Australian Dictionary

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Limestone Coast, SA

Limestone Coast, South Australia

Lhotsky, Johan (John)—(1800 -1866 ) the turbulent Australian writer, naturalist, explorer and physician was born on 27 June 1800 in the U.K. John Lhotsky arrived in Sydney in 1832 to carry out botanical and zoological research and spent some time at the Hobart survey office. He was the first European explorer to reach the Benambra area and to climb Mount Kosciusko in 1834. In 1835 he published A journey from Sydney to the Australian Alps, undertaken in the months of January, February, and March, 1834: being an account of the geographical & natural relation of the country traversed, its Aborigines, &c…. In 1838 he sailed for London (where he eventually died).

li-lo—inflatable bed.

liana—any of various long-stemmed, woody vines that are rooted in the soil at ground level and use trees, as well as other means of vertical support, to climb up to the canopy to get access to well-lit areas of the forest. Lianas are especially characteristic of tropical, moist, deciduous forests and rainforests, including temperate rainforests. Lianas can form bridges amidst the forest canopy, providing arboreal animals with paths across the forest. These bridges can protect weaker trees from strong winds. Lianas compete with forest trees for sunlight, water and nutrients from the soil. The term 'liana' is not a taxonomic grouping, but rather a description of the way the plant grows, and lianas may be found in many different plant families. One way of distinguishing lianas from trees and shrubs is based on the stiffness, specifically, the Young's modulus of various parts of the stem. Trees and shrubs have young twigs and smaller branches which are quite flexible and older growth such as trunks and large branches which are stiffer. A liana often has stiff young growths and older growth, at the base of the stem, which is more flexible.

Liasis—a genus of nonvenomous pythons found in Indonesia, New Guinea and Australia. Currently, 3 extant species are recognized and one fossil species, L. dubudingala, the Bluff Downs giant python.

Liasis dubudingala—(Bluff Downs giant python), lived during the Pliocene epoch, grew up to ten metres long, and is the largest Australian snake known. It hunted mammals, birds and reptiles in riparian woodlands. It is most similar to the extant olive python (Liasis olivacea).

Lib—member of the Liberal Party.

Liberal Party of Australia—formed in 1944 by then Leader of the Opposition, Sir Robert Menzies, uniting several different conservative political organisations. The new party built on the experiences of the earlier Liberal Party of Alfred Deakin, William Hughes' National Party (1917) and the United Australia Party (1931). The name Liberal was chosen for its associations with progressive nineteenth century ideas of free enterprise and social equality. By May 1945, membership of the Liberal Party had swelled to 40,000. It stood for its first election in 1946 with some success, and in the following year the party won state government in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria. In 1949 Robert Menzies led a coalition of the Liberal Party and the Country Party (now called the National Party) to victory over the Chifley Government, an they retained power for 23 years, until 1972. It has remained the major non-Labor party nationally and is represented in all states except Queensland. The two parties have always been a coalition in government, and usually also a coalition when in opposition. Robert Menzies founded the Liberal Party to represent what he called 'the forgotten people'—the office workers, shopkeepers and small business owners who supported themselves and their families with what they earned and who did not look to governments for handouts. The Liberal Party also attracts the support of wealthy people and people who work in big businesses. Liberals believe in private business and individuals looking after themselves. They want more freedom, less government control, and encouragement of wealth-making so that everyone can enjoy a good standard of living.

licence to print money—a lucrative, profitable scheme.

licensee—the holder of a licence, especially to sell alcoholic liquor.

lick and a promise—superficial, perfunctory attempt: e.g., The housework will have to do with a lick and a promise until next week.

lick the dust—1. humble oneself; grovel in shame. 2. die or be seriously wounded.

lickety spit—a wash, especially a quick one.

lickety-split—quickly; fast.

lie doggo—to hide, remain hidden, especially when something is expected of one, such as work.

lie in—sleep in; stay in bed later than usual.

lie-in—an extra length of time in bed in the morning: e.g., every Sunday morning I have a lie-in.

life in the raw—the barbaric, unsavoury and vulgar aspects of life.

life isn't all beer and skittles—a cliché meaning that life is not just a picnic. Colonel Nicholson wrote an article about The Citadel that appeared in Time. Its title was "Beer and Skittles". It said that life at The Citadel was a mixture of pleasure and hard work.

life wasn't meant to be easy—catch-phrase popularised by a Liberal Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Fraser, and now used as a jocular scoff at anyone complaining of hard times.

lift doesn't go all the way to the top—(of a person) lacking in intelligence.

lift (one's) game—improve (one's) performance; try harder: e.g., He's going to have to lift his game or else the boss will sack him.

lifted—stole: e.g., Someone lifted my push-bike!

