Macquarie Dictionary Blog
Posted on 2 December 2019
Macquarie shortlist of words of the year | Fashion
With an extensive fifteen categories each containing five words, the Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year longlist can be a lot to take in. These 75 words (you can check the full list out here) are narrowed down by our Committee to fifteen from which you can then vote for in the People's Choice Word of the Year 2019. Before you cast your vote, be sure to read over the highlights from the Fashion category and learn what the words mean and where they come from. Don’t forget to comment and let us know which words you like and what you think! Fashion is an innovative field that sees dozens of new words coined each year. Previous words that have made it to the Fashion shortlist include lumbersexual, onesie and loom band. This year sees a variety of new words and definitions that cover everything from clothing item slang to haircare methods. If you like your wine budget-friendly then you may have heard the term cleanskin, which already appears in the dictionary with a variety of definitions including an unlabelled (and often low cost) wine, an unbranded animal, or a person free from blame. This year, a newly submitted and somewhat controversial definition denotes a person without any tattoos. A regionalism is a word characteristic to a particular town, area or region and this year we've got Tassie tuxedo which comes from (you guessed it) Tasmania! A puffer jacket, particularly one that is black in colour is often jokingly referred to as a Tassie tuxedo. cleanskin noun Colloquial someone without any tattoos. Being a cleanskin probably puts me in the minority, and, if I remember correctly from primary school, a big part of being cool is being different. www.smh.com.au Give the grandparents a heart attack when you rock up for Christmas lunch with kids bearing arms of tatts! These tattoo sleeves are the ultimate in fun for tweens and teens. Plus, cleanskin dads will love them too. www.mumcentral.com.au Tassie tuxedo noun Tasmania Colloquial (humorous) a puffer jacket, especially one black in colour.Also, Tasmanian tuxedo. Don your Tassie Tuxedo and come down to the Hobart Brewing Company to explore these chilly topics on a chilly July night with Zanna Chase of IMAS. www.inspiringtas.org.au This year I'm asking for not only donations to my cause but I challenge you to join me sleeping out! Grab your Tassie Tuxedo and brave the cold for just one night for a good cause. Go Fund Me page 2014 Rounding out the Fashion category are the words no poo, textile beach and dadcore. You can find the definitions for these words as well as our longlist on our Word of the Year page. The shortlisted word from this category for 2019 is cleanskin. We featured cleanskin in our Words to Watch back in July this year. You can find more information on the shortlist and vote here.
Posted on 2 December 2019
Macquarie shortlist of words of the year | Social Interest
With a total of 75 words spanning fifteen categories, the Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year longlist (you can check the full list out here) can be a lot to take in! To make choosing the People's Choice Word of the Year 2019 easier, our Committee narrows the longlist down to just fifteen words which are then open to the public to vote on. Take a look at the highlights from one of the categories, Social Interest. Learn what these new words mean and where they come from and let us know what you think of them by commenting below. If you consider yourself up-to-date on the latest social issues and trends, then you’ve probably heard of at least one or two of the words from the Social Interest category. This category covers everything from modern culture to political and socio-economic issues. Being mindful of what you do and what you say has never been more important with cancel culture upon us. The last few years have seen many public figures being ‘cancelled’, that is, effectively becoming a social pariah and losing public support due to an indiscretion or offensive behaviour, usually in the form of an action or comment. Do you know which side of the latte line you fall on? A latte line is an imaginary line that marks a socio-economic and cultural division. This is also sometimes referred to as a quinoa curtain. cancel culture noun the attitudes within a community which call for or bring about the withdrawal of support from a public figure, such as cancellation of an acting role, a ban on playing an artist's music, removal from social media, etc., usually in response to an accusation of a socially unacceptable action or comment. Also, call-out culture, outrage culture Nick Cave has addressed the current state of rock’n’roll in a lengthy and poetic statement about cancel culture. themusic.com.au In the era of cancel culture, retailers need to understand the reasons when things go wrong, and how dealing with a poor customer experience via exceptional customer service can protect, and even enhance, brand reputation and the value this can deliver. retailbiz.com.au latte line noun Colloquial an imaginary line supposedly marking a socio-economic and cultural division, with people living on one side having greater access to jobs, infrastructure, prosperity, etc., and those on the other side of the line as being disadvantaged. Also, quinoa curtain. Largely spanning Sydney’s north-eastern suburbs, the schools above the Latte Line are responsible for producing the bulk of the highest HSC results, when compared with the areas below the Latte Line in the southwest. educationtoday.com.au Using Melbourne's iconic The Age Good Food Guide (GFG) as an indicator of social change, KPMG has established that in 1999 there was one GFG restaurant in the inner west. The 2011 edition shows 10. Melbourne's Latte Line has pushed west of the Yarra and only stops at Rosamond Road, Maribyrnong. vu.edu.au Also making up the Social Interest category are unschooling, period poverty and welcome wall. You can find the definitions for these words as well as our longlist on our Word of the Year page. The shortlisted word from this category for 2019 is also the 2019 Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year! Cancel culture took out the main prize, which you can find more information about and vote on the People's Choice here.
