Antarctic Dictionary


The isolation and wild nature of Antarctica were at first barriers to both science and words. To many, the continent is still a barren and useless wasteland. But after decades of twentieth century visits by a very small number of explorers, adventurers, scientists and the military, Antarctica is now playing host to a growing number of summer tourists, the odd artist and the even odder lexicographer. In the 1999-2000 summer season, an estimated 14 000 tourists visited the antarctic regions. As people have begun to visit the waters and the ice, they have needed new words for its extraordinary wildlife, landscapes and weather. Journalist Water Sullivan noted this, when he wrote in 1957 that 'until the moon or other planets are attained, Antarctica will remain the most unearthly region within the reach of man.'

Bernadette Hince, The Antarctic Dictionary, Introduction,
8 April 2000 Canberra