Australian Dictionary

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Babe-in-a-Cradle (Epiblema grandiflorum)
By William Henry Nicholls (1885 - 1951)

b and d—1. brandy and dry ginger ale 2. Black and Decker power tool; 3. bondage and discipline.

B&S Balls—Bachelor and Spinster Balls started way back when the bachelor blokes would don a black tie and the single gals would frock up, and they'd head for their local hall or woolshed for a ball. These days, things are a little different, with the B&S being held under a marquee in a large paddock with a bar serving beer and rum—plus live music and lots of dancing, drinking and mucking around. Some still require patrons to dress up but most lads get their suits from the local op shop and the girls turn up in dresses and boots, as things tend to get a little messy when you get inside the gate. For many young people in rural areas isolation is part of life, so attending a local B&S can really raise the spirits. The local community is often actively involved in organising the B&S Balls, including local St John's Ambulance volunteers, the Bush Fire Brigade and the police. Money raised from the B&S is often poured straight back into these community groups, along with other worthy organisations such as the local hospital and school.

b-double—a tractor with two trailers.

Baagandji—alternate spelling of Barkindji.

baba—a small, rich sponge cake, usually soaked in rum.

baba pan—a pan for baking a baba, similar to a bundt cake pan.

babblerbabbler—1. a chatterer. 2. a person who reveals secrets. 3. common name for some members of the large, diversified family Timaliidae, passerine birds found primarily in wooded areas of Asia, Africa, and Australia. Babblers have soft, fluffy plumage and vary in coloring; various species resemble other birds, and five of the seven groups of babblers are named on this basis—the wren babblers, the tit babblers, the laughing thrushes, and the crow tits, or parrot bills. The ground babblers are found in Australia. Babblers are insectivorous and, as their name suggests, are noisy birds. 4. a cook.

babbling brook—(rhyming slang) cook.

babe-in-a-cradle orchidEpiblema grandiflorum var. grandiflorum; within the genus Epiblema, there is only one species, containing two varieties—this and the very rare blue babe-in-the-cradle orchid. Both are endemic to the south-west of Western Australia, occurring in peaty swamps along the coastal plain between Gingin and Esperance. The only difference between the two varieties is that E. grandiflorum var. cynaeum ms has pale blue flowers instead of purple to mauve flowers. Epiblema grandiflorum flowers in late November to January. Plants are between 25cm and 80cm in height. It has a slender, erect stem with a basal, narrowly rounded leaf 20-25 cm long and two shorter, erect stem bracts. There are usually up to six stalked flowers in a loose inflorescence. Each flower is 2-4 cm in diameter. The main distinguishing features of the flower are the cluster of ribbon-like appendages at the base of the labellum and the broadly-winged column. The plants grow amongst dense sedges and false baeckea under moonah and freshwater swamp paperbark bordering a winter-wet swamp. They usually grow in shallow water and flower as the water level begins to drop. The common name originates from a story told to Rika Erikson by a child with whom she was bushwalking. The child told her 'we always call it babe-in-the-cradle orchid because you see him kicking off the rug'.

baby batter—sperm.

baching—(also: batching) 1. living alone. 2. keeping house alone during absence of a partner (particularly of men not used to the task).

back bench—a back-bencher's seat in parliament.

back country—the remote outback regions of Australia.

back number—an out-of-date person or thing.

back o' Bourkeback o' Bourke—1. originally, the region beyond the town of Bourke in north-western New South Wales. 2. any remote, sparsely populated country area; 3. (joc.) the suburbs.

back of beyond—1. any remote, inaccessible and sparsely populated area. 2. the Australian 'outback'.

back on the rails—successful return from misfortune, illness, poverty, etc.

back paddock—a paddock distant from the station homestead.

back settlement—a remote and isolated settlement.

back settler—an inhabitant of a remote area.

back slang—slang using words spelled backwards (e.g., yob).

