Preface and words from ‘A-Alb’.

An outline and a sample chapter extracted from the eclectic lexicon that I have been compiling, of words useful to architects, including many from other disciplines with which architects connect. It comprises over 2,500,000 words and relevant images defining 60,000 terms, covering the entire alphabet. An endless work in progress...

14 August 2014

Universal dictionaries are no longer possible or desirable. If we would conquer the real meat of knowledge we must be content to divide it.1

‘Then you should say what you mean,’ the March Hare went on.

‘I do,’ Alice hastily replied... ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ Alice was right: the outcome is anarchy.

In ‘Politics and the English Language,’ [George] Orwell castigated contemporaries for using language to mysttify rather than inform. His critique was directed at bad faith: people wrote poorly because they were trying to say something unclear or else deliberately prevaricating. Our problem, it seems to me, is different. Shoddy prose today bespeaks intellectual insecurity: we speak and write badly because we don’t feel confident in what we think and are reluctant to assert it unambiguously (‘It’s only my opinion ...’). Rather than suffering from the onset of ‘newspeak,’ we risk the rise of ‘nospeak.’ When words lose their integrity so do the ideas they express. If we priveledge personal expression over formal convention, we are privatising language no less than we have privatised so much else.2

Humpty Dumpty

Red Herring

This Glossary is essentially eclectic and personal, but it is broadly intended to define terms which could conceivably be used by architects and those in related disciplines, when describing architecture and design, spatial and physical objects and concepts, and their diverse contexts, both in practice and in reflective discourse.

Medusa-like, the Glossary delights in red herrings, and refuses to fear facing cans of worms.

Perseus with the Head of Medusa, installed in the Loggia dei Lanzi, of the in Florence in 1554



This Glossary is intended to define terms that have particular meaning to architects, designers, and others that may be used in describing architecture, design, the environment, spatial and physical objects, their contexts and concepts, the history of architecture and building, the working practice, experience, and reflective discourse of an architect and of related disciplines, but not at all limited to the terminology of architecture, or of related disciplines.

The approach has been very broadly inclusive, rather than exclusive, though I make no claim to comprehensiveness, and some of its digressions are frankly rather eclectic, reflecting my own idiosyncratic interests, reading and taste, often of merely marginal relevance, yet perhaps rather like an overstuffed bookshop of the mind, of more that diverting interest. Other words are included to give context to other words and even to clarify that in fact they are not relevant.

Common errors in usage of building terminology are listed under the entry: Errors

I have a particular interest in whether words used in relation to other arts, such as fine art and particularly literature and music may be useful and relevant in describing architecture, and how they are not.

This Glossary is not a dictionary and is not intended to take the place of a dictionary. For instance, the individual parts of speech of a word are noted (eg: noun phrase; and these terms are defined in the Glossary), but they are not separately defined, as they would be in a dictionary, except when their meanings are sufficiently different to warrant this explanation. This is to avoid excessive punctiliousness, repetition, or near repetition, and wordiness.

Some of the entries are indulgently encyclopaedic, and include further detail and discussion well beyond a mere definition.

Unapologetically, there is a bias here toward Australian usage, to Victoria and particularly to Melbourne; but the Glossary often includes word usage in UK, NZ and USA. Where a meaning, or usage differs in other countries, this is noted. Not only are there numerous and unexpected differences in meaning and terminology, particularly of building terms, between Australia, UK, USA and NZ, but also sometimes between the different states in Australia.

Many foreign words are included and defined, if they could be encountered in an English language context, eg: by travellers, or in architectural histories, particularly from the Italian, Latin and French languages.

I compiled all of these definitions myself. All of the sources I have used are documented in footnotes and listed in the comprehensive List of References, in which the print and electronic sources are listed separately.

The entries have not generally been compiled systematically, so I would be grateful to be gently told of any omissions, suggestions, corrections, disagreements, sources, or more subtle gradations of meaning, on:

This text has not been refereed, critically read, or evaluated, indeed hardly seen by anyone other than myself, to date.


The Glossary includes words from these disciplines and topics:

architecture, architectural conservation, architectural history, architectural practice, building conservation, building construction, buildings, building types, colours, computer applications and BIM, concepts, contract, costing, design, heritage, materials technology, professional practice, town planning, space and form, structural engineering, sustainability, theory, and urban design.

Less comprehensively, there are also entries for some words relating to:

aesthetics, anthropology, archaeology, fine art, foreign words, furniture, furnishings, gardens, heraldry, interiors, landscape design, legislation, philosophy, psychology, public transport and vehicles, religion and science.

No biographies of individual architects, or references for individual buildings, or places, however influential have been included as entries, unless the name has become adjectival, eg: Soanian, Miesian and Palladian; however, groups and movements are included and defined.

Presently, the Glossary uses some 600,000 words to define some 30,000 terms, its bibliography lists 1,303 hard copy references and 536 web references.

Existing dictionaries

English language architectural dictionaries are particularly limited in their application to the language used by architects. Generally, they generally include only terms relating to architectural history, architectural styles, historically significant architects and the components of historic buildings. They do not include most of the terms used daily in current architectural and building technology, site practice and discourse.

These dictionaries also take up much space with the biographical details of historically significant architects, and two of the dictionaries are both out of date: Fleming3 has not been revised since 1998 and MacLean4 not since 1993, with some minor revisions in 1995. When compared to the Oxford Concise, both lack rigour and comprehensiveness, in that they reveal bias towards UK, or Western entries, and towards domestic scale buildings. Curl suffers from longuers and indulges in long entries on arcane hobby-horses (which I do too, but am frank about my practice in this Preface). Curl often betrays a bias against aspects of contemporary design, whilst revelling in the arcane detail of aspects of the Classical Language.

Whilst bearing this all in mind, nonetheless Fleming and Curl5 have been referred to extensively here, sometimes in literal quotation. Curl does provide an excellent and comprehensive bibliography to the extent of his work. Although I have not made a comprehensive search, there do not seem to be other more comprehensive English language architectural dictionaries in hardcopy, or on the Web than these.

Wikipedia’s ‘Glossary of architecture’ is comparatively brief, but is interactive. The NCRB, Standards Australia and Suppliers Index’s Glossary of Building Terms has also been utilised extensively.6

A work that has recently impressed me is Nicholas Davies and Erkki Jokiniemi, Dictionary of Architecture and Building Construction, Elseveir, London 2008, prepared by two practising architects, independent of academia, commercial and industrial connections and initially independent of a publisher, bi-lingual in English and Finnish, of 20,000 words and prepared over 15 years.7 Patrick Goode’s two volume Oxford Companion to Architecture, published in August 2009 has not yet been consulted.

With Professor Phillip Goad and as general editors, Dr Kim Torney of University of Melbourne edited The Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture published by Cambridge University Press in November 2011, concentrating on biographies of architects and broad subject areas in 1,500 entries, but has minimal overlap with this Glossary.

I have also extensively used: Alan Bullock and Stephen Trombley, The New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought, HarperCollins London (1977) 1999, however the eminent historian Alan Bullock (Baron Bullock of Leafield), who initiated the work, died in 2004 and this remains its current edition.

The standard English dictionary referred particularly in almost all of the etymologies here has been Sykes,8 for several reasons, including sentiment: particularly because I admire the work of the late New Zealand lexicographer John B Sykes and his approach, in the tradition of the Fowlers, father and son.

The first Edition (1911) of The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, was adapted by H. W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler from the Oxford Dictionary and widely abbreviated as the COD. The sixth (1976) Edition was still called The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, but the subtitle now read 'based on the Oxford English Dictionary and its Supplements first edited by H W Fowler and F G Fowler.'

It was thoroughly edited by Sykes, catching up with the developments in the parent dictionary. Its eleventh edition edited by Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson, first published in 2004 and most recently in 2009, is used by the United Nations as the current authority for spellings in documents written in the English language for international use. It is available for free on the web, on a CD-ROM and as an electronic eBook for a variety of handheld device platforms.

