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  • Army life

    Apr 28, 2015 | 0 Comments

    The first thing to attack in the army, as in any institution, was the food.  There was the official iron rations, but there was also the joke Anzac wafer (modelled on vanilla wafer) described as a hard biscuit... Read more...


  • Black humour in war

    Apr 27, 2015 | 0 Comments

    Even heroes and villains can be taken not so seriously in war.  The cold footer  and slacker are  basic enough terms but deep thinker meaning  ‘a person who enlisted late in the course of the war’ has that touch of amused mockery... Read more...


  • Diggers and Mateship

    Apr 24, 2015 | 0 Comments

    The first specialised use of digger in Australian English was a reference to someone digging for gold in a goldfield and dates back to the 1850s gold rush in Victoria... Read more...


  • Naming Gallipoli

    Apr 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

    The irony of ironies is that the name Gallipoli meant ‘beautiful city’ from the Ancient Greek kallos ‘beautiful’ and polis ‘city’.  Locations needed to be identified in fine detail... Read more...


  • A history of the Anzac name

    Apr 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

    The group of Australians and New Zealanders that were formed into a separate body of troops to join the expeditionary force on the Gallipoli Peninsula was initially called the Australasian Army Corps... Read more...


  • Do you skol or scull a beer?

    Apr 20, 2015 | 2 Comments

    It seems that when Tony Abbott downed a glass of beer in a Sydney pub, he triggered a discussion on the rights and wrongs of seeing our prime minister apparently encouraging binge drinking. A second conversation followed as to whether he had skolled or sculled his beer. Read more...


  • Blue day

    Apr 14, 2015 | 0 Comments

    A contributor to the dictionary sent me some citations for a blue day which puzzled him because his first thought was that such a day was depressing but in the contexts given, it seemed to be cheerful. Read more...


  • Just deserts or just desserts?

    Apr 09, 2015 | 0 Comments

    We had a celebratory cake yesterday that was called ‘mortal sin’, but was a mortal sin our just dessert? I suppose it is because of the confusion between one’s deserts (that which you deserve to receive) and one’s desserts (the yummy stuff that you eat after the main meal)... Read more...