Australian Dictionary

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Australia Decoded

Hall's Gap, Grampians
by Charles Nettleton 1826-1902 photographer. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

H.M.S. Rattlesnake— a 28-gun sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy launched in 1822. She made a historic voyage of discovery to the Cape York and Torres Strait areas of northern Australia. Launched at Chatham Dockyard on 26 March 1822, Rattlesnake was 34.7m long and 9.7m abeam. As a frigate she carried twenty 32-pounder carronades, six 18-pounder carronades and two 9-pounder long guns. She was converted to a survey ship in 1845.

ha—abbreviation for hectare.

ha'penny—variation of halfpenny, former currency.

ha-ha—a ditch with a wall on its inner side below ground level, forming a boundary to a park or garden without interrupting the view.

hack—(Australian Rules football; rugby) a kick.

hack the pace—keep up with; tolerate, endure a situation, strenuous pace or tedious activity.

hackworker—hired person doing the tedious jobs.

had a good/long innings—to have had a successful life, career etc.

had a skinful—1. to have drunk too much alcohol; intoxicated, drunk. 2. be totally exasperated, annoyed, frustrated, angry.

had (one) in—to have (one) completely fooled, tricked, believing, duped: e.g., That crook really had me in for a while!

had (one's) chips—to have had and lost (one's) opportunity: e.g., He's had his chips as far as I'm concerned!

had (someone) dancing (to one's tune)—to have had (someone) completely under one's control and doing exactly as one says; to have led (someone) along and caused difficulty or trouble or enforced one's will: e.g., I had him dancing all day after telling him I'd fire him for laziness.

had the gong/Richard/ridgy-didge/sword—1. to be totally annoyed, frustrated, exasperated (with). 2. to be totally worn-out, exhausted, tired. 3. broken-down; ruined; wrecked; not functioning. 4. dead or close to death.

had up (for)—convicted or accused of: e.g., He was had up by the federal police for bringing a suitcase of heroin into the country.

hair like a bush pig's arse—wild, untidy, frizzy, hard-to- manage hair.

hairy goat—(racing) a horse that performs poorly.

hairy penda—(see: red penda).

hairy-nosed wombatLasiorhinus krefftii or L. latifrons, the southern and northern hairy-nosed wombats. Compared with the common wombat, hairy-nosed wombats have softer fur, longer and more pointed ears and a broader muzzle fringed with fine whiskers. One of Australia's most endangered animals, the populations are threatened by grazing of herbivores, and activities which result in the destruction of their burrows. The southern hairy-nosed wombat is found throughout South Australia and in western Victoria and in the west of Western Australia. The northern hairy-nosed wombat is Queensland's most endangered animal, with only 113 surviving in one small, protected area. As the largest of the three wombats, the northern hairy-nosed can weigh up to 40kg and be more than one metre long. The upper lip of a hairy-nosed wombat is cleft, which allows them to eat vegetation very close to the ground. Despite the fact that hairy-nosed wombats live in colonies, they have a population density similar to that of the common wombat, about 0.2 per hectare, being solitary with each wombat living in its own burrow and having its own feeding area. Individual wombats have a home range of about 2.5ha to 4ha, which is usually centered on their warren. Unlike most mammals, it's the young female who leaves the area where they are born, while the males remain.

haitch—pronunciation of the letter "h".

haka—1. a Maori ceremonial war-dance accompanied by chanting. 2. an imitation of this by members of a sports team before a match.

hakea—any shrub of the large Australian genus Hakea, characterised by spiny flower-heads and woody fruits with winged seeds.

half a chance—any chance at all: e.g., If I had half a chance I'd go out with him.

half a d—half a dozen.

half a mo—just a moment: e.g., I'll be there in half a mo.

half a sheet to the wind—nearly drunk, intoxicated.

half  board—provision of bed, breakfast, and one main meal at a hotel etc.

half holiday—taking half a day off work.

half shot—nearly drunk, intoxicated.

half your luck!—an expression of envy at someone else's good fortune.

half-baked state of mind—not fully coherent; half-witted; stupid.

half-caste—a racially derogatory term used to define an Aboriginal person of 'mixed-blood'. Aboriginal people who were defined as such were supposedly superior to 'full-blood' Aborigines due to the 'influence' of their non-Indigenous ancestry.

