Australian Dictionary

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Crown Casino—the largest casino in Australasia. The Crown Entertainment complex is a gathering of shops, cafés, restaurants, accommodation courts, cinemas, live shows, music venues and a casino all under one huge roof. Situated in the Southbank precinct of Melbourne, the Crown complex dominates the Yarra River. The darkly lit foyer of the Crown Hotel is worth a look-see because of its towering ceilings, impressive staircases and water features. A 90-minute Four Seasons light show in the five-storey atrium takes place at night. Outside, on special occasions, chimney stacks lined along the boardwalk shoot bursts of flames into the air, giving the casino an awesome appearance somewhat like the cityscape featured in the film Bladerunner. Easily accessible by car with two car parks containing over 5000 spaces. Tram no's 12, 96 and 109 run past the casino. Flinders Street and Spencer Street stations are within walking distance.

Crown colony—(hist.) a British colony under the sovereignty and formal control of the Crown. In Australia, all Crown colonies derived from the original Crown Colony of New South Wales, which originally encompassed the whole of eastern Australia. Western Australia at no time came under the jurisdiction of the British Crown. During the 19th century large areas were successively separated to form the Crown colonies of Tasmania (1825), Victoria (1851), Queensland (1859), and South Australia (which at that time included what is now the Northern Territory). The governor-general of each colony served as the Queen's representative. In 1901 these colonies plus Western Australia voted to form an independent nation called the Commonwealth of Australia.

Crown colony of New South Wales—the first British colony established in Australia, originally encompassing the eastern portion of the continent. The boundaries of the colony were subsequently extended to include the Port Phillip district, which would eventually become the Crown Colony of Victoria. The Colony of New South Wales at various times occupied all of continental Australia except Western Australia, as well as New Zealand. At its inception on 26 January 1788, the colony consisted of about 850 convicts and their Marine guards and officers, led by Governor Arthur Phillip. The Australian continent at that time was politically divided into an eastern half named New South Wales, and a western half named New Holland.

Crown Colony of Queensland—separated from New South Wales in 1859 as the Moreton Bay District and was renamed Queensland. This brought the total number of colonies to six, each with its own parliament. The legal mechanism for this separation and for the appointment of the first governor to the new colony was affected by means of Letters Patent signed by Queen Victoria on 6 June 1859. The Letters Patent of 1859, with the Order-in-Council of 1859, are Queensland's primary founding documents. Britain further gave Queensland permission to extend its northern boundary by Letters Patent of 10 October 1878 to include all islands of the Great Barrier Reef and of Torres Strait. This moved the colony's northern border to within a few hundred metres of the New Guinea mainland, the present-day boundary. The 1878 Letters Patent were then incorporated into the Queensland Coast Islands Act 1879.

Crown Colony of Victoria—Port Phillip District separated from New South Wales to become the Crown Colony of Victoria on July 1st 1851.The new colony was established under provisions of the Australian Colonies Government Act 1850 (Imp), which granted representative government to Port Phillip District, South Australia and Van Diemen’s Land.

Crown estate—all land that has not been alienated, i.e., all Crown lands together make up the Crown estate.

crown fire—a bushfire which moves through the tops of trees.

Crown grant—(hist.) free grants of land on behalf of the Crown, made at the discretion of the colony’s governor. Governor Phillip initiated Crown grants in 1791. This practice was continued by Governor Macquarie, who also instigated the sale of land in hopes of providing all men with the means of a livelihood. In 1825 the system of selling land was introduced, leading to the abolition of free grants for Crown land in 1831—after which the governor's discretionary power of refusing applications for land ownership was abolished and land was only sold at public auction. The new regulation of Crown lands was contained in legislation known as the Land Acts of 1861.

crown green—a kind of bowling-green rising towards the middle.

Crown labourer—(hist.) a convict.

