Rooted: An Australian history of bad language
Amanda Laugesen


Paperback | Nov 2020 | NewSouth | 9781742236636 | 320pp | 234x153mm | GEN | AUD$32.99, NZD$39.99

Bugger, rooted, bloody oath… 

What is it about Australians and swearing? We've got an international reputation for using bad language and letting rip with a choice swear word or two. From the defiant curses of the convicts to the humour of Kath & Kim, Amanda Laugesen, Chief Editor of the Australian National Dictionary, takes us on an engrossing journey through the tumultuous history of Australia's bad language.

Bad language has been used in all sort of ways in our history: to defy authority, as a form of liberation and subversion, and as a source of humour and creativity. It has also been used to oppress and punish, notably Indigenous Australians and women. Revealing the fundamental tensions, conflicts, preoccupations and anxieties that have shaped our past and continue to shape our present, the story of bad language is a story about what it means to be Australian. 

'This is an engrossing social history – a bloody beauty – from one of our leading  experts on Australian English.' — Frank Bongiorno

'Australia is built on blood, sweat and swears. Digging up the dirt, Amanda Laugesen finds out why, with flair, ferocity and other f-words.' — David Astle 

'Laugesen's history of "bad language" in Australia, provides a new and instructive gateway to understanding Australian culture and identity.' — Bruce Moore

'In Rooted, Amanda Laugesen proves that so-called "bad language" makes for some of the most inventive, descriptive and even character-defining in the world.' — Jonathon Green