Half-Caste Act—the Aborigines’ Protection Law Amendment Act, 1886 (VIC). The common name reflects a provision of the Act that required all able-bodied ‘half-castes’ (i.e., less than full-blood Aboriginals) under 34 years of age to be banned from the stations. These people were denied food rations and blocked from visiting their relatives and friends still living in the Victorian reserves. No alternative provision was made for these people, because the fundamental aim of the legislation was to reduce the expense of running the stations.

half-cut—fairly drunk.

half-forward—(Australian Rules football)—one of three players between the centre-line and the full-forward line.

half-mast—(of trousers) not long enough to reach the ankles.

half-seas-over—partly drunk.

halfpennyworth—a negligible amount: e.g., It doesn't make a halfpennyworth of difference.

hall of residence—a university residence for students; dormitory.

Hall's babblerPomatostomus halli, discovered in 1964, it is a geographically restricted, monotypic songbird in eastern Australia.

Hall's Gap—a natural gap between the Mount William and Mount Difficult ranges, at the eastern edge of the Grampians National Park. The first settler in the area was Charles Browning Hall, in 1841. Because the cattle market at Port Phillip was already over-stocked, he was in search of land suitable for a grazing run. Following Major Mitchell's route northward, he encountered Aboriginal tracks that lead to the mountain gap that now bears his name. Both the Jardwa and the Buandik tribes occupied the Grampians, using the rock shelters for sacred ceremonies and as a field for paintings and etchings. Hall’s Gap was declared a state forest in 1872 and a national park in 1984.

Hallura—alternate spelling of Alura.

ham and beef shop—delicatessen.

ham and egg daisy—(see: poached egg daisy.)

ham and eggs—(rhyming slang) legs.

Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve—evidence of the beginnings of life on Earth can be found in the saline waters of Hamelin Pool—the famous stromatolites. Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve is one of only two places in the world where living marine stromatolites are known to occur and it is the only place where they can easily be seen from shore. Microscopic organisms—invisible to the human eye—concentrate and recycle nutrients which combine with sedimentary grains to form domes of rock-like materials known as stromatolites. Stromatolites first colonised the shallow waters of Hamelin Pool a recent 2000—3000 years ago, but the organisms that built them were the earliest forms of life on Earth, with a lineage dating back 3500 million years. Located just 27km from the junction of the North West Coastal Highway and the Shark Bay Road.

Hamersley Iron—one of the world's largest iron ore producers, and the principal iron ore operation belonging to (Rio Tinto. The (West Australian-based mining company exports its production of high-grade lump and fines ore to steel customers in Asia and Europe.

Hamersley Ranges—a rocky region in Western Australia that was laid down around 2.5 billion years ago. Over time, those rocks have been heated up to a few hundred degrees, compressed, folded and buckled, broken, partially washed away and overlain by other rocks. Vegetation within the area consists of sand heath and dense scrub on the hills, and mallee and swamp yate woodlands in the river valleys. Both coastal and arid species are found in the area, with a high incidence of endemics. Whilst the area is well known for its wildflowers, its fauna is poorly known and is just now being surveyed. Bird species are particularly diverse, with many honeyeaters associated with the heath formations. The Hamersley Ranges contain some of the largest deposits of iron ore in the world.

Hamersley River—an intermittent river system, the Hamersley dissects an undulating plateau. The river’s flow has cut deeply into cliffs of spongolite, a sedimentary rock formed from sponges.

Hamilton—the main service and commercial centre of the western Victorian plains agricultural region. Founded in the 1850s, Hamilton was originally known as the Grange, the name given to a local creek by the explorer Thomas Mitchell. The report of his expedition through western Victoria revealed the vast potential of the district for the pastoral industry, and resulted in the development of the region Mitchell had named 'Australia Felix'. Pastoralists moved into the area and established large runs, stocked primarily with sheep. Soon after the arrival of European settlers in the area, conflicts emerged between them and the Indigenous peoples of the area, who mounted a strong guerrilla resistance to the occupation of their land. In 1841 a detachment of mounted police under a constable and a magistrate were based at a pastoral property called the "Grange", now the site of Hamilton, to put down Aboriginal resistance to European settlement. The posting of the mounted police remained for three years. Hamilton lies between the Grampians and the coast, near the junction of three Aboriginal tribal territories: Gunditjmara land that stretches south to the coast, the Tjapwurong land to the north-east and the Bunganditj territory that spread west into South Australia.

hammer and tack—1. (rhyming slang) back. 2. heroin.

hammer and tongs—with great energy and enthusiasm: e.g., He went at it hammer and tongs all day until it was finished.

hammering—1. a sound beating, bashing, hiding. 2. intense criticism, cross-examination, questioning.

hammy—pulled hamstring muscle.

