For the love of Australian words

The landmark second edition of The Australian National Dictionary, published in August, is more than a collection of great Australian words.

It is a record of the social and cultural forces that have shaped Australia, its people and its language.

For Dr Amanda Laugesen and her team at the Australian National Dictionary Centre at ANU, the dictionary is also a product of countless hours of reading, research and a passion for discovering Australian words. JAMES GRUBEL reports.

Dr Amanda Laugesen can be described as many things.

As Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre, she is a dedicated historian and lexicographer (a person who compiles dictionaries). She is also a confirmed logophile (a lover of words).

Laugesen leads a team of dedicated word detectives, who find Australian words and phrases, and then track down evidence of their origins and history.

Nothing is off limits. They hunt down words and phrases, including slang and profanities, finding their original sources in books, films, speeches, newspapers and diaries.