Australian Dictionary

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Australia Decoded

Heard Island
Satellite image of the southern tip of Heard Island. Cape Arkona is seen on the left side of the image, with Lied Glacier just above and Gotley Glacier just below. Big Ben Volcano and Mawson Peak are seen at the lower right side of the image.

Photograph ISS018-E-38182 is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 18 crew. Caption William L. Stefanov, NASA-JSC. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

he himself—the master of the house; the boss.

he only thinks of his belly and what hangs on the end of it—(derog.) remark made by women about a man considered to think of little else but food and sex.

he who hesitates is lost—if one does not act upon an opportunity when presented, one may lose one's chance.

he's so far up himself he's on the way down again—he's conceited, egotistical; he thinks much more of himself than he is worth.

head and shoulders above—far superior.

head down, arse up—diligent work, activity; e.g., She had her head down, arse up in the garden all day.

head in the clouds—(to have one's...) to ignore or refuse to see or understand the realities, relevant or salient points of a matter.

head like a Mini with the doors open—(to have a...) to have big, protruding ears.

head south—disappear.

head station—(see: home station).

head them—play the game of two-up.

head-butt—a forceful thrust with the top of the head into the chin or body of another person.

head-hunter—(sport) basher.

head-hunting—1. searching for personnel, employees, members. 2. elimination of opponents- especially political ones. 3. searching for a scapegoat.

head-job—sarcasm, pertaining to (someone) being ugly, having an ugly face that could be fixed with surgery.

header—combine (the farm equipment).

heading 'em/them—playing the gambling game of two-up.

headland—a cliffed or steep land projecting into the sea.

headmaster/mistress—the principal teacher in charge of a school.

Healesville—a township situated just south of the Watts River (a tributary of the Yarra). The creation of tracks leading to the Gippsland and Yarra Valley goldfields in the 1860s resulted in a settlement. Surveyed as a town in 1864, Healesville was named in honour of Richard Heales, Premier of Victoria, 1860-61. Healesville was situated on the most convenient coach route to the goldfields in the Woods Point area, and it was the place where fresh horses were taken for the ascent to Fernshaw and Blacks Spur. Healesville was also selected as a site for "neglected black and half-caste children and an asylum for infirm blacks." Thus the Coranderrk reserve on Badger Creek, south of Healesville, was created in 1865.

heap coals of fire on (one's) head—cause a person remorse by returning good for evil.

heaps—a lot: e.g., I like him heaps.

Heard Island—the principal island of the Heard-McDonald Islands group (area 368sq km). Eighty percent of the island is covered by glacial ice. Mawson Peak (2745m) is the summit of its major physical feature, Big Ben, an active volcano of some 20km in diameter, which dominates the island. To the north-west is a subsidiary volcanic cone, the highest point of which is Anzac Peak (715m). The remaining ice-free areas are mainly narrow, coastal flats at the north-western and eastern ends of the island and along some northern beaches. Coastal ice cliffs and exposed, high-energy, rocky beaches around the island make access from the sea difficult and hazardous. Heard Island is located in the southern Indian Ocean, approximately 1,550 kilometers (963 miles) north of Antarctica. The island is a visible part of the Kerguelen Plateau, a submerged feature on the seafloor. The plateau was formed when large amounts of volcanic rock erupted over a geologically short time period. (When large amounts of volcanic rock erupt beneath the ocean from processes other than seafloor spreading, geologists refer to them as large igneous provinces.) Most of Heard Island is formed from volcanic rocks associated with the Big Ben stratovolcano. The northeastern slopes of the volcano are visible in shadow at the lower right of this detailed astronaut photograph. Recent volcanic activity at Heard Island has occurred at 2,745-meter (9,006-foot) Mawson Peak, which sits within a breached caldera on the southwestern side of the Big Ben Volcano. Calderas form when a magma chamber beneath a volcano empties and collapses. The shadow cast by Mawson Peak points directly to the crescent-shaped caldera rim. Detailed geologic study of Big Ben Volcano is complicated by the presence of several glaciers, including Gotley and Lied Glaciers on the southwestern slopes.