Hampton bioregion—Quaternary marine dune systems on a coastal plain of the Eucla Basin, backed by stranded limestone scarp. Areas of marine sand are also perched along the top edge of the scarp. Various mallee communities dominate the limestone scree slopes and pavements, as well as the sandy surfaces. Alluvial and calcareous plains below the scarp support eucalypt woodlands and myall open low woodlands. Located in Victoria.

hamstrung—disadvantaged; thwarted; at a loss.

hand in the pocket—(to have one's...) to be always spending money, especially to pay bills.

hand in the till—(to have one's...) to be stealing, embezzling money from one's employer.

hand off—(Rugby football) push off (a tackling opponent) with the hand.

hand (someone) in—turn (someone) over to the authorities; betray (someone).

hand stencil—found widely in rock art all across Australia, stencil images are some of the oldest painted images known from the continent. The hand stencils are more like a signature or statement that a person left at the site; they may also express a person's relationship to the place.

hand the hat around—take up a collection of money: e.g., We're handing the hat around for the bereaved family.

hand-in-glove—on intimate terms; in close collaboration.

handbag carriers—(Australian Rules football) weak players.

handles like a bag of shit tied in the middle with a piece of string—(of a car or vehicle) has poor performance, manoeuverability.

hands down—easily; without effort: e.g., He won the election hands down.

hands off cocks, on socks—an order to get to work; stop wasting time and begin.

hang a lefty—(of the driver of a vehicle) turn left (quickly).

hang a lefty on (someone)—punch, hit, bash (someone), especially with the left fist.

hang, draw and quarter—punish severely.

hang fire/five—delay action; stop awhile; wait before doing.

hang of a—1. very great; exceptional: e.g., That's a hang of a hill we have to climb! 2. awful; difficult; unpleasant: e.g., This hang of a damned thing doesn't work!

hang on a min/mo/tick—wait a minute, moment, short time.

hang on like grim death—hold on, stay put; act, behave tenaciously, firmly.

hang one on (someone)—punch, hit, bash (someone).

hang the expense!—the cost is not important!

hanging on by the skin of (one's) teeth—in a a very precarious situation or position.

hanging swamp—within the Blue Mountains, hanging sedge and shrub swamps occur where groundwater continually seeps over Narrabeen sandstone faces. The saturated conditions inhibit the breakdown of plant material, which accumulates as peat. Thus, these swamps act as giant sponges, releasing rainwater slowly during dry periods, and maintaining flows in creeks and escarpment waterfalls. These ecosystems also filter and purify water flowing into the Sydney water catchment and Lake Burragorang.


Hann, William—Hann Crossing is named after the explorer William Hann, who led an expedition into the Cape York Peninsula and discovered the Palmer River Goldfield. In September 1872, William Hann crossed the North Kennedy River at the site now known as Hann Crossing. ‘I came to a bar of sandstone grit stretching right across the river ... here I crossed. The paths radiated in all directions, showing this to be a crossing place for the natives. I also saw a corroboree ground here, which is no doubt, a meeting place on great occasions. Close to our camp were clumps of fan palms of immense beauty . . . signs of alligators during the night from which it would appear they are here in great numbers.’—William Hann, diary record.

Hansard/Hansard Report—the official, verbatim report of the proceedings of Parliament. The name Hansard was officially adopted in 1943 after Le Hansard (1752—1828), who was the printer of the English House of Commons Journal from 1774. It is now available on the Internet.

Hanson, Pauline—in September 1996, Hanson made her maiden speech to the House of Representatives, expressing her concern that Australia "will be swamped by Asians", suggested the withdrawal of Australia from the United Nations, advocated the return of high-tariff protectionism and generally decried many other aspects of political correctness and free market economics. The populism expressed in her maiden speech saw her popularity soar, and in April 1997 she founded Pauline Hanson's One Nation. The party's popularity peaked in 1998 and then began to decline. On 20 August 2003, a jury convicted Hanson of electoral fraud and she was sentenced to three years imprisonment by the Supreme Court of Queensland for falsely claiming that 500 support group members were genuine paid up members of One Nation, in order to register it as a political party and apply for electoral funding from the state of Queensland.

happy as a bastard on Father's Day—unhappy; miserable; sad.

happy as a sandboy—extremely happy or carefree.

