Macquarie Dictionary


Talkin’ to the billy lid

This week we’re talking about the tin lid, that’s rhyming slang for kid. Join us as we regale you with other kid related slang. 

You may know that a nipper is a child, as well the name for a junior lifesaver, but did you know that a nipper was also a young lad on a construction site or in a mine who did small odd jobs, such as making tea and buying lunch? This meaning of nipper dates from the 1910s. You aren’t likely to see many kids running around a mine these days!

Little tacker is a name for little kids that prominent throughout southern Australia, while kidstakes refer to childish behaviour: kidding around, or kid’s stuff. Like nipper, kidstakes dates back to the 1910s, suggesting this was period when Aussie’s first discovered children, kidding, obviously. Kidstakes comes from stakes, as in something wagered, thus, literally, what a kid might bet, hence, child’s play.

Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here. 


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