back-bencher— a Member of Parliament or a legislator who does not hold governmental office and is not a Front Bench spokesperson in the Opposition. A backbencher may be a new parliamentary member yet to receive high office, a senior figure dropped from government, or someone who for whatever reason is not chosen to sit either in the ministry or the opposition Shadow Ministry. In most parliamentary systems, backbenchers individually do not have much power to influence government policy. However, they are important in providing services to their constituents and in relaying the opinions of their constituents. In addition, backbenchers collectively can sometimes exercise considerable power, especially in cases where the policies of the government are unpopular or when a governing party is internally split.

back-blocks—1. remote, sparsely populated country area. 2. outer suburbs, considered remote from the centre of activity within a city.

back-to-front—1. arse about face; facing the wrong direction by 180°. 2. Inside out.

backburningbackburning—a method of reducing the destruction to property by bushfires. Controlled burning to reduce the amount of leaf litter and old wood that fuels bushfires remains a controversial and limited practice. However, reforestation programs have increased the area vulnerable to bushfire, and the load of tinder-dry fuel generated by these areas is increasing annually. "The existing local bushfire brigade infrastructure has been largely developed around grassfire suppression," warns Jim Gould, leader of the bushfire behaviour and management team at CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products. Lands under Aboriginal control have traditionally been cared for with annual controlled burning, and investigation into the efficacy and effects of this method is currently taking place. Trials in controlled burning have been carried out at various stages throughout the summer, with careful measurements and records taken by the CSIRO. It had been determined that the degree of fire damage is relatively unimportant to the survival of both flora and fauna. What does affect the recovery of indigenous plants and animals is the frequency of fire. Frequent low-level fires can be devastating to their survival, whereas even a major fire, if it occurs as a single incident, will see a complete recovery over time.

backchat—cheeky or impertinent response.

backer—a punter; someone who who bets at the races.

backhander—a bribe.

backward in coming forward—shy or unable to promote oneself.


bad dog—an outstanding debt.

bad lot—a disreputable or dishonest person; e.g., That boy's a bad lot, I'll warrant you.

bad patch—an unspecified period of time characterised by difficulties of some sort; e.g., They had a bit of a bad patch in the beginning, but things have come right.

bad trot—series of misfortunes and bad luck: e.g., I've had a bad trot at the races lately.

Badge Huntsman Spiderbadge huntsman spiderNeosparassus diana, a large, nocturnally active spider that hunts its prey on the trunks and foliage of trees. During the day it retreats beneath the tree's bark. A silken retreat is built in a similar situation for moulting and egg laying. Although their bite is not fatal, some badge huntsman bites have resulted in prolonged pain, inflammation, headache, vomiting and irregular pulse rate.

Badger Creek—a town in Victoria, 53km north-east from Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the Shire of Yarra Ranges. At the 2006 Census, Badger Creek had a population of 1788. Badger Creek is near the Healesville Sanctuary and the former Coranderrk Aboriginal Station, now known as the Coranderrk Bushland. The creek was named after the wombats in the area, which were often called badgers. Badger Creek was surveyed as a township in 1894, but was not settled to any extent until some time later. The weir in the Badger Creek reserve was constructed in 1909 and feeds water to the Silvan Reservoir.

Badgingarra National Park—a national park in Western Australia, 190km north of Perth off the Brand Highway adjacent to the town of Badgingarra. The park is 13,108ha in area and features high breakaway country overlooking low, undulating sandplains. The park is renowned for its incredible diversity of endemic wildflowers. Mullering Brook passes through the park creating a swampy area. The area is mostly composed of low scrub with plant species such as mottlecah, smokebush, banksia, verticordia, kangaroo paw and the rare Badgingarra mallee are found throughout the area. The area is threatened by the spread of dieback. Some of the spectacular wildflowers that can be found within the park include rare species such as Hakea flabellifolia, Strangea cynanchicarpa and Eucalyptus pendens. Many animals, such as western grey kangaroos, emus, bustards and wedgetail eagles, also inhabit the area. Badgingarra Nature Trail is a 3km circular walk that begins and finishes west of the Brand Highway, near the Badgingarra Roadhouse.