Crown land—all land except alienated land. Crown land is held and managed by the Australian (federal) government. The government may licence the use of such land for specific purposes or may alienate the land by selling or leasing. As a consequence of sovereignty, prior to alienation, the Crown has radical title to all land. Crown land is that which is vested in the Crown or was acquired under the Closer Settlement Acts as in force before their repeal. All public land belongs to the Crown. This includes land that is reserved, owned for public purposes, or vacant. It typically includes reserves for nature conservation, forestry, marine conservation, water conservation, mining, defence, and vacant land. The so-called ‘pastoral lease’ is the most common form of Crown land, covering some 70% of Australia.

Crown (land) grant—(hist.) a legal document issued in the name of Her Majesty, which transfers a defined portion of Crown land in fee simple, to the person named, after certain conditions are met. It may set out restrictions on how the land is to be used. In colonial times, Crown grants were made at the discretion of the colony’s governor. Governor Phillip initiated Crown grants in 1791. This practice was continued by Governor Macquarie. In 1825 the system of selling land was introduced, in an attempt to provide all men with the means of a livelihood. Land sales led to the abolition of Crown grants, in 1831, after which land was sold at public auction. The governor's discretionary power of refusing applications for land ownership was also abolished.

Crown land lease—enables exclusive use over a particular piece of land for a specified term and purpose. Generally, leases are sought over Crown land where security of the tenure is an important factor to the user of the land—such as where commercial uses are proposed and major financial outlay is required. Examples include extensive agricultural initiatives, long-term extractive industries, irrigation, commercial and trading purposes, marina sites and caravan parks. All Crown land leases are now issued for specified terms and are recorded on the title of that land.

Crown Lands Act, 1989—'An Act to provide for the administration and management of Crown land in the Eastern and Central Divisions of the State and to repeal the Crown Lands Consolidation Act 1913, the Closer Settlement Acts and certain other Acts' (long title for the Crown Lands Act, 1989). This act provides a simpler framework for Crown land administration and management. In particular, the act reflects increasing community requirements for improved consultation, more appropriate principles for Crown land management, and a more streamlined tenure.

Crown Lands Acts of 1861—(hist.) two pieces of legislation designed to work together for the regulation of landholdings: the Crown Lands Alienation Act and the Crown Lands Occupation Act. The Alienation Act dealt with the sale of land, and the Occupation Act dealt with leasing. Under the new principle of free selection before survey, introduced by Sir Robertson's Act, country lands were sold in limited areas of from 40 to 320 acres at a price of £1 an acre, payable partly by deposit, and carrying interest on the balance outstanding at the rate of 5 per cent per annum. By the Occupation Act of 1861 the colony was divided into first and second-class settled districts and unsettled districts, and pastoral leases were left open to the operations of free selectors. The system of unconditional sales was still continued under the Act of 1861, and remained in force until its abolition in 1884.

Crown Lands Alienation Act—(hist.) made available for selection an area of Crown land by any person, to a limit of 320 acres. Prior to this, early squatters had acquired vast tracts of the colony's prime land through illegal occupation (squatting). This Act opened up the squatter-held lands for selection by anyone in the colony. Purchase was conditional upon payment of a deposit (one-quarter of the purchase price, due following survey of the selection) and of living on the land for three years. This Act deliberately limited the enormous land-holdings of the squattocracy. At the same time, the Act ensured the on-going and open availability of agricultural land for use by Aboriginal people in their traditional ways.

Crown Lands Alienation Act 1868—(hist.) established a fixed-term lease on pastoral and mining properties. After separation from New South Wales in 1859, the Queensland Parliament attempted to attract southern squatters. Under the Alienation Act of 1868, a man could hold land for a fixed term lease (generally 14 years at 10 shillings per square mile for 4 years—rent reviewed after that), as well as stocking at a rate of 25 sheep and 5 head of cattle or horses per square mile. Rent concessions were given for certain improvements, but failure to carry out the terms meant forfeiture of land.

