Australian Dictionary

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Australia Decoded

Ticket of Leave Man

by Stannard & Son - This image is available from the National Library of Scotland under the sequence number or Shelfmark ID Weir 4(2). You can see this image in its original context, along with the rest of the Library's digital collections, in the NLS Digital Gallery, Public Domain, Link

termitaria—a nest built by a colony of termites; termite mounds.

termite mounds—in many parts of Australia, termite mounds dominate the landscape. They are among the most amazing feats of insect engineering. Termites mix together mud and saliva, which hardens to form a cement-like substance, and then use it to build mounds up to six metres in height. A single mound can take over 50 years to complete and can contain up to several million residents. The inside of a termite mound is just as amazing. Multiple chambers contain indoor gardens, nurseries and the queen’s special chamber. Most of the termite nest is actually underground, where a network of tubes and cavities can be up to 10m deep. The underground tunnels are the basis of an effective air-conditioning system. Warm air from inside the mound rises through the tunnels and escapes out of holes at the top. Fresh air is drawn back in and cooled in the underground chambers before being directed to the main living areas. There are different types of termite mounds, e.g., the cathedral termite mounds and the magnetic termite mounds.

terra australis—Latin for 'land of the south', or 'southern land'. European philosophers and mapmakers of the 16th century assumed a great southern continent existed south of Asia, because this supported their view of reason and balance. They called this hypothetical place Terra Australis, from which 'Australia' was derived. In 1770, James Cook proclaimed British sovereignty over the east coast of terra australis by raising the flag on Possession Island in the Torres Strait. The first recorded use of the word 'Australia' was by George Shaw in the 1794 publication of Zoology of New Holland: "The vast Island or rather Continent of Australia, Australasia, or New Holland, which has so lately attracted the particular attention of European navigators and naturalists, seems to abound in scenes of peculiar wildness and sterility."

terra australis incognita—the unknown southern land, seriously hypothesized or creatively imagined to exist somewhere below the equator.

terra nullius—the doctrine by which British settlement of Australia was justified. The proclamation of New South Wales Governor, Sir Richard Bourke, dated 10 October 1835 and issued through the Colonial Office, implemented and reinforced the concept that the land had belonged to no one prior to the British Crown taking possession of it. Aboriginal people therefore could not sell or assign the land, nor could an individual person acquire it, other than through distribution by the Crown. The publication of this proclamation within the colony also meant that from then on, people found in possession of land without government authorisation ("squatters") would be considered trespassers. Until 1992, the Australian courts insisted that the land was terra nullius and that the British had acquired sovereignty on the basis of occupation. In the 1889 case of Cooper v Stuart, which related to a grant of land in Queensland, the Privy Council expanded the application of the doctrine of terra nullius from unoccupied to ‘practically unoccupied’ lands. In the 1979 case of Coe v Commonwealth, which directly challenged the legitimacy of Crown sovereignty over Australia, the doctrine of terra nullius was expanded yet again, this time to apply to lands which ‘by European standards, had no civilised inhabitants or settled law’. In February 1987, Justice Moynihan began hearing the facts of the case in the Supreme Court of Queensland. He visited the Murray Islands to gather evidence about the nature of life among the Meriam people at the time of European contact and today. These findings were later used by the High Court in its decision in Mabo. On 3 June 1992, the High Court handed down its judgment, stating that: the doctrine of terra nullius should not have been applied to Australia; the doctrine of native title is part of the common law of Australia; the source of native title is traditional connection with or occupation of land; the nature and content of native title is determined by the nature of the traditional laws and customs of the claimants.

Terrace Falls—historic tracks and stone stairs are hidden amongst fern-filled gullies, cascading pools, ancient rainforest trees and stunning rock formations. Located in the Blue Mountains National Park, NSW.

terrace house—any of a row of houses joined by party-walls. They are the quintessentially Melbourne building type of the mid-19th century. The earliest are in Fitzroy and St Kilda. The earliest surviving terrace is the first stage of Glass Terrace, 72-74 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy (1853-54). Next is Royal Terrace, 50-68 Nicholson Street (cnr Gertrude Street, 1853-58). 5 Upper Esplanade was built in 1855, Eden Terrace, 4-18 Dalgety Street, St Kilda (1855-57), 24 Princes Street St Kilda (1856), Glass Terrace second stage at 68, 70, 76 & 78 Gertrude Street (1856) and 39-49 Brunswick Street (1857-58).

Terre Napoleon—as First Consul of France, Napoleon personally supported the expedition of Nicolas Baudin to Australia in 1800 whereupon the French mapped the coastline of Australia again. They managed to give four hundred French names to ports and bays around the coastline they charted. Thus the Spencer Gulf off South Australia was named ‘Golfe Bonaparte’, the Gulf of St Vincent off Adelaide was christened ‘Golfe Josephine’, while the coastal strip of land stretching from modern-day South Australia to Victoria was named ‘Terre Napoleon’, to give but a few examples. It was therefore no wonder that the British Governor King at the convict settlement of New South Wales quickly dispatched an expedition of his own to Tasmania in order to establish a British outpost there when Baudin arrived in port.

terribly—very; extremely.

