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Word for Word

Updated about 9 hours ago

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Australian English has many fascinating stories, interesting etymologies, and wonderfully weird slang. The language is constantly evolving as the world around us changes; new words are created, meanings change, and other things get left behind. In Word for Word, we explore the surprising histories behind everyday words and phrases, go behind the scenes with the dictionary editors, and meet some of Australia's most interesting word-lovers, from Scrabble champions to hip-hop artists. Join us as we explore our language: the ways we use it, the ways we abuse it, and the ways we ultimately change it.

Read more

Australian English has many fascinating stories, interesting etymologies, and wonderfully weird slang. The language is constantly evolving as the world around us changes; new words are created, meanings change, and other things get left behind. In Word for Word, we explore the surprising histories behind everyday words and phrases, go behind the scenes with the dictionary editors, and meet some of Australia's most interesting word-lovers, from Scrabble champions to hip-hop artists. Join us as we explore our language: the ways we use it, the ways we abuse it, and the ways we ultimately change it.

iTunes Ratings

4 Ratings
Average Ratings
3
0
0
0
1

Terrible terrible audio quality

By incognito82 - Aug 14 2019
Read more
I am listening to “polari” episode. Well trying to listen and I give up. Man on the phone is talking under a blanket. Cannot hear a thing. How can this be on podcast?

iTunes Ratings

4 Ratings
Average Ratings
3
0
0
0
1

Terrible terrible audio quality

By incognito82 - Aug 14 2019
Read more
I am listening to “polari” episode. Well trying to listen and I give up. Man on the phone is talking under a blanket. Cannot hear a thing. How can this be on podcast?
Cover image of Word for Word

Word for Word

Latest release on Jan 16, 2020

Read more

Australian English has many fascinating stories, interesting etymologies, and wonderfully weird slang. The language is constantly evolving as the world around us changes; new words are created, meanings change, and other things get left behind. In Word for Word, we explore the surprising histories behind everyday words and phrases, go behind the scenes with the dictionary editors, and meet some of Australia's most interesting word-lovers, from Scrabble champions to hip-hop artists. Join us as we explore our language: the ways we use it, the ways we abuse it, and the ways we ultimately change it.

Rank #1: #21 For the love of words

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Surprise! We're back with another bonus episode, featuring some funny, fascinating, unaired tidbits from Season 2.   Also, you can vote for us in the Australian Podcast Awards! Voting closes 1st April, so head to this link posthaste: bit.ly/2pPuGI3

Mar 29 2018

15mins

Play

Rank #2: #25 Word of the Year 2018

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It's that time! Take a peek behind the scenes with us as Macquarie Dictionary chooses its 2018 Word of the Year.   In this episode tag along to the secret Word of the Year committee meeting hosted at Macquarie HQ, featuring guest judges Rae Johnston (Editor of Junkee), Jenna Guillaume (Editor-at-Large of Buzzfeed Australia), James Bradley (novelist and critic), and Tiger Webb (ABC Language).    What's your choice for Word of the Year 2018? Review our shortlist and cast your vote for People's Choice here. Voting closes 21st January 2019.   Read more about Word for Word at:  macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Jan 15 2019

20mins

Play

Rank #3: #11 Strine; the Australian accent

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Winston Churchill called the Australian accent "the most brutal maltreatment that has ever been inflicted" on the English language. But when Strine first emerged, it was praised as an unusually pure variety. Linguist Felicity Cox traces the history of our accent from the Sydney colony to the present day - when it's still changing.   Plus: pronunciation can be a source of personal anxiety and public controversy. The dictionary editors muse on the Americanisation of Australian English, the rise of "haitch", and the oral gymnastics of "ophthalmologist".   Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Sep 12 2017

22mins

Play

Rank #4: #18 Harmless drudgery

Podcast cover
Read more
It takes a special kind of person to be a dictionary editor. You need an instinctive understanding of language, a sharp, ever-listening ear, and the ability to laugh off death threats (really). In this very special episode, Merriam-Webster's Kory Stamper and Macquarie Dictionary's Alison Moore discuss both the drudgery and the delights of their work, as we journey into the secret heart of the dictionary editor.    Kory Stamper's book is Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries.   Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Nov 29 2017

18mins

Play

Rank #5: #9 Australian indigenous languages

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Before 1788, hundreds of Indigenous languages were spoken in Australia. Today, that picture looks very different, but language remains an essential part of the fabric of Indigenous identity.

In this special episode of Word for Word, we explore a language with tens of thousands of speakers, as well as some languages spoken only by a handful of people; novelist Kate Grenville tells the story of an unusual First Fleet lieutenant and his attempts to learn the Gadigal language; and we meet a young Indigenous woman in the remote community of Ngukurr, who is determined to keep her grandmother's language alive.

Macquarie Dictionary acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, culture and community. We pay our respects to elders past and present. We acknowledge the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their cultures, languages, communities and ways of life. We acknowledge there are differing usages of the terms “Aboriginal”, “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander”, and “Indigenous” within Australia, and use these terms respectfully throughout this episode.

Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Apr 27 2017

32mins

Play

Rank #6: #12 They: A singular pronoun?