Crown Lands Occupation Act 1861—(hist.) dealt with leasing the lands made publicly available under the Crown Lands Alienation Act, 1861. The selections, which quickly became known colloquially as 'runs', created a closer settlement of people upon the land. “A million acres for a million farmers” became the rally cry for legislative reform.

Crown Lands (Reserves) Act 1978 (VIC)—provides for reserving areas as public land and for making a specific reservation status for existing public land not managed under the National Parks Act (VIC).

Crown Lands Unauthorized Occupation Act 1839 (NSW)—(hist.) established a Border Police force "for the mutual protection and security of all persons lawfully occupying or being upon the Crown lands beyond the limits allotted for location ...". Regulations further provided that such licences could be cancelled if the licensee were convicted "of any malicious injury committed upon or against any aboriginal native or other person ..."

Crown leasehold land—land owned by state governments on behalf of the people they represent, but leased to specified people or organisations for a specific purpose, including: Crown lands held under lease, licence or permit; community managed reserves; lands retained in public ownership for environmental purposes; lands within the Crown public roads network; and other unallocated lands. Many non-tidal waterways across the states also comprise Crown land, as do most tidal waterways. Such lands are variously termed Crown land or Crown leasehold. About 50% of Australia, mostly in the drier region but also in the state of New South Wales, comes under some form of leasehold. Governments retain a variety of controls over how leasehold land is used.

crown of thorns starfish—(COTS) a small starfish that are spawned amongst dead coral rubble. As they mature, the starfish emerge from the protection of the rubble to feed on live corals. Of the reefs surveyed in 2004, 16% have outbreaks. This compares with 10% in 1988 when COTS caused widespread destruction on reefs in the central Great Barrier Reef. COTS populations are described as outbreaks when they reach densities such that the starfish are consuming coral tissue faster than the corals can grow.

Crown prisoner—(hist.) a convict.

Crown servant—(hist.) a convict.

Croydon—the site of Australia's last major gold rush, starting in 1886 and lasting 20 years. As a consequence, the Gulf of Carpentaria was heavily settled by Chinese migrants in the late 1800s, with Croydon at one stage boasting the largest rural Chinese population in the nation. Croydon is located 562km west of Cairns and 642km north-east of Mount Isa via Normanton, in Queensland.

Croydon Goldfields—one of Australia’s largest gold systems. The Croydon Goldfields is a highly prospective geological terrain that has the potential to host large tonnage gold deposits. The gold deposits tend to occur in groups and are structurally controlled with locally higher grades and larger gold shoots occurring in areas where cross cutting structures intersect the main reef. Gold was discovered on a pastoral lease in 1883 and the Croydon Goldfields were proclaimed in 1886. Located in the shire of Croydon, 150km from Normanton in north Queensland.

cruel (the pitch)—spoil, ruin, especially someone else's chance of success.

cruet—the head.

crumb gatherer—(Australian Rules football) rover who is expert at getting the loose ball.

crumble—a mixture of flour and fat, rubbed to the texture of breadcrumbs and cooked as a topping for fruit etc: e.g., apple crumble, vegetable crumble.

crumpet—1. a soft, flat cake of a yeast mixture cooked on a griddle and eaten toasted and buttered. 2. woman considered as a sexually attractive object. 3. the head.

crust—livelihood; living; job: e.g., What's he do for a crust?

cry for the moon—to desire in vain; attempt something useless or doomed to certain failure.

cry Herb!/Ralph!/Ruth!—to vomit.

cry (someone) down—disparage or belittle (someone); particularly when delivered in a loud voice with the intention of overriding the other's speech.

cry stinking fish—disparage one's own efforts.

crystallised fruit—candied fruit.

CSIRO—originally called the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and established in 1926 in Melbourne, Victoria. In the 1930s, the CSIR began establishing laboratories across the nation to help the development of Australia’s primary industries, including forest products, fisheries and food production. During this decade and the next, the CSIR set up divisions dealing with animal health and nutrition, soils, plant industry, fisheries, food preservation and transport, entomology and forest products. In 1949 the Council was renamed the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and continues to operate under this name in primary, secondary and tertiary industry matters.