Dedication to the two John Sykes

On a more personal level, this Glossary is partly inspired by a second John T Sykes (), a wonderful teacher who taught me English Expression at Carey Baptist Grammar School, Melbourne over three years, 1961-63, and was my Housemaster in Tranter House and shortly after, in 1966, left Carey to be headmaster of The Kings School in Launceston.

This work is gratefully dedicated to his memory, as well as to the second John Sykes, (John Bradbury Sykes, 1929–1993), astrophysicist, linguist, translator, and from 1971, lexicographer at Oxford University Press in the 1970s and editor of J B Sykes, Ed, The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Oxford (1911) 1979, with the emphasis very much on description rather than prescription.

He went on to prepare a new edition of the Pocket Oxford Dictionary in 1978 and a seventh edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary in 1982. He then became head of the press's new German dictionaries department. Sykes then returned to English lexicography, as general editor in the final stages of the preparation of the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1993), and was at work on a new dictionary of word origins when he died.9

A third John Sykes


The sequence adopted of words defined is strictly alphabetical, ignoring gaps between words and capitals. Hence an example of the sequence is:

Inquisition, The
In re
Insect infestation in timber
Insect screen

Other than the word being defined, the bolded words are generally also individually defined elsewhere in the Glossary.

Placed in brackets, immediately following the word to be defined, are: exact synonyms, optional additional words, the word’s derivation and its other parts of speech, unless these have a separate meaning, which for clarity needs to be separately defined in its own entry.

C/f: is the thesaurus. It indicates words that are related, in the same family, with comparable, but differentiated meanings, contextual, or with contrasted meanings. When these are numerous, they may be grouped according to similarity of meaning.

Refer to, or qv: indicates that reference to that word’s definition, may expand the meaning of the subject word; or that the subject word is further defined under that word. Generally, the definition does not depend on this cross-referencing, but it may further explain the meaning of words used in the definition and avoid defining a word twice.

In dates, 1022/24 means: ‘either 1022, or 1024;’ 1022-24 means: ‘between 1022 and 1024, inclusive.’

Acronymis used here, instead of initialism for the initial letters of a phrase, eg: AIA, or ICCROM.

This work is constantly in progress. The shaded words have not yet been defined, or their definitions remain incomplete. It is intended in future to insert Illustrations and references to sources for these are in pink type. It would also be very useful in future to make the bolded words interactive.

In the List of References, λ indicates a frequently used source and λ a source used particularly often.

Symbols are found under their equivalent in words, eg: ~ is under: wavy line.

Where the usage of a term is confined to a specialised area, or discipline, or if the term is no longer in common usage, is derogatory, jocular, vulgar, no longer in current usage, or where the usage is confined to a particular country, or even state, or when it may be used figuratively as well as literally, then that is also indicated.

When a word is documented as not being in Sykes, but is in one of the on-line USA dictionaries, then it may be well an American usage only. This will only be stated if it is known to be so.

Contractual terminology and its implications should always be referred to a lawyer for a legal opinion and legal definitions included here are indicative only. Terminology from statutory legislation and regulations, including the BCA and Standards is often defined in the current versions of those documents, which should be referred to directly and is only summarised here in my own words, to avoid obfuscating legalese and jargon, which may, to my ear only obscure meaning.

The Glossary is held on 77 files of 20-30,000 words each, so it uses about 1,500,000 words, to define some 70,000 words, with some images, but no video. Although many have been obtained via Wikipedia, I have selected the images with great care.

Future initiatives it is hoped to include is hyper-linking.

This project has benefited from critique and suggestions from Andrew Rodda and earlier by Dr John Slater, for which, as always, I am grateful.

Richard Peterson, Architect.

1. The Times, 5 January 1885, in its first article on the Dictionary of National Biography, the first of whose 63 supplements was then about to appear, and quoted by Lawrence Goldman, in: 'Virtual Lives: History and Biography in an Electronic Age,' Australian Book Review, June 2007.

2. Quoting the March Hare conversing with Alice in Chapter 6, Lewis Carroll, illustrator: John Tenniel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, Macmillan, London 1871. The gloss by Tony Judt in The Memory Chalet, Vintage, London 2011, p 153, here slightly re-ordered. The precise Carolingen quotation and its location were identified for me by Frances O’Neill, Senior Historian, Heritage Victoria. ‘But re-read it - it is fantastic. Someone I know reads it it once a year,’ she said, in an email to Richard Peterson, 30 August 2010.

3. John Fleming, Hugh Honour and Nikolaus Pevsner, The Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, Penguin, Harmondsworth (1966) 1998.

4. James H MacLean and John S Scott, The Penguin Dictionary of Building, Third Edition, Penguin, London (1964) 1995.

5. James Stevens Curl, A Dictionary of Architecture, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1999. The current edition is 2007.

6. H J Milton, Glossary of Building Terms, NCRB, Standards Australia and Suppliers Index, Sydney 1994.

7. Patrick Goode, Consultant Editors: Stanford Anderson and Colin St John Wilson, The Oxford Companion to Architecture, Two-volumes, First Edition, August 2009. ISBN 9780198605683ISBN10.

8. J B Sykes, Ed, The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Oxford (1911) 1979.




- (Prefix; from Old English: a-, originally ar-,=away) - away, on, up, out, eg: arise.

- (Preposition; from Middle English, from Old English) - of, eg: akin to.

- (From Greek) - not, or without, eg: ahistorical, agnostic, asymmetrical and astylar.1

- (Preposition: Middle English: a-, from Old English: an, on; from Middle English: a- from Old English, as: akin; from Middle English: a- (=Old French prefix a-), either directly from Latin: ad=to, or at, as: ascend, or through French: a- =agree, eg: address) - of, eg: akin to.

From Middle English: a- =Old French a- from Latin: ab=from, or away, eg: abridge; from Middle English, Ancient French: a- = Old French e-, es-, from Latin: ex=out, utterly, eg: affray; or from Greek a- =not, without, eg: agnostic and amoral), through Latin, or through Latin and French: adamant and amethyst).2

1. J B Sykes, Ed, The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Oxford (1911) 1979, p 1.
2. J B Sykes, Ed., The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Oxford (1911) 1979, p 42.

a (suffix) - Forming:

- Nouns from Greek, Latin and Romanic, feminine singular, eg: (Greek) idea, (Latin) piazza; and women's names, eg: Lydia and Cecilia.

- Plural nouns from Greek and Latin neuter plural, eg: phenomena and genera.3


(symbol; noun: arobase; ubiquitous from 1971, when Ray Tomlinson of invented email, he saw it as connected to the gidouille, the spiral glyph on the front of Pere Ubu's gown in Ubu Roi; it appeared as a key on the Lambert typewriter, New York, 1902 for a symbol in pricing items; French: arobase, used in Italian trade from 1536, from Spanish and Portuguese: arroba, from C11, originally also a unit of measurement; possibly from: Arabic: ar-rub=quart).

- At.

- This definition is reversed on Twitter: a tool for sending a message to a person, eg: @obama.4

AA (acronym; noun: Architectural Association Inc).

- The eminent architecture school at 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, +44 (0)20 7887 4000; it was founded as a learned society founded to pursue architectural learning in 1847 'by a pack of troublesome students', its independence of thought and operation have been fought for by the generations of students, tutors and staff who have passed through its doors.

As the UK's oldest and only private school of architecture, the AA stands at the forefront of architectural education with more than 3,000 members worldwide.

It delivers public programmes evening lectures, exhibitions, publications, conferences and special events that bring together literally hundreds of the world's leading architects, designers, scholars, theorists, artists and others to present their work in the context of the AA and the AA School to create the most focused, sustained and above all imaginative setting for architectural culture in the world. The Architectural Association School of Architecture is the most international school of architecture ever created: its five hundred students live in London attending the full-time courses of study at the AA School, allowing a uniquely global form of architectural discussion, debate, learning and knowledge.