Posted on 2 December 2019
Macquarie shortlist of words of the year | Eating and Drinking
The Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year longlist is made up of 75 words (you can check them out here), with five words in each of the fifteen categories. Our Committee whittles these down to just fifteen words to create the shortlist. From the shortlist, you can vote to help decide which word becomes the People's Choice Word of the Year 2019. Before making the decision on which words get your vote, read over the highlights from the Eating and Drinking category to learn the definitions and origins of our picks for 2019. We would love to hear your thoughts, so drop a comment below and tell us what you think of these new words. Love it or hate it (or maybe you’ve never ate it!), nevertheless the addition of cheese slaw to the Macquarie Dictionary took social media by storm, with the people of Broken Hill vehemently defending and exalting their towns beloved invention. This culinary wonder is a salad made up of grated carrot, grated cheese and mayonnaise. You may have heard of a babycino but what about a puppuccino? Dog-friendly cafes have started serving up this speciality drink so that dogs can happily join their owners for a social brunch. Sound like a bad idea? Don’t worry, puppuccinos are made using lactose-free milk to keep pup happy and healthy. cheese slaw noun 1. coleslaw to which grated cheese has been added. 2. Broken Hill a salad of grated carrot, grated cheese, and mayonnaise. Also, cheeseslaw. [modelled on COLESLAW] Don’t leave Broken Hill without trying the chicken and cheese slaw focaccia from Café Lana’s (198 Argent St). www.brokenhillcottages.com.au "So if you're looking from a health and weight point of view of eating salads to maybe lose weight or maintain weight, cheese slaw's maybe not the best salad to be going for." www.abc.net.au puppuccino noun Colloquial a drink for dogs served in dog-friendly cafes, etc., usually consisting of lactose-free milk. Also, puppaccino. [blend of PUP and CAPPUCCINO] Dinesh said people can expect to see more dog owners treating their pets when they pick up their coffee fix. “It’s more popular in Europe than Australia right now but we are seeing more pet owners ordering puppuccinos,” he said. www.bartercard.com.au Perth's pooches have been lining up for a puppuccino at micro-cafe Boo Espresso. www.dailytelegraph.com.au Other words in the Eating and Drinking category this year include food fraud, ruby chocolate and urban cooking. You can find the definitions for these words as well as our longlist on our Word of the Year page. The shortlisted word from this category for 2019 is cheese slaw. And don't forget to vote for the People's Choice for Word of the Year 2019 and comment below!
Posted on 2 December 2019
The Committee's Choice Word of the Year 2019 is...
The chosen word for 2019 was a tight finish, but the winning word for 2019, according to the Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year Committee is...