CTBT—Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Since the nuclear explosions over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there have been something approaching 2 000 nuclear tests carried out by several countries. Of importance to Australia are the series of twelve British atmospheric tests conducted on Australian territory between 1952 and 1957 on the Montebello Islands and at Maralinga and Emu Plains. The following year, 1958, the British government detonated four bombs over Christmas Island in the two months immediately prior to ceding the territory to Australian control. During the mainland tests many army personnel were exposed to the blasts. Security at the test sites was lax, the testing range boundaries were not properly monitored, and all signs were posted in English, which the local Aboriginal population could not read. Fallout from the ground blasts led to massive contamination of the Australian interior. The fallout from Maralinga reached Adelaide and Melbourne. Some places are still radioactive, due principally to the presence of the Pu-239 radioisotope.

Cue—a town featuring as the centre of the Murchison goldfields at the turn of the century. Within 400 days of the first claim, miners had poured into the area, and within a year the town of Cue was officially proclaimed. Now all that is left is a small settlement (current population is around 300) with some of the most pretentious buildings to be found anywhere in Western Australia. Known as the 'Queen of the Murchison', Cue is located 650km north-east of Perth.


cultural cringe—behaviour resulting from the feeling that one's cultural background is inferior, therefore that oneself is inferior. A prominent feature within Australian society from their convict origins until very recently. A boisterous cultural nationalism has slowly overtaken the cringe in the past three decades.

cumbungiTypha orientalis, a native perennial plant with erect, flat leaves; grows to 4m. The flowering part of the plant is prominent and distinctive, with tightly packed flowers in a spike. Each spike produces vast numbers of seeds. The plant provides habitat for small animals, and grazing for stock. Its subterranean stems provide a starchy food that was once a staple food of the Aboriginal people in the Murray-Darling area of NSW. It thrives in fresh to slightly brackish, slow-moving water to a depth of less than 2 metres. Today, cumbungi is classified as a declared weed, as it tends to form dense infestations capable of choking dams and waterways, reducing water volume and flow, and may also out-compete desirable endemic aquatic macrophytes. It grows prolifically and produces large amounts of organic matter that, upon decomposition, may increase water nutrient loadings. Dense local infestations commonly occur due to the ability of the plant to propagate from underground stems or rhizomes. Cumbungi prefers habitats with relatively high dissolved nutrient loadings. It should be noted, however, that the endemic Typha species (Typha orientalis and Typha domingenis) are protected on reserved lands and in native vegetation managed for nature conservation. Sometimes inaccurately identified as bulrush.

Cummeragunja—lies on the New South Wales side of Dhungala—the Murray River—on the traditional lands of the Yorta Yorta and Bangerang peoples. The river is hugely important to the people and sustained them for thousands of years. Cummeragunja is famous for the activism and strength of its people. They did not just fight for the people of their home but for Aboriginal people across the nation. The people of Cummeragunja began fighting for rights to their country soon after the station was established in 1881. This claim for land continued through to today with Yorta Yorta being the first community to lodge a native title application in Victoria. In 2004 they won the right to co-manage part of their lands with state authorities.

Cunnamulla—an outback town located at the intersection of two major stock routes in south-west Queensland. Cunnamulla is the administrative centre for the vast Paroo Shire. In 1868, the township reserve for Cunnamulla was excised from the lease of Cunnamulla Station. The station was owned by one of the founders of Cobb & Co., and was a major staging point for journeys west into the Paroo and beyond. The town of Cunnamulla was established to service the huge sheep and cattle properties in the region, and a government bore was sunk there in 1888. The following year, the railway reached and terminated in Cunnamulla, making the town a major railhead for the transport of supplies and wool. It has remained an important railhead for the surrounding area, being the end of the branch line that runs south from Charleville. Cunnamulla is an Aboriginal term for 'long stretch of water' and is located near the Warrego River.

cunning as a dunny rat—crafty; deceptive; shrewd.