In its first 50 years, the AA evolved from a gathering place for students seeking to improve architectural education into a school offering a four-year programme of evening classes. A day school was added in 1901. In recognition of the AA's early influence on, and success in, the establishment of a formal system for the education of architects, the RIBA granted an exemption from its professional examination to AA graduates in 1906.

In 1917 it moved to its current premises in and around Bedford Square. Apart from a brief relocation to Hertfordshire during the Second World War, this beautiful Georgian square in Bloomsbury, has been the setting for a remarkable project.

In its modern history, through chairmanships of Alvin Boyarsky (1971-91), Alan Balfour (1992-94) and Mohsen Mostafavi (1995-2004), and now under Director Brett Steele (elected in 2005), the AA has been home to teachers and students whose theory and practice have been central to the shaping of architectural discourse today (c/f: Bauhaus, Ecole des Beaux Arts, Glasgow School of Art, Princeton and Yale).5

- Alcoholics Anonymous, and the Automobile Association, both of which are more recent.


(acronym; noun phrase: access all areas).

- A sought-after event security pass.


(acronym; noun phrase: Australian Automobile Association).
- A federation of Australian state motoring associations.

Established in 1924, it supports and coordinates the activities of its constituent motoring clubs and represents the interests of all Australian motorists nationally and internationally. It is the official voice of Australian motoring for its continued success in influencing public policy and for ensuring the nation's motoring clubs provide a comprehensive range of high quality services and benefits to their 7 million members across Australia. It is a member of the Alliance Internationale de Tourisme (or AIT) and the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (or FIA), which is a federation of more than 160 clubs in 120 countries, representing more than 100 million people. AAA Members include NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAASA, RACWA, RACT and AANT. It is a very powerful lobby group with the Australian federal government since modst voters are drivers. NRMA has been campaigning effectively since 1920.6


- refer: autoclaved aerated concrete blocks.


(acronym; noun: Archaeological Advisory Committee).

- Of the Heritage Council, Victoria.


(acronym; noun phrase: Architects Accreditation Council of Australia).

- The national organisation for advocating, coordinating and facilitating national standards for the registration of architects in Australia and for the recognition of Australian architects overseas by the relevant registration authorities.

It is constituted of nominees from all State and Territorial Architects' Registration Boards. It is not a Registration Authority and can only make recommendations to the various Boards. The decision for the registration of architects lies solely with the Boards.

In each state and territory it is a legal requirement that any person using the title 'architect' or offering services to the public as an architect, must be registered with the Architects' Board in that jurisdiction. Each State and Territory of Australia has its own Architects' Board.

Generally, candidates must have a recognised academic qualification in architecture or a pass in the National Program of Assessment (NPrA), or a pass in the relevant Registration Board Prescribed Examinations where offered; have a period of training through experience followed by successful completion of the AACA Architectural Practice Examination (APE); and apply for registration to the Architects' Board in the State or Territory in which registration is sought.7

Aaron's rod

(noun phrase).

- An architectural decoration in the form of a staff with budding leaves.

- An ornamented rod with a serpent entwined around it, but not a caduceus.8

AATA Online

(noun phrase)

- A comprehensive database of over 132,000 abstracts of literature related to the preservation and conservation of material cultural heritage.

It now includes selected subject-specific bibliographies produced as part of the Getty Conservation Institute's own conservation and scientific research projects or as part of specific collaborative projects in which the Institute is involved.9


(acronym; noun phrase: Aboriginal Affairs Victoria).

- An agency of the Department of Victorian Communities.


(prefix; French, or from Latin).

- Off, away, or from (c/f: abs-).10



- A square border enclosing part, or the entire pattern of a mosaic pavement.

- In a mosaic, a small abacus; or an abaculus.

- A small tile, or tessera.11



- A mosaic tessera.

- A small abacus, or abaciscus (in the second sense).


(or plural: abaci; or tailloir; nouns).

- A flat-topped plate, forming the uppermost element of, or on top of a capital, supporting the entablature, both classical and mediaeval (c/f: dado, die and impost block).

- A Greek Doric abacus (or plinthus) is simplest: a square, unmoulded block; in Greek Ionic, it is thinner with ovolo moulding, in Roman Ionic and Roman Corinthian and Composite, it has concave sides and bevelled corners, in Romanesque it is deeper, projecting less, with concavities and convexities, or chamfered beneath, and in French Gothic, square or octagonal and English Gothic, circular or octagonal.

- In Antiquity, a flat slab supported on a podium, or legs, as a sideboard, or to display plate.

- A panel on a Antique wall.12

Aba Daba Aba Daba


- A popular song in 1914, known through its chorus, 'Aba daba daba daba daba daba dab, Said the chimpie to the monk; Baba daba daba daba daba daba dab' and was featured in the 1950 movie, Two Weeks with Love and recorded by Debbie Reynolds and Carleton Carpenter on August 4, 1950 (precisely 7 years before Geoff's birthday).

It reached #3 on Billboard in 1951, but was still popular in 1956.

Aba Daba Aba Daba


- A popular song in 1914, known through its chorus, 'Aba daba daba daba daba daba dab, Said the chimpie to the monk; Baba daba daba daba daba daba dab' and was featured in the 1950 movie, Two Weeks with Love and recorded by Debbie Reynolds and Carleton Carpenter on August 4, 1950 (precisely 7 years before Geoff's birthday).

It reached #3 on Billboard in 1951, but was still popular in 1956.

Ab Anbar (noun).

- A Persian cistern in a qanat water system, refer below.

Ab Anbars and Naeen, Iranian desert city.

Ab antiquo

(adjectival phrase; Latin: ab=from, by; beginning with; antiquo=reject, or send back).

- From rejection; or as rejected, eg: razed to the ground, producing a clear site.


(noun; adjective: abbatial).

- The jurisdiction, office, or tenure of an abbot, or abbess.15



- An Islamic empire from 750-1258 AD, from Iberia to India, whose capital was Baghdad, to which urban life was central, that harnessed the powers of east and west, sciences of Europe, the Mediterranean, the Near East and Asia, as a public sphere that did not threaten Islam, but allowed the traditions of the empire's peoples to converge and cross-fertilise.

Patronage of translation allowed classical science to be disseminated and so preserved, often by Syriac Christians and Jews, and medicine, astronomy, mathematics and metallurgy benefited by frequent mutual encounters. There were projects for poor-relief, mosque and palace-building, water reticulation, and public hygiene to beautify and make tolerable life in vast cities.16



- A Frenchman entitled to wear clerical dress, with or without the associated duties.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806),Abbé de Saint-Non, 1769, Louvre.

Maurice Quentin La Tour (1704-88), L'Abbé Jean-Jacques Huber (1699-1747),
Musée Antoine Lécuyer, Saint-Quentin, 1742.


(noun; noun: abbacy; adjective: ; abbatial;).

- (Middle English, from Old French abbeie; from Medieval Latin, abbatia).

A building (or building complex) occupied by a religious order, or by those requiring spiritual seclusion (eg: monks, or nuns), under the leadership of an abbot, or abbess, eg: Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire.

- A church, or house that was once (or part of) an abbey, or whose design evokes an abbey eg: Westminster Abbey; Newbattle Abbey and Fonthill Abbey respectively.

Fountains Abbey.

Fountains Abbey.

Abbey of St. Gall.

Abbey nullius diæceseos

- refer: abbot nullius (c/f: Abteikirche, archabbey, monastery (qv for architectural description), monastic and priory; cathedral, chapel, collegiate church, conventual church and parish church; basilica and centrally planned church).

Abbot - refer: abbacy.

Abbot nullius

(or territorial abbot: noun phrases; the abbot of anabbey nullius diæceseos: Latin: belonging to no diocese).

- Head of a territorial abbey (or territorial abbacy), which is a type of particular church within the Catholic Church

Territorial abbeys still exist in sparsely-Christianised or missionary areas, and in Europe where some ancient abbeys nullius still retain their rights.