Badtjala—the Aboriginal people of Thoorgine/K'gari (Fraser Island) are known as the Badtjala people. They have lived on Thoorgine and adjacent mainland areas for many of thousands of years. Their society maintains close links with the surrounding landscape, and cultural heritage sites of significance can be found throughout Thoorgine. By the early part of the twentieth century, however, most of the Badtjala population had been massacred by white settlers and the survivors removed to Christian missions on the island or the mainland. Badtjala beliefs: The coloured sands were created at the dawn of time, along with us, the Badtjala people. We have lived here since the actions of our ancestral being created the island and all of its natural plants, animals and features. Thoorgine is a direct product of marine and wind action, and an indirect product of river and glacial action over the past million years or so. Vegetation has stabilised the sand mass, and plants and animals have developed relationships with the island's physical features. Since its deposition as layered sand dunes, the soil has evolved considerably. Part of the World Heritage value of Thoorgine (and nearby Cooloola) is the duration of the coastal processes at work. Dune formation processes (along with soil change and forest development) have taken place over 700,000 years, longer than anywhere else on earth. In areas, deposits of minerals and organic materials became concentrated with sand deposits, hardening in places, and subsequently were eroded by marine and wind action (and possibly also by animal and/or human influences).

bag (someone)—criticise.Badtjala

bag of fruit—(rhyming slang) suit: e.g., He wore his best bag of fruit to the wedding.

bag of tricks—1. tools of the trade. 2. any miscellaneous collection of articles. 3. resourceful person; one who is never at a loss: e.g., Mal's a real bag of tricks when it comes to making money.

bag-shelter mothOchrogaster contraria, a nocturnal feeder that remains in a web-covered nest at the base of the host plant during the day. The larva of this moth can completely defoliate an acacia shrub, though it favours the Acacia pendula. These caterpillars move in long processions to nearby feeding trees.

Baganu—an Australian Aboriginal tribe.

baggage—morally loose woman; impudent woman.

Baggage, B H—in 1858, explored in detail to the west and north of Lake Torrens and discovered Lake Eyre North. P E Warburton, 1858-66, confirmed the separate existence of Lake Torrens and Lake Eyre and located the first stock crossing between them. A C Gregor, 1858, coming south from Queensland along the Strzelecki Creek in search of the missing explorer Ludwig Leichhardt, passed along the eastern edge of Lake Blanche. The way was now open to reach the centre of the continent, and then the north coast, from Adelaide, South Australia.

baggy green—Australian test cricket cap.

bagmanbagman—1. a travelling salesman. 2. tramp; swagman. 3. an agent who collects or distributes money for illicit purposes. 4. a bookmaker's clerk.

Bagman's Gazette—graffiti left by explorers, adventurers and pioneers with the intention of communicating instructions, warnings etc to others who would encounter their writings. These are now of historic interest.

Bagundji—variant spelling of Barkindji.

Baiame—the ancestor and patron god of the Kamilaroi; a sky god and a deity of life and death; and a god of rain and the shamans. He is credited with the design and traditional use of the fish traps, known to the local Barwon River tribes as Baime’s Ngunnhu. He created the plan of the Ngunnhu by throwing his fishing net across the Barwon River in Victoria. Baiame then dug up stones and boulders that he and his two sons, Booma-ooma-nowi and Ghinda-inda-mui, set out in the pattern of a great fish net. Baiame was married to Birrahgnooloo, with whom he was the father of Daramul.

Baiame's Ngunnhu—the Brewarrina fish traps, a series of dry-stone weirs and ponds arranged in the form of a net across the Barwon River. Designed to withstand the high water flows of the river, they are teardrop shaped, with the convex wall facing upstream. Some of the pen walls are higher than others, enabling their use during both low and high water flows. This is combined with pond gates set at different locations, enabling fish to be caught as they migrated both upstream and downstream. While the Ngemba people are the custodians of the Ngunnhu, it was Baiame's wish that other tribes in the region, including the Morowari, Paarkinji, Weilwan, Barabinja, Ualarai and Kamilaroi should use it in an organised way. He allocated particular traps to each family group and made them responsible under Aboriginal law for their use and maintenance. The role of an Ancestral Being in creating built structures is extremely unusual in Aboriginal society, and makes both the structure and the story nationally important. The Brewarrina fish traps are located in New South Wales, south of Cunnamulla in Queensland.