Heard-McDonald Islands—(HIMI) an external Australian territory in the Indian Ocean sector of the Southern Ocean. It lies about 1500km north of Antarctica, over 4000km south-west of Australia, and about 4700km south-east of Africa. The nearest land is the Kerguelen group of islands, 440km to the north-west, which with the Heard-McDonald group form the only exposed parts of the submarine Kerguelen Plateau. The nearest significant human population centre is Perth, Western Australia, 4108km to the north-east.

heart as big as a pumpkin/the oval/himself etc—(Australian Rules football) courageous player.

heart in (one's) boots—(to have one's...) to be low in morale; be depressed in spirit.

heart-leaf poison bushGastrolobium grandiflorum, found across northern Australia, contains the poison 1080 (monofluoroacetic acid). This is extremely poisonous to many introduced animals. There are 27 species of Gastrolobium sp. in Australia. All are thought to be poisonous and 18 are known to contain toxic amounts of 1080. All except heart-leaf poison bush are found in south-western Western Australia (where the seven species of Oxylobium plants containing 1080 also occur). Native mammals and birds in this region are not killed by the toxin, having evolved alongside these plants. For that reason, 1080 is often used as bait for the introduced fox in Western Australia. It is a straggly, multi-stemmed bush which grows to about 2m. Leaves are grey-green, often with a notch at the tip. The large flowers are red and pea-shaped.

heart-starter—strong drink such as alcohol or coffee, taken early in the morning before work or activity.

heath—a lowland shrub community on sandy soil or shallow peat.

heath ratPseudomys shortridgei, was thought to be extinct in Western Australia until the 1980s, when its presence was first indicated by bone remains in a disused owl nest and a tooth in a fresh owl scat, and finally live in traps in Fitzgerald River National Park.

heath tea-treeLeptospermum myrsinoides, an erect shrub to 2m high by 1m diameter with oblanceolate leaves to 1cm. Flowers are white or pink, profuse, and occur in spring and early summer. Distribution: New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

heathland—a habitat consisting of low shrubs and scrambling plants, less than 1 or 2 metres in height, having a foliage cover of 30—70% (open heath) or 70—100% (closed heath). In Australia, heathland generally occurs on sandy soil or shallow peat. Cape York has the largest wilderness heathlands left in Australia. Vast stretches of heath spread across gently undulating valleys and around sand dunes at the northern end of the Cape. Heathlands here are of two main types: wet swampy heath and the drier, fire-prone heathlands. These two types often exist side by side in a mosaic pattern that attracts a diversity of wildlife. In winter, wildflowers and honey-eating birds abound on the heathlands. The swampy heaths are filled with carnivorous plants that live by capturing insects in their sticky traps. When fires scorch the drier heathlands at the end of winter new growth quickly shoots up, ready to take advantage of the first wet season rains.

heathy woodlands—in Victoria are known for their diverse ground floras, particularly of terrestrial orchids, and are communities in which the importance of maintaining natural ecological processes through appropriate fire regimes is recognised. The vulnerable metallic sun orchid occurs at the Bay of Islands Coastal Park and Port Campbell National Park. The Anglesea area is famous for its diverse and prolific display of orchids. Important large stands of heathland and heathy woodland remain on French Island. Three of the State’s four populations of the endangered New Holland mouse occur in the coastal plains.

heave it out—throw away; discard.

heave (one's) heart out—to vomit.

heavens (to Betsy)!—mild oath; exclamation of surprise, disbelief, wonder, annoyance, frustration etc.

hectare—a metric unit of square measure, equal to 100 acres (2.471 acres).

heebie-jeebies—1. condition or feeling of nervousness, tension, worry. 2. feeling of revulsion, fright, horror, distaste. 3. the D.T.'s; shaking and trembling due to an excessive intake of alcohol.

heel—(Rugby football) pass with the heel.

heifer paddock—1. an enclosure in which calves are isolated. 2. a girl's school.

hell, west and crooked—all over the place.

hell's bells/teeth!—mild oath; expression of frustration, annoyance, amazement etc.

