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Australia Decoded
'B-13'


Bunya Pine

Bunya pine (Araucaria bidwillii)



budgeree—good, right.

budgerigarMelopsittacus undulatus, a small, green and yellow parrot endemic to the drier regions of mainland Australia. The most popular pet bird world-wide, the budgie has been bred by fanciers to occur in a range of colours and markings. Many budgerigars become excellent talkers, if acquired when quite young. Birds in a flock fly in a characteristic undulating manner. They form large flocks after a season of abundant rainfall and food. Occasionally numbering in the thousands, flocks usually range from as few as three birds up to hundred or so. Also known as warbling grass parakeet, zebra parrot, canary parrot, or love bird.

budgie—budgerigar.

Budj Bim—an important creation being from the Gunditjmara Dreamtime. He is believed to have revealed himself in the landscape, which is the result of the massive Tyrendarra lava flow, some 20,000 years ago. The extinct volcano that is now known as Mount Eccles is his forehead and the scoria are his teeth. Located next to Lake Condah, within the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape, south-western Victoria.

Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape—the first Indigenous site to be included on the newly created National Heritage List (July 2004). The Budj Bim landscape is comprised of a number of sites, including the Mount Eccles National Park, Lake Condah Aboriginal Mission, Tyrendarra Indigenous Protected Area, Muldoon’s Aboriginal Land and Allambie Aboriginal Land. The landscape reveals a sophisticated development of channels, stone dams and fish traps. Groups of circular stone huts are evidence of a settled society with villages. The Gunditjmara traditional owners manage the Indigenous heritage values of the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape through the Windamara Aboriginal Corporation and other Aboriginal organisations. A large part of the area is the Mount Eccles National Park. The Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape is located at Lake Condah, in Victoria’s south-west.

buff-banded railGallirallus philippensis, the most colourful of it's group, with heavily barred underparts, white eyebrow, and rufous head and chest patch. This bird is often seen on the edge of country roads and vegetation fringes where it forages, darting back into cover at the sign of movement. On occasion, becomes quite tame, frequenting country house-yards. Grows to 31cm and eats insects, seeds, freshwater molluscs and green shoots. Its nest is saucer shaped, constructed of dried grasses and herbage, and located in dense reeds or rushes, or in a tussock of grass close to a swamp. Sometimes nests on dry ground away from water, lining a shallow scrape with grass. Breeding season is August to January, sometimes March to June in northern regions. Four to six eggs are laid, with at times more. Singly, or in small groups, it can inhabit swamps or thick rank vegetation bordering a variety of wetland types ranging from rivers to man-made ponds, also being found on off-shore islands. It will run rather than fly, often uttering a call like krek from thick cover.

buffer—old-fashioned, foolish or pompous man.

bug-rake—a comb.

bugalugs—term of endearment.

Buganditj—(see: Buandik).

bugbear—any cause for fright, fear, anxiety or annoyance.

bugger—1. contemptible and despicable person. 2. affectionate and jocular term of address. 3. a nuisance or difficulty. 4. ruin or spoil. 5. render incapacitated. 6. exclamation of annoyance, frustration, disgust or contempt.

bugger about/around—mess, fool around; waste time.

bugger it!—exclamation of exasperation, annoyance, frustration or contempt.

bugger me dead!—exclamation of amazement.

bugger off—1. depart; leave. 2. go away! get lost!

bugger (something) up—ruin; spoil, cause to fail.

bugger that for a joke!—a term of annoyance, indicating the speaker's disapproval of whatever it is he's reacting to.

bugger you Jack, I'm right!—expression of contempt for someone else's selfish behaviour or complacency.

bugger-all—nothing; very little; meagre.

buggered—1. broken; ruined; spoiled. 2. tired; exhausted. 3. euphemism for damned.

buggered if I know!—expression of ignorance.

buggered up—ruined; broken; spoiled.

buggerise about/around—to waste one's time; to exert much effort in accomplishing little; to do nothing worthy of mention.

buggery—1. very much: e.g., That hurt like buggery. 2. euphemism for hell. 3. a remote, far-away place: e.g., He lives somewhere out to buggery.

building society—a public finance company which accepts investments at interest and lends capital for mortgages on houses etc.

buildup weather—the period shortly before a monsoon storm "breaks".

