Etymology

AustNatDictThis week’s launch of the second edition of the Australian National Dictionary proved too tempting. In our punctilious search for the acme of enigmatic etymological exemplars, we just couldn’t walk past the plethora of newly ratified words that ‘illustrates what it means, in words, to be Australian’.

Oh dear!

So here is a list of our favourites*:

babycino: a coffee for babies (or parents who feel they should have babies that drink coffee)

battered sav: extruded matter, resembling meat, dipped in flour and drowned in fat – enjoy

migaloo: a white person, or that white whale – or maybe both

Mrs Kafoops: for people who forget women’s names – your grandmother might have used this

snot block: yuck – use your imagination, or just order a vanilla slice

saltwater people: Indigenous people from coastal areas – lyrical

stubloon: finally, a stubby of beer as hard currency.

You’re bound to have your own favourites. But isn’t it somehow perfect that this eclectic jumble of words – that only we could love using – is what defines us!

* They’re our definitions!

Sally Holdsworth

Ed: Members, please remember the offer from Oxford University Press, received in an email from IPEd on 16 August: 25% off (and free postage) for the new edition. The offer is open until 15 September. Look back in your emails for the details.