Language of the Outback

Family Tree Novel Series Language of the Outback

Adopting new words and terms helps better describe your Outback and how you lived it. Family Tree Novel readers are introduced to a variety of Australian, American, and Qweepie vernacular throughout the novel series. Choose to adopt or to adapt these terms in your Outback language.

Aborigine: the Australian people whose ancestors were indigenous to the continent before colonization

Aint: aunt

Aussie: Australian

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi: is a cheer or chant often performed at Australian sport events

Australia: flat, dry, country that is also a continent the size of the United States

Barbecue: both a cooking method and an apparatus, meat is cooked slowly over low, indirect heat and flavored by the smoking process. Also the title of the Dawson Springs’s annual homecoming event established in 1949.

Baccastix: name given by Driew to a tobacco stick used to hang tobacco plants from scaffolds and tobacco barns. Driew’s baccastix burns with a low level light, similar to a torch.

Barbie: barbecue grill for grilling food

Billa bing bong boom: falling head over heals

Billa bong: ponds created when a creek or river waterway changes path, leaving the branch as a dead end

Bloody: very

Boomerang: a curved, flat piece of wood traditionally used by Australian Aborigines as a hunting weapon (Gulia also uses this as a term to mean “right back at you” or “come again” and to avoid saying something mean-spirited)

Blue: fight (“He was having a blue with his sister.”)

Bluey: pack, equipment, toe, also redhead

Boozer: heavy drinker of alcohol

Bother: male sibling referred to as brother

Bounce: a bully

Bourbon: a barrel-aged, distilled spirit made primarily from corn

Bushie: someone who lives in the bush

By jingo: an expression of assent or assurance

Caddywompus: non-derogatory word to describe functions or actions associated with uncharacteristic behaviors, socially or physically

Calaboose: jail

Candlestix: name given by Driew to a flaming wooden “stick” that burns with a low level light, similar to a torch

Cassowary: large flightless bird native to Australia, shy until provoked, what capabilities to inflict fatal injuries to dogs and people

Chrissie: Christmas

Cicada: an insect with wide-set eyes and membrane-like wings. Its loud, cryptic song is produced by dreamlike vibrations. It is divided into two species that live in Australia and around the world.

Colour: Australian English uses ‘our’ and American English ‘or’ spelling for the word color

Coydog: a wild, candid hybrid resulting from a coyote and a dog mating

Cricket: a bat and ball game with eleven players; the world’s second most popular sport

Crikey: in awe, amazed, astonished

Darwin: a capital city in Australia

Digger: a soldier

Dingo: free-range, wild dog introduced into Australia’s habitat

Doovalacky: used whenever a person cannot remember what something is called

Down Under: term comes from the fact that Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere

Estray: legal term, any domestic animal wandering ownerless

Extinction: the end of a species

Fella: also spelled fellow, feller, fullah, fulla, and balla, and is combined with adjectives or numerals, or is used to indicate plural pronouns. Examples: big fella business = ”important business;” one-feller girl = ”one girl;” sing out, big fella = ”call out loudly;” me fella = ”we” or ”us.”

Feral: became wild after escaping captivity or civilization

Florida: 27th state of the United States, a southeastern U.S. peninsula between the Gulf of Mexican and the Atlantic Ocean, nickname the “Sunshine State” for its numerous days of sunlight

Fossick: prospector or to search, rummage. Example: “Are you fossicking through the garbage?”

Furphy: false or unreliable rumor

Galah: fool, silly person

G’Day: hello

Georgia: 4th state of the United States, has the largest land mass of any U.S. state east of the Mississippi River, nickname the “Peach State” for its peach trees

Govies: governesses

Half past: time is told as half past the hour

Heterochromia: dual eye color condition thought to be hereditary, a disease, or caused by an injury

Holiday: vacation

Joey: infant marsupial

Kentucky: 15th state of the United States, centrally located and nicknamed the “Bluegrass State” for the bluegrass found in many of its pastures due to the fertile soil

Knock back: refusal (noun), refuse (verb)

Kussin: cousin

Lacrosse: contact sport that uses a long-handled stick called a crosse

Lamingtons: a square sponge cake with chocolate icing and coconut dusted over the top

Larrikin: prankster

Malle: a eucalyptus species whose biomass is converted into ethanol or electricity (Hayder’s use the word to describe a type of moonshine created from the eucalyptus species’ biomass)

Mamaay: Australian grandfather

Marsupial: a class of mammals, most of which carry their young in a pouch

Mate: friend

Mickey Mouse: excellent, very good; in some parts of Australia the phrase means inconsequential, frivolous, or not good

Milk bar: corner shop that sells takeaway food

Milko: milkman

Mob: family, group of people, or herd of kangaroos

Momu: Australian grandmother

Mongrel: despicable person

Moolah: money

Mozzie: mosquito

Muddy: mud crab

Mum: mother

Never Never: the center of Australia, Outback

Northern Territory: third largest Australia federal division; the least populous of Australia’s eight major states and territories

Oldies: parents

Opal: rare, natural gemstone of Australia; formed in sandstone with some iron oxide content, usually as fossilized tree roots

Outback: interior of Australia, the back country, or back yard

Pennyrile: the geographic area of Kentucky named for the pennyroyal plant

Pennyroyal plant: a species of flowering plant with fragrant spearmint leaves, the essential oils of which are used in aromatherapy; the plant is also high in pulegone, a highly toxic volatile organic compound affecting liver and uterine function.

