Australian Dictionary

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Australia Decoded

Gimlet Woodlands

Gimlet Woodlands

'Ghan—(see: Afghan Express).

'Ghan Town—(see: Afghan Town).

ghost batMacroderma gigas, Australia's only carnivorous bat, and the only Australian member of the family Megadermatidae, widespread in Africa and Asia. It preys on small creatures such as mice, frogs, large insects, small birds and lizards, and other bats. They hunt alone but gather in groups of up to several hundred to roost in caves, mine shafts and other such places during the day. In the caves, they prefer to roost in high domes where warm air is trapped. Between September and November, mothers give birth to one baby. They form a nursery colony away from the males. It is a large bat, growing to around 13cm in total length, with a wingspan of 60cm. They live anywhere from arid areas to rainforests north of the Tropic of Capricorn. Once widespread in Australia, the ghost bat is now common only in the Northern Territory.

ghost gumCorymbia papuana, an upright tree to 16m that is characterised by smooth, white bark and named for its ghostly appearance by moonlight. Occurs from arid to monsoon tropical areas of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland. Also occurs in Papua New Guinea.

giant beach wormAustralonuphis teres, has hundreds of segments and hundreds of feet, and grows up to 2.5m in length. It is a carnivore and scavenger and, although blind, has a very keen sense of smell and feeds mainly on small cockles, decaying meat, fish and seaweeds which are washed up in the shallows. They live under the sand around the low water mark on beaches from Queensland to South Australia. As the tide recedes, the tip of the worm will be just visible on the surface of the sand.

giant burrowing frogHeleioporus australiacus, Sydney's largest frog is an impressive amphibian. It is sometimes mistaken for the cane toad because of its size and warty appearance, but he cane toad's eyes have a horizontal pupil with a gold iris while the giant burrowing frog's eyes have a vertical pupil with a silver-grey iris. Adults travel widely in search of food, which includes spiders, centipedes, insects, crayfish and even bull ants. During the summer, males use their powerful, spade-like back legs to dig deep burrows into creek banks. From here they emit an owl-like hoot to attract females, giving them their other name, the eastern owl frog. After mating, the females lay eggs in a foamy nest in the burrow. The tadpoles that develop are washed into the creek during heavy rain. Like many amphibians, populations of the giant burrowing frog are thought to be in decline. Distribution is throughout Australia, in urban areas, forests, woodlands and heathlands.

giant echidnaMegalibgwilia ramsayi lived during the Pleistocene era, becoming extinct about 50,000 years ago. It was similar in appearance to the livinglLong-beaked echidna of Papua New Guinea, Zaglossus bruijnii, although much larger. Unlike the modern echidna, which lives mostly on ants and termites, Megalibgwilia were able to consume larger food items such as grubs, beetles and worms. Their robust forelimbs and long, sturdy snouts assisted them in the search for food. Both of these features are indicative of great strength for digging and probing amongst rocks and logs.

giant freshwater lobsterAstacopsis gouldi, the largest freshwater invertebrate in the world, can live for up to 30 years and weigh as much as 4kg. It reaches maturity at 9 years in males and 14 years in females. Reproduction occurs only every two years, making them very vulnerable to disturbances of the environment or over-fishing by humans. Found only in northern Tasmania in rivers and creeks that flow into Bass Strait.

giant ghost mothAnetus spp., the final stage of the bardi grub. The caterpillars of the moths in this family burrow into soil, or more often into tree trunks, to feed and pupate. A preferred tree for the giant ghost moth is the alphitonia, occurring on the edges of rainforest. Just before entering the pupa stage, the caterpillar weaves a silken plug to seal up its food tunnel. When it is ready to emerge, it chews around the edge of the plug which drops out, allowing the metamorphosed adult to emerge from the tunnel and expand its wings. The male ghost moth has blue wings whilst the female's wings are green.

giant Gippsland earthwormMegascolides australis, one of around 1000 species of native earthworms in Australia. One of the most spectacular is the giant Gippsland earthworm; at over a metre long it is one of the largest earthworms in the world. It has a strikingly dark purple head and pinkish-grey coloured body. The worm leaves its waste products (casts) underground, where it can sometimes be heard making a loud gurgling sound. The earthworms live in complex burrow systems up to 2m deep. Water is very important to the worm for movement and respiration, and so the worms rarely leave their burrows, which are always wet. They live for a very long time and may take up to five years to reach maturity. They breed in spring and summer and produce large, amber coloured egg cocoons which are laid in the burrow. The egg cocoons take over 12 months to incubate and when the baby worm hatches it is already a giant at 20 cm long. Introduced earthworms, mainly from Europe, have now replaced native earthworms in most disturbed habitats. The giant Gippsland earthworm is a sub-soil species and has been able to survive in pockets of land less severely disturbed by cultivation. Because of its patchy distribution and its sensitivity to environmental pressures, the conservation status of the giant Gippsland earthworm is vulnerable. If the species declines any further it will be in serious danger of extinction. The earthworm's entire range is less than 50,000ha of the Bass River Valley in Victoria, but only a fraction of the land is suitable habitat. The worm is usually found in blue/grey or red clay soils along stream banks, gullies, soaks and some south or west facing hills.

