lit' for further uses of chook. Was he looking after the housemaid or the little chookies? A jocular curse. This expression recalls an earlier time when many Australians kept chooks domestic chickens in the backyard and the dunny was a separate outhouse.

Although I must say this is a very cunning, contrived piece of legislation, if that is what they set out to do. May their chooks turn into emus and kick their dunnies down. To vomit. Chunder possibly comes from a once-popular cartoon character, 'Chunder Loo of Akim Foo', drawn by Norman Lindsay for a series of boot polish advertisements in the early s.

It is possible that 'Chunder Loo' became rhyming slang for spew. Chunder , however, is the only form to be recorded. The earliest evidence is associated with Australian troops in action to the north of Australia during the Second World War. Makes you chunda. Something that is largely illusory or exists in name only; a poor substitute or imitation.

For a more detailed discussion of the word see our blog 'The evolution of a word - the case of Clayton's'. Pung Growing up Asian in Australia : My bikini top is crammed so full of rubbery 'chicken fillets' I'd probably bounce if you threw me.

These Clayton's breasts jiggle realistically when I jump up and down on the spot. An unbranded animal. In the pastoral industry an animal that has not been branded with a mark identifying the owner can easily be stolen or lost. The word is first recorded in the s. There are several transferred and figurative senses of cleanskin that evolved from the orgininal sense.

In the first decade of the 20th century cleanskin began to be used to describe 'an Aboriginal person who has not passed through an initiation rite'. From the s cleanskin was also used of 'a bottle of wine without a label that identifies the maker, sold at a price cheaper than comparable labelled bottles; the wine in such a bottle'. Keenan The Horses too are Gone : In the rangelands an unbranded calf becomes a cleanskin and cleanskins belong to the first person capable of planting a brand on the rump.

A friend, a companion. It is likely that these terms, as well as cobber , found their way into London slang especially from the Jewish population living in the East End , and from there, via British migrants, into Australian English. Cobber , now somewhat dated, is rarely used by young Australians. A small-scale farmer; in later use often applied to a substantial landowner or to the rural interest generally. Cocky arose in the s and is an abbreviation of cockatoo farmer. This was then a disparaging term for small-scale farmers, probably because of their habit of using a small area of land for a short time and then moving on, in the perceived manner of cockatoos feeding.

A person sentenced in the British Isles to a term of penal servitude in an Australian Colony. The foundations of European settlement in Australia are based on the transportation of tens of thousands of prisoners from the British Isles. While in America convict is still used to refer to a prisoner, in Australia it is now largely historical. For a further discussion of this word see our blog 'A long lost convict: Australia's "C-word"? Angas Description of the Barossa Range : No convicts are transported to this place, for South Australia is not a penal colony.

Originally a call used by an Aboriginal person to communicate with someone at a distance; later adopted by settlers and now widely used as a signal, especially in the bush; a name given to the call. The iconic call of the Australian bush comes from the Aboriginal Sydney language word gawi or guwi meaning 'come here'.

Cooee is recorded from the early years of European settlement in Sydney. It is often found in the phrase within cooee meaning 'within earshot; within reach, near'. Cunningham Two Years in New South Wales : In calling to each other at a distance, the natives make use of the word Coo-ee , as we do the word Hollo , prolonging the sound of the coo , and closing that of the ee with a shrill jerk. Lambert Watermen : If I ever see you within coo-ee of my boat again, I'll drown you.

The word is a borrowing from Yuwaaliyaay and neighbouring languages , an Aboriginal language of northern New South Wales. In the earlier period it was was spelt in various ways, including coolabah , coolobar , and coolybah. It is term for any of several eucalypts, especially the blue-leaved Eucalyptus microtheca found across central and northern Australia, a fibrous-barked tree yielding a durable timber and occurring in seasonally flooded areas.

Coolibah is first recorded in the s. Bad, unpleasant or unsatisfactory: Things were crook on the land in the seventies. Crook means bad in a general sense, and also in more specific senses too: unwell or injured a crook knee , and dishonest or illegal he was accused of crook dealings. All senses are recorded from the s. Pratt Wolaroi's Cup : Most stables.. Clune Roaming Round the Darling : My cobber, here, used to sing in opera.

He's a pretty crook singer, but he'll sing for you. Used to indicate the need for a rest in order to settle down, solve a problem, etc. The phrase now often with some variations was originally the title of a a revue at the Phillip Street Theatre in Sydney Not anymore.

A native-born Australian. These terms are now obsolete. These were called currency. An unfashionable person; a person lacking style or character; a socially awkward adolescent, a 'nerd'. These senses of dag derive from an earlier Australian sense of dag meaning 'a "character", someone eccentric but entertainingly so'. Ultimately all these senses of dag are probably derived from the British dialect especially in children's speech sense of dag meaning a 'feat of skill', 'a daring feat among boys', and the phrase to have a dag at meaning 'to have a shot at'.

Dag referring to an unfashionable person etc. Never ever wear a striped suit, a striped shirt and a striped tie together - just dreadful You look like a real dag. Hurry up, get a move on. When a daggy sheep runs, the dried dags knock together to make a rattling sound. The word dag originally daglock was a British dialect word that was borrowed into mainstream Australian English in the s.

Thorne Battler : C'mon Mum, rattle yer dags - the old girls are hungry! To pull down or remove the trousers from a person as a joke or punishment. Dak derives from another Australian term daks meaning 'a pair of trousers'. The term is first recorded from the early s but is probably much older than that.

For a more detailed discussion of dak see our Word of the Month article from July His family didn't know about it until he was dacked during a game this year. A simple kind of bread, traditionally unleavened and baked in the ashes of an outdoor fire. Because it was the most common form of bread for bush workers in the nineteenth century, to earn your damper means to be worth your pay.

Bisley Stillways : We made damper out of flour and water, squeezed it around green sticks to cook over the coals. A commemorative ceremony held at dawn on Anzac Day. Anzac Day, April 25, is a national public holiday in Australia commemorating all those who have served and died in war. While commemorative services have been held on April 25 since , the term dawn service is not recorded until the s.

The didgeridoo is a wind instrument that was originally found only in Arnhem Land in northern Australia. It is a long, wooden, tubular instrument that produces a low-pitched, resonant sound with complex, rhythmic patterns but little tonal variation. In popular understanding many Australians probably believe that this is an Aboriginal word. Subsequent research has cast doubt on this etymology, and in the following statement was made in Australian Aboriginal Words in English : 'Although it has been suggested that this must be a borrowing from an Australian language it is not one.

The name probably evolved from white people's ad hoc imitation of the sound of the instrument'. This argument is supported by two of the earliest pieces of evidence for the term:. It produces but one sound - 'didjerry, didjerry, didjerry -' and so on ad infinitum. First recorded in this sense It came to France when the sandgropers gave up digging on the goldfields of W. They include a major who planned an 'unprecedented operation' to capture a rogue Afghan sergeant who murdered three Australian diggers.

Reliable; genuine; honest; true. This word is a shortening of fair dinkum which comes from British dialect. The adjective is first recorded in Australia from the s. For a more detailed discussion of dinkum see the article 'The Story of Dinkum' on our blog.

The starting point is to make the debate more dinkum. The phrase was first recorded in This may give a clue to the source of the phrase. If you are done like a dinner , you are completely and efficiently demolished. Bride Letters from Victorian Pioneers : The horse swam for a quarter of a mile down the river with the cart after him.. To inform upon someone ; to incriminate someone. The word is probably related to British dialect dob meaning 'to put down an article heavily or clumsily; to throw down', and 'to throw stones etc.

Dob is first recorded in the s. For a more detailed discussion of this term see the article 'The Story of Dob' on our blog. Bisley Stillways : He used to sell single cigarettes to kids, and although it was common knowledge, he had never been busted and no one ever dobbed on him.

This example illustrates the way the origins of words and phrases can be lost with changes in technology.

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IRISH POLITICAL BETTING

The virtual reality community website Secondlife was among the first to popularise the moden use of the word in website identities, and it's fascinating how the modern meaning has been adapted from the sense of the original word. The idea of losing a baby when disposing of a bathtub's dirty water neatly fits the meaning, but the origins of the expression are likely to be no more than a simple metaphor.

Murner, who was born in and died in , apparently references the baby and bathwater expression several times in his book, indicating that he probably did not coin the metaphor and that it was already established in Germany at that time. Thanks MS for assistance. Later the use of bandbox was extended to equate to a hatbox, so the meaning of the phrase alludes to someone's appearance, especially their clothing, being as smart as a new hat fresh out of a hatbox. In more recent times, as tends to be with the evolution of slang, the full expression has been shortened simply to 'bandbox'.

In the US bandbox is old slang late s, through to the early s for a country workhouse or local prison, which, according to Cassells also referred later ss to a prison from which escape is easy. These US slang meanings are based on allusion to the small and not especially robust confines of a cardboard hatbox. I am additionally informed thanks V Smith that bandbox also refers to a small ballpark stadium with short boundaries enabling relatively easy home runs to be struck in baseball games.

The bandbox expression in baseball seemingly gave rise to the notion of band's box in a small theatre, which could be either an additional or alternative root of the expression when it is used in the baseball stadium context. Quite separately I am informed thanks I Sandon that 'bandboxing' is a specific term in the air traffic control industry: " The idea is that as workload permits, sectors can be combined and split again without having to change the frequencies that aircraft are on.

You may have noticed that for a particular 'SID' 'standard instrument departure' - the basic take-off procedure you are almost always given the same frequency after departure. By 'bandboxing' two adjacent sectors working them from a single position rather than two you can work aircraft in the larger airspace at one time saving staff and also simplifying any co-ordination that may have taken place when they are 'split'. To facilitate this the two frequencies are 'cross-coupled'. This means that the controller transmits on both frequencies simultaniously and when an aircraft calls on one, the transmission is retransmitted on the second frequency.

Therefore the pilots are much less likely to step on one another and it appears as if all aircraft are on the same frequency. Then when traffic loading requires the sectors to be split once more, a second controller simply takes one of the frequencies from the other, the frequencies are un-cross-coupled, and all being well there is a seamless transition from the pilots' perspective! I am therefore at odds with most commentators and dictionaries for suggesting the following: The 'bring home the bacon' expression essentially stems from the fact that bacon was the valuable and staple meat provision of common people hundreds of years ago, and so was an obvious metaphor for a living wage or the provision of basic sustenance.

Peasants and poor town-dwelling folk in olden times regarded other meats as simply beyond their means, other than for special occasions if at all. Bacon was a staple food not just because of availability and cost but also because it could be stored for several weeks, or most likely hung up somewhere, out of the dog's reach.

