The lexicon of Australian English

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


This chapter reviews aspects of the Australian lexicon, with a focus on those aspects that shed light on Australian English’s distinctive nature and history. The chapter opens with a discussion of those words and lexical processes that might be considered stereotypically “Australian” in the wider global community, including playful slang and the shortening or clipping of words (e.g. mozzie for mosquito, journo for journalist). It next discusses the lexicon in relation to its foundations in English spoken in the British Isles and important historical events and figures in Australian history (e.g. convicts, bush, swag; the union movement, fair go, true blue). The chapter then examines the impact of non-Anglo-Celtic migration to Australia, including a discussion of non-Anglo-Celtic borrowings and migrants’ take up of Australian colloquialisms. The chapter closes by addressing the changing nature of the Australian lexicon as well as its impact on the global lexicon. Ultimately, while much is made of the global impact of American English, this chapter closes by noting how the Australian lexicon is changing rather than dying and how a review of changes in the Australian lexicon sheds light on the changing nature of Australian society and its relationship with the world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralian English Reimagined
EditorsLouisa Willoughby, Howard Manns
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780429019692
ISBN (Print)9780367029395
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in World Englishes

Cite this