Terry, Michael—(1899—1981) surveyor, explorer and author. Michael Terry settled in Australia in 1918. He was the leader of fourteen inland Australia expeditions between 1923 and 1935, mainly working for Adelaide mining companies seeking minerals: 1922—1923, crossed Australia from Winton, Queensland, to Broome, Western Australia in a car; 1925, led an expedition with caterpillar-track trucks from Darwin in the Northern Territory to Broome, Western Australia; 1928, led an expedition with six-wheel trucks from Port Hedland in Western Australia to Melbourne, Victoria; 1929—1933, led several expeditions to various parts of central Australia; 1934—1936, prospected near Laverton, Western Australia.

tertiary education—education, especially in a college or university, that follows secondary education.

test cricket—an international cricket match, esp. one of a series.

test match—the longest form of the sport of cricket, and regarded by players and serious cricket fans as the ultimate test of playing ability as compared to one-day international cricket. Test matches are played only between national representative teams selected from the best players within a particular nation. Match Conduct Test cricket is played over five days. With the comparatively high scores in cricket, only two ties have occurred over the entire history of several thousand test match games. The first Offical Laws of Cricket were implemented in February 1774 when a group of gentlemen and nobles met at the Star and Garter in Pall Mall to formally lay down a set of laws that would be followed by every cricketer, team and official in England. The first test match was played between England and Australia in 1877, with the creation of the famous "Ashes" trophy in 1882 after Australia easily beat the Marylebone Cricket Club team, which was not a Test match, interestingly enough. Except in times of conflict, regular series of test matches between these two countries have continued until this day.

Thaayorre—an Aboriginal people who are traditionally from Pormpuraaw and the areas to the east and south towards Kowanyama and including the Coleman River. People survived by fishing, hunting and gathering bush tucker. Superintendent J W Chapman established Pormpuraaw as an Anglican Mission in 1938. Many of the previously dispersed peoples from the surrounding lands came to live in the new mission settlement, which remained the Edward River Mission until 1967 when the Anglican Church handed the administration of the community to the Queensland government. In 1987 the community changed its name to Pormpuraaw, taken from the local Dreamtime story about a burnt hut, or pormpur in the Ku Thaayorre language of the traditional owners. Nowadays the population of 700 remains predominantly people of Aboriginal decent with a strong attachment to their history and culture. Many families now have homeland outstations on their traditional land. The Thaayorre people from the south mainly speak Ku Thaayorre and related dialects, with some speaking Ku Yak or languages from further south. Many traditional art and crafts are still practiced, such as the weaving of dilly bags from cabbage palm leaves, dot painting, spear making and canoe carving.

Thanaquith—an Aboriginal people of Queensland.

that—an intensifier meaning so, very much: e.g., He was that rude!

that was a bit rich—that (joke, language, act, behaviour etc) was in bad taste, not socially acceptable, too strong, excessive.

that way inclined—homosexual.

that's got whiskers on it!—an expression of one's dislike of, displeasure with (something).

that's torn it!—that (action, occurrence etc) has ruined, spoiled, messed up (something).

thatching grassGahnia filum, a tussock-type sedge which grows up to 1.5m tall in mildly saline areas subject to occasional freshwater inundation. The plants are perennials with woody rhizomes, and form dense tussocks that may be up to a metre across. The leaves are quite dark green and hard, with the ability to cut if mishandled. The flowering heads rise above the tussock and are a dark reddish-brown. The flowering and seed heads are distinctive in late spring and early summer. Also known as chaffy saw-sedge, salt cutting grass.

The Alice—colloquialism for the city of Alice Springs.

the big A—the arse, the axe, dismissal from a job, position etc.

the big spit—vomit.

the big sticks—(Australian Rules football) the goals.

The Breadknife—a volcanic dyke of trachyte, a weather-resistant rock. This form was attained from a molten intrusion into a crack within a huge shield volcano, 13-17 million years ago. Located in the Warrumbungle National Park.

The Centre—Central Australia, the country's harsh heartland. This is Back of Beyond, the ancient Never-Never Land celebrated in Henry Lawson’s bush poetry. In this desert region, contrasts are stark and dramatic. This seemingly barren land is teaming with life that has learned to adapt and to function in absolute accordance with the demands of an ancient and very dominant nature. As in any desert, temperatures can vary radically between day and night. And here, the seasons are sharply divided in two: The Wet, when torrents of rain bring the desert alive; and The Dry, the drought that marks most months of the year. At this time, the cloudless, cerulean-blue sky wraps seamlessly around the bright orange-red earth. All in the landscape is thrown into brilliant relief by a relentless white light, quite unlike that in most parts of the world. The night sky presents a breath-taking display, the size and number of stars exceeding anything seen anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. For two hundred years, people have said that if go to The Centre, you’ll never, never come back. The debate continues over whether this is because you’ll die there, or simply never never want to return to the Big Smoke.

the chop—(see: the big A).

the Cross—1. King's Cross—a lively, sophisticated and entertaining area of Sydney. 2. the Southern Cross star formation. 3. the cross Jesus was crucified on.

the dinkum oil—true and correct advice or information.

