What's in a name? The great crabhole debate

What's in a name? The great crabhole debate


Grain
What do you call this? Whirliwind, willy willy or even the American dust devil?

What do you call this? Whirliwind, willy willy or even the American dust devil?

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There are some terms and phrases getting Aussie farmers hot under the collar. Which do you favour?

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AUSTRALIANS do not generally have much trouble understanding each other - we might talk about a North Queensland drawl or the rounded vowels of the South Australians, but by and large it is pretty uniform- unless you come to farming.

Within the ag sector there are a number of descriptive words used in one district but totally unknown in another area.

From fiddly bits of machinery to the old reaping versus harvesting debate, there's plenty of different phrases we use.

But two in particular seem to have sparked national debate.

Is the spiral of wind that looks like a small, benign tornado that rolls across the landscape in autumn in particular a whirliwind, a willy willy, whirly whirly or even, reflecting too much time in the US, a dust devil?

There was only one way to decide, that well-known, statistically indisputable method that is a Twitter poll.

It was whirliwind that came up trumps with 60 per cent of the votes, but not without dedicated support for the others.

But if that was something people got passionate about, then the next poll took it to another level, deciding what the small depressions and bumps that make driving across a paddock such hell in the ute - crabholes or gilgais?

The poll team got this one off to a bad start by not even including another option in frequent use in the northern states - melonholes, bringing into doubt the credentials of our dedicated pollsters.

From there, controversy also surrounded the discussion, was there one word to describe the overall country or was one to describe the depressions and one to describe the hillocks? In the end the official results over 156 votes was a 69pc win for crabholes, but we feel there will be many people calling for another poll before it is declared the designated name of preference.

Got any farming items or activities that you can't agree on the name of? Get in touch with us in the comments section below.

The story What's in a name? The great crabhole debate first appeared on Farm Online.

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