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Friday 1 November 2013 9:18am

The Language of Rural New Zealand

Dianne Bardsley

in_the_paddock_and_on_the_runThe book

The prominence of the rural world in New Zealand's social, cultural and economic history is long established and undisputed. For decades, the country was termed 'Britain's overseas farm' or 'the Empire's dairy farm'. This is the first book to explore the rich heritage of language the rural sector has generated.

For two hundred years people have come from all over the world to work in New Zealand's rural enterprises. From this linguistic melting pot, which includes the addition of indigenous Maori words, phrases and adaptations, the author has compiled this book, including historical citations for all words listed.

The author

DIANNE BARDSLEY is Director of the New Zealand Dictionary Centre at Victoria University of Wellington, working as a researcher and lexicographer within the School of Linguistics and Applied Languages. She also teaches New Zealand English in the Linguistics programme. Her publications include The Land Girls: In a Man's World, 1939–1946 (2000), several New Zealand dictionaries, and she is a contributor to the 'Watch Your Language' column in the Dominion Post newspaper.


'It is an academic publication, but one that anyone with an interest in words, farming or New Zealand history will enjoy. You can dip in and out – and much more happily than a sheep in a washdyke' – Dominion Post, December 12 2009

'Filled with evidence of the linguistic inventiveness and humour of rural New Zealanders, this book will be enjoyed by anyone who works with (or just enjoys) language.' – Reference and Research Book News, February 2010

Publication details

Paperback, 230 x 155 mm, 464 pages, b&w photographs, ISBN 978 1 877372 72 8, $50.00
Out of print

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