Cunningham, Allan—assistant to the manager of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, in England. In 1816 he arrived in Sydney with the position of His Majesty's Botanical Collector. He was a member of Oxley's 1817 expedition to the Lachlan River, and travelled with Captain P P King on his surveys of the Australian coast. Although primarily a botanist, he became equally proficient as an explorer. He led an expedition from Bathurst to the Liverpool Plains in 1823, and expeditions in south Queensland in 1827, 1828, and 1829. During that 1828 expedition he discovered the gap in the Great Dividing Range leading to the Darling Downs, and in 1829 he mapped the Brisbane River to its source. He returned to Kew in 1831, but became Colonial Botanist of New South Wales in 1837, and died in Sydney in 1839 at the age of forty-eight.

Cup—(the...) famous horse-race, the Melbourne Cup.

Cup Day—Melbourne Cup Day, Australia's famous Tuesday: a national public holiday for celebrating the pinnacle of the Spring Racing Carnival. Held every year since 1861, the Cup offers one of the world's most challenging courses (Flemington), as well as one of the world's biggest purses. "Fashions On The Field" is also a major focus of the day, with substantial prizes awarded for the best-dressed racegoers. The requirement for elegant hats almost single-handedly keeps Melbourne's (few) milliners in business. Raceday fashion has, on occasion, drawn almost as much attention as the race itself, with the miniskirt receiving worldwide publicity when model Jean Shrimpton, an invited guest unfamiliar with Melbourne's conservatism at the time, wore one to a lead-up event to Cup Day (it was actually Darby Day where she wore the mini) in 1965. Race day in Melbourne is a public holiday, and around the country, a large majority of people gamble on the race, either through direct betting or participating in cup "sweeps". Its description as the "race that stops a nation" is well-deserved.

cup moth—the moths of the Limacodidae family are named cup moths because the shape of their pupal cocoon is cup-shaped, resembling the fruit of the gum tree to which it is attached. Adult caterpillars have fat and furry bodies with little spines that come out when they're annoyed to sting whatever's attacking them. Up to now we have found only one species in this family.

cupboard drinker—secret drinker; someone who drinks much more alcohol than he reveals.

cuppa—cup of tea; tea break.

curl (one's) lip up—express distaste, disdain: e.g., He curls his lip up every time I serve tripe for dinner.

curl the mo!—expression of wonder, amazement, admiration, pleasure.

curl up (one's) toes—1. to give up. 2. to die.

curlew—any wading bird exhibiting long spindly legs and a distinctive, wailing call: 1.Burhinus grallarius, the bush stone-curlew of New South Wales is one of the most recognisable woodland bird species, though its survival is under threat. 2. Esacus neglectus, the beach stone-curlew, is another wading bird of New South Wales which is threatened. Other common names include: beach thick-knee, large-billed stone plover, shore plover and beach curlew. 3. Numenius minuta, the little curlew, flocks to the Top End during the latter part of September. They build up in numbers until the onset of heavy rains, usually in December, at which time they move southward. 4. Calidris ferruginea, which breeds in the Arctic regions of eastern Siberia.

curly—difficult to deal with, handle or solve: e.g., Except for a few curly problems at the start, the business has been crash-hot.

curly windmill grassEnteropogon acicularis, a sprawling tussock grass with unusual windmill-shaped flowerheads. Frost tolerant. Prune back after flowering.

Curnamona Craton—forms the consolidated basement and outcrops as inliers (the Broken Hill and Euriowie Blocks) within the Adelaide Fold Belt. The cratonic units consist of strongly deformed and metamorphosed sedimentary and igneous rocks of mid-Proterozoic age, over 1800 million years old. They host the famous silver and lead deposits at Broken Hill, New South Wales.

