Macquarie Dictionary


More new words for March

We’re back again with five new words for the start of the new month!

Our first word is hyperpop. It’s a term for a genre of music that heightens and exaggerates contemporary mainstream pop. Don’t you think all those P’s make it a pleasurable word to pronounce?

On the other hand, we have the distinctly unpleasant images conjured up by brain worm. That’s a notional worm that infects the brain, negatively affecting one’s intellect, emotional state, etc. Of course, there are real parasitic worms that do this. This new notional sense is deployed metaphorically, primarily online and usually in the plural. For example, insulting someone’s intelligence by telling them they have brain worms, or suggesting your own negative thoughts are caused by brain worms.

Cryptocurrencies and related technologies have been a significant source of new words entering the lexicon recently, and meme coin is one of the latest such examples. It refers to a cryptocurrency inspired by a meme or joke. The inaugural meme coin, Dogecoin, is based on the doge meme, starring a goofy-looking shiba inu.

While we’re talking about coins, how about a newly-minted dating term? Hardballing is when you are clear with a date from the outset about the kind of relationship you’re after. It’s derived from the phrase ‘play hardball’, i.e. to use tough tactics in a negotiation, which itself comes from hardball, another name for baseball (in contrast to softball). An interesting sequence of semantic transfers, to be sure!

Last of all, we have a new Aussie hypocorism to join recent additions sanny (sanitiser) and swampy (a swamp wallaby or a western swamp turtle): seccy, for a security guard.

What do you think? Should these words be in the Macquarie Dictionary?

brain worm - a notional worm that infects the brain , negatively affecting one's intellect

hardballing - being clear with a dating partner about the kind of relationship one seeks

hyperpop - a heightened, exaggerated style of electronic pop music

meme coin - a cryptocurrency inspired by a meme or joke

seccy - a security guard

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