Bula site—a sacred site for the Jawoyan people. Sacred sites are not to be disturbed, lest sickness and death are visited upon the people within its region.

Bulajang—said to be the spiritual guardian of the Jawoyan and other tribes of the South Alligator River Valley. His sacred sites, which are believed to cause illness and death if disturbed, are known as Bula sites, or sacred sites.

bulk bill—(of a medical practitioner) bill (the health insurance agency, usually Medicare) for treatment of a number of patients at the scheduled fee—and the patient does not need to pay the doctor nor fill out insurance forms.

bull ants—(see: bulldog ants).

bull dust—1. a fine, powdery dust that pervades the outback; a hazard on roads, as it can conceal pot holes by filling them. 2. euphemism for bullshit: nonsense; a tall story; a mistruth.

bull kelpDurvillaea potatorum grows up to eight metres in length from their suction-cup base (the aptly-named holdfast) and their wide, heavy, leathery fronds lash the rock surface bare. Bull kelp can live for up to eight years, although its life span is usually limited by storms, grazing marine animals or adverse warmer sea temperatures. Aboriginal groups used the dried bull kelp to transport water and food, hence the species name potatorum ('to drink').

Bull Lake—a nationally important refuge for birds and animals in times of drought. Located on the Cape York Peninsula, Queensland.

bull oakAllocasuarina luehmannii, a leafless tree, to 15m tall, with fine, twisted, grey-green branchlets and woody cones. Leaves are reduced to 10-14, small, triangular teeth, < 0.5 mm long, in whorls around narrow, cylindrical, grey-green, finely roughened branchlets, to 40cm long and mm wide, with up to 22mm between whorls of teeth. The male flower is a narrow spike, to 5cm long, consisting of orange stamens emerging from branchlets. Females flowers are a dense, red tuft of styles, about 1cm wide. Fruit is a short, cylindrical, woody cone, to 12 x 14mm, with numerous, beaked capsules, each containing winged seeds to 5mm long. Indigenous people made implements and weapons from the wood.

bull oak mistletoeAmyema linophylla, carries erect, greyish-white flowers on long, wiry, erect, glaucaus leaves. It exclusively parasitises bull oaks and she-oaks, and occurs in the south-east portion of NSW and on Kangaroo Island.

bull roarer—a flat, oval shaped piece of wood with a double string attached to one end. It is spun over the head by the other end of the string in sacred Aboriginal ceremonies. The sound is a hauntingly beautiful whirring, caused by the wood spinning as air moves across it, and the string twists and untwists.

bulla-bullaBarnardius barnardi macgillivrayi, Aboriginal name for the Cloncurry parrot, also known as Cloncurry ringneck; a subspecies of the mallee ringneck.

bulldog antsMyrmecia sp., subfamily Myrmeciinae, ants belonging to an ancient group that is endemic to Australia. Bulldog or bull ants are large, growing up to 4cm in length. They have a black body with a red abdomen. They are a rather disorganized group of ants who are more or less out for themselves. They don't unite into a cohesive foraging unit, unlike other ants, nor do they band together to defend the colony. If the queen wants any food she has to find it herself. About the only thing they have in common with other ant species is that they do tend to the larvae, making sure they are well-fed and happy. Bulldog ants' (so named because of their tenacious grip and savage bite) jaws have tremendous crushing power and can easily subdue insect prey. Colonies are founded by a single queen that has mated with a male from her original colony. She carries the unfertilized eggs and sperm with her to a new site which she feels is environmentally suitable for a colony. She then lays numerous eggs in out-of-the-way places, tending the nest until the eggs hatch and the larvae grow into small ants—which are all female workers. After the colony is fully populated with female ants, the queen then lays eggs which will all be males who will then ultimately mate with the females of the colony and go off to start new colonies. Bulldog ant queens are one of a handful of insects which can determine whether eggs will be male or female. They reach sexual maturity almost immediately after becoming ants (around 90 to 100 days after hatching). The mating season is not confined to any certain month, and the incubation period is around 18 to 20 days. The queen is capable of laying thousands of eggs before her death. The maximum lifespan of the bulldog ant is around 3 to 3 1/2 years. Found extensively in mainland Australia, parts of Tasmania, and in lesser numbers on the island of New Caledonia.

bullet—( Brit.) dismissal from hired occupation, generally without prior notice; "the sack".