Other reasons for the significance of the word bacon as an image and metaphor in certain expressions, and for bacon being a natural association to make with the basic needs of common working people, are explained in the 'save your bacon' meanings and origins below. Additionally the 'bring home the bacon' expression, like many other sayings, would have been appealing because it is phonetically pleasing to say and to hear mainly due to the 'b' alliteration repetition.

Expressions which are poetic and pleasing naturally survive and grow - 'Bring home the vegetables' doesn't have quite the same ring. According to Allen's English Phrases there could possibly have been a contributory allusion to pig-catching contests at fairs, and although at first glance the logic for this seems not to be strong given the difference between a live pig or a piglet and a side of cured bacon the suggestion gains credibility when we realise that until the late middle ages bacon referred more loosely to the meat of a pig, being derived from German for back.

Whatever, the idea of 'bringing home' implicity suggests household support, and the metaphor of bacon as staple sustenance is not only supported by historical fact, but also found in other expressions of olden times. Given so much association between bacon and common people's basic dietary needs it is sensible to question any source which states that 'bring home the bacon' appeared no sooner than the 20th century, by which time ordinary people had better wider choice of other sorts of other meat, so that then the metaphor would have been far less meaningful.

In other words, why would people have fixed onto the bacon metaphor when it was no longer a staple and essential presence in people's diets? Fascinatingly the establishment and popularity of the expression was perhaps also supported if not actually originally underpinned by the intriguing 13th century custom at Dunmow in Essex, apparently according to Brewer founded by a noblewoman called Juga in and restarted in by Robert de Fitzwalter, whereby any man from anywhere in England who, kneeling on two stones at the church door, could swear that for the past year he had not argued with his wife nor wished to be parted from her, would be awarded a 'gammon of bacon'.

Seemingly this gave rise to the English expression, which according to Brewer was still in use at the end of the s 'He may fetch a flitch of bacon from Dunmow' a flitch is a 'side' of bacon; a very large slab , which referred to a man who was amiable and good-tempered to his wife.

This meaning is very close to the modern sense of 'bringing home the bacon': providing a living wage and thus supporting the family. Brewer says one origin is the metaphor of keeping the household's winter store of bacon protected from huge numbers of stray scavenging dogs. In that sense the meaning was to save or prevent a loss.

The establishment of the expression however relies on wider identification with the human form: Bacon and pig-related terms were metaphors for 'people' in several old expressions of from 11th to 19th century, largely due to the fact that In the mid-to-late middle ages, bacon was for common country people the only meat affordably available, which caused it and associated terms hog, pig, swine to be used to describe ordinary country folk by certain writers and members of the aristocracy.

Norman lords called Saxon people 'hogs'. A 'chaw-bacon' was a derogatory term for a farm labourer or country bumpkin chaw meant chew, so a 'chaw-bacon' was the old equivalent of the modern insult 'carrot-cruncher'. See also 'bring home the bacon'. It's simply a shortening of 'The bad thing that happened was my fault, sorry'. The word bad in this case has evolved to mean 'mistake which caused a problem'.

It's another example of the tendency for language to become abbreviated for more efficient and stylised communications. In this case the abbreviation is also a sort of teenage code, which of course young people everywhere use because they generally do not wish to adopt lifestyle and behaviour advocated by parents, teachers, authority, etc. For new meanings of words to evolve there needs to be a user-base of people that understands the new meanings.

Initially the 'my bad' expression was confined to a discrete grouping, ie. Now it seems the understanding and usage of the 'my bad' expression has grown, along with the students, and entered the mainstream corporate world, no doubt because US middle management and boardrooms now have a high presence of people who were teenagers at college or university 20 years ago. I am also informed thanks K Korkodilos that the 'my bad' expression was used in the TV series 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', and that this seems to have increased its popular mainstream usage during the s, moreover people using the expression admitted to watching the show when asked about the possible connection.

Additionally thanks M Woolley apparently the 'my bad' expression is used by the Fred character in the new Scooby Doo TV series, which is leading to the adoption of the phrase among the under-5's in London, and logically, presumbly, older children all over England too. There is it seems no stopping this one..

Also, thanks J Davis " There's a common Mexican phrase, 'Mi malo', which means, literally, 'My bad', and it may be where this comes from, since it's a common phrase here in Southern California, and was before Buffy was ever on the air.. Furthemore, thanks J Susky, Sep " I'm fairly sure I first heard it in the summer, outdoors, in Anchorage, Alaska - which would put it pre-Sept If you know more please tell me.

A still earlier meaning of the word was more precisely 'a jumbled mixture of words', and before that from Scandinavia 'a mixture'. Skeat's dictionary provides the most useful clues as to origins: Scandinavian meanings were for 'poor stuff' or a 'poor weak drink', which was obviously a mixture of sorts.

In Danish 'balder' was noise or clatter, and the word danske was slap or flap, which led to an older alternative meaning of a 'confused noise', or any mixture. Certain dictionaries suggest an initial origin of a frothy drink from the English 16thC, but this usage was derived from the earlier 'poor drink' and 'mixture' meanings and therefore was not the root, just a stage in the expression's development.

Balti is generally now regarded as being the anglicised name of the pan in which the balti dish is cooked, a pan which is conventionally known as the 'karai' in traditional Urdu language. The mythological explanation is that the balti pan and dish are somehow connected with the supposed 'Baltistan' region of Pakistan, or a reference to that region by imaginative England-based curry house folk, who seem first to have come up with the balti menu option during the s.

Indeed Hobson Jobson, the excellent Anglo-Indian dictionary, 2nd edition , lists the word 'balty', with the clear single meaning: 'a bucket'. In larger families or when guests visit, the need for larger pots arose. Balti dishes originate from Pakistan, customarily cooked in a wok style pan outside hotels and people's homes. The process is based on boiling the meat of chicken or goat on low heat with garlic and chilli powder in some cases until it is tender and the water reduced to a sauce.

Then fresh tomatoes, green chillies, ginger and spices are added, and the meat is fried until a sauce is produced. Renowned as an extra spicy dish, the Balti is revered by young and old. See also the derivation of the racial term 'Gringo', which has similar origins. Another school of thought and possible contributory origin is that apparently in Latin there was such a word as 'barba' meaning beard.

A Roman would visit the tonsor to have his beard shaved, and the non Romans, who frequently wore beards barbas , were thereby labelled barbarians. Ack AA for the beard theory. I am additionally informed thanks S Walker that perhaps the earliest derivation of babble meaning unintelligible speech is from the ancient Hebrew word for the city of Babel meaning Babylon , which is referred to in the Bible, Genesis - "Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth, and thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Many people seem now to infer a meaning of the breath being metaphorically 'baited' like a trap or a hook, waiting to catch something instead of the original non-metaphorical original meaning, which simply described the breath being cut short, or stopped as with a sharp intake of breath. The expression appears in Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice as bated , which dates its origin as 16th century or earlier.

The word bate is a shortened form of abate, both carrying the same meaning to hold back, reduce, stop, etc , and first appeared in the s, prior to which the past tense forms were baten and abaten. Ack J Vaughan. And if you like more detail ack K Dahm : when soldiers marched to or from a battle or between encampments in a column, there was a van, a main body, and a rear. On the battlefield the forces would open up to a broad front, with scouts forward to locate the other side, the main lines, and one or several reserves to the rear.

The cavalry, or mobile force, would be separate and often on the outer edges of the formation. Each side would line up in a similar fashion, allowing for terrain and personal preference between the width of the line and the depth.

When the opposing lines clashed, there would be a zone between them where fighting took place. Since there would be differences in ability and local strength, the lines would often bend and separate. The front lines formed by each force could also be called battle lines. The soldiers behind the front lines wesre expected to step up into the place of the ones ahead when they fell, and to push forward otherwise, such that 15th centruy and earlier battles often became shoving matches, with the front lines trying to wield weapons in a crush of men.

The classic British Army of the Colonial and Napoleanic eras used a line that was three men deep, with the ranks firing and reloading in sequence. Since it took between 40 and 60 seconds to reload, that meant a volley fired every seconds, which proved devestating to the opposing line. This formation and similar ones were used until the American Civil War, and later by other European powers. What ended the practice was the invention of magazine-fed weapons and especially machine guns, which meant that an opposing line could be rapidly killed.

After the Great War, dispersion became the main means of fighing, with much looser units linking side to side to protect each others flanks, which became the WWII paradigm. There are various suggestions for the origins of beak meaning judge or magistrate, which has been recorded as a slang expression since the midth century, but is reasonably reliably said to have been in use in the 16th century in slightly different form, explained below.

Francis Grose's Vulgar Tongue dictionary of Buckish Slang and Pickpocket Eloquence includes the entry: Beak - a justice of the peace or magistrate. In the 19th century the term beak also referred to a sherif's officer English or a policeman, and later beak was adopted as slang also by schoolchildren for a schoolmaster. I am informed on this point thanks K Madley that the word beak is used for a schoolmaster in a public school in Three School Chums by John Finnemore, which was published in In the First World War being up before the beak meant appearing before an elderly officer.

Brewer's slang dictionary suggests beak derives from an Anglo-Saxon word beag, which was " Brewer also cites an alternative: " In considering this idea, it is possible of course that this association was particularly natural given the strange tendency of men's noses to grow with age, so that old judges and other elderly male figures of authority would commonly have big noses. Other theories include suggestions of derivation from a Celtic word meaning judgement, which seems not to have been substantiated by any reputable source, although interestingly and perhaps confusingly the French for beak, bec, is from Gaulish beccus, which might logically be connected with Celtic language, and possibly the Celtic wordstem bacc-, which means hook.

Partridge says that the earlier form was beck, from the th centuries, meaning a constable, which developed into beak meaning judge by about , although Grose's entry would date this development perhaps years prior. And finally to confuse matters more, Cassells Jonathan Green slang dictionary throws in the obscure nevertheless favoured by Cassells connection with harman-beck, also harman, which were slang terms for constable combining harman meaning hard-man it is suggested, with beck or bec , from the mid 16th century.

As with several other slang origins, the story is not of a single clear root, more like two or three contributory meanings which combine and support the end result. Earlier versions of the expression with the same meaning were: 'You got out of bed the wrong way', and 'You got out of bed with the left leg foremost' which perhaps explains why today's version, which trips off the tongue rather more easily, developed.

According to Chambers, Bedlam was first recorded as an alternative name for the hospital in , and as a word meaning chaos or noisy confusion in , evolving naturally from slightly earlier use in referring to a madhouse or lunatic asylum. Bedlam is an example of a contraction in language. Thanks S Taylor for help clarifying this. Bees have long been a metaphorical symbol because they are icons everyone can recognise, just as we have many sayings including similarly appealing icons like cats and dogs.

