Re: birding-aus dead finish

To: (John Leonard)
Subject: Re: birding-aus dead finish
From: Alexandra Appleman <>
Date: Sat, 01 May 1999 10:06:41 +1000
At 13:32 30/04/99 +1000, you wrote:
>Anyway, in Pizzey's (1997) account of the habitat of the Nullabour race of
>the Cinnamon Quail-thrush he writes 'bluebush, saltbush, dead finish, etc
>(Garnett 1993)'.
>I guess I know what he means by 'finish' in this sense, something like,
>'light vegetation arrived at a point of being dried or withered', but I
>can't find this sense in any dictionary and I tried, in order:
>1. The Macquarie
>2. The Australian National Dictionary (OUP)
>3. The OED (full edition, usually good on pre C20 Australian usage)
>4. The Oxford Dialect Dictionary (as many Australian usages are from English
>dialect usages)
>5. various US dictionaries, inc Webster's (in case it was originally a US
>but none of them recognises 'finish' in this sense (it's much more common to
>be unable to track down an unusual use of a recognised word than an unusual
>word with no other senses).
>Presumably Pizzey knows it for a recognisable usage, in fact his book
>occasionally throws up some delighful uses, and older usages which are not
>common now, and presumably his previous editions were even better from this
>point of view.
>Is this phrase 'dead finish' in the previous Pizzey? do birding-ausers
>recognise the usage? Is the phrase in 'Garnett 1993' (whatever this is, the
>bibliography in Pizzey omits it).
>John Leonard
Dead finish (Archidendropsis basaltica) is a member of the Mimosaceae - a
shrub / tree growing to 8m with a dark grey deeply-furrowed bark, fern like
leaves found in Eucalypt woodlands in inland Queenland where it forms part
of the understorey.
The timber is sometimes used in cabinet making and the handles of stock whips.

Ref: Anderson E.: Plants of Central Queensland, their identification & Uses
(Published by the Qld Dept of Primary industries).

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