Bulli soil—a type of soil used for cricket pitches.

bullock—a castrated bull; a steer.

Bullock Creek—one of only three known vertebrate fossil sites in the Northern Territory. The others are the Alcoota fossil beds on Alcoota Station, and the Kangaroo Well site on Deep Well Station. The Bullock Creek fossil site is part of the Camfield fossil beds, one of only a few Australian localities where fossil marsupials are well preserved. The Bullock Creek local fauna are estimated to date to the mid-Miocene (about 12 million years ago). The assemblage provides evidence that aridification was in progress in northern Australia during that time. Located about 550km south-east from Darwin.

bullock's heart—custard apple.

bullock's liver—(rhyming slang) river.

Bullockornis—A 12-million-year-old giant thunder bird, it had a massive head with large, powerful jaws. Although thunder birds were long thought to be plant-eaters, features of this bird's skull suggest that Bullockornis may have been a flesh-eater. Scientists have nicknamed this huge bird for its suspected meat-eating habits and its possible distant relationship to waterfowl—the 'Demon Duck of Doom'.

bullocky—bullock-team driver.

bullocky's joy—treacle or golden syrup ; also known as cocky's joy.

Bulloo Overflow/Carypundy Swamp—is a representative large terminal drainage basin in a relatively natural condition. It is the terminal basin of an entire inland wetland system that when inundated supports large numbers of waterbirds, including the freckled duck, which is listed as vulnerable under Schedule 2 of the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1952. Located east of Tibooburra in Far Western New South Wales.

bullswool—1. nonsense; exaggerated, unreliable talk. 2. exclamation of disbelief, disgust, scorn, etc.

bullwaddyMacropteranthes kekwickii, grows into shrubby woodlands. Often found in combination with tall woodlands of lancewood. This acacia woodland is characterised by a relatively grass-free understorey. Bullwaddy/lancewood habitats may include an inland component of rainforest-affiliated plants, due in part to the relatively closed canopy in parts of this habitat and its relatively low frequency of fire. This type of woodland also supports a different suite of animals to that of the eucalypt woodlands. Common species include grey-crowned babbler, apostle bird and hooded robin, which all forage in the open ground or litter; and the spectacled hare-wallaby and northern nailtail wallaby, which commonly shelter under bullwaddy trees during the day.

Bullwaddy Conservation Reserve—established in November 2000 to conserve stands of bullwaddy and lancewood trees. The reserve is an area of high conservation value and represents a major stronghold for the restricted Northern Territory endemic plant species, bullwaddy. Located approximately 100km east of Daly Waters along the Carpentaria Highway.

bulrush—1. Pennisetum glaucum, an annual forage grass. 2. (see cumbungi.)

bum—1. the bottom. 2. the anus.

bum bag—fanny pack (since, in Australia, fanny is a slang term for a vagina).

bum nuts—cackleberries; googies; eggs.

bum sniffers—those who play Rugby League football.

bum to mum—an order for football players to abstain from sexual activity on the eve of a match.

bum's rush—abrupt dismissal, denial or rejection.

bum-crawler—a sycophant.

bum-nuts—eggs.

bumfluff—first growth of facial hair.

bun fight—1. noisy argument. 2. any crowd or gathering of noisy people.

Bunbury—a major port for the wheat and timber that are produced inland of the area, and one of the half-dozen largest cities in Western Australia. Located 173km south of Perth.

bunch grasses—any of various grasses of many genera that grow in tufts or clumps rather than forming a sod or mat.