As well as being a superior of a monastery, also the ecclesiastical governor for a territory around the monastery, as a bishop is for a diocese, often because abbeys sometimes served as missions. As the monastery was the only ecclesiastical presence and the monks sometimes served as the parish clergy, the abbot was invested with the same administrative authority under canon law as a diocesan bishop for that territory.

So except for ordaining new priests, the abbot could do almost everything a diocesan bishop would, including incardinate (that is, enrol under his jurisdiction) non-monastic priests and deacons for service in parishes. He can only receive the abbatial blessing and be installed under mandate from the pope, just as a bishop is.17



- Commonly accepted abbreviations on working drawings are:

BWK Brickwork
BV Brick veneer
BV Brick veneer
CPD Cupboard
D Door
DP Downpipe
DPC Damp-Proof Course
DPM damp-proof membrane
F fixed
FCL finished ceiling level
FFL finished floor level
FW flywire
GRP glass-reinforced plastic
HW hot water
KD kiln dried
MDF medium-density fibreboard
OBH ordinary builders' hardwood
RWH rainwater head
SHR shower
SS stainless steel
TC terracotta
WC water-closet
WRC western red cedar
W Window

ABC Group

- also refer: Neue Sachlichkeit.

ABC Vote Compass

(noun phrase).

- An educational tool developed by a non-profit group of political scientists and hosted by the ABC.

Participants answer a short series of questions to discover how they fit into the Australian political landscape. 17


(noun; transitive verb; abduct; from Latin ab(ducere=duct=draw)).

- A form of logical inference, starting from a set of seemingly unrelated facts, and an intrusion that they are somehow related; or taken away.

Ab extra (adverb; Late Latin).

- From outside.


(noun; from Ancient French: abeiance, from Old French: abeer (à=to, beer from medieval Latin: batare=gape)).

- A state of suspension, or temporary disuse.

- (Of, eg: rights) dormant condition liable to revival, usually:be, or fall into abeyance.18



- Rating (c/f: Green star and NABERS ratings).

Green Star (noun).

(c/f: ABGR and NABERS star ratings).


(acronym; noun phrase: Australian Building Industry Contract)

- A suite of building contracts jointly developed and published by Master Builders Australia and the Australian Institute of Architects, intended to be used in building projects where an architect administers the contract and designed to make contract administration clear and less prone to dispute or time-consuming negotiation, an effective way of avoiding disputes, bringing certainty to the process, and requiring prompt presentation and resolution of claims.

Ab initio

(adverb; Latin).

- From the beginning.18


(noun; a- (not, or without) +biotic).

- Without life.

Non-living, eg: climate, mineral composition of the soil (c/f: biotic).

Abiotic factor

- anything not caused by living organisims, that might affect an organism in its environment, eg: hours of daylight, climate, and rock types (c/f: abiotic factor). 18


(noun; Italian). - The built-up area of an Italian city (c/f: disabitato).


(noun. Arabic).

- Bichromatic Islamic stone construction.


(albus: adjectives: Latin).

- White; albitudo - whiteness; dealbo - whiten (transitive verb) and whitewash (transitive verb and noun), (c/f: prassina=green russata=red and veneta=blue).19


(acronym; noun: Australian Business Number).



- An habitual place in which to stay, or live (c/f: habitat, habitation, house and settlement).

Ab opera coementario

(Latin; phrase=; ab=from, opere=work, labour, or task, coementario=bought up).

- The work was bought, c/f: made in situ.20


((lower case initial letter), native, or aborigine: noun and adjective; adverb: aboriginally; noun: aboriginality; Latin; probably from: ab origine, from the beginning).

- Any indigenous race, or natural object.

- Belonging to a place, country, or a land and its people since an early pre-historic time, or long before its invasion by colonisation.

- (Aboriginal: noun and adjective; Aborigine, or Aborigines: nouns) - an indigenous Australian, eg: Koorie, Kulin and Wurrindgerie (c/f: custodian, first people, indigine and indigenous vernacular).

- Under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2007, within the Department of Planning and Community Development, for a cultural heritage permit.25

Also refer: Cultural Heritage, indidgenous and Registered Aboriginal Party.26

Alkira-Kiuma Ceremony (or Tossing Ceremony) of the Aranda Tribe, 1904. At the age of 12, the boy's first initiation ceremony, tossed and caught by various male relatives.

25. and J B Sykes, Ed, The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Oxford (1911) 1979, p 3. There is another view: ‘Aborigines is the noun denoting the people and aboriginal is the adjective to describe their art, houses, culture... They are not interchangeable.’ Clyde Selby, email to Richard Peterson, 22 October 2010 06:53,

26. J B Sykes, Ed, The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Oxford (1911) 1979, p3 and for the image, and which has more interesting material on its topic.

Aboriginal Affairs Victoria

(noun phrase; acronym: AAV).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 (noun phrase).

- Commonwealth of Australia legislation.

Aboriginal buildings, Australian

(noun phrase).

- In the Ayers Range in the Northern Territory, Giles '...came to a number of native huts... of large dimensions and two-storied.'27

27. Paul Memmott, Gunyah, Goondie and Wurley. The Aboriginal Architecture of Australia, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia (2007) 2009 and Giles, Geographic Travels in Central Australia, 1875 and Giles, 1873, publ: 1889, pp 86-87 & 114.

Aboriginal Stone Houses - Re-construction Project.

Aboriginal Stone Houses.

Indigenous Architecture Victoria (or IAV), and the Reconciliation Action Plan Working Party for the AIA (VIC Chapter) are teaming up for the Melbourne Architecture Annual (or MAA) on a project to recreate some traditional Aboriginal stone houses.

Near Lake Condah, in the Gunditjmara country of southwestern Victoria are the reminders of some very unique architectural and archaeological features. The area is home to the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape that contains one of Australia's largest aquaculture systems. Dating back thousands of years, the area shows evidence of a large, settled Aboriginal community systematically farming and smoking eels for food and trade. Along with this stone system of weirs, the nature of the landscape, and the abundance of food, led to one of the few examples of Aboriginal stone housing in Australia.

Aboriginal Stone Houses.

The stone houses were made from the basalt outcrops that are spread all over the landscape. The houses were only small, roughly 1 to 2 metres in diameter and were formed in the shape of a C. There is still some conjecture about the exact nature of the stone houses, namely the exact height of the walls and the type of roof that would have enclosed them. Rueben Berg, a Gunditjmara man, will work closely with the local Aboriginal community, Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, and archaeologists to try and rebuild the stone houses as accurately as possible.

The hope is that these stone houses can be recreated in a prominent Melbourne CBD location, like Federation Square (see Image 1 for potential locations). This would then raise the public awareness of this amazing, but sadly largely unknown, part of Australian history and help reinforce the notion that vibrant, sustainable communities existed here in Victoria for thousands of years.28


Aboriginal Environment Research Centre (noun phrase; acronym: AERC).

- A multidisciplinary centre for research and teaching into the culture, environment and architecture of Australian Indigenous peoples.

Its staff and postgraduate students also work on numerous consulting projects for government and non-government agencies and organizations. And the Centre maintains a substantial collection of research material, including literature, images and sound recordings.

Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006

(noun phrase).

- It contains the Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP), and came into effect in May 2007 (c/f: Victorian Heritage Act 1995 and federal acts).

Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2007


- The under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 from Aboriginal Affairs Victoria within the Department of Planning and Community Development, for a Cultural heritage permit.



- The curatorial (qv) information on museum labels, eagerly sought by those who want to know what the work is 'about.'

This knowledge however, keeps slipping away, much as the purported meaning of a poem does.26

Above-awning retail

(or vertical laneway; noun phrases).

- Retail premises on first floor and above in the City of Melbourne.



- In the three monotheistic religions, Abraham (or Abram) was the first of the three patriarchs of Israel.

