Kidspeak: A Dictionary of Australian Children's Words, Expressions and Games

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Melbourne University Press, 2000 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 244 pages
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By the time they are five or six years old, children have learnt to explain, complain, admire, speculate, imagine, enquire, agree, argue and shock in their mother tongue. They can burble and coo to a baby, speak 'correctly' to their elders, and converse in the slang of their peers. Some may be fluent in more than one 'adult' language; all but the most isolated are becoming expert in the ways their friends speak. Children's creative use of language is more than the practice of speech; it involves the imaginative exploration of ideas and images, and the marking of peer and hierarchical relationships. This book offers a rich, comprehensive sampling of the linguistic range and complexity of Australian children's colloquial words and expressions from early childhood through teenage years. It illuminates the significant but hidden subcultures of childhood, highlighting a vernacular that is always inventive, sometimes crude, and often witty and amusing.

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About the author (2000)

June Factor is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and the University of London and is currently a senior fellow at the Australian Centre. She is a well-known and highly-respected researcher, social historian, and writer with a special interest in children's folklore and language. She is also the author of the children's books Far Out, Brussel Sprout!; All Right, Vegemite!; Unreal, Banana Peel!, Real Keen, Baked Bean!, Roll Over, Pavlova!, June Factor's Jumping Joke Book and June Factor's Juicy Joke Book. Her social history, Captain Cook Chased a Chook: Children's Folklore in Australia, was awarded the United States Opie Prize.

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