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  • London to a brick

    Apr 29, 2014 | 0 Comments


    In the folklore of Australian English this phrase is associated with Ken Howard, a race caller of the 1940s. The notion is that the punter is so confident of winning the bet that he is prepared to put all of London on the horse to win one brick. Read more ...

  • The Easter bilby

    Apr 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

    The word Easter comes from a Germanic word present in various forms in different Germanic languages but ultimately coming from the word for ‘the dawn’. The Venerable Bede recounts in 735 that it was the name of a goddess celebrated by the Anglo-Saxons at the vernal equinox, this pagan celebration being taken over by the Christians. Read more ...

  • A poetry reading by Les Murray, Tue 29 April 2014

    Apr 14, 2014 | 0 Comments


    It is not widely known that Les Murray, regarded as one of Australia’s greatest poets, is also a dictionary editor by enthusiasm, having contributed to Macquarie Dictionary in an informal and formal status for many years. Read more...

  • Curmudgeon

    Apr 04, 2014 | 0 Comments


    This word has such an interesting shape and sound that it seems that, as we lose track of its original use, it is getting a good feel to it. ‘Such a curmudgeon!’ you say with admiration as the grand old man stumps into the room with a huge frown on his face, formidable and commanding respect. Read more...