Hell's Gate—the narrow, 120m entrance to Macquarie Harbour. Within a year of its discovery in 1815, timber-cutters had moved in to cull the Huon pine lining the harbour’s shores. The hazards of navigating the narrow entrance for removal of the timber to Hobart prompted the building of a signal station. Erected near Cape Sorell in 1822, the station indicated prevailing conditions upon entrance to the harbour. It was manned by convicts from the newly established penal settlement at Sarah Island. The conditions were so bad that the convicts named the entrance to the harbour Hell's Gate. In the 1890s the discovery of silver and lead at Zeehan greatly increased the traffic entering the harbour; works were then at last undertaken to improve the entrance. In 1891, a light was exhibited from two white, six-sided wooden towers, one on the western side of Entrance Island, and the other on Bonnet Island. Also a breakwater was constructed at Hell's Gate to check the sandbar, and in 1899 a light was constructed at Cape Sorell.

helmeted honey eaterLichenostomus melanops cassidix, the brightest and largest subspecies of the yellow-tufted honeyeater group. It is gold, green and black, with distinctive golden crown and ear tufts, which contrast with the black sides of the head. The forehead carries the distinctive short crest, or helmet, of upstanding gold feathers that it raises when aroused. This critically endangered bird is now confined to an 8km frontage along one creek system in Victoria, which is estimated to contain around 80 individuals. It is rarely far from water and its favoured habitat is thick riverside forest dominated by mountain swamp gum or swamp gum. The helmeted honeyeater is the faunal emblem of Victoria.

hem and haw—avoid coming to the point or giving a direct answer.

hen—fussy woman (or man).

hen's night—1. (see: hen's party). 2. night out on the town for the women only.

hen's party—a party for women only, especially a party held in honour of a woman just prior to her marriage.


Henry, Alice—(1857-1943) journalist and woman's rights advocate, was born on 21 March 1857 at Richmond, Melbourne. Her father's discussions of the protective tariff introduced her to politics. She later attributed her passionate commitment to justice, democracy, and women's rights to her Scots ancestry, the equal treatment she and her brother received from her parents, and Budd's advanced educational ideas. Denied access to a university education, yet accepting the need to support herself, Henry tried teaching but following a serious illness turned to journalism. Her first article appeared in 1884. For twenty years she wrote for the Argus, The Australasian, and occasionally other newspapers and overseas journals, under her own name or a pseudonymn, 'A.L.F.', 'Wyuna', or 'Pomona'. Her journalism publicized progressive causes: juvenile courts, women's hospitals, proportional representation, epileptic colonies, care for handicapped and dependent children, and labour reform. She became a close friend and working associate of leading reformers Catherine Helen Spence, Henry Bournes Higgins and his sister Ina, Bernard O'Dowd, and Vida Goldstein and her family. She was active in women's clubs and the women suffrage campaign, and gained a reputation as a courageous public speaker in support of social change. In 1905, aged 48, she left for England, sponsored by the Charity Organisation Society of Melbourne. There she heard George Bernard Shaw speak, observed the militant suffragists, and toured Scotland. In December she sailed for New York where American interest in Australian progressivism ensured her a ready audience. Her Fabian socialism fitted neatly with the philosophy of labour reform espoused by the new school of political economists, and her knowledge of Australian labour legislation and woman suffrage attracted the attention of the prominent reformer Margaret Dreier Robins. She invited Henry to work for the National Women's Trade Union League of America in Chicago where, as lecturer, as field-worker organizing new branches, and as journalist, she became a key figure in the campaign for woman suffrage, union organization, vocational education, and labour legislation. She wrote two books, The Trade Union Woman (1915) and Women and the Labor Movement (1923); in 1920-22 directed the league's educational department; and, with the assistance of her close friend Miles Franklin, for eight years edited the league's official journal, initially the women's page of the Union Labor Advocate (1908-10), then a separate publication, Life and Labor (1911-15). In 1924 the league executive sent her to England, Europe, and Australia; she arrived in Melbourne in February 1925, intending to stay for two months but remained for twelve. On her return to America in March 1926 she retired from active work, moving to Santa Barbara, California, in 1928. There, in 1929, her last significant article, on Henry Handel Richardson, was published in the Bookman. In 1923 Alice Henry had become an American citizen. Suffering financial hardship during the Depression, and wishing to be with her brother, she reluctantly returned to Australia in 1933. Although she was welcomed as a notable and successful Australian woman, settling back into Melbourne was slow and painful. She attempted to continue her old activities: she joined the Playgrounds' Association and the press, arts and letters committee of the National Council of Women of Victoria; she gave radio talks on prohibition and modern poetry; she assisted Hartley Grattan in his tour of 1936-38; and in 1937 she compiled a bibliography of Australian women writers. But she missed her American life. Then, in 1937, her brother was lost at sea, and her health began to deteriorate. In 1938 she gave up her American citizenship, and in 1939 she resigned from her committee work. A year later she entered a nursing home. She died in hospital at Malvern on 14 February 1943.