giant perch—a common name for barramundi.

giant short-faced kangaroo—(see: Prodoctodon).

giant stinging treeDendrocnide excelsa, a large canopy tree which grows to about 40m in height, with a trunk diameter of nearly 4.5m at the base. It grows in subtropical, dry, and littoral rainforest in eastern Australia (from Bega, NSW to Imbil, south-east Qld). The giant stinging tree gets its name from the stinging hairs on its leaves and fruit (and stem of young trees), which are capable of inflicting an extremely painful sting which will last several hours. These trees are one of the pioneers of the forest; young seedlings grow very rapidly until they become giant trees with large buttresses. The wood is soft and fibrous; a large tree completely rots away in two years. This tree is easily identified by its large, heart shaped leaves covered with dense hairs.The fruit is a small nut on an expanded fleshy stalk, resembling a mulberry in colour and texture. These stalks are an important winter fruit for the green catbird and the regent bowerbird.

giant trevallyCaranx ignobilis, can be recognised by its steep head profile, strong scutes on the straight, posterior portion of the lateral line and its large size. It is the largest species of trevally in Australian waters, growing to 1.7m in length. Its colouration varies from uniform silvery to almost black. It can sometimes be a dusky golden colour and have dark irregular bands on the back, but never has a dark spot on the rear of the operculum. This species is usually seen cruising along reef dropoffs in tropical marine waters. It occurs throughout the Indo Pacific. In Australia it is known from the central coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north and south to the New South Wales central coast.

gibber—1. speak fast and inarticulately; chatter incoherently. 2. a boulder or large stone.

gibber birdAshbyia lovensis, one of the Australian honeyeaters, and an inhabitant of the stony deserts and short-grass plains of Queensland, NSW and NT. Also known as the desert chat.

gibber country—(see: gibber plains).

gibber plains—an arid, stony area of low relief on which small stones sometimes form a surface layer. Stony deserts—or gibber plains—have no sand cover.

gibber stone—a rounded, weather-worn stone of arid, inland Australia.

Gibbs, May—(1877—1969) The Gumnut Babies, her first book about Australian bush fairies, was published in 1916 in Sydney. Apart from the famous Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (1918), her publications include Flower Babies, Wattleblossom Babies, and other Gumnut fairytale books. Her Bib and Bub comic strip series ran for years in Sydney newspapers. Her deep love and understanding of the Australian bush was portrayed by her animated images in conflict with fellow bush creatures and the environment. A retiring personality who shunned publicity, May Gibbs, through her books, aimed to engender in children her own love of nature.

Gibson Desert—a vast, dry region of red sandhills and desert grass. Lateritised upland on flat-lying Jurassic and Cretaceous sandstones of Canning Basin. Mulga parkland over hard spinifex on lateritic "buckshot" plains. Mixed shrub steppe of acacia, hakea and grevillea over soft spinifex on red sand plains and dune fields. Lateritic uplands support shrub steppe in the north and mulga scrub in the south. Quaternary alluvia associated with palaeo-drainage features support coolabah woodlands over bunch grasses. The area relies almost entirely on thunderstorm activity and the occasional ex-tropical cyclone cloud mass. Some sheep and cattle grazing occur on the margins of the desert, but the region is mostly uninhabited except for Aboriginal land. Lying mostly within Western Australia, the Gibson is bounded on the north by the Great Sandy Desert and on the south by the Great Victoria Desert.

Gidga—1. an Aboriginal people of the Fitzroy River region of Western Australia. 2. The language group spoken by the Gidga people.

gidya—(see: gidgee tree).

gidgee treeAcacia cambagei, a scrubby tree of tropical and subtropical Australia. Grows in cracking clay soil and and other such impoverished sites as support mulgas. Once used by local Aboriginal tribes for making weapons of various types. Characterised by downward-pointing "tongues" of bark and a strong, unpleasant odour when in flower. Also known as ring gidgee and stinking wattle.

gidyea—(see: gidgee tree).

gift—something obtained with unexpected ease or at less expense than expected.

gift of the gab—the talent of being able to make people listen to, believe what one says; glib speech: e.g., Most successful salesmen have the gift of the gab.

gig—1. fool; stupid person; off person. 2. a look: e.g., Have a gig at this! 3. a musician's engagement to play.

giggle—(a...) an amusing situation, person or occasion: e.g., The meeting was a bit of a giggle.

giggle bin/factory/house—mental asylum (from WWI, digger dialect).

giggling Gerty—woman given to giggling, behaving in a silly, giggling manner.