happy as Larry—very happy; elated.

happy family—(see: apostle bird).

happy jack—either of two babblers, the grey-crowned babbler or the white-browed babbler.

happy little Vegemite—an Australian (child). A Vegemite sandwich to an Australian kid is the equivalent of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to an American kid—but the taste is QUITE different! Vegemite is one of several yeast extract spreads sold in Australia. It is made from leftover brewers' yeast extract (a by-product of beer manufacture) and various vegetable and spice additives. It is very dark reddish-brown, almost black, in color. It's thick like peanut butter, it's very salty, and it tastes like—well let's just say that it is an acquired taste! Australian children are brought up on Vegemite from the time they're babies. It is said that Australians travel all over the world with at least one small jar of Vegemite in their luggage, for fear that they will not be able to find it.

Harare Declaration—a reaffirmation of confidence in the Commonwealth of Nations, made in 1991 by the heads of government of the countries belonging to the Commonwealth of Nations. The declaration was made at a meeting in Harare.

hard at it—busily working or occupied.

hard case—1. an unyielding, stubborn person. 2. a tough, cynical person hardened by experience. 3. an alcoholic or drug addict. 4. a funny character; persistently funny, witty, amusing person.

hard cheddar/cheese—bad luck!—conveying either sympathy or scorn.

hard doer—joker, wag, comedian.

hard done by—to have experienced a great deal of bad luck, misfortune or troubled times: e.g., That family is hard done by since the father's death.

hard on (someone's) heels—following closely.

hard put—in difficulty; under pressure: e.g., He'll be hard put to finish on time.

hard sauce—a sauce of butter and sugar, often with brandy etc added.

hard slog—difficult, tedious work.

hard spinifexTriodia Basedowii, a perennial hummock-forming grass with thin, rigid leaves with a very sharp point. Hummocks may be up to 50cm high and 2m in diameter, sometimes with a dead centre. Seedhead goes 30cm—50cm above leaves. Grows on sandy red soils and at bas of sand dunes. Little grazing value due to tough, prickly leaves. Seed heads however are relished by stock and grain is of good feed value. This plant is a useful, drought resistant soil stabilizer in sandy arid regions, but does not colonise shifting dune crests. After burning, stock has green pick for a short time. Annual plants may grow for a short time in between hummocks after a rain, but few perennial grasses can co-exist with it.

hard to fathom—difficult to understand or work out.

hard yakka—difficult, tedious work.

hard-done-by—harshly or unfairly treated.

hard-fisted—miserly; mean; stingy.

hard-gut mullet—a young sea-mullet.

hare along—go fast; e.g., That car can really hare along.

hare's-foot fernDavallia pyxidata is named after its brown rhizome, or stem, covered with brown papery scales, which may protrude from the clump above the ground for up to 50cm. It tends to be an epiphyte, growing on rainforest trees, on rocks or on the ground. Aboriginal people have traditionally boiled the roots and stems to treat hemorrhaging.

hare-wallaby—(genus Lagorchestus), The hare-wallaby is one of the three main groups of wallabies, the others being the rock wallaby and the nail-tailed wallaby. Of the four species of hare-wallabies present 200 years ago, two are extinct (one from eastern Australia and one from central Australia), and another has become extinct across its former extensive continental range but persists now on a few islands off Western Australia. Only the northern species has persisted reasonably well.

hark back to—remember back; revert back to a subject or matter.

harlequin tuskfishChoerodon fasciatus can be easily recognised by its striking colouration. Adults have eight blue-edged orange bands, three of which are on the head. The rear of the body darkens with age. The teeth are blue. Juveniles have brown banding on the body and ocelli in the dorsal and anal fins. This species grows to 30cm in length and occurs on coral reefs of the Western Pacific. In Australia it is known from the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland to northern New South Wales.

Harold Holt Marine Reserve—the first marine reserves established in Victoria (1979). Their origin dates to December 1972 when the Scuba Divers' Federation of Victoria proposed the establishment of a 'Marine National Park' in Port Phillip Bay. They envisaged the park as having five areas of particular significance: Pope’s Eye, the Kelp Beds, Swan Bay, the rock platforms at Point Lonsdale, and the rock platforms on the north and south side of Point Nepean. In 1975 an interdepartmental committee, the Marine Reserves Committee, advised the then Director of Conservation in relation to the proposal. This led in 1979 to the creation of five discrete protected areas, to be known as the Harold Holt Marine Reserves. They varied in size from 3ha to 2800ha and were to be managed for the purposes of conservation, recreation, education and research. These included four of the five significant sites outlined by the Scuba Divers' Federation of Victoria (the exception being the Kelp Beds) and an additional site, Mud Islands. They bear the name of the former Australian Prime Minister, Harold Holt, who disappeared while swimming off Cheviot Beach on the Mornington Peninsula-side of Port Phillip Bay.

