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Posted on 19 July 2021

Down the bunyip hole

Aussie Word of the Week

A bunyip is a mythical Australian beast of amphibious nature that inhabits rivers and deep, dark pools, retreating to underwater caverns known as bunyip holes. They are so shy and stealthy that one has never yet been caught. The word for this animal is from the Aboriginal language Wembawemba of Victoria and Southern NSW. The bunyip is not to be confused with the yowie, another mythical beast akin to a yeti or sasquatch. The word comes from the Aboriginal language Yuwaalarraay, from up Lightning Ridge way. Another fantastic beast is the triantiwontigongolope. A mythical insect beastie, the triantiwontigongolope is sometimes portrayed as a dreadfully dangerous creature like the bunyip in order to frighten children or naive city folk visiting the bush. As if Australia's many poisonous snakes and spiders aren't already enough to scare the wary traveller, C.J. Dennis introduced the triantiwontigongolope in a poem. Not to be confused with the triantelope, which is the common huntsman spider. If you're more afraid of the upper classes than mythical creatures be sure to read about the bunyip aristocracy. This derogatory name is given to Australians who consider themselves superior to others in wealth or status. The description was coined by Daniel Deniehy, a New South Wales MP in the 1800s in response to attempts to establish a colonial aristocracy.   Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.
Posted on 7 June 2021

Skol these drinking words

Aussie Word of the Week

This week we have stirred up a cocktail of drinking related slang words.  Lets start at the beginning of a typical Aussie night out. Pres refers to a gathering at a private home before a social event elsewhere, usually to drink alcohol, or the drinks consumed at such a gathering. Pres often features sophisticated beverages such as the chateau cardboard, another name for cask wine, or the goon sack as it is affectionately known.  To get in to all the slang that flows from the goon sack could take up a month of blogs, but some of our favourites include the dapto briefcase: a cask of cheap wine, named after Dapto, a small township in eastern NSW, and the famous goon of fortune, a drinking game in which bladders of wine casks are hung from a rotating clothes hoist under which players are situated at intervals. The spinning of the hoist determining who drinks next. Don't worry, it isn't all wine casks hung on the washing line here at the Macquarie office. We encourage responsible drinking. Deso is a slang term for a designated driver.  You'll need a deso to get you to kick ons. You can probably guess that kick on is the opposite of pres in that it means to carry on a party or other festivites, usually late into the night, often to the point where regret begins sink in as the sun rises.  Alcohol related slang differs state by state. Take a deep dive into Aussie beer sizes to find out how each state likes to drink. And yes, we have also waded in (beer soaked of course) into the debate on whether it's spelt skol or scull.  Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.