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bommy knocker

The seed pod of the liquidambar tree.(Originally a word from a large print children's book describing a giant's spiked club. The children likened the seed pods of the liquidambar trees in the playground to the giant's club, and the name passed on to each new generation of children.) (This is probably particular to this school [in the Tamworth region]): He threw a bommy knocker at me. (Child to teacher) See castor oil.

Contributor's comments: We also used the term 'bommy knocker' at my primary school (at Ulong, in the Coffs Harbour region). It was certainly in use in the late '80s, as indeed was the book about the giant and his club. 'Bommy knocker' was also used to refer to a club made by stuffing a jumper into its own sleeve.

Contributor's comments: This term is in a well known reading series. Involves hitting the head of a giant with a cosh-like instrument. Humorous in implication.

Contributor's comments: My son aged 11 says a bommy knocker is one of those blow-up plastic "show toys" that is shaped like a hammer or baseball bat.

Contributor's comments: At our primary school (Faulconbridge) our kindergarten teacher told us about the bommy knockers that fell off liquidamber trees about ten years ago, and all the older kids in the school knew about that so it must have been going in the 80's.

Contributor's comments: Bommy Knockers: My neighbourhood at St. Marys, NSW, has liquid amber trees and we all call the seed pods "bommy knockers", and presently the youngest is five years old...so the tradition still lives on.

Contributor's comments: Dommy knocker was the biggest marble used in a game of marbles in Cairns where I grew up in the 50`s.

Editor's comments: Does anyone else know the variant 'dommy knocker'?

Contributor's comments: My cousins and I called liquidamber seed pods "castor oils" growing up in Merriwa. I don't know whether it was more widely used.

Contributor's comments: I'm a Dubbo boy of the 70's & 80's and I've never heard of it.

Contributor's comments: My children always called those large inflatable baseball bats at the local shows 'bommy knockers'. Also my son always referred to chicken drumsticks (his favourite food as a little fella) as 'bommy knockers". This was obviously because of the similarity in shape.

Contributor's comments: Not common in several primary state schools in north Tas. 40-50 years ago, but certainly not unknown. Used by one girl to describe a hexagonal wooden stick used in days past when washing clothes in coppers.
castor oil

a seed pod of a liquidambar tree. See bommy knocker.
Contributor's comments: My cousins and I called liquidamber seed pods "castor oils" growing up in Merriwa. I don't know whether it was more widely used.