Date: Wed, 2 Jul 1997 08:46:53 -0400
From: "Barry A. Popik" Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: Antarctica lingo (cool!)
This is from the Wall Street Journal, 1 July 1997, pg. 1, col. 3. I
can't reproduced the entire thing:
Should the Big Eye Lead to a Greenout, Hey, Have a Homer
Don't Understand? A Volume On the Lingo of Antarctica Will Make It
By Geraldine Brooks
SYDNEY, Australia--Bernadette Hince used to think she had a pretty good
As science editor for the Australian National Dictionary, she had hunted
definitions for thousands of rare natural-history terms, from "snottygobble"
(a shrub) to "pobblebonk" (a frog).
But in 1989, when she got a new job with geologists just back from
Antactica, Ms. Hince suddenly found herself at a loss for words. "They'd be
complaining about problems with their 'dongas,'" says the 45-year-old
botanist, who didn't know whether to sympathize or blush.
She was relieved to learn that a donga isn't anything rude--it's just an
appropriate-sounding term for Antartic sleeping quarters, which can be as
crude as a converted shipping container.
But as she struggled to decode other gripes--the irascibility of
"bolows," the inconvenience of "jafas," the risk of "growlers," the bother of
"big eye," the fear of getting "slotted," the strange sensation of
"greenout"--the lexicographer in Ms. Hince knew it was time to go to work.
When it is published late next year, her Dictionary of Antarctic English
will document what may well be the world's youngest English dialect, coined
in the century or so of human presence on the world's southernmost continent.
From now on, when I refer to the DAE, I will mean the Dictionary of
American English. What will the acronym be? DANTE?
Who's publishing it? Penguin Books?