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brinnie

noun a small stone: *Brinnie: A stone a bit smaller than a yonnie, used in brinnie fights. --PHILLIP ADAMS, 1974. Compare boondie2, gibber, gonnie, goolie, ronnie, yonnie. Also, brinny. [? Aborig.]
Contributor's comments: [Melbourne informant] If a brinnie fight got a bit too vigorous, the stones thrown got gradually larger until someone would shout "Fair go - you're chucking yonnies!"

Contributor's comments: The definition is correct. Used in Preston and Northcote [Melbourne Region] when I was a lad, 1953-1960's.

Contributor's comments: Melbourne (1960s): I was aware of "brinnie" but my friends used "yonnie" - especially those who had originally come from Melbourne's western suburbs.

Contributor's comments: [Melbourne region informant] I have never heard of the term. We would have used yonnie always. I have always lived in the eastern suburbs and taught for 30 years in primary schools and still have never heard of the term.

Contributor's comments: Shanghai fights were very popular growing up in the 60s in Victoria. I remember fights with 5 or 10 kids a side. We used to use little hard berries as ammunition. Didn't do as much damage as brinnies, but jeez they stung.

Contributor's comments: In Bendigo where I grew up in the 50s, we called brinnies the much larger, rounder rocks which you used in the brinnie wars mentioned by Phillip Adams. We callled yonnies, the flat, smooth rocks that were used for skimming over water.

Contributor's comments: Never used brinnie in eastern Melbourne, a gibber was a flat stone thrown across water, but yonnies were what one fought with.

Contributor's comments: [Melbourne informant] When I was at school in the 50's we used to call all throwing stone brinnies.

Contributor's comments: Phillip's definitition is correct for western Melbourne in the 1950s, when sectarian stone fights were rife, but confined by honour to brinnies. Tykes from Doutta Galla State would be ambushed by louts from the local Catholic school, but never with yonnies. When made roads came to west Essendon small bits of bluestone were the preferred weapons.

Contributor's comments: Around Ballarat in the 70's and 80's, small stones were always "yonnies" - I've never even heard of a "brinnie" until I read it here!
boondie2

noun a medium to large stone or rock. Compare brinnie, gibber, gonnie, goolie, ronnie, yonnie. Also, boondy, bundy. [? from a WA Aboriginal language]

Contributor's comments: I remember boondies being larger rocks (still big enough to throw) and smaller ones called coondies (same pronunciation) so you could have a sand coondie (or boondie) fight with your mates on the sand pile at a building site ! :-)

Contributor's comments: Boondie, is used in the mining industry to mean a large rock, a rock that won't go through the crusher, or a smaller rock on a haul road that is a nuisance and could cause tyre damage, and is used in a much larger area than your map shows, in fact it says in the blurb that it was used in Kalgoorlie and Kalgoorlie is not in the area shown, of course it is a WA word, which makes it a foreign language to eastern states people.

Contributor's comments: I used this term when I was younger and I have [heard] others use it recently especially near 6076 [Carmel, WA] where there are a lot of rocks.

Contributor's comments: I heard the discussion on the radio about 'boondie' and its variations. People were implying that it is a small stone. My father always used the qualifier 'big' as in big boondie, but more often the expression was 'a bloody big boondie'. Used in 1960s and 70s.

Contributor's comments: [usually] large stone or rock. When clearing a site in a rocky garden, one could say to a helper, something like: "We have to shift these bundies before we can plant the roses."

Contributor's comments: In Harvey WA (1950s and 60s) boondie always meant a gravel stone. I have never heard it used to describe a lump of sand: "throwing boondies or collecting boondies"

Contributor's comments: [Perth informant] A small to mid sized rock, big enough to be picked up and thrown: "We were playing down near the river when someone picked up a boondie and threw it at us."
gibber

noun a stone or pebble. Compare brinnie, boondie2, gonnie, goolie, ronnie, yonnie. [from the Aboriginal language Dharug (Sydney region) giba stone]
Contributor's comments: Gibber also refers to stones/rocks in the Pilbara area of W.A.

Contributor's comments: As children we used the word gibber, in outback New South Wales, to describe the smaller stones often covering large areas of arid plains. My wife, in central west NSW, used the word to describe rocks used for skimming across water. We used "goolie" to describe larger rocks.

Contributor's comments: My Dad was born and raised in the mid north of S.A. and often called a rock a gibber.

