Spill (Word of the Month for May 2015)

spill

 

by the ANDC team

The Oxford Word of the Month is written by members of the Australian National Dictionary Centre and published each month by Oxford University Press Australia. Each Word of the Month looks at an Australian word or term in some detail, providing a history of the term and its role in current Australian society. If you wish to receive Word of the Month by email you can subscribe at the Oxford University Press Australia website.

Our Word of the Month for May 2015 is ‘spill’: the deliberate creation of vacant positions in a cabinet, political party, or organisation. This Australian sense of ‘spill’ goes back to the 1940s, and describes a common phenomenon in Australian politics. You can read the full Word of the Month in PDF form on our website or read it in an online format.

Percy Sledge and cricket

by Julia Robinson

images-1Percy Sledge, the American R&B singer who shot to fame in the 1960s with the hit song When a Man loves a Woman, died this week. He seems an unlikely person to be associated with Australian English, especially with a term used in the quintessentially colonial game of cricket. But there is a purported connection, even though it is doubtful.

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Big stoush (Word of the Month for April 2015)

Big Stoush

by the ANDC team

The Oxford Word of the Month is written by members of the Australian National Dictionary Centre and published each month by Oxford University Press Australia. Each Word of the Month looks at an Australian word or term in some detail, providing a history of the term and its role in current Australian society. If you wish to receive Word of the Month by email you can subscribe at the Oxford University Press Australia website.

Our Word of the Month for April 2015 is ‘big stoush’: the First World War. ‘Big stoush’ was used briefly in Australian English to refer to this war, and derives from another Australian sense of ‘stoush’ meaning ‘to punch, strike, or thrash a person’. You can read the full Word of the Month in PDF form on our website or read it in an online format.

Words from our Word Box: update 10

by the ANDC team

Click on the logo to go the Word Box page

Click on the logo to go the Word Box page

This is the first update for 2015 on contributions to our Word Box, the website feature you can use to alert us to new or unfamiliar words and phrases. These contributions allow us to identify new material for our archive of Australian words, and also for our general Australian Oxford dictionaries. We encourage you to contribute—just click on the Word Box image to the left to post your word. A few of the more interesting contributions from the last three months are discussed below; some are new to us, and some we already know. We welcome any comments about your understanding or experience of these words, and look forward to your contributions this year. Continue reading

Ned Kelly beard (Word of the Month for March 2015)

by the ANDC team

Photograph of Ned Kelly on  the day before his execution

Photograph of Ned Kelly on the day before his execution

The Oxford Word of the Month is written by members of the Australian National Dictionary Centre and published each month by Oxford University Press Australia. Each Word of the Month looks at an Australian word or term in some detail, providing a history of the term and its role in current Australian society. If you wish to receive Word of the Month by email you can subscribe at the Oxford University Press Australia website.

Our Word of the Month for March 2015 is ‘Ned Kelly beard’: a full beard. Like many men of the late 19th century, Australia’s most famous bushranger Ned Kelly sported a large bushy beard. In recent times the full beard has made a comeback in Australia, and so has the term ‘Ned Kelly beard’ which is first recorded from the 1930s. You can read the full Word of the Month in PDF form on our website or read it in an online format.

Eggshell blonde (Word of the Month for February 2015)

Peter Garrett, AM. Perhaps Australia's most recognisable 'eggshell blonde'.

Peter Garrett, AM. Perhaps Australia’s most recognisable ‘eggshell blonde’.

by the ANDC team

The Oxford Word of the Month is written by members of the Australian National Dictionary Centre and published each month by Oxford University Press Australia. Each Word of the Month looks at an Australian word or term in some detail, providing a history of the term and its role in current Australian society. If you wish to receive Word of the Month by email you can subscribe at the Oxford University Press Australia website.

Our Word of the Month for February 2015 is ‘eggshell blonde’: a man with a bald head. Evidence for ‘eggshell blonde’ is found in newspaper evidence from the 1940s. You can read the full Word of the Month in PDF form on our website or read it in an online format.

Ethel Turner and Australian English

by Amanda Laugesen

Turner 124 January* marked the anniversary of the birth of Ethel Turner, the writer of one of Australia’s most well-known books, Seven Little Australians. She was also the author of many more books for children. Turner is quoted several times in the Australian National Dictionary, her work providing an important contribution to the historical corpus of Australian English. Continue reading

Wine in Australian English

 

by Mark Gwynn

oz wine

A vineyard visitor

In Australia the nation’s drinking culture is traditionally associated with beer, but in recent years the sale of wine has surpassed that of the amber fluid. Australian wines are now sold and consumed in vast quantities here and around the world. While the increasing consumption of wine is a relatively recent phenomenon, terms associated with this beverage have a much longer history in Australian English. Australia produces many fine wines; however, many of the wine-related terms in the lexicon relate to cheap and inferior wine, as the examples below illustrate. Continue reading

Fridging (Word of the Month for January 2015)

A refrigerator in the outback. Source: Michael Perini (news.com.au)

A refrigerator in the outback. Source: Michael Perini (news.com.au)

by the ANDC team

The Oxford Word of the Month is written by members of the Australian National Dictionary Centre and published each month by Oxford University Press Australia. Each Word of the Month looks at an Australian word or term in some detail, providing a history of the term and its role in current Australian society. If you wish to receive Word of the Month by email you can subscribe at the Oxford University Press Australia website.

Our Word of the Month for January 2015 is ‘fridging’: the act of stealing from an outdoor refrigerator. Evidence for ‘fridging’ is found in newspaper evidence from 2010, and is commonly reported in northern and western Australia. You can read the full Word of the Month in PDF form on our website or read it in an online format.

Words from our Word Box: update 9

Click on the logo to go the Word Box page

Click on the logo to go to the Word Box page

by the ANDC team

This is the final update for 2014 on contributions to our Word Box, the website feature you can use to alert us to new or unfamiliar words and phrases. These contributions allow us to identify new material for our archive of Australian words, and also for our general Australian Oxford dictionaries. We encourage you to contribute—just click on the Word Box image to the left to post your word. A few of the more interesting contributions from the last three months are discussed below; some are new to us, and some we already know. We welcome any comments about your understanding or experience of these words. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our Word Box this year.

Continue reading