Bibliophile’s Book Find: Awesome Aussie

G’day mates! As a graduate of the Modern Language program here at FSC, I am mad keen about learning foreign languages and studying different cultures. This week’s reference room treasure is guaranteed to leave language and culture enthusiasts like myself as happy as a possum!

Kangaroo’s Comments & Wallaby’s Words: The Aussie Word Book, written by Helen Jonsen and published by Hippocrene Books (New York) discusses the difference between Australian-English and American-English. This book is divided into eight thematic sections dedicated to general information about Australia, food, people, games, nicknames, native Australian animals and more. On page 55, learn what exactly that “swagman” is from the song “Waltzing Matlida”. Learn the difference between a numbat and a wombat on page 123, and discover what happens every fall when people here at FSC barrack for our gridiron team (pgs. 75 & 105).

As stated in the “How to Use This Book” section (pg. 17), that although this book is factual, it is meant to be read for fun. Loaded with comical illustrations by John Colquhoun, (such as the two-bob watch on pg. 82), this book is sure to leave a grouse smile on your face. While this book was published in 1988 and may not have the most up-to-date Aussie terms, the glossary of Australian-American and American-Australian words and phrases will serve you well during your next Crocodile Dundee movie marathon.

You can find Kangaroo’s Comments & Wallaby’s Words: The Aussie Word Book on the first floor of the library in the Reference Room (118). The call number is Ref PE 3601 .Z5 J64 1988. If you have any questions about this or any other resource, contact a Reference Librarian in person, by phone at 508-626-4654, by email at or IM at fscrefdesk. If you would like to suggest a treasure in the library’s Reference Room, please email me at



1 Comment

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One response to “Bibliophile’s Book Find: Awesome Aussie

  1. Hello – i love that you have unearthed my book! So I thought i would update you. Kangaroo’s Comments & Wallaby’s Words: The Aussie Word Book was updated in a 2nd edition for 2000 (when the Aussies hosted the Olympics). For travelers, Hippocrene Books also published my “Hippocrene Travel & Language Series: Australia” and Hippocrene Dictionary & Phrasebook: Australia (a handy travel-size book). Some are now out of print but can be found on e-bay.

    Meanwhile come visit me

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