Light, Colonel William—(1786-1839), founder of Adelaide, was born at Kuala Kedah, Malaya on 27 April, 1786. He was gazetted Surveyor-General of South Australia, and in May 1836 he set sail in the Rapid, arriving on 20 August. The South Australian commissioners had entrusted Light with the entire decision as to the site of the settlement, and he at once began cruising along the coast examining the country. The absence of fresh water disqualified Adelaide Harbour itself as a site for the capital, and he fixed on the present site for Adelaide. Having made his choice, Light proceeded with his survey and laid out the 1042 acres of the city in two months. Proceeding with the surrounding area, he had surveyed 150,000 acres by May 1838. Nevertheless, Sir GS Kingston, who had been sent to England to endeavour to obtain more surveyors, returned in June to report that all assistance had been refused, that Light's methods of surveying had been condemned, and that a system of running surveys of which Light could not possibly approve had been ordered. He at once resigned, and nearly the whole force of surveyors resigned in sympathy with him. Light's health got rapidly worse under the strain. Indeed, when Light went to the Para River in January 1839 to conduct a survey for the South Australian Company, he collapsed more than once, returning to Adelaide on 21 January. He died of tuberculosis early in the morning of 6 October 1839, and was buried in the square that bears his name. He was a gallant soldier, a capable artist and a charming companion with great general ability, but his crowning feat was finding the site of Adelaide and, in spite of all opposition, getting it adopted. He ranks among the great pioneers of British colonization.

light (on)—in short supply: e.g., We're a bit light on with funds this weeks.

light-handed—understaffed; not having enough personnel.

lightning fence—a wire fence strung from widely-spaced posts (and thus quickly erected).

Lightning Man—Namarrgon (pronounced narm-arr-gon), an important Aboriginal Creation Ancestor responsible for the violent lightning storms that Kakadu experiences every wet season. He uses his stone axes to split the dark clouds and make lightning and thunder. Namarrgon's story began on the coastline of the Coburg Peninsula and ends in a rock shelter in the sandstone country of the Arnhem Land Plateau, where he remains today. During his travels he left his power behind at many places. On his last journey he approached the escarpment from the east, looked over the sheer wall, then took out an eye and placed it high on the cliff at Namarrgondjahdjam (Lightning Dreaming). Here it sits, waiting for the storm season. This is a sacred and dangerous place that must not be disturbed or catastrophic events will follow. During the build-up season you can see Narmarrgon's children, aljurr (Leichardt's grasshopper) on the fragrant pityrodia bushes, the only plant they eat. He can be seen at the Anbangbang Gallery at Burrunguy (Nourlangie Rock).

Lightning Ridge—now the only place in Australia and one of the few places in the world where the precious and highly prized black opal is found. Some of the rarest and most beautiful fossils in the world come from Lightning Ridge, some of the most important of which are those of the monotremes, which are among the oldest known in the world. They occur in a large geological feature called the Surat Basin, which is part of the vast Great Australian Basin. The basin covers 1.7 million square kilometres of eastern Australia, and was formed during the Cretaceous period (about 140 million years ago when dinosaurs walked the Earth). Around 110 million years ago, Lightning Ridge was on the edge of an inland sea. Fragments of the remains of animals from this time accumulated in the sands of freshwater creeks that drained into this sea, and these fragments became opalised. There is an Aboriginal explanation for the opals in the area—according to legend, a huge wheel of fire fell to earth and sprayed the countryside with brilliant, coloured stones. The first European to discover these coloured stones was Charles Nettleton in 1902. A number of famous stones have been found at Lightning Ridge, including the 822 g 'Big Ben' and the 'Flame Queen' which was sold for £80 because the miner hadn't eaten a proper meal for three weeks. Located 768km from Sydney, Lightning Ridge has a population of about 1200 which is supplemented by over 80 000 visitors who arrive every year to either try their luck at fossicking or to see what an outback mining town is really like.

lignotuber—a woody tuber developed in the axils of the first leaf pairs, becoming massive in many mature trees or mallees, possessing embedded vegetative buds for regeneration following crown destruction, for example by fire.

lignum—1. Muehlenbeckia florenta, a greyish shrub to about 2m high and wide. Intricately branched and often apparently leafless, dotted with small, ivory-toned flowers. Grows in areas that are intermittently inundated. Often producing dense stands that restrict access, it is useful for erosion control in waterlogged and saline sites, and a favoured breeding ground for wild fowl. Rich in pollen and nectar, it is also useful for honey production. 2. Muehlenbeckia cunninghamii, a plant of swamps and wetlands, floodplains and cracking claypans.

lignum swamp—part of an extensive plain drained by intermittent streams of the Carpentaria drainage system. It is vegetated with gidgee and lignum. Lignum swamps can be revived by flooding following 20-30 years without water. Often found in shallow depressions, and often in combination with canegrass.

like a bandicoot on a burnt ridge—lonely; forlorn.

like a blue-arsed fly—in a frenzied manner; erratically.

like a bull at a gate—anxious to start; headstrong; impatient.

