Three Elephant Power

three elephantsToday we have a story by A. B. “Banjo” Paterson, a famous Australian writer best known for his poems and stories about about life in Australia’s and in the late 1800’s. the title, this story has very little to do with elephants. It is about cars and their drivers, and is a wonderful example of Australian in the lead up to the country’s independence from Britain in 1900.

Intermediate Vocabulary Help

There are some ly Australian words and expressions in the story, as well as some words that have a different meaning to those normally found in American or British English. These are explained below. The other words in our Simplified English story which are not in our Intermediate Level 1800 word list are: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .

In the story a car driver is taking a passenger on a 120 mile (193 kilometer) journey to “the station”. As well as its normal meanings, the word “station” in Australia is used to refer to a very large sheep or cattle farm. A number of these are very big. The largest is 24,000 km², which is bigger than some countries.

During the journey the driver tells the passenger the story of another car driver called Henery. He begins by saying that Henery was a “bushwacker” and had once been “wood and water joey” on a sheep station. These are Australian terms. In Australia and South Africa the term “the bush” is used to refer to wild land far from cities and towns that still has the native trees and plants on it. A “bushwacker” is someone who was born in the bush, and a “wood and water joey” is the lowest working position on a sheep or cattle station.

boiling a billyAs they are traveling they see some men boiling a billy by the side of the road. Later they pass a girl carrying a billycan of water. A billycan is a metal can used to heat water over a campfire. To say that someone is “boiling a billy” means that they are heating water in it, usually to make coffee or tea.

At one point in the driver’s story, Henery stops to talk to two people by the side of the road. He calls them “yokels”, which is a term used to make fun of someone from the bush who is not well educated and knows little about the world and city life.


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countryside(n: countryside, noncount) Land that is outside big towns and cities. 2000

outback(n: outback, noncount) The country areas in Australia a long way away from the coast and cities. (ชนบท) 13000

despite(prep: despite) Without being prevented by; in spite of something. Used to say that something happens or is true even though there is something that might have prevented it from happening or being true. 2000

(n: humor or humour, noncount) 1. Jokes, funny stories, etc., of a particular kind. (ความตลกขบขัน) 2. The ability to be funny or to be amused by things that are funny; also called 'sense of humor'. (อารมณ์ขัน) 3000

(adj: unique) Used to say that something or someone is unlike anything or anyone else; belonging to or connected with only one particular thing, place, or person. (ลักษณะเฉพาะ) 3000

(n: belief pl beliefs) Something believed or accepted as true without proof. 3000

carriage(n: carriage pl carriages) 1. A horse-drawn vehicle with four wheels that is used to carry people. 2. [British] A separate section of a train. A railway carriage. 4000

cattle(n: cattle, noncount) A group of cows, bulls, or steers that are kept on a farm for meat or milk. 4000
(n: cattle-dog pl cattle-dogs) A special breed of dog developed in Australia for driving cattle over long distances across rough country.

circus(n: circus pl circuses) A traveling show that is often performed with performances by acrobats, clowns and trained animals etc. 4000

cliff(n: cliff plural cliffs) A high, steep surface (or 'face') of rock, earth, or ice. 3000

(n: climax pl climaxes) The most interesting and exciting part of something; the high point. The climax of a career/movie/play/tournament. 7000
In literature, the most important point in a story where the action reaches a turning point and interest and excitement reach their peak. It usually occurs at or near the end and influences the final outcome of the story.

creek(n: creek pl creeks) A small stream. 10000

enthusiastic(adj: enthusiastic) Having or showing great interest in and excitement about something.
(n: enthusiasm, noncount) Strong interest and excitement. He did not show any enthusiasm about our new plans. 3000

flock(n: flock pl flocks) A collective noun for a group of birds or certain kinds of animals (esp. sheep). 5000

lightning(n: lightning, noncount) The flashes of light that you can see in the sky during a storm, usually followed by thunder (a deep rumbling sound). (ฟ้าแลบ) 6000

mongrel(n: mongrel pl mongrels) Something that is a cross between different breeds, groups, or varieties, especially a mixture that looks strange or unusual. Commonly used to talk about a dog with parents of different and possibly unknown kinds. (พันทาง) 9000

passenger(n: passenger pl passengers) A person who travels in any car, bus, train, boat, airplane etc. and is not driving or working on it. (ผู้โดยสาร) 3000

(n: radiator pl radiators) 1. A large, metal device that is next to the wall in a room and provides heat for the room when hot water passes through it. (เครื่องทำความร้อน) 2. A cooling device through which water or other fluids circulate in order to keep the engine of a vehicle from getting too hot. (หม้อน้ำรถยนต์) 4000

(v: slide, slides, slid, sliding) To move over a surface while maintaining contact with it, often in a way that cannot be controlled. (ลื่น) 2000

(v: steer, steers, steered, steering) To control the direction in which something (such as a car, bike, ship, or airplane) moves. (ถือพวงมาลัย) 3000

(adj: swift, swifter, swiftest) Happening or done quickly or immediately. (รวดเร็ว) 4000

swoop(v: swoop, swoops, swooped, swooping) To fly down through the air suddenly, like a bird. (โฉบลงอย่างรวดเร็ว) 6000

animal tracksbush track(n: track pl tracks) 1. A mark left on the ground by a moving animal, person, or vehicle. (ร่องรอย) 2. A path or narrow, rough road that is made by animals, people or vehicles traveling through a field, forest, etc. (ถนน) 3. A pair of metal bars that a train, tram, or subway car rides along. (รางรถไฟ) 4. An often circular path or road that is used for racing. A race/running track. (ลู่)
(v: track, tracks, tracked, tracking) 1. To follow and try to find (someone or something) by looking for its tracks and other signs that show where it has gone. He tracked the deer for a mile. 2. To follow or watch the path of (something). The ship can track incoming missiles with radar. (ตามรอย) 2000

trumpet(n: trumpet pl trumpets) A brass musical wind instrument with a high, clear tone. (แตร)
(v: trumpet, trumpets, trumpeted, trumpeting) To make a sound like the instrument, such as the noise an elephant makes through its trunk. (เสียงเหมือนแตร) 5000

wagon(n: wagon pl wagons; British waggon) A four-wheeled vehicle for carrying heavy loads or passengers, usually pulled by animals. (รถสี่ล้อที่มีเครื่องยนต์หรือลากด้วยม้า) 3000

police whistlinggirl whistling(n: whistle pl whistles) A device through which air or steam is forced to produce a very high and loud sound. The policeman blew his whistle. (นกหวีด)
(v: whistle, whistles, whistled, whistling) 1. To produce a very high, often musical, sound by forcing air through your lips or teeth. He whistled a happy tune. (ผิวปาก) 2. To make such a sound with a whistle or by passing quickly through the air. The bullet whistled past his head. (ทำให้เกิดเสียงหวีดหวิว) 3. (of the wind) To blow with such a sound. (พัดให้เกิดเสียงหวีดหวิว) 3000

(n: slang, noncount) Words that are not considered part of the standard vocabulary of a language that are used very informally in speech, especially by a particular group of people. (ภาษาตลาด) 6000

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