Ospoor-(railway or track) The Great Southern Rail line runs 1500 miles from Adelaide to Perth.

Ostel-(set) The Twelve Apostles (Actually only eight of them now due to erosion.)

The O-Calidocious Lied (song)

(O-vers (es) based on lyrics by the

Sherman Brothers)

He traveled all around de wereld
And everywhere he went
He'd use O-words and all would say
There goes a clever gent

When Dukes and Trading Magnates
Pass the time of day with me
I say me special O-words
And then they ask me out to tea





         In any case, the majority of European discoverers were Dutch.  They include Willem Janzoon-1606, Dirk Hartog-1616, Francois Thijssen-1627, Able Tasman-1642, and Willem de Vlamingh-1696. 

     After the Dutch period of discovery, no further expeditions were made to Australia (or New Zeeland) until James Cook's expedition in 1768. 

        The name "New Holland" was used from 1606 until 1824, when the English Government decided on the name "Australia".  However "New Holland" persisted in common use, and on maps, until around 1850.  James Cook changed the "e" of 'New Zeeland' to "a" in 1768.

        And not to forget, the Aboriginal Australians really discovered Australia about 50,000 years ago.

Orijs-(rice), Australia's rice region is in the dry interior, yet Australia achieves one of highest yields per acre in the world!- here with the help of a robot.


Ozand-(sand), A bit of the billions of tons of red sand in Australia.

Oveld-(field) The playing field of the quintessential English (and Australian) game Cricket is round! (Fun Fact: Cricket evolved from the game "Kriecket" in Flanders.)


Ovolk-(people, inhabitants) Aboriginal rights march. The flag represents: Black Skin, Yellow Sun, and Red Earth.

Opeil-(marker or measurement)  Lake Albert


Oscherm-(screen), Although 'Drive In' theaters are almost extinct in the U.S., there are still more than 300 in Australia!-Bass Hill Theater

Ovlees-(meat) Outback Steakhouse was actually started in Florida!

Oveen-(bog) Bog snorkelling is a competitive event in Australia.


Oschaap-(sheep), Although New Zealand is more famous than Australia for raising sheep, there are more than twice as many sheep in Australia!  A sheep shearing shed in Queensland.

Ospek-(bacon) Australia has more pigs than people! Unfortunately all the wild pigs have diseases that make them unedible.


Osmeer-(oil, grease)


Ovlak-(flat area or surface) View of Central Australia plain from the top of Mt. Uluru (Ayer's Rock).



Owerk-(work) Convict laborers

The Fine Print...

Otouw-(rope) Boy Scouts Logo (classic version of logo)



Opuin-(rubbish). A heap of tailings from a gold mine circa 1900.

Ooor-(ear)  By law, several types of livestock in Australia have to wear ear tags.

          Even though there are more than a hundred other mono-syllable neuter words that aren't included in the O-Pictionary, they are seldom used.  Most of the new mono-syllable loan words from English also aren't included, but are explained on the A-Z page.

Ovel-(hide or skin) Aboriginal  initiation scaars

Oons-(fluid ounce)-There are 20, instead of 16, ounces in an Imperial Pint

Orek-(shelf), Old Australian bars were designed for efficient bar tending and no-frills drinking.

Oschrift-(writing), Australian emergency vehicles use 'mirror writing'.

Oscheid-(separation), Soccer field with two halves/sides. (There are actually 5 types of 'Football' in Australia- 1.Soccer, 2. & 3. two types of Rugby, 4.Australian rules football and 5.American rules football!

Oprul-(Rubbish) 'Pat's Uninteresting Tours' in Sydney featured stops at a Rubbish Dump (with wine tasting), a jail, etc..

Ozoek-(search).  Although "Zoek" never occurs on it's own,  '-zoek' is part of many words having to do with searching.  Australia is the quintessential 'ozoek'  place.  The picture is of the 50,000th Dutch immigrant to Australia in 1954.

O-voud-(multitude or multiple, noun-suffix) Monument to the Ancestors at the National Gallery- (ie. a -voudwoud (forest of the multitudes- neuter gender) (N. G. photo)

Orif-(reef), The Great Barrier Reef

Ovak-(pouch, compartment, or specialty) The Wallaby, like the Kangaroo, rears it's young in a pouch.


Oschuim-(foam) Beer laces.

Ostuur-(wheel) Steering wheels in Australia are on the opposite side of the car than those in the U.S..

Australia went largely unexplored by Europeans until just before the American War of Independence.   After the war, the U.S. refused to accept any more convicts from Britain, and this jump-started the colonization of Australia.


Ozweet-(sweat) "From a land where women glow..."-'Men at Work' lyrics.

Osnot- (snot)  Naracoorte Caverns stalactites.

Ospel-(game) Part of the Sydney 2000 Olympics  monument at Darling Harbour.  (The symbols spell out S-:y-d-n-e-y.)

Otij-(tide) Canal Rocks near Perth. Photo from West Aust. Parks & Wildlife webpage.

Ovod-(rag) From the musical version of "Priscella, Queen of the Desert"


Osop-(broth) or soap(suds). Soup line during the Great Depression- 1934. 


Ovat-(cask, barrel) Water wagons used to be essential in Australia.


​​​​             The fourth trick makes use of the fact that there are quite a few 'aa' monosyllable cognate (originally-similar) nouns in English and Dutch that were pronounced almost identically until about 500 years ago, (roughly the time Columbus discovered America).  Then the 'Great Vowel Shift' , or 'GVS', of English occurred, and many long 'aah' nouns shifted to being pronounced 'ay' instead.  An example was the shift of the pronunciation of Middle English 'aas' ('ace' in cards) to the Modern English 'ace'.  (Shakespeare was among the pioneering writers who exclusively used the new pronunciations!)

           Although the English pronunciation of the nouns shifted, the old-fashioned 'ae' spelling of the nouns was often retained.   The 'ae' spelling, (alternately 'æ' in Middle English), morphed into 'a+consonant+final-e' in Modern English.  This is why Modern English words like 'blame' -from 'blæm (Old English)', 'blaem' (Old Dutch), and 'blaam' (Modern Dutch) are spelled how they are. 

            English speaking students can make use of the 'Great Vowel Shift', ('GVS'), phenomenon to learn English/Dutch  'æ/aa' cognate nouns by temporarily using the Old English 'æ' spellings for the nouns as alternative nouns in English, and playfully (and a bit snobbishly for Americans) mispronouncing them with an 'aah' sound'. For example: A beauty salon becomes a 'Hær Shoppe', and is pronounced 'Haaar Shop'.  A list of the 'aa' cognate nouns is included here.

            Note 1: the 'ae' spelling is still used today in the 'Vlaemsch' dialect of Dutch spoken in the northwest part of France near Dunkirk, and in the 'Zeelandic' dialect spoken in the southwest part of Holland/ northwest part of Flanders.  

            Note 2: Middle English long 'æ' vowels occasionally shifted in other ways phonetically, and with alternate spellings, but the 'aah'-to-'ay' (aa-to-æ) shift is highlighted here because it makes the best teaching tool.  

            Note 3: The shift of "tomæto" to the U.S. "tomato" (tomaat in Dutch) actually occurred after the GVS because 'tomætoes' came to Europe later from South America. 'Tomatoes' are still pronounced as 'tomaatoes' in England, but usually as 'tomaytoes' in the U.S.


Owild-(wildlife) Roadside warning sign.

Oweer-(weather) Adelaide storm.




Oschot-(shot)  One of the many bunkers along the Australian coast in WWII.

Owaas-(haze) Bushfire smoke.

Ozuur-(acid)  Jellyfish sting first aid station.

Orund-(cow or ox) A statue of the Water Buffalo in Crocodile Dundee.

          Congratulations on making it to 'O-z'.  As a reward, here are some bonus tips on how to easily learn the other very difficult thing for English speakers- long 'aa' vs. short 'a' vowels.  Unfortunately, even though all Dutch words with long 'aa' and short 'a's are spelled phonetically, very few native English speakers can hear the difference, and hence can't remember the spellings of infrequently used words.        


Ooord-(place). Kata Tjuta mountain, along with Ayers Rock, or Uluru, were the two main Aboriginal sacred sites.


          The fifth tip is to check the plural forms of nouns ending in '-s' for a shift from an 's' to a 'z'.  For example, 'haas' vs. 'hazen'-(rabbits).   '-s' is only softened to 'z' after long 'a's.