like a chook with its head cut off—in a dither; flustered.

like a cut snake—in an extremely active, busy manner.

like a dose of salts—very fast and efficiently.

like a fart in a bottle—agitated; unable to keep still.

like a greasy stick up a dead dog's arse—easily; with no effort.

like a leaf in the breeze—easily swayed by others, ideas etc; changing course with every new idea, influence etc; unsure of which direction or allegiance to take.

like a lily on a dust-bin—lonely; neglected.

like a madwoman's breakfast—(see: all over the place like...).

like a moll at a christening—out of place; confused.

like a one-armed taxi-driver with crabs—(see: busy as a...).

like a one-legged man at an arse-kicker's party—out of place; uncomfortable in one's surroundings; ill-equipped.

like a petunia in an onion patch—1. alone; forlorn; neglected. 2. out of place.

like a pick-pocket at a nudist camp—out of place; confused; not comfortable with one's surroundings.

like a pimple on a pumpkin—very obvious.

like a pork chop—in a silly, foolish manner.

like a rat up a drainpipe—very quickly.

like a shag on a rock—alone; forlorn.

like a spare groom at a wedding—out of place; confused; not comfortable with one's surroundings; not needed or necessary.

like a stunned mullet—1. bewildered; surprised; astonished. 2. inert.

like a tin of worms—extremely active; unable to remain still.

like a two-bob watch—unreliable; second-rate; of poor quality.

like an old maid's pram—empty; having no substance.

like billyo—with gusto, speed, enthusiasm: e.g., We laughed like billyo at that joke.

like buggery—1. greatly; with energy, force, speed etc. 2. no way! definitely not! 3. exclamation of scorn, derision, disbelief.

like chalk and cheese—nothing alike; opposites.

like grim death—tenaciously.

like stalking a lion and coming back with a kitten—to achieve much less than what was expected, especially after boasting.

like the clappers—very fast.

like two ferrets fighting in a sack—said of a woman who has a large bum.

lil-lil—an Aboriginal weapon used both as a missile and in close combat.

lilly pilly—a rainforest tree of the genus Syzygium, native to Australia and south-east Asia. This was one of the first edible plants to be noted during Captain Cook’s exploration in 1770. The indigenous Cadigal and the early colonists ate raw the sweet, fleshy fruit of many different species of lilly pilly. The colonists also made the fruit into jams and summer drinks. Popular in Australian gardens, particularly for hedging and topiary, jams and chutneys based on the lilly pilly fruit have made a comeback. In the wild, the once-common plant is now endangered because of clearing of its habitat for agriculture and housing along the east coast of Australia.

lilly-pilly berries—fruit of the lilly-pilly tree Acmena smithii. Small, fluffy, white flowers in late spring precede mass fruitings in early winter of 1cm mauve, pink or white edible berries. Fruit of the lilly pilly tree Syzygium australe is red and about the size of a marble. Although lilly pilly fruit is edible, it is not very tasty. However, it is delicious made into a chutney or jelly. Traditional bush tucker, Victoria to northern Queensland.

limestone—a sedimentary rock composed largely of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Besides specialty calcium carbonate powders, limestone is mined for use in the manufacture of cement, as a flux for local iron and steel manufacture, in the production of calcined (quick) and hydrated limes, for chemical production and for agricultural uses (including acid soil amelioration).

Limestone Coast—famed for its red wines, red soils and red rock lobster, the Limestone Coast, South Australia, features lush pastures dotted with towering gums, immaculate vineyards, sweeping expanses of coast and parallel pine plantations. Venture into a subterranean world of stalactites, stalagmites and ancient fossils at the Naracoorte Caves, one of only 14 World Heritage-listed sites in Australia. You can also watch rare southern bent-wing bats at the high-tech Bat Centre, and explore the world of ancient megafauna at the Wonambi Fossil Centre. Explore Mount Gambier, South Australia's second biggest city and home to the Blue Lake, which mysteriously turns from grey to a brilliant turquoise blue every November. The city is built on the slopes of an extinct volcano, and beneath the its streets, there are limestone caves to explore. In the Coonawarra wine region, unique terra rossa soils have helped to create some of the best red wines in the world. Other great wine regions on the Limestone Coast include Padthaway (with its immaculately-restored 1882 homestead), Mount Gambier, Mount Benson near Robe, and Wrattonbully near Naracoorte. Celebrate the lives of Blessed Mary MacKillop and Father Julian Tenison Woods, who founded the Sisters of St Joseph in Penola to provide schooling for isolated children. The Mary MacKillop Interpretive Centre, housed in their original schoolhouse, shows why Mary is on the way to becoming Australia's first saint. The Coorong National Park, declared a Wetland of International Importance in 1975, is home to the world's largest breeding colony of Australian pelicans and is also a temporary sanctuary for thousands of migratory birds from as far away as Siberia. You can hike the 130km beach linking the park and the Southern Ocean, drive a 4WD through some areas of the park and visit Camp Coorong on Lake Alexandrina to hear the history of the land through the eyes of the local Ngarrindjeri Aborigines.