bailbail—1. (cricket) either of the two crosspieces bridging the stumps. 2. trapped or cornered—a description first used to describe the tactics of bushrangers such as Ned Kelly. 3. a wooden bar or frame to hold an animal in a stall. Dairy farmers still talk about putting a cow into a “milking bail”. Used in this sense the word “bail” comes from the same source as the bails in cricket – apparently from an Old French word meaning “a horizontal piece of wood fixed upon two stakes”.

bailed up—1. held up: e.g. He bailed me up in the corridor to talk about today's meeting. Bailed up meaning “trapped” or “cornered” was originally used to describe the “stand and deliver” tactics of Ned Kelly and his professional colleagues—19th century bushrangers. 2. a confined animal, a “bail” being a wooden bar or frame that held an animal in a stall.

bain-marie—1. the original double boiler: a bowl placed in a pan of hot water. 2. large, rectangular serving dishes used in buffet restaurants to keep food warm: a fitted steel liner immersed in a deep pan filled with boiling-hot water.

Bakandji—variant spelling of Barkindji.

Bakanh—variant spelling of Ajabakan.

Bakanu—variant spelling of Ajabakan.

baked dinner—roast dinner, the traditional Sunday fare in Australia, whether chook, lamb or beef and veggies (e.g. potatoes, pumpkin) baked in the drippings.

baking tray—a shallow metal rectangular tray usually no more than 2.5cm deep. Baking trays can be used to cook biscuits, cakes and tray bakes; cookie sheet.

balaclava—a tight woolen garment covering the whole head and neck except for parts of the face; a ski-mask.

balance of power—the necessary votes to decide an issue, when no party holds a majority. A person or group having the necessary votes to decide an issue is said to hold the balance of power.

balanda—(Aboriginal English) a white man; a non-indigenous Australian. Macassan for Dutch, or "Hollander", this word has entered the Aboriginal vernacular at the Top End. Macassan sailors from Indonesia harvested sea-slugs off the coast from Arnhem Land, prior to the European settlement.

balanda system—(Aboriginal English) the legal system; the European form of justice.

Bald Rock Nat'l ParkBald Rock National Park—located in the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, adjacent to the Queensland border. Bald Rock is the main feature of the Park, a monolith rising 200m above the surrounding forest. This is Australia's second largest exposed rock, a massive 750m in length and 500m across. Although often described as the country’s' largest granite rock, Bald Rock is not a true granite. Properly classified as Stanthorpe Adamellite, it is of Lower Triassic age, showing marked phases in mineralogy and texture. Resultant soils are generally poor and sandy. Large clumps of rock lilies, hare’s foot fern and Bird’s Nest Fern grow on the boulders. The view from the summit is breath-taking. There are picnic areas and a camping area near the base of the Rock, and Boonoo Boonoo National Park is just down the road.

Balfour Declaration of 1926—holds the United Kingdom and its Dominions in equal status, regarding all matters of internal and external affairs. This replaced the principle of a hierarchical relationship with one of 'autonomous communities within the British empire, equal in status ... and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations'. This step was based on agreement to this report at the 1926 Imperial Conference, by which the British Commonwealth accepted the principles underpinning the autonomy of the self-governing Dominions. The international recognition of the free and equal status of the Dominion members of the League of Nations was thus affirmed within the British Commonwealth. The law enacting these principles was the Statute of Westminster in 1931, adopted by Australia in 1942.

Bali belly—just about everyone who ever embarks on a holiday has concerns about picking up a tummy bug—Delhi belly, Bali belly, Montezuma's revenge, etc.

ball up—(Australian Rules football) bounce down.

ball-tearer—anything exciting, wonderful, creating admiration.

