The new 'Australian National Dictionary' by Bruce Moore

The Australian National Dictionary – the second edition of which has just been published – is based on historical principles and modelled on the large Oxford English Dictionary. Words and meanings are traced chronologically from their first occurrence in the language through to the present (or to the time when they cease to be used); the evidence for their history appears in the form of quotations from texts of various kinds, including printed books, journals, newspapers, manuscripts, and diaries – from the earliest, a 1698 letter referring to black swans that were seen in a voyage to the 'South Land', to more recent gems such as this quotation for 'footy frank' from a 2005 newspaper: the handsome teenager who was blessed with the personality of a footy frank and a similar bulge in his impossibly tight jeans.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Published in August 2016, no. 383