Macquarie Dictionary


The young fresh spuds have eyes, you know

Perhaps the most versatile and popular vegetable on the planet, the spud (or potato, for those not in the know) is a staple of classic Aussie food. From chips to chips, it is part of almost every meal.

And like many Aussie things, this word was recorded earliest in New Zealand. But it is known to have been used in Australia from at least the 1890s.

This 1905 poem from Norman Lindsay is one of the earlier uses of the word spud.

I understand why girls won’t go

Across a green potato field…

The young fresh spuds have eyes, you know,

And might unto temptation yield. 

– Norman Lindsay

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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