The Don—Sir Donald Bradman—best all-round cricket player.

the done thing—the socially accepted, correct thing to do.

the full bore—the maximum, especially of power: e.g., We gave it the full bore when we took it for a test-drive.

the full treatment—1. severe criticism, punishment. 2. the best service available.

the full two bob—1. genuine; real; sincere. 2. of sound mind; mentally sound.

the gallops/gee-gees—the horse-races.

the go—1. state of affairs; situation: e.g. What's the go? 2. energy; enthusiasm: e.g. He's got a lot of go in him. 3. definite arrangement: e.g. The party's a go for next Friday. 4. attack; fight: e.g. That dog looks savage enough to go anyone who steps through the gate.

the good oil—true and correct advice or information.

The Great Northern—the Great Northern Railway.

The Grotto—located a few kilometres west of Kununurra is a small canyon named The Grotto. Many waterfalls run into this canyon, which contains a safe and natural swimming hole at the bottom. Located in Western Australia.

the house that Jack built—venereal disease clinic.

The Lakes National Park—a peaceful bushland retreat in the Gippsland Lakes, fringed by the waters of Lake Victoria and Lake Reeve. The park occupies 2390ha of low-lying woodland and coastal heath, comprising Sperm Whale Head Peninsula, and Rotamah and Little Rotamah islands. These three geological features are essentially sand barriers that built up over thousands of years by deposition from the sea. Eucalypt and banksia woodland are widespread on the sandy soils, and areas of coastal heath are interspersed with swampy, low-lying areas that support salt marsh vegetation. Natural bushland has regenerated and much of the wildlife has returned to the area since its declaration as parkland. More than 190 species of birds have been recorded in the park, including the rare white-bellied sea eagle and the endangered little tern. The park also supports a large population of eastern grey kangaroos and black wallabies, and both brush-tailed and ring-tailed possums are common. Less common mammals include sugar gliders, pygmy possums and the endangered New Holland mouse. The rare large-footed myotis is one of eleven bat species also found within the park. Eucalypt and banksia woodland are widespread on the sandy soils, and areas of coastal heath are interspersed with swampy, low-lying areas that support salt marsh vegetation. From August to November, the park is at its best with a spectacular show of wildflowers and one of the best displays of native orchids in Australia. The Lakes National Park is located in East Gippsland about 300km east of Melbourne, Victoria.

The Lakes region—1. the Gippsland Lakes region within East Gippsland, Victoria. 2. any area or region surrounding a series of lakes, as determined by context of the written or spoken word in which such reference is made.

the mind boggles—one is astounded, amazed at.

The Narrows—the eastern entrance to Westernport Bay, giving access to Lake Albert and Meningie. Because it is a geologically new river, The Narrows have no banks; instead, the levees prevent the river from spreading out over a vast area, except during flooding. In the past, frequent flooding fostered the creation of a red gum forest, with banksia and native pines dominating the sand ridges at the retreating edge of prior lakes. The Narrows flows into the Goulburn River from the Murray River. Located in Westernport Bay, Victoria.

the old cheese/dear—one's mother.

the old dears—one's parents.

the old heave-ho—dismissal from one's job, position; the sack.

the old one-two—a beating or severe censure.

the penny finally dropped—understanding, comprehension suddenly came.

the push—dismissal, sacking, firing from one's job, position.

The Rock—(see: Uluru).

The Rocks—set on Sydney Harbour, The Rocks can offer everything from boutique shops to fine art galleries as well as restaurants, street entertainment, historical buildings, and many artefacts from a much earlier Sydney. As the landing place of 1400 men, women and children in 1788 (over half being convicts), The Rocks provides a fascinating look at Australian history. Just over 200 years ago, Captain Arthur Phillip brought his fleet of 10 square-rigged sailing ships to anchor in the peaceful little bay that was to become known as Sydney Cove. With his ships, his crews, farm stock, a handful of settlers, an array of marines and the prisoners in their charge, Phillip established the farthest-flung outpost of the British Empire. One of Phillip's first acts on arrival was to send ashore working parties of convicts to clear the land for the tents and bark shelters which would house the settlers. Much of the settlement was established on the western shore of Sydney Cove, a hillside characterised by its prominent outcrops of sandstone, which was used in many of the original buildings. These have been restored and, along with the cobbled lanes and stairs, the whole district has an Old World ambience. The district came to be known as The Rocks—the foundation place of Sydney and colonial Australia's most significant historical site.

the things you see when you haven't got a gun!—expression of amazement, wonder.

the treatment—(see: the full treatment).

the turning of the fagus—(see: deciduous beech).

the Wet—the rainy season in tropical climates.

the whole hoo-ha—the whole kit and caboodle; everything.

there are no flies on (someone)!—(someone) is smart, alert, not to be underestimated, clever.

thick ear—a beating, hiding, physical assault.

thick-billed grasswrenAmytornis textilis ; there are two subspecies which are sometimes treated as separate species—A. t. textilis, found in Western Australia, and A. t. modestus, found in the Northern Territory, north-east South Australia and central New South Wales. Inhabits low bushes in open country, grass, saltbush. A. t. modestus is listed as Endangered on the schedules of the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act.

thick-tailed geckoUnderwoodisaurus milii is a nocturnal reptile and is often found under wood that has been collected for campfires. It is dark brownish-purple with yellow or white spots and a white belly, and up to 12 cm long. The thick-tailed gecko has the unusual habit of licking its eyes. It is thought to be a form of preening after feeding to keep the eye shields clean. Habitat varies from arid inland to coastal forests.

thickened cream—whipping cream.