Henty brothers—established the first permanent settlement at Portland Bay, in 1834. After Edward Henty stopped in at Portland Bay to pick up whale oil for the family company in Launceston, Tasmania, he made a favourable report of the immediate environs to his father, Thomas (who had made his name as a merino sheep breeder at Sussex in England). Thomas Henty decided the land at Portland Bay was suitable for the establishment of a branch of the family firm. Edward arrived with stock and servants to manage this enterprise in November 1834. He was joined in December by his brother Frank, who brought with him the first merino sheep in Victoria. They imported merino sheep and augmented their income by selling supplies to whalers working the bay. In 1836, on his overland Australia Felix journey, Major Mitchell met the Henty family at their original homestead. His glowing report of the hinterlands he had explored encouraged the Henty brothers to explore the interior grasslands north of Portland in the late 1830s, where they established various stations. Their flocks thrived, and by 1839 the family possessed 30,000 sheep and 500 head of cattle.

hep up—revitalise; inject enthusiasm and vigour into: e.g., We need more booze to hep this party up.

her indoors (also: 'er indoors)—a man's wife.

her ladyship—pretentious, affected and snobbish woman.

her thighs wouldn't chafe her ears/stop a pig in a hall—bandy-legged; pertaining to a woman with a wide gap between her thighs.

herb over—pass; give: e.g., Herb over those boxes please.

Herbert River ringtail possumPseudocheirus herbertensis, colours can vary from almost black to pale fawn above, with white chests and bellies. The fawn species tend to have a longitudinal, median, dark stripe on the head, and a pointed face and tapered tail. Fairly sparse and limited in distribution. The Herbert River Ringtail Possum lives above an altitude of about 300m in the dense rainforest of Far North Queensland. An arboreal animal, it rarely descends to the ground. Strictly a nocturnal animal, tree hollows and large clumps of epiphytic ferns are the favoured daytime resting sites. The bulk of its diet is gained from rainforest leaves, but it occasionally eats fruits such as the silver quandong and flowers of trees such as the bumpy satin ash. It is a solitary animal; dens are not shared by adults. Groups of two or three have been seen in the same tree at night, but this is probably due to the males being attracted to females on heat. Vocally, adults give a buccal click under stress and a variety of screeches and grunts when antagonised.

herbs—(of a car) speed; performance; power.

Hercules mothCoscinocera hercules, the largest moth species in the world, having a wingspan of roughly 30cm. Their wings have triangular, transparent ‘windows’ and a white, triangular edge that looks as if it were dusted onto the wings. The males’ wings have long, tapered tails; the females lack the bails but are larger overall. The blue-green caterpillars grow to 10cm before they spin cocoons and pupate. The adult female emerges from the chrysalis without a mouth, as her brief life does not include feeding. After she emerges and her wings unfold and dry, she will emit pheromones to attract a male. After mating, she will fly away, lay 80-100 eggs on the leaves or stems of 6-8 rainforest plant species, and die shortly after. The Hercules moth is found in tropical north Queensland and in Papua New Guinea.

here's looking up your kilt!—a salute or proposal for a toast.

Heritage River Area—a riverine area of land designated under Section 5 of the Heritage Rivers Act 1992 (Victoria). Each area of land described in part of Schedule 1 of the Act is a heritage river under the name specified in that part.