Bundaberg—hometown to Australia's largest rum distillery and located at the centre of sugar cane country, just 14km from the Coral Coast, where the townships of Elliott Heads, Innes Park, Bargara and Burnett Heads boast some of the most pristine beaches in Australia. To the south is Buxton, one of the last unspoilt fishing villages, and Woodgate, with an abundance of wildlife in the surrounding national parks. Childers, a National Trust town, is set on top of rolling hills of red soil, and the northern town of 1770 is the first place that Captain James Cook landed in Queensland. The Central and North Burnett region provides a contrast to the coastal areas, with its rugged gorges, imposing mountain ranges and serene rural views.

Bundjalung nation—the Bundjalung people have roamed the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales since the last Ice Age. For many thousands of years, the Bundjalung people followed a semi-nomadic hunting and gathering lifestyle throughout the Northern Rivers region. Traditional lifestyles and sacred ceremonies of initiation continued in the Broadwater area until 1922. The general park area was extensively hunted for wallabies, snakes, birds, honey, turtles and their eggs, fresh water mussels, ripe water lily bulbs, geebungs and the fruit of the native pigface. Fish and oysters were dietary staples, as indicated by the numerous shell middens. Some members of the Bundjalung community now live on Cabbage Tree Island, to the north of the Broadwater National Park, which, along with the Border Ranges and the Broadwater national parks, remain home to many members of the Bundjalung nation.Bundjalung National Park—within an area of 17,000ha the environments include 38km of beach, sections of coastal rainforest, heathlands, coastal cypress stands, lagoons and wetlands on relatively undisturbed coastal plains. Running through the southern half of the park is the largest untouched coastal river system on the north coast, the Esk River. Curious rock formations abound, notably at Black Rocks and along the coast near the Esk. Other features include freshwater lagoons, mangrove mudflats and rainforests at Woody Head. The extensive presence of middens within the park gives witness to an Aboriginal presence for many thousands of years. Access to the park is made 50km south of of Ballina.

Bundy—1. Bundaberg rum. 2. time-clock for employees.

bung—the word seems to have come into English from a very similar Middle Dutch word way back in the 15th century, with the original meaning of a cork or stopper for a cask or bottle. Later the word took on an astonishing range of meanings, including: a wine master's assistant; a brewer or publican; a pick-pocket; a lie, a falsehood; a bribe; being drunk or tipsy; to stop, or close, or shut up something; to throw violently; or to be bung in the middle of things. Some of these meanings clearly follow from the original sense of the word, while others (such as bung as a nickname for a pickpocket) make no obvious sense at all. And when we turn to Australian slang, bung becomes even richer. In the middle of the 19th century bung meant dead, and to go bung meant to die. Saying that an appliance that's broken has gone bung is probably a development of this. Bung also came to mean bankruptcy or financial ruin. And later it came to mean pretence, as in bunging it on.

bung in the middle—1. in the thick of things. 2. deeply involved.

bung it on—1. behave excessively and temperamentally. 2. stage; behave affectedly; put on airs and graces; 3. tell, reveal, request something difficult.

bung on—1. put on, prepare or arrange something on short notice: e.g., We managed to bung on some tucker for all of them. 2. stage; behave affectedly.

bung on side—behave in an over-bearing, pompous, haughty manner.

bung on time—punctual.

Bung Yarnda—an Aboriginal Trust land located within the Lake Tyers area of Victoria.

bungarra—regional name for Varanus gouldii, Australia's most common and widespread species of monitor lizard. Known outside of WA as the sand monitor, this is a ground-dwelling species of goanna. Inhabits sandy areas from coastal sclerophyll forest to the arid interior. Characterised by a flattened body, a long tail used for striking enemies, stout limbs, long digits and sharp, curved claws, and a darting, snake-like tongue. Displays considerable regional variation in colour, pattern and size.

bunghole—1. an opening that requires a stopper, or bung. 2. cheese: so called for its alleged constipating effect. 3. the anus.