Posted on 1 December 2019
Why the Word of the Year is made up of two words
For the past five years, our Word of the Year has consisted of two words. In 2015, the word was captain's call. In 2016, it was fake news. In 2017, the controversial milkshake duck took out the top spot. And in 2018, we had Me Too as the Word of the Year. And now, for 2019, the Word of the Year is cancel culture. And so once again we embark on the journey to explain what we, as a dictionary, mean when we refer to something as a word. The English language has the great capacity to create new words and new meanings from existing words. One of the more common ways we form new words in English is by putting together two (or more!) existing words to form a new word with a new meaning. This is technically known as a lexical item or lexical unit. Essentially, a 'word' is the item that you look up in the dictionary to find the meaning. Sometimes one of these new creations ends up as a blended word, known as a portmanteau. For example anecdata [anecdote + data], healthwashing [health + whitewash], or incel [involuntary + celibate]. Sometimes new words are created by the addition of affixes, as in deplatform or destock. And sometimes two whole words are smashed together as in tweetstorm or earthship. Or, somewhat less dramatically, words are simply placed next to each other, as in Me Too, flight shaming and cancel culture. Find out about these words as part of Word of the Year 2019. In other instances a hyphen may be used to keep things a little cleaner, as in eco-anxiety, or words may be borrowed from another language, like ngangkari and mukbang (which is also a portmanteau!). And of course there are also backformations. Language is a moveable feast. The forms of words can change over time, inserting or removing hyphens and spaces, dropping letters, fusing into a single unit. Take for example electronic mail which then became e-mail and is now most frequently used as email. So when confronted with a word that is made up of two words, like cancel culture, this is counted as a new lexical item which needs a new entry in the dictionary. Because using our existing understanding of cancel – to decide not to proceed with – and of culture – a particular state or stage of civilisation, as in the case of a certain nation or period – doesn't really give us the essence of what this new term actually means. And now it's time for you to have your say in the People’s Choice and vote for your favourite lexical item/word.
Posted on 1 December 2019
The Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year shortlist for 2019
The Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year is cancel culture. This word was chosen from an initial list of 75 words that was reduced to a final sixteen by the Committee. The full list of the words is below. anecdata noun information which is presented as if it were based on systematic research, but is actually based on personal observation or experience. [blend of ANECDOTAL + DATA] big minutes plural noun Sport a period of time spent by a player on the field, court, etc., during which they maximise their impact, having a substantial effect on the game: playing big minutes despite a knee injury. cancel culture noun the attitudes within a community which call for or bring about the withdrawal of support from a public figure, such as cancellation of an acting role, a ban on playing an artist's music, removal from social media, etc., usually in response to an accusation of a socially unacceptable action or comment. Also, call-out culture, outrage culture. cheese slaw noun 1. coleslaw to which grated cheese has been added. 2. Broken Hill a salad of grated carrot, grated cheese, and mayonnaise. Also, cheeseslaw. [modelled on COLESLAW] cleanskin noun Colloquial someone without any tattoos. drought lot noun a type of sacrifice paddock in which livestock are kept with provisions of water and feed, the confinement allowing the stock to maintain their condition while pasture paddocks can recover more quickly and erosion damage can be minimised in periods of drought. Also, droughtlot. eco-anxiety noun feelings of distress and fear brought on by the effects of climate change. flight shaming noun criticism or ridicule directed at someone for travelling on an aeroplane because of the carbon emissions and consequent environmental damage produced by such travel. healthwashing noun the marketing practice of presenting a food brand or product as being more nutritious or wholesome than it actually is, usually by ignoring or understating the less healthy aspects of the product. [HEALTH + (WHITE)WASH (def. 2) + -ING1] hedonometer noun an algorithm using language data to analyse levels of happiness, especially data from the social media platform Twitter. [HEDON(ICS) + -O-+ METER1] mukbang noun a broadcast streamed online in which someone films themselves eating, often a large amount, and speaking to their audience. [blend of Korean meok-da eat and bangsong broadcast] ngangkari noun an Indigenous practitioner of bush medicine; healer. [Pitjantjatjara: literally, traditional healer] robodebt noun a debt owed to the government by a welfare recipient, arising from an overpayment of benefits calculated by an automated process which compares the recipient's income as stated by them to the government with their income as recorded by the Australian Taxation Office, a debt recovery notice being automatically generated and sent to the welfare recipient. Also, robo-debt. [ROBO- + DEBT] silkpunk noun a subgenre of science fiction which draws on Asian history and culture for setting and aesthetic. [SILK (in reference to the SILK ROAD) + PUNK2, modelled on CYBERPUNK] thicc adjective Colloquial curvaceous; voluptuous. [originally Black English, early 2000s, a respelling of THICK] whataboutism noun a technique used in responding to an accusation, criticism or difficult question, in which an opposing accusation or criticism is raised. Also, whataboutery. [so-called from the common response to such a situation, What about ...?]