Limestone Ranges—the Devonian reef complexes which now make up the Limestone Ranges are among the best preserved ancient reef complexes known in the world. The reef complexes grew during the Middle and Upper Devonian periods along the south-western shore of an ancient landmass, and around islands and promontories adjacent to it. The reef facies occurs as a narrow rim around limestone platforms of the back-reef facies; the platforms are flanked by fore-reef deposits with steep depositional dips, interfingering into surrounding inter-reef deposits. The reefs were variously formed as barrier reefs, fringing reefs, or atolls. The reef complexes remain substantially undisturbed by tectonic movements. Located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Limey—a British sailor, ship or person.

limited—a company whose owners are legally responsible only to a limited amount for its debts.

limits of bounds/boundaries—(hist.) the frontiers of settlement in an Australian colony.

Limits of Location—(hist.) an area defined by government decree, beyond which settlers were not permitted to take up land. Governor Darling defined the area, and announced the restrictions to the colony of New South Wales on 5 September 1826. He amended the order on 14 October 1829 to increase the area of approved settlement, and this became known as the Nineteen Counties. This restriction was to remain in place until an official government survey had taken place in the region beyond the Liverpool Range.

limp rag—person of no vitality, firmness, energy or spirit.

Lindsay, David—(1856-1922), explorer, was born on 20 June 1856 at Goolwa, South Australia. He was educated locally and under Rev. John Hotham at Port Elliot before at 15 going to work in a chemist's shop, next with an Adelaide mining agent. In 1873 he was apprenticed as a surveyor with the government. Five years later he was appointed junior surveyor and clerk in the land office of the Department of the Northern Territory at Palmerston (Darwin). On 10 March 1881 at North Adelaide he married Annie Theresa Stuart Lindsay; the families were not related. Next year Lindsay resigned and began business in Palmerston as a surveyor, draftsman, and land, stock and station agent. In 1883 the South Australian government commissioned him to explore the central and eastern part of Arnheim's (Arnhem) Land; his party survived fierce attacks by Aborigines, one group numbering 300. In 1885-86 he took seven men and twelve camels from Hergott Springs to the Gulf of Carpentaria, tracing the Finke River to its mouth and seeking information about Ludwig Leichhardt. Lindsay surveyed the country between the overland telegraph line and the Queensland border, explored the MacDonnell Ranges, made a brief foray into the Simpson Desert, and spent six months in the country between Lake Nash and Powell's Creek. He reported on the gold-bearing potential of mines near Port Darwin in 1886-87 for an English syndicate; he then made a notable five-week ride of 2253km across the continent to the southern coast, with only one Aboriginal companion. On his return Lindsay was made a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London. He spent 1888 examining the MacDonnell Ranges for precious stones and minerals and found a deposit of payable mica. From 1889 Lindsay was a broker on the Adelaide Stock Exchange. In 1891 the local branch of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia undertook to explore the last blank spaces on the map of south-western Australia. Lindsay was appointed to lead the venture, known as the Elder Scientific Exploring Expedition, after its backer Sir Thomas Elder. The expedition, begun in May and involving forty-two camels—Lindsay was an expert camel trainer and rider—set off from Warrina and was intended to take eighteen months. When crossing what was later the Coolgardie goldfield, Lindsay telegraphed back that the country was 'possibly auriferous'. Despite severe drought he was sure they could proceed towards the Kimberleys, but in the Murchison district of Western Australia four of his party resigned. The society forbade Lindsay to replace the four and wired him to return home. News soon arrived of the discovery of gold at Coolgardie. In 1893 Lindsay overlanded camels there, sold them profitably, and resumed operating as a mining surveyor and broker: he made over £20,000 in share dealing. In 1895 in London his acclaim as an explorer helped him to publicize Western Australia's golden potential: he floated several mining companies and became colonial manager of Scottish Westralia Ltd. Next year he was again in London arranging finance for his firm, Electric Power Supply Co., to provide electricity to the goldfields. In 1897 Lindsay returned to Adelaide where he and his wife were socially prominent. Later he moved to Sydney and by 1909 was extolling the Northern Territory's potential; but he feared that 'the yellow hordes of Asia' might enter and he believed that Aborigines should live apart from whites. In 1913 he was a member of a Federal royal commission on Northern Territory ports and railways that travelled extensively in the region. Next year Lindsay gained Federal government support to establish a meat-freezing works and cattle-station on the Macarthur River in the Northern Territory, but the war fatally delayed it. He did some surveying for the Commonwealth and became interested in cotton-growing. While investigating that possibility he became ill and died in Darwin of valvular disease of the heart on 17 December 1922. His wife, a daughter and their four sons survived him. When young, Lindsay had possessed the energy and heroic stature of an explorer: tall, bronzed and richly bearded, his chest and shoulders were broad. He was a competent but autocratic leader, who became bombastic with success.

line of country—a subject about which a person is knowledgeable.

lineout—(Rugby football) parallel lines of opposing forwards at right angles to the touchline for the throwing in of the ball.

lines—a school punishment in the form of repetitive writing: e.g., The headmaster gave him 500 lines for talking in class.