Platypus: a semiaquatic Australian mammal that lays eggs instead of giving birth, and the sole living representative of its family classification

Pig-footed bandicoot: a small marsupial of Australia that is presumed to be extinct

Poa: a genus of about 500 grass species, native to temperate regions of both hemispheres, and commonly named “bluegrass”

Quid: make a: earn a living

Ripper: great, fantastic

Sand Shoes: tennis shoes

Shag on a Rock: obvious

Shonky: underhanded

Sing-song: a repeated rising and falling rhythm of a person’s voice

Sinister: female sibling referred to as sister

Songline: one of many paths across land and sky, marking an Aboriginal creator-being’s route during dreaming

Spiffy: excellent, great

Stalactite: a type of mineral formation that hangs from the ceiling of caves, hot springs, or man-made structures such as bridges and mines

Stalagmite: a type of rock formation composed of minerals that rises from the cave floor due to the accumulation of material deposits

Sunshine State: official nickname of the U.S. state of Florida and the Australian state of Queensland

Swag: rolled up bedding etc. carried by a swagman

Spook: ghost-like apparition

Stuffed, I’ll be: expression of surprise

Ta: thank you

Tallo: water from a mineral spring, containing salts and sulfur compounds; may be “sparkling” due to gases

Tall poppy syndrome: when someone becomes popular others try to cut them down

Tasmania: an island state of the Commonwealth of Australia located south of the Australian mainland, and is the 26th-largest island in the world

Tasmanian tiger: thylacine or thylacinus cynocephalus (Greek for “dog-headed pouched one”), largest native Australian carnivorous marsupial of modern times, believed to be extinct. Named because of its striped lower back; also called Tasmanian wolf.

Testimony: proof or evidence of something by its appearance or existence

Tobacco: a product prepared from the cured leaves of the tobacco plant, which is used around the world

Tucker-bag: food bag

Uncool: uncle

Vegemite: dark brown Australian food paste prepared with various vegetable and spice additives combined with leftover brewer’s yeast extract

Victoria: territory of Southern Australia

Water Boarder: tourists who visited Dawson Springs wells between the 1890s and 1920s—the “Water Boarder” era

Water well: a structure dug into the ground to access groundwater in underground aquifers. Water is drawn by hand using buckets or mechanically by a pump. Well shaft linings of wood, stone, or metal create wall stability.

Willy Willy: whirlwinds that represent spirit forms in Aboriginal myths. Spirits may emerge from the spinning vortex of dirt and punish children who misbehave.

Wolle paper: handmade paper created from rotting Wollemi pine

Yer: your or you’re

Yowah nut: found in the far South Western mines at Yowah in Queensland, ironstone stones resembling ‘nuts’ which contain precious opal within their center

“Amidst all the pain intertwined with beauty, Driew finds his voice and place.”—Edith Wairimu, Readers’ Favorite

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Reviewed By Edith Wairimu for Readers’ Favorite

In the fascinating Kentucky Outback, Driew Qweepie’s world is filled with beauty, tranquility, and incredible ways of experiencing nature. Surrounded by his loyal mates, Cain, Able, and Gulia, Driew gets the opportunity to grow and discover his wild side. With incredible strength, agility, optimism, and charisma, Driew can withstand everything in his life, even the cruelty of Gayle and Payne, his older siblings, except for the heart-breaking condition of his mother, Nieve. The family tries to hold it together, especially Marq, Driew’s father, but even fortitude sometimes has limits. Amidst all the pain intertwined with beauty, Driew finds his voice and place. Remarkably, nature seems to listen to his voice too through his sing-song. G’DAY: Aints by M.W. Adams is a brilliant fusion of real life, amazing culture, and an incredible wild setting.

Every moment contained in G’DAY: Aints by M.W. Adams seems to be magical. The book is set in beautiful scenery which adds to the depth and uniqueness of the story. M.W. Adams does a great job presenting a story filled with simple yet breathtaking moments while still presenting Driew’s real-life situations. The youthful Driew is also very relatable and likable. With his kind, hardworking, and witty nature, he is a powerful key character. Overall, G’DAY: Aints by M.W. Adams is a rewarding and inspiring story. It helped me appreciate beauty and virtue even in the presence of distress. It is the kind of book that sticks with you long after you have read it. Reading it also helped me relive my youthful days and cherish the wonderful—even though simple—moments which surround me.