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When it comes to the language we use around gender, change is happening fast. But some of that new language isn't so new after all. Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch takes us deep into the history of pronouns in English, and the long and useful life of singular they; the editors look to Sweden, with an eye on The Watch List; and Norrie explains how one little word took them all the way to the High Court of Australia.    Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Sep 19 2017

28mins

Play

Rank #7: #16 Slang from Down Under

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In Australia, we're working with a wild array of slang: classic phrases, new inventions, and slang so good that other countries want a piece of it. In this episode, lexicographer James Lambert explains the appeal of informal language; Kate tries to blend in at the skate park (gnarly, dude!); and Sue Butler decodes a song we all know, but perhaps have never entirely understood.   Read more about Word for Word at: macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Oct 17 2017

22mins

Play

Rank #8: #15 The A-B-Cs of spelling bees

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Sometimes English spelling seems designed to bamboozle. How did we end up with all these inconsistencies, quirky flourishes, and spellings that bear no resemblance to pronunciation? In search of an answer, the editors dig into the history of English spelling - including attempts to reform it - and hint at the secret work they do for spelling bees today. Plus, we check in with the adorable contestants of the Great Australian Spelling Bee TV series, two years on; and Adrik Kemp collects favourite words from the Sydney Story Factory.    Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Oct 10 2017

27mins

Play

Rank #9: #7 Emojis, hashtags & internet slang

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Yas queen, we're finally talking internet slang! In this episode, we marvel at the evolution of language online, exploring emoji, hashtags, and new words with writer Alex McKinnon. It's lit. Also: the dictionary team reminisce about the weird things you've sent them in the mail, and the players at The Games Den reveal their favourite words.

This is the last episode in our very first series of Word for Word. But don't worry! We'll be back with brand new episodes early in the new year.

Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Dec 14 2016

17mins

Play

Rank #10: #13 Translations & foreign words

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Every language plays by its own rules. So how do you faithfully represent the stories of one language in another? Novelist Hannah Kent remembers how it felt to see her bestselling book Burial Rites translated into 29 languages; literary translator Meredith McKinney inducts us in the secrets of her profession; and Sue Butler explains the allure of untranslatable words.   Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Sep 26 2017

24mins

Play

#28 It’s Wine Time!

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In this episode we are talking about all things wine! From the origins of slang and regionalisms to varietals and naming, as well as the many words used to describe the aromatics and taste of wines. Plus, the team does some investigative work and puts their noses, palates and vocabulary  to the test in a blind tasting. And it wouldn’t be a Macquarie Dictionary podcast if we didn’t also talk a little bit about Aussie slang, particularly that around wine. Pour yourself a glass and let’s get started.

Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Jan 16 2020

19mins

Play

#29 Word of the Year 2019

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It's that time! Take a peek behind the scenes with us as Macquarie Dictionary chooses its 2019 Word of the Year.

We once again join the Word of the Year Committee meeting, hosted at Macquarie HW, as they debate which word best represents the year. Guest judges include David Astle (radio host, writer and crossword compiler extraordinaire), Beverley Wang (journalist, producer, podcaster), Rudi Bremer (radio broadcaster and producer) and Tiger Webb (ABC Language).

What's your choice for Word of the Year 2019? Review our shortlist and cast your vote for People's Choice here. Voting closes 8 December 2019.

Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Dec 04 2019

20mins

Play

#28 Talkin’ tech-savvy terminology

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In this episode we explore the language of technology. How did we speak about the burgeoning computer age 30 years ago, and how do we speak about technology now? The team investigates the words that we have used to talk about technology - those that have stayed with us, those that have evolved, and those that have faded over time.

Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Nov 20 2019

16mins

Play

#27 Word Watch

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New words and meanings are constantly being created, with some of these passing by in the blink of an eye, while others have more staying power. In this episode, the team talks about the ways new words are created, and take a closer look at some of the new words that have been submitted to us. Plus, the editors explain how we determine whether a word warrants a place in the dictionary, and once it’s approved, what happens next.

Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Oct 24 2019

24mins

Play

#26 Polari

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Secret languages abound in history and in modern culture, with words occasionally making the leap into the mainstream of spoken English. In this episode we example the secret language of Polari with Professor Paul Baker and Colleen Windor of Les Girls. Plus, the Macquarie team discuss which Polari words have made it into the dictionary, and the resurgence of some words on the TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Oct 22 2019

38mins

Play

#25 Word of the Year 2018

Podcast cover
Read more
It's that time! Take a peek behind the scenes with us as Macquarie Dictionary chooses its 2018 Word of the Year.   In this episode tag along to the secret Word of the Year committee meeting hosted at Macquarie HQ, featuring guest judges Rae Johnston (Editor of Junkee), Jenna Guillaume (Editor-at-Large of Buzzfeed Australia), James Bradley (novelist and critic), and Tiger Webb (ABC Language).    What's your choice for Word of the Year 2018? Review our shortlist and cast your vote for People's Choice here. Voting closes 21st January 2019.   Read more about Word for Word at:  macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Jan 15 2019

20mins

Play

#24 Crosswords and cryptographs

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Can a cryptic crossword really preserve your memory and super-charge your brain? Australia's favourite cruciverbalist, David "Don't Attempt" Astle, investigates. Meanwhile, the Macquarie team decrypts linguistic mysteries, ciphers and puzzles, and the conversation takes them from Ancient Egypt to your local butcher's shop.

Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Dec 02 2018

28mins

Play

#23 Noongar: The pulse of language

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In Indigenous cultures, traditional languages are bound up with family, history and place. In this episode, we meet three Noongar people - Miles Franklin-winning novelist Kim Scott; music historian Clint Bracknell; and performer and director Kylie Bracknell - to ask how an ancient, endangered language can live and thrive today.

Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Nