[ Issue 17 ]

Ozwords delights Emily Bronto

Bikwil salutes Ozwords


As part of our occasional series Postal Fever we present a free semi-annual publication entitled OzwordsHarlish Goop is the reviewer.

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Postal Fever — Harlish Goop


As the editor warned in our very first issue (May 1997), free periodicals are rare. Strange it is, therefore, that our third such mag should be another language-oriented one. Where are all the gratis environmental ones? Or the ones on art? Or music? (On the Internet probably.)

Anyway, thank you to the two readers who let Bikwil know of the existence of Ozwords, a twice-a-year publication of Australian National Dictionary Centre (a joint venture of the Australian National University and Oxford University Press). To subscribe, write to

Debra Burgess
The Subscription Manager
GPO Box 2784Y
Melbourne, 3001.

Like Australian Style (Bikwil Issue 9, September 1998), Ozwords looks at aspects of Aussie English. It consists of eight A4 pages and over recent years has covered such diverse topics as

Racing slang in Australia
Is “true blue” an Ozzyism?
Folk etymology (“the process by which a word whose origin has been ‘lost’,
or which has been borrowed from a foreign language, is remodelled
to conform to more familiar words in the language”)
Recent words
The ab(h)ominable haitch
The Australian nasal twang
The word “larrikin”
American accent and syntax for Aussies
Why did Matilda waltz?
The word “lamington”
“Send her down, Hughie!”

Each issue also contains a Mailbag page, news from OUP and/or the Australian National Dictionary Centre, and a competition. Speaking of the latter, I was particularly taken with the one in the October 1999 issue. Here you were invited to invent a word and its definition, following the examples given, some recently gleaned from the Net, like “lactomangulation” (the process of manhandling the ‘open here’ spout on a milk carton so badly that one has to resort to the illegal side).

By the way, there is also a New Zealand equivalent called Nzwords (pattersd@oupcom.au).

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