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bindi-eye

noun
a. a low-growing plant (Soliva pterosperma) often found in lawns with small spiky burrs which stick painfully into bare feet but cannot penetrate footwear. link
b. one of these burrs: Hang on while I pick the bindi-eyes out of my foot! link Compare bindy, joey, jo-jo, prickle. Also, bindii, bindi-i. [from the Aboriginal languages Kamilaroi and Yuwaalarraay (Liverpool Range, NSW)]
Editor's comments: Does anybody call those great big whopping things that look like a goat's head with horns and a beard, a bindi-eye?

Contributor's comments: Bindii is the small spiky burr found in garden lawns (in Brisbane) which does not even remotely compare to "double Gees" from WA which are huge and are a stock weed.

Contributor's comments: Bindieye rather than Bindi was the word used in the Pilbara area of W.A. as children. Not heard much now.

Contributor's comments: When I was a kid we called 'bindi-eyes' 'joeys' in Newcastle. My husband thought this was very strange because in Wollongong where he grew up 'joeys' were the great big version of the prickly things in grass. Now my kids think we're both strange because no one has even heard of 'joeys'!

Contributor's comments: Bindi-eye is the accepted common name for Australian Arid Zone plants of the genus Sclerolaena (formerly known as Bassia). They are related to saltbush and have fine sharp spines, often in pairs. Some bindi-eyes are also known as copperburrs. I think many weedy plants with spines are called bindi-eyes, but certainly three corner jack (SA name) or double gee (WA name) are not bindi-eyes; neither is the weed calthrop. Bindi-eye (Sclerolaena species) occur in all states except Tasmania.

Contributor's comments: Growing up in Sydney from 1965 onwards, I was familiar with bindi eyes. But we also called them prickles. I don't know if this was just a family expression or not. But you would never go outside bare foot if there were lots of "prickles" about.

Contributor's comments: "Bindi-eye" was common in Swan Hill, Victoria, where I lived in early 60s, but I never heard it in southern Vic.

Contributor's comments: We also know bindi-eye as 'khaki burr' or simply as 'prickles'.

Contributor's comments: I grew up in Weipa (FNQ) & bindi eyes were common.

Contributor's comments: [Brisbane informant] I have always called these sharp prickles "bindi-eye".

Contributor's comments: Bind-eye is also known in Melbourne. It refers to a small very prickly burr, similar to a clover burr but much sharper. Three-corner-jacks or cats-eyes are a different plant - they have about 5 very distinct spikes, capable of penetrating shoes eg thongs and are much sharper.

Contributor's comments: In Kalgoorlie [a three-corner jack is called a] "Bindieye".

Contributor's comments: In Sydney, from the 50's I heard these called bindi eyes, and was surprised to hear them called jo jos in Wollongong (from the 70's).

Contributor's comments: In Brisbane these were always 'bindis' or 'bindi-eyes'. In Melbourne I don't remember hearing anything other than 'prickles'.

Contributor's comments: Growing up in Sans Souci, NSW, we used bindys or bindie-eyes. The big painful ones were thorns or burrs.

Contributor's comments: Small Prickly weeds in lawn. They stick in feet and even thongs. Shortens to bindis. Never heard of jo-jo for this plant in Sydney or ACT.

Contributor's comments: Bindiis around Brisbane were a smaller plant than the khaki burr, referred to as bindiis in western Qld. The three cornered burrs in western Qld are bullheads, and are very common. Another bad one out that way is dog burr, also called galvanised burr. Once west of the great divide, prickles are just as common but burrs like bullheads, or goatheads, are everywhere.

Contributor's comments: In Wagga Wagga, bindi-eyes were roundish seed pods with rows of fine spikes. They didn't hurt on bare feet, but did get snagged in socks.

Contributor's comments: I only ever heard of bindis in SA as a kid, they were obviously those three corner jacks. In Brisbane, where I live now, they seem to be more like burrs (what we called them in outer eastern Melbourne).

Contributor's comments: Having grown up in Cairns NQ, bindies have referred to the same small prickles but also used to refer to sensitive weed (a very common sprawling woody ground hugging weed with small prickles all over the stems and leaves that curl up and close upon contact - see Picnic at Hanging Rock "Plants move you know" everyone in North Queensland was cacking themselves laughing at the Sensitive Weed).

Contributor's comments: [Perth informant] Bindi-eyes are those small tiny soft one stemed prickles that hurt like heck when you step on them. The 3 thorned harder type are what I always called "double-gees". Why they were called double gees when they had three thorns. Maybe because you said "gee" two times before you could pull it out?

Contributor's comments: I've only ever heard them called 'bindis'. Only heard them used to refer to the small things that grow all year, but dry out for a few months and stick in your foot. We used to use prickles to refer to any kind of sharp plant or grass - 'you don't have any prickles in your lawn, do you?'
joey

same as bindi or bindi-eye. When you stand on them you hop about like a kangaroo (or joey): Did you stand on a joey? Compare bindi-eye, bindy, jo-jo, prickle.

Contributor's comments: When I was a kid we called 'bindi-eyes' 'joeys' in Newcastle. My husband thought this was very strange because in Wollongong where he grew up 'joeys' were the great big version of the prickly things in grass. Now my kids think we're both strange because no one has even heard of 'joeys'!

Contributor's comments: When I was growing up in the 1950s, we'd tread warily at the time of year when the grass was covered in "joeys". I'd noticed that in other areas they were called "bindis" and that "bindis" were encroaching linguistically.
jo-jo


a. a low-growing plant (Soliva pterosperma) often found in lawns with small spiky burrs which stick painfully into bare feet but cannot penetrate footwear. link
b. one of these burrs: I've got a jojo in my foot. link Compare bindi-eye, bindy, joey, prickle.

Contributor's comments: In the 1940/50's in the Manning Valley, a joe-joe was a single-spiked seed that stuck in your foot, many and often. This occasioned one to sit down to pick them out as they broke off if rubbed against the other foot, therefore getting more in your bottom, and still more in the hand that steadied you as you held the aforementioned foot in the air to perform the extraction. Some regions (eg Sydney) call them bindies.

Contributor's comments: In Sydney, from the 50's I heard these called bindi eyes, and was surprised to hear them called jo jos in Wollongong (from the 70's).

Contributor's comments: Jo-jo acronym for Jump On Jump Off, cause the farmers friends are hitching a free ride.