Susan Butler, Editor
The words that a language community chooses to use end up being, collectively, a mirror to the changes that are happening around us. The task of the dictionary is to keep track of these changes as one way of recording our culture. This blog will allow me to note the detail of language change as it happens, analysing current use and perhaps following a thread into history. I hope that it will be an important preliminary to decisions that are made about what should go into the dictionary.

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  • More words we hate

    Dec 12, 2017 | 0 Comments

    As we finish collecting and reviewing all the new words from 2017 in preparation for our Word of the Year, it's important to take a moment to reflect also on the words that we didn't like so much. We've talked about words we hate before, and really, some of these are likely still true today. Literally continues to infuriate, and corporate babble like talk offline or deep dive will likely always irk people. Read more...


  • Aussie collective nouns - winners!

    Dec 06, 2017 | 0 Comments

    We asked for Aussie collective nouns and you delivered! Now it's time to announce our favourite ten. Congratulations to everyone who won and thank to for entering. It was a lot of fun to see what we could all come up with. Find out the top ten here...


  • Aussie Christmas slang words and sayings

    Dec 06, 2017 | 0 Comments

    This Christmas, all of us here at the Macquarie Dictionary have kept our eyes and ears peeled for classic Aussie Christmas words and sayings - everything from stocking stuffer to rellies run! Read more...


  • Should these words go in the Macquarie Dictionary?

    Dec 01, 2017 | 0 Comments

    December 2017

    We are always on the lookout for new, emerging and interesting words to add to the Macquarie Dictionary. In a time of global instant communication, these words are popping up faster and in vaster quantities than ever before. Read more words from December 2017 here...


  • Fake news is here to stay

    Dec 01, 2017 | 0 Comments

    by Tiger Webb

    As a term, fake news seems to be a poorly understood one. When levelled as a pejorative against media organisations, it calls to mind Dylan Thomas's definition of an alcoholic: someone you don't like who publishes as much as you do. Pressed to define what makes fake news distinct from, say, poor reporting, the ABC’s language committee broadly agreed that that fake news must be deliberately inaccurate, designed to look like real news, and intended to mislead rather than entertain. Satire, in other words, doesn’t count. Read more...


  • How did language develop?

    Nov 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

    We all know that babies learn language from their parents. Indeed if they are deprived of this language learning - as happened with children who were lost and lived in the wild - then they find it very difficult to learn language when they are much older and rediscovered. Read more...


  • Invent an Aussie collective noun!

    Nov 10, 2017 | 3 Comments

    Tweet us, comment and tag us in your most imaginative, outlandish and of course, fitting new terms. We've got a list of animals below, but don't stop there, we want your most obscure, clever, interesting and fun takes on what makes an Aussie collective noun.

    We'll give our favourite entries prizes from the new Seventh Edition Macquarie Dictionary range. Read more...


  • Should these words go in the Macquarie Dictionary?

    Nov 01, 2017 | 0 Comments

    November 2017

    We are always on the lookout for new, emerging and interesting words to add to the Macquarie Dictionary. In a time of global instant communication, these words are popping up faster and in vaster quantities than ever before. Read more words from November 2017 here...


  • Have a magical Halloween

    Oct 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

    This Halloween, we're thinking about one of our favourite suffixes, -mancy. Meaning 'divination', there are many fascinating words depicting the craft of what is in some cases very specific forms of fortune telling. These are largely older words, but we've picked a few of the best. Let us know of any new words (we've got our eye on technomancy and lexicomancy is starting to look pretty good too) that relate to divination. Read more...


  • Should these words go in the Macquarie Dictionary?

    Oct 03, 2017 | 0 Comments

    October 2017

    We are always on the lookout for new, emerging and interesting words to add to the Macquarie Dictionary. In a time of global instant communication, these words are popping up faster and in vaster quantities than ever before. Read more words from October 2017 here...


  • Reshaping borrowed words in English

    Sep 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

    English borrows from many languages, but it has more trouble digesting some borrowed words than others. Of late we seem to have taken on board many more words from Japanese, mostly to do with food and drink. Read more...


  • Is it a field or a paddock? Defining the contemporary Australian landscape.

    Sep 12, 2017 | 2 Comments

    The early European settlers had much to find words for in the Australian landscape and their choice was either to borrow from Aboriginal languages (kangaroodingobudgerigarcoolibah) or take a word from British English, often British dialect, and stretch the original meaning to the new shape (wattlecreekmagpiepaddock). Read more...