Contributor's comments: [Wodonga informant] The term "gibber" has always been used in our area to describe larger, jaggerd road rocks often encountered out bush on 4WD tracks. There was a spot that my younger brother and I used to visit that was a trecherous trip, 'twas "Gibber Gully".

Contributor's comments: Stone (Apparently an Aboriginal word for stone now in common use in northern SA). The area around Woomera is gibber desert. "Throw a gibber into the dam and see if you can hit that piece of wood." The Woomera newspaper is called "The Gibber Gabber".

Contributor's comments: Gibber was all around inland SA, north of Port Augusta, around Woomera, Andamooka, Coober Pedy, Kingoonya - it was gibber desert aka desert pavement. An absolute bugger of a surface if you were fencing, or driving or riding across it. Crushed gibber pebbles were used in driveways, like gravel only real fine - we called this stuff crusher dust. Usually bright white / grey colour, unlike the deep grey or black exterior of the gibber pebbles.

Contributor's comments: Gibber is widely used for stone in arid areas of SA where much of the country is "gibber desert" or stoney desert.

Contributor's comments: We used this word in Gippsland.

Contributor's comments: Gibber is a common term for the small often dark brown small stones which made up huge tracts of "waste" land out from places like Port Augusta, Woomera and so on; the Gibber Gabber is Woomera's paper. We used to pitch gibbers at the crows and kites as they circled overhead out at the pigfarm at Woomera.

Contributor's comments: Never used brinnie in eastern Melbourne, a gibber was a flat stone thrown across water, but yonnies were what one fought with.

Contributor's comments: Never used brinnie in eastern Melbourne, a gibber was a flat stone thrown across water, but yonnies were what one fought with.

Contributor's comments: [Brisbane informant] Gooly was used by boys to describe a larger stone or pebble than a gibber - they would be more likely to say they threw a goolie and fired a gibber from their shanghai (catapult): "The goolies we were throwing made a huge splash as they landed in the water."

Contributor's comments: I grew up in the Shire and we never used this word.
gonnie

noun a stone or pebble. Compare brinnie, boondie2, gibber, goolie, ronnie, yonnie.

Contributor's comments: No no, a boondie is not a rock or a stone, it's...well...a boondie! Like a sandy ball that you throw at each other. Can't get hurt getting hit by a boondie, unless you get the sand in your eyes!!

Contributor's comments: I grew up in Qld & have never heard gonni used.

Contributor's comments: I grew up in Rockhampton in the 50s and 60s and gonnie was a very common name for stone, usually a bit bigger than a gibber.

Contributor's comments: I grew up in Mt Isa in NW Qld in the 1960s and gonnie was a common word for a rock at school, as in "peg a gonnie at those kids" or "I'm gonna chuck a gonnie on his roof."

Contributor's comments: rock, usually small enough to fit in one hand.(Mackay NQ): "We spent the afternoon throwing gonnies in the creek."

Contributor's comments: Commonly used by children in 50's/60's in Atherton T'lands area.
goolie

noun a stone or pebble. Compare boondie2, brinnie, gibber, gonnie, ronnie, yonnie. [Aborig.; ? a NSW language]

Contributor's comments: Rather than having an Aboriginal origin, I suspect this is British via Indian, coming from the Hindi "gooli" meaning pellet. In Scotland it is a slang term for testicles.

Contributor's comments: I grew up in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne and we always used the word goolies as a reference to testicles.

Contributor's comments: Goolies were only ever the preserve of the male of the species - to be kicked in the goolies was very unpleasant! Same thing was to be kicked in the nuts! Never heard gibbers called goolies or vice versa.

Contributor's comments: From my days in a small farming community, Tullamore, near Parkes. My dad always used the term goolie when referring to a largish lump of quartzite. This was usually followed by a designated target that he was displeased with at the time, e.g., recalcitrant cattle dog, cat, sheep, etc.

Contributor's comments: This term was used in the Wagga area by children to indicate a stone for throwing. Also used for part of the male anatomy.

Contributor's comments: When I went to primary school in the fifties in country Queensland this term also referred to large oversize marbles when kids were paying marbles & it was also used in relation to large rocks that could be hurled more so than thrown - eg throwing goolies into a creek off a bridge to make big spashes or bombing mullet swimming close to the surface of the water. eg "Dropping goolies on them & blowing them out of the water".

Contributor's comments: [Lismore area informant] a rock or stone: "He grabbed a gooley and threw it."

Contributor's comments: In West Wyalong "gooloe" referred to a phlegmy spit.

