Down Under

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The term Down Under is a colloquialism which is variously construed either to refer to Australia and New Zealand, or either Australia or New Zealand alone. The term comes from the fact that these countries are in the Southern Hemisphere, 'below' many other countries on the globe.[1][2]

The persistence of the media use of the term has led to its wide embrace and usage. The Men at Work song "Down Under" became an instantly recognisable, patriotic rallying song. The famous Australian boxing champion Kostya Tszyu was nicknamed "The Thunder from Down Under".

According to Roger Ebert's tongue-in-cheek Glossary of Movie Terms,[3] the Down Under Rule "No film set in Australia is allowed to use the word Australia in its title where "Down Under" is an acceptable alternative. For example, we don't get The Rescuers in Australia or Quigley in Australia."


  1. ^ New Oxford American Dictionary (NOAD2), entry for "Down Under"
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary (Electronic), Version 4.0, entry for "down under"
  3. ^ Ebert's Glossary of Movie Terms