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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  • Mateship and friendship

    Mar 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

    It is my feeling that mateship is a stronger and tougher relationship than friendship, having been forged in adversity.

    The basic sense of friend is a person with whom you have achieved a degree of intimacy that is entirely unfettered by a sense of obligation. Friendship excludes the bonds of affection that are there between blood relations or between lovers. Read more...


  • Should these words go in the Macquarie Dictionary?

    Mar 01, 2017 | 0 Comments

    March 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...


  • Classic, antique cards from the Macquarie Dictionary catalogue

    Feb 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

    Here at the Macquarie Dictionary, we have maintained our card catalogue from the early 1980s. It's in more or less pristine condition, and contained within are hundreds of thousands of original words and definitions from the very first edition of our dictionary. Read more...


  • Expanding your vocabulary with the Macquarie Thesaurus

    Feb 16, 2017 | 0 Comments

    A thesaurus is a treasure trove of new words for you to discover. More people write now than ever before, whether it be in messages, emails, articles, stories, or anything else. It's important to keep the mind sharp and the vocabulary growing and one of the many ways to do this is to utilise a thesaurus.... Read more...


  • The Editor's take on the Word of the Year 2016

    Jan 25, 2017 | 0 Comments

    My father was trained as a journalist in the days when newspapers cared about their reputations as disseminators of information that was accurate and reliable. It wasn’t just a legal anxiety, it was an organisational pride in the quality of their news reporting. He told me that you can’t half-know something. You either know it or you don’t. Read more...


  • What's your Word of the Year?

    Dec 23, 2016 | 1 Comment

    Here at Macquarie Dictionary, we like to let the year end completely before we make a decision on which word to crown Word of the Year. We have a basic policy that all the candidates are drawn from words which have been selected and researched and written into the dictionary during the year... Read more...


  • Your top ten blogs of 2016

    Dec 14, 2016 | 1 Comment

    Counting down from popularity, here's what you and the rest of Australia (and the world) wanted to know about in 2016. Read more...


  • What does it all mean?

    Dec 06, 2016 | 0 Comments

    how to read a definition

    Many words have more than one definition, and these are listed in each entry numerically. But is there any order to this or is it organised chaos? In this case, thankfully, there are specific rules for how definitions are ordered. In a word such as joke or kangaroo or any word where there are multiple meanings, the following applies... Read more...


  • Should these words go in the Macquarie Dictionary?

    Dec 01, 2016 | 0 Comments

    November 2016

    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...


  • Odd encounters with inflected forms

    Nov 17, 2016 | 0 Comments

    Odd encounters with inflected forms

    The English language has the capacity to create new forms, often by fusing two existing words to create one word with a new meaning, such as gasbag or chinwag. This is by far the most common way of expanding our lexicon. Read more...


  • Should these words go in the Macquarie Dictionary?

    Nov 07, 2016 | 3 Comments

    October 2016

    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...


  • How well do you know your phobias?

    Oct 31, 2016 | 1 Comment

    Take the quiz to find out!

    How well do you know your phobias? Take the Halloween edition phobia quiz to find out!