Heritage Rivers Act 1992 (VIC)—the only state legislation focused on the protection of rivers of special value. Rivers designated under this Act complement those rivers and wetlands protected (through both reservation and land-use planning mechanisms) within the framework of the Victorian government's wider system of terrestrial reserves, and its biodiversity and wetlands strategies.

herk—to vomit.

Hermannsburg Mission Station—the most famous of the Aboriginal mission stations, and birthplace of the world-renowned Aboriginal artist, Albert Namitjira. The Hermannsburg Mission was established in 1877 when two Lutheran missionaries from Germany made an overland trek from Bethany in the Barossa Valley region of South Australia. To the new station, they drove livestock and carried the equipment for setting up a permanent mission. Within two years, they had established a school; and by 1891, the missionaries had created a dictionary of the Aranda (Arrernte) language in order to translate the New Testament. The German missionaries also studied and recorded the Aranda traditions.

Heron Island—a true coral cay right on the Great Barrier Reef. Here you can swim straight off the beach to an endless garden of coral where the waters are literally teeming with beautifully coloured fish and marine life. It's what you don't see around Heron that makes the resort so special. You won't see any buildings above the tree line. And you won't bump into any daytrippers either. The reef experience on Heron is exclusively for guests, a unique experience few other resorts in the world can offer.

Heron Island Research Station—a research station recognised as a world standard facility, and the most productive and prestigious marine research station in Australia. Established in the early '50s, the first permanent building (which is still in daily use) was constructed in 1953. The station has grown steadily from then to a complex of over thirty buildings and one of the world's principal coral reef research stations. Built on a lease of 2ha from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, the complex can cater for up to one hundred researchers and students and is operated by a permanent staff of eleven. Bisected by the Tropic of Capricorn, Heron reef is home to around 900 of the 1500 species of fish and around 72% of the coral species found in the Great Barrier Reef. Scientific equipment available is also far more sophisticated than most research facilities situated away from large population centres and permits detailed studies which in most other locations would involve time-consuming transportation of specimens. Lies 80km offshore from the harbour city of Gladstone.


Hervey Bay—a famous whale watching resort and gateway to Fraser Island. It was discovered by Captain James Cook in 1770 whilst travelling the east coast of Australia. He named the bay "Hervey's Bay" after Lord Augustus Hervey, an admiral of the Blue, the Earl of Bristol and Captain Cook's boss. Matthew Flinders passed through the area twice, and was the first European to step ashore at Hervey Bay. The first permanent white settler at Hervey Bay arrived in 1863. In the 1870s, many Scandinavian settlers moved into the area, and for a short time Hervey Bay became known as Aarlborg. In the 1880s, sugar was introduced to the area and the Kanakas were brought from the South Pacific islands to work on the sugar plantations. Today, Hervey Bay is a rapidly expanding city with a population growth of around 8% annually, putting it near the top of the list of fastest-growing cities in Australia. Humpback Whales occur worldwide, living in deep coastal waters and tend to breed in shallow water often between islands. Their migratory paths follow the shorelines from the tropics to the Antarctic. It is the longest migration of all whales. The warm calm waters of Hervey Bay's "Platypus Bay" invite the humpback whales for a brief rest on their migratory path each year between August and October. This rest period gives the calves time to develop a protective layer of blubber so they can follow their mothers through the South Pacific and Southern Oceans to the cold Antarctic waters. When these mammals reach Hervey Bay they have travelled about 5,000km from the Antarctic.

hessian—a strong coarse sacking made of hemp or jute.

het-up—1. angry. 2. worried; anxious.

Hexham grey—the widespread grey mosquito Aedes alternans, the largest biting mosquito in Australia.

hey-diddle-diddle—1. (rhyming slang) the middle. 2. (rhyming slang) piddle; urination.

hey-presto!—exclamation of success on completion of a trick, task etc.

Heywood—Victoria's first inland settlement, situated in an agricultural and grazing district on the Fitzroy River. Now it is a small service centre to the region. There are a number of attractions in the general area, including Mount Eccles National Park, Discovery Bay National Park, Cape Nelson State Park, Mount Richmond National Park, the Lower Glenelg National Park and the Lake Condah Aboriginal Mission. Prior to European settlement, the area was occupied by the Kuurn Kopan Noot people. The first town allotments were sold in 1854. Heywood is located 357km west of Melbourne at the intersection of the Princes and Henty highways.

hibbertia—most of the 100 or so species of hibbertia are unique to Australia, and about 60 of them are found in the south-west, where they grow in many habitats. Most are shrubs with large, yellow flowers.

