What is a “jafo”? What are “fingees”? What are “lemmers”, “growlers” and “stinkers”? What happens when you get “slotted”?

It’s all in The Antarctic Dictionary, a unique work on the English language spoken by “Antarcticans”, which had its Hobart launch at the Australian Antarctic Division on Monday 11 November.

The Antarctic Dictionary, by Canberra-based scholar Ms Bernadette Hince, was launched by the AAD Director, Dr Tony Press. It is published by CSIRO Publishing, of Melbourne, in association with the Museum of Victoria. The Dictionary's foreword is by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the noted British explorer-adventurer.

In its more than 500 pages, the book covers the English spoken by Australians, New Zealanders, US, British (including Falkland Islanders) and others throughout Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions. It took Ms Hince 11 years to compile and involved extensive research in all the countries concerned, including visits to Antarctica and sub-Antarctic islands.

About the author, in her own words

Bernadette Hince is an Australian who loves words, and is at a loss without a dictionary. She wrote the natural history definitions in the Australian National Dictionary and advised on natural history for the Dictionary of New Zealand English. She has some things in common with one of her heroes, Samuel Johnson (though she is not dead yet): she has a father who is a bookseller, she suffers from depression, and she believes that humour has a place in dictionaries. Bernadette lives in Canberra with her house-painter husband, and has two daughters. As part of the 11 years of research and writing for this book, she spent the 1995–96 summer in Antarctica with innumerable Weddell seals.

More information on The Antarctic Dictionary, including ordering details, can be found at CSIRO Publishing.