Thijssen, François—in 1627, together with a Dutch official, Pieter Nuyts, in the Gulden Zeepard, after meeting the southern coast of the Australian continent, explored to the head of the Great Australian Bight and beyond. They entered Fowlers Bay and reached the archipelago later named after Nuyts by Matthew Flinders.

thin edge of the wedge—small beginning or situation that may lead to something greater, more significant; only a small part of the total.

thin on the ground—rare; uncommon.

thin up top—balding.

things are crook (at Tallarook)—expression for any bad, unpleasant, unsuccessful situation.

things will come right—everything will work out.

this arvo—this afternoon.

this side of the Black Stump—an imaginary point of reference: e.g., That's the best pub this side of the Black Stump.

this-an'-that—(rhyming slang) hat.

thongs—rubber sandals with a thong between big and second toe; flip-flops.

thornback—the marine fish Raja lemprieri of southern Australia, having thorn-like spines on the dorsal surface.

thornbill—any Australian warbler of the genus Acanthiza.

thorny devil—the small, spiny lizard Moloch horridus is slow-moving and appears to take two steps forward then one step back. Thorny devils are found through most of arid inland Australia, in two quite different habitats: spinifex-sandplain and sandridge deserts of the interior, and the mallee belt of southern South Australia and south-western Western Australia. The geographic distribution of thorny devils corresponds more closely to the distribution of sandy and sandy loam soils than to any climatological field. It feeds exclusively on ants and eats them in the millions.

thought all (one's) Christmases had come at once—1. to believe falsely that (one) has had an extraordinary stroke of good fortune. 2. to feel extremely elated over some extraordinary good fortune. 3. to have received  severe fright or close call in which (one) faced grave, life-threatening danger.

thousand million—a billion.

thrash—defeat soundly, easily.

Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995—outlines the duties of the NPWS in protecting threatened species, communities and critical habitat in New South Wales. An independent Scientific Committee has been set up under the Act to determine which species, populations and ecological communities should be listed as endangered, vulnerable or extinct under the Act, and also to determine key threatening processes. The Act was amended in October 2002.

three parts gone/pissed—intoxicated; drunk.

Three Sisters—according to anAboriginal Dreamtime story, the three huge rock formation were once three beautiful sisters named Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo from the Katoomba tribe. The three sisters fell in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe but their tribal laws forbade their marriage. The three brothers did not accept this law and tried to capture the three sisters by force. This caused a major tribal battle and the lives of the three sisters were thus threatened. A witchdoctor decided to turn the sisters into rocks in order to protect them and thought to reverse the spell only after the battle. Unfortunately, he was killed in the battle and the three sisters remain as the magnificent rock formations still, standing at 922m, 918m, and 906m respectively in the Blue Mountains, NSW.

three-lined knob-tailed gecko—there are seven species of knob-tail geckos. They are large (sometimes as long as an adult human hand), with short, knob-ended tails which are twitched when their owners are alarmed. Knob-tail geckos have enormous heads and powerful jaws, which deal easily with their prey of insect, spiders, scorpions and other geckos.

three-nerve wattleAcacia trineura, an erect or spreading shrub, 2m—3m high; bark smooth, grey. Flowers August-October. Grows usually in mallee in red earths; mainly in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia.

three-on-the-tree—a car having three forward gears on a column shift.

three-quarter (back)—(rugby football) any of three or four players just behind the half-backs.

Threlkeld, Reverend Lancelot Edward—born in London, England, he was a Congregational minister and missionary, formerly with the London Missionary Society in the Society Islands and NSW (Belmont, Lake Macquarie) until dismissed from the LMS in 1829. Threlkeld published a number of linguistic works, including Specimens of a Dialect (1827), An Australian Grammar (published in 1834 by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge), An Australian Spelling Book (1836) and A Key to the Structure of the Aboriginal Language (1850).

thrombolite—the only known form of life on Earth as ancient as from 3500 million to 650 million years ago. Thrombolites and the stromatolites they constructed dominated the shallow seas of this period and formed extensive reef tracts rivalling those of modern coral reefs. Similar organisms helped to form the rich iron-ore deposits of the Hamersley Range, in the Pilbara's Karijini National Park, some 2000 million years ago. At that time, oxygen made up only one per cent of the atmosphere. When there was no more iron to precipitate, the free oxygen leaked into the atmosphere until it formed 21 per cent of atmospheric gases. Today, living examples of these once completely dominant organisms are restricted to only a few. Scientists have suggested that their continuing existence requires a continual up-welling of fresh groundwater, which is high in calcium carbonate. The micro-organisms living in this shallow lake environment are able to precipitate calcium carbonate from the waters as they photosynthesise, forming the mineralised structure that is the thrombolite.

throughflow—the amount of water that passes through a given area.

throw a seven—1. die. 2. faint, collapse. 3. vomit. 4. become angry; lose one's temper.

