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From the location name Brickfield Hill, after the hill in Surry Hills (now in inner Sydney) from the direction of which a hot wind blew into Sydney in its early days. The term spread to Melbourne by circa 1850, and to central Australia by circa 1900, then to Western Australia. [1]


brickfielder (plural brickfielders)

  1. (Australia) A hot, dry, dusty wind of southern or central Australia.
    • 1845, J. O. Balfour, A Sketch of New South Wales[1], page 5:
      Returning home, he discovers that the house is full of sand ; that the brickfielder has even insinuated itself between the leaves of his books ; that at dinner he will probably find that his favourite dish has been spoiled by the brickfielder.
    • 1914, Henry Mills Alden, Thomas Bucklin Wells, Harper's Magazine, Volume 129, page 508,
      A southerly buster would blow — a Sydney brickfielder; [] .
    • 1986, Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, Volume 106, Issues 1-4, page 60,
      Then he had to concentrate his efforts on a smooth descent through the swirling gusts of the brickfielder.
    • 2005, Ajay Kumar Ghosh, Dictionary of Geography[2], page 45:
      Hot spells many days in duration, with temperatures daily exceeding 100°F. (38°C), often take place while the brickfielder blows.

Usage notes[edit]

The described nature of the brickfielder appears to vary by location, and perhaps has changed over time.


  1. ^ 1999, Graham Seal, The Lingo: Listening to Australian English, University of New South Wales Press, →ISBN, page 25.