Harris Greenstone Belt—(HGD) a late Archaean-Proterozoic arcuate tectonostratigraphic terrane in the centre of the Gawler Craton. It is bound to the south by the Yerda Shear Zone and has a lithological zone boundary to the north with the Wilgena Domain1. Outcrop of the Precambrian basement rocks is sparse. Most units are generally covered by thin (<50 m) Quaternary sand and Eocene fluvial channel deposits. The HGD is characterised by a series of sub-parallel east-northeast-trending, sinuous, magnetic high features flanked by large ovoid to elongate magnetic highs and lows. Broad gravity highs are coincident with the magnetic highs. Archaean greenstone sequences with associated banded iron formations correlate with the linear magnetic-gravity high signatures. These prominent narrow geophysical features broadly constitute the HGB component of the HGD. In contrast, the Archaean gneisses and granites form more irregular to elongate magnetic lows. The Proterozoic granites comprise both zoned and massive ovoid plutons of low and high magnetisation, and the Gawler Range Volcanics, prominent in the eastern part of the domain, have gravity high signatures.

Harts Range Metamorphic Complex—the eastern Arunta Block in central Australia forms a metamorphic corridor between the Amadeus Basin and the Georgina Basin, which are structural remnants of the once much larger Centralian Superbasin. In the Harts Range, analyses of detrital zircons from two metapelites, one metavolcanic and a metaquartzite, show that the depositional age of the protoliths to the Harts Range Metamorphic Complex is much younger than previously thought. These samples contain concordant detrital zircons with major age populations at ~1000—1300 Ma and ~600—700 Ma, and individual detrital zircon grains that may be as young as ~510—520 Ma. The detrital age distribution from these metasediments is very similar to that of the mid-Cambrian (~520 Ma) Goyder Formation in the Amadeus Basin, and with Cambrian passive margin sequences developed along the eastern Palaeopacific margin of eastern Australia (for example, the Adelaide Rift Complex).

Hartz Mountains National Park—is a window into the south-west wilderness of Tasmania, offering views of remote mountain ranges as far as the southern coast. As well as spectacular views of a landscape which has been shaped by glaciers during past ice ages, the park offers a variety of unique features. Waterfalls tumble off the dolerite range that runs through the centre of the park and small glacial lakes dot the plateau. The park contains a wide variety of vegetation, from wet eucalypt forest and rainforest through to alpine heath on the exposed mountain tops. The park was included in Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area in 1989, in recognition of its spectacular natural and cultural values.

Harvester Case—a celebrated court case, which became known as the Harvester judgement (1907). Justice H.B. Higgins, the president of the Commonwealth Arbitration Court, declared that an unskilled labourer should receive a minimum of seven shillings for an eight-hour working day, enough to sustain himself and his family in "frugal comfort". Adjusted over time, this became the Basic Wage, the basis for the pay of most Australian workers for the next sixty years.

hash mark—the symbol: #.

hasn't got enough brains to give (her/himself) a headache—hasn't got much intelligence, sense or wit.

hat—pertaining to position or rank: e.g., He's wearing the boss's hat while the boss is away on holidays.

hat-trick—1. (cricket) three wickets taken by a bowler with three successive balls. 2. achievement of three identical wins, actions, etc in succession.

hatchet-faced—sharp-featured or grim-looking.

hate-session—discussion about someone or something intensely disliked: e.g., The wives are having a hate-session about the annoying things their husbands do.

Hattaa Lakes—a series of seventeen lakes contained within the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park. The lakes are a very valuable site, with international, national and state significance. It is part of a biosphere reserve and is Ramsar-listed, used by migratory birds listed under the JAMBA, CAMBA and Bonn conventions. It has a significantly diverse range of wetlands in one system (i.e., semi-permanent, ephemeral) which means it can support a very diverse array of flora and fauna, and has good red gum communities.

