Digital Tools II: Analyzing the first use of Australian words

by Sarah Ogilvie

Here is another digital tool which analyzes the first time Australian words were used in print (cf. our previous blog about mining Australian sources). This graph shows the dates of first quotations for all the words in the Australian National Dictionary. Hover over any point along the graph and you are given the date and number of first quotations from that year.

Click on any point on the graph and scroll down the page to find the full citations with the relevant headword. For example, the graph shows that the year 1898 gave Australian English the most new words in a given year (99 new words) such as beaut, fossick, port, and skiter. The next most prolific year for Australian neologisms was the year 1941 (85 new words) with words such as Aussie rules, boofhead, compo, Dorothy Dix, goog, illywhacker, and troppo. Many of these words were first recorded in print by the Australian lexicographers Edward Morris (1898) and Sidney Baker (1941).

* The digital tool discussed in this blog was created at the Centre by digital historian Dr Tim Sherratt.

3 thoughts on “Digital Tools II: Analyzing the first use of Australian words

  1. It would be interesting to know more about the forty-odd words that predated the First Fleet. Is it possible to get a list of them?

    • This would be an interesting list John. I’ll look into it and perhaps blog on the question you have raised. Watch this space!

  2. John you can get a list of the words for a particular year just by clicking on that point on the graph. Is that what you’re after?

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