His life (possibly c2000-1500 BC) as depicted in Genesis 11-25, might be that of a Hittite merchant, typical of people who migrated from Ur to Palestine, and his agreement about land selection with Lot (who settled on the Valley of Sodom), reflecting that decline in trade caused a change to stockbreeding.

God promised Abraham the land of Canaan (or The Promised Land, qv), now northern Israel and Lebanon, and Abraham's faith in response, long before the Law was given to Moses, so Christians claim rather chauvinistically that his descendants are not the Jews who live by the Law, but Christians who live by Faith; but each of the three religions is imbued with imposing guilt and judgement (c/f: People of the Book; and paganism).27


(adjective; transitive verb: abrade. From Latin: ab-radere, ras-scrape).

- Able to grind or rub down a surface.



- A variant of ab-, used before c, q and t.29


- abdominal muscles, especially if spectacularly well developed.


- refer: Australian Bureau of Statistics.


(acronym; noun: Association of building Sustainability Assessors).


(plural: abscissas, or abscissae: nouns; modern Latin: abscissa (linea) from ab(scindere sciss- =cut)).

- In Mathematics, part of a line between a fixed point on it and an ordinate parallel to the x-axis.31


(noun; from Latin: abscissio from ab(scindere sciss- =cut)+ -ion).

- Cutting off.



- Either the trace of a previous presence, or its memory.

- The trace of a possible presence, or immanence (c/f: ,erasure and negation).


(noun; Latin).

- Apse, qv.33

Absit omen

(interjection; Latin,=may this (evil) omen be absent).

- May the suggested forboding not happen.34


(adjective; adverb: absolutely; nouns: absoluteness, absolution and absolutism (in Philosophy, Theology and in Government); Middle English, from Latin: absolutus as absolve: ab(solvere solut-=loosen) influenced by Old French: absolut).

- Complete, or perfect.

- Pure.

- Unrestricted, or independent.

- Ruling arbitarily, or despotic.

Absolute majority

- more than half, a majority over all rivals coimbined.

- Not in a usual grammatical relation, eg: the ablative absolute tense in Latin.

- In Science, a quantity measured in normal physical units, c/f to being a ratio (c/f: relative).

- Not relative, or comparative.

Unqualified; unconditional; in Philosophy, self-existent and conceivable without relation to other things; the absolute - that which is absolute; absolute magnitude; and devoid of associations, or suggestions, self-dependent, eg: absolute music; absolute pitch; and absolute configuration.35

Absolute alcohol

(noun phrase).

- Pure ethanol.

It is hard to achieve because the azeotrope formed by ethanol and water contains only 96% ethanol.36

Absolute humidity

(noun phrase).

- The mass of water vapour in the atmosphere per unit volume of air (c/f: humidity; relative humidity).37

Absolute temperature

(noun phrase).

- Measured from absolute zero.

Thermodynamic temperature, which is the preferred term.38

Absolute value

(noun phrase).

- The positive real number equal to a given number, except possibly for its sign.

It is written in square brackets.

Absolute waterfront (noun phrase).

- Private property adjoining waterfront.

Absolute zero

(noun phrase).

-The zero of thermodynamic temperature.40


(adjective; coined by William Shakespeare (1564-1616), from his lost play Cardenio, published as Double Falsehood, 1729).

- Displeasing to the ear.

- Harsh, or discordant.41


(or abzorb: transitive verbs; adjectived: absorbed, qv, below; Middle English, from French: absorber, or from Latin: ab(sorbere sorpt- =suck in)).

- Swallow up, or incorporate.

Be absorbed by - lose one's identity in, eg: a fluid, or knowledge.

- Reduce the intensity of (eg: heat, light, sound, particles, or impact) by physical, or chemical action.

- Consume, eg: income, labour, or strength.



- intensely engaged, or interested (c/f: absorbing).42



- engrossing, or intensely interesting (c/f: absorbed).43


(adjective and noun; adjective: absorptive; from Latin: ab(sorbere sorpt- =suck in)+ -ent).

- Having a tendancy to absorb, eg: stabilise the moisture content of absorptive materials by drying.

A plant vessel, eg: root tips, that absorbs nutriment.

Absorbent cotton

- in USA, cotton wool.44


(and absorptiveness; nouns; adjective: absorptive; from Latin: absorptio, ab(sorbere sorpt- =suck in)).

- Disappearance through incorporation in something else.

Mentally engrossed; or the process of absorbing, eg: fluid, or light.

Absorption cell

(noun phrase).

Absorption rate

(or take-up rate: noun phrases).

- In Real Estate, the rate at which available space in a development is leased.


- refer: absorption, above (c/f: absorbent).



- without visible reference to the identifiable world of concrete things that exist in space and time and are subject to causality.

The characteristic of art achieve their effect without reference to identifiable or nameable objects. However, some abstract art is actually closer to the second meaning where the title may itemise, or hint at the things represented, or their syntax. Hegel refers to abstract universals (c/f: stripped, conventionalised and stylised; representational and naturalistic).

Abstract Right

- the first chapter of (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich) Hegel's (1770-1831, German philosopher and major figure in German Idealism. His historicist view of reality revolutionized European philosophy and was a precursor to Marxism) Philosophy of Right : the '...inherently single will of a subject' confronting an external world.

Having rights is at the root of being a person; a 'thing, as something devoid of will, has no rights against the subjectivity of intelligence and volition.' The most fundamental expression of right is the giving of particularity to right in the form of a thing, in the form of property and possession.

- (Noun and transitive verb)

- a summary of a book, or of an academic paper, often using keywords (c/f: background, executive summary, introduction, preface and synopsis).46


(adverb; abstraction, noun).

- A reduced reference to an identifiable style, or omission, or severe simplification of detail, to its essentials.

Abstract representation

(noun phrase).

- An architectural style synthesising Late-Modernism with Post-Modernism, where reference, quotation, analogy, association symbolism and ornament are subtly suggested rather than clearly expressed.

Charles Jencks identified it in the early 1980s.47

a buon fresco

- refer: fresco.


(adjective; noun: abstruseness; adverb: abstrusely; French, or from Latin: abs(trusus, from trudere=to push)).

- Hard to understand, or profound.48


(or Abten: noun; German).

- A German abbey.49


(noun; German).

- A German abbey church (c/f: klosterkirche).50

The Benedictine Abteikirche Amorbach, Odenwald, Germany,1742-47.


(noun; Italian,= unauthorised).

- In Italy, and frequently in Rome, an illegal addition to a building, usually on the roof.51

A rooftop abusive in Rome.



- The end bearing, or lateral support of an arch, or series of arches, or bridge (c/f: haunch, skewback and springing).



- Bottomless, especially figuratively, eg, colloquially: abysmal ignorance, performance; extremely bad, eg: taste, design.52


(noun; Middle English, from Latin, from Greek: abussos = bottomless: a- =t, bussos = depth).

- A bottomless chasm, or gorge.

- An immeasurable depth, especially figuratively as despair, or primal chaos, leapt by faith, eg: 'Face the philosophical abyss, close one's eyes, and then pretend that one has leapt over it.' Charles Baudelaire (1821-67) said that Frédéric Chopin (1810-49) was like a butterfly over an abyss.' You can sense the abyss with Chopin: the danger.'

Anxiety in late-medieval culture derived from the dualism of the abyss, symbol of openness and the labyrinth (or maze), symbol of constraint.55



- At, or of the ocean depths, or floor; in Geology: plutonic (c/f: abysmal).56



- Alternating current (c/f: DC, direct current).

- (From Latin: ante Christum). Before Christ (c/f: BC).57


(acronym; noun: Association of Consulting Architects).

- The association representing architecture practices in Australia, which helps architects in their business, offers information on employment, including wages and awards, conditions of employment, represents them in industrial matters.

It has branches in all states and a national executive, with 620 member practices, employing over 6000 architects and ancillary staff. Membership is open to any architectural practice, from sole practitioners to the largest practices.58


(noun; from Greek).