Hattah-Kulkyne National Park—lies in typical mallee country, with extensive low scrub and open native pine woodland. Hattah-Kulkyne is special because of the flow of permanent water in the nearby Murray River and the freshwater Hattah Lakes seasonally filled by creeks connected to the Murray, which provide food and shelter for waterbirds and fish. Flooding generally occurs, on average, once every two years. In places, evidence of Aboriginal life can be seen, with scars on trees where bark was removed for making shields and canoes, along with middens heaped with shells left from meals eaten over many generations. Today, Aboriginal communities in Mildura and elsewhere take an interest in the park and in recovering more of its Indigenous heritage. Last century, and for much of this century, the country was extensively grazed by sheep and cattle (and rabbits), damaging the natural vegetation and soils. The lake and dry-country habitats are a haven for over 200 bird species. Apostle-birds and white-winged choughs frequent campsites, and at dusk Major Mitchell cockatoos, regent, bluebonnet, mulga and mallee ringneck parrots and rosellas also remind visitors that Australia has some of the most colourful and raucous birds in the world. Malleefowl, with their great nesting mounds of leaf litter and twigs, breed in the park. Elsewhere much of their habitat has been destroyed. At dusk and dawn, emus and the two species of kangaroo, the red and western grey, can be seen feeding. The sandy beaches along the Murray, the creeks and lakes are shaded by fringes of river red gums. Black box woodlands clothe slightly higher areas. Native pine and buloke woodlands used to cover the dunes, but the trees were largely removed for timber and are only slowly regenerating. About half the park has mallee vegetation, with its typical multi-stemmed eucalypts and sparse ground cover. If there has been a good winter rainfall, there can be spectacular spring wildflower displays. The park protects an area of 48,000ha and is located 580km north-west of Melbourne.

hatter—silly, crazy person.

have—1. a trick, con, act of cheating or deception: e.g., That was a bit of a have if ever I saw one! 2. fight; defeat; take on and win: e.g., I'm going to have him!

have a barney—fight; argue; quarrel.

have a bash—1. have a go; attempt; try. 2. have a wild party.

have a Bex—a general term suggesting the use of any form of stress relief.

have a bingle—have a minor accident in a car.

have a bit of a lie down—have a nap, short sleep, rest.

have a blue—have an argument, fight or quarrel.

have a bo-peep—have a look.

have a bulge on—have an advantage over.

have a burl—have a go; attempt; try.

have a death adder in (one's) pocket—exceptionally mean, parsimonious, stingy, miserly.

have a decko/dekko—have a look.

have a domestic—have an argument with a family member—usually (but not always) at home.

have a face as long as a fiddle/wet week/like a chook's bum—morose; miserable; dismal; sour; of an unhappy disposition.

have a flutter—have a small gamble, wager, especially on a horse-race.

have a gander/geek/geezer/gig—have a look.

have a go—have a try; make an attempt.

have a go at (someone)—1. fight, bash, punch, hit (someone). 2. abuse, scold, berate, reprimand (someone).

have a holiday—take a vacation.

have a joey in the pouch—be pregnant.

have a lash—have a go; attempt; try.

have a pasho—indulge in sexual play, kissing, petting.

have a perve—have a look.

have a prang—have an accident in a car.

have a session—(see: have a pasho).

have a shot—have a go; attempt; try.

have a shot at (someone)—ridicule, criticise, make fun of (someone).

have a smack at—have a go; try; attempt.

have a snort—have a drink of alcohol.

have a spell—have a short rest.

have a splash—spend some money, especially on a wager or gamble.

have a sticky-beak—have a look.

have a tub—have a wash, bath.

have a turn—1. have a party. 2. have a bout of sudden illness. 3. have a momentary nervous shock or surprise.

have an optic/optic-nerve—have a look.

have one over the eight—get slightly drunk.

have (one's) ears burn—suffer with embarrassment upon overhearing remarks about (oneself).

have (oneself) on—to delude (oneself) with the egotistical belief that (one's) worth is much greater than it really is: e.g., He's having himself on if he thinks that scheme of his will really work!

have (someone) in stitches—amuse (someone) enormously; cause (someone) to laugh heartily.

have (someone) on—1. tease, taunt, hector (someone). 2. deceive, delude, trick (someone). 4. accept (someone) as an opponent, adversary.

have (someone) up—charge; arrest; apprehend.

have/got a good step—(rugby) able to manoeuvre, jink well.

have/got a job in front of (one)—have a very difficult task to do: e.g., He's got a job in front of him raising three young boys on his own.

have/got a memory like a sieve—extremely forgetful.

have/got a mouthful of teeth—have large, prominent teeth.