Earlier references to the size of a 'bee's knee' - meaning something very small for example 'as big as a bee's knee' - probably provided a the basis for adaptation into its modern form, which according to the OED happened in the USA, not in UK English. Neither 'the bees knees', nor 'big as a bees knee' appear in Brewer, which indicates that the expression grew or became popular after this time. Based on Nigel Rees' well researched and reliable dating of for first recorded use, it is likely that earliest actual usage was perhaps a few years before this.

It's certainly true that the origin of the word bereave derives from the words rob and robbed. It's true also that the words reaver and reiver in Middle English described a raider, and the latter specifically a Scottish cross-border cattle raider. However the word bereave derives says Chambers from the Old English word bereafian, which meant robbed or dispossessed in a more general sense. It's a very old word: Reafian meaning rob appears in Beowulf The 'be' prefix is Old English meaning in this context to make or to cause, hence bereafian.

The 'be' prefix and word reafian are cognate similar with the Old Frisian North Netherlands word birava, and also with the Old High German word biroubon. These and other cognates similar words from the same root can be traced back to very ancient Indo-European roots, all originating from a seminal meaning of rob. Incidentally Cassells says the meaning of bereave in association with death first appeared in English only in the s, so the robbed meaning persisted until relatively modern times given the very old origins of the word.

Thanks J R for raising the question. In fact the expression 'baer-saerk' with 'ae' pronounced as 'a' in the word 'anyhow' , means bear-shirt, which more likely stemmed from the belief that these fierce warriors could transform into animals, especially bears and wolves, or at least carry the spirit of the animal during extreme battle situations.

Thanks Cornelia for this more precise derivation. This derivation is also supported by the Old Icelandic word 'Beserkr', meaning 'bear-shirt'. I am additionally informed thanks F Tims that: " By their account, the 'bar-sark' was worn only by members of the Norse chieftan's personal bodyguard, they being the most ferocious, and thus the most feared, of the Vikings plundering eastern Scotland and the hapless Dane-mark.

So, according to the book, the term does not apply to all invading Vikings, just the more obnoxious. In the book, also, the Norse word 'bar' or 'baer', as the case may be means 'wolf', from the hide of which the shirt was made, so it would be a 'wolf-shirt' Champions - Professed fighting men were often kept by kings and earls about their court as useful in feud and fray. Harald Fairhair's champions are admirably described in the contemporary Raven Song by Hornclofe - "Wolf-coats they call them that in battle bellow into bloody shields.

They wear wolves' hides when they come into the fight, and clash their weapons together These baer-sarks, or wolf coats of Harald give rise to an Old Norse term, 'baer sark', to describe the frenzy of fight and fury which such champions indulged in, barking and howling, and biting their shield-rims Voltaire wrote in ' If this is best of possible worlds If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others?.. Another famous writer of his time, though less renowned today American James Branch Cable, , might well have contributed to the popular use of the term when he used it in his novel 'The Silver Stallion' in , when he created a frequently repeated ironically amusing expression in its own right: ' The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true..

The fact that the quotes feature in the definitive quotations work, Bartletts Familiar Quotations first published and still going bears out the significance of the references. Related no doubt to this, the s expression 'biblical neckline' was a euphemistic sexual slang term for a low neckline a pun on the 'lo and behold' expression found in the bible. Thanks Ben for suggesting the specific biblical quote. It is both a metaphor based on the size of the bible as a book, and more commonly a description by association to many of the particularly disastrous epic events described in the bible, for example: famines, droughts, plagues of locusts, wars, mass exodus, destruction of cities and races, chariots of fire, burning bushes, feeding of thousands, parting of seas, etc.

The use of the word biblical to mean huge seems first to have been applied first to any book of huge proportions, which was according to Cassells etymology dictionary first recorded in in a work called Piers Ploughman. It is logical that over the centuries since then that the extension of 'biblical proportions' to describe huge events would have occurred in common speech quite naturally, because the association is so appropriate and obvious. The slang 'big cheese' is a fine example of language from a far-away or entirely foreign culture finding its way into modern life and communications, in which the users have very awareness or appreciation of its different cultural origins.

This would suggest that some distortion or confusion led to the expression's development. It's easy to imagine that people confused the earlier meaning with that of the female garment and then given the feminine nature of the garment, attached the derogatory weak 'girly' or 'sissy' meaning.

I received this helpful information thanks N Swan, April about the expression: " Hence perhaps the northern associations and s feel. A catchphrase can get into the public vernacular very rapidly - in a very similar vein, I've heard people referring to their friends as a 'Nancy Boy Potter', a name taken directly from the schoolmaster sketch in Rowan Atkinson's mids one-man show Kipling reinforced the expression when he wrote in that the secret of power ' It's the liftable stick.

The term is found also in pottery and ceramic glazing for the same reason. Takes the biscuit seems according to Patridge to be the oldest of the variations of these expressions, which essentially link achievement metaphorically to being awarded a baked confectionery prize.

Heaven knows why though, and not even Partridge can suggest any logic for that one. Incidentally, the expression 'takes the biscuit' also appears thanks C Freudenthal more than once in the dialogue of a disreputable character in one of James Joyce's Dubliners stories, published in I am informed additionally thanks J Finnie, Verias Vincit History Group, Oct of a different interpretation, paraphrased thus: Rather than bullets, historic accounts tell of men bitting down on leather straps when undergoing primative medical practice.

Biting on a round metal brass bullet would have been both a potential choking hazard, and extremely hard to do. However in the days of paper cartridges, a soldier in a firing line would have 'bitten off' the bullet, to allow him to pour the gunpowder down the barrel, before spitting the ball bullet down after the powder, then ramming the paper in as wadding. This would have left a salty nasty-tasting traces of gun powder in the soldier's mouth. So, 'bite the bullet' in this respect developed as a metaphor referring to doing something both unpleasent and dangerous.

If you can offer any further authoritative information about the origins of this phrase please let me know. With hindsight, the traditional surgical metaphor does seem a little shaky. When the rope had been extended to the bitter end there was no more left. Captain Stuart Nicholls MNI contacted me to clarify further: "Bitter end is in fact where the last link of the anchor chain is secured to the vessel's chain locker, traditionally with a weak rope link. Nowadays it is attached through the bulkhead to a sturdy pin.

The term 'bitter end' is as it seems to pay out the anchor until the bitter end. Incidentally, the expression 'He's swinging the lead ' comes from days before sonar was used to detect under keel depth. A man was placed forward and swung a lead weight with a length of rope. A difficult and tiring task, so seamen would often be seen from aft 'swinging the lead' instead of actually letting go. The origin also gave us the word 'bride'.

Strictly for the birds. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable certainly makes no mention of it which suggests it is no earlier than 20th century. The term alludes the small brains of birds, and expressions such as 'bird-brain', as a metaphor for people of limited intelligence. The balls were counted and if there were more blacks than reds or whites then the membership application was denied - the prospective new member was 'blackballed'.

In addition I am informed by one who seems to know To vote for admitting the new person, the voting member transfers a white cube to another section of the box. To vote against, a black ball is inserted. One black ball is enough to exclude the potential member. See also 'pipped at the post' the black ball was called a pip - after the pip of a fruit, in turn from earlier similar words which meant the fruit itself, eg pippin, and the Greek, pepe for melon - so pipped became another way or saying blackballed or defeated.

These, from their constant attendance about the time of the guard mounting, were nick-named the blackguards. These various explanations, origins and influences of the 'black Irish' expression, from a range of sources including Cassells, Hobson-Jobson, Oxford, Chambers, historical writings on Irish history, specialist online discussion groups, are as follows:. In summary, despite there being no evidence in print, there seems to me to be sufficient historical evidence as to the validity of the Armada theory as being the main derivation and that other usages are related to this primary root.

I say this because: there is truth in the history; it is likely that many Spanish came ashore and settled after the Armada debacle, and people of swarthy appearance were certainly called black. Also the Armada theory seems to predate the other possible derivations. From this point the stories and legends about the Armada and the 'black Irish' descendents would have provided ample material for the expression to become established and grow. Following this, the many other usages, whether misunderstandings of the true origin and meaning ie.

A simple example sent to me thanks S Price is the derogatory and dubious notion that the term refers to Irish peasants who burnt peat for fuel, which, according to the story, produces a fine soot causing people to take on a black appearance. The 'black Irish' expression will no doubt continue to be open to widely varying interpretations and folklore.

I am also informed thanks C Parker of perhaps another explanation for the 'Mediterranean' appearance darker skin and hair colouring notably of some Irish people and giving rise to the Black Irish term, namely the spread of refugee Spanish Moors across Europe, including into Ireland, in the 8th, 9th and 17th centuries. If anyone knows of any specific references which might support this notion and to link it with the Black Irish expression please tell me.

Nor sadly do official dictionaries give credence to the highly appealing suggestion that the black market expression derives from the illicit trade in stolen graphite in England and across the English channel to France and Flanders, during the reign of Elizabeth I It is true that uniquely pure and plentiful graphite deposits were mined at Borrowdale, Cumbria, England.

And there was seemingly a notable illegal trade in the substance. In the 16th century graphite was used for moulds in making cannon balls, and was also in strong demand for the first pencils. The Borrowdale mine was apparently the only large source of pure graphite in Europe, perhaps globally, and because of its military significance and value, it was taken over by the Crown in Elizabeth I's reign.

The mine and its graphite became such a focus of theft and smuggling that, according to local history thanks D Hood , this gave rise to the expression 'black market'. Frustratingly however, official reference books state that the black market term was first recorded very much later, around This is a pity because the Borrowdale graphite explanation is fascinating, appealing, and based on factual history. However, while a few years, perhaps a few decades, of unrecorded use may predate any first recorded use of an expression, several hundred years' of no recorded reference at all makes it impossible to reliably validate such an origin.

We might conclude that given the research which goes into compiling official reference books and dictionaries, underpinned by the increasing opportunity for submitted evidence and corrections over decades, its is doubtful that the term black market originated from a very old story or particular event.

If there were any such evidence it would likely have found its way into the reference books by now. The expression black market is probably simply the logical use of the word black to describe something illegal, probably popularised by newspapers or other commentators.

The word black is a natural choice and readily understood for describing anything negative, theatening or illicit, and has been used, in some cases for centuries, to describe all sorts of unapproved, sinister or illegal things - e.

