Macquarie Dictionary


Go choko, use vine whip!

Recent events have led to an upsurge in suburban gardeners across Australia planting their own little veggie patches. We can’t talk about growing our own food without mentioning the choko, the pear-shaped, light-green, fruit of a South American vine, often grown in backyards and eaten as a vegetable.

The choko vine was once ubiquitous to Australian backyards. They were especially widespread during the Great Depression as they took little, if any, looking after (except perhaps for cutting back) and thus provided a cheap source of food. Tenacious and fast-growing, the plant commonly spread from its source over and along fences, trellises, sheds and carports. Outside dunnies proved a particularly popular location. Someone who is totally useless couldn’t train a choko vine to grow up a dunny wall.

So while tending your veggie patch, be sure to add ‘planting choko‘ to your list of jobs for the weekend. 

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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