Posted on 25 November 2019
Aussie Slang: Playing by Rafferty's rules
Aussie Word of the Week
This week at the Macquarie Dictionary, we are playing by Rafferty's rules...
Posted on 19 November 2019
Global words of the year for 2019
At Macquarie Dictionary, like most dictionaries, we get together at the end of the year and look back at all the new words of the previous 12 months to determine one word worthy of being crowned our Word of the Year. For 2018, that word was Me Too. In 2017, it was the global phenomenon of the milkshake duck. And for 2019, that word is cancel culture! Find out more here on our Word of the Year page. These words are selected and refined into a longlist by our editors from words that have been added to the Macquarie Dictionary throughout 2019. All of our candidates must be new words or meanings. In this, we differ from other dictionaries, as some simply choose the most common word being searched, or most topical word, regardless of its status as 'new'. Of course, part of this is also understanding the definition of 'word' in this context being more akin to a lexical item, but there is more on that here. We will be announcing our Word of the Year very soon, but other dictionaries have already starting naming their words that define 2019. Dictionary.com's Word of the Year is existential. In a move to mirror Collins Dictionary (below), they have cited nonbinary [sic] as the runner-up. In Australia, this is spelt non-binary, but Dictionary.com have it listed as nonbinary. Existential, as a word and theme, was prominent in discussions of topics that dominated 2019: climate change, gun violence, and democratic institutions. It also popped up in lighter stories in popular culture, signaling its place in the cultural zeitgeist. Collins Dictionary have named their Word of the Year as climate strike. Other words that made the Collins shortlist were influencer, deepfake (which was one of our shortlist for 2018) and non-binary (interestingly, we had enby on our shortlist for 2016). The word has seen a four-fold increase since 2013, with news stories and images such as those seen in the BBC’s Blue Planet II steeply raising public awareness of the issue. Oxford Dictionary have named their Word of the Year as climate emergency. Almost all of their shortlist revolved around climate awareness, with words such as flight shame, plant-based, eco-anxiety and climate denial rounding it out. Climate emergency is defined as ‘a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it.’ This year, heightened public awareness of climate science and the myriad implications for communities around the world has generated enormous discussion of what the UN Secretary-General has called ‘the defining issue of our time’. Cambridge Dictionary have chosen their Word of the Year by looking back at their Instagram account. This is an interesting way to make the decision, so we went back through the Macquarie Dictionary Instagram to see what new word we would be beholden to if we did it this way and came out with the niche and controversial cheeseslaw. This word was chosen based on the Word of the Day that resonated most strongly with fans on the Cambridge Dictionary Instagram account, @CambridgeWords. The word … received more likes than any other Word of the Day (it was shared on 4 July 2019). The Australian National Dictionary Centre has named voice as its Word of the Year. Voice increased greatly in usage this year, as the idea of an Indigenous voice became prominent in public discussion. Merriam-Webster have announced their Word of the Year for 2019 as they. From their announcement: It reflects a surprising fact: even a basic term—a personal pronoun—can rise to the top of our data. Although our lookups are often driven by events in the news, the dictionary is also a primary resource for information about language itself, and the shifting use of they has been the subject of increasing study and commentary in recent years. Lookups for they increased by 313% in 2019 over the previous year. The American Dialect Society will meet in January 2020 and announce their Word of the Year shortly following.
Posted on 18 November 2019
Great Aussie places: The bright lights of Brisvegas
Aussie Word of the Week
The term Brisvegas, a portmanteau of Brisbane and Vegas, originated in Queensland in part with ironic reference to the river city's lack of showy opulence...
