That’s right. This year, the Australian National Dictionary Centre (ANDC) is asking Australians for food-related words and phrases.
ANDC director and chief editor of the dictionary Dr Amanda Laugesen says, “each year the ANDC runs an appeal for contributions from the public for the Australian National Dictionary to build on the publication’s collection of Australian words and their origins.
“Contributions from the public are a very important way of alerting us to new words, or words that may’ve been overlooked in the past.”
From bumnuts to smashed avo, a nosh-up to a sambo, we’ve got plenty of Australian-made food terms, but surely there’s plenty more to add. And considering how Australia’s food offering has changed dramatically over the years, it’s clearly not all vegemite anymore.
There’s just so much more food to choose from these days thanks to an abundance of multicultural dishes, the fusion of various ingredients and the uptake of native plants and animals that it makes complete sense that the ANDC is asking for our input.
And while we may still love a pavlova or a snag, halal snack packs have become a thing and souvas are now commonplace. “We also like our less formal ways of enjoying food,” says Dr Laugesen.
So, if you’ve got a culinary term you use, why not share it with the ANDC and help enrich Australian English because—I’ll say it—it’s the best English.
But then, what happens if we, Australians, can’t come to an agreement over what to call scallops/potato cakes? I’ll leave that for the ANDC to figure out.