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crayfish1

noun (plural crayfishes; crayfish)
any of various large, edible marine, stalk-eyed decapod crustaceans of the family Palinuridae, with large claws and a hard red carapace. Compare lobster.

Contributor's comments: Also called a "crawchie" at Ilfracombe [Qld] 1950's, possibly still.

Contributor's comments: Crayfish is called a craw bob [near Tamworth, NSW].

Contributor's comments: Used in WA for saltwater lobsters.
crayfish2

noun (plural crayfishes; crayfish)
an Australian freshwater crustacean of the genus Cherax. Compare clawchie, crawchie, craydab, jilgie, lobby, lobster, marron, yabby.

Contributor's comments: Also called a "crawchie" at Ilfracombe [Qld] 1950's, possibly still.

Contributor's comments: Crayfish is called a craw bob [near Tamworth, NSW].

Contributor's comments: Used in WA for saltwater lobsters.
crayfish3

noun twenty dollar note: Can you spare a couple of crays till pay day. Also, cray.

Contributor's comments: Slang for a twenty dollar note in Victoria particularly Melbourne and Gippsland used by tradesmen when asking for payment by cash. eg "Sling me a couple of crayfish."
clawchie

noun an Australian freshwater crayfish, of the genus Cherax. Compare crawchie, craydab, crayfish, jilgie, lobby, lobster, marron, yabby.
crawchie

noun an Australian freshwater crayfish, of the genus Cherax. Compare clawchie, craydab, crayfish, jilgie, lobby, lobster, marron, yabby.

Contributor's comments: We used crawchie for freshwater crayfish around Rockhampton when I was a child (50s).

Contributor's comments: Used in and around Rockhampton, Central Queensland, but Gladstone - only an hour and a half away used lobby.

Contributor's comments: We used the term in Rockhampton.

Contributor's comments: The term was used in the local area where I grew up - Cessnock in the lower Hunter Valley.

Contributor's comments: As children in central Queensland we all used [yabbie], however when going to boarding school at the coast noticed the use of crawchi (no idea of spelling) instead.

Contributor's comments: Used in Yeppoon (4703) in the 1980s.

Contributor's comments: I grew up in Rockhampton in the 70s and we would go down to the creek to catch crawchies for the fishtank.


Contributor's comments: Another word for yabby, or fresh water shrimp: "We are going to the creek/dam/river to fish for crawtchies."

Contributor's comments: I have just added this to list, but I spelt it "crawtchie" - I also grew up in Rockhampton in the 50s and 60s.

Contributor's comments: In the Lake Macquarie area where I grew up, they were always called "crawchies" during the 1950s and early 1960s. I noticed a switch to "Yabbies" later during the 1970s and 1980s.

Contributor's comments: Crawchie was used in Blackall. As a child we would go out and catch "Crawchies" from the board-drains that run throught the paddocks around Blackall. The drains are now gradually disappearing because of bores being capped to save water.

Contributor's comments: Lived in CQ area all my life, always used to go catching crawchies in the Dawson River and creeks of that area.
craydab

noun an Australian freshwater crayfish, of the genus Cherax. Compare clawchie, crawchie, crayfish, jilgie, lobby, lobster, marron, yabby. Also, craybob, crawbob.

Contributor's comments: As a child in Central Western NSW I always went catching craydabs. I am disappointed that, when I visit the old home now, the local children go catching yabbies instead!
gilgie

noun another spelling for jilgie, an Australian freshwater crayfish, of the genus Cherax. Compare clawchie, crawchie, craydab, crayfish, lobby, lobster, marron, yabby. Also, gulgie.

Contributor's comments: When we were kids around Goulburn NSW in the 50s we called them craybobs, not included in your list of synonyms for gilgie but similar to craydab.

Contributor's comments: There are 4 types of freshwater crayfish in WA: Marron, Gilgies, Koonacks and Yabbies. They are all distinct species.

Contributor's comments: I was always under the impression that yabbies (the word I use), jilgies and koonaks were the same thing. Marron are certainly different and a lot bigger.
jilgie

noun an Australian freshwater crayfish, of the genus Cherax. Compare clawchie, crawchie, craydab, crayfish, lobby, lobster, marron, yabby. Also, gilgie, gulgie. [from the Aboriginal language Nyungar (south-western WA)]

Contributor's comments: [What is called] a yabbie in the Eastern States: "Have you caught any jilgies?"

Contributor's comments: Growing up in the fifties and sixties in Perth, everyone called a yabby a gilgie - I always regarded yabby as a shibboleth for an eastern stater but I believe the word now has some frequency in the west. Having been gone for over thirty years I am no longer in a position to detemine exactly what inroads yabby has made.

Contributor's comments: Jilgies are a separate species from Marron which are much larger and Yabbies which are not native to WA.
lobby

noun (plural lobbies)
an Australian freshwater crayfish, of the genus Cherax. Compare clawchie, crawchie, craydab, crayfish, jilgie, lobster, marron, yabby. [shortened form of lobster + -y, diminutive suffix]

Contributor's comments: In Tassie, we have the yabby, go yabby-ing (fishing for the yabby) and when successful have caught yabbies.

Contributor's comments: 1960s to present, in most parts of Queensland. When I first heard the term 'Yabbie" to describe lobbies, I had no idea what the speaker was talking about.

Contributor's comments: Growing up in Brisbane during the 60's and 70's a lobby was a fresh water cray while only those found in salt water were called yabbies.