          The sixth trick is based on the fact that words ending in 'aa-' followed by '-rd' are the exception to the rule that there are more words with short 'a' vowels than long 'aa' vowels.  Two of the very rare short '-ard' words are 'hard miljard', which can be considered to be a sort of epithet like "By Jove!".  A mnemonic to learn '-aard' words such as 'paard/zwaard/etc.', is 'Hard miljard paard!' (an 'a+a', or really great horse).


          The seventh trick is based on the fact that present-tense verbs which contain 'ee', 'ie', 'e', 'i', or 'o', such as 'breek' (break),  and which switch to an  'a' sound in the past tense, become short vowels in the singular simple-past tense, such as 'Ik brak', but become long vowels in the plural simple-past tense, such as 'Wij braken'.

          The eighth trick is to learn the rare exceptions to the above rules by making 'assonance pairs' of exception-words, such as 'hard miljard'.  Another example is: 'Haast naast Aalst'-(Almost next to the (carnival) city of Aalst.).

Owrak-(wreck) Due to extremely hazardous currents, some of the Zuytdorp's 1712 treasure remains untouched!

O-werp-(something thrown or created, noun-sufffix)


Otal-(number) During WWI 1/8th of all Australian men were killed or wounded.

Oplebs-(common folk, rabble), Sports fans.

​           Actually, there isn't much fine print.  Although most people can't really learn all 200 words in one day, most can come close.  Finding and focusing on a circular aspect of as many of the pictures as possible is another trick that helps.

Opas-(leveling instrument), It can also be borrowed for use in Kompas-(compass), which is actually neuter due to the '-as' ending.  Compass Airlines was the (failed) pioneer in trying to deregulate Austrailia's Airline business.

Oroest-(rust), Aboriginal painting colors were often derived from oxidized(rusted) ochre rocks.  Many paintings are amazingly similar to the Wadi Sura rock paintings of the Sahara Desert in Africa!

            The third trick is to take long 'aa' verbs, plus verb-based 'aa' adverbs, adjectives, and gerunds, "out of the equation"- in other words, to simply eliminate those words.  The trick to do this is to temporarily use the Old Dutch 'ae', or Old English 'æ' spellings ('æ' is recommended exclusively for past-tense verbs), as temporary spellings for 'long aa' sounds.  The 'ae/æ' spellings are much more conspicuous, and therefore more memorable, for English speakers than the 'aa' spellings.

             Examples are: 'Zij haelt haar rijbewijs' (She's currently achieved/gotten her driver's licience) or 'Zij hælde haar rijbewius' (She got (past tense) her driver's license), and in the case of a gerund: 'de openstaende deur'-(the open door-where the action is ongoing), or in the case of an adverb (or adjective): "Hij vrægte verbaesd of het waar kon zijn." (He asked incredulously if it could be true.)

            Note: The 'ae/æ' spellings aren't recommended for nouns made from verbs, for example: 'het verhaal' (the story), and also not for the prefix 'aan-' of verb-type words.

Opunt-(point), Center-point of Australia near Alice Springs.

Oslot-(lock), Lock on the ultimate convict cell in Australia, built specifically for Joe Moondyne (who could break out of anywhere). He broke out of this prison too.

Orecht-(right or justice), Governor Davey's proclamation of equality before the Law

Ozicht-(view) Sydney Tower

Oroer-(rudder), The rudder of the plane of the 'Red Baron' after he was shot down behind Australian lines in WW1. (Before the guard was posted, the canvas from the rudder had already been removed as a souvenir.)


          Finally, it turns out the Dutch may not have been the first Europeans to discover Australia.  Portuguese explorers may have discovered the continent around 1550, but knowledge of their discoveries was possibly lost in the great fire of Lisabon in 1755.

Ozeer-(pain) Jellyfish warning.

Owicht-(little rascal/child or weight) Tasmanian Devil- now extinct in Australia

Ozeil-(sail) Sydney-Hobart Race

Oweb-(web) Web of an

'Orb-weaver' spider


Oraam-(frame), Goal at Rugby match.

Opand-(pawn or mortage)  During the Great Depression in the 1930s many people lost their homes.  This family had just been evicted.


Ospit-(pointed thing) The northern tip of Queensland.