“Beautifully written and well worth reading even more than once.”—Melinda Hill, Readers’ Favorite

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Reviewed By Melinda Hill for Readers’ Favorite

The youngest of five siblings, Driew feels like he doesn’t fit into his family in this coming of age story, G’DAY: Aints by Mark Wayne Adams. Now with his mother failing quickly from her Caddywompus, a brain tumor, Driew has lots of feelings and emotions to process while he deals with his sinister and bother (sister and brother) who resent him for being born and go out of their way to make his life difficult. Driew’s best friend is the girl next door, Gulia, who is from Australia. She shares her experiences with the Outback and native traditions, and Adams blends them with small-town life and Dawson Springs history and lore to help Driew find his path. As a result of some special powers, Driew has a connection to nature that is extraordinary; he can ‘sing song’ natural items to make them move or even provide him with light. This phenomenon, along with Driew’s ability to see the Magic Man, convinces Gulia that he needs to take off on a Walkabout, a traditional aboriginal quest to find oneself.

G’DAY: Aints comes directly from the soul of Mark Wayne Adams and connects us all through his characters into the greater world around us. The story represents a beautiful acceptance of life, family, things we can’t control, and, most of all, the ability each of us has within to come to terms with the ups and downs of life. While some characters take longer to evolve than others, just as in real life, the process is shown to be difficult yet fulfilling as Driew tries really hard to accept his siblings and other relatives for who they are—looking at things from their perspective. Beautifully written and well worth reading even more than once for its deep insights and loving advice, G’DAY: Aints works as a stand-alone story even though it is the fifth in the Family Tree series of novels by Mark Wayne Adams. Just like a song line from the Outback, you can pick it up here or there and still appreciate the unique gift within.

Language of DOWN UNDER by Moment

Language of DOWN UNDER by Moment

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This list is for teachers and parents. Discuss these words with readers before they read each chapter. Readers may have difficulty with words that don’t appear in everyday discussion. Adopting new words and terms builds a better vocabulary to describe reading experiences.

MOMENT ONE: lacrosse

MOMENT TWO: blue, larrikin, tallo, tobacco, water well

MOMENT THREE: bluey, fossick, furphy, mate, stuffed, I’ll be

MOMENT FOUR: Pennyrile

MOMENT FIVE: barbecue, cicada, fella, mob, moolah, Victoria

MOMENT SIX: down under, platypus, puddle-snorts, ta

MOMENT SEVEN: caddywompus, cricket, Darwin, fella, galah, poa, vegemite

MOMENT EIGHT: coydog, digger, galah, malle, Willy Willy, Wolle paper

MOMENT NINE: billa bong, bourbon, mozzie

MOMENT TEN: doovalacky

MOMENT ELEVEN: dingo, marsupial, pig-footed bandicoot

MOMENT THIRTEEN: candlestix, stalactite

MOMENT FOURTEEN: cassowary, joey, Tasmanian tiger

MOMENT SIXTEEN: opal, noodling, stalagmite

MOMENT NINETEEN: noodling

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For more resources using the Language of the Outback or discussion of Family Tree Novel series, choose these helpful links:

Kussins on The Authors Show

  • M. W. Adams give us a quick synopsis of your Family Tree Novel series and DOWN UNDER: Kussins.

The Family Tree Novel series is a real and relevant story about modern family relationships and hometown history.

In DOWN UNDER: Kussins, Pester’s unyielding pranks force Driew to question his biggest bother’s not-so-loving intentions. During Driew’s countrified lessons with twins, Able and Cain Poe, a brotherly secret surfaces. Driew vows to protect family secrets and moments, carving their words down under the Outback tree’s protective bark.

  • Is there a specific type of reader you had in mind when you wrote your book?

I wrote this book for tween/teen readers to understand family roles and how love works. Whether readers are the oldest, middle, youngest, adopted, blended, or an only child, they’ll related to a Family Tree Novel character. The series’ Walkabout moments offer family perspectives of Driew’s journey along an uprooted Aboriginal songline.

  • What influences your writing style?

Reading is a strong influence. When writing middle grade YA, I must research myself at that age: fears, actions, and reactions to surviving your social tribe. In my youthful exploration of love and family, I used books like: The Five Love Languages of Teenagers, Gary Chapman and Growing Up First Born, Kevin Leman.

Research is a fascinating influence. In the Family Tree Novel series I decided to include my research as second source reading for educators. Beyond the book reading includes: local history, traditions, foods, and social factors.

Lastly words and language are important influence in writing. Words have unique meanings in various cultures. Take for example Caddywompus, (a non-derogatory word to describe functions or actions associated with uncharacteristic behaviors, socially or physically). My neighbor used the word to describe a table with a short leg, or a photo that hung off-centered on the wall.

  • What makes your characters unique?

Each teen characters express love differently based on the role they play in family hierarchy. I also like that each has their own sense of humor that sparkles throughout.

  • Where can we purchase your book?

If visiting the small town from the book, Dawson Springs, Kentucky, Southern Belles and Notions on the town square or Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park gift shop are my two favorites. The books are available at my publisher’s website: syppublishing.com, my website: markwayneadams.com, or any major retailer.

The full interview and original broadcast are available at The Authors Show.