A History of Vegemite

We all eat it but do we know its history? Vegemite was created by Melbourne-based food technologist Cyril Callister (1893-1949) in 1923. Although a similar spread made from concentrated yeast extract, Marmite, was available in England, no one knew its recipe so Callister created Vegemite from scratch.  He worked for Fred Walker’s small food company and specialized in methods to preserve cheese using yeast (Walkers was bought by Kraft in 1926 and Callister became their Chief Chemist). Continue reading

Dictionary Dogs

Because dictionaries are too good to waste on cats and humans.

Ozworder Harriet. Specialism: Fashion. Barking mad on: houndstooth, 'a design of broken check; a fabric of this design' 1st recorded in New York in 1936

Ozworder Hap. Specialism: Libraries & Latin. Barking mad on: carrel, 'a private kennel provided in a library for use by a reader'

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Australian rhyming slang

Dame Edna pictured with Australian singer Barry Crocker, after whom the expression 'a Barry Crocker' rhyming slang for 'a shocker' (a bad or disappointing person or thing) is named.

Rhyming slang is so commonly associated with London’s East End that it is usually referred to as Cockney rhyming slang. However it’s almost as prevalent in some circles of Australian society, and Australian English has many words deriving from rhyming slang.

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From LOLcats to Dictionary Cats

Ozworder Freddie. Specialism: Etymology. Purrfect Word: Nepeta, 'a type of catnip but yummier, dates from the 17th-century' (1633 to be precise, Freddie informs us)

Over the past decade, the popular internet meme ‘LOLcats’ has given birth to a new internet language: LOLspeak, a reimagining of English as spoken by cats in photographs. If you google ‘LOLcats’ you will find thousands of photographs of cats with funny captions in non-standard English, such as I can has cheeseburger and I r not surprized u haz no girlfriend.

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Australia – the land of the fair go

The original Eureka flag flown at the Eureka Stockade in 1854. The Eureka flag was used in the shearers' strikes of 1891. Image source: Ballarat Fine Art Gallery


by Mark Gwynn

In discussions about the Federal budget in the coming weeks we will hear both sides of politics claim that Australians deserve a fair go. Indeed Australian politics have been awash in recent times with words reflecting an age that many may have thought belonged to an earlier period of socialists versus capitalists, left versus right, workers versus employers. We have the politics of envy, class warfare, and of course the right of all Australians to a fair go.

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