Learn English Down Under

Jan 09, 2018

How many of you at an English school in London intend to visit Tate Britain probably the most famous art gallery in the London if not the UK? When you walk in the front door you will be crossing the foundations of the old Millbank Penitentiary, which closed in 1890. It was a special prison devoted to holding those who had been sentenced to “transportation” meaning exiled to Australia. Today the British sometimes introduce an Australian as someone from “down under”. This does not refer to the country being in the Southern Hemisphere in other words at the “bottom of the globe”, but to the underground passage from the Millbank prison which led to the Thames River where the ship waited to take them to Australia.  Fellow inmates would refer those having used the passageway to the ship and left for Australia as having  “gone down under”.


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