Definition of black stump in English:

black stump


  • A notional marker in the outback imagined as being the last outpost of civilization.

    ‘the true stories of those who go out past the black stump only to never return’
    • ‘The town seems like the last frontier with its black stump, wide streets, corrugated iron houses and Burke River.’
    • ‘We went to the small township of Milestone, about 250 miles west of Burketown in the Northern Territory — real "black stump" country.’
    • ‘This is black stump territory.’
    • ‘Qantas today assured the Gold Coast it will be flying into Tullamarine and not via the black stump at Avalon.’
    • ‘This is backblocks Taranaki, out in the ‘never never’, ‘past the black stump’: a rough and rugged land that has beaten most settlers who dared attempt to scrape a living from the landscape.’


  • beyond the black stump

    • informal In the remote outback.

      ‘he was born not in the capital city, but somewhere out beyond the black stump’
      • ‘I found myself at an event with no working Wi-Fi and the kind of mobile reception you'd expect to get beyond the black stump.’
      • ‘I've been in Australia beyond the black stump for a month now.’
      • ‘Soil microbiology may lie beyond the black stump separating chemistry from its cousin biology.’
      • ‘The land beyond the black stump lay two hundred miles to the west.’
      • ‘If it was a little further west it could fairly be described as being beyond the black stump.’
      • ‘Your average sheila and bloke, be it in Sydney or beyond the black stump, doesn't have a lot of time for earbashers.’
      • ‘Maybe it's all right that he is as beyond the black stump when it comes to common sense.’
      • ‘Historians have had little to say about the lands that stretch beyond the black stump.’
      • ‘We want to head out way beyond the black stump and see the National Park.’
      • ‘Anything west of here is beyond the black stump.’
  • this side of the black stump

    • informal In the world known to the speaker.

      ‘he turned out to be one of the best blokes this side of the black stump’
      • ‘They are the biggest bunch of thieving scumbags this side of the black stump!’
      • ‘There were no housekeepers to be found this side of the black stump.’
      • ‘If you have some prize-winning pickles, nifty needlework, or the best looking fleeces this side of the Black Stump, consider entering in the show.’
      • ‘The greatest navigator and rum stirrer this side of the Black Stump passed away in 1817.’
      • ‘Here's the pub that serves the absolutely best meals this side of the Black Stump.’
      • ‘The sign boasted that it was the last pub this side of the Black Stump.’
      • ‘He said he would write a letter to every politician this side of the black stump.’
      • ‘They are the most hideous suburban housing developments this side of the black stump.’
      • ‘He's the best champagne cocktail man this side of the black stump, or so he tells me.’
      • ‘He is the most egotistical, shameless liar this side of the black stump.’


Early 20th century: black in the sense ‘fire-blackened’.