The unique pain of stepping on a bindi-eye

Aug 05, 2019

Aussie Word of the Week

There are many names for this stalwart feature of an Australian childhood. Running barefoot across the grass is almost guaranteed to result in a bindi-eye in the sole of your foot. The bindi-eye is originally native to South America and was introduced to Australia in the early 20th century.

Now known all over the country as a common lawn weed, it flowers in spring and produces small, flat, brown, seeds with sharp spines which stick painfully into bare feet.

The name bindi-eye comes from the Australian Aboriginal languages of Gamilaraay and Yuwaalaraay. However, a bindayaa originally referred to any of a number of plants of the genus Calotis which have small burrs with fine barbed awns. It has since been applied to a wider variety of plants.

It also has a number of different colloquial references. In the Newcastle region, it is known as a joey. And in parts of Western Australia, it is known as a jo-jo.

Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.

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