The first use and popularity of the black market term probably reflect the first time in Western history that consumer markets were tightly regulated and undermined on a very wide and common scale, in the often austere first half of the s, during and between the world wars of and more so in Further to the above entry I am informed thanks Dr A Summers, Mar of another fascinating suggestion of origin: " The market town of Crieff in Perthshire was the main cattle market up till , but at the start there was opposition from the Provost in Perth, so there was an illegal trade in cattle before it became the official Drover's Tryst or cattle market.

The cattle were known as The Black hence the origin of the regiment The Black Watch, a militia started to protect the drovers from rustlers so the illegal market was known as the 'black market' Legend has it that whoever kisses the blarney stone will enjoy the same ability as MacCarthy. When a person is said to 'have kissed the Blarney stone', it is a reference to their having the gift of persuasion. Another interpretation thanks R Styx , and conceivably a belief once held by some, is that sneezing expelled evil spirits from a person's body.

A contributory factor was the association of sneezing with the Black Death Bubonic Plague which ravaged England and particularly London in the 14th and 17th centuries. In more recent times the expression has been related ack D Slater to the myth that sneezing causes the heart to stop beating, further reinforcing the Bless You custom as a protective superstition.

Perhaps also influenced by African and African-American 'outjie', leading to okey without the dokey , meaning little man. Various references have been cited in Arabic and Biblical writings to suggest that it was originally based on Middle- and Far-Eastern customs, in which blood rituals symbolised bonds that were stronger than family ones.

However the expression has certainly been in use for hundreds of years with its modern interpretation - ie. In this sense, the metaphor is such an obvious one that it is likely to have evolved separately from the supposed 'blood brothers' meaning, with slightly different variations from different societies, over the many hundreds of years that the expression has been in use. Bloody seems to have acquired the unacceptable 'swearing' sense later than when first used as a literal description bloody battle, bloody body, bloody death, bloody assizes, etc or as a general expression of extreme related to the older associations of the blood emotions or feelings in the four temperaments or humours , which were very significant centuries ago in understanding the human condition and mood, etc.

The modern expression bloody-minded still carries this sense, which connects with the qualities of the blood temperament within the four humours concept. The mild oath ruddy is a very closely linked alternative to bloody, again alluding to the red-faced characteristics within the four humours. Oxford Word Histories confirms bloody became virtually unprintable around the mids, prior to which it was not an offensive term even when used in a non-literal sense i. In terms of a major source or influence on the expression's development, Oxford agrees largely with Brewer's dictionary of phrase and fable, which explains that the use of the word 'bloody' in the expletive sense " Rowdy aristocrats were called 'Bloods' after the term for a thoroughbred horse, a 'blood-horse' as in today's 'bloodstock' term, meaning thoroughbred horses.

Clearly, the blood-horse metaphor captures both the aristocratic and unpredictable or wild elements of this meaning. The use of blood in this 'aristocratic' sense would have been reinforced by other similar metaphors: 'blood' was and still is a term used also to refer to family descent, and appears in many other lineage-related expressions, such as 'blood is thicker than water' people are more loyal to their family members than to other people and 'blue blood' royalty or aristocratic people - an expression coming into England from France where 'sang blue' means of high aristocratic descent, the notion originating in Spain when it was believed that pre-Moorish old Spanish families had blue blood whereas the common people's blood was black.

The blue blood imagery would have been strengthened throughout Western society by the idea of aristocratic people having paler skin, which therefore made their veins and blood appear more blue than normal people's. It is commonly suggested thanks B Bunker, J Davis that 'bloody' is a corruption of a suggested oath, 'By our Lady', which could have contributed to the offensive perception of the expression, although I believe would not have been its origin as an expletive per se.

Whatever, extending this point thanks A Sobot , the expression 'By our Lord' might similarly have been retrospectively linked, or distorted to add to the 'bloody' mix. The flag is a blue rectangle with a solid white rectangle in the middle; 'peter' is from the French, 'partir' meaning 'to leave'. Additionally, ack G Jackson , the blue and white 'blue peter' flag is a standard nautical signal flag which stands for the letter 'P'.

The letter 'P' is associated with the word 'peter' in many phonetic alphabets, including those of the English and American military, and it is possible that this phonetic language association was influenced by the French 'partir' root. Phonetic alphabet details. This table meaning of board is how we got the word boardroom too, and the popular early s piece of furniture called a sideboard.

See also the expression 'sweep the board', which also refers to the table meaning of board. In this sense the expression also carried a hint of sarcastic envy or resentment, rather like it's who you know not what you know that gets results, or 'easy when you know how'. Since then the meaning has become acknowledging, announcing or explaining a result or outcome that is achieved more easily than might be imagined.

Nowadays the term 'bohemian' does not imply gypsy associations necessarily or at all, instead the term has become an extremely broad and flexible term for people, behaviour, lifestyle, places, atmosphere, attitudes, etc. Thus, a person could be described as bohemian; so could a coffee-shop, or a training course or festival. Bohemian is a fascinating word - once a geographical region, and now a description of style which can be applied and interpreted in many different ways.

The sense is in giving someone a small concession begrudgingly, as a token, or out of sympathy or pity. The giver an individual or a group is in a position of dominance or authority, and the recipient of the bone is seeking help, approval, agreement, or some other positive response. It is a simple metaphor based on the idea of throwing a hungry dog a bone to chew on a small concession instead of some meat which the dog would prefer.

The metaphor also alludes to the sense that a bone provides temporary satisfaction and distraction, and so is a tactical or stalling concession, and better than nothing. It is not widely used in the UK and it is not in any of my reference dictionaries, which suggests that in the English language it is quite recent - probably from the end of the 20th century. According to various online discussions about this expression it is apparently featured in a film, as the line, "Throw me a bone down here Apparently ack Matthew Stone the film was first Austin Powers movie 'Austin Powers:International Man of Mystery' , from a scene in which Dr Evil is trying to think of schemes, but because he has been frozen for years, his ideas have either already happened or are no longer relevant and so attract little enthusiasm, which fits the expression's meaning very well.

I am further informed ack P Nix " It most certainly appeared prior to the Austin Powers movies since the usage of it in the movie was intended to be a humorous use of the already commonly used expression. It is also commonly used in the United States as 'Toss me a bone. In Argentina we use that expression very often.

It is not pityful pitying at all It may have a funny meaning too I'm not sure of the origin of this phrase, but it was used in in French in 'The Law' by Frederic Bastiat. Here it is translated - 'The excluded classes will furiously demand their right to vote - and will overthrow society rather than not to obtain it. Even beggars and vagabonds will then prove to you that they also have an incontestable title to vote. They will say to you: "We cannot buy wine, tobacco, or salt without paying the tax.

And a part of the tax that we pay is given by law - in privileges and subsidies - to men who are richer than we are. Others use the law to raise the prices of bread, meat, iron, or cloth. Thus, since everyone else uses the law for his own profit, we also would like to use the law for our own profit. We demand from the law the right to relief, which is the poor man's plunder. To obtain this right, we also should be voters and legislators in order that we may organize Beggary on a grand scale for our own class, as you have organized Protection on a grand scale for your class.

Now don't tell us beggars that you will act for us, and then toss us, as Mr. Mimerel proposes, , francs to keep us quiet, like throwing us a bone to gnaw. We have other claims. And anyway, we wish to bargain for ourselves as other classes have bargained for themselves! The extract does not prove that the expression was in wide use in France in the mids, but it does show a similar and perhaps guiding example for interpreting the modern usage.

If you know anything more about the origins of "throw me a bone" - especially the expression occurring in a language other than English, please tell me. The gannet-like seabird, the booby, is taken from Spanish word for the bird, bobo, which came into English around There seems no evidence for the booby bird originating the meaning of a foolish person, stupid though the booby bird is considered to be.

The sense of booby meaning fool extended later to terms like booby-trap and booby-hatch lunatic asylum , and also to the verb form of boob, meaning to make a mistake or blunder i. I am informed thanks Mr Morrison that the wilderness expert Ray Mears suggested booby-trap derives from the old maritime practice of catching booby seabirds when they flew onto ships' decks.

The US later early 20th C adapted the word boob to mean a fool. The ultimate origins can be seen in the early development of European and Asian languages, many of which had similar words meaning babble or stammer, based on the repetitive 'ba' sound naturally heard or used to represent the audible effect or impression of a stammerer or a fool. It is probable that this basic 'baba' sound-word association also produced the words babe and baby, and similar variations in other languages.

The mainly UK-English reference to female breasts boob, boobs, boob-tube, etc is much more recent s - boob-tube was s although these derive from the similar terms bubby and bubbies. Separately, thanks B Puckett, since the s, 'boob-tube' has been US slang for a television, referring to idiocy on-screen, and the TV cathode-ray 'tube' technology, now effectively replaced by LCD flatscreens.

Incidentally a UK 'boob-tube' garment is in the US called a 'tube-top'. Returning to boobs meaning breasts, Partridge amusingly notes that bubby is 'rare in the singular Bubby and bubbies meaning breasts appeared in the late s, probably derived from the word bub, both noun and verb for drink, in turn probably from Latin bibire, perhaps reinforced by allusion to the word bubble, and the aforementioned 'baba' sound associated with babies.

My thanks to John L for raising the question of the booby, initially seeking clarification of its meaning in the Gilbert and Sullivan line from Trial by Jury, when the judge sings "I'd a frock-tailed coat of a beautiful blue, and brief that I bought for a booby Men who 'took the King's shilling' were deemed to have contracted to serve in the armed forces, and this practice of offering the shilling inducement led to the use of the technique in rather less honest ways, notably by the navy press-gangs who would prey on drunks and unsuspecting drinkers close to port.

Unscrupulous press-gangers would drop a shilling into a drinker's pint of ale, which was then in a pewter or similar non-transparent vessel , and if the coin was undetected until the ale was consumed the press-gangers would claim that the payment had been accepted, whereupon the poor victim would be dragged away to spend years at sea. Pubs and drinkers became aware of this practice and the custom of drinking from glass-bottom tankards began.

The 'bottoms up' expression then naturally referred to checking for the King's shilling at the bottom of the tankard. Ack J Burbedge. This expression is a wonderful example of how certain expressions origins inevitably evolve, without needing necessarily any particular origin. There might be one of course, but it's very well buried if there is, and personally I think the roots of the saying are entirely logical, despite there being no officially known source anywhere.

