29 Oct 2009

Rural language dictionary launched

1:35 pm on 29 October 2009

Fancy a job dummying? You might take to it like a merino to salt lick. Then again, there's always the danger that the land will be so poor the rabbits would have to take a cut lunch.

Don't know what this means? You're probably not alone, and there's a chance you live in one of the areas of New Zealand defined as 'urban'.

The phrases are part of a new book focusing on the evolution of rural language in New Zealand.

In the Paddock and on the Run was written by Victoria University lexicographer Diane Bardsley.

A sort of rural language dictionary that draws on diaries, manuscripts, newspapers and journals since 1832, it is believed to the first book to focus solely on this vernacular and its origins.

Dr Bardsley says land, ownership and farming activities have played a big part in shaping New Zealand's rural language.

In the Paddock and on the Run was released this month.