- The university environment.59



- The cultural accumulation of knowledge, its development and transmission across generations and its practitioners and transmitters.

In C17, British and French religious scholars popularised the term to describe certain types of institutions of higher learning. Refer: Academy, The.60


(noun and adjective; adjective: academical; noun: academicism).

- Scholarly.

Of a university; and academic publishing (c/f: scholarly).


,unpractical and cold.

Without feeling or expression; merely logical, or theoretical, eg: academic restraint.

- (Of art, or architecture), conventional, overly formal and invariably Classical (c/f: Beaux Arts).61

Academic dress

- refer: PhD.


(academe(qv) and Academician: nouns; nouns and adjectives: academic and academical; from French: académe, or from Latin: from Greek: akademeia ( Akademos = the man, or demigod from whom Plato's garden was named); in French: acadème and académie; Latin: academia, Italian: accademia).

- A garden, or grove, the akademeia, near ancient Athens, the gymnasium where Plato (428/427-348/347 BC, Classical Greek philosopher and mathematician) taught and he made famous as a centre of learning.

The sacred space, dedicated to the goddess of wisdom, Athena, had formerly been an olive grove, hence 'the groves of Academe;' Plato's followers; or his system of philosophy.

In C16, the name was used for many associations who saw their purpose as cultivating learned activities practised by the ancient Greeks, eg: the Accademia Olimpica of Vicenza (1551) founded by Daniele Barbaro and Andrea Palladio (formerly Andrea di Pietro da Gondola), one of its purposes was to build a Vitruvian Theatre in which to stage an ancient tragedy, accomplished in 1585.

John Milton's (1608-74, English poet, author, polemicist and civil servant for the Commonwealth) 'the grove of Academe' (c/f: athenaeum, lyceum, mechanics institute, porch and Ptolemaeum; Ephebe and scholar).63

- (From French: académie; or from Latin, from Greek: akadémeia; Akadéios was the man or demigod after whom Plato's garden was named). A place of study; or of special training, eg: Duntroon Military Academy; or a society for the cultivation of a specialised branch of learning (eg: literature, the arts, or sciences) of which an invitation to membership is an honour,

Eg: the Royal Academy of Arts, London (founded 1768, by George III), in Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, whose members are Academicians; or the Académie francaise, Paris (founded as Académie Françoise by the Cardinal de Richelieu, 1635 as a literary academy); or the Academy of Arcadia (1690), Villa del Bosco Parrasio, Trastevere, Rome, all extant (c/f: canon, salon and scholarship).

Academy of Fine Arts (Vienna)

- refer: Akademie der Bildenden Künste.



- Software for builders and building services; including the Tracks simplified CAD and quoting software, CAMEL and KOALA AC load calculation, BEAVER Building Energy estimation, HYENA Sprinkler systems design, DOLPHIN and DONKEY Ductwork design, LLAMA Commercial Lift Design, PHOENICS/FLAIR cfd analysis and WOMBAT building acoustics.65

a campo quadro

(noun; Italian).

- Italian ceiling panels divided into squares (c/f: cantinelle, cornixoti and caselle).


(noun; (Latin: ákantha=thorn, referring to the thorny sepals, from Greek: akanthos (akantha=thorn, perhaps from ake=sharp point)).

- A herbaceous plant with prickly leaves, of the genus Acanthus, whose conventionalised, broad, fleshy, deeply serrated and scalloped leaves, and strong graceful lower stems form the motif of Greek Corinthian, Roman Corinthian and Composite capitals, and other ornament used to enrich Classical and some Early Christian architecture, eg: San Clemente, Rome, apse, decoration, including: mouldings, surfaces, cresting, borders, scrolls, and convolutions, and interwoven in continuous coiling spiral bands of leaves.

It is based on either Acanthus spinosus (prickly-leaved, Greek) and Acanthus mollis (soft-leaved, Roman), commonly: brank-ursine, bear's breech, or bear's foot. It still grows in the Foro Romano (Forum Romanum), Rome, as well as commonly in Melbourne gardens, including opposite 16 Russell Street, Ivanhoe, where it is an invasive species. (Marcus) Vitruvius (Pollio), (fl 46-30 BC) relates how a basket idly placed over the plant generated the form that was copied by Callimachus (c430-400 BC) in stylised form as the Corinthian capital (c/f: raffle leaf, tendril and vinescroll).66

Apse mosaic, of the Triumph of the Cross, San Clemente, Rome, detail of the acanthus and its tendrils, c1200, the finest in Rome of the C12.




Acanthus mollis, on the Palatine Hill, Rome.
An unidentified Classical frieze, decorated with acanthus.


(acronym; noun: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission).

- An independent statutory authority formed in 1995 to administer the Trade Practices Act 1974 and other acts.

The ACCC promotes competition and fair trade in the market place to benefit consumers, business and the community and regulates national infrastructure industries, but primarily to ensure individuals and businesses comply with the Commonwealth's competition, fair-trading and consumer protection laws and the state/territory application legislation. It complements state and territory consumer affairs agencies, which administer the mirror legislation of their jurisdictions, and the Competition and Consumer Policy Division of the Commonwealth Treasury.

It educates, informs including in rural areas and with indigenous communities and recommends dispute resolution when possible as an alternative to litigation, can authorise some anti-competitive conduct, and will take legal action when necessary. A range of plain language publications are available on its website (c/f: Productivity Commission).67

Accelerated mass spectrometry

(or carbon dating noun phrases; acronym: AMS).

- A technique capable of dating a few milligrams of organic matter that is tens of thousands of years old.

It is generally used to determine the concentration of carbon-14 and can tell the dates of historic events, because its rate of decay is very predictable. The carbon-14 isotope can be separated from its stable form carbon-12 due to their difference in mass. An accelerator mass spectrometer is used, over other forms of mass spectrometry, to separate stable nitrogen-14 contaminants from radiocarbon. And with some processing, radiologically labelled molecules can easily be detected.68

Accelerated weathering

(noun phrase).

- Testing materials by exposure to cycles of sunlight, heat, frost, and wetness or dryness, more severe than in nature (c/f: artificial aging, distressing and patination).69


(noun, =curing agent, or cross-liking agent: noun phrases).

- A concrete admixture that hastens setting and strength, usually producing heat, allowing earlier removal of formwork (c/f: hardener, paint drier, air-entraining agent, pigment, plasticiser, integral water-proofer, polymer modifier and retardant).

- Any catalyst, eg: paint drier, curing agent and hardener.70



- A device to detect when a user puts down equipment, and then log them off (c/f: biometric sensor).


(noun phrase; Middle English, from Old French: acces, or from Latin: accessus, from: ac(cedere cess- =go)).

- Approach, or reach.

The right, or ability to do this; or a passage, channel, gate, or doorway.71

Access cover

formerly: manhole cover: noun phrases).

- Cast iron, or steel, sized 450 x 450 - 2350 x 750 mm.

Types include: sewer manhole cover, encased access cover and multi-part access cover (c/f: grate and manhole; and in UK, access chamber access floor and access hole).72

Australian access covers

- (Inspection opening; In UK, also: access eye and inspection fitting; in USA: cleanout) - a pipe fitting with a removeable plate for inspection, surounded by sufficient workspace.


(and access (qv): nouns; adjective: accessible; adverb: accessibly; French, from Late Latin: accessibilis (as: accede+ -ible)).

- The ability to be reached, entered, influenced, or understood.73

Eg: They wanted an architecture that was enjoyable, and accessible. With verve, or srtyle, though not necessarily easily understood, or rational.

- The ability of a building to be entered by disabled people, their vehicles and by strollers and prams. Relevant Australian controls are: BCA 2011, AS1428.1 2009, the Australian Standard on accessibility and the Access to Premises Buildings Standard 2010.

Accession number

(noun phrase).

- A sequential number given to each new item as entered in the catalogue of a public gallery, museum, or library in the order in which they entered the museum's collection.

