Amanda Laugesen is a historian, lexicographer, and Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre (ANDC), Australian National University. She is the author of several books and many articles on aspects of Australian and US History. Her book on Australian soldier slang of World War I is due out from Oxford University Press later this year. The ANDC researches Australian English, edits Australia’s Oxford Dictionaries, and blogs regularly at www.ozwords.org. This is the first in a new series of bimonthly columns on language.