Macquarie Dictionary


Marge, the knock ’em down rains are here!

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. 

Chiefly in the Northern Territory, knock ’em down rains are violent thunderstorms in the Top End, with strong winds, lashing rain and plenty of lightning and thunder. These usually occur at the end of the wet season in the north of the NT.

Our Australian Word Map offers up some contributor etymology of the term in that it is so called because it 

refers to the rain knocking down the tips of the spear grass that has just started turning brown at this time of year, the rain knocks the seedy heads off for next year’s spear.


the heavy rain storms at the end of the Wet which knocked down all the (6ft) tall grass.

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