Hibernia Reef—situated 42km north-east of Ashmore Reef and 62km north-west of Cartier Island, Hibernia Reef consists of an approximately oval-shaped reef that tapers to a point on the western side. The reef has no permanent land, but large areas of the reef can become exposed at low tide.

hibiscus—as originally conceived by Linnaeus, the genus Hibiscus encompassed all the capsular-fruited "mallows", except for the cottons. The last complete treatment of Hibiscus was by Hochreutiner, and is over a century old. This covered 197 species. Current estimates of the number of species known vary from about 200 to in excess of 300. Hibiscus pentaphyllus is found in southern and eastern Africa, India, and northern Australia. Hibiscus sturtii is generally found in dryer regions, but Hibiscus peralbus of the Kimberley monsoon forests and Hibiscus insularis of Philip Island are found in wetter regions. Hibiscus cravenii (formerly Alyogyne craveni) is a localised species from northern Australia. The Hibiscus tozerensis complex is a group of 3 taxa, formerly placed in Macrostelia, from northern Queensland. The petals of these species have long claws which are fused to the staminal column for half their length. Hibiscus panduriformis has large yellow flowers, sometimes with spoon-shaped bracteoles and either scarcely divided or undivided, rounded leaves. It is found in Africa, the Mascarenes, India and Australia.

hide—impudence; cheek; gall; effrontery: e.g., He's got a hide saying that to me!

hide nor hair—any sign of; any clue to.

hiding—a beating; thrashing or belting. 2. a sound defeating: e.g., Our team got a hiding in the grand finals last week.

hidy-hole—1 secret place or spot; a personal place of refuge.

higgledy-piggledy—mixed up; jumbled; confused; in utter disorder.

high as a dingo's howl—having an unpleasant smell.

High Church—a section of the Anglican Church emphasising ritual, priestly authority and sacraments.

High Commission—an embassy from one Commonwealth country to another.

High Country—Victoria's alpine region north-east of Melbourne is a major winter sports area and a very scenic part of Australia. With slopes peaking at 1800m, Victoria's ski resorts are nowhere near as high as ski resorts in North America or Europe. Mount Buller, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek nonetheless provide very good downhill skiing and snowboarding. The ski season starts on the first weekend in June and runs through until early October, depending on conditions. Winter sports aside, the High Country is a very scenic area best visited from spring to autumn unless the attraction is skiing. The winter scenery is rather bleak, the weather cold and often wet, making driving unpleasant and sightseeing more so. Autumn is a beautiful time, particularly in the area around Bright and Myrtleford, when the leaves on the trees turn to red and gold.

High Court of Australia—the highest court in the Australian judicial system, established in 1901 by Section 71 of the Australian Constitution. However, the appointment of the first bench had to await the passage of the Judiciary Act in 1903. Each of the colonies that became states had court structures that were already established, and continued their operations. The Constitution provided for the creation of an entirely new federal court, the High Court, which was to have original and appellate jurisdiction. The functions of the High Court are to interpret and apply the law of Australia; to decide cases of special federal significance, including challenges to the constitutional validity of laws, and to hear appeals from federal, state and territory courts. Most of the matters formally within the jurisdiction of the High Court are heard at first instance by state courts or the Federal Court. Such matters only reach the High Court on appeal. It is now the usual practice for the High Court in its original jurisdiction to hear only constitutional cases or some judicial review matters under section 75(v) of the Constitution. In the exercise of its authority to decide matters relating to the Constitution, the High Court has influenced the constitutional development of the states and of the Commonwealth. Notable cases in which the High Court has exercised the power of interpreting the Constitution include the Engineers Case in 1920, the Uniform Tax Case in 1942, the Koowarta Case of 1982, the Franklin Dam in 1983, the Mabo Case in 1992 and the Toonan Case in 1994. The role of the High Court has changed significantly since federation. As a result of legislative changes made in 1977, the High Court's predominant function is now to hear appeals from the full courts of the Federal Courts, Family Courts and the Supreme Courts of the states and territories. Its position as the final court of appeal for Australia has been significantly strengthened, and it is now at the apex of the judicial system.