have/got a nerve—to have impudence; be shamelessly brazen: e.g., He's got a nerve speaking to me like that!

have/got a plum in (one's) mouth—to speak affectedly, pretentiously, artificially—especially in imitation of a high-class British accent.

have/got a quid—wealthy, rich: e.g., He may not look like it, but he's got a quid!

have/got a sharp nose—1. to have a keen sense of smell. 2. be astute.

have/got a snout on—to sulk or bear ill-will towards someone.

have/got a swing on the back porch—to have a mincing style of walking.

have/got a voice like a foghorn—loudly spoken.

have/got bats in the belfry—mad; silly; crazy; full of irrational ideas; not in full control of (one's) faculties; lacking in intelligence.

have/got broad shoulders—able to handle responsibility.

have/got Buckley's—have no chance at all: e.g., The police have got Buckley's of ever wiping out big crime syndicates.

have/got 'em bad—suffering from nervous anxiety or symptoms associated with the withdrawal from drugs, alcohol, tobacco.

have/got enough on (one's) plate—have a full schedule, timetable of work, responsibility, etc without being able to take on more.

have/got eyes in the back of (one's) head—have the apparent ability to see all; be acutely aware.

have/got half a mind to—half decided: e.g., I've got half a mind to leave this job.

have/got hollow legs—have an ability to eat huge amounts of food.

have/got it by the throat—be in full control or command of a situation.

have/got kangaroos in the top paddock—not in full control of (one's) facilities; mad; silly; eccentric.

have/got more arse/hide than an elephant—have a great deal of audacity.

have/got more arse than class—gutsy rather than genteel approach to life; extremely lucky; successful through chance rather than planning.

have/got one foot in the grave and the other on a banana-skin—in a serious predicament from which there seems to be little chance of escape.

have/got (one's) arse in (one's) hands—extremely angry.

have/got (one's) face against the pub wall—in disgrace.

have/got (one's) hat in the ring—to be in the draw, game; to be a contender, entrant.

have/got (one's) head in the clouds—to be unrealistic.

have/got (one's) head screwed on right—practical; clear-thinking; sensible; enterprising.

have/got (one's) heart in (one's) boots—to be sad, morose, unhappy, dejected.

have/got (one's) heart in (one's) mouth—be frightened, anxious, nervous.

have/got short arms and long pockets—to be mean, parsimonious, miserly, stingy.

have/got (someone) pegged out—to stake a claim on (someone).

have/got the ball at (one's) feet—be in a position of advantage, gain.

have/got the britts—to be angry. (rhyming slang: Jimmy Britts—shits).

have/got the britts up—be alarmed, afraid.

have/got the drop on (someone)—(Australian Rules football) to be in a perfect position to take a mark.

have/got the face to—have the nerve, courage, boldness, impudence to (do something).

have/got the goods—1. have reliable information, truthful facts. 2. (Australian Rules football) inside information on the opposing side which gives a team the advantage.

have/got the hide—have the impudence, boldness, gall, audacity.

have/got the jimmies—(see have/got the britts).

have/got the pip—in a state of anger, irritation, annoyance.

have/got the wood on (someone)—have an advantage over (someone): e.g., The Magpies have got the wood on the Swans in the Grand Final.

have/got tickets on (oneself)—be conceited, vain; have an over-rated opinion of (oneself) that is not shared by others.

have/got to be in it to win it—taking a chance, having a go; participating is necessary in order to have a chance at success or winnings.

have/got to hand it to (someone)—give, acknowledge credit where it is due: e.g., I've got to hand it to him—he's good.

have/got to walk backwards to a door to open it—pertaining to someone with very large feet.

have/got too much of what the cat licks itself with—to be too talkative.

have/got two chances/hopes—Buckley's and none—to have no chance/hope.

have/got whiskers on it—distasteful; unpleasant; old-fashioned; useless.

have-not—poor person.

haven't got a brass razoo/cracker—haven't got any money.

haven't got a feather to fly with—1. haven't got any money. 2. haven't got a valid reason, excuse, alibi.

haven't got a leg to stand on—haven't got a valid reason, excuse or alibi.

haven't got a penny to bless (oneself) with/a sausage—haven't got any money; broke; destitute.

haven't got an earthly—1. haven't got any chance or hope at all. 2. haven't got any knowledge; have no idea or clue.

haven't got two bob to rub together—haven't got any money; destitute.

having a bad trot—having an extreme run of bad luck, misfortune.