throw a tanty—have a tantrum.

throw a turn—1. throw a party. 2. become suddenly angry, furious, violent.

throw a wobbly—become suddenly angry, violent, furious.

throw in—give up; abandon: e.g., Why did you throw in your job?

throw it in—1. accept, concede defeat; give up: e.g., He's so old it's about time he threw it in and let a younger man take over. 2. stop, cease work. 3. give (it) up; abandon.

throw off at—criticise; ridicule; deride: e.g., He's always throwing off at any suggestion I try to make.

throw (one's) hat in first—to test public opinion, reception.

throw out the anchors—to suddenly apply the brakes of a car.

throw-in—1. the throwing in of a football during play. 2. a stroke of unexpected good luck.

throwing-stick—a woomera.

thump-wit—stupid person; fool; dolt; idiot.

thumping—severe beating or sound defeat: e.g., He got a thumping for giving cheek to abloke twice his size!

thumping big/great—huge; remarkable.

thunder birds—a group of extinct flightless birds that only lived in Australia. One of the largest birds that ever lived if not the largest was a giant called Dromornis. Standing about 3m tall, it weighed more than 400kg. The last thunder bird died out between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago. They were not related to emus, despite looking very similar; they may be more closely related to waterfowl.


thundering—big; very great; extraordinary.

Thurrawal—an Aboriginal people of New South Wales.

Thursday Island—the administrative centre for the Torres Strait islands, which have been part of Queensland since 1872. "T.I." as it's usually known, is just over 3sq km in area, and 39km off the top of Cape York. In 1880, the Island acted as the defence centre for Australia, and evidence of this still exists in that the cannon remains. At one time T.I. was also a major pearling centre, and pearlers' cemeteries tell the tale of what a hard and dangerous occupation this was.

thylacine—(see also: Tasmanian tiger) as symbol, art object and metaphor, the thylacine holds lofty status, being accorded a degree of patriotic regard and a degree of reverence, achieving something of the symbolism of the unicorn in literature and heraldry, and becoming a sporting icon. The thylacine has about it a sufficiently powerful and ambiguous mystique that it is able to comfortably represent and embrace much that is Tasmanian. Thus, in a display of unintentional dark humour, a pair of heraldic thylacines stands rampant in the state's coat of arms, supporting and protecting a ram in the centre of the shield. It may also be seen on Tasmanian car licence plates and is the fetching logo of the city of Launceston. A TV station, a furniture removal company, a fruit and vegetable wholesaler, an abalone company, a bus line, a supermarket, a publisher, craft stalls at Hobart's famous Salamanca Market, retailers of tourist kitsch and many others merrily trade under and off the tiger identity.

Thylacinus cynocephalus—(see Tasmanian tiger).

Thylacoleo carnifex—(see marsupial lion).

T.I.—Thursday Island.

ti-tree—the common name for plants in the Cordyline genus. These woody, liliaceous plants are found in New Zealand and the South Pacific region. Commonly confused with the Australian tea tree (Melaleuca genus).

Tibooburra—located 340km north of Broken Hill, Tibooburra is the essence of an outback town. Named after the ancient granite tors that surround the village, the goldfields of the Tibooburra region was originally known as "The Granites" and formed part of the Albert Goldfields. Tibooburra is home to the National Parks and Wildlife Servic. The Royal Flying Doctor Service visits each Tuesday for a clinic. Pioneer Park, at the northern end of Briscoe Street, is a community developed park featuring a replica of Charles Sturt's boat, and other memorabilia from early days in the region.

tich—1. (cap.) nickname for a small person. 2. a very small amount of anything.

tick—moment; 1. a very short time: e.g., I'll be with you in a tick. 2. check: e.g., Don't forget to tick the box on the form.

ticket—1. desirable or correct thing to do: e.g., That's the ticket! 2. blotting-paper impregnated with LSD. 3. a document certifying that the bearer is a member of a trade union (no ticket, no start). 4. a certificate of discharge from the army. 5. a certificate of qualification as a ship's master, pilot, etc.

Ticket of Leave—(hist.) The ticket system was first introduced by Governor Philip Gidley King in 1801. It officially began in 1853 when prisoners transported from the United Kingdom to Australia, and subsequently other colonies, who had served a period of probation—and shown by their good behaviour that they could be allowed certain freedoms—were awarded the ticket of leave. Once granted, a convict was permitted to seek employment within a specified district, but could not leave the district without the permission of the government or the district's resident magistrate. Each change of employer or district was recorded on the ticket. Originally, the ticket of leave was given without any relation to the period of the sentence being served. Starting in 1811, a concept of serving some term in prison first was established; and in 1821 specific terms were added to the length of the prisoners sentence that must be first served before a ticket was to be allowed. These were 4 years served for a 7 year sentence, 6 years of a 14 year sentence, with a life sentence meaning that 8 years must be served before the ticket could be considered. Ticket-of-leave men were permitted to marry, or to bring their families from Britain, and to acquire property, but they were not permitted to carry firearms or board a ship. They were often required to repay the cost of their passage to the colony. A convict who observed the conditions of his ticket-of-leave until the completion of one half of his sentence was entitled to a conditional pardon, which removed all restrictions except the right to leave the colony. Convicts who did not observe the conditions of their ticket could be arrested without warrant, tried without recourse to the Supreme Court, and would forfeit their property. The ticket of leave had to be renewed annually, and those with one had to attend muster and church services. The ticket itself was a highly detailed document, listing the place and year the convict was tried, the name of the ship in which he or she was transported, and the length of the sentence. There was also a detailed physical description of the convict, along with year of birth, former occupation and 'native place'.

