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

Crystal Clear

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?