having a good trot—having a run of good luck, fortune.

having a lend/loan of (someone)—teasing, taunting, deceiving gently: e.g., Are you having a lend of me or are you being honest?

hawk moth—any of 65 species of the genus Sphingidae, a large moth that is both swift of flight and has the ability to hover, with long narrow fore wings and smaller hind wings. They feed on the nectar from flowers by means of a long tongue, and pupate in the soil or amongst litter at the base of the food plant. When at rest, they hold their wings over their body like a tent. Hawk moth caterpillars are often brightly coloured, with diagonal stripes and eyespots, and are easily recognised by the dorsal horn on the last segment. They grow to 5cm, occasionally more. When disturbed, they rear up with their anterior segments arched and their head facing the disturbance.

hawk trap—a conical stone trap for birds of prey built by Aborigines in the NW Northern Territory.

Hawke's death adder—Queensland's 9th most deadly snake, found in Western Queensland. To .75m, stocky body, head arrow-shaped, tail tapers rapidly and bears spur-like scale at tip, back any shade of grey to reddish-brown, usually with lighter bands, belly greyish to cream.

Hawkesbury floods—in 1806 Hawkesbury River flooded three times and losses were extremely high. The whole district was plunged into debt, with many of the small settlers experienced financial difficulties.

Hawkesbury National Fiddle Festival—a 3-day festival celebrating the fiddle—big and small from all cultures—in all genres of music. Workshops, master classes, concerts, sessions, stalls, contests and more. See some of the best fiddlers from Australia and overseas and attend their workshops. Classical, bluegrass, Celtic, jazz, pop, rock, world music and contemporary. Violins, violas, cello, double bass, any bowed string instrument. Always held the weekend before Easter every year at the Hawkesbury Showground in Clarendon, NSW. One hour north-west of Sydney, 3 minutes’ walk from Clarendon Station.

Hawkesbury region—one of the first regions explored in New South Wales after settlement in 1788. Accessible lands along the Parramatta and Hawkesbury rivers were the preferred settlement areas. Most of the northern and western areas of the Hawkesbury Valley are heavily timbered and comprise rugged and mountainous terrain. Much of the region is now protected, including the national parks of Blue Mountains, Cattai, Scheyville, Yengo, Dharug, Marramarra, Brisbane Water and Ku-ring-gai Chase.

Hawkesbury River—Governor Arthur Phillip led the first white maritime expedition into the area in 1788. He was searching for fertile river flats for the cultivation of crops but found instead towering cliffs and steep hills clothed in native forests. The Hawkesbury River, known to the native Dharug tribe as Vhen Ruphen, stretches west to the foothills of the mountains. Winding for many miles from Katoomba in the west to Palm Beach and Broken Bay on the coast, the Hawkesbury played a large part in the early development of Sydney, with many old homesteads still to be seen around Windsor. The Lower Hawkesbury, around the village of Brooklyn situated approximately 60km north of Sydney, is well known for Sydney rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata ) farming. Most of the Lower Hawkesbury is surrounded by a number of national parks, with only a few small pockets of development.

Hawkesbury River tribes—an Aboriginal people of New South Wales.

hawkesbury rivers—(rhyming slang) the shivers.

Hawkesbury sandstone—underlies most of the city of Sydney, with just a few caps of shale on some of the higher ridges. Below the Hawkesbury sandstone, there are more sandstone beds in the slightly older Narrabeen Series. The rocks of Sydney form a saucer-like basin, and away from the city, the bottom of the Hawkesbury sandstone is above sea level. In valleys and cliffs, north of Long Reef or south of Port Hacking, this second form of sandstone starts to join the scenery. Even going up into the Blue Mountains leaves you on sandstone, as they were formed when the western side of the Sydney basin was tilted one kilometre up into the sky, and so we stay on the Hawkesbury sandstone, all the way to Woodford and Bilpin. After that, the Narrabeen sandstones start to appear once more, and they run most of the way out to Lithgow. Sandstone has made the city of Sydney what it is today. All sedimentary rock is full of joints, vertical splits that cleave the large beds into smaller blocks, often running for hundreds of metres, slicing down through the geological millennia. These joints, combined with softer and tougher beds, help shape the scenery in sandstone country.


Hazard's Range—a jagged range of pink and grey granite peaks on the east coast peninsula that is the Freycinet National Park. Hazard's Range is said to have been named after a captain of a whaling ship. The range is located in Tasmania.

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