"A World Apart-the Land of Otherness'"

Ozout-(salt) Dry Creek Salt Works

            Fortunately, there are several simple tricks that can help English speakers differentiate between the two spellings.  The first trick is based on the fact that short 'a' is more common than long 'aa' (particularly with neuter nouns, and words that end in an 'a-' followed by '-cht', '-st', or '-rt').  Students should concentrate on learning long 'aa' words at the expense of short 'a' words.  After a while a student can assume any common 'a/aa-word' he or she isn't sure about contains a short 'a'.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​           The final trick is based on the fact that almost all the the tips used to learn long 'aa' vs. short 'a' vowels can be applied to long 'oo' vs. short 'o' vowels!  Using the tips with 'oo' vs. 'o' words helps reinforce their use with 'aa' vs. 'a' words.

           Fortunately for English speakers, long 'oo' vs. short 'o' words generally aren't quite as difficult as 'aa/a' words to learn. Although English speakers have trouble hearing the difference between 'oo' and 'o', the  'oo' spelling is more eye-catching, less foreign, and more memorable than 'aa'.  

          As is the case with 'a's, 'o-'s before final '-cht', '-rt', and '-st' are almost always short, whereas 'oo-'s before final '-rd' are  are almost always long.  Two of the rare short '-ord' words, 'Record and Bord (board)', can be used in the same way as 'hard miljard'! above.  For example,  a 'record bord moord'- is 'a murder for the record books!'.​

         There is more regularity with 'oo' verbs than there is with 'aa' verbs regarding the spelling of past-tense verbs, and in the spelling of 'o-' at the beginning of monosyllable nouns.  If a present tense verb contains an 'ie', 'ee', or 'ui', and shifts to an 'o' sound in the past tense,  both the singular- and plural-past tenses will contain a long 'oo'.  If a monosyllable noun begins with an 'o-', the vowel will be a long 'oo-'.

         Unfortunately, although 'oo' vowels were also affected by the great vowel shift and frequently shifted to an 'ee' sound, as in 'stroom' to 'stream', or 'vloot' to 'fleet', the shift isn't widespread or consistent enough to make a good mnemonic link between the Dutch and English 'oo' cognate nouns and isn't recommended. 

O-tuig-(tools, harness, or implement-noun-suffix). Airplane (Flying-tuig) Monument to the Flying Doctors of Australia.

        The remaining three vowels are quite easy to learn.  Double 'i' doesn't exist, double 'ee' is phonetically distinct for English speakers, and double 'u' follows an easy rule: 'u's followed by 'r's are long, whereas 'u's followed by all other consonants are short- with the minor exceptions of 1. the words 'purper'-(purple) and 'purge', 2. multi-syllable words with an emphasis on the last syllable, such as 'kostuum'-(suit), and 3. the exceptional word 'spuug'-(spit), which can temporarily be spelled 'spuwg' as a mnemonic.

        For a wordlist of monosyllable 'aa' and 'oo' nouns, including mnemonic spelling tips, please visit the 'Zootology' web page.

Oros-(steed), Charge of the Light Horse Brigade in WWI in Palestine. The statue is in Beersheva in Israel.

Oveer-(ferry)  The Superfast mega-ferries that connect Melbourne, (and previously Sydney) to Tasmania travel at over 50KPH or 35MPH!


Ouur-(hour) Australia is one of the first places to celebrate New Years Eve because the East coast of Australia is only couple hours from the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean.


Ostof-(dust) Sydney sandstorm.  'Stof' is one of the big anomalies to the 'Zoot' rules.  De stof means 'stuff', 'material', 'product', or 'element', such as Hydrogen.

Opark-(park). Archibald Fountain is the focal point of the large park complex in Downtown Sydney.

Ozog-(wake) Collins Class Submarine of the Australian Navy

Oplein-(plain), Note: a 'plein' is usually an open space in a city.

Ospuug-(spit) Spittlebug


Owier-(seaweed).  Harvesting Japanese Kelp and other types of seaweed is a rapidly expanding industry. (The picture is of jellied kelp)

Ogoud-(gold) Medal of the 'Order of Australia'  Australia's highest honor.

Opad-(path), Ring around Australia Highway


Orad-(wheel), The Tour Down Under is Australia's big cycling event.  The rider is the great Robbie McEwen, who also learned to speak excellent Dutch!

O-perk-(boundaried area, a noun-suffix), Tasmania with National Parks.  Tasmania was connected to Australia until the last Ice Age ended 10,000 years ago.