Gilbert, John—(1812-1845) was John Gould's principal collector in Australia and was a talented observer who endured considerable hardship while travelling in the Australian bush collecting for his employer. Gilbert started his career as a taxidermist a year after Gould at the Zoological Society of London, and later accompanied the Goulds to Australia. Gilbert visited Australia twice and, over a period of six years, collected thousands of specimens from all over the country. He was killed by an Aboriginal spear in the neck while travelling on Ludwig Leichhardt's overland expedition to Port Essington. Both Gilbert's field notebooks and diaries have survived and we have a detailed account of his life and travels in Australia. These notes were used extensively by Gould in the text for The Birds of Australia.

Gilbert's potorooPotorous gilbertii, is a small macropodoid marsupial in the family Potoroidae. Adults range from 900g to 1200g and there is little sexual dimorphism. The body, but not the tapered tail, is densely furred. John Gilbert collected the first specimens of Gilbert's potoroo at King George's Sound in 1840, and alerted his employer John Gould that it was a distinct form. A small number of specimens were subsequently collected from the Albany region, the last in the 1870s. This was the last official record of the species and by 1909 it was believed to be extinct. Gilbert's potoroo was rediscovered at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, 35km east of Albany, in December 1994, though only one colony of this species is known to have survived. Thirty to 45 of these small marsupials inhabit the acacia bushes fringing the shore. Officially classed as 'Critically Endangered', Gilbert's potoroo is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future.

gild the lily—to spoil beauty or good taste with over-decoration and gaudiness.

Giles, Alfred—In 1873, 5000 sheep were overlanded from Adelaide by Alfred Giles for distribution among the telegraph stations along the line. During 1877 and 1878 Alfred Giles and Arthur Giles overlanded stock for Dr W.J. Browne to the Katherine River. Alfred Giles later started Springvale, Delamere and the Newcastle Waters runs.

Giles, Ernest—leader of five expeditions into the western interior of Australia, discovering more land than any other explorer of the Australian continent. During his travels he discovered Mount Olga, named the Gibson Desert and crossed the continent from east to west, and later went back again by a different route. Giles finally succeeded in crossing Western Australia in 1875, with a party equipped with fifteen camels. On this expedition, he discovered Queen Victoria Spring in the Great Victoria Desert.

gilgai—an Australian loan word used to describe the hollows in a terrain of low relief on a plain of heavy clay soil. Mounds and hollows form as the result of wet-season expansion and dry-season contraction of the clay, causing blocks of soil to rise and sink. In areas with gilgai microrelief, crop and pasture growth is likely to be uneven across a paddock due to soil variations and poor drainage conditions in depressions. A single hole is known as a gilgai, or gilgai hole. Such holes are also known as crab-holes, dead-men's graves, or melon holes. From the Aboriginal gilgaay, 'waterhole'.

gilgai phenomena—this feature, which is widely developed throughout the heavier soils, consists of small-scale undulations of the land, the alternate hummocks and hollows of which show some degree of regularity. They have been called variously ‘gilgai’, ‘crab-hole’, ‘melon-hole’, and ‘Bay of Biscay country’. Considerable differences in magnitude and form of the undulations occur, and since the different names are not applied consistently to any one form, the term ‘gilgai’ is now used for all manifestations. They all show a characteristic swelling pattern on wetting, the subsoil swelling more than the topsoil. Originally described in Australia, this phenomena has subsequently been recognized in many other countries where a suitable combination of soil and climate exists.

gill bird—(see: wattle bird).

gimletEucalyptus salubris, a small mallet, endemic to Western Australia. The bark is smooth and a brilliant coppery colour in season. The adult leaves are a very glossy green. Buds are in groups of seven on prominently flattened peduncles; it produces a light amber honey. This tree (and the associated gimlet salmon and York gums) gave indication as to the quality of the soil to early settlers, and many of the first gazetted farms were upon these soils. Formerly used for minor construction and as firewood in the goldfields. Areas with large remaining stands are therefore of conservation value. Sometimes E. salubris is grown as an ornamental for its colourful bark.

gimp—a conspicuously clumsy or ungainly person.

gin—an Aboriginal woman.

