Definition of birthstain in English:

birthstain

noun

Australian, NZ
  • A perceived stigma attached to convict ancestry:

    ‘a more confident Australian nationalism converted the birthstain into a hallmark’
    • ‘It is customary in Australia to dismiss the whole subject with a deprecatory reference to a birthstain.’
    • ‘I took a voyage of discovery through convict society in search of the birthstain.’
    • ‘Having absorbed the widespread idea that the birthstain was a self-inflicted wound, I had my own assumptions about the outcome of this research.’
    • ‘I sought to understand why fear of a birthstain impacted at a family and a public level.’
    • ‘The poem is a riposte to his backhanded compliment to Australians, "Your birthstain you have turned to good."’
    • ‘It reveals the involvement of British politicians and clergy in creating a birthstain that reached far beyond convict crimes.’
    • ‘Any search for a reason why Australian society saw its history as a birthstain must include an examination of the convict crimes.’
    • ‘I wish I had a birthstain!’
    • ‘He was unpopular in the colony due to a series of gaffes and misunderstandings, most notably over his reference to the birthstain of Australia's convict origins.’
    • ‘He was sadly shocked on arriving at Adelaide to find that his quotation about the birthstain was not to the palate of the people of New South Wales.’

Origin

Late 19th century: from birth + stain.

Pronunciation

birthstain

/ˈbəːθsteɪn/