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demountable

noun a school building consisting of one or two classrooms which can be removed from its foundations and relocated. Compare musset hut, portable, pre-fab, relocatable, silver bullet1, terrapin unit, transportable.

Contributor's comments: This term is also commonly used in WA.

Contributor's comments: [Brisbane informant] "Demountable" is not restricted to school classrooms, but is any temporary building, eg. on a mine site.

Contributor's comments: I went to many schools on the North Coast [NSW] which had demountables or portables. Many southern people had no idea what we meant, as all of their class rooms were inside tall brick buildings with internal heating !

Contributor's comments: 'Transportable' was more widely used than 'demountable' for classrooms, at least when I went to school in the 1980s in the South West W.A. Permanent classrooms normally had numbers, ie Room 1, Room 2, Room 3, etc. Transportables were referred to as T1, T2, T3, etc.

Contributor's comments: Hmmm ... when I went to school (not THAT long ago), demountables weren't cyclone proof. We weren't impressed - another Southern conspiracy!

Contributor's comments: freezing cold, or blazing hot, pre-fab portable (& supposedly temporary) classrooms used by NSW Dept of Education throughout NSW.

Contributor's comments: In Darwin after cyclone Tracy many people lived in demountables, which were positioned either side of flattened elevated houses.
Bristol hut

In Latrobe Valley in 50s the word pre-fab denoted a school building officially known as a Bristol Hut - two classrooms and a small office/storeroom entered from a common door, aluminium clad, windows both sides extending to the ceiling and distinguishing tapered sun visors mounted vertically between the windows
musset hut

In Tas., early 'portable' classrooms were referred to as musset huts or sometime mustard huts. The former, I believe related to the designer of the huts used, and the latter related in a slang fashion to the same huts because they were usually painted with a 'mustard' yellow paint. Compare demountable, portable, pre-fab, relocatable, silver bullet1, terrapin unit, transportable. Also, mustard hut.
portable

noun a school building consisting of one or two classrooms which can be removed from its foundations and relocated. Compare demountable, musset hut, pre-fab, relocatable, silver bullet1, terrapin unit, transportable.

Contributor's comments: Demountable classrooms were called portables in Sydney in the 1970s.

Contributor's comments: My niece refers to this at her (Tasmanian) school as a "terrapin".

Contributor's comments: It was only ever refered to as a portable in our high school in Adelaide in the 70's.

Contributor's comments: Growing up in Adelaide, it was always a transportable.
pre-fab

a portable classroom. Compare demountable, musset hut, portable, relocatable, silver bullet1, terrapin unit, transportable.


Contributor's comments: In Latrobe Valley in 50s the word pre-fab denoted a school building officially known as a Bristol Hut - two classrooms and a small office/storeroom entered from a common door, aluminium clad, windows both sides extending to the ceiling and distinguishing tapered sun visors mounted vertically between the windows.
relocatable

a portable classroom. Compare demountable, musset hut, portable, pre-fab, silver bullet1, terrapin unit, transportable.
silver bullet1

a portable classroom. Compare demountable, musset hut, portable, pre-fab, relocatable, terrapin unit, transportable.

Contributor's comments: Silver Bullet in Sydney always referred to a can of Resch's Pilsener which came in a silvery can.

Contributor's comments: Darwin and North Coast: A silver aluminium caravan used for office space or classrooms, particularly in Northern Territory Communities: "She's got the key to the silver bullet."
terrapin unit

noun a portable classroom. Compare demountable, musset hut, portable, pre-fab, relocatable, silver bullet1, transportable. Also, terrapin.
Contributor's comments: In the NT portable classrooms are called "silver bullets".

Contributor's comments: Is this the 'transportable' in W.A.?

Contributor's comments: This is called a "demountable" in Queensland Schools.

Contributor's comments: In SA these classrooms are referred to as demountables.

Contributor's comments: In Victoria this is a portable, or a relocatable.

Contributor's comments: In Victoria this is referred to as a 'portable'.

Contributor's comments: I used to call these Pre-fabs (pre-fabricated) in Adelaide.

Contributor's comments: Called a "prefab" in SA, sometimes also "transportables".

Contributor's comments: portable Tasmanian school classroom as you have in portable: "Take these library books over to the teacher in the terrapin."

Contributor's comments: "Terrapin" could well be the manufacturer's model designation or brand name. They had (have?) a floor area 24ft x 24ft and were constructed in three 8ft modules.

Contributor's comments: Terrapin units have been used by Tasmanian schools to accommodate short term shortages in classrooms.

Contributor's comments: In Sydney when I grew up these were always called demountables. When my son said he was going to be in the terrapin next year I had no idea what he meant until he showed me.
transportable

a portable classroom. Compare demountable, musset hut, portable, pre-fab, relocatable, silver bullet1, terrapin unit.


Contributor's comments: A moveable building known as a demountable in NSW: "The office is temporarily in the transportable."

Contributor's comments: 'Transportable' was more widely used than 'demountable' for classrooms, at least when I went to school in the 1980s in the South West W.A. Permanent classrooms normally had numbers, ie Room 1, Room 2, Room 3, etc. Transportables were referred to as T1, T2, T3, etc.

Contributor's comments: It was only ever refered to as a portable in our high school in Adelaide in the 70's.

Contributor's comments: I pretty certain that demountable was the norm in WA by the 1980s. When I was growing up in the WA Wheatbelt in the 1970s, a transportable was always a house rather than a schoolroom, although I could be wrong about this as we didn't have them at our school.

Contributor's comments: I went to school in the 1960's in Adelaide. We called these buidings "temporaries" pronounced "tempries" during that time. My brother spent his entire scholling in these buildings. They were stinking hot in summer, no air conditioning for us baby boomers!