Lionel Rose—(rhyming slang) nose

lippie/lippy—1. lipstick. 2. insolent; impertinent. 3. talkative.

liquid amber—beer.

liquid laugh—vomit.


Litchfield National Park—the area, 129km from Darwin, and originally the home of the Wagait people, was designated as a national park in 1986. The park comprises 143sq km of largely untouched landscape, including monsoon rainforests, perennial spring-fed streams, waterfalls, magnetic termite mounds and historic ruins. It is closer to Darwin than Kakadu National Park, being accessible in less than two hours drive via the bitumen road through the township of Batchelor. Major attractions in the park are linked by sealed road and are readily accessible by 2WD. However, to visit some of the more remote natural attractions 4WD is considered necessary. A major attraction seen on driving into the park are the many gigantic magnetic termite mounds. Located in the Northern Territory.

litokoala—An ancestral koala which inhabited ancient rainforests around 25 million years ago. It was very similar to the modern koala, living in trees and feeding on leaves. Koala fossils are relatively rare compared to other marsupial families.


little Aussie battler—a battler is a person who struggles for a livelihood, and who displays great determination in so doing. This sense is first recorded in 1896 in a Henry Lawson story. Such a person is now often described as 'a little Aussie battler', a phrase first recorded in 1979.

little beaut—very good, excellent, first-class person or thing: e.g., This car's a little beaut.

little black cormorantPhalacrocorax sulcirostris, a small, black bird (about 610mm) with glossy wings and a long bill. They frequent inland lakes and rivers, as well as coastal estuaries and quiet marine inlets. With its longer, thinner bill, the little black cormorant takes a wider range of prey than the little pied cormorant. They tend to congregate in flocks, sitting on banks or perching on dead trees to dry. Their flying alternates flapping and gliding, and they can often be seen in line formation. They feed on a wide range of prey from larger, deeper stretches of water. Breeding occurs mainly in spring to autumn, depending on food supply. The nest is a platform of sticks and debris, built in a tree or on a bush.

little bottler—person or thing of excellence, worthy of admiration.

little boys—cocktail sausages.

little boys'—men's toilet.

Little Brother—a British youth who emigrates to Australia under the auspices of the Big Brother Movement.

little buggers—children.

little corellaCacatua sanguinea, a mostly white, with a fleshy blue eye-ring and a pale rose-pink patch between the eye and bill. In flight, a bright sulphur-yellow wash can be seen on the underwing and undertail. The sexes are similar in plumage, and young birds look like the adults. The adults measure 35cm—39cm. Little corellas are endemic to and widespread throughout Australia, although large gaps separate some populations. Their range is expanding with land clearing and increased sources of water. Little corellas feed in large, noisy flocks, especially along watercourses and where seeding grasses are found. The birds feed mainly on the ground, and have to drink on a daily basis. The little corella may breed at any time of the year when conditions are suitable. Birds are thought to pair for life and will start breeding at the start of a long period of rain. The nest site is a suitable tree hollow lined with shavings of wood, and is normally used for several years in row. Both sexes incubate the two to four eggs and both care for the young chicks. The eggs hatch after about 25 days, and the chicks are born naked and totally dependent on their parents. Breeding pairs nest in large colonies, and several nests may be found in the same tree. Where their ranges overlap, different corella species may nest together, but they are not thought to breed with one another.

Little Desert National Park—the second-largest national park in Victoria. The first reserve was created in 1955 to protect the indigenous mallee fowl, and the park was declared in 1968. This semi-arid region of Victoria is not a true desert, as the park receives between 400mm and 600mm of rain per year. Also, the range of soil types causes marked differences in vegetation across the area. More than 670 species of native plants have been recorded in the Little Desert, representing about one fifth of Victoria's indigenous flora. The Little Desert National Park is located south-west of Dimboola, between the Wimmera River and the South Australian border.

