Barcoo


Barcoo
The name of the Barcoo River in western Queensland has been used since the 1880s as a shorthand reference for the hardships, privations, and living conditions of the outback. Poor diets were common in remote areas, with little access to fresh vegetables or fruit, and as a result diseases caused by dietary deficiencies, such Barcoo rot-a form of scurvy characterised by chronic sores-were common. Katharine Susannah Prichard writes in 1946: 'They were nothing to the torture he endured when barcoo rot attacked him. The great sores festered on his back, hands and legs: his lips split and were raw and bleeding'. Rachel Henning, in a letter to her sister in 1864, makes fun of her Irish servants' fear of scurvy, for which they eat pigweed, 'rather a nasty wild plant, but supposed to be exceedingly wholesome, either chopped up with vinegar or boiled'. Another illness probably caused by poor diet was Barcoo sickness (also called Barcoo vomit, Barcoo spew, or just Barcoo), a condition characterised by vomiting. 'Barcoo was rife among the kiddies and station-hands; vomiting attacks lasting for days laid each low in turn'. Happily, Barcoo can also denote more positive aspects of outback life: a makeshift resourcefulness - a Barcoo dog is a rattle for herding sheep, which can be as simple as a tin can and a stick - or rough and ready behaviour: 'The parrot's language would have shamed a Barcoo bullocky'. Barcoo can also typify the laconic bush wit. Patsy Adam Smith relates the following story: 'I see you've learnt the Barcoo Salute', said a Buln Buln Shire Councillor to the Duke of Edinburgh. 'What's that?' said His Royal Highness, waving his hand again to brush the flies off his face. 'That's it', said the man from the bush.

Australian idioms. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Barcoo — River Barcoo River Caractéristiques Longueur  ? Bassin  ? Bassin collecteur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Barcoo — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Barcoo País que atraviesa …   Wikipedia Español

  • Barcoo — (Dinner Plain,Австралия) Категория отеля: Адрес: 2014 Coee Lane, 3898 Dinner Plain, Австрали …   Каталог отелей

  • Barcoo — /baˈku/ (say bah kooh) noun 1. an inland river of south western Qld, which flows from north east of Barcaldine 550 km in a south westerly direction to join with the Thomson River to form Cooper Creek. –phrase 2. the Barcoo → Barcoo spews. {named… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Barcoo — El Río Barcoo al oeste de Queensland, Australia nace en las montañas al norte del Montañas Warrego y se une con el Río Thomson para formar el Arroyo de Cooper. Fue descubierto por Thomas Mitchell en 1846 y recibió su nombre de Victoria, el cual… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Barcoo — [bα: ku:] adjective Austral. informal relating to the remote inland area of Australia: Barcoo sickness. Origin C19: from the name of a river and area in western Queensland …   English new terms dictionary

  • Barcoo — Admin ASC 2 Code Orig. name Barcoo Country and Admin Code AU.04.30450 AU …   World countries Adminstrative division ASC I-II

  • Barcoo — n. river in Australia …   English contemporary dictionary

  • barcoo — bar·coo …   English syllables

  • Barcoo — …   Useful english dictionary


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