Currawinya National Park—comprises two of the oldest pastoral properties on the Paroo River, Currawinya and Caiwarra, both leases being taken up in the early 1860s. The area, which falls within the Mulga Lands Bioregion, was declared a national park 1991.This former grazing property is one of the more important inland waterbird habitats in Australia. The most distinctive feature of these plains is the presence of two large lakes, Wyara and Numalla, which together create over 6000ha of wetland when full. These lakes, separated by only a few kilometres of sand dunes, are the centrepiece of a mosaic of habitats across the park, including numerous smaller, intermittent wetland habitats. After heavy rains small, temporary claypan lakes and swamps dot the landscape. The 151,300ha Currawinya National Park is located in south-west Queensland, a few kilometres north of the NSW/Qld border.

currawong—any of three species of the genus Strepera, having predominantly black or grey plumage and a ringing call that its name mimics: curra-wong, curra-wong, followed by a long whistle, kwok. Found in eastern Australia, from Cape York, Queensland to the Grampians, western Victoria. Inhabits tall forests, forest margins, parks and gardens. Also called the bell magpie.

currency—in the early days of the New South Wales colony, there were foreign notes (bills) of many kinds: these were referred to as currency, whereas the English gold coins were called sterling, implying purity as well as genuineness.

currency lads and lasses—native-born Australians of convict descent, as opposed to the “sterling”, English-born settlers.

Currie Harbour lighthouse—one of three lighthouses located on King Island. Constructed in 1879 and first lit in 1880, the Currie Harbour lighthouse has a screw-pile foundation design. The entire assembly of 312 pieces was pre-fabricated in England by Chance Bros, and is of wrought iron and a cast iron base. The cylinder in the centre has 90 spiral steps. The Currie Harbour and lighthouse were named after Captain Archibald Currie, a leading citizen of Victoria, who used the harbour while salvaging the wreck of the Netherby in the late 1800s.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary—home of the world's largest captive collection of Australian native animals, comprising 1400 species of mammals, reptiles and birds. Noted for the rainbow lorikeets that descend twice daily at feeding time, it features 27 hectares of lush gardens and an array of wildlife, including rare and endangered species, such as the southern cassowary, the Tasmanian devil and the bilby, as well as kangaroos, wallabies, snakes, freshwater crocodiles, koalas, emus, waterbirds and the largest sub-tropical, walk-through rainforest aviary in the Southern Hemisphere. The sanctuary is situated to the north of Coolangatta, near the Queensland/NSW border.

curry and rice—(rhyming slang) price.

Curtain Fig Tree—(the...) one of the largest trees in north Queensland, the Curtain Fig Tree in Cairns is from the strangler fig species, Ficus virens. The curtain effect results from one tree leaning against another tree on a 45-degree angle. The strangler vine then grew along the oblique angle of the leaning tree, dangling 15 metres to the ground to create the curtain affect. A wooden boardwalk surrounds the tree so you can see it on any angle.

Curtin, John Joseph—Labor politician prime minister of Australia, 1941-45. When World War II started in late 1939, the coalition government of Robert Menzies was divided by personal rivalries. The independents who held the balance of power believed Australia’s war effort was being adversely affected. In October 1941, they agreed to transfer their support to Labor so that Curtin became prime minister following a double dissolution. He appealed to the United States for help in the face of his realisation that Australia was deemed dispensable by Britain. He summed this up in his now-famous 1942 New Year speech: ‘…I make it clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom’. Curtin recalled Australian troops from the Middle East to defend Australia. He was condemned by British prime minister Winston Churchill for appealing to the American president for assistance. With Japanese planes bombing northern Australian ports, he mobilised the entire nation, instituting the military conscription that he had so strongly opposed in World War I. Together, American and Australian troops averted invasion via the Coral Sea, fighting side-by-side in Papua New Guinea. This forging of ties with the U.S. consequently loosed those with Britain. He died in office in July 1945, a few months before the Allied victory.

cuscus—any of several nocturnal, usually arboreal marsupials of the genus Phalanger. Their diet consists of fruit, flowers and leaves as well as eggs and meat, when available. The spotted cuscus lives in lowland tropical rainforest and nearby mangroves in northern Queensland. It is widespread in Papua New Guinea, but in Australia is limited to a small area in Cape York.