little eagleHieraaetus morphnoides is a very small eagle native to Australasia, measuring 45-55cm in length and weighing 815 g. It tends to inhabit open woodland, grassland and arid regions, shunning dense forest. It is a near relative of both the palearctic booted eagle and, remarkably, the massive but now extinct Haast's eagle of New Zealand. John Gould described the little eagle in 1841. The little eagle is small and stocky with a broad head. It has fully feathered legs and a square-cut, barred tail. Their wingspan is about 120cm, with males having longer wings in proportion to their bodies but being nearly half the weight of females. It is a powerful bird and during flight has strong wing beats, glides on flat wings and soars on slightly raised or flat wings. The little eagle occurs in light and dark colour forms and generally these colours change with age. The most common is the light form which is dark brown occurring on the back and wings with black streaks on the head and neck, and a sandy to pale under body. The dark form of this eagle is similar except the head and under body is usually darker brown or rich rufous. The sexes are similar with females being larger and typically darker. Juveniles are similar to adults but tend to be more strongly rufous in colour with less contrast in patterns. Like so many Australian natives, it faces a deteriorating population due to a loss of habitat and competition from other species. One of the biggest factors in the decline of the little eagle is the decline of rabbits due to the release of the calicivirus—the eagle has relied heavily on the rabbit population due to the extinction and massive decline of native terrestrial mammals of rabbit size or smaller, such as large rodents, bandicoots, bettongs, juvenile banded hare-wallaby and other wallabies. Little eagles nest in open woodland (usually on hillsides) and along tree-lined watercourses, with the nest typically placed in a mature, living tree. The birds build a stick nest lined with leaves and may use different nests in successive years, including those of other birds such as crows. A pair of little eagles will only reproduce once a year and each pair will only produce one or two eggs per season, usually laid in late August to early September. After an incubation period of about 37 days, one or two young are fledged after approximately eight weeks. Maturity in terms of breeding takes two to three years. Little eagle nesting territories are defended against intruders and advertised by a soaring, undulating flight display, conspicuous perching and/or calling. The eagles search for prey by soaring (up to 500m altitude) or by using an elevated, exposed perch. The species is an agile, fast hunter swooping to take prey on the ground in the open but also from trees and shrubs

little egretEgretta garzetta, a large wading bird (to 60cm), albeit the smallest of the Australian egrets. This common bird inhabits coastal mud flats or edges of inland swamps, rarely in water more than 10cm deep, where it feeds on small fish, crustaceans and insects. It is often seen in association with the great or white egret. Breeding occurs in loose colonies

little evodia—(see: Evodiella).

little forest batVespadelus vulturnus, the smallest Tasmanian bat. It produces a single young and roosts in tree hollows. The little forest bat has mid- to dark-grey fur on its back and dark grey fur with lighter tips on its belly. Forearm length: 29mm-30mm, body length: 40mm-50mm, weight: 4g-4.5 g.

little house—the toilet, especially an outside one.

Little John bottlebrushCallistemon viminalis, a small, slow-growing but spectacular evergreen shrub. Of the family Myrtaceae it is well known as dwarf callistemon or dwarf bottlebrush, and is found mainly in moist soil in open or woodland sites. The foliage is a bluish grey colour and the bright crimson flowers have a long bloom period. The flowers are terminal or axillary, bottlebrush-like spikes of numerous, long-stamened flowers in deep red. The fruit is a small, woody seed case. A very hardy little shrub that is easily maintained. Can withstand drought once established.

little Johnny—a child: e.g., Whose little Johnny is that?

little lady—wife.

little lorikeetGlyssopsitta pusilla, a small lorikeet with similar sexes. General body plumage is bright green with a yellow tinge on underparts. Face is red. It is gregarious in its activities (except breeding) and is usually encountered in small parties which may become quite fearless when feeding. These birds may also congregate into large flocks at groves of profusely flowering eucalypts. Diet is mainly nectar, supplemented with pollen, fruit and seeds. Prefers open woodlands and forests, also heath and banksia scrub and riverine woodland in eastern Australia, from around Cairns (Qld) to western Victoria and (formerly) the Mount Lofty Ranges (SA). It has also been recorded as a rare vagrant in Tasmania.

little lunch—a snack eaten at morning recess at school (Queensland).

little man—businessman operating on only a small scale.

little mastiff batMormopterus planiceps, a tiny insectivore growing to between 50mm—65mm. They collect most of their food while flying above the forest canopy or waterholes, or scurrying along the ground or tree trunks. Little is known about their breeding habits, except that the females produce a single young in December. The little mastiff bat is well distributed throughout south-western and inland Australia. Sometimes called the little flat bat or western scurrying bat.