tickety-boo—all right; in order.

tickle the peter/till—to misappropriate funds; to rob, pilfer, steal from a till or cash-register: e.g., He was accused of tickling the peter.

tickled (one's) tonsils—highly amused (one).

tidal wetlands—sheltered waters along the coast which are affected by both tides and freshwater run-off. Tidal wetlands consist of salt marshes, mangroves and seagrass beds. They occur around Australia in shallow, protected coastal areas, such as bays and estuaries. Tidal wetlands function as 'kidneys', filtering and removing excess nutrients from the water that flows through them. They also stabilise the coastline, preventing erosion during storms. In addition, wetlands act as nurseries for many species of fish and prawns. Extensive areas of wetland are cleared for ports and marinas, residential and commercial developments and agricultural needs. For example, most of the sugarcane grown in Queensland is on reclaimed tidal wetlands. Once wetlands are drained, the soil becomes extremely acidic and much of this acid enters the ground water when it rains. The acid is then washed into creeks, sometimes causing massive fish kills. Removal of wetlands also causes a loss of habitat for many plants and animals, as well as resulting in coastal erosion.

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve—on the fringe of Namadgi National Park, it is a short drive from Canberra. Tidbinbilla has a wide variety of bushwalks—ranging from 30 minutes to over 6 hours. It also is a native habitat for kangaroos, wallabies, platypus, koalas, lyrebirds, emus and other wildlife. Ninety-nine percent of the park was burnt out in the Bendora bushfire of 18 January 2003, resulting in the loss of countless numbers of wildlife. Only one koala, six rock wallabies, five potoroos, four freckled ducks and nine black swans survived the bushfire. The Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is across the road from the Tidbinbilla Deep Space Tracking Station, part of the NASA Deep Space Network.

tiddler—1. something very small, especially a fish. 2. a child.

tiddly—slightly drunk, intoxicated.

tied island—an island that has been connected to the mainland by a tombolo.

tiers—(in Victoria and South Australia) a forested mountain range.

tiger for punishment—extremely energetic, hard worker; one who persists with something, even though the consequences may be unpleasant.

tiger quollDasyurus maculatus, a carnivorous marsupial of the quoll genus Dasyurus. With males and females weighing around 3.5 g and 1.8kg, respectively, it is mainland Australia's largest, and the world's longest (the biggest is the Tasmanian devil), living carnivorous marsupial and it is considered an apex predator. Two subspecies are recognised, the nominate is found in wet forests of south-eastern Australia and Tasmania, and a northern subspecies, D. m. gracilis, is found in a small area of northern Queensland and is endangered. The tiger quoll has relatively short legs, but has a tail as long as its body and head combined. It has a thick head and neck and a slightly rounded and enlongated snout. It has five toes on each foot, both front and hind, and the hind feet have well-developed halluxes. Its long, pink foot pads are ridged, an adaptation for its arboreal lifestyle, which makes up for the fact that its tail is not prehensile. The tiger quoll has a reddish-brown pelage with white spots, and colourations do not change seasonally. It is the only quoll species with spots on its tail in addition to its body. Its fur and skin are covered in orange-brown coloured oil. The underside is typically grayish or creamy white. The average length of D. m. maculatus is 930mm for males and 811mm for females, respectively. The tiger quoll is found in eastern Australia where there are more than 600mm of rainfall per year. Historically, the quoll was present throughout south-eastern Queensland, though eastern New South Wales, Victoria, south-eastern South Australia, and Tasmania. European settlement has severely decimated and fragmented the quoll's mainland distribution. They were once native to Flinders and King Islands, but were extirpated since the 20th century, so are not present on Tasmanian offshore islands. Tiger quolls live in a variety of habitats, but seem to prefer wet forests such as rainforests and closed eucalypt forest. They are arboreal, but only moderately, as 11% of their travelling is done above ground. Prey items eaten by quolls include insects, crayfish, lizards, snakes, birds, domestic poultry, small mammals, platypus, rabbits, arboreal possums, pademelons, small wallabies, and wombats. They may scavenge larger prey such as kangaroos, feral pigs, cattle, and dingoes. When hunting, a quoll stalks its prey, stopping only when its head is up. It then launches its attack, executing a killing bite to the base of the skull or top of the neck, depending on the size of the prey. Quolls, in turn, may be preyed on by Tasmanian devils and masked owls in Tasmania and dingos and dogs in mainland Australia. It may also be preyed on by wedge-tailed eagles and large pythons. Tiger quolls are generally nocturnal and rest during the day in dens. However, juveniles and females with young in the den can be seen during the day. Quoll dens take the form of underground burrows, caves, rock crevices, tree hollows, hollow logs, or under houses or sheds. Quolls move by walking and bounding gaits. For the tiger quoll, olfactory and auditory signals are used more often than visual signals when communicating. Tiger quolls reproduce seasonally. They mate in midwinter (June/July), but females can breed as early as April. For the time the young is in the pouch, a female rests on her sides. After the young have left the pouch, females stay in nests they have built. For their first 50-60 days of life, the young cannot see, so they rely on vocalizations and touch to find their mother or siblings. It stops when their eyes open after 70 days. Young are not carried on the back, but they do rest on their mother, and cling to her when frightened. The young become more independent of their mothers—and the mothers more aggressive towards the young—by 100 days. The tiger quoll is listed by the IUCN on the Red List of Threatened Species with the status "near threatened". The Australian Department of the Environment and Heritage considers the northern subspecies D. m. gracilis as endangered. This species is vulnerable to decline for a number of reasons. It requires certain climates and habitats, it tends to live in low densities, it's likely to compete with introduced predators, requires lots of space and does not live very long. Also known as the spotted-tail quoll, the spotted quoll, the spotted-tailed dasyure or (erroneously) the tiger cat.

