This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Spot The Frippet: dingo.

A dingo is the wild dog of Australia, Canis lupus dingo, (or perhaps, as some say, Canis dingo).

Dingo walking.jpg

The dingo been established in Australia for three and a half thousand years or so, and seems to be most closely related to the New Guinea Singing Dog (note the dingo's bushy tail). It eats more or less anything it can catch, including kangaroos and - very, very occasionally - people.

It may have been competition with the dingo that wiped out the thylacine on the Australian mainland.

Historically, some individual dingoes have lived in association with human dwellings, and some have been entirely wild. In the Australian Yarralin language the former are called walaku and the latter ngurakin.

Dingoes are getting rarer all over Australia because they breed readily with domestic dogs, and, this being the case (and also as most of us aren't currently living in the Australian bush) you may ask how on earth are we to be expected to spot a dingo?

Well, by making use of some splendidly vigorous Australian slang, that's how, for in Australia a dingo can be a cheat or a coward, or it can be someone acting in a cheating or cowardly way, or someone who drops out of something. To dingo on someone is to let them down.

Suddenly there are dingoes everywhere, aren't there?

It may even be a source of some private satisfaction to work out who the chief dingo is in your class, street, family or office.

Word To Use Today: dingo. This word comes from the Dharug language, which is native to the Sydney area of Australia.

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