BallaratBallarat—a town in the heart of country Victoria of major historical significance as an early gold site. The discovery of a major lode around 1851 resulted in a doubling of the local population in less than one year, and the first armed uprising in Australia, at the Eureka Stockade. It is located close to the Great Ocean Road and some of central Victoria's finest attractions: the spectacular Grampians, the wineries of the Pyrenees, and historic mining towns. Sovereign Hill is a "living museum" depicting life as it was in the gold mining days. The Eureka Stockade Centre uses multi-media and interactive displays detailing the history of the famous digger rebellion. The town's name derived from two Aboriginal words meaning 'leaning on elbow'.

Ballina—a major holiday destination at the heart of the Northern Rivers in New South Wales. The region's national parks and World Heritage-listed areas can be visited in day trips, and are a delight for bushwalkers. A shared pathway for both cyclists and pedestrians runs around Ballina, with popular vantage points from the lighthouse and Shelley Beach, which are ideal for whale spotting during the migration season (June to October) or for sighting dolphins playing in the waves year round. Just over an hour by jet from Sydney and just over two hour's drive from Brisbane.

Balloon Cave—the most easily accessible of three major Aboriginal rock art sites within Carnarvon Gorge. The 500m Balloon Cave walk starts on the southern side of the road just 2km south of the park camping area. The distinct stencils of stone axes and hands are extremely fragile, and must be viewed from purpose-built boardwalks.

Balls Pyramid

Balls Pyramid—the tallest sea-stack in the world. Towering from the waters of the Pacific Ocean, the volcanic pinnacle rises to a height of 550 metres. The 4 metre-wide summit is home to tens of thousands of seabirds. The islands including Ball’s Pyramid, which comprise the Lord Howe Group, are the erosional remnants of a shield volcano and caldera that formed about seven million years ago. Balls Pyramid is located 23km to the south-east of the main island of Lord Howe, which is 700km north-east of Sydney.

balls-up—a complete disaster.

bally—an old-fashioned euphemism for bloody.

ballyhoo—1. outcry; confusion; noise. 2. misleading or sensational publicity.

ballyrag—to abuse verbally.

Balmain bugIbacus peronii, a palatable marine crustacean that is closely related to rock lobsters. This is the most common species of slipper lobster encountered in south-eastern Australia, where it lives in bays and on the shelf. It is excellent eating but not as popular as rock lobster. Common to Sydney fish markets and local fish shops, the bug takes its name from the Sydney suburb of Balmain.

balmy—variant spelling of barmy.

Balt—(derog.) a non-British immigrant from Europe, originally one from a Baltic country.

Baluchi camel drivers—the Baluchis are a sub-tribe of a Turkoman tribe known as Salor, the oldest of the five major Turkoman tribes. Early records of Baluchi history are meager. Essentially, there were two main Baluchi tribes, the first of which was forcibly relocated by the Shah of Persia (now Iran) to Western Nuristan (now Western Afghanistan) in the late 1700s. The second group was relocated to what is now Southern Afghanistan. From the mid-1800s to the coming of the railroad and sealed roads, many Baluchi men went to Australia to become Afghan cameleers.

bama—an Aboriginal person, especially one from northern Queensland (from Aboriginal for 'person' or 'man').

BamagaBamaga—the people of Bamaga were assisted to settle at Ichirru after initially moving from Saibai Island off the coast of New Guinea to Muttee Head in 1947 because of inconsistent water supply and the threat to their island from tidal inundation. The northern-most township in Queensland, it is the largest of the five Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) communities, and the administrative centre of the NPA of Cape York. The community became a Deed of Grant in Trust (DOGIT) community in 1985, granting the Bamaga Island Council trusteeship of the town and surrounding area. The community acquired its name from Chief Bamaga, the Torres Strait Islander who had led the first group of Islanders to resettle in Australia. Bamaga now has an Islander population of approximately 700 people with a further 300 temporary non-islander residents. All of Bamaga's internal and main roads are sealed. The major industry is tourism, mainly during the drier months of the year. This runs from May—October (The Developmental Road is impassable during the wet season and the ferry across the Jardine River does not operate). Bamaga is located off the coast of Possession Island, where Captain Cook formally took possession of the east coast of Australia in 1770. Located 61km north of the Jardine River and 983km north of Cairns, on the York Peninsula.

banana bender—(derog.) a person from Queensland.

