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'.
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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.
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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.
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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'.
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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.
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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.