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The Australian National University

Convict Words: Language in Early Colonial Australia

Amanda Laugesen Oxford University Press, 2002. 208 pages. ISBN 019551655.

This dictionary is the first dictionary to document the words that shaped this language, a language that in itself helped to shape the nation. It captures the 'mythic' convict Australia: the lags, canaries, and magpies; floggings and treadmills; bellowsers and traps; absconders and bushrangers. There is also the more prosaic language of bureaucracy and administration: ticket of leave, absolute and conditional emancipations, and certificates of freedom. Convict Words is an essential reference work for all those interested in this period of Australian history.

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