The Antarctic Dictionary

Hardback - November 2000 - AU $34.95

eBook - November 2000 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

A complete guide to the origin and definitions of Antarctic words.

The world’s most isolated continent has spawned some of the most unusual words in the English language. In the space of a mere century, a remarkable vocabulary has evolved to deal with the extraordinary environment and living organisms of the Antarctic and subantarctic. + Full description

Here, for the first time, is a complete guide to the origin and definitions of Antarctic words. Like other historical dictionaries, The Antarctic Dictionary gives the reader quotations for each word. These quotations are the life-blood of the dictionary — more than 15 000 quotations from about 1000 different sources give the reader a unique insight into the way the language of Antarctica has evolved. The reader will find out what it means to be slotted, the shortcomings of homers, the joys of a donga and the hazards of a growler.

The Antarctic Dictionary has been meticulously researched, and will appeal to all those who have been to the frozen continent or have ever dreamed of going there. It will also appeal to those fascinated by the development of language.

With a forward by Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

- Short description


"… a genuine piece of scholarship by one who is an appropriately qualified editorial specialist who has worked in the Antarctic… The volume is well produced by CSIRO and the Museum of Victoria, both institutions with a long history of quality publication."
Polar Record vol. 38, no. 204, January 2002

“Australia's love affair with Antarctica has been commemorated in the world’s first dictionary of Antarctic English … Apart from the intrinsic pleasure of using expressions such as “donga” (a transportable dwelling), “big eye” (insomnia caused by 24-hour sunlight), “jolly” (a recreational trip) and “homers” (home-brewed beer), the dictionary also acts as a linguistic guide to the history of Antarctic exploration."
Mark Chipperfield (The Bulletin, 9 January 2001)

"The dazzling glitter of 20,000 quotations amid 2000 headwords prompts a search for dark glasses. In fact, The Antarctic Dictionary can be enjoyed bare-eyed and bare-handed at poolside … As with all vigorous tributaries of our language, Antarctic English is rich in humour."
Frank Devine (The Australian, 13 January 2001)

“I found the book fun to browse, especially as there are many supporting citations for each entry, so that the text as a whole builds up a fascinating picture of Antarctic exploration.”
Michael Quinion, (World Wide Words Issue 221, 27 January 2001)

“Take a slow browse, especially through the recently dated, well-sourced quotations that are very readable.”
Hazel Edwards (The Sunday Age, 21 January 2001)

“The Ice Continent has found its own Samuel Johnson in Bernadette Hince, a lexicographer who has meticulously documented the unique brand of English used by Americans, Australians, Britons, New Zealanders and South Africans working in Antarctica.”
Jeff Rubin (Chicago Tribune, 18 February 2001)

"This is more than just a good glossary. The Antarctic Dictionary is a veritable encyclopedia of language, history, geography, flora, fauna and social science.
Wayne Crawford (The Sunday Tasmanian, 25 March 2001)

"An important addition to any Antarctic collection."
D.W. Heron (Choice, May 2001)

“I cannot imagine any ‘Antarcticist’ not finding value and enlightenment in this volume …”
David W. H. Walton (Antarctic Science, 2001)

“If there is there any dictionary of English which I would want by my bedside, it would be this one. It is fascinating from start to finish, not just for a linguist or lexicographer but anyone who wants to experience the Antarctic through the lexis it has inspired and through the words of those who have been there. Perhaps this is the first post-modern dictionary in which the dictionary becomes an art form.”
Koenraad Kuiper, Department of Linguistics, University of Canterbury, New Zealand (International Journal of Lexicography v.14 no.3, September 2001)

“This dictionary is unusual in being an enjoyable scholarly work. For the growing number of tourists to Antarctica, all of them avid to read everything they can find about it and for the jafas and winter-overers, this dictionary offers the language they will need for their time on the ice.”
The Canberra Editor v.10 no.10 November 2001


Hardback | November 2000 | $ 34.95
ISBN: 9780957747111 | 404 pages
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

ePDF | November 2000
ISBN: 9780643100619
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers