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Australia in 100 Words

NewSouth Books

Australia in 100 Words


Bludger. Larrikin. Dinkum. Cobber. Sickie. Pash. Illywacker.

There are plenty of words to choose from to tell the story of Australia – from iconic Australianisms like mateship, fair dinkum, and bogan to drop bears, budgie smugglers and bin chickens.

And while you aren’t likely to hear bonzer, crikey, or cobber walking down the street, you will hear no worries, mate, and yeah, nah. Words underpin the myths and stereotypes of Australian identity; they have also obscured harsh realities and inequalities. There were more than 250 languages spoken on this continent before invasion. And while Australian English has many male archetypes – from bushrangers to diggers – there are far fewer words that tell us about the lives of women.

Historian and Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre, Dr Amanda Laugesen gives a fresh history of Australia’s past, and present.

About the author

Dr Amanda Laugesen is a historian, author, and lexicographer. She is director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre at the ANU and chief editor of the Australian National Dictionary: Australian Words and Their Origins. Amanda has published widely in areas such as the social and cultural history of war, book history, and the history of Australian English. Her most recent book is Rooted: An Australian History of Bad Language (2020).

Amanda Laugesen
Published October 2024
280 pages
210mm x 135mm
ISBN 9781742237909

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