Bungle Bungle Range—45,000ha of rugged sandstone domes, southwest of Kununurra in Purnululu National Park. The Bungle Bungle area is a complex of folded and faulted uplands with surrounding sandplains. Over the last 20 million years, erosion and river movements have formed and shaped the huge orange domes striped with black lichen, known as “beehive” domes. Cliffs and deep chasms also occur in the area. Vegetation is predominantly grassland and woodland. Aborigines have maintained their traditional links with this land, and Aboriginal rock paintings commonly occur in the area. Local Aboriginal inhabitants play a major role in determining visitor access to sites within the park.

bungwall fernBlechnum indicum, a tall fern of swampy areas in many Queensland districts. The root is an important traditional Aboriginal food, known as bungwall by Aborigines in Moreton Bay and Dugal farther to the north. The tuberous root was soaked, roasted, and ground on grinding stones to make flour. The flour was made into dough that was cooked as unleavened bread.

Bunjalung—variant spelling of Bunjellung.

Bunjellung—an Aboriginal people of New South Wales.

Bunji—a history of the struggle for Aboriginal land rights in the Northern Territory. This easy to read book, which has proceeded from a regular newsletter, relates chronicles claims made by the Larrakia people to land which was taken from them.

bunji-man—a white man with a predilection for Aboriginal women.

Bunjil—a significant creation ancestor for members of the Woiwurrung language group. In their Dreamtime creation myth, Bunjil the eagle is believed to have once been a man—and the father of the local tribes. His creations centred on the Grampians Ranges, where he made its people, plants and animals. Bunjil gave to the people the weapons and tools to hunt and gather food, and he created the religion and the laws by which they lived. At the end of his time on earth, Bunjil rose into the sky where he now resides, represented by a star.

Bunjil's Shelter—the only known Aboriginal rock art site in Victoria containing figures painted in more than one colour, as well as a representation of someone whose identity is known. A rock shelter painting located east of the Grampians Range depicts Bunjil, the principal legendary hero, the creator who provided all the peoples needs. Oven mounds and tool quarries have also been located in the area, which was in use 5000 years ago. The Jardwadjali are the Aboriginal custodians of site. Bunjil's Shelter is located in the Black Range State Forest.

bunkum—insincere talk; claptrap; humbug (alteration of Buncombe, a county in the U.S., in North Carolina; from it's Congressional representative's phrase, 'talking for Buncombe').

bunny-rug—baby's blanket.

Bunuba—an Aboriginal language group. Bunuba is a non-Pama-Nyungan language which, along with only one other—Gooniyandi—belongs to the Bunuban family. There are now only about a hundred Bunuba speakers, most of whom are older people now living in Junjuwa, an Aboriginal community. The Bunuba territory once extended from the township of Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, north along the Fitzroy River to Diamond Gorge, and along the King Leopold Ranges to Napier Range in the west. It included the areas now contained by two national parks, Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek. The southern extreme extends from Erskine Range to Trig Hill near Fitzroy Crossing, and includes the present Geikie Gorge National Park. Some of these lands have been reclaimed on behalf of the Bunuba people by the Bunuba Aboriginal Corporation.

Bunuba Aboriginal Corporation—has acquired three pastoral leases on traditional land. Leopold Station, Millie Windie Station and Fairfield Station are now all owned and run by Bunuba people.

Bunurong—an Aboriginal language group comprising five or six clans in the southern Gippsland region of Victoria. Most clans of Bunurong speakers lived on the Mornington Peninsula and around Western Port Bay. However, the estate of one of these clans included a strip of land which stretched around the top of Port Phillip Bay to the Werribee River. This narrow strip, perhaps a few kilometres wide, was part of the estate of the clan named Yalit, and would have taken in all of Williamstown, most of Altona, and the southern parts of Footscray, Sunshine and Werribee. A celebrated ancestor of the Bunurong, Derrimut, is remembered for informing the early settlers of Melbourne of an impending attack by members of the Woiwurrung group. The coastal-dwelling Bunurong have ancestral links with Tasmania. They were isolated by the rising seas that turned once-fertile plains into the Port Phillip and Western Port bays, including the Mornington Peninsula. Middens containing charcoal and shellfish mark the location of their campsites along the Bunurong Coast. Variant spellings: Boonerwrung, Boonwurrung.