gin shepherd—a white man who cohabits with an Aboriginal woman.

gin's handbag—a cardboard cask housing a plastic bladder filled with low-quality, usually very sweet, wine. Also called Chateau Cardboard.

gin's piss—beer deemed to be of inferior quality.

gina-gina—(in Aboriginal English) a kind of dress worn by Aboriginal women.

ging—type of catapult made by boys to hurl stones; shanghai, sling.

ginger—bum; buttocks: e.g. That dog needs a good kick up the ginger! 2. red hair or fur. 3. excess energy: e.g., Those children are full of ginger, today! 4. tail-gate.

ginger ale—(rhyming slang) tail.

ginger beer—an effervescent mildly alcoholic cloudy drink, made by fermenting a mixture of ginger and syrup.

ginger group—a group within a party or movement that presses for stronger or more radical policy or action.

Ginger Meggs—1. the comic Ginger Meggs was the staple entertainment of many generations of Aussie kids. Along with Don Bradman and Phar Lap, Meggsy (or Ginge) remains an Aussie icon, a working class hero to the masses. First introduced by the redoubtable James Charles Bancks in a Sydney Sunday Sun comic strip called 'Us Fellers' on the 13th of November, 1921, 'Ginger' was thus named due to the 3-colour printing process: blue, red or yellow, red being the only choice of hair colour! Us Fellers passed into history 18 years later, the comic strip in the Sunbeams section of the paper being renamed Ginger Meggs. The first Sunbeams Annual appeared in 1924 and would remain an annual event for the next 35 years. 2. (rhyming slang) legs.

ginger up—rouse or enliven.

ginger-beer—1. (rhyming slang) ear. 2. (rhyming slang) queer.

ginger-pop—ginger ale.

gingernut—a ginger-flavoured biscuit.

gink—1. a look. 2. fool; silly person.

gi-normous—very big; huge.

Gippsland—a scenically varied and beautiful region in the south-eastern corner of the Australian continent, Gippsland stretches more than 500km, from Westernport Bay and the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, to the New South Wales border in the east. It was named after Sir George Gipps, Governor of New South Wales 1838-46. Opened up in the early 1800s by explorers Angus McMillan and Paul Strzlecki, it first became famous for the rich goldfields on the southern slopes of the Great Dividing Range. Over the past century, much of the original forest has been cleared, and the region now features some of the nation's best farmland. The patterns of farming apparent across the Gippsland plain reflect the fertility of the river basin, which at a time of lower sea level drained westwards and emptied through Port Phillip Bay. Flanked by the foothills of the Great Dividing Range to the north, this once-timbered region is now primarily dairying country, with some forestry evident to the south, and brown coal mining further west. Its coastline includes the seal and penguin colonies on Phillip Island, the spectacular panorama of Wilson's Promontory, the Gippsland Lakes and Ninety Mile beach and a number of beach resorts.

Gippsland Lakes—a network of lakes, marshes and lagoons in east Gippsland, Victoria, covering an area of about 354km2. The largest of the lakes are Lake Wellington (Gunai language: Murla), Lake King and Lake Victoria. They are fed by the Avon, Thomson, Latrobe, Mitchell, Nicholson and Tambo rivers. The lakes were formed by two principal processes. The first is river delta alluvial deposition of sediment brought in by the rivers which flow into the lakes. Silt deposited by this process forms into long jettys which can run many kilometres into a lake, as exemplified by the Mitchell River silt jetties that run into Lake King. The second process is the action of sea current in Bass Strait, which created the Ninety Mile Beach and cut off the river deltas from the sea. Once the lakes were closed off a new cycle started, whereby the water level of the lakes would gradually rise until the waters broke through the barrier beach, then the level would drop down until it equalised with sea-level. Eventually the beach would close off the lakes, and the cycle would begin anew. Sometimes it would take many years before a new channel to the sea was formed, and then not necessarily in the same place as the last one. In 1889 a wall was built to fix the position of a naturally occurring channel between the lakes and the ocean at Lakes Entrance, to stabilise the water level, create a harbour for fishing boats and open up the lakes to shipping. This entrance needs to be dredged regularly, or the same process that created the Gippsland Lakes would render the entrance too shallow for seagoing vessels to pass through. Due to the flooding, in 2011, Gippsland Lakes were experiencing bioluminescence. The lakes support numerous species of wildlife and there exist two protected areas within: The Lakes National Park and Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park. There are also approximately 400 indigenous flora species and 300 native fauna species. Three plants, two of them being orchid species, are listed as endangered. The lakes are home to about 50 of the recently described species of Bottlenose dolphin, the Burrunan dolphin (Tursiops australis). The other 150 or so of this rare species are to be found in Port Phillip. The wetlands provide habitat for about 20,000 waterbirds—including birds from as far afield as Siberia and Alaska. The lakes have been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA) because they regularly support over 1% of the global populations of black swans, chestnut teals and musk ducks, as well as many fairy terns.

Gippsland manna-gumEucalyptus pryoriana, a small, straggly tree to 12m, branches drooping at the tips. Bark on trunk and lower branches dark brown, fibrous; on upper branches, smooth, white to creamy, shedding in short ribbons. Adult leaves are alternate, petiolate, narrow-lanceolate, symmetric (or almost so), 8-20 x 1-3 cm; venation often a contrasting yellow. Buds are in leaf axils, 3 per cluster, forming a cross, ovoid, 8mm—12mm long. The fruits are wineglass-shaped to almost globular, 7mm—10mm diameter. Found near coastal heathlands and woodlands on nutrient-poor, sandy soils. Endemic to Victoria. Also known as coast manna-gum.

Gippsland Plain—includes lowland coastal and alluvial plains characterised by generally flat to gently undulating terrain. The coastline is varied and includes sandy beaches backed by dunes and cliffs, and shallow inlets with extensive mud and sand flats. The vegetation includes lowland forests, grasslands and grassy woodlands, heathlands, shrublands, freshwater and coastal wetlands, mangrove scrubs, saltmarshes, dune scrubs and coastal tussock grasslands. The bioregion extends from the Melbourne CBD and the Mornington Peninsula through parts of central and south Gippsland to Lakes Entrance in the far east. A number of rivers and streams including the Yarra, Bass, La Trobe, Thompson, Macalister and Avon drain the bioregion. The bays, beaches, estuaries and rivers of the bioregion provided a rich source of food for the original Aboriginal people. Fresh and saltwater fish and shellfish were harvested, and numerous shell middens along the coast indicate that this was a common food source. The Gunai-Kurnai Nation, which included several language groups, were centred on the coastal plain of South Gippsland and the La Trobe Valley, whilst the Bunurong were found along the coastal plains from Wilsons Promontory to Port Phillip Bay. The Gippsland Plain is now the most populated bioregion in Victoria. Outside the metropolitan suburbs south-east of Melbourne, the major industries are dairy, sheep, beef and potato production. Major commercial reserves of brown coal are centred around the La Trobe Valley, which is the principal electricity-producing area in Victoria. Some hardwood and softwood production occurs, mainly within Mullungdung, Won Wron and Alberton state forests. The bioregion includes many important coastal parks associated with the Mornington Peninsula, Westernport Bay and the Gippsland Lakes.

Gippsland water dragonPhysignathus lesueurii howittii comprises two subspecies recognised. The Gippsland water dragon differs from the nominate form (the Eastern Gippsland water dragon) in bearing olive-green to bluish green colouration, and by absence or reduction of a dark streak behind the eye. Dorsal bars are reduced to one or more upper lateral blotches. Red ventral pigment is absent, replaced by olive green. Throats of mature males are blackish, blotched and streaked with combinations of yellow, orange and occasionally blue. Its preferred habitats are the margins of creeks, rivers and lakes (including semi-polluted creeks and drains in urban areas) on coast, ranges and hinterland of eastern Australia.

gipsy—var. of 'gypsy'.

Giraiwurung—an Aboriginal people of south-west Victoria and the traditional owners of the Framlington Mission.

Girramay—an Aboriginal people of the Wet Tropics in Far North Queensland. In 1994 a project to relocate and record several Aboriginal walking tracks on Girramay traditional lands in the Cardwell and Kirrama Ranges was undertaken. There are networks of tracks that connect places of significance on Girramay lands and which also provide links to neighbouring groups. Girramay elders remember routes that they walked as young men and women, and which their grandparents walked. The project employed traditional owners and was funded by the WTMA and ATSIC. Two of the major tracks used and maintained by Aboriginal people, the Juburriny Track and the Gayjal Track were relocated, as well as sections of other tracks. Aboriginal walking tracks tell us things about what people did together…they demonstrate links with other tribes. For instance suggesting that social connections through marriage, trade and shared ceremonies were maintained. While a midden may tell us what people ate, a walking track can show us where they went to get food. Today, on the north-eastern coast of Australia, along the Great Barrier Reef, the Girramay people struggle with inadequate housing, employment and economic opportunities.

git—fool; idiot; dolt.

give a leg up—to give support or assistance.

give a stuff—1. care; worry; concern: e.g., Who gives a stuff about that rubbish? 2. usually expressed in the negative, denoting indifference: e.g., I don't give a stuff what he thinks about me!

