Macquarie Dictionary


Can you hack it?

This week, we have hacked out a space for all the hacks. When we searched hack in our database we had one election inspired word in mind: party hack, a long-time, loyal member of a political party, especially one who does menial work for the party, but there were just so many definitions of hack that we couldn’t resist exploring this versatile word further. 

Another election related hack is a political hack: a politician who pursues the narrow goal of ensuring that his or her party is in power, often using methods that are to do with the exercise of power or the pursuit of expediency. Can the political hacks hack it? That is, do they have patience. 

I’m sure we all know about hackers by now. The Macquarie defines a hacker as a person who is adept at manipulating computer systems, especially someone who achieves unauthorised access to the computer system of a business organisation, government department, etc., or who achieves unauthorised access to a person’s digital device, as a phone or tablet computer.

In recent years, several types of hackers have emerged. There are ethical hackers: a hacker who attempts to hack into a computer network or device in order to test its level of security, and hacktivists: people who use their ability as hackers to further a political cause.

If manipulating computer systems isn’t enough you might try your hand at biohacking, a method for managing one’s own biology, by using measures to improve it such as meditation, nutritional supplements or therapeutic techniques such as aromatherapy.

Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.




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