The Australian National Dictionary

Australian Words and Their Origins

Second Edition

Bruce Moore, Amanda Laugesen, Mark Gwynn, Julia Robinson

The Australian National Dictionary

Australian Words and Their Origins

Second Edition

Bruce Moore, Amanda Laugesen, Mark Gwynn, Julia Robinson






27 Jul 2016




$220.00 AUD

$244.99 NZD

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The Australian National Dictionary (AND) is a dictionary of Australianisms. It includes words and meanings that have originated in Australia, that have a greater currency here than elsewhere, or that have a special significance in Australian history.

Major features:

  • All entries from the first edition, which was published in 1988, have been thoroughly revised and updated. 6000 new entries have been added. There are more than 16,000 Australian terms.
  • It differs from general dictionaries in being based on historical principles, like the comprehensive Oxford English Dictionary. This means it describes the full history of a word, starting with its earliest appearance, establishing its origin, and documenting its use over time.

  • They include:
    • regional terms from different states and territories
    • terms from Aboriginal English, a major dialect of Australian English.
    • historical terms from the convict era, the gold rushes, farming, and the experience of war
    • colloquial terms, including rhyming slang and numerous lively and colourful idioms
  • New entries cover all aspects of Australian life, history, culture, and values, as indicated by this brief list:
    ambo, barbecue stopper, bogan, budgie smugglers, bunny rug, captain's pick, chiko roll, chook lit, chroming, copha, corkie, couldn't run a chook raffle, do a Bradbury, drop bear, fairy bread, firie, goon bag, grommet, hip-pocket nerve, hornbag, humidicrib, karak, land of the fair go, marn grook, negative gearing, not happy Jan, pizzling, reg grundies, schmick, schoolies' week, seachanger, secret women's business, shirt-front, skippy, songline, spunk rat, trackie daks, ute muster, welcome to country.
  • There is detailed information on the origins of these Australian words, including comprehensive coverage of more than 550 words that have been borrowed from 100 Aboriginal languages.
  • Quotations from books, newspapers, diaries, etc., show how words have been used over time. More than 123,000 quotations illustrate the entries.

The Australian National Dictionary is the only comprehensive, historically based record of the words and meanings that make up Australian English. It is a unique lexical map of Australian history and culture.


Editor Dr Bruce Moore is a former Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre (1994-2011). He has edited a number of OUP dictionaries, including the Australian Oxford Dictionary. His books on Australian English include Gold! Gold! Gold! A Dictionary of the Nineteenth-Century Australian Gold Rushes (2000), Speaking Our Language: The Story of Australian English (2008), and What's Their Story? A History of Australian Words (2010). 

This second edition of the Australian National Dictionary was produced at the Australian National Dictionary Centre at the Australian National University. The Centre, established in 1988, is a joint venture of the Australian National University and Oxford University Press Australia and New Zealand.

Chief Editor: Bruce Moore

Managing Editor: Amanda Laugesen

Editors: Mark Gwynn, Julia Robinson