give as good as (one) gets—to be able to successfully return, retaliate with witty remarks, sarcasm or deeds.

give birth to a politician—defecate.

give it a bash/burble/burl/fly—make an attempt; have a try.

give it a go—make an attempt at something.

give it a miss—avoid; leave alone; refuse or elect not to participate: e.g., Everyone's going to the pub tonight but I think I'll give it a miss.

give it a nudge—1. prod (someone or something) into action. 2. partake (of something) to excess.

give it away – drop it, forget it.

give it heaps—1. make the most use of: e.g., You may as well give it heaps while you've got it. 2. have the utmost fun; have a mischievous time. 3. push, use or do to the limit. 4. make things unpleasant by annoying, teasing, criticising, showing displeasure or dislike etc.

give it the herbs—(especially of a car) accelerate; go faster.

give it to (someone) straight—relate the unvarnished truth or the main and relevant facts.

give (one) the joes—give (one) a fit of depression, bad temper, ill-feeling.

give (one) the pip—annoy (someone).

give (one) the poops—annoy, vex, irritate.

give (one) the screaming irrits—annoy, vex, irritate (one).

give (one) the screaming meemies—aggravate, drive to distraction.

give (one) the shivers/willies—give (one) a feeling of revulsion, repugnance, fear.

give (one's) back teeth/eye-teeth for—to have great desire for: e.g., I'd give my back teeth to have his cushy job.

give (one's) tongue an outing—behave in an obsequious manner.

give over!—1. expression of disbelief or disagreement. 2. plea for moderation, fairness, of action or speech. give (someone) a bell—telephone (someone).

give (someone) a blast—berate, scold, admonish (someone).

give (someone) a doing over—beat, bash, defeat, scold (someone) soundly.

give (someone) a dressing-down—berate, scold, reprimand, rebe (someone).

give (someone) a facial—disfigure (someone's) face by bashing.

give (someone) a fair go—give (someone) a turn, a chance or an opportunity.

give (someone/something) a good rap—1. speak well or highly of (someone/ something). 2. recommend (someone/something).

give (someone) a hoy—1. call out to (someone) to gain attention. 2. give someone a telephone call.

give (someone) a leg up—help a person to mount a horse, etc or get over an obstacle or difficulty (of any sort).

give (someone) a ring—telephone (someone).

give (someone) a serve—berate or criticise (someone).

give (someone) a thick ear—bash, hit, punch (someone) in the ear.

give (someone) a tingle—telephone (someone).

give (someone) a wide berth—avoid (someone).

give (someone) an earful—1. give (someone) unwanted and lengthy advice or gossip. 2. harangue, berate, scold (someone).

give (someone) beans—scold, berate, criticise (someone).

give (someone) curry—1. tease or taunt (someone) 2. give (someone) tough competition.

give (someone) full/top marks—acknowledge an act of excellence by (someone).

give (someone/something) heaps—1. treat with firmness in order to get a desired response from (someone/ something). 2. annoy, tease, criticise, show displeasure or dislike etc. 3. (see: give it heaps).

give (someone) larry dooley—harass or annoy someone.

give (someone) one—give (someone) a punch, hit: e.g., I'll give him one next time I see him!

give (someone) the bum's rush—give (someone) an abrupt dismissal, denial or rejection.

give (someone) the drum/dinkum oil—give (someone) reliable information or advice.

give (someone) the elbow—dismiss or reject a person unceremoniously, as in nudging aside.

give (someone) the gen—give (someone) reliable information or facts.

give (someone) the irrits/screaming irrits—annoy, vex, irritate (someone).

give (someone) the nod—give (someone) permission.

give (someone) the pip—annoy, harass, anger, irritate (someone).

give (someone) the rounds of the kitchen—give (someone) a serious scolding.

give (someone) the willies—give rise to an uneasy sense of concern (in someone): e.g., That uncurtained window gives me the willies.

give (someone) what for—give (someone) a severe scolding, punishing: e.g., If you keep wagging school, the headmaster is going to give you what for!

give (someone/something) a good rap—1. speak well or highly of (someone/something). 2. Recommend (someone/something).

give (someone/something) heaps—1. treat with firmness in order to get a desired response from (someone/ something). 2. annoy, tease, criticise, show displeasure or dislike etc. 3. (see: give it heaps).

give (someone/something) the sword—discard, reject (something) unceremoniously.

give the devil his due—reluctantly recognise, acknowledge that a disliked person is owed credit for a particular act, thought etc.

give the game away—1. to reject or abandon a pursuit or activity previously followed. 2. to reveal some strategy or secret.

give the nod—give approval, permission or assent: e.g., Do you think the City Council will give the nod to your proposal for another high-rise hotel on the beach.

give up the ghost—1. to despair, worry, suffer from anxiety, be negative. 2. to die. 3. fail; break down.

