From mull +‎ -ock.


mullock ‎(plural mullocks)

  1. (now Britain dialect) Rubbish, waste matter.
  2. (Australia, New Zealand, mining) Waste rock from which the wanted gold, minerals, opal, etc., has been extracted; waste material generated while searching for minerals or while mining, such as when sinking a shaft.
    • 1875, New Zealand House of Representatives, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives of New Zealand, Volume 2, page 30,
      The gold, both in the quartz and mullock, is very fine, and, owing to the soft and ferruginous nature of the stuff, specks can but very rarely be seen during working.
    • 1938, Xavier Herbert, Capricornia, Chapter X, p. 167, [1]
      He stopped and took up a handful of mullock. The stones clattered on the coffin; the mud remained in his hand.
    • 1996, Janette Turner Hospital, Oyster, Virago Press, paperback edition, page 4:
      On certain days, when hot currents shimmered off Oyster's Reef, we would detect the chalk-dust of the mullock heaps, acrid; or, from the opal mines themselves, the ghastly fug of the tunnels and shafts.
    • 2003, ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Public to Have a Say on Waste Dumping, Oct. 15, 2003:
      The company is considering a site at Mandurang Valley and two others near its mine in Kangaroo Flat, south-west of Bendigo, for a mullock heap that could reach 21 metres over 25 years.
  3. Nonsense, rubbish.

Related termsEdit


  • Oxford English Dictionary
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