Bunurong Coast—a rocky stretch of the Victorian coastline from San Remo to Inverloch. The area has been scientifically dated at approximately 115—120 million years old, and contains the remains of ancient rivers that once flowed in this area.

Bunurong Marine National Park—contains coastal waters which are relatively protected from the south-westerly swell by the position of far-away King Island. The gently sloping, rocky seafloor contains extensive intertidal platforms and subtidal rocky reefs that are uncommon along the Victorian coast. These sandstone areas provide numerous microhabitats and contribute to the area having a very high diversity of intertidal and shallow subtidal invertebrates. There is a mixed assemblage of brown algae and seagrass. This environment supports a high proportion of Victoria's marine invertebrates, including brittle stars, sea cucumbers, barnacles, sea anemones and chitons. The Bunurong Marine National Park extends along approximately 5km of coastline, from 2.5km east of Cape Patterson in southern Gippsland to the eastern end of Eagles Nest Beach (about 6km south-west of Inverloch), and offshore for approximately three nautical miles to the limit of Victorian waters, encompassing a total of approximately 2,100 hectares.

Bunya Bunya Festival—one of the few times when Aboriginal people were permitted to cross other tribes’ boundaries. The harvest was so plentiful that thousands of people could live for several weeks off the seeds. The nuts are described as having a delicious taste, something like chestnuts when roasted. The kernels were also pounded into a meal and baked in the ashes as a cake. The Aborigines stored bunya nuts by placing them in large cane baskets and burying them in a particular kind of mud. When exhumed—after many months of lying in the ground—the nuts had a very offensive smell but nevertheless were a popular food.

Bunya Mountains—an isolated section of the Great Dividing Range, lying about 150km from the coast. They rise abruptly from the surrounding country to an average elevation of 975m, reaching over 1100m at Mounts Mowbullan and Kiangarow. About every three years, Aboriginal people gathered at the Bunya Mountains for tribal ceremonies, hunting, feasting, mock fighting and corroborees. These visits coincided with heavy crops of bunya pine cones. From the 1960's timber cutters established sawmills to harvest the timber wealth of the Bunyas. The last sawmill on the mountain closed in 1945.

Bunya Mountains National Park—protects the world's most extensive remaining bunya pine rainforests. Also conserved in these remnants of subtropical rainforests are figs, red cedars and giant stinging trees, dry vine thickets with bottle trees emerging above the canopy, open eucalypt forests and rare, high-altitude grasslands. Some of the state's tallest grasstrees grow in the park's open forests and grasslands. The park is home to about 120 species of birds and many species of mammals, frogs and reptiles. Located high above the cultivated plains of the Darling Downs and the South Burnett Valley, this is the most westerly rainforest park in southern Queensland. In 1908, 9303ha were gazetted as the Bunya Mountains National Park, the second national park in Queensland.

bunya nuts—the nut of the bunya pine, Araucaria bidwillii, a very tall Queensland rainforest pine. The unique conical tops of these ancient trees tower high above the forest canopy, and their seed cones—about the size of a large cannonball—take roughly 18 months to develop and fall to the ground annually from January to March. The cones contain seeds that are eaten raw, roasted, or pounded to flour. About every three years, in summer until the 1800s, Aboriginal people visited the mountain when the bunya nut was in season. In the Waka Waka language, this was the time of the bonye bonye festival.

bunya pine—the very tall Queensland pine tree Araucaria bidwillii, the cones of which contain seeds which are eaten raw, roasted, or pounded to a flour. Once every three years these huge trees bore enormous quantities of cones, the largest of which contain seeds about one and one-half inches long. Many tribes would travel to the Bunya Bunya festival. Assisted by loops of vine, the Aborigines scaled the trees and threw down the cones, which gave up their thumb-sized nuts to be eaten raw or roasted. The indefatigable Ludwig Leichhardt witnessed such a feast in 1844 and persuaded the government to make the area an Aboriginal reserve, free from logging or settlement. The decree was revoked in 1860, and today the Bunya Mountains contain the last significant stand of pines.

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