Gkuthaarn—an Aboriginal people of the Gulf of Carpentaria area.

glace cherry—candied cherries.

glace fruit—candied fruit.



glamour girl/boy—an attractive young woman (or man), especially a model.

glance—(cricket) deflect (the ball) with an oblique stroke.

glass can—a stubby—squat glass bottle for beer.

glass of amber—a glass of beer.

glasshouse—1. a conservatory for out-of-season or exotic plants; a greenhouse in the Victorian style, once commonly found in government-funded botanical gardens. 2. a military prison.

Glasshouse Mountains—so-named by Captain James Cook when he sailed up the eastern coast of Australia, because he thought that they resembled the shape of fancy glasshouses being constructed by the wealthy in Britain during the late 1700s. They are a series of thirteen steep-sided volcanic plugs studding the remnants of plugs and domes of a central volcano which erupted between 25 and 34 million years ago in what is now the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Formed of rhyolite and trachtyte, the tallest is Mount Beerwah. Located 50km north of Brisbane, they are part of the widespread volcanic activity in parts of NE New South Wales and SE Queensland. Much of this activity produced basaltic lava flows, while in other areas steep peaks of harder rocks survive. Mount Warning, the Main Range and the Glasshouse Mountains are just three of the volcanic centres from this era. The cause is believed to be the melting of the Earth's crust above a 'hot spot' in the mantle below.


Glauert's frogletCrinia glauerti, a tiny ground-dwelling frog inhabiting areas of permanent or seasonal moisture such as marshes, dams and streams. Found in coastal Western Australia from the Moore River to the Pallinup River, westwards to Esperance. Inhabits dams, marshes and streams within jarrah and karri forest, as well as the Swan Coastal Plain. Also known as the clicking froglet, its call has been likened to the rattle of a dry pea in a can.

glaze in—enclose (a building, a window frame, etc) with glass.

gleam in (one's) eye—(have a...) to have a look of humour or mischief about (one).

Glenaire—a small rural settlement located on the Victorian seaside and adjacent to the Otway National Park. The town comprises a number of farmhouses sheltering behind the ocean cliffs of Castle Cove. Pine plantations occupy the northern slopes, but all of the gullies running into the Aire Valley harbour an abundance of tree ferns. The Glenaire side of the river is cleared at the mouth, and the wide river valley in which Glenaire is situated has been mostly cleared for farmland. Glenaire is located on the western bank of the Aire Valley, between Cape Otway and Lavers Hill.

glendonites and drop stones—the rocks that have been found on the ancient seabed of the Eromanga Sea provide important clues as to how cold the sea was. Experts think that the strange, star-like crystals called glendonites show that the sea was cold because they can only form when it is cold enough. Drop stones are smooth, rounded rocks that are found where they shouldn’t be. The only thing that could have moved boulder there is an iceberg. First the boulder is made smooth by being ground along the bottom of a glacier. When the iceberg reachs the sea icebergs break off and float away, carrying some of the rocks they have picked up along the way. They drift and slowly melt, releasing the rocks which then sink to the bottom of the sea. In the south during winter there was probably sea-ice, but this would melt during the spring. In the north it would have been too warm for ice to form. In South Australia most of the fossils of a type of long-necked marine reptiles called plesiosaurs are babies. This probably means that the plesiosaurs came south to breed in the summer and returned to the north when winter arrived. The other large reptiles also were likely to have gone north in the same way that whales travel from Antarctica to Australia in the winter.

Glenelg Plain—a bioregion consisting of a series of long, low, narrow ridges running parallel to the present coastline. The area is predominantly flat and low-lying, featuring parallel dune limestone ridges with intervening swamps, closed limestone depressions and young volcanoes at Mount Gambier. Floristically, the bioregion is varied. Coastal communities are composed of beach and dune vegetation, coastal cliffs and saltmarshes. Wet heathlands occur on very infertile soils that are frequently waterlogged. Woodlands occur through much of the region, particularly in the north. Heathy Woodlands make up a large proportion of this and there are lowland forests, predominantly brown stringybark, providing the basis for hardwood logging in the south-eastern portion. Large expanses of the bioregion have been cleared for agriculture, although approximately 30 per cent of the area is reserved Crown land. The Glenelg Plain extends from south-east of Edenhope, for some 230km to the southern Victorian coastline. The bioregion abuts the west end of the Warrnambool Plain bioregion near the rural township of Heywood, and Portland Bay is the south-eastern coastal limit of the Glenelg area. Most of the bioregion is situated within the rural municipality of the Shire of Glenelg.

