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The Australian National University

Glossary of slang and peculiar terms in use in the A.I.F. 1921–1924

Edited and introduced by Amanda Laugesen

This project was sponsored by an Australian Research Council small grant awarded to Bruce Moore. Dr. Moore provided me with much assistance in putting together the annotated version of this glossary.

The original manuscript and accompanying archival material can be found in the Australian War Memorial AWM 93 [18/1/1/]. The AWM kindly provided permission for the reproduction of the glossary on this website.

The glossary, compiled by the newly formed Australian War Memorial’s librarians over the period 1921 to 1924, provides a snapshot of the language of the soldiers who had fought for Australia and the Empire in the Middle East and Europe. Over 900 terms are included in the glossary, some Australian, some more general, but all with special relevance for the troops’ experience of the war. We can get a real sense of how the average soldier spoke (the swear words that no doubt were also a central part of the soldiers’ vocabulary did not make it into the glossary, although some are alluded to). We also gain a sense of how Australian soldiers brought to the battlefields a distinct ‘Aussie’ identity revealed in this ‘slanguage’.

Introduction - for further information on the glossary and suggested further reading.

The original manuscript – the final draft of the Glossary, without any amendments or annotations.

Annotated edition of the Glossary – each term has been provided with an explanation of its origin and usage, and in some cases further discussion of its meaning, and citations to show how it was used, and including links.

Additionally, there are sections providing further information on aspects of language relevant to the glossary, and a list of abbreviations for the texts used in the notes to the annotated edition.

Flying Corps terms - A glossary of terms collected from the Australian Flying Corps - copy of the original typescript with only minor amendments and alphabetised.

Copyright of the manuscript belongs to the Australian War Memorial.

Copyright of the edited version of the manuscript, and the introduction belongs to Amanda Laugesen and the Australian National Dictionary Centre.

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Updated: 30 May 2011/ Responsible Officer:  Centre Director / Page Contact:  Web Publisher