Dollar Birds - help please

To: BobNoreen <>
Subject: Dollar Birds - help please
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2005 17:58:43 +1100
BobNoreen wrote:
> I'm wondering if any of you can help me please.
> When did the Broad-billed Roller (presumably its original name?)
> become the Dollarbird? and does anyone know who/how it was renamed?
> I assume the change to metric currency influenced the name change and
> would be interested in hearing any background on this
> Many thanks
> Bob
Nothing at all to do with going metric! According to "Australian Words
and their origins" (O.U.P. 1989) the name was current by 1827 - based of
course on the round white wing-mark seen in flight. At that time the
dollar known in Australia was the Spanish silver dollar - which was
punched to form the 'holey dollar' and the 'dump'.  But English 19th
Century slang referred to the sum of 5 shillings or crown as a dollar,
and when I was a kid in the '40s one still sometimes heard the 5/- stake
for a bet referred to as in "I had a dollar on Rimfire".

Anthea Fleming
in Ivanhoe, Vic.
where the temp. has been about 12 all day and it's raining - heavily.
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