Melbourne based writer Simon Barnard's new book James Hardy Vaux's 1819 Dictionary of Criminal Slang - and other impolite terms as used by the convicts of the British Colonies of Australia reproduces Australia's first dictionary, written by the three-times transported convict.
It gives an insight into the lives of Australia's criminals and the words they used to describe and hide their crimes - many of which have survived into everyday language.
It soon became a bestseller among "cross coves" (criminals) and "square coves" (honest folk) alike. Now, on the 200-year anniversary of its publication, this new edition presents Vaux's original dictionary entries, alongside Simon's tales of convicts' lives and crimes. Simon tells Kathryn Ryan how he is a self confessed convict nerd and collector of colonial artifacts.