Posted on 26 May 2020

Selected new words from award-winning author Kim Scott

Each new edition of the Macquarie Dictionary features a foreword written by an esteemed Australian writer. For the Eighth Edition, we were honoured to welcome Kim Scott, author Taboo and the Miles Franklin Award winning That Deadman Dance. The words below represent a selection of those that stood out for Kim, which in turn represent just a fraction of the 3500 new entries included in the Macquarie Dictionary Eighth Edition. Kim’s foreword focuses on some of the Indigenous words included in the Eighth Edition. Kim notes that many of these words would once have been labelled simply as 'Aboriginal' but have since been updated with more understanding of their place within Indigenous culture and language groups. Take for example Ngangkari, from the Pitjantjatjara language, one of many Indigenous words included in the Macquarie Dictionary Eighth Edition.  ngangkari noun an Indigenous practitioner of bush medicine; healer. Kim Scott’s other word selections are often humorous or food related. Each of the six words below reflects changes to the way Australian English is used by the public. To read the rest, order your copy of the Macquarie Dictionary Eighth Edition and read the foreword for yourself.  hair doughnut noun a doughnut-shaped sponge or similar material used as the support for a doughnut bun or similar updo. rat tamer noun Colloquial a psychologist or psychiatrist. sadfishing noun Colloquial the practice adopted by some people, especially on social media, of exaggerating claims about their emotional problems to generate sympathy. schnitty noun Colloquial a schnitzel, especially a chicken schnitzel. stepmonster noun Colloquial (humorous) (sometimes derogatory) a stepmother. zoodle noun a spiralised strand of zucchini, sometimes used as a substitute for pasta.
Posted on 1 May 2020

Even more new words to watch

Welcome to our new words blog where we cover new and trending words and consider their worthiness for inclusion in the Macquarie Dictionary.  This month, we have a raft of words related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It seems inevitable that coronavirus-related lingo would find its way into our vocabulary, but the creativity and humour of some of these words helps take the edge off isolation. So sit back, mix yourself a quarantini (a cocktail made at home while in self-isolation) and check out this month's list of new words.  Boomer remover is a colloquial and slightly mean term for COVID-19 that has spread around social media. While doomsurfing might sound like an epic new extreme sport, it is actually the act of deliberately searching for bad news online, especially news related to coronavirus. Zoombombing is surprising an existing Zoom call by turning up uninvited. Perhaps while you are bunkered down, you are watching some nicecore: films that are overwhelmingly positive in nature.  Don't worry, it isn't all COVID-19-related! A celebrat is a person who ruins parties (usually their own) with rude behaviour, while multihyphenate refers to someone who fulfils multiple roles at the same time.  Which words do you think any are worthy of inclusion in the Macquarie Dictionary? Let us know in the comments below.  Let us know if you have any other suggestions. We are always happy to hear new words, no matter how big or small a usage they may have. Be sure to vote for some of these when we post them on our Instagram stories. See other words suggested to the Macquarie Dictionary here.
Posted on 17 April 2020

Proper (and not-so-proper) ways to talk about toilet paper

There are new words being born every day, mostly to do with COVID-19 and the many changes this is bringing to our daily lives and to the planet in general. But closer to home (in a lot of countries), we've already got quite a few words for that in-demand product selling out in supermarkets across Australia – toilet paper. Let's start properly. The usual alternative to toilet paper is toilet tissue, which makes it sound much softer. And of course lavatory paper, loo paper and dunny paper. As an aside, dunny has been immortalised in a number of slang phrases. To be all alone like a country dunny is to be completely alone or isolated. Someone who is brainless couldn't train a choko vine to grow up a dunny wall, and something useless is described as being as useful as a glass door on a dunny. If your luck is out you can exclaim If it was raining palaces I'd be hit on the head by the dunny door. Finally, if someone's luck is in, and you wish that it would change for the worse, you may cry I hope your chooks turn into emus and kick your dunny down. But back to loo paper. After that, I'm afraid it gets a little more base. The term bum fodder is slang from the 1880s in England that is occasionally still heard today. There's a tendency to refer to the paper itself as 'tickets' in many phrases, such as poo ticket (for a square of toilet paper), pack of poo tickets (for a roll of toilet paper) and shit tickets, which is self-explanatory. There's also dunny documents, which is an odd combination of slang and officiousness. Date roll and crap wrap are a couple of others to round out the list. In the process of researching this charming topic, we came across bog roll, TP, toot paper (thanks Kath & Kim), and other terms. What's your preferred term?