cushion plantsAbrotanella occur above the tree-line on many Tasmanian mountains. They look like flattened cushions hugging the ground, although the surface is quite hard and spiky. Mainland Australia has no true alpine cushion plants, but in Tasmania there are half a dozen species. The cushion surface is formed by a method of growth whereby every stem elongates and produces new leaves at the same rate and it is impossible to tell which leaves belong to which branch. Indeed, the stems are hidden beneath the densely packed foliage of tiny (~5mm long) leaves. Because the leaves are so densely packed the branches inside are protected from wind, snow and ice, and the core of the plant retains a fairly constant temperature. This form of growth is so useful in coping with the harsh and unpredictable weather experienced at higher altitudes that four species from four different plant families have converged in their evolution to such an extent that it is very difficult to tell them apart when they are not flowering. The flowers that they produce are tiny, being only 5mm—6mm long and a couple of millimetres wide. A single cushion plant, which can cover several square metres of ground and be up to half a metre high, can be covered in several thousand flowers in peak flowering years, with the different species flowering sequentially from December to March. It would appear that beetles in particular are important pollinators of Tasmanian alpine cushion plants, which is interesting because beetles have very seldom been reported as important alpine pollinators in other parts of the world.

cushy—(of a job etc) cushioned: easy or comfortable; without problems, difficulties or responsibilities.

custard appleAnnona reticulata, a West Indian fruit tree related to the pawpaw, widely grown as a backyard tree in Queensland. 2. the large, heart-shaped fruit of the bullock's heart tree.

custard powder—used to make a thicker, English version of the French dessert sauce Crème Anglaise. The custard powder is simply stirred into boiling milk, with a little sugar. Custard is usually served with puddings—it is almost always served with the traditional Christmas Pudding, usually with the addition of brandy. It also features in the popular English dessert, trifle. English cooking had a strong influence on the Australian, changing notably only in the past twenty years as an off-shoot from immigration.

customary law—1. laws based on traditions and customs; often found in non-writing societies (domestic). Customary law is an integral and central part of Indigenous culture and identity. Indigenous peoples are bound by customary systems of legal, social and religious rules and obligations, which order relationships between themselves and with their land. 2. a source of international law drawn from the common practices of governments, which over a period of time become accepted as legally binding (international).

customer—an annoying or difficult person: e.g., Stay away from him, he's a rough customer.

cut—1. to geld or castrate; knacker. 2. angry. 3. drunk. 4. (cricket) to hit (the ball) to the off-side, usually between cover and third man, with a roughly horizontal bat.

cut a dash—show off; make a spectacle of oneself.

cut lunch—1. sandwiches; hence, 2. a packed lunch.

cut (one's) coat according to (one's) cloth—(Brit.) to live within (one's) means.

cut (one's) eye-teeth—gain worldly knowledge.

cut the cackle!—be quiet; stop talking or laughing.

cut up a rug—to dance.

cut up rough—(Brit.) behave in an angry, upset manner.

cut up well—bequeath a large fortune.


cut-out box—fuse box.

cuts—corporal punishment, consisting of a strap on the palm of the hand, given at school: e.g., He got tens cuts for stealing.

cutter—1. one who cuts (a shearer, cane-cutter, etc) 2. (cricket) a ball turning sharply on pitching.

cuttlefish—marine animals of the order Sepiida. They belong to the class Cephalopoda, which also includes squid, octopuses, and nautiluses. 'Cuttle' is a reference to their unique internal shell, the cuttlebone. Despite their name, cuttlefish are true molluscs, with large, W-shaped pupils, eight arms, and two tentacles furnished with denticulated suckers, with which they secure their prey. They generally range in size from 15-25cm, with the largest species, Sepia apama, reaching 50cmin mantle length and over 10.5kg in weight. Cuttlefish eat small molluscs, crabs, shrimp, fish, octopuses, worms, and other cuttlefish. Their predators include dolphins, sharks, fish, seals, seabirds, and other cuttlefish. Their life expectancy is about one to two years. Cuttlefish have one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios of all invertebrates, and recent research indicates surprising intelligence. The Greco-Roman world valued the cephalopod as a source of the unique brown pigment the creature releases from its siphon when it is alarmed. The word for it in both Greek and Latin, sepia, is now used to refer to a brown pigment in English.