tiger snakeNotechis scutatus, a usually timid species which, like most snakes, usually retreats at the approach of a human. The Tasmanian tiger snake has recently been shown to be the same species as that which occurs on the south-eastern Australian mainland (Notechis scutatus). The markings are extremely variable and should not be used in isolation to identify snakes. Colours range from jet black through yellow/orange with grey bands to sandy grey with no bands. The head is broad and blunt. Male tiger snakes reach a greater size (1m—2m) than females and have larger heads. Wide ranging, from dry rocky areas, to woodlands, to wet marshes and grasslands. They become inactive over winter, retreating into rodent burrows, hollow logs and tree stumps. Groups of as many as 26 juvenile snakes have been found overwintering in the same place. Generally, tiger snakes do not stay in the same place for more than 15 days, males being especially prone to wandering. They feed mainly on mammals and birds under 300g in weight; they habitually raid birds nests and have been found climbing trees to a height of 8m. They also eat other vertebrates including lizards, smaller snakes, frogs and occasionally fish.

Tigers/Tiges—1. Richmond VFL football team. 2. Balmain New South Wales Rugby League football team.

tiggy—children's game of chasing and catching (tigging) others.

tight as a Scotchman's purse—miserly; mean; parsimonious.

tight spot—1. a predicament or difficulty. 2. short of money; broke.

Tim Tams—famous chocolate biscuit make by Arnott's, the foremost Australian biscuit bakery.

timber getters—lumberjacks.

time out of mind—extending beyond memory or recorded history.

time to pack it in—1. time to give up, opt out, leave, abandon. 2. time to finish work, a job, an activity etc

.Timor Sea—the waters to the north-west of Australia are known as the Timor Sea, a petroleum and natural gas-rich body of water between Australia and Indonesia.

tin—(a...) a can.

tin arse—an unusually lucky person.

Tin Can Bay—a small centre of over 2000 people, on the mainland, opposite the southern end of Fraser Island. It is situated in a sheltered position within a deep but narrow inlet which is further protected from the ocean's raw force by a peninsula that juts out from the mainland near Rainbow Beach, on the other side of the inlet. European settlement was established here around 1870. The headland, which reaches out to Norman Point, was the location of one of the State's earliest railways, which was constructed to transport logs to the shoreline from whence they were relayed, via raft, to the mills of Maryborough. Later the settlement became, and remains, a fishing village centred on prawning. It is said that Tin Can Bay's name survives as a kind of homophone, from the Aboriginal place name of Tuncanbar, which is thought to have referred to the dugongs which still frequent the area—along with the sea turtles, birds and friendly dolphins, which come right in to the shore for a feed and a frolic. It is one of only three places around the whole of Australia where you can permissably hand feed dolphins in the wild. The surrounding area is a wetland system built on a perched aquifer. Wave action and sand movement have created small dunes at the foreshore edge. The open woodland area of blue gum, bloodwood, banksia, melaleuca and cabbage-tree palms provides food and shelter for a variety of forest and social birds such as magpies and butcherbirds. Located 245km north of Brisbane, Queensland. 

tin hat—a military steel helmet.

tin lid—(rhyming slang) kid.

tin roof—galvanized iron roof.

tin scratcher—one who mines surface deposits of tin

.tin-arse/bum—a person who always seems to get amazingly good luck or fortune.

tin-dish—a shallow vessel used in alluvial gold-mining.

tin-tack—an iron tack.

