Macquarie Dictionary


Dry as a blacksmith’s apron

Researching words and definitions is hard work. Punching them into the Dictionary makes me as dry as a blacksmiths apron, in other words, thirsty. 

The Australian landscape can be a harsh place. So naturally we’ve invented interesting ways to say we need a drink. For example, to exclaim that a man’s not a camel! is a way to say ‘give me a drink before I die of thirst!’

If you’re suffering from polydipsia (excessive thirst) you might do a perish if you don’t get a drink. Do a perish is old Aussie slang for dying from thirst or suffering a lack of substance. If you are crude you might say you are as dry as a frog’s tit in the middle of the desert. In other words, dying of thirst. 

A couple of other words related to thirst but not in the sense that you need a drink are the well known thirst for knowledge and thirst trap. To have a thirst for knowledge means you really want to read through the entire Macquarie blog archive to learn about quirky slang words. It also means you are curious. A thirst trap is a social media post, especially a selfie of oneself looking sexy or having fun, intended to get the attention of a specific person or group of people.

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.

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