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OzPic Episode 10: Tank and dam

 OzPic Episode 10: Tank, Reservoir, Weir, Dam

(Image by JJ Harrison, courtesy of Wikimedia)

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The first use of tank in Australia was perfectly in line with the original meaning of a word from the Gujarati language of western India, where it was the name for an artificial reservoir for water made by excavation or by damming. This Anglo-Indian usage became part of the military jargon applied in Australia.

A tank might be an underground reservoir, or a well, or an indoor container or cistern in a house. A dam is the wall that obstructs the water flow, and a pool or lake forms behind it. In Australia, we tend to think of the whole thing – the wall, and the water behind it – as the dam. The word weir follows a similar path to the word dam, and refers to a blockade put up to stop the flow of water.

Do you have a reservoir in your area? Or a tank or dam? Send us your photos

OzPic: Picturing the Australian Environment

This joint project between the ABC and Macquarie Dictionary aims to uncover new words relating to the Australian environment and to collect photographs that illustrate the environment around you for inclusion in the dictionary.

Tune in to your local ABC radio station each week for a regular program with our Editor, Susan Butler, or listen to latest audio here. You can sign up to the free newsletter to receive regular updates about the project and be notified when the latest audio is available online. And follow the #ozpic conversation on Instagram.

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