Tinaroo Falls Dam—allows conservation of the waters of the Barron River and the utilization of this water to irrigate some 9000ha annually in portions of the basins of the Barron, Walsh and Mitchell rivers at the northern end of the Atherton Tableland. Some 800 farms are supplied with water from the channel system or by private diversion from streams supplemented by Tinaroo Falls Dam. The storage assures urban supplies to several local authorities, and has the capacity to mitigate flood run-off in the Barron River. Water is also released into the Barron River to stabilize the flow and provide an assured supply to the Barron Gorge Hydro Electric Power Station at Kuranda.

tingiringi gum—the bark is dark gray on the lower trunk and sheds in ribbons, smooth and green-gray above. Leaves are slightly glaucous. Found native in the high mountain country of New South Wales, eastern Victoria (Mount Erica, Mount Hotham, Brumby Point, Mount Tingiringi and Canberra along the Tinderry and Tidbinbilla Ranges). Distinguished from other related species by its larger, cylindrical, glaucous fruits. The foliage on this species is quite attractive and the shedding bark is an asset as well. The term glaucous describes the "blue-green foliage with a white coating on the leaves". It branches fairly well and has an attractive scent.

tingle—a telephone call: e.g., Give me a tingle some time.

tingle treeEucalyptus Jacksonii, a very tall but shallow-rooted eucalypt with buttressed trunks. The bulbous lower trunks are sometimes hollowed out by bushfires, while the tree lives on. Many of these trees are over 400 years old and can reach heights of 60m and a base circumference of 16m at maturity.

tinned dog—nickname the miners gave to the tinned beef they ate on their way to the Yilgarn Goldfields in the late 1800s

.tinned food—canned food.

tinner—1. a tin-miner. 2. a tinsmith.

tinnie—a can of beer.

tinny—1. extremely lucky or fortunate: e.g., He's so tinny! He always wins the raffles. 2. not durable; cheap; shoddy; inferior. 3. a can of beer. 4. small aluminium boat, often fitted with an outboard motor.

tinsel—"icicles" for decorating a Christmas tree.

tinsel town—(caps.) Sydney. 2. sophisticated city, all glitter rather than substance.

tinselly—gaudy; cheap; showy; flashy but second-class; pretentious.

tip—1. a rubbish dump. 2. informal information: e.g., Fleeb is tipped to be Kylie's leading man in the next play.

tip (someone) the wink—give important information, advice to (someone).

tip the bucket on (someone)—criticise (someone) scathingly; make scandalous revelations about (someone).

tip truck—garbage truck.

tipper—a truck with a tray that may be raised and lowered automatically.

tippler—a heavy drinker of alcohol.

Tirari-Stuart Stony Desert—the desert extends into the horizon, an endless landscape of arid stony plains and gibber. Sparse saltbush scrubs dot the landscape and are an important sheep fodder. The Tirari Desert is especially known for its large sand dunes, and important fossil deposits have been discovered here. Farther south, the Gawler Range Volcanics are majestic, rounded hills. And rugged mountain scenery is found in the Flinders Range, complete with steep forested gorges. The hot, arid deserts have a unique range of animals, from small marsupials to invertebrates, all of which have evolved remarkable adaptations to the harsh environment.

tit for tat—repayment, especially retaliation; revenge; reprisal.

tit-bit—a small amount; tidbit.

titch—1. a tiny amount. 2. a small person.

titfer—(rhyming slang; tit for tat) hat.

tittle-tattle—1. idle gossip, especially the revealing of confidential or private matters. 2. person who informs on, betrays others. 3. to inform on, betray someone.

Tiwi—an indigenous group of people and their language. Tiwi is spoken on groups of large islands off the coast of the Northern Territory. The Tiwi people lead a relatively traditional lifestyle, and their language is 'strong' in that some form of the language is spoken by nearly all people of that ethnicity in all generations. The speech of young people differs radically from that spoken by the older people but is not a form of English or a regional Creole.

Tiwi Cobourg bioregion—this coastal region includes Australia's second and fifth largest islands (Melville and Bathurst Island in the Tiwi islands), Croker Island and the adjacent Cobourg Peninsula. Coastal vegetation includes some mangroves and saline flats, although this bioregion lacks the large rivers which influence vegetation patterning in other coastal regions. Most of this bioregion is covered by eucalypt tall open forests, typically dominated by Darwin woollybutt, Darwin stringybark and Melville Island bloodwood, but often with northern cypress-pine and the tall palm, northern kentia co-dominant. The Tiwi Islands support a relatively high density and total area of monsoon rainforest patches, with distinctive species composition. There are also substantial areas of a distinctive "treeless plain" vegetation. This bioregion is of low relief, with laterite and Cretaceous sandstone the dominant substrates. The Tiwi Islands support about 20 endemic plant and vertebrate animal taxa. The bioregions contains some important marine turtle breeding sites, and a Ramsar wetland on the Cobourg Peninsula. The bioregion is entirely Aboriginal land.

Tiwi Islands—collectively, Bathurst and Melville islands, off the Northern Territory coast. The land on both islands is heavily forested, mainly with eucalyptus, stringy bark ironwood, woolly-butt, and paperbark. The bush provides a habitat for many different animals, including wallaby, possum, bandicoot, snake, lizard, flying fox and numerous bird species. Mangroves line the estuaries, providing a habitat for a multitude of sea life, including cockles, mud crabs, mangrove 'worms' (actually shellfish) and many varieties of fish, especially barramundi. Tiwi believe ningawi—mysterious little people who are linked to ceremony—also inhabit the mangroves.

tizz/tizzy—1. state of flustered confusion. 2. gaudy; tawdry; showy and pretentious; e.g., Her clothes are so tizz!

tizz up—attempt to improve the appearance of, often in a tawdry manner.

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