Partridge for instance can offer only that brass monkey in this sense was first recorded in the s with possible Australian origins. Cassells says late s and possible US origins. The OED is no more helpful either in suggesting the ultimate source. Allen's English Phrases is more revealing in citing an source unfortunately not named : "He was told to be silent, in a tone of voice which set me shaking like a monkey in frosty weather In fact the expression most likely evolved from another early version 'Cold enough to freeze the tail off a brass monkey', which apparently is first recorded in print in Charles A Abbey's book Before the Mast in the Clippers, around , which featured the author's diaries from his time aboard American clippers fast merchant sailing ships from The switch from tail to balls at some stage probably around the turn of the s proved irresistible to people, for completely understandable reasons: it's much funnier, much more illustrative of bitter cold, and the alliteration repeating of the B sound is poetically much more pleasing.

The notion of a brass monkey would have appealed on many levels: monkeys have long been associated with powerful imagery three wise monkeys - see no evil, etc and the word is incorporated within various popular terminology monkey wrench, monkey puzzle, monkey suit, etc. And aside from the allusion to brass monkey ornaments, brass would have been the metal of choice because it was traditionally associated with strength and resilience more so than copper or tin for instance ; also brass is also very much more phonetically enjoyable than iron, steel or bronze.

It simply sounds good when spoken. Zinc and platinum are complete non-starters obviously. So it had to be brass. The choice of monkey - as opposed to any other creature - is also somehow inevitable given a bit of logical thought. Here goes Certain iconic animals with good tails can be discounted immediately for reasons of lacking euphonic quality meaning a pleasing sound when spoken ; for example, brass horse, brass mouse, brass rat, brass scorpion, brass crocodile and brass ass just don't roll off the tongue well enough.

No good either would have been any creatures not possessing a suitably impressive and symbolic tail, which interestingly would effectively have ruled out virtually all the major animal images like cow, elephant, pig, bear, dog, rabbit, lion, tiger, and most of the B-list like rhino, giraffe, deer, not to mention C-listers like hamster, badger, tortoise, all birds, all fish and all insects.

We can also forget the well-endowed lemurs, platypii, and chameleons for reasons of obscurity: a metaphor must be reasonably universal to become popular. Which pretty well leaves just a cat and a monkey, and who on earth has ever seen a brass cat? It's just not a notion that conveys anything at all. So it kind of just had to be a monkey because nothing else would have worked.

That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it unless anyone has a better idea. This is the way that a lot of expressions become established and hugely popular - they just are right in terms of sound and imagery, and often it's that simple. Incidentally a popular but entirely mythical theory for the 'freeze the balls off a brass monkey' version suggests a wonderfully convoluted derivation from the Napoleonic Wars and the British Navy's Continental Blockade of incoming French supplies.

The story goes that where the British warships found themselves in northerly frozen waters the cannonballs contracted shrank in size due to cold more than their brass receptacle supposedly called the 'monkey' and fell onto the deck. Or so legend has it. Unfortunately there was never a brass receptacle for cannonballs called a monkey. Ships did actually have a 'monkey rail' just above the quarter rail, wherever that was but this was not related to cannonballs at all, and while there was at one time a cannon called a monkey, according to Longridge's The Anatomy of Nelson's Ships, cannonballs were actually stored on the gun deck on wooden boards with holes cut in them, called short garlands, not monkeys.

What we see here is an example of a mythical origin actually supporting the popularity of the expression it claims to have spawned, because it becomes part of folklore and urban story-telling, so in a way it helps promote the expression, but it certainly isn't the root of it. To understand the root, very commonly we need simply to understand how language works, and then it all makes sense. I am grateful for A Zambonini's help in prompting and compiling this entry.

Neck was a northern English 19th slang century expression some sources suggest with origins in Australia meaning audacity or boldness - logically referring to a whole range of courage and risk metaphors involving the word neck, and particularly with allusions to hanging, decapitation, wringing of a chicken's neck - 'getting it in the neck', 'sticking your neck out', and generally the idea of exposing or extending one's neck in a figurative display of intentional or foolhardy personal risk.

As regards brass, Brewer lists 'brass' as meaning impudence. The modern OED meanings include effrontery shameless insolence. Brassy means pretentious or impudent. Brass is also an old 19thC word for a prostitute. Some of these meanings relate to brass being a cheap imitation of gold.

Some of the meanings also relate to brass being a very hard and resilient material. Phonetically there is also a similarity with brash, which has similar meanings - rude, vulgarly self-assertive probably derived from rash, which again has similar meanings, although with less suggestion of intent, more recklessness. At some stage during the 20th century brass and neck were combined to form brass neck and brass necked. Many sources identify the hyphenated brass-neck as a distinctly military expression same impudence and boldness meanings , again 20th century, and from the same root words and meanings, although brass as a slang word in the military has other old meanings and associations, eg, top brass and brass hat, both referring to officers because of their uniform adornments , which would have increased the appeal and usage of the brass-neck expression in military circles.

The first evidence for the noun occurs in the s. The origin of the word is unknown. To display or boast of one's wealth; to exaggerate one's own importance, achievements, etc. In pre-decimal currency days the larger the denomination, the bigger the banknote. Big-noting arose from the connection between flashing large sums of money about and showing off. He had admitted producing it to 'big note' himself in the eyes of the young woman and her parents.

Foster Man of Letters : He's never been one to big-note himself. A member of a gang of motorcyclists. Bikie follows a very common pattern in Australian English by incorporating the -ie or -y suffix. This suffix works as an informal marker in the language. In early use bikie often referred to any member of a motorcycle motorbike gang or club - often associated with youth culture.

In more recent times the term is often associated with gangs of motorcylists operating on the fringes of legality. Bikie is first recorded in the s. For a more detailied discussion of the term see our Word of the Month article from March Some bikies procure, distribute and sell drugs through their 'associates', who in turn sell them to kids. The bilby is either of two Australian bandicoots, especially the rabbit-eared bandicoot Macrotis lagotis , a burrowing marsupial of woodlands and plains of drier parts of mainland Australia.

The word is a borrowing from Yuwaalaraay an Aboriginal language of northern New South Wales and neighbouring languages. The bilby is also known as dalgyte in Western Australia and pinky in South Australia. Since the early s there have been attempts to replace the Easter bunny with the Easter bilby.

At Easter it is now possible to buy chocolate bilbies. Bilby is first recorded in the s. An arm of a river, made by water flowing from the main stream usually only in time of flood to form a backwater, blind creek, anabranch, or, when the water level falls, a pool or lagoon often of considerable extent ; the dry bed of such a formation. Billabongs are often formed when floodwaters recede. A vessel for the boiling of water, making of tea, etc. It is not, as popularly thought, related to the Aboriginal word billabong.

Billy is first recorded in the s. Burrows Adventures of a Mounted Trooper in the Australain Constabulary : A 'billy' is a tin vessel, something between a saucepan and a kettle, always black outside from being constantly on the fire, and looking brown inside from the quantity of tea that is generally to be seen in it.

Billycart is a shortened form of the Australian term billy-goat cart which dates back to the s. In earlier times the term applied to a small cart, often two-wheeled, that was pulled by a goat. These billycarts were used for such purposes as home deliveries, and they were also used in races.

The term was then applied to any homemade go-cart. Billycart is recorded in the first decade of the 20th century. Winton Cloudstreet : Bits of busted billycarts and boxes litter the place beneath the sagging clothesline. Any of several plants bearing barbed fruits, especially herbs of the widespread genus Calotis ; the fruit of these plants. Bindi-eye is oftened shortened to bindi , and can be spelt in several ways including bindy-eye and bindii. Bindi-eye is usually considered a weed when found in one's lawn.

Many a child's play has been painfully interrupted by the sharp barbs of the plant which have a habit of sticking into the sole of one's foot. Bindy-eye is first recorded in the s. A fight or skirmish; a collision. Bingle is perhaps from Cornish dialect bing 'a thump or blow'. Most other words derived from Cornish dialect in Australian English were originally related to mining, including fossick. The word is frequently used to refer to a car collision. Bingle is first recorded in the s. Carr Surfie : There was this clang of metal on metal and both cars lurched over to the shoulder and we nearly went for a bingle.

A mongrel. A dog or other animal which is made up of a bit of this and a bit of that. This meaning is common today, but when bitser first appeared in the s it referred to any contraption or vehicle that was made of spare parts, or had odd bits and pieces added. The small girl pondered. My friends call him a "bitzer"', she replied.

My favourite was a bitser named Sheila. The black stump of Australian legend first appears in the late 19th century, and is an imaginary marker at the limits of settlement. Anywhere beyond the black stump is beyond civilisation, deep in the outback, whereas something this side of the black stump belongs to the known world. Although the towns of Blackall, Coolah and Merriwagga each claim to possess the original black stump , a single stump is unlikely to be the origin of this term.

It is more probable that the burnt and blackened tree stumps, ubiquitous in the outback, and used as markers when giving directions to travellers is the origin - this sense of black stump is recorded from Tracks have been made, commencing nowhere and ending the same, roads have been constructed haphazard, bridges have been built that had no roads leading either to or from them, railways have terminated at the proverbial black stump.

Beyond the Black Stump. Not shown on the petrol station maps, even. A very unperceptive person; such a person as a type. This term often appears in the phrase even blind Freddy could see that. Although the term may not derive from an actual person, early commentators associate it with a blind Sydney character or characters.

Australian lexicographer Sidney Baker wrote in that 'Legend has it that there was a blind hawker in Sydney in the s, named Freddy, whose blindness did not prevent his moving freely about the central city area'. Other commentators suggest a character who frequented various Sydney sporting venues in the first decades of the 20th century could be the original Freddy.

The term itself is first recorded in It applied to a person of great heart, who displayed courage, loyalty, and mateship. To defeat a competitor by a very small margin; to win narrowly. This verb derives from the noun blouse meaning 'the silk jacket worn by a jockey'.

As the origin of this word would indicate, much of the evidence is from the sport of horseracing. For a detailed discussion of blouse see our Word of the Month article from November This word is a survival of British slang bludger , meaning 'a prostitute's pimp'. The word is ultimately a shortening of bludgeoner. A bludgeoner not surprisingly was a person who carried a bludgeon 'a short stout stick or club'. It appears in a mid-nineteenth century English slang dictionary as a term for 'a low thief, who does not hesitate to use violence'.

By the s the 'prostitute's pimp' sense of bludger is found in Australian sources. In the Sydney Slang Dictionary of bludgers are defined as 'plunderers in company with prostitutes'. Cornelius Crowe, in his Australian Slang Dictionary , defines a bludger as 'a thief who will use his bludgeon and lives on the gains of immoral women'. Thus bludger came to mean 'one who lives on the earnings of a prostitute'. It retained this meaning until the midth century.

