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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.


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  7. 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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.