Antarctic English

AAllan at AOL.COM AAllan at AOL.COM
Mon Dec 11 20:11:23 UTC 2000

>From The Age


Saturday 9 December 2000

The language of "the big pav" is now on paper in Antarctica's first English

For those not in the know, the big pav is Australian slang to describe the

>From aaaa (a sledge dog command) to zucchini (an extended prefabricated hut),
the unique words of
Antarctica's inhabitants have been collected and documented by Canberra
scholar Bernadette Hince.

Ms Hince records American journalist Walter Sullivan commenting in 1957 that
the Antarctic needed a
special vocabulary to describe it.

Ms Hince regretted in the foreword that she could not actually use the big
pav in the dictionary. Because
it had not been in print at least once, she concluded scholarly rules
prevented its use.

But where else would you find a moop? A man out of phase, someone disoriented
by changing patterns of
light and dark in polar regions.

Few but Antarctica's people suffer big eye - the insomnia that goes with
being a moop; or feel greenout -
an overwhelming sensation induced by seeing and smelling trees and other
plants after returning from the

Much of the 400-page Antarctic Dictionary records the region's industrial and
scientific occupations, and
its natural features. . . . [more]

. . . The Antarctic Dictionary by Bernadette Hince. CSIRO Publishing and
Museum Victoria.

- Allan Metcalf

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