Macquarie Dictionary


Pick up the lagerphone

Pick up the Batphone and you’ll get the dark knight. Pick up the lagerphone and you’ll get the sounds of traditional Aussie folk music. 

A lagerphone is a homemade musical instrument consisting of beer bottle tops loosely nailed to a broom handle. A percussion instrument, the lagerphone is struck (hopefully) in time with music using a small piece of hardwood.

Some of you may have seen this instrument used by humble buskers in city streets, alongside a bottle xylophone (made with long necks of course).

Australia is also known for its Aboriginal instruments, the most famous of which is the didjeridooa well-known wind instrument. The name didjeridoo was coined by European settlers in intimation of its sound. It is sometimes spelt as didjeridu, in line with Aboriginal spelling conventions. There is also the bullroarer, a long piece of wood attached to a string that is traditionally used in religious rites.

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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