One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A nickname for the large woody cone produced by some species of banksia shrub.‘take thongs for walking over the lumpy banksia men’
- ‘Pull off the clawed arms and knobby legs of a Banksia Man and he turns into a fruiting cob.’
- ‘It's like a banksia-man, with gaping seedcases.’
- ‘The mature conelike spike has several two-lipped woody fruits embedded in the whiskery remains of the flowers, giving the Bad Banksia Man appearance familiar to older people.’
- ‘The Banksia men are nonetheless identical to the gumnuts in being 'vegetable in origin', which is to say, the product of asexual reproduction.’
- ‘Most menacing are the large, dark and hairy Banksia men, whose bodies are covered with 'odd apertures', lip-shaped, vulva-like protuberances.’
Early 20th century: from the name of the characters in the children's story The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (1918) by May Gibbs.
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