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Alternative forms[edit]


From back +‎ block.


backblock (plural backblocks)

  1. (Australia, New Zealand, usually in the plural) A residential area remote from major cities and lacking conveniences common in urban areas.
    • 1931, New Zealand House of Representatives, Parliamentary Debates[1], volume 229, page 281:
      I speak solely for the backblock roads, and I contend that the time has arrived when the Government should turn its attention to the metalling of these roads.
    • 1955, Helen Wilson, My First Eighty Years[2], page 185:
      It has happened in other districts that new settlement has turned the old centres into isolated backblocks.
      And here let me remark that I have discovered that nobody ever lives in the backblocks. It is always the other fellow whose lot it is to live there.
    • 1991, Robin Hyde, Gillian Boddy, Jacqueline D. Matthews, Disputed Ground: Robin Hyde, Journalist, page 225,
      Backblocks hardship is a very real thing, but Mary Scott expresses it somewhat too much in the Victorian ‘There′s a tear on your eye’ mode, little graves on the hillside and old servants, horses and dogs, faithful to the last.
    • 1995, John Frank Williams, The Quarantined Culture: Australian Reactions to Modernism, 1913-1939[3], page 77:
      Australia had ‘melodramas of the coarse kind in plenty to point to, most of them drawn around the imaginary romance of the backblocks’, but of plays ‘throbbing and pulsating with the fire of real Australian life, holding up vividly a question or problem of our national conditions, there is not one’.