Hoon operation (Word of the Month for July 2015)

Hoon 1


by the ANDC staff

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 July 2015 is ‘hoon operation’: a police campaign targeting dangerous drivers. This term goes back to the early 2000s. The word ‘hoon’ in Australian English goes back to the early 20th century when it referred to a pimp. Since the 1980s ‘hoon’ has been applied to young people who drive cars dangerously. You can read the full Word of the Month in PDF form on our website or read it in an online format.

A different meaning

by Mark Gwynn

There are a number of Australian English words, commonly used by and familiar to most Australians, that have shifted their meaning, or had different meanings, over time. Some of these different meanings are subtle, while others are more significant, but the history of the word tells us something about changes in Australian society and attitudes. Many current speakers of Australian English might be unaware of these earlier and alternative meanings of these words, several of which are discussed below.

Continue reading