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.
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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:.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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'.