Dr Amanda Laugesen. Photo by Lannon Harley.

Dr Amanda Laugesen. Photo by Lannon Harley.

Alert for new words

A day in the life: Dr Amanda Laugesen

Historian and lexicographer Dr Amanda Laugesen, BA (Hons) ’97, PhD ’01, is Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre, which is co-funded by ANU and Oxford University Press Australia and New Zealand to research Australian English and edit Oxford’s Australian dictionaries. Its main research project is the Australian National Dictionary, a dictionary of Australian words and their origins. February is always a busy time for Centre staff, as dictionary projects are often in their copy-editing stage.

Here Dr Laugesen reflects on a typical day in which the search for new words continues.


Alarm goes off; dogs demand early morning snack so no chance of hitting the snooze button.

Leave house to miss the worst of the traffic and to get a decent park on campus.

At desk. Check Twitter, contemplate writing tweet to improve number of followers but get distracted by emails.