A Sideways Glance at the Hidden Meaning of Aussie Place Names

There are many place names around the world that cry out to tell you their true meaning. Well, perhaps not their ridgey didge true meaning, but who has ever looked at the name Footscray and not felt that it probably also exists as an entry in a medical dictionary? Or Patchewollock, or Humpty Doo? Exactly.

This work attempts to do for (or to) Australian place names what Douglas Adams and John Lloyd did for Britain and the rest of the world, in The Meaning of Liff and The Deeper Meaning of Liff.

Words by Duncan Waldron, illustrations by Matt Davis.

Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.


See Why am I doing this? for something approaching a motive.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Glossodia - Gypsy Point

Glossodia n
A technical term for a technique used by lawyers, plumbers, devious spouses, etc. A combination of ‘to gloss over’, and ‘odious’, this is a nasty practice - the verbal equivalent of hiding important details in the small print. Salient facts will not be lied about, but will not be raised unless the customer brings them up. By such means, invoices may sometimes be inflated as much as threefold.

Gnotuk n
A shirt tail that steadfastly refuses to stay inside the trousers. Some scientists can maintain a Gnotuk for many years, without ill effect.

Gnowangerup v
To secure a nut and bolt using any tool other than a spanner of the correct size, damaging the nut in the process, and rendering it irremovable. This archaic procedure is now taught only to plumbers.

Gobondery v
To be driven nearly insane by the mere thought of your having a substantial sum held as a bond, while you live in rented accommodation. A cure for this near insanity would be the assurance of even a modest rate of interest on the sum held, but pigs will almost certainly learn to fly first.

Goondiwindi adj
Descriptive of the sort of sporadic nuisance breeze that blows gently and infrequently enough to be almost unnoticeable, but which scatters the papers you are just about to pick up.

Grafton n
Any part of a project completed by an amateur handyman, which is obviously a "make-do" component. This always arises after the hardware shops have closed for the weekend, but when there is a desperate desire to see the job finished before Monday.

Greenmantle n
The need to own alternative colour schemes for a mobile phone. cf Bimbimbie.

Gritjurk v, n
1. v To search out and eat all of the broken biscuits in the tin first, just to ‘tidy up a bit’, before you actually eat the single biscuit that you intended to have at the start.
2. n The erratic walking motion of a person who is trying to dislodge a tiny piece of gravel in their shoe to a less irritating spot, without actually stopping to remove the shoe and empty it.

Gulargambone n
A deceptive piece of roasted animal that appears to be a succulent and appetizing morsel, but which turns out to be a knee joint liberally coated in well-fired juices, fat, skin, etc., with not a scrap of meat at all.

Gypsy Point n
The instant at which Horrane (qv) becomes no longer fear, but horribly apparent fact.

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