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Read Austral English Part 276

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1873. A. Trollope, `Australia and New Zealand,’ c. xxvii.

p. 418:

“In Melbourne there is the `verandah’; in Sandhurst there is a `verandah’; in Ballaarat there is a `verandah.’ The verandah is a kind of open exchange–some place on the street pavement, apparently selected by chance, on which the dealers in mining shares do congregate.”

1895. Modern. Private Letter of an Australian on Tour:

“What I miss most in London is the Verandahs. With this everlasting rain there is no place to get out of a shower, as in Melbourne. But I suppose it pays the umbrella-makers.”

V-hut, a term used in the province of Canterbury, New Zealand. See quotations.

1857. R. B. Paul, `Letters from Canterbury,’ p. 57:

“The form is that of a V hut, the extremities of the rafters being left bare, so as to form b.u.t.tresses to the walls”

(of the church).

1863. S. Butler, `First Year in Canterbury,’ p. 73:

“I am now going to put up a V-hut on the country that I took up on the Rangitata… . It consists of a small roof set up on the ground; it is a hut all roof and no walls.”

1879. C. L.Innes, `Canterbury Sketches,’ p. 20:

“In case my readers may not know what a `V’ hut is like, I will describe one:–It is exactly as if you took the roof off a house and stood it on the ground, you can only stand upright in the middle.”

1896. Jan. A Traveller’s note:

“Not long ago a Canterbury lady said–`I was born in a V-hut, and christened in a pie-dish.'”

Victoria, n. the name of the smallest of all the Australian colonies. It was separated from New South Wales in 1851, when it was named after Queen Victoria. Sir Thomas Mitch.e.l.l had before given it the name of “Australia Felix,” and Dr. J. D. Lang wanted the name “Phillipsland.” He published a book with that t.i.tle in 1847. Previous to separation, the name used was “the Port Phillip District of New South Wales.”

Village Settlement, the system, first adopted in New Zealand, whence it spread to the other colonies, of settling families on the land in combination. The Government usually helps at first with a grant of money as well as granting the land.

Vine, n. In Australia, the word is loosely applied to many trailing or creeping plants, which help to form scrubs and thickets. In the more marked cases specific adjectives are used with the word. See following words.

1849. J. P. Townsend, `Rambles in New South Wales,’ p. 22:

“With thick creepers, commonly called `vines.'”

1881. A. C. Grant, `Bush Life in Queensland,’ vol. ii. p. 21:

“Impenetrable vine-scrubs line the river-banks at intervals.”

1890. C. Lumholtz, `Among Cannibals,’ p. 25:

“Vitis in great abundance and of many varieties are found especially in the scrubs, hence the colonists call this sort of brush, vine-scrub.”

Vine, Balloon. See Balloon Vine.

Vine, Burdekin. Called also Round Yam, Vitis opaca, F. v. M., N.O. Ampelideae.

Vine, Caustic, i.q. Caustic-Plant (q.v.).

Vine, Lawyer. See Lawyer.

Vine, Macquarie Harbour, or Macquarie Harbour Grape (q.v.). Same as Native Ivy. See Ivy.

1891. `Chambers’ Encyclopaedia,’ s.v. Polygonaeae:

“Muhlenbeckia adpressa is the Macquarie Harbour Vine of Tasmania, an evergreen climbing or trailing shrub of most rapid growth, sometimes 60 feet in length. It produces racemes of fruit somewhat resembling grapes or currants, the nut being invested with the large and fleshy segments of the calyx. The fruit is sweetish and subacid, and is used for tarts.”

1884. R. L. A. Davies, `Poems and Literary Remains,’ p. 99:

“How we saw the spreading myrtles, Saw the cypress and the pine, Saw the green festoons and bowers Of the dark Macquarie vine, Saw the blackwoods and the box-trees, And the spiral sa.s.safrases, Saw the fairy fern-trees mantled With their mossy cloak of”

Vine, Native Pepper. See Climbing Pepper, under Pepper.

Vine, Wonga Wonga. See Wonga Wonga Vine.


Waddy. (1) An aboriginal’s war club. But the word is used for wood generally, even for firewood. In a kangaroo hunt, a man will call out, “Get off and kill it with a waddy,”

i.e. any stick casually picked up. In pigeon-English, “little fellow waddy” means a small piece of wood.

In various dictionaries, e.g. Stanford, the word is entered as of aboriginal origin, but many now hold that it is the English word wood misp.r.o.nounced by aboriginal lips.

L. E. Threlkeld, in his `Australian Grammar,’ at p. 10, enters it as a “barbarism “–“waddy, a cudgel.” A `barbarism,’

with Threlkeld, often means no more than `not in use on the Hunter River’; but in this case his remark may be more appropriate.

On the other hand, the word is given as an aboriginal word in Hunter’s `Vocabulary of the Sydney Dialect’ (1793), and in Ridley’s `Kamilaroi’ (1875), as used at George’s River. The Rev. J. Mathew writes:

“The aboriginal words for fire and wood are very often, in fact nearly always, interchangeable, or interchanged, at different places. The old Tasmanian and therefore original Australian term for wood and fire, or one or the other according to dialect, is wi (wee) sometimes win.

These two forms occur in many parts of Australia with numerous variants, wi being obviously the radical form. Hence there were such variants as wiin, waanap, weenth in Victoria, and at Sydney gweyong, and at Botany Bay we, all equivalent to fire. Wi sometimes took on what was evidently an affixed adjective or modifying particle, giving such forms as wibra, wygum, wyber, wurnaway. The modifying part sometimes began with the sound of d or j (into which of course d enters as an element). Thus modified, wi became wadjano on Murchison River, Western Australia; wachernee at Burke River, Gulf of Carp.; wichun on the Barcoo; watta on the Hunter River, New South Wales; wudda at Queanbeyan, New South Wales. These last two are obviously identical with the Sydney waddy = `wood.’ The argument might be lengthened, but I think what I have advanced shows conclusively that Waddy is the Tasmanian word wi + a modifying word or particle.”

1814. Flinders, `Voyage,’ vol. ii. p. 189:

“Some resembling the whaddie, or wooden sword of the natives of Port Jackson.”

1827. P. Cunningham, `Two Years in New South Wales,’ vol. ii.

p. 20:

“It is amusing to see the consequential swagger of some of these dingy dandies, as they pa.s.s lordly up our streets, with a waddie twirling in their black paws.”

1830. R. Dawson, `Present State of Australia,’ p. 66:

“Such a weapon as their waddy is: it is formed like a large kitchen poker, and nearly as heavy, only much shorter in the handle. The iron-bark wood, of which it is made, is very hard, and nearly as heavy as iron.”

1844. Mrs. Meredith, `Notes and Sketches of New South Wales,’

p. 106:


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