In many museums, the accession number consists of the year acquired and a sequential number, or departments within the museum may reserve sections of numbers. If an item is deaccessioned, its number is not reused; this is additional to the classification number (or alphanumeric code) and to the ISBN assigned by publishers.

Access opening

- refer: manhole and access cover.


(noun; transitive verb: accessorise and accessorising; from medieval Latin: accessorius, as accede+ -ory).

- Something additional; something that subordinately contributes; a dispensable accompaniment; a minor fitting, or attachment74, eg: things didn’t work out biologically, so they are accessorising their future by mail-order.

Access tree

(noun phrase).

- In USA despite no planning controls, private pedestrian routes network through private properties across the city, by concessions, eg: in Mineapolis; in Houston, through basements.75



- The notion of involving the quasi-accidental combination of various images both from high culture and lowbrow kitsch, to achieve a kind of vitality that naturally evolves in cities.

Promoted by Josef Frank (1885-1967, architect, artist, and designer), founding member of the Vienna Werkbund, initiator and leader of the 1932 Werkbundsiedlung project in Vienna. In 1933, he migrated to Sweden.76


- refer: acedia.


- refer: anomie.


(noun phrase; transitive verb: acclimatise).

Acclimatisation societies

(noun phrase).

- Were formed to enrich the fauna of a region with animals and plants from around the world. The first was La Societé Zoologique d'Acclimatation founded in Paris in 1854 by Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire.

They spread fast internationally, particularly to European colonies in the Americas and Australasia, for the study of natural history as well as to introduce species, due to the belief that local fauna was deficient, or impoverished, and due to nostalgia to see familiar species and commercially valuable, or game species. Sometimes the effects were disastrous, such as that of rabbits on the ecology of Australia.77


(or accommodations: nouns; French, or from Latin: accommodatio -onis).

- An adjustment; an adaptation of oneself, or anything to a different purpose, or meaning; a settlement, or compromise.

- A place to live, or stay.78

Accommodation bond

(noun phrase).

- Aged care accommodation residents with sufficient assets who require low (hostel) level care or who enter an extra service place may be asked to pay a bond.79

Accommodation charge

(noun phrase).

- Aged care accommodation residents with sufficient assets who require high (nursing home) level care, but not on an extra service basis, may be asked to pay an accommodation charge.80

Accommodation payments

(noun phrase).

- On entering permanent residential aged care, residents with sufficient assets may be asked to make an accommodation payment, either an accommodation bond, or an accommodation charge.81

Only aged care homes that are certified can charge accommodation payments. Service providers are required to keep a number of places for people who cannot be asked for an accommodation payment.82


(noun; Latin).

- In ancient Rome, a shelf for a tomb, eg: in Cubiculum Leonis, Catacomb of Commodilla, Rome, late C4 AD (c/f: arcosolium and cubliculum).83


(noun and adjective).

Accoustic shed

(noun phrase). - Temporary purpose-built structures fitted with travelling cranes to assist with assembling large plant and equipment and to reduce noise, dust and light impact on the local community and passing motorists, Transcity has completed construction on a six-storey acoustic shed at its Legacy Way, Toowong, Brisbane worksite, which will enclose all tunneling works including the assembly of the tunnel boring machines. It will be removed once the 24-hour, seven days a week tunneling activities are completed, the shed will be dismantled and removed from the worksite. The Government of Victoria is proposing a similar 6-storied shed at Eastlink in Clifton Hill.

Still, Mt Coot-tha residents said they were sleep-deprived and being treated with 'callous disregard' after the Legacy Way Tunnel builder started heavy construction work without completing the shed. The original agreement with Transcity was for night work to be put on hold until the acoustic shed was an intact enclosure. 'The sound is a combination of big crashes, bangs and wallops from heavy machinery,' she said. 'Once that wakes you up, you're kept awake by the sounds of quieter works. People are starting to say they're noticing the sleep deprivation effects during the day, especially when driving and at work.'84

Transcity's incomplete accoustic shed.


(and USA: accouterment: nouns; transitive verbs: accoutre and USA: accouter; from French: accoutre, from Old French: accoustrer (a-, as address) cousture=sewing, c/f: con- +suture+ -ment).

- Equipment, or trappings, eg: 'the accoutrements of any self-respecting parlour.'

- Of a particular god (c/f: atributes).85


(noun and transitive verb).

- To achieve assurance, certainty, or influence for, eg: acceptability, for building materials, regarding the Building Code of Australia.86


(noun: adjective: accretive; intransitive verb: accrete; from Latin: accretio, as: ac(crescere cret-=grow)+ -ion).

- Growth by organic enlargement.

The growing of separate things into one; the resulting product; (an adhesion of) extraneous matter added to something (c/f: agglomeration and accrual).

- In Law, the accession to, or the increase of a legacy, by adding the share of a failing legatee.87


(noun; intransitive verb: accrue; adjective: accrued; Middle English, from Ancient French: acru, from acreistre=increase, from Latin: accrescere=accrete).

- Come (to something from something) as a natural increase, advantage, or result, especially from interest on money invested.88


(transitive and intransitive verb; acculturation: noun; acculturated: adjective; from ac- +culture+ -ate).

- Adapt to, or adopt a different culture (c/f: Enculturation; and Romanisation).

Eg: an acculturated, assimilited Jewish family never went to Synagogue, were not attracted by Zionism, were put-off by fervent Jewishness, were loyal to their new homeland, understood the limits of their social world and of their limited potential place and potential to hold office in the establishment, though their births and deaths were recorded in the synagogue by the Rabbinate, paid their dues to the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde, gave money to Jewish charities, were buried in the Jewish section of a cemetery, and were victims of the Holocaust (c/f: affiliation).89


(transitive verb; accumulation: noun; accumulative: adjective; from Latin: accumulare, from cumulus=heap+ -or).

- To heap up.

- To gradually increase the number, or quantity.

Accumulative power

(noun phrase).

Accumulator (noun)

- One who accumulates things; or a hoarder.90

- (Not USA). A rechargeable electric cell; a storage register in a computer.91

AccuRate software

(noun phrase).

- The CSIRO analysis software, formerly used in BERSPro, and FirstRate5 to give BCA star-rated performance of MJ/m2 (megajoules/m2), (c/f: ECOTECT).


(or accidie: nouns; Middle English, from Ancient French: accidie, from Old French: accide, from Medieval Latin: accidia, or from Late Latin: acedia, from Greek: akedia=listlessness).

- Laziness, or torpor.

- Apathy (c/f: arcadia).92


(or ethyne: nouns;)

Acetic acid

- refer: ethanoic acid.


- refer: Australian Conservation Foundation. Including: Sustainable Cities Campaign.

Achaemenid Empire

(or Persian Empire: noun phrases).

- Forged by Cyrus the Great, it succeeded the Median Empire, ruling over much of Greater Iran. The Persian and Median Empires are the Medo-Persian Empire.

It was the largest empire in ancient history, at its height it spanned Asia, Africa and Europe, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, northern India, part of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, most of the Black Sea coast, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine/Israel, Lebanon, Syria, most of ancient Egypt as far as Libya.

It was known as the enemy of the Greek city states during the Greco-Persian Wars, for emancipation of slaves including the Jews from their Babylonian captivity, and for using official languages throughout. It was invaded by Alexander the Great, collapsed and disintegrated in 330 BC, into the Ptolemaic Kingdom, the Seleucid Empire, and minor territories, which became part of the Hellenistic civilization. The Persian Empire was revived until the Parthian and Sasanian periods.93


(plural: acheiropoieta: nouns; adjective: acheiropoietal; Greek: not-handmade).

- An image that spontaneously appears, without human intervention; an icon alleged to have been created miraculously, not by a human, invariably images of Jesus, or the Virgin Mary, eg: the Orthodox Image of Edessa, or Mandylion, and in the Roman Catholic Veil of Veronica and the Shroud of Turin.94


(or achievement of arms: nouns).

