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The Australian National University

Bardi Grubs and Frog Cakes: South Australian Words

Dorothy Jauncey. Oxford University Press, 2004.

Bardi Grubs & Frog Cakes is a dictionary of words about the croweaters' state, giving dated evidence of the usage of 500 words associated with South Australia from 1835 to 2003. South Australians have always regarded themselves as different. No convict taint was the proud claim of the new province in the mid-nineteenth century, and different words arose as the free settlers borrowed from Aboriginal languages to describe the 'new' plants and animals and fish. Cornish and German-Lutheran arrivals to South Australia then added other terms to the language. As settlement moved further away from Adelaide, other words had to be found to describe agricultural innovations, and features of the state's extraordinary outback. By the 2000s, the stuffy respectability of early Adelaide had made way for socially progressive legislation and an enviable lifestyle, and terms to document these changes also entered the vocabulary.

This dictionary reflects the social history of South Australia through these words.

Updated: 22 March 2011/ Responsible Officer:  Centre Director / Page Contact:  Web Publisher