A History of ‘Bad’ Language in Australia


A presentation by Amanda Laugesen

(This meeting is rescheduled from last month.)

Date: Wednesday, 28 July 2021
Time: 6:30pm, doors open at 5:40pm for nibbles and drinks (not available remotely!)
Venue: Durie Room, St Mark’s College (please register via Trybooking – details below) or attend remotely via Zoom (details below)

Amanda Laugesen’s recent book Rooted: A History of Bad Language (NewSouth, 2020) explores the story of swearing and offensive language in Australia from invasion to the present day. Bad language has been used in all sort of ways through the years: to defy authority, as a form of liberation and subversion, and as a source of humour and creativity. Our attitudes to bad language (and even what we consider to actually be ‘bad’ language) have changed dramatically across time. In this talk, Amanda will explore some aspects of the history of our bad language, and consider where we are today.

Amanda Laugesen is a historian and lexicographer, and is currently director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre at the Australian National University and Chief Editor of the Australian National Dictionary: Australian Words and Their Origins. She is the author of numerous books and articles in US and Australian history, as well as editor of numerous Australian Oxford dictionaries.

Attendance options

In person

Please register via Trybooking. We’ll ask you to sign our attendance sheet when you arrive.

Meetings are held in the Durie Room, St Mark’s National Theological Centre, 15 Blackall St, Barton (not Blackall Place). The Durie Room is accessible from the carpark closest to Kings Avenue. Here’s a map.

Remote (Zoom) alternative

This month we’ll be providing a very basic Zoom option for those who cannot, or prefer not to, attend in person. With this option you will be able to sign in and listen to the speaker and see slides. We’ll turn the computer around for question time so that you can (hopefully) hear questions from the floor. However, the Zoom session will be unmonitored and you won’t be able to ask questions yourself.

A link will be sent to members. If you are not a member and wish to attend via Zoom, please email the President from the Contact us page (select President in the drop-down) and ask for a link.

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