CV—curriculum vitae; resume.

CWA—Country Women's Association. A social and cultural organisation for the isolated women of the country, which extended into private charities. The Association soon became politically vocal, making Government and local authorities aware of the needs and opinions of its country constituents. The Government has since taken over many of the aspects of social welfare previously carried out by the CWA.

cyanobacteria—a naturally occurring, microscopic, primitive photosynthetic bacteria that grows in large bodies of water. When phosphorus concentration in rivers becomes too high, the cyanobacteria becomes toxic to other life. The rise in phosphorus concentration is attributed to run-off from fertilizer and factories, as is also the case with algal bloom (which is provoked by an unusually high concentration of nitrogen). Cyanobacteria is commonly known as blue-green algae.

cycad—an evolutionary link between ferns and angiosperms (flowering plants). In the stages of plant evolution, the cycads and conifers are more advanced than the ferns but not as advanced as the flowering plants that would follow at the end of the Jurassic period. Conifers appeared in the fossil record around 280 million years ago, followed by the cycads 40 million years later.

Cycad Gorge—the site of an inland sea in prehistoric times, and home to one of the rarest palm trees in the world, the relict red livistonia. Also growing within the protection of the gorge are numerous cycads. The nearest relatives of the cycad palms, which grow only on one wall of the gorge, are 1000km away on the eastern coast of Australia. Remnant pockets of vegetation such as these are evidence that Central Australia was once covered by lush vegetation. Cycad Gorge is located within Palm Valley, Finke Gorge National Park, Finke Gorge National Park, Northern Territory.

cycad palmCycas armstrongii, a deciduous, palm-like shrub, thave a slow-growing columnar trunk that's 3 to 50 feet tall, and a crown of leaves that superficially resembles a palm. They were common in open woodlands in the Darwin area, sometimes occurring in very large numbers, and were once an important source of carbohydrate for the Garawa people, on the shores at Manangoora in the Gulf of Carpentaria, NT. Its seeds (referred to as nuts) can reach three feet in length and up to 95 pounds. and are the largest of all cone-bearing plants. Some massive seeds can weigh up to 95 pounds. However, they contain cyanide. To reduce the toxicity levels they are normally cooked in a fire, then chipped into small pieces, which then are usually placed in a bag and left in a running stream of water for several days. Then the soggy dough is shaped into cylindrical cakes, wrapped in paperbark and roasted overnight. Cooked loaves will last for up to six months. The coarse bread has a very unpleasant smell, but tastes good. The seeds are produced in the dry season, from April to September. Cycads are remarkable seed plants that flourished during the days of the dinosaurs. In fact, they were so numerous during Mesozoic times (65 to 230 million years ago), this era is sometimes referred to as the "Age of Cycads and Dinosaurs." Today, cycad populations are seriously threatened with extinction due to extensive collecting and diminishing habitats.

cyclone forest—open patches of hillside rainforest.

Cymbidium—a genus of epiphytic tropical orchid, three of which are endemic to Australia. Found mainly in hardwood forests, but also in dry sclerophyll forests, on paperbarks in swamps and watercourses, and in dense rainforests. It is one of the few epiphytes that grow on eucalyptus; another of its hosts is the bush oak. Flowering is from August to October, but this can be extended to January in southern New South Wales.

cypress-pine—any of the ornamental and timber shrubs and trees of two closely related genera (Callitris and Widdringtonia) of the family Cupressaceae. About 16 species constitute the genus Callitris; they are native to Australasia and grow best in arid localities.

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