From the early twentieth century it moved out to be a more general term of abuse, especially as applied to a person who appears to live off the efforts of others as a pimp lives on the earnings of a prostitute. It was then used to refer to a person engaged in non-manual labour - a white-collar worker. This sense appears as early as , but its typical use is represented by this passage from D.

Whitington's Treasure Upon Earth : '"Bludgers" he dubbed them early, because in his language anyone who did not work with his hands at a laboring job was a bludger'. And so it came to mean 'an idler, one who makes little effort'. In the war newspaper Ack Ack News in we find: 'Who said our sappers are bludgers? Cleary in Just let me be writes: 'Everything I backed ran like a no-hoper. Four certs I had, and the bludgers were so far back the ambulance nearly had to bring 'em home'.

And thence to 'a person who does not make a fair contribution to a cost, enterprise etc. Niland writes in The Shiralee : 'Put the nips into me for tea and sugar and tobacco in his usual style. The biggest bludger in the country'. In J. O'Grady writes: 'When it comes to your turn, return the "shout". Otherwise the word will spread that you are a "bludger", and there is no worse thing to be'. The term dole bludger i.

From the following year we have a citation indicating a reaction to the use of the term: Cattleman Rockhampton 'Young people are being forced from their country homes because of a lack of work opportunities and the only response from these so-called political protectors is to label them as dole bludgers'. Throughout the history of the word, most bludgers appear to have been male.

The term bludgeress made a brief appearance in the first decade of this century - 'Latterly, bludgers, so the police say, are marrying bludgeresses' Truth 27 September - but it was shortlived. The word bluey in Australian English has a variety of meanings. The most common is the swag i. There's the everlasting swaggie with his bluey on his back who is striking out for sunset on the Never-never track.

Goodge, Hits! The association of the swaggie and his bluey continues in more recent evidence for the term:. A swaggie suddenly appeared out of the bush, unshaven, with wild, haunted eyes, his bluey and billycan on his back. Cross, George and Widda-Woman That bluey is later transferred to luggage in general, is perhaps not surprising in an urban society which romanticises its 'bush' tradition:. Canberra Times 19 Nov. The word has been used to denote another item of clothing - denim working trousers or overalls - but the citation evidence indicates the last citation being that this usage is no longer current.

More familiar is the use of bluey to describe a summons, especially for a traffic offence originally printed on blue paper :. Perhaps the most Australian use of bluey is the curious use of it to describe a red-headed person first recorded in :. Paterson, Shearer's Colt : 'Bluey', as the crowd called him, had found another winner. All red-haired men are called 'Bluey' in Australia for some reason or other. Conquest, Dusty Distances : I found out later that he was a native of New South Wales, called ' Bluey because of his red hair - typical Australian logic.

A more literal use of bluey in Australian English is its application to fauna whose names begin with blue and which is predominantly blue in colour:. Ornithologists refer to them as some species of wood swallow They're all 'blueys' to us. There are two senses of the word bodgie in Australian English, both probably deriving from an earlier now obsolete word bodger. The obsolete bodger probably derives from British dialect bodge 'to work clumsily'.

In Australian English in the s and s bodger meant: 'Something or occasionally someone which is fake, false, or worthless'. The noun was also used adjectivally. Typical uses:. Hardy, Power without Glory : This entailed the addition of as many more 'bodger' votes as possible. Baker, The Australian Language : An earlier underworld and Army use of bodger for something faked, worthless or shoddy. For example, a faked receipt or false name..

The word bodger was altered to bodgie , and this is now the standard form:. White, Silent Reach : This heap is hot - else why did they give it a one-coat spray job over the original white duco and fix it with bodgie number plates?

In the s another sense of bodgie arose. The word was used to describe a male youth, distinguished by his conformity to certain fashions of dress and larrikin behaviour; analogous to the British 'teddy boy':. This sense of bodgie seems to be an abbreviation of the word bodger with the addition of the -ie -y suffix. Mr Hewett says his research indicates that the term 'bodgie' arose around the Darlinghurst area in Sydney.

It was just after the end of World War II and rationing had caused a flourishing black market in American-made cloth. This sense of bodgie belongs primarily to the s, but bodgie in the sense 'fake, false, inferior, worthless' is alive and flourishing in Australian English. An uncultured and unsophisticated person; a boorish and uncouth person. The early evidence is largely confined to teenage slang. Some lexicographers have suspected that the term may derive from the Bogan River and district in western New South Wales, but this is far from certain, and it seems more likely to be an unrelated coinage.

The term became widespread after it was used in the late s by the fictitious schoolgirl 'Kylie Mole' in the television series The Comedy Company. In the Daily Telegraph 29 November , in an article headed 'Same name a real bogan', a genuine schoolgirl named Kylie Mole 'reckons it really sux' " [i.

Someone who wears their socks the wrong way or has the same number of holes in both legs of their stockings. A complete loser'. The earliest evidence we have been able to find for the term is in the surfing magazine Tracks September 'So what if I have a mohawk and wear Dr Martens boots for all you uninformed bogans? The term has also generated a number of other terms including bogan chick , boganhood , and cashed-up bogan CUB. She had a quiet, middle-class upbringing in Box Hill, attending a private girls' school.

Our geographic reach is flexible; residents of Taree and like communities, for example, may readily qualify for Boganhood, usually with little or no burdensome paperwork. Affectionate, even I'm a bogan because I'm overweight.

For further discussions of bogan see our Word of the Month article from Novemeber , and a article 'Bogan: from Obscurity to Australia's most productive Word' in our newsletter Ozwords. To swim or bathe. Bogey is a borrowing from the Aboriginal Sydney Language. The earliest records show the term being used in the pidgin English of Aborigines:.

Bogie d'oway. These were Colby's words on coming out of the water. Dawson, Present State of Australia : 'Top bit, massa, bogy,' bathe and he threw himself into the water. Yes, said Mr Dixon, any two of ye that can swim. Harris, Settlers and Convicts : In the cool of the evening had a 'bogie' bathe in the river. Flory was much puzzled till she found out that a 'bogey', in colonial phraseology, meant a bath. Mackenzie, Aurukun Diary : A bogey is the Queensland outback word for a bath or bathe.

A bogey hole is a 'swimming or bathing hole'. The verb is rare now in Australian English. For an earlier discussion of bogey see our Word of the Month article from February A wave that forms over a submerged offshore reef or rock, sometimes in very calm weather or at high tide merely swelling but in other conditions breaking heavily and producing a dangerous stretch of broken water.

The word is now commonly used for the reef or rock itself. Horrobin Guide to Favourite Australian Fish ed. Bombora probably derives from the Aboriginal Sydney Language where it may have referred specifically to the current off Dobroyd Head, Port Jackson. Used allusively to refer to a hasty departure or speedy action.

Bondi is the Sydney suburb renowned worldwide for its surf beach. Trams last ran on the line in , but the phrase has remained a part of Australian English. Bonzer is an adjective meaning 'surpassingly good, splendid, great'. In the early records the spelling bonzer alternates with bonser , bonza , and bonzor. The adjective, noun, and adverb are all recorded from the early years of the 20th century:.

Yuong Jack Hansen undertook to sit him but failed at every attempt. Jack states he got a 'bonza on the napper', at one time when thrown. Cable By Blow and Kiss : Came back grinning widely, with the assurance that it [ sc. A fool or simpleton; a stupid person; an uncouth person. Boofhead derives from buffle-headed 'having a head like a buffalo' OED and bufflehead 'a fool, blockhead, stupid fellow' OED.

Bufflehead has disappeared from standard English, but survives in its Australian form boofhead. It was popularised by the use of boofhead as the name of a dimwitted comic strip character invented by R. Clark and introduced in the Sydney Daily Mail in May For an earlier discussion of the word see our Word of the Month article from December We get their boofheads so they can have ours. Boomerang is an Australian word which has moved into International English.

The word was borrowed from an Aboriginal language in the early years of European settlement, but the exact language is still uncertain. Early evidence suggests it was borrowed from a language in, or just south of, the Sydney region. While the spelling boomerang is now standard, in the early period the word was given a variety of spellings: bomerang , bommerang , bomring , boomereng , boomering , bumerang [etc].

The Australian Aboriginal boomerang is a crescent-shaped wooden implement used as a missile or club, in hunting or warfare, and for recreational purposes. The best-known type of boomerang , used primarily for recreation, can be made to circle in flight and return to the thrower.

Although boomerang -like objects were known in other parts of the world, the earliest examples and the greatest diversity of design is found in Australia. A specimen of a preserved boomerang has been found at Wyrie Swamp in South Australia and is dated at 10, years old. Boomerangs were not known throughout the entirety of Australia, being absent from the west of South Australia, the north Kimberley region of Western Australia, north-east Arnhem Land, and Tasmania.

In some regions boomerangs are decorated with designs that are either painted or cut into the wood. Very early in Australian English the term boomerang was used in transferred and figurative senses, especially with reference to something which returns to or recoils upon its author. These senses are now part of International English, but it is interesting to look at the earliest Australian evidence for the process of transfer and figurative use:.

By the s the verbal sense developed another meaning: 'to return in the manner of a boomerang; to recoil upon the author ; to ricochet'. Australia's a big country An' Freedom's humping bluey And Freedom's on the wallaby Oh don't you hear her Cooee, She's just begun to boomerang She'll knock the tyrants silly.

On 13 November the Canberra Times reported that 'Greg Chappell's decision to send England in appeared to have boomeranged'. These verbal senses of boomerang have also moved into International English. For a further discussion of boomerang see the article 'Boomerang, Boomerang, Thou Spirit of Australia! The phrase is first recorded in the s. A tax avoidance scheme. In the late s a large number of bottom of the harbour schemes were operating in corporate Australia.

The term is usually used attributively. Hyland Diamond Dove : The feller in the dock was some fabulous creature - part lawyer, part farmer - who'd been caught in a bottom-of-the-harbour tax avoidance scheme. An employee responsible for maintaining the outer fences on a station, or a publicly owned vermin-proof fence. This sense of boundary rider is recorded from the s but in more recent years, as a result of changes in technology and modes of transport, this occupation has become relatively rare.

Since the s the term has been used of a boundary umpire in Australian Rules Football, a cricketer in a fielding position near the boundary, and a roving reporter at a sporting game. For a more detailed discussion of the original sense of boundary rider and the later sporting senses see our Word of the Month article from December McGinnis Tracking North : Mechanisation had finally reached the open-range country.

There were no more pumpers or boundary riders. Be the unlikely winner of an event; to win an event coming from well behind. For a detailed discussion of this phrase see our blog 'Doing a Bradbury: an Aussie term born in the Winter Olympics' which includes a video of Bradbury's famous win , and our Word of the Month article from August The Socceroos need some of that luck. The practice of improperly increasing the membership of a local branch of a political party in order to ensure the preselection of a particular candidate.