Little Norfolk Bay—the dreaded human railway ran from Port Arthur to the jetty at Little Norfolk Bay. This railway line was designed to carry passengers and supplies from the security of Norfolk Bay across the narrow isthmus to Port Arthur and Long Bay. The aim was to avoid the rough seas which characterised journeys from Hobart Town to Port Arthur, as they were forced to round Cape Raoul. The railway has the dubious distinction of being the first railway in Australia. The technique used was to get four convicts to push the carriages along the 7km line.

little penguin—(see: fairy penguin).

little people—1. legendary or imaginary fairies. 2. people or businessmen operating on only a small scale; unimportant, ordinary people.

little pied cormorantPhalacrocorax melanoleucos, one of the most common of Australia's waterbirds, occurring on water bodies of almost any size. The little pied cormorant is at home in either fresh or salt water throughout Australia. It often congregates in large flocks on open waterways and on the coast, especially where large numbers of fish are present. On inland streams and dams, however, it is more often solitary. The face is dusky and, in adult birds, the white of the underside extends to above the eye. It resembles the pied cormorant, but is distinguished by its smaller size (50cm—60cm in length) and proportionately shorter bill. The pied cormorant also has an orange-yellow face patch and black thighs. The little pied cormorant mixes readily with the similar-sized little black cormorant.

little pigs have big ears—a warning that what is being said may be overheard by unwanted eavesdroppers, especially children.

little red flying foxPteropus scapulatus, as the name suggests, is smaller than the others in its genus and, again as the common name suggests, has a definite rufous tinge to the fur. It have a very wide range over the continent, from the temperate south-east, up the east coast, across tropical northern Australia and down the west coast to Broome. Within this range, the little red flying fox moves a great deal, being more nomadic than other flying foxes, probably returning to and setting up camps in response to flowering of particular trees that blossom at different times around the continent. They appear to favour the nectar and pollen of eucalypt blossoms over other flowers and fruit that make up their diet. They are important pollinators of tree species and fly further into inland Australia than other species, following the flowering of eucalypts. They roost on tree branches in groups, called camps, of up to many thousands of bats, often sharing camps with other flying fox species.

little ripper—(see: little beaut).

Little Sandy Desert—a desert located in Western Australia south of the Great Sandy Desert and west of the Gibson Desert. The bioregion is located to the east of Great Northern Highway south of Newman and approximately 200km north of Wiluna, WA. To the north the nearest large area identifiable is the Karlamilyi National Park. It's terrain consists of red Quaternary dune fields with abrupt Proterozoic sandstone ranges of the Bangemall Basin; shrub steppe of acacias, thryptomene and grevilleas over feathertop spinifex on sandy surfaces; and sparse shrub-steppe over spinifex on stony hills, with river red gum communities and bunch grasslands on alluvial deposits in and associated with ranges. The bioregion is arid, with summer rainfall. The desert is crossed by the Canning Stock Route. Indigenous groups that have identified with the region include the Mandildjara.

little shrike-thrushColluricincla megarhyncha, a small (17cm-19cm), rufous-brown bird with a call similar to that of its cousin, the grey shrike-thrush, and is an occasional mimic. Its nest is deep and cup-shaped, made of dried leaves, strips of bark and rootlets, lined with finer rootlets and grass. The nest is built at heights from one to ten metres above ground in a tree, small bush, a mass of vines or among palm fronds, either in the open or well concealed among vegetation. Breeds September to February, with two to three eggs laid. A noisy feeder, peeling strips of loose bark from tree trunks in search of insects, also feeding on the ground. It inhabits rainforests, heavy scrubs, Melaleuca forests and mangroves.

little ternSterna albifrons sinensis, breeds in colonies on gravel or shingle coasts and islands. It lays two to four eggs on the ground. Like all white terns, it is defensive of its nest and young and will attack intruders. Like all Sterna terns, the little tern feeds by plunge-diving for fish, usually from saline environments. The offering of fish by the male to the female is part of the courtship display. Each pair generally has 2 nest sites to choose from in case of disturbance. This is a small tern, not likely to be confused with other species because of its size and white forehead in breeding plumage. Its thin, sharp bill is yellow with a black tip and its legs are also yellow. In winter, the forehead is more extensively white, the bill is black and the legs duller. The call is a loud and distinctive creaking noise. In Australia, there are two different populations of little terns. One comes from Asia, migrating to Australia every summer, but rarely reaching as far south as Tasmania. The second population spend all their time in eastern Australia along the coastline and includes the group that breeds in Tasmania. Little Terns are facing extinction. Every spring, 300 to 500 birds migrate to one of Japan's largest surviving colonies located in Atsugi, Kanagawa. This colony is now seriously threatened by roadworks planned for the area.

little Vegemite—jocular term for a person or fellow, but especially for a child.

little wattlebirdAnthochaera chrysoptera, a medium to large (26cm—30cm) honeyeater, but the smallest of the wattlebirds. It is mostly dark grey-brown above, with faint white shafts on each of the feathers. The underparts are grey and are heavily streaked with white. In flight, there is a large rufous patch in the wings. The eye is blue-grey. Birds of Western Australia have a red eye and a silver patch on the side of the throat; it is sometimes regarded as a different species. Little wattlebirds are found throughout south-eastern and south-western Australia and Tasmania. They prefer the drier and often scrubby, habitats, such as banksia heaths, forests, woodlands and urban parks and gardens. As with other honeyeaters they feed on nectar, which is obtained using a long, brush-tipped tongue, specially adapted to probing deep into flowers. Other food includes insects, flowers, berries and some seeds. Most feeding is done while perched, but some insects are caught in mid-air. Birds may feed alone or in small to large groups. Little wattlebirds may breed at any time of the year, but are most active in August to December. If conditions are suitable, as many as three broods may be raised in a year. The female normally constructs the nest, which is a large cup of twigs and grass lined with soft materials, such as feathers and wool. The nest may be placed in a range of places from the ground up to about 15m. The female also incubates the one to three eggs alone. Both sexes care for the young chicks, which remain in the nest for about 16 days.