Contributor's comments: My husband grew up in Bundaberg, Qld, in the 1950's & early 60's and always used the word lobby not yabbie.
lobster1

noun an Australian freshwater crayfish, of the genus Cherax. Compare clawchie, crawchie, craydab, crayfish, jilgie, lobby, marron, yabby.

Contributor's comments: The smooth carapaced 'lobster' seems to belong to Sydney, which is the only place in Australia where I ever saw it. The southern 'crayfish' as far as I know, are always spiny.

Contributor's comments: I have always used the term crayfish rather than lobster.

Contributor's comments: Widespread in NSW also.
lobster2

noun any of various large, edible, marine stalk-eyed decapod crustaceans of the family Palinuridae, with large claws and a hard red carapace. Compare crayfish.

Contributor's comments: The smooth carapaced 'lobster' seems to belong to Sydney, which is the only place in Australia where I ever saw it. The southern 'crayfish' as far as I know, are always spiny.

Contributor's comments: I have always used the term crayfish rather than lobster.

Contributor's comments: Widespread in NSW also.
marron

noun an Australian freshwater crayfish, of the genus Cherax. Compare clawchie, crawchie, craydab, crayfish, jilgie, lobby, lobster, yabby. [from the Aboriginal language Nyungar (south-western WA)] —marroner, noun


Contributor's comments: I work for AQIS Export Fish section. In WA there are numerous freshwater Cherax species and each has a different common name and they are NOT interchangeable: marron, gilgie, koonac and yabby. Red Claw is a Queensland species. Here is a link with identiying features: http://www.wa.gov.au/westfish/aqua/broc/idfresh/index.html.

Editor's comments: The site referred to above is excellent. At least it differentiates the four common types in southwest Western Australia. Apparently there are more than 100 species of freshwater crayfish (Cherax). Whether there is any direct connection between the "technical" names and their application and the "colloquial" usage would be interesting to find out. For example, if you are out koonacking are you disappointed if you catch a marron? Can anyone help with this?

Contributor's comments: A marron is significantly larger than a yabbie.

Contributor's comments: In my experience marron were more likely to be found in salt water, whilst koonac were more likely to be caught in dams. But I'm no expert, just a kid dragged out in search of the things all the time when growing up in Perth.
yabby

noun (plural yabbies)
any Australian freshwater crayfish of the genus Cherax: *Bill showed her how to trap yabbies too, with an old stocking of Grace's and a few pieces of bacon rind --JEAN BEDFORD, 1986. Compare clawchie, crawchie, craydab, crayfish, jilgie, lobby, lobster, marron. Also, yabbie. [from the Aboriginal language Wembawemba (Victoria/NSW) yabij] —yabbying, noun

Contributor's comments: There were definitely 'yabbies' in the creek behind my house in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney when I was growing up so please include this in the regional distribution.

Contributor's comments: This word, yabby, is definitely in use in Townsville. I am almost certain that it is most usually 'yabbie' singular though. There are, of course, many yabbies in North Queensland.

Contributor's comments: Yabby is also used in WA but is more commonly yabbie.

Contributor's comments: In Brisbane this term is used to describe small salt water crustaceans that are used as fishing bait. I used to go onto the Moreton Bay mudflats with my uncle and his yabby pump to extract them for abovesaid use.

Contributor's comments: We used to catch tiny yabbies (about 3-5cm long), with a pump, to use as fishing bait. This was around the Hervey Bay area in Queensland.

Contributor's comments: The yabby, coonac, jilgie (gilgie) and marron are all different species of animal and as such are not interchangable words for one specific beastie.

Contributor's comments: As children in central Queensland we all used this word, however when going to boarding school at the coast noticed the use of crawchi (no idea of spelling) instead.

Contributor's comments: In Queensland, the term 'yabby' describes the small saltwater crustacean obtained by pumping the mudflats with a yabby pump. It is used as a bait, particularly for bream. The word 'lobby' refers to the freshwater crustacean, described as a 'yabby' in southern states.

Contributor's comments: 'Yabby' is not a regional West Australian word. It has only recently had a lot of usage in W.A., probably due to the influx of eastern staters and TV. Gilgies and Coonacks are the normal terms for these freshwater crustaceans found here.

Contributor's comments: Yabbie was used in N.E. Tasmania to refer to the burrowing crayfish family.

Contributor's comments: [Adelaide informant] small fresh water shell fish: "We're going yabbie-ing in the dam."

Contributor's comments: A common usage word in all of Queensland. Bait found by pumping the sand on the beach near the waters edge: "I am going Yabbying." "The best bait around here is live Yabbies."


Contributor's comments: While growing up, in regional Victoria, the term Yabby was applicable to fresh water crayfish. However when I completed my schooling at Gympie the students there used the term for a small edible plant of which only the seedpod was eaten.

Contributor's comments: Around Canberra in the 50s and 60s, yabbies were freshwater crayfish inhabiting dams. We baited our lines with lumps of meat.

Contributor's comments: We caught yabbies (the freshwater crayfish version) in the Belabula River (Central West NSW) as kids. Tangled them up in the "slime" (masses of a long, filamentous algae). The contributors from coastal QLD seem to be talking about what we knew as nippers on the NSW south coast (Bermagui) in the 70's - small crustacean in holes on the sandflats, got with a nipper (yabby) gun. One large claw.