Posted on 13 November 2019
A deep dive into Aussie beer sizes
The question of whether you skol or scull a beer is one we have covered more than once. But how about getting the beer in the first place. Visitors to Australian shores are often flummoxed by the range of names we give our beer receptacles. And even more confusingly, these words refer to different sizes depending on whereabouts in Australia you end up. Let's take schooner as our base for now. In NSW, ACT, NT and Qld and parts of WA and Tasmania, this equates to a glass of beer of approximately 425mL. But if you end up in SA, a schooner is in fact a glass of beer of approximately 285mL. Confused yet? We're only just getting started. Asking for a schooner (at 285mL) in South Australia is equivalent to simply asking for a beer in Tasmania and the Northern Territory. While you're in the NT, you can also ask for a handle and receive the same thing. Still in the NT, you can also ask for a middy and still be understood to want the same thing. The great thing about the word middy is that it travels. You can take it to NSW, ACT, WA and some of Qld with no worries at all. In Victoria and parts of Queensland and Tasmania (two more multilingual beer states, like the NT), you will need to ask for a pot. And, again in Tasmania and Queensland, you can use the word ten to mean a glass of beer of approximately 285mL (or ten fluid ounces – more on this soon). But we're far from done. In beer terms, there is a slightly smaller version that is a glass of approximately 200ml. And if you're in Victoria, WA or Qld, asking for a beer will get you one of these. In SA, this size is known as a butcher. In WA, Victoria, Tasmania and Qld, a simple glass. And in NSW, ACT, Tasmania and Qld, the strangely named seven. It was called a seven as 200mL is also 7 fluid ounces, or a seven-ounce. But wait, we've gone from a ten or ten ounces to a seven. What about the numbers in between? Well, there is no nine, but a niner is a small keg of about 40.5 litres. And also no eight, but there is the phrase over the eight, which means 'intoxicated', and comes from an old-fashioned, customary worker's ration of ale for a day which was 8 pints (see below for what a pint means in beer speak!). In Tasmania, there was previously another measure of beer known as a six, which equated to, you guessed it, six fluid ounces or 170mL. And in Qld and some other places, there is the five, the meaning of which should be clear by now, also known as a pony. And that's where the numbered beers stop. So, it's much simpler to ask for a schooner, as it's almost universally understood. However, remember that in SA, if you want a schooner, or a 450mL glass of beer, you will need to ask for a pint. In NSW and the ACT, a pint is equivalent to one eighth of a gallon of beer, or around 568ml. This is the British measurement. But, in WA, Tasmania and SA, a pint is equivalent to around 473mL, which is the American measurement and is close enough to the schooner size of 425mL for it to have been conflated. After all that, we all need a beer! Good luck and bottoms up!
Posted on 12 November 2019
Which words won the Premier's Spelling Bee?
Ever year in New South Wales, the Premier's Spelling Bee gathers students from all over the state to compete in one of the biggest spelling competitions in the state. Macquarie Dictionary is proud to sponsor this event once again and we so thrilled to be able to see these bright young people compete in both the junior and senior competitions. Run by the NSW Department of Education, who have posted photos of the winners on Facebook, this year, the winner for the senior competition was River from Yamba Public School. His winning word was proscenium, which means 'the front part of the stage, especially the area in front of the curtain'. A difficult word for anybody! And in the junior competition, the winner was Hannah from Hornsby South Public School with the word vigilante, which means 'a private citizen who, usually as one of a group of such citizens, assumes the role of guardian of society in maintaining law and order, punishing wrongdoers, etc.' Congratulations to everyone who took part in the Premier's Spelling Bee this year and especially to the two winners. Each winner and runner-up received a free school-wide 12-month subscription to the Macquarie Dictionary and Thesaurus Online, as well as a pack of books including the Macquarie Dictionary Seventh Edition, a selection of Macquarie Spelling Workbooks and some fiction titles from Pan Macmillan such as Rogue by A.J. Betts, The Quest Diaries of Max Crack by Jules Faber and The New Kid series by James O'Loghlin! Have a look at some of the previous Premier's Spelling Bees here.