The term is a specific use of branch meaning 'a local division of a political party'. While the practice described by branch stacking has been around for a very long time, the word itself is first recorded in the s. Leaving immediately; making a hasty departure; at full speed. It is likely that this expression was first used in horseracing to refer to a horse that moved very quickly out of the starting gates.

Bray Blossom : 'Come on youse blokes! First sign of a better offer and they are off like a bride's nightie. An invitation to bring a plate of food to share at a social gathering or fundraiser. There are many stories of new arrivals in Australia being bamboozled by the instruction to bring a plate. As the locals know, a plate alone will not do. In earlier days the request was often ladies a plate , sometimes followed by gentlemen a donation. Ladies bring a plate.

Please bring a plate. All welcome. A wild horse. The origin for this term is still disputed. Curr in Australian Race gives booramby meaning 'wild' in the language of the Pitjara or Pidjara or Bidjara people of the region at the headwaters of the Warrego and Nogoa Rivers in south-western Queensland. This is in the general location of the earliest evidence, but the language evidence has not been subsequently confirmed. This origin was popularised by Paterson in an introduction to his poem 'Brumby's run' printed in A common suggestion is that brumby derives from the proper name Brumby.

This theory was also noted by E. Morris in Austral English in 'A different origin was, however, given by an old resident of New South Wales, to a lady of the name Brumby, viz. Over the years, various Messrs Brumby have been postulated as the origin. More recently, Dymphna Lonergan suggested that the word comes from Irish word bromaigh , the plural form of the word for a young horse, or colt.

McGinnis Wildhorse Creek : The country's rotten with brumbies. A forlorn hope; no prospect whatever. One explanation for the origin of the term is that it comes from the name of the convict William Buckley, who escaped from Port Phillip in and lived for 32 years with Aboriginal people in southern Victoria. A second explanation links the phrase to the Melbourne firm of Buckley and Nunn established in , suggesting that a pun developed on the 'Nunn' part of the firm's name with 'none' and that this gave rise to the formulation 'there are just two chances, Buckley's and none'.

This second explanation appears to have arisen after the original phrase was established. For an earlier discussion about the origin of the term buckley's chance see the article 'Buckley's' in our Ozwords newsletter. It should have been Buckley. Olympus explains that he altered it because he didn't want the Fitzroy men to have 'Buckley's chance'.

A pair of close-fitting male swimming briefs made of stretch fabric. The Australian term is probably a variation of the international English grape smugglers for such a garment. The term is a jocular allusion to the appearance of the garment. Budgie smugglers is first recorded in the late s. For a more detailed discussion of the word see our Word of the Month article from December That, and a thin pair of Speedos so figure-hugging you can see every goosebump - flimsy togs that are known not-all-that-affectionately by us Brown boys as budgie smugglers!

A kind of fine powdery dirt or dust, often found in inland Australia. Roads or tracks covered with bulldust may be a hazard for livestock and vehicles, which can become bogged in it. It is probably called bulldust because it resembles the soil trampled by cattle in stockyards.

The word can also be used as a polite way of saying bullshit. Both senses of the word are first recorded in the s. This 'bull' dust might be about two feet deep, and cakes on the surface, so that it is hard to penetrate. I told him that nothing would get within a 'bull's roar' of Agricolo to interfere with him, and such was the case. The term is often found in this phrasal form where it now has several meanings: 'to be financially bankrupt, to come to nought; to fail, to collapse, to break down'.

These figurative senses of bung emerged in the late 19th century. An amphibious monster supposed to inhabit inland waterways. Descriptions of it vary greatly. Some give it a frightful human head and an animal body. Many descriptions emphasise its threat to humans and its loud booming at night.

It inhabits inland rivers, swamps, and billabongs. The word comes from the Aboriginal Wathaurong language of Victoria. Bunyip is first recorded in the s. For a more detailed discussion of this word see the article 'There's a Bunyip Close behind us and he's Treading on my Tail' in our Ozwords newsletter. Venture an attempt; give something a try.

This is an Australian alteration of the standard English phrase give it a whirl. Give it a burl is first recorded in the early years of the 20th century. We'll give it a burl, eh? We wanted to give it a burl and see how it went. We'd do it again. What do you think this is, bush week?

These senses of bush week go back to the early 20th century. The phrase originally implied the notion that people from the country are easily fooled by the more sophisticated city slickers. The speaker resents being mistaken for a country bumpkin. Glassop Lucky Palmer : I get smart alecks like you trying to put one over on me every minute of the day.

What do you think this is? Bush Week? Murray Goodbye Lullaby : They had already been warned about the breastfeeding business Beat it, you two! The act or process of criticising the Australian Government and its bureaucracy. Canberra , the capital of Australia, has been used allusively to refer to the Australian Government and its bureaucracy since the s.

The term Canberra bashing emerged in the s, and is also applied in criticisms of the city itself. For a more detailed discussion of the term see our Word of the Month article from February Politicians on both sides have shown a willingness to put the boot into a national capital.

In a political context a decision made by a party leader etc. This term also takes the form captain's call. Captain's pick is derived from sporting contexts in which a team captain has the discretion to choose members of the team. The political sense emerged in Australian English in For a more detailed discussion of this term see our Word of the Month article from January To die; to break down; to fail. Also spelt kark , and often taking the form cark it. The word is probably a figurative use of an earlier Australian sense of cark meaning 'the caw of a crow', which is imitative.

Beilby Gunner : 'That wog ya roughed up - well, he karked. A derogatory term for a person who espouses left-wing views but enjoys an affluent lifestyle. It is modelled on the originally British term, champagne socialist , which has a similar meaning. The term chardonnay socialist appeared in the s, not long after the grape variety Chardonnay became very popular with Australian wine drinkers.

Williamson Emerald City : I'm going to keep charting their perturbations.. A checkout operator at a supermarket. This term usually refers to female checkout operators hence chick , an informal word for a young woman , but with changes in the gender makeup of the supermarket workforce the term is occasionlly applied to males. Checkout chick is first recorded in the s.

For a more detailed discussion of the term see our Word of the Month article from May A domestic fowl; a chicken. Chook is the common term for the live bird, although chook raffles , held in Australian clubs and pubs, have ready-to-cook chooks as prizes.

The term has also been transferred to refer to other birds, and often in the form old chook it can refer to a woman. See our Word of the Month articles 'chook run' and 'chook lit' for further uses of chook. Was he looking after the housemaid or the little chookies? A jocular curse. This expression recalls an earlier time when many Australians kept chooks domestic chickens in the backyard and the dunny was a separate outhouse.

Although I must say this is a very cunning, contrived piece of legislation, if that is what they set out to do. May their chooks turn into emus and kick their dunnies down. To vomit. Chunder possibly comes from a once-popular cartoon character, 'Chunder Loo of Akim Foo', drawn by Norman Lindsay for a series of boot polish advertisements in the early s.

It is possible that 'Chunder Loo' became rhyming slang for spew. Chunder , however, is the only form to be recorded. The earliest evidence is associated with Australian troops in action to the north of Australia during the Second World War. Makes you chunda. Something that is largely illusory or exists in name only; a poor substitute or imitation. For a more detailed discussion of the word see our blog 'The evolution of a word - the case of Clayton's'.

Pung Growing up Asian in Australia : My bikini top is crammed so full of rubbery 'chicken fillets' I'd probably bounce if you threw me. These Clayton's breasts jiggle realistically when I jump up and down on the spot. An unbranded animal. In the pastoral industry an animal that has not been branded with a mark identifying the owner can easily be stolen or lost.

The word is first recorded in the s. There are several transferred and figurative senses of cleanskin that evolved from the orgininal sense. In the first decade of the 20th century cleanskin began to be used to describe 'an Aboriginal person who has not passed through an initiation rite'. From the s cleanskin was also used of 'a bottle of wine without a label that identifies the maker, sold at a price cheaper than comparable labelled bottles; the wine in such a bottle'.

Keenan The Horses too are Gone : In the rangelands an unbranded calf becomes a cleanskin and cleanskins belong to the first person capable of planting a brand on the rump. A friend, a companion. It is likely that these terms, as well as cobber , found their way into London slang especially from the Jewish population living in the East End , and from there, via British migrants, into Australian English.

Cobber , now somewhat dated, is rarely used by young Australians. A small-scale farmer; in later use often applied to a substantial landowner or to the rural interest generally. Cocky arose in the s and is an abbreviation of cockatoo farmer. This was then a disparaging term for small-scale farmers, probably because of their habit of using a small area of land for a short time and then moving on, in the perceived manner of cockatoos feeding.

A person sentenced in the British Isles to a term of penal servitude in an Australian Colony. The foundations of European settlement in Australia are based on the transportation of tens of thousands of prisoners from the British Isles. While in America convict is still used to refer to a prisoner, in Australia it is now largely historical. For a further discussion of this word see our blog 'A long lost convict: Australia's "C-word"?

Angas Description of the Barossa Range : No convicts are transported to this place, for South Australia is not a penal colony. Originally a call used by an Aboriginal person to communicate with someone at a distance; later adopted by settlers and now widely used as a signal, especially in the bush; a name given to the call. The iconic call of the Australian bush comes from the Aboriginal Sydney language word gawi or guwi meaning 'come here'.

Cooee is recorded from the early years of European settlement in Sydney. It is often found in the phrase within cooee meaning 'within earshot; within reach, near'. Cunningham Two Years in New South Wales : In calling to each other at a distance, the natives make use of the word Coo-ee , as we do the word Hollo , prolonging the sound of the coo , and closing that of the ee with a shrill jerk. Lambert Watermen : If I ever see you within coo-ee of my boat again, I'll drown you.

The word is a borrowing from Yuwaaliyaay and neighbouring languages , an Aboriginal language of northern New South Wales. In the earlier period it was was spelt in various ways, including coolabah , coolobar , and coolybah. It is term for any of several eucalypts, especially the blue-leaved Eucalyptus microtheca found across central and northern Australia, a fibrous-barked tree yielding a durable timber and occurring in seasonally flooded areas.

Coolibah is first recorded in the s. Bad, unpleasant or unsatisfactory: Things were crook on the land in the seventies. Crook means bad in a general sense, and also in more specific senses too: unwell or injured a crook knee , and dishonest or illegal he was accused of crook dealings.