Owee-(pain, especially emotional pain) Possibly the most "Australian" person ever, Steve Irwin died after being impaled by a the barb of a Sting Ray he was filming.  The loss of Steve still hurts.

Oschip-(ship) The Duyfken (little dove) under Captain willem Janzoon was the first European ship to reach Australia in 1606. (The Flemish flag is at the prow.)

Oslop-(dead end or cul de sac) The end of the 'West End' path on Rottnest Island, just west of Perth.  Rottenest (Rat's Nest in Dutch) Island is also where Willem de Vlamingh (Bill from Flanders) first landed when he "rediscovered" Western Australia in 1696- photo from R.I.A.

Osein-(sign), Drawings at Uluru (Ayer's Rock)

Oteam-(team). Australian Aboriginal Team Rugby match vs. the Maori Hakahaka team of New Zealand

Footnote:  The 'Dukes' refers to the 'Dukes of Burgundy' of medieval Flanders.  The 'Trading Magnates' refers to the Directors of the Dutch East and West Indies Companies.

Oschroot-(scrap metal) Australia is a leading target of Space Junk. (This picture is actually from South Africa.)

         There are surprisingly few exceptions to the prefix/suffix rules.  With the exception of -er endings, almost all other prefixes and suffixes are more than 90% gender-consistent.   The exceptions are addressed at the bottom of the German A-Z web page. 

​​​​Australia (and Dutch Genders) from A-Z




Oplan-(plan), Burnum Burnum declaration of Aboriginal intent to recolonize Australia.

Ovocht-(moisture)  Prospectors had to dig for water before digging for gold.

Ooog- Crocodile (eye)


Ostrand-(beach) Gold Coast


Opaar-(pair). Kangaroo and Emu from the Coat of Arms.  'Paar' is a bit odd because it behaves like a common noun when used as an adjective, ie. 'de paar paarden'

Osap-(sap), Bloodwood Eucalyptus tree

Ovlies-(membrane) Jellyfish

Oschild-(shield), To protect against spears and boomerangs, shields were essential for Aboriginal warriors.

​           The second, andmost powerful, trick is for students to learn each monosyllable word containing a long 'aa' vowel together with a counterpart word containing a short 'a' vowel.  Because Dutch tends to minimize homonyms (words that sound alike but mean different things) there is usually a short 'a' alternative for each long 'aa' word.  An example is 'gaas'-(gauze) vs. 'gas'- (gas).  Note: Even if a twin 'short-a' word is obscure, it is still worth learning it in order to reinforce its long 'aa' counterpart, such as: baan-(road) vs. ban-(excommunication).

Overs-(verse) See below.

Opart-(part), After New South Wales was named, New Holland was reduced in size to just the Western half of Australia.

Opak-(pack), A hobo's (itenerant worker's) pack was called his "swag" or "Mathilda". He walked, or "waltzed" along.

Opaard-(horse). 'Camel Cup' in Alice Springs. (Camels are a close relative of the horse.)

Oras-(race), Kai Kai Aboriginal

Ovee-(livestock) The sign is in the town of "Durham Ox", named after a cow that weighed more than 1000 pounds.

Oroet-(soot) or a charcoal/ochre combination could be blown by mouth to create a stencil.

Ovet-(grease) Olivia Newton John is Australia's all-time female megastar. (Except she is from England.)

Orond-(circle or hemisphere). A map of the Southern Hemisphere circa 1650. The incomplete outline of Australia is at the top.

Oslib-(ooze), Oslijk-(mud/mire), and Oslijm-(slijm). Advertisement for Nickelodeon's yearly musical festival which includes musicians and participants getting covered in slime.

New Zealand, originally New Zeeland, was named after Zeeland, which made up the southern half of the Netherlands.


Orijk-(kingdom), The "kingdom" of the Australian King Parrot (with a royal red coat) stretches along the East coast from Queensland to Victoria. .  


Oriet-(reed or straw), Didgeridoo


Owoud-(woods) Kuranda Rainforest "Skytrail"

Owiel-(wheel) Queens Park in Sydney


Osplit-(slit) Devils Marbles.


Ospul-(stuff, group of things such as tools) Aboriginal hunting tools.

Ostuk-(piece) Four thousand years ago the Henbury comet, which was rich in iron, landed in Australia. For the Aborigines, it was as if iron tools fell out of heaven.