From battered sav to babyccino – new words for Aussie dictionary

In a sign of the times, babyccino and long black are among more than 6000 new words and phrases officially recognised in the second edition of the Australian National Dictionary.

Aug 23, 2016, updated Aug 23, 2016
Dagwood dogs and battered savs are among iconic fare added to the Australian National Dictionary. Photo: AAP

Dagwood dogs and battered savs are among iconic fare added to the Australian National Dictionary. Photo: AAP

But the latest release also includes iconic Aussie fare such as battered sav, chiko roll, dagwood dog and fairy bread.

“Carry on like a pork chop”, “couldn’t run a chook raffle”, and “a cup of tea, a Bex and good lie down” are included in the definitions and history of 16,000 words and phrases unique to Australia.

Oxford University Press boss Peter van Noorden, who released the second edition of the Australian National Dictionary – its first comprehensive update since 1988 – credited former prime minister Tony Abbott with adding colour to the Australian language.

“We’re a bit disappointed that Tony Abbott isn’t as prevalent anymore on our TV screens,” van Noorden said at Parliament House in Canberra today.

“He certainly brought us some beauties in terms of ‘shirt front’, which was a real winner. ‘Captain’s pick’ was a beauty as well and he sort of the became the poster boy for ‘budgie smuggler’.”

The Australian National Dictionary now has definitions and the history of 16,000 words and phrases unique to Australia.

Launching the dictionary, Labor’s Andrew Leigh said: “To read a dictionary like this is to delight in the richness of the Australian language and to recognise it is a language that is always changing.

“May the third edition not be 28 years away.”

Words and phrases added to the Australian National Dictionary include:


babychino, battered sav, boston bun, chateau cardboard, chiko roll, chocolate crackle, copha, dagwood dog, Devonshire tea, fairy bread, goon of fortune, kransky, long black, neenish tart, nibblies, short soup, snag, snot block.


bogan, bronzed Aussie, bush baptist, callithumpian, chardonnay socialist, checkout chick, firie, grey nomad, Mexican, Mrs Kafoops, mungo, pube, ranga, rurosexual, saltwater people, seachanger, sepp, skip, tradie.


aspirational voter, branch stacking, captain’s pick, economic rationalism, Hawkespeak, Howard’s battlers, keep the bastards honest, micro party, mortgage belt, negative gearing, scrutineer, small-liberal, tent embassy, true believer, two-party preferred, wombat trail.


I don’t know if I’m Arthur or Martha; your blood’s worth bottling; do a Bradbury; carry on like a pork chop; couldn’t run a chook raffle; a cup of tea, a Bex, and a good lie down; dry as a dead dingo’s donger; happy as a bastard on father’s day; straight to the pool room; it would kill a brown dog; stacks on the mill; he wouldn’t know if a tram was up him unless the conductor rang the bell; he wouldn’t work in an iron lung.


akudjura (a bush tomato), bilma (a clapstick), bunji (a mate), dayang (a heath mouse), gubinge (a kind of plum), jarjum (a baby or young child), kumanjayi (a substitute name for a person who has died), migaloo (a white person), minga (a tourist), rakali (a water rat), tjukurpa (the Dreaming), yidaki (a didgeridoo).

Other terms derived from indigenous culture include: deadly, Invasion Day, secret women’s business, songline, welcome to country.


Topics: language
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