All senses are recorded from the s. Pratt Wolaroi's Cup : Most stables.. Clune Roaming Round the Darling : My cobber, here, used to sing in opera. He's a pretty crook singer, but he'll sing for you. Used to indicate the need for a rest in order to settle down, solve a problem, etc. The phrase now often with some variations was originally the title of a a revue at the Phillip Street Theatre in Sydney Not anymore.

A native-born Australian. These terms are now obsolete. These were called currency. An unfashionable person; a person lacking style or character; a socially awkward adolescent, a 'nerd'. These senses of dag derive from an earlier Australian sense of dag meaning 'a "character", someone eccentric but entertainingly so'. Ultimately all these senses of dag are probably derived from the British dialect especially in children's speech sense of dag meaning a 'feat of skill', 'a daring feat among boys', and the phrase to have a dag at meaning 'to have a shot at'.

Dag referring to an unfashionable person etc. Never ever wear a striped suit, a striped shirt and a striped tie together - just dreadful You look like a real dag. Hurry up, get a move on. When a daggy sheep runs, the dried dags knock together to make a rattling sound.

The word dag originally daglock was a British dialect word that was borrowed into mainstream Australian English in the s. Thorne Battler : C'mon Mum, rattle yer dags - the old girls are hungry! To pull down or remove the trousers from a person as a joke or punishment. Dak derives from another Australian term daks meaning 'a pair of trousers'.

The term is first recorded from the early s but is probably much older than that. For a more detailed discussion of dak see our Word of the Month article from July His family didn't know about it until he was dacked during a game this year. A simple kind of bread, traditionally unleavened and baked in the ashes of an outdoor fire. Because it was the most common form of bread for bush workers in the nineteenth century, to earn your damper means to be worth your pay.

Bisley Stillways : We made damper out of flour and water, squeezed it around green sticks to cook over the coals. A commemorative ceremony held at dawn on Anzac Day. Anzac Day, April 25, is a national public holiday in Australia commemorating all those who have served and died in war. While commemorative services have been held on April 25 since , the term dawn service is not recorded until the s.

The didgeridoo is a wind instrument that was originally found only in Arnhem Land in northern Australia. It is a long, wooden, tubular instrument that produces a low-pitched, resonant sound with complex, rhythmic patterns but little tonal variation. In popular understanding many Australians probably believe that this is an Aboriginal word. Subsequent research has cast doubt on this etymology, and in the following statement was made in Australian Aboriginal Words in English : 'Although it has been suggested that this must be a borrowing from an Australian language it is not one.

The name probably evolved from white people's ad hoc imitation of the sound of the instrument'. This argument is supported by two of the earliest pieces of evidence for the term:. It produces but one sound - 'didjerry, didjerry, didjerry -' and so on ad infinitum.

First recorded in this sense It came to France when the sandgropers gave up digging on the goldfields of W. They include a major who planned an 'unprecedented operation' to capture a rogue Afghan sergeant who murdered three Australian diggers. Reliable; genuine; honest; true. This word is a shortening of fair dinkum which comes from British dialect. The adjective is first recorded in Australia from the s. For a more detailed discussion of dinkum see the article 'The Story of Dinkum' on our blog.

The starting point is to make the debate more dinkum. The phrase was first recorded in This may give a clue to the source of the phrase. If you are done like a dinner , you are completely and efficiently demolished. Bride Letters from Victorian Pioneers : The horse swam for a quarter of a mile down the river with the cart after him..

To inform upon someone ; to incriminate someone. The word is probably related to British dialect dob meaning 'to put down an article heavily or clumsily; to throw down', and 'to throw stones etc. Dob is first recorded in the s. For a more detailed discussion of this term see the article 'The Story of Dob' on our blog.

Bisley Stillways : He used to sell single cigarettes to kids, and although it was common knowledge, he had never been busted and no one ever dobbed on him. This example illustrates the way the origins of words and phrases can be lost with changes in technology. The expression has several variants including fed up to dolly's wax , and its meaning does not always denote being 'full' with food. First recorded in the early 20th century.

And I am fed up to dolly's wax with them. In a preferential system of voting a vote recorded by allocating preferences according to the order in which candidates' names appear on the ballot paper; such votes viewed collectively. First recorded in the early midth century. In South Australia this vote - the 'donkey vote' - will go to the Anti-Communists.

A parliamentary question asked of a Minister by a member of the party in government to give the Minister the opportunity to deliver a prepared reply. It comes from Dorothy Dix , the pen-name of Elizabeth Gilmer , an American journalist who wrote a famous personal advice column which was syndicated in Australia.

Her column came to seem a little too contrived, as if she was writing the questions as well as the answers. For a discussion about the use of Dorothy Dixer in rhyming slang see the article 'Dorothies and Michelles' in our Ozwords newsletter. One of those came from Mr Hutchin, and there were cries of 'Dorothy Dix' when he asked it When a Minister is anxious to make some information available, or to answer some outside criticism, he will often get a private member to ask a question on the subject.

And it was not her husky voice or hair or makeup that stopped traffic, but the rows and rows of pearls.. In traditional Aboriginal belief a collection of events beyond living memory that shaped the physical, spiritual, and moral world; the era in which these occurred; an Aboriginal person's consciousness of the enduring nature of the era. The term also takes the form dreaming. Dreamtime is a translation of alcheringa - a word from the Arrernte Aboriginal language of the Alice Springs region in central Australia.

Attenborough Quest Under Capricorn : Although the Dreamtime was in the past, it is also co-existent with the present, and a man, by performing the rituals, can become one with his 'dreaming' and experience eternity. It is to seek this mystical union that the men enact the ceremonies. A fool, a simpleton, an idiot. There is also a bird called a drongo. The spangled drongo is found in northern and eastern Australia, as well as in the islands to the north of Australia, and further north to India and China.

It is called a drongo because that is the name of a bird from the same family in northern Madagascar. The spangled drongo is not a stupid bird. It is not a galah. One book describes it thus: 'The spangled drongo catches insects in the air, chasing them in aerobatic flight'. There is one odd story about the drongo, however: unlike most migratory birds, it appears to migrate to colder regions in winter.

Some have suggested that this is the origin of the association of 'stupidity' with the term drongo. But this seems most unlikely. So what is the true story? There was an Australian racehorse called Drongo during the early s. It seems likely that he was named after the bird called the 'drongo'. He often came very close to winning major races, but in 37 starts he never won a race. In a writer in the Melbourne Argus comments: 'Drongo is sure to be a very hard horse to beat.

He is improving with every run'. But he never did win. Soon after the horse's retirement it seems that racegoers started to apply the term to horses that were having similarly unlucky careers. In the s it was applied to recruits in the Royal Australian Air Force. It has become part of general Australian slang. Buzz Kennedy, writing in The Australian newspaper in , defines a drongo thus:. A drongo is a simpleton but a complicated one: he is a simpleton [of the] sort who not only falls over his feet but does so at Government House; who asks his future mother-in-law to pass-the-magic-word salt the first time the girl asks him home In an emergency he runs heroically in the wrong direction.

If he were Superman he would get locked in the telephone box. He never wins. So he is a drongo. The origin of the term was revived at Flemington in when a Drongo Handicap was held. Only apprentice jockeys were allowed to ride. The horses entered were not allowed to have won a race in the previous twelve months.

Goode Through the Farm Gate : I can't believe my drongo of a father is asking such ridiculous questions. A jocular name for an imaginary animal similar in appearance to a koala, with very sharp jaws and teeth, that is said to devour tourists etc. The term is often associated with the fooling of gullible international tourists, and has accordingly been used this way in television advertisements. There are suggestions that the term drop bear emerged in the Second World War period see quotation below but the first record is from the s.

Keesing Lily on a Dustbin : The 'drop bears' are creatures of a tall story - they were invented during World War II for the benefit of gullible American servicemen. It is alleged that 'drop bears' are a dangerous kind of koala and that they drop out of trees on the heads and shoulders of bush walkers and hug them to death. Colbert The Ranch : The other Harry has got a head like a drover's dog and always wears a hat. Courtenay: We'd heard Nancy say he'd come back like a drover's dog all prick and ribs.

Look out - female approaching! A warning cry from a male as a signal to other men that a woman is approaching a traditionally all-male environment. It is a reminder that the men should modify their language and behaviour to avoid giving offence. It was first used in shearing sheds, but is now heard in other places, especially in a pub. While the first written evidence comes from the early s the phrase probably goes back several decades earlier.

Fatty Vautin and Peter Sterling reportedly held angry meetings with their producer declaring they would not speak to Wilson if she was hired. A toilet. The dunny was originally any outside toilet. In cities and towns the pan-type dunny was emptied by the dunny man , who came round regularly with his dunny cart. Dunny can now be used for any toilet. First recorded in the s but dunnekin is attested in Australian sources from the s.

To subject a person to a torrent of words; to talk at great length to; to harangue. While not a physical beating of the ears, most people can sympathise with a person who has sustained a long taking to an ear-bashing by a boring or obnoxious windbag an earbasher. The verb is first recorded from the s, and possibly comes from Australian military slang of the Second World War period.

Most Australians are surprised to discover that this is an Australian term. First recorded from the s. The ALP contains many influential spokesmen who advocate disengagement of governments from existing agricultural assistance measures.. The act or process of picking up litter; a group of people doing this; the act or process of searching an area of ground for something.

This term developed out of an earlier verbal form recorded in the s , emu-bob , meaning 'to pick up pieces of timber, roots, etc. By the s the verb had developed a more specific sense: 'to pick up litter'. By the s the verbal form had developed into the noun. A portable insulated container in which food and drink are kept cool. A common sight at barbecues, beaches, parks, and camping grounds in the summer months.

The Esky Auto Box keeps drinks and food cold and fresh wherever you go. Will fit in the boot of any car. Winton Dirt Music : They have a folding table and esky out here on the sand beside the fire. A prison for the confinement of female convicts. Also known as a female factory. The first such factory was established in at Parramatta in New South Wales.

It was a place of punishment, a labour and marriage agency for the colony, and a profit-making textiles factory where women made convict clothing and blankets. There were eight other factories in the Australian convict settlements. Australia often sees itself as an egalitarian society, the land of the fair go , where all citizens have a right to fair treatment. It is often used as an exclamation: fair go Kev, give the kids a turn! Sometimes it expresses disbelief: fair go—the tooth fairy?

For further discussion of this term see the article 'Australia - the land of the fair go' on our blog. Both men turned pale, but struggled, calling out, 'Read the warrants to us first'. Inspector Ahern said, 'You can hear them later', and the police seized the prisoners. Both appealed to Mr. Ranking, crying out, 'Do you call this a fair go, Mr. Her baby brother sat on the floor eating the bits that fell off the table. Steady on, be reasonable.

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