Glenelg River—the most significant river within the Glenelg Plain. The Glenelg River begins in the Grampians and flows 400m southward, discharging into the Southern Ocean. It is a Heritage River Area in its lower reach, with a 60km stretch flowing through the Lower Glenelg National Park, from south of Dartmoor to its mouth at Nelson. One spectacular section contains a huge limestone gorge, 15km long with cliffs up to 5m high. Its listing as a heritage river attest to its important biodiversity values. The Glenelg River is located in south-western Victoria.

glide clip—paper clip.

gliding possum—an arboreal marsupial possessing a 'gliding membrane' that consists of a thin sheet of loose skin connecting its forepaws and its ankles. When this animal leaps from a branch, its outspread limbs stretch the membrane, allowing the animal to glide from tree to tree. At first the leap is downwards, but as the animal increases speed, the angle of flight flattens out. With its long, well-furred tail acting as a rudder, the glider can steer towards its next tree. Then, just before landing, it uses its tail to bring it into a 'nose up' position (much like an aircraft landing). Feet stretched out in front, it is ready to grasp the tree trunk on which it will land. The yellow-bellied glider can cover distances of up to 140 metres in one leap. The sugar glider and squirrel glider can reach about 50 metres. Gliders generally live in a wide variety of eucalypt forests, most of which line the east coast and ranges of Australia.

glob—a rounded mass (short for globular): e.g., I'll have a glob of ice cream.

glory box—a large chest in which a young woman collects household items in preparation for marriage; a hope chest. Although not commonly used any more in this traditional way, the old family glory box is commonly utilised for storing blankets or winter clothing.

glory hole—a repository of disorganised odds and ends.

glossy black cockatooCalyptorhynchus lathami, feeds exclusively on the cones of the vanishing drooping she-oak. The bird occurs on the mainland as far north as central Queensland; however, the dwindling numbers of this tree has decimated mainland populations of glossies. Being large birds, they also require large nesting hollows, and the clearing of old sugar gums has reduced the number of available sites. The bird is now on the critically endangered list and a rescue program was begun in 1996. The rescue program has a multi-level approach, providing artificial hollows, protecting remaining hollows from predatory possums, and planting new areas with drooping she-oak.

glossy nightshadeSolanum americanum occurs from Geraldton to Albany, chiefly in wet areas. It is a sprawling or erect annual or short-lived perennial to 60cm. It has oval, dark green leaves. The small, star-shaped white flowers grow in stalked clusters from the leaf axils, and are followed by shiny black berries. A cosmopolitan weed, probably originally from America.

glove box—the glove compartment of a car.

Glover's catfish—a rare species of eel-tailed catfish found only within a restricted range of South Australia. As with all eel-tailed catfish, Glover's is a freshwater, bottom dweller. It has sensory receptors around its mouth that that are used at night to locate food. It is dark brown to black above, lighter in colour below, and measures about 12cm in length.

glow-worm—the immature stage (larva) of a mosquito-like fly. Glow worms are found under overhangs and in caves, where they construct snares made of mucous-coated silk threads. At night they produce a bioluminescent glow from their posterior end, to which small flying insects are attracted. The larva consumes their prey trapped in the sticky snare. Adults do not feed and are short-lived.

Glow-Worm Tunnel—an abandoned railway line within the Wollemi National Park, now inhabited by glow worms. Originally constructed to access the Newnes oil shale works, the tunnel curves through almost 180 degrees and consequently is very dark. In normal weather a small creek flows through it, creating ideal conditions for glow worms. The glow worms found in the tunnel are the larvae of the fungus gnat. The blue glow of the larvae is the result of a chemical reaction in the body of the glow worm. The larvae's glow lures their prey—such as mosquitos—closer.

glue-pot—1. a pot with an outer vessel holding water to heat glue. 2. an area of sticky mud etc.

gluggy—of an unpleasantly gluey or too-thick consistency: e.g., The motor oil was as gluggy as Mum's porridge.

glum-bum—a pessimist.

gluyas—a drought-resistant Australian variety of wheat.

gnamma hole—a rock hole produced by water-weathering, usually in granite and especially one capable of holding water (Beringbooding Rock is a prime example). The word 'gnamma' is of Aboriginal origin (WesternDesert language).

gnat's cock—very small measure of something.

gneiss—a metamorphic rock, commonly rich in quartz and feldspar, with a banded and foliated texture. Gneiss is formed at temperatures above about 550 degrees centigrade.

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