banana bushbanana bushTabernaemontana padacaqui (previously classified as Everatami augustasepala), a rainforest plant that colonises river banks. A host plant to the Daphnis placida moth. Shrub to 2m. Leaves simple, opposite, obovate, distinct midrib and lateral veins. Cymes of white, scented flowers emerge from leaf axils in spring/summer. Fruit: paired, banana-shaped follicles, yellow in colour, containing many small seeds cloaked in a red, fleshy covering. Milky sap. This plant belongs to the same family as the highly poisonous oleander. Also known as native banana. Distribution: Queensland, New South Wales.

banana chair/lounge—1. deck chair or lawn chair for reclining in; the name derives from the banana-shape given to the Australian design. 2. (joc.) chaise longue.

banana prawnFenneropenaeus Merguiensis (formerly Penaeus Merguiensis), a large species of prawn farmed in Australia and South-East Asia. Also known as the white prawn.

bananaland—(derog.) Queensland.

bananalander—(derog.) Queenslander.

Bananas in PyjamasBananas in Pyjamas—a pre-school TV series produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for 0- to 5-year-olds, with a theme song of the same name. Bananas in Pyjamas, B1 and B2, are mischievous twins who cannot resist playing tricks on their teddy bear friends Amy, Lulu and Morgan. Just down the street is Rat in a Hat, whose shop is visited regularly by the Bananas and Teddies. The series has a mixture of narration and dialogue, complimented by specially composed music and songs. In July 1992, the first episode of Bananas in Pyjamas was broadcast in Australia on ABC TV. Ten years on, the Bananas in Pyjamas has become one of the most popular and enduring children's TV programs with pre-schoolers in Australia. Bananas in Pyjamas is now captivating 70 countries around the world with approximately 100 million viewers, with the Bananas speaking anything from Japanese to Portuguese. They have 299 episodes plus four specials under their belt. They have travelled the world, visited the White House, where they met the President of the United States, and appeared on Oprah. They are regarded as one of Australia's greatest exports—up there with the likes of Greg Norman and Kylie Minogue, and have been the subject of an Archibald Prize entry. To top it off, the Bananas in Pyjamas were included in the closing ceremony parade at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Banbai—an Aboriginal people of the Guyra area of New South Wales. Aboriginal people lived in the area, used the resources and managed the environment for thousands of years. The evidence for this occupation can be found throughout the area, with several rock art sites in addition to tool and axe grinding sites. There are over 40 occupation or campsites recorded, with scarred and carved trees. The name Guyra is based on a Banbai tribal word, ru-en-gar, meaning 'place where fish may be caught' (referring to Mother of Ducks lagoon). Apart from waterfowl, there were eels, frogs, tortoises, snakes, swamp wallabies and grey kangaroos. The land and waterways, and the plants and animals that live in them, feature in all facets of Aboriginal culture – including recreational, ceremonial, spiritual and as a main source of food and medicine. They are associated with Dreaming stories and cultural learning that is still passed on today. By 1893 the Banbai people were living on reserves, with many Aboriginal people working on the properties surrounding Guyra. In 1953 the One Mile Reserve was established on the Tingha Road, with many of Guyra's current Aboriginal population remembering the years of living at One Mile, until it was closed in 1968.

band moll—groupie.

Banda Sea—a section of the Pacific Ocean north of Darwin, Northern Territory. The Banda Sea occupies the main portion of the Banda Sea Plate. The southern margin of the sea consists of island arcs above subduction zones. To the east of the Sunda Trench is the Timor Trough which lies south of Timor, the Tanimbar Trough south of the Tanimbar Islands and the Aru Trough east of the Aru Islands. These trenches are the subduction zone of the Indo-Australian plate beneath the Banda Sea Plate, where the Indo-Australian Plate moves northwards. Fore-arc sediments progressively carried northwards by the Indo-Australian Plate have been folded and faulted, forming Timor island. To the north-east lies Seram Island, which overlies the subduction of the Bird's Head Plate of West Irian. Typically, an earthquake occurs in the Banda Sea two or three times a year that is felt by Darwin residents.

banded anteater—(see: numbat).