high key about (something)—elated, excited, enthusiastic about (something).

high old time—good time; fun; enjoyable experience.

high on the nose—having an unpleasant smell.

high tea—a main evening meal, usually consisting of a cooked dish, bread and butter, tea, etc.

high words—a heated argument

.high-handed—authoritarian; overbearing; arrogant.

high-jump—drastic punishment; e.g., He's for the high-jump.

high-set—a traditional Queenslander house, set up from the ground on stumps.

high-stepping it—living a hectic, pleasurable life-style.

higher-than-thou—pertaining to a person who has pretensions of superiority.

highfalutin—pretentious; pompous; snobbish; affectedly superior.

hightail it—go, leave, depart, especially quickly.

hill climb—motor-car or cycle race held over a hilly course.

Hills Hoist—an Australian-invented (and now ubiquitous) clothesline comprising a central pole with a lever to raise and lower the main structure, which is rather like the ribs of an umbrella with clothesline strung in rows, and which spins around in a circular fashion.

HIMI—Heard Island and McDonald Island. HIMI is an Australian Territory in the Antarctic, comprising the islands and all offshore rocks and shoals, and a territorial sea extending to 12 nautical miles offshore. The sea beyond, to 200 nautical miles, forms part of the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone, with the exception of an area to the north-west of HIMI, where an agreement has been reached with France on the delimitation of both nations’ maritime zones between the Kerguelen Islands and HIMI. The region encompassed by the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) takes in HIMI.

Hinchinbrook Island—a large and fascinating island off the coast from Cardwell. Hinchinbrook Island was named in June 1770 by Captain Cook, after the family seat of his patron, George Montague Dunk. Since Cook could not see the channel which lies between the island and the mainland (now called Hinchinbrook Channel) he used the term Mount Hinchinbrook. It was not until Captain Phillip Parker King explored the area in 1819 that the island was recognised as such. Hinchinbrook is basically two large islands joined by a long sand isthmus which has developed so that there is a narrow, sandy beach facing south, then a few substantial dunes and a vast, impenetrable mangrove swamp cut by sinuous channels. It is 52km long, 10km wide and covers an area of 37,379ha, making it the largest island on the Great Barrier Reef. Located 190km south of Cairns and 160km north of Townsville, Far North Queensland.

hinterland—1. the often deserted or uncharted areas beyond a coastal district or a river's banks. 2. an area served by a port or other centre. 3. a remote or fringe area.

hip-pocket—pertaining to one's money, finances: e.g., The new tax will hit everyone in the hip-pocket.

hire care—rental car.

hire purchase—a system by which a person may purchase a thing by regular payments while having the use of it; rent-to-own.

his lordship—1. one's husband. 2. an overbearing, affected man.

his nibs—1. the boss. 2. (see: his lordship).

hit a bad patch—strike difficulty or problems; experience misfortune, especially financial.

hit a sour note—1. strike difficulty or problems. 2. touch on, mention a point or matter that is delicate, controversial, embarrassing or better left unsaid. 3. make a bad impression on.

hit for six—utterly defeated, surprised or set back.

hit man—(Australian Rules football) tough footballer prone to clocking opponents.

hit the anchors—(of a car) apply the brakes suddenly.

hit the cot—go to bed, sleep.

hit the deck—1. fall heavily to the ground. 2. get out of bed; arise.

hit the panic button—over-react under stress.

hit the slops—drink alcohol to excess.

hit the toe—go, depart, leave.

hit the ton—reach one hundred, either in a score or in speed.

hit wicket—(cricket) be out by striking the wicket with the bat etc.

hit-and-giggle—social game of tennis, especially among women.

hither and dither/thither—this way and that; everywhere; all over the place in a confused manner.

