“He Sang and watched to his Billy boiled.”

The term billy or billycan is particularly associated with Australian usage, but is also used in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
It is widely accepted that the term “billycan” is derived from the large cans used for transporting bouilli or bully beef on Australia-bound ships or during exploration of the outback, which after use were modified for boiling water over a fire.
However there is a suggestion that the word may be associated with the Aboriginal word for water billa.
In Australia, the billy has come to symbolise the spirit of exploration of the outback.
To boil the billy most often means to make tea.
“Billy Tea” is the name of a popular brand of tea long sold in Australian grocers and supermarkets.
Billies feature in many of Henry Lawson‘s stories and poems. Banjo Paterson‘s most famous of many references to the billy is surely in the first verse and chorus of Waltzing Matilda:
“And he sang as he watched and waited ’til his billy boiled…”
The billy seems to have been used chiefly for tea making but sometimes for other cooking over an open fire or for carrying food included food gathered in the fields.
derwombat

Please Leave A Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s