Convict Flash. "Convict Words: Language in Early Colonial Australia" by Amanda Laugeson. [review]
Amanda Lagueson's "Convict Words" is a dictionary of the characteristic or salient words of early colonial discourse, the lexis of the convict system and transportation, which survived until 1840 in New South Wales, 1852 in Van Diemen's Land, and 1868 in Western Australia.The book's strength lies in Laugeson's commentary, which adeptly contextualises the words, and the quotations selected to illustrate the words. The citations are longer than those usually furnished in historical dictionaries such as the "Australian National Dictionary", of which this book is largely an offshoot. This greater space allows them to make some point or other, beyond the initial and primary task of illustrating the word. Despite some misgivings, "Convict Words" in the main achieves what it set out to do with skill and care, and provides instruction and amusement along the way.