Hobart—Australia's second-oldest city and the capital of Tasmania. Hobart, which lies at the foot of Mount Wellington and at the mouth of the Derwent River, was settled in 1804. Whalers from England and the United States had worked the east coast of Tasmania and the islands of Bass Strait in the early 1790s, and it was whaling and sealing that sustained the early prosperity of Hobart. By 1827 it was a thriving port and the centre of trade. Exports of whale oil and seal skins from Hobart and Sydney were more valuable than wool. The sealing trade disappeared between 1830 and 1840, and large-scale ship building facilities became Hobart's economic basis. By the 1850s Hobart was building more ships than all the other Australian ports combined. However, Hobart's timber-based shipbuilding industry was in decline by the end of the century, as ship design changed to vessels driven by steam and manufactured out of steel. Since WWI, Hobart's cheap hydro-electric power has largely funded the city's economy.

Hobart Town—a penal settlement in Van Diemen's Land, established in 1803 to avert French claims to the island, and named after Lord Hobart, the British Under Secretary of State for the Colonies at that time. Later to be known as Hobart in Tasmania, both name changes indicating the change to a free society. The initial establishment of Hobart Town consisted of 358 men, 39 women and 36 children, of which 279 men and two women were convicts. The first decade of settlement provided generally extremely tough conditions for all. Lack of food was of major concern, together with lawlessness, as the precincts were essentially an open prison for the convicts. The disastrous Hawkesbury floods in New South Wales in 1806 in particular had a calamitous effect on Hobart's food supply, with western-style grains such as wheat, oats and barley being suddenly cut off. However, slowly and painfully the new settlement turned the corner, by firstly 'going bush', learning to live off natural produce such as kangaroo meat; and then the influx of more colonists, this time from remote Norfolk Island, who were skilled in local agriculture. Indeed by 1815, the rich grounds now worked near Richmond were such a success, that the colony became a net exporter of basic staples to Sydney, a complete reversal of dependence from a decade before.

hobbledehoy—1. a clumsy or awkward youth. 2. a hooligan.

hobbyhorse—1. rocking horse. 2. favourite topic; obsession.

Hobson's choice—no choice at all; one takes either the thing offered or nothing.

hodge-podge—jumble; muddle; conglomeration; miscellany.

Hodgkinson River goldrush—three years after the Palmer River goldrush in Far North Queensland, James Venture Mulligan discovered new goldfields on the Hodgkinson River. Access was difficult, however, until Christy Palmerston hacked a road through the rainforest. Diggers flooded into the region, establishing both Cairns and Port Douglas. Cooktown businessmen established branch offices and a wharf in Port Douglas. On 6th September the 'Bump Road' was opened, which provided access to the goldfields, and later to the tin and copper mines as well as to the pastoral industry that followed. The Bump Road ran from Port Douglas to Molloy.

hoe into—1. commence eating heartily. 2. start work energetically and vigorously. 3. verbally attack, abuse (someone).

hoick—1. lift, jerk or hoist abruptly: e.g., The copper hoicked him out of the car. 2. discard; throw away unceremoniously. 3. spit; expectorate. 4. (cricket) agricultural shot.

hoist—1. a housebreaking theft. 2. steal; pilfer; shoplift.

hoity-toity—snobbish; haughty; petulant; pretentious; arrogant; supercilious.

hold a brief for—1. argue in favour of. 2. be retained as counsel for.

hold good—to be true or valid; maintain credibility: e.g., His story just doesn't hold good as far as the jury is concerned.

hold with—agree; approve of: e.g., I don't hold with anything he says or does.

Holden—Australian make of car.

holding the hand out—taking advantage of government welfare; living on the dole.

holey dollar—(hist.) a coin made from a Spanish dollar by punching out its centre, used in Australia between 1814 and 1828.

holidays—vacation: e.g., He went to Thailand for his holidays.

holier-than-thou—smug; sanctimonious; pompous; vain; self-righteous.


hollow legs—pertaining to a voracious appetite.

holly-leaf grevilleaGrevillea wickhamii ssp. aprica, an ornamental, grey-leaved shrub with bright-red flower spikes produced in winter or spring. Bird attracting. Frost tolerant. Endemic to Alice Springs, Northern Territory.

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