Search results

Listed under:  Language  >  Language conventions  >  Word meanings
Video

The Navigators: Baudin arrives in New Holland

Imagine the excitement of Nicolas Baudin and his scientists when they reach 'New Holland'. After seven months at sea they can finally explore this strange new land. This clip describes the thrill and the tragedy of Baudin's first days in 'New Holland'.

Video

Feathers, Fur and Fins: A song about goannas

Goannas are a type of Australian lizards. Listen to the lyrics of the song performed by Don Spencer that asks lots of fun questions about goannas. Watch some goannas moving through the bush and looking for food.

Video

Can We Help?: Changing letter sounds and butterflies

Have you ever wondered why you can't just add a prefix such as 'in-' to the beginning of a word to make its opposite? Professor Kate Burridge explains how a prefix is influenced by the sound of the letters that come after it. She also gives two explanations about the origins of the word 'butterfly'.

Video

Can We Help?: Golly gosh, what do those sayings mean?

Have you ever wondered where sayings like 'golly gosh', 'by gum' or 'drat' come from? In this video, Professor Kate Burridge explains the origins and meaning of these and other sayings. She also explains the history of the pronoun 'you'.

Video

The Navigators: Meeting of the expeditions

Have you ever been surprised to see someone you know in a place far from home? Rival explorers, Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders, are sailing in opposite directions along the coast of 'New Holland'. Imagine their surprise when they spot each other's ship. Watch this clip to find out what happens when they meet at sea.

Video

The Navigators: Expeditions return home from 'New Holland'

Discover what happens when the expeditions of Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin return home. Both explorers brought back detailed maps and specimens, including live kangaroos and emus, from 'New Holland'. How will each explorer be celebrated and remembered? Watch this clip to find out.

Video

Describing household chores

There are several different types of verbs. In this video, most of the verbs are transitive verbs, which means they are action verbs with direct objects that receive the action. Identify the transitive verbs and the direct objects in the examples provided in the video.

Video

Can We Help?: From possessive apostrophes to discombobulation!

People often worry about the use of apostrophes. See how Professor Kate Burridge answers a question about how to use the apostrophes after certain names, telling us how the rule has changed over time. She also explains the origins of the word 'discombobulate' and why the plural of house is not 'hice'.

Video

ABC Open: The changing roles of women on Anzac Day

How have the stories and observances of Anzac Day changed to include women alongside men? During World War I and the years that followed, women had little involvement in Anzac Day events. In some instances, they were deliberately excluded! This has changed dramatically in recent decades. In this clip, women and men from ...

Video

Can We Help?: Dude: American words and pronunciations

Where does the word 'dude' come from? Why do speakers of English often pronounce words differently depending on their country of origin - not only because of their accent? Find out with Professor Kate Burridge when she takes on these questions from viewers.

Video

Can We Help?: Challenging grammar rules, darlings and crowbars

Find out that what appears to be a straightforward grammar rule behind the use of the words 'fewer' and 'less' may not be as straightforward as it seems! Professor Kate Burridge explains that this grammar rule has been under challenge for centuries. She also explains the origins of the word 'darling' and why the 'crow' ...

Video

First Tuesday Book Club: Careful critiques of 'Cloud Atlas'

Sometimes you have to choose your words carefully to avoid offending others. I'm sure we've all had one of those moments! In this clip, explore how Marieke Hardy and Max Barry choose their words carefully when discussing one of Jennifer Byrne's favourite books. This clip is the first in a series of two.

Video

Journey into Japan: Shoguns rule Japan with iron fists

Who were the shoguns and how did they rule Japan? In Japanese history, the time from about 1600 to 1868 is called the Edo period. In 1600, after centuries of wars, Japan came under the control of shoguns from the Tokugawa clan. They continued to rule until 1868, when they were overthrown. View this clip to discover how ...

Video

Can We Help?: Got or gotten? What a nightmare!

Words have a history. Knowing their history helps us to understand what they mean and why some people use them in different ways. Professor Kate Burridge explains how the use of the past tense of the verb 'get' (gotten) has changed, but is still in use by many people. She also discusses the history of the word 'nightmare'.

Video

Gardening verbs

Do you garden? The word 'garden' is both a noun and a verb. What other words in this video are both a noun and a verb? Can you think of some more gardening verbs?

Video

Cleaning verbs

When you tell someone you're cleaning, you're giving them a general idea of what you're doing. Some of the verbs mentioned in this video are more specific and can help you describe what you're doing in more detail. What are some other verbs that describe more generally what you are doing, and what are some verbs that can ...

Video

Can We Help?: Plum puddings, yelks to yolks and elfs to elves

Why are Christmas puddings called 'plum puddings' when they have no plums in them? How did the egg yolk get its name and why are the plurals for 'hoof' and 'roof' are spelt differently? Find out how Professor Kate Burridge answers these questions that the audience of 'Wise Words' send in for her.

Video

ABC Open: Learn some Warrgamay words

Uncle Bill welcomes us to Warrgamay Country. He shows us the animals that live in and around a natural waterhole he calls the 'swimming hole', and tells us the animal's Warrgamay names. Let's find out why Uncle Bill and his family feel happy in this place.

Video

Journey into Japan: Modernising Japan in the Meiji era

The restoration of Emperor Meiji in 1868 ushered in a period of rapid change in Japan. The country not only borrowed practices and technologies from Western countries, in less than forty years it too had become an imperialist power. This clip is fifth in a series of six.

Video

Feathers, Fur and Fins: A song about the Kookaburra's call

Have you heard a Kookaburra's call? Watch this clip and listen to the lyrics of the song performed by Don Spencer that captures in sounds and words the magical call of the kookaburra.