- In Heraldry, the complete armorial bearings, of a person entitled to wear, or display them (c/f: blazon and charge).95



- Colours without hue: black, greys and white.



- Not Yet Defined.



- Needle, or awl-shaped (c/f: auger, bodkin, borer, bradawl, corkscrew and gimlet).

Acid (acidification (qv) and acidity:

nouns; transitive verbs: acidify and acidulate (qv); acidic: adjective; from French acide, or from the Latin acidus (acére: be sour).

A sour-tasting substance with a pH value less than 7, due to its containing hydrogen ions when dissolved in water, that neutralises and is neutralised by alkalis and, that can be replaced by metals and corrode, or dissolve metals.

The pH value of the acid is indicated by adding to it a few drops of universal Indicator, which shows graded colour changes from red (very acid, pH 3-4), to violet (intensely alkaline, pH 10-12).101

Releasing the combustion products of fossil fuels into the atmosphere gradually acidifies the surface layer of the oceans, which form a great CO2 sink.

Acid-etched glass

(noun phrase)..

- Despite the name, decoration generally produced by sandblasting using fine grit and special techniques that produce clear, sharp and deep images with fine detail.

This process is particularly good on glass and crystal products (c/f: bushfire-resistant glass, ceramic glass, Crown, curtain wall, cut, float, heat-resistant glass, insulated glass, laminated glass, low-iron glass, mirror, one-way mirror, opaque, plate, safety glass, stained, toughened glass and wired glass; opaque, transparent, translucent and viscous).

Acid-free - Neutral conservation material (eg: paper, or cardboard) containing minimal acid, ie: pH ≤7, ±0.3 (c/f: edulcorate).102

Acidic soil

(noun phrase).

- A soil with a pH value of less than 7.0.103



- Global warming is causing the ocean to absorb more of the carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere and changing the pH of the water, turning the sea more acid, killing marine life and coral reefs.

Acid rain

(noun phrase).

- A precipitation heavy with an air-borne pollution of nitric and sulphuric acid. Most is generated by sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, its pH less than 5.6. It kills fish, plants, corrodes surfaces, pollutes ground water and erodes soil, but its long-term effects are unknown.104


(transitive verb; from Latin acidulus, diminutive of acidus=sour).

- Make slightly acid (c/f: acidic).105

Acid washed

(adjectival phrase).

- A finish for reinforced concrete, exposing a surface texture and some large aggregate; a finish for blue jeans.



- Yet to be Defined



- (c/f: ASIC, Incorporate, Pty Ltd company and shares).



- A finial, or other termination form sculpted in the shape of an acorn; also commonly on C16-18 furniture, eg: the Circus at Bath, 1754-68 has giant acorns  (c/f: balloon, pinecone, pineapple and urn).106


(acoustics and noun phrase: acoustical engineer; from Greek: akoustos; akouo: hear; also refer: akoe).

- The science, or quality of sound, or noise, eg: in buildings, or from traffic.


It is related to sound, or hearing; the characteristic of building materials used for sound insulation, or isolation; a musical instrument not electrified; controlled by reducing transmission between rooms, or increasing absorption within a room.

The acoustical transmission factor is the amount of sound passing through a particular s\construction system, while the acoustical reduction factor is reciprocal. Reverberation time in seconds and sound level in decibels are measurements, Acoustic plaster, tiles and finishes are available (refer also: insulation; c/f: auditorium and sightlines).107

Acoustical shadow

(noun phrase).

- (c/f: diffraction of sound).

Acoustic jar


- Pottery containers embedded in the floors, or built-into walls to increase resonance and audibility in medieval churches, particularly in the C15.

Acoustic virtual reality

(noun phrase).

- (c/f: auralisation and sound modelling).


(noun; Italian)

- Water.

Acqua alta

(noun; Venetian Italian).

- Occurs in Venice when a normal high tide comes on top of water unusually high for other reasons. Records have been kept since AD589 and exactly since 1867, the first year of Austrian rule; from 1870-1929, it occurred 2-4 time each year, but each year from 1960-2009: 31-44 times/year (c/f: barene & murazzi).108


(noun, from Old English: æcer, =Old High German; ackar, Old Norse: akr, Gothic: akrs, inferred from Germanic: akraz, inferred from Indo-European: agros).

- A measure of land area in the Imperial system, equal to 4,840 square yards.


Or in the metric system 4,050 square metres, or 0.4047 hectares; broad acres; acreage and acred (adjective).109



- The principal landowners.110


(acrolith: nouns; Latin).

- A technique in ancient Roman sculpture, which achieved the monumental scale, associated with the divinity of a god; only the exposed parts were carved from marble, or other stone, the rest was wood, painted, or covered with clothing, or metal sheet, richly coloured and ornamented, perhaps only viewed by awed worshippers from a distance (c/f: chryselephantine).111


(adjective; noun: acromegaly; from French: acromegalie, from Greek: akron=extremity+ megas magal-=great+ -y).

- Excessive growth of limbs. The term may be used figuratively regarding oversized building components, eg: in megastructures, developing from the Phalanstery.112


112. J B Sykes, Ed, The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Oxford (1911) 1979, p 10.



(noun; from Greek Greek: akron =end + -onum-, =onoma =name).

- A word forming the initial letter of other words, written in lower case with an initial capital, eg: Unesco but not: AA, AIDS, ICCROM, UN, USA and WHO (c/f: initialism).113


113. J B Sykes, Ed, The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Oxford (1911) 1979, p 10. Note: throughout this Glossary, acronym is used incorrectly to include such expressions.




(Akropolis: nouns, from Greek: akroppolis, from akron=summit, + polis=city).

- A citadel, or the upper fortified part of a Greek city, especially Athens; also: Lindos.114


114. J B Sykes, Ed, The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Oxford (1911) 1979, p 10.





- An expanding scaffolding pole, used for temporary structural support, eg: propping up a fractured lintel.115


115.The Conservation Glossary. Dundee University.




(and acroterium: plural: acroteria: nouns; adjective: acroterial).

- The block, or pedestal, supporting an ornament, or sometimes without an ornament, on the apex, or the ends of a pediment, or gable; or its decoration, or the ornament it carries.




(noun; Mandarin)

- in Chinese architecture, a large ceramic acroterion tile on each end of a roof ridge, usually a dragon-head, or earlier a fish-tail shape, functionally required to protect the wood nails securing the roof-tiles, and roof guardian mythical figures along the hips and ridge (c/f: antefixa and finial).116


116.The Conservation Glossary. Dundee University



- refer: American Congress on Surveying and Mapping.




(noun; Middle English, from Old French: acte and Latin: actus, -um, partly from Latin: agere act-=do).


- A thing done, or a deed.


- A decree, or bill, passed by a legislative body, generally Parliament (with an capitalised initial letter); a statute; a verificatory legal document, especially an act and deed.

- (Intransitive verb). Perform a special function; or exert energy, or influence, eg: the acid acts on the metal.117


117. J B Sykes, Ed, The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Oxford (1911) 1979, p 11, with other meanings






- Australian Capital Territory.






- In narrative theory, a term from the actantial model of semiotic analysis of narratives.


Not simply a character in a story, but an integral structural element upon which the narrative revolves, distinguished from a character's consistent role in the story like the archetype of a character. It is important in the structuralism of narratology to regard each situation as the minimum independent unit of the story.


In Sociology, an approach neither to speak of actors who act, or of systems which behave (c/f: agent).


Also in Linguistics and programming theory.118


118. Wikipedia, accessed 19 April 2011, which has much more detail, including of the scholars responsible. Not in Sykes.




(noun; from Greek: aktis -inos=ray+-o- + -meter).


- An instrument for measuring the intensity of radiation.119


119. J B Sykes, Ed, The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Oxford (1911) 1979, p 11.




(adjective; from Greek: aktis -inos=ray+ -o- + -c).


- Radially symmetrical, eg: in Biology.120


120. J B Sykes, Ed, The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Oxford (1911) 1979, p 11.