littlie—a small child, tot.

littoral—of, or pertaining to, a shore, especially a sea shore.

littoral rainforest—similar to sub-tropical rainforest, but occurs close to the sea and exposed to salt-laden winds. Usually found on nutrient-enriched deep sands or soils derived from slates and basalts, it's considered more as a distinctive series of communities rather than a subform of rainforest. Combining the characteristics of both sub-tropical and dry rainforest types, it is distinguished by the prevailing wind-sheared upper tree canopy, with some communities displaying prominent stands of conifers such as hoop pine or plum pine, and featuring species such as tuckeroo. To experience Australia's largest remaining intact stand of littoral rainforest, a visit to the World Heritage-listed Ila Nature Reserve just north of Grafton is required, or you can make a day trip to Bundjalung National Park and enjoy the distinct coastal vegetation and rainforest types preserved there.

littoral zone—between the levels of low and high tide; the intertidal zone is often called the littoral zone in Australia.

live close to the knuckle—live poorly, with barely sufficient money to survive.

live in a box—to dwell in extremely confined, second-rate quarters.

live in a fool's paradise—to fantasise, have unrealistic notions and ideas so that (one's) happiness is only an illusion.

live in each other's pockets—live in close association with others, to the extent of losing privacy and individuality

.live on the smell of an oily rag—to have the ability to survive on the most meagre of incomes.

live out the back of beyond—live in a remote, sparsely populated district.

live to oneself—live in isolation.

liverish—1. suffering from a liver disorder. 2. peevish; glum.

Liverpool—the fourth oldest city in Australia, approximately an hour's drive from Sydney. Governor Lachlan Macquarie founded Liverpool in 1910 and named it after the Earl of Liverpool, then Secretary of State for the Colonies. The latest estimate of the population of Liverpool is 137,066 at 30 June 1998. A rich history of migration to the region mean that it is one of the most multicultural cities in Australia, with thriving Fijian, Italian, Lebanese, Indian, Vietnamese and British communities. The area has a strong working-class presence and manufacturing background, coupled with a history of army camps, military depots and internment facilities for enemy POW's during WWI. In February 1916 a drunken army riot including soldiers from Liverpool Camp. Troops broke into hotels to drain the bars and later commandeered a train to the city where the riot continued. One man was shot dead and six injured. This event resulted in ‘six-o'clock closing' being brought into New South Wales hotels.

Liverpool Plains—one of the richest, and historically most sought-after, agricultural areas in the Murray-Darling Basin and including the Namoi Valley. In 1829, Governor Ralph Darling had prohibited settlement beyond the Nineteen Counties because he did not have sufficient police to regulate the occupation of Crown lands at a further distance. Anyone who settled north of the Liverpool Range could not get legal title to this land. Land-hungry squatters took the risk, and some of the early ones acquired vast tracts of the colony's prime land. The district was finally surveyed in 1832, and settlers soon followed. Conflict between the early squatters and later settlers was intense, ultimately resulting in a major revision of Crown lands management. The 1.2-million hectare region is situated on the north-western slopes of NSW in the central-eastern part of the Brigalow Belt South bioregion. The plains are confined on the north by the Kaputar Ranges, on the south by the Liverpool Ranges, on the east by the Tamworth Fold Belt and on the west by the Warrumbungle Ranges and Pilliga Scrub.

Liverpool Range—discovered by government Land Surveyor John Oxley in 1818, settlement was delayed until the discovery of an access route through the range. In 1823, explorer Alan Cunningham made his way through the Range with the help of Aboriginal guides. Another route was discovered by Henry Dangar in 1824, while scouting for new pasture lands for the Australian Agricultural Company. Again in 1827, a pass through the range was discovered by farmer William Nowland, this one wide enough to allow for the droving of stock. Located in New South Wales.

Liyagalawumirri—an Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory.

lizard—1. a musterer. 2. a boundary rider.

Lizard Island National Park—93km north-east of Cooktown lies the magnificent Lizard Island group, which was declared a national park in 1939 with the surrounding islands given the same status in 1987. Lizard Island itself rises some 359m above sea level. The islands and surrounding waters are all part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The Australian Museum established a research station there in 1973, a resort followed soon after in 1975 and today tourism is a major focus of activity on the island and in the surrounding waters and coral reefs. Access to the islands is by private boat or air. Located in Far North Queensland.

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