Contributor's comments: [Brisbane informant] Gooly was used by boys to describe a larger stone or pebble than a gibber - they would be more likely to say they threw a goolie and fired a gibber from their shanghai (catapult): "The goolies we were throwing made a huge splash as they landed in the water."

Contributor's comments: I grew up in Tamworth, NSW, and a goolie was either a rock for throwing or a larger then normal marble.

Contributor's comments: My age group referred to testicles as "goolies" when I was younger.

Contributor's comments: In Bathurst in the 40's to 50's one threw or kicked goolies - small stones or testicles. It was also a phlegmy spit (expectorating) practised by male adults who I was told had 'chewed baccy' (tobacco) and also by many of the male Chinese market gardeners.
ronnie

noun a stone or pebble. Compare boondie2, brinnie, gibber, gonnie, goolie, yonnie.
yonnie

noun a stone, especially one for throwing. Compare boondie2, brinnie, gibber, goolie, gonnie, ronnie.
Contributor's comments: [from Brunswick, Victoria] "Yoni", maybe "yonee"; small stone. Teacher to child: Did you chuck [throw] that yoni that hit and hurt the boy over there?

Contributor's comments: We used it when I was at achool in Merbein, northern Vic, in the 50's and 60's.

Contributor's comments: [Melbourne informant] If a brinnie fight got a bit too vigorous, the stones thrown got gradually larger until someone would shout "Fair go - you're chucking yonnies!"

Contributor's comments: In the Upper Murray the word used is Connie. Last year I was home and a farmer I know said "I hit a bloody big Connie in that paddock' meaning his plough had struck a large stone.

Contributor's comments: A rock or stone: "Look at all the yonnies in that paddock."

Contributor's comments: A stone, no bigger than an inch: "To piff or to chuck a yonnie. My father (60) used the former verb, while my generation (30s) used the latter."

Contributor's comments: [Melbourne informant] A piece of "bluemetal" thrown at other kids in the schoolyard usually in yonnie fights: "Muuuuuum, Bruce chucked a yonnie at me and it stings like buggery."

Contributor's comments: A small rock or stone: "I chucked a yonnie at the dog."

Contributor's comments: Used at Nth Balwyn Primary and Balwyn High in 50's - Referred to a stone or pebble for throwing.

Contributor's comments: The term 'yonnie' was used by all the kids where I grew up in Camberwell in the early 1960s. It referred to any stone of throwing size. Large scale earthworks in the local park meant 'yonnie fights' were a popular pastime.

Contributor's comments: In Bendigo where I grew up in the 50s, we called brinnies the much larger, rounder rocks which you used in the brinnie wars mentioned by Phillip Adams. We callled yonnies, the flat, smooth rocks that were used for skimming over water.

Contributor's comments: A Men At Work song titled "Down by the sea" has a line - yonnie's in the wind - can someone please explain if this is relevant to this word map or just another Ossie coruption of a European word?

Contributor's comments: Never used brinnie in eastern Melbourne, a gibber was a flat stone thrown across water, but yonnies were what one fought with.

Contributor's comments: In Preston Vic. we made gings from bricklayer's reinforcing wires and cut up bicycle tubes. The stones shot from these were called yonnies.

Contributor's comments: A stone or small rock which is thrown - sometimes at people & animals, sometimes at trees - to see how accurate you can be - or off towers/bridges/cliffs to see how high they were. This word was in use in Orbost, East Gippsland when I was a child. I don't see any other place to say what region I am claiming: "Did you see how far he could chuck that yonnie? Look at the size of the yonnie he can chuck!"

Contributor's comments: stone, boulder: 1. "We were chucking a few yonnies to see who could skip them best." 2. "Frank was ploughing the west paddock when he ran into a yonnie the size of a house."

Contributor's comments: a stone, usually a small one: "Mick and Steve are in the back paddock piffing yonnies at bottles."

Contributor's comments: In my school days in Northern Victoria in the 1950-60's a yonnie was the gerneral name used for a stone that was good for throwing at someone, something or skimmed across the water.

Contributor's comments: A yonnie was any small stone, especially one that could be easily thrown, when I was a boy growing up in Puckapunyal Army Camp in Victoria in the 1950's. I must admit I am not sure if it was a peculiarly Victorian or local expression because families in the Camp came from all over the country.

Contributor's comments: Growing up in the Western District of Victoria in the 1960s and 70s, a "yonnie" could be any type of rock but was often used to describe a flat stone for skimming across water.