banded fruit-dovePtilinopus cinctus alligator, a large pigeon (38-44cm in length, 450-570g in weight) with white head, neck and upper breast; black back and upperwing grading to grey on rump; black tail with broad grey terminal band; underparts grey, demarcated from the white head and neck by a broad, black band. a resident of Allosyncarpia rainforests and allied vegetation communities on plateau and escarpments. Its highest density is in the core of the forest away from the margins. It is likely to be less abundant where there are weeds in the understorey. It eats the fruits of figs and other rainforest trees and shrubs, and builds a light nest in rainforest trees.

banded hare-wallabybanded hare-wallabyLagostrophus fasciatus are nocturnal and tend to live together at the same nesting site, being a social species. Nesting occurs in thickets under very dense brush, preferring acacia scrub. The average banded hare wallaby weighs 1.7g and measures about 800mm from the head to the end of the tail. It is notable that females weigh more than males. The tail is almost the same length (averaging 375mm). Banded hare wallabies have short noses  and long, grey fur speckled with yellow and silver, fading into a light grey on the underbelly. There is no color variation on the face or head, the coloring is solid grey. Dark, horizontal stripes of fur start at the middle of the back and stop at the base of the tail. Banded hare wallabies are vegetarians and receive most of their water from food. Males are extremely aggressive in competition for food with other male banded hare wallabies, but aggression is very rarely expressed toward females. Mating season starts in December and ends in September. Gestation appears to last several months and mothers generally raise one young each year, although it is possible for female banded hare wallabies to produce two young per year. In situations where a mother’s young dies, some mothers have an extra embryo to possibly rear another. currently found on the islands of Bernier and Dorre off western Australia. Although the banded hare wallaby was once found across the south-western portion of the Australia, it is believed to have been extinct on the mainland since 1963—the last recorded evidence of the banded hare wallaby on the Australian mainland was in 1906.

banded stiltCladorhynchus leucocephalus, an endemic wading bird that inhabits saline wetlands in coastal regions of southern Australia, but will opportunistically fly long distances inland to breed on large ephemeral salt lakes such as Lake Eyre. Such breeding events occur irregularly, following heavy rains that flood these inland lakes. Their requirements for breeding include a warm, shallow lake with an abundance of brine shrimp, and a low island in the middle of the lake where the birds can nest. The eggs of the brine shrimp lie dormant for decades in the dry salt of the lake, hatching only when rain falls. Rain is such a rare event in the Australian deserts that banded stilts have been recorded nesting only twenty times in the two hundred years of European settlement.

Bandicootbandicoot—1. small, omnivorous, night-foraging marsupials of Australia, New Guinea and nearby islands. More than any other group of Australian marsupials, the phylogenetic relationships of bandicoots are poorly understood, and present classifications reflect this: there are nineteen species in eight genera. All bandicoots have long, pointed muzzles, dingy gray or brown fur and long, rat-like tails. They range in size from that of a rat to that of a rabbit. They are able to hop like rabbits, yet commonly creep on all fours. Their feet are equipped with sharp claws, used for digging food; they feed nocturnally on insects, worms, roots, and vegetables dug from the ground. 2. a negative intensifier: e.g., as poor as a bandicoot, etc. 3. to surreptitiously remove potatoes from the ground. 4. to fossick, especially in a previously worked mining area.

Bandjalang—Aboriginal people of NE New South Wales and SE Queensland.

bandy as a bandicoot—very bowlegged; although bandicoots are do not exhibit this deformity, it alliterates nicely.

bandy bandybandy bandyVermicella annulata, a mildly venomous, nocturnal snake, strikingly banded with black and white. Their highly specialised diet consists almost exclusively of blind snakes (genus Ramphotyphlops). When startled, it will raise its black and white banded body into vertical loops, sometimes thrashing about as a warning. However, because of their subterranean existence and nocturnal habit, they are seldom encountered. Distribution is throughout eastern Australia, from desert to rainforest.


bang—fornicate; root; shag.

bang off—immediately; straight away.

bang on—accurate; exact: e.g., She arrived bang on time.

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