Too Many Tears—Glossary and Further Information
Web links in Too Many Tears glossary made clickable.
- balayi: danger, look out. (Nyungar)
- banksia: iconic Australian plant with characteristic flower spikes. Though south-west Western Australia is their main centre of their biodiversity they were named for Joseph Banks, famed botanist on Cook’s 1770 “discovery” of Australia’s east coast.
- bardi: see witchetty grubs.
- Battye Library: the part of the State Library of Western Australia which identifies, collects, organises, preserves and provides access to Western Australia’s published documentary heritage and collections of original Western Australian historical records.
- blackboy: now politically incorrect name for grass tree.
- boab or bottle tree: common tree of north-west Australia related to the African baobab.
- bush tucker: animal and plant foods native to Australia and still familiar to aboriginal people in remote areas.
- chook: Australian slang for chicken.
- corroboree: ceremonial meeting of Australian Aborigines in which they interact with the Dreamtime through dance, music and costume.
- dugite: highly venomous snake found in southern parts of Western Australia and in remote coastal parts of western South Australia which is capable of inflicting a potentially fatal bite.
- dunny: Australian slang for toilet, either the room or the specific fixture, especially an outhouse
- FJ Holden: iconic early Australian-made sedan.
- gilgies: small freshwater crayfish found in the south-west of Western Australia.
- goanna: Australian monitor lizards of the genus Varanus.
- grass tree: plants of the genus Xanthorrhoea particularly familiar in south-western Australia which produce a flowering spike after fire.
- humpy: small temporary shelter made from bark and tree branches, traditionally used by Australian Aborigines.
- jarrah: termite-resistant timber found only in Western Australia, one of the hardest in the world, well suited to construction of crafted furniture and general building.
- Karrakatta: Perth’s main central cemetry.
- Koori: Indigenous Australians from south-eastern Australia.
- mallee: any of numerous Eucalyptus species.
- Maralinga: South Australian desert site of early British nuclear weapon tests.
- marron: large freshwater crayfish found in the south-west of Western Australia.
- mia-mia: semi-permanent Aboriginal shelter.
- mopoke: common name used for both the tawny frogmouth and the southern boobook owl.
- mulatto: person of 50-50 or other mixed black and white ancestry. (Spanish)
- mulga: semi-arid scrub of predominantly Acacia aneura that covers a significant portion of mainland Australia.
- Nyungar: the aboriginal peoples of the south west of Western Australia and their language.
- octoroon: person of fourth-generation black ancestry.
- quadroon: person of one-quarter black ancestry
‘Quadroons’ and persons less than ‘quadroon blood’ excepted from the definition of ‘native’.
(Native Welfare Act Amendment Act 1960, WA.)
- spinifex: hummock grasses in the genus Triodia which covers a significant portion of mainland Australia.
- ult.: last month. (ultimo mense)
- wadjala: white person. (Nyungar)
- widpella: white fellow (of either gender). (pidgin)
- witchetty grubs: large, white, wood-eating larvae of cossid moths Endoxyla, ghost moths Hepialidae, and longicorn beetles Cerambycidae which feeds on the roots of various wattles and other Australian trees
- Wongai, Wangai or Wankai: name given by the 26 Aboriginal groups of the Goldfields of Western Australia to themselves, from the word meaning “Speaker”.