Dinkum Dictionary

Australians have a way of saying things that can confound other English speakers. The Dinkum Dictionary tells the stories behind the origins of a rich mix of distinctly Australian words and phrases.

In following the origins of these words we can see the pathways to the present. We can see, in the words that we have taken to be our own, where we have borrowed, where we have been inventive, and where we have adapted words to our own use. This is what makes Australian English different and special -- the fact that we have taken English and shaped it to fit our unique experience of the world.

'How many of us realise we are using Australian English when we call an argument a "blue", when we dismiss a tall story as a "furphy", or when we affectionately call a friend a "boofmhead"? These kinds of discoveries are part of the pleasure of this dictionary.' The Age.

Publisher: The Text Publishing





The Aitch Factor

For thirty years, as Editor of the Macquarie Dictionary, Susan Butler has been in the front row watching Australians defend, reject, embrace and argue heatedly about every aspect of language usage. She has witnessed crusades against 'youse', ducked the missiles over the phrase 'man boobs', pondered the changing pronunciation of 'Beijing', recorded -- controversially -- the evolving meaning of 'misogyny' and wondered why on earth we still cling to the grammarian's flourish known as the apostrophe.

Drawing on her own depth of experience, community consultation and the odd letter of outrage, Butler chronicles er unique adventures with the wonderfully malleable but strangely resilient beast known as the English language, and pays particular attention to the way Australians have trained it to fit their circumstances.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia