English 'down under'


  • Intro

    Aboriginal and Maori words soon entered the language of the earliest English-speaking colonists in Australia and New Zealand. This dictionary shows that by the end of the 19th century more than 2,000 new words had become part of the varieties of English spoken ‘down under’. Australian and New Zealand English later became distinct varieties reflecting their very different cultures.



    On these pages


    New words for the native botany and zoology of Australia and New Zealand are among the words defined here. They are all borrowed from local languages. Examples include kiwi from Maori and koala from the Dharug or Eora Aboriginal language, both of which have since become familiar to English speakers worldwide.


    Edward E Morris, Austral English: A Dictionary of Australasian Words, Phrases and Usages, 1898.

    Shelfmark: 012986.f.9.

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