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OzPic: Picturing the Australian Environment

OzPic is hosted by Macquarie Dictionary Editor, Susan Butler. Each episode focuses on a particular feature of the Australian environment including the origin of the words associated with that environment, and changes in their meanings throughout history. We invite all listeners to submit a photo that depicts an aspect of the Australia environment on our website, for possible inclusion in the dictionary online. OzPic was produced by media partner ABC Local Radio.
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Nov 30, 2018

The Editor, Susan Butler, explores the ways early settlers had to come to terms with a land that was raked by bushfire at regular intervals. Featuring an example of the way in which black stumps were used as reference points in land disputes, the black stump soon became a well-known feature across Australia.

Read more about the OzPic project at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Nov 30, 2018

In English and American use, a range is a row of things such as a row of mountains or of any other identifiable features. The Editor, Sue Butler, discusses the pluralisation of range in Australia and how it came to mean country broken by hills or small mountains that aren’t necessarily in a connected line or series.

Read more about the OzPic project at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Nov 30, 2018

In this episode, The Editor, Susan Butler discusses the word mallee, thought to have been borrowed from the north-western Victorian language, Wembawemba. A term used for various eucalypts with a distinctive habit of growth, find out why this tree presented a huge obstacle to settlers wishing to farm the land.

Read more about the OzPic project at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Nov 29, 2018

The word mangrove comes to us through Spanish from the Taino language of the West Indies. The Editor, Susan Butler, discusses early citations that list mangroves as one of the obstacles that the settlers encountered in Australia.

Read more about the OzPic project at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Oct 3, 2018

The Editor, Susan Butler, discusses the word paddock, a variant of the word parrock which exists only in English dialect and means a small enclosure, and how it expanded by 1849 in Australia to mean ‘many thousands of acres’.

Read more about the OzPic project at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Oct 3, 2018

In British English, a plain refers to an area of relatively flat land. The Editor, Susan Butler, discusses the Australian use of plain, characterised by its openness rather than its flatness.

Read more about the OzPic project at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Oct 3, 2018

In British English a gully is a narrow, deep passage through which water passes, whether this occurs naturally, as in a ravine or gorge, or is artificial. In this episode, The Editor, Susan Butler, discusses how in Australian English, gully is no longer the watercourse but the fold of land that has the watercourse at its heart.

Read more about the OzPic project at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Oct 3, 2018

In this episode, The Editor, Susan Butler, explores the differences and similarities between tanks, dams and reservoirs in Australia.

Read more about the OzPic project at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Nov 9, 2016

The word 'donga' is borrowed from South African English, meaning ‘a gully or watercourse’. The Editor, Susan Butler, explores how this word was adapted to fit the Australian environment, and its association with the military.

Read more about the OzPic project and upload your photos of the Australian environment at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Nov 9, 2016

In this episode, The Editor, Susan Butler, talks about the different types of trees found in forests across Australia, and how the forest was perceived in comparison to the bush by early settlers.

Read more about the OzPic project and upload your photos of the Australian environment at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Nov 9, 2016

The Editor, Susan Butler, explores the differences and similarities of the swamps and marshes of America, England and Australia -- including the many words used to describe this part of the environment.

Read more about the OzPic project and upload your photos of the Australian environment at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Nov 9, 2016

A soak is a damp patch of ground where the groundwater is close to the surface. The Editor, Susan Butler, explores the many names for soaks, and how they may differ across Australia.

Read more about the OzPic project and upload your photos of the Australian environment at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Sep 20, 2016

Many parts of the Australian landscape feature scrub -- low trees and shrub, often a bit stunted and sparse. The Editor, Susan Butler, talks about the different types of scrub, like brigalow, pindan, mulga, mallee and spinifex, and how many areas across the country have come to be known by the type of scrub growing there.

Read more about the OzPic project and upload your photos of the Australian environment at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Sep 20, 2016

Settlers in Australia moved from the British English notion of a creek being a bend or crook in a body of water, to the hierarchy of watercourses that we have today. The Editor, Susan Butler, discusses the range of words that can be used to refer to a creek, and how the meaning has changed over time.

Read more about the OzPic project and upload your photos of the Australian environment at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Sep 20, 2016

In colonial times, a billabong was a subsidiary course of a river, carved out as an anabranch or meander. But in the mid-1900s the primary idea of a billabong came to be synonymous with a waterhole. The Editor, Susan Butler, explores this change.

Read more about the OzPic project and upload your photos of the Australian environment at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Sep 20, 2016

The Editor, Susan Butler, explores the history of the word 'bombora' which is now used to refer to any submerged reef or rock shelf and its associated wave formation.

Read more about the OzPic project and upload your photos of the Australian environment at: www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

Aug 25, 2016

In this first episode, The Editor, Susan Butler, discusses how the Australian bush was perceived by the first colonials compared to how it is perceived today by city slickers and bushies alike.

Read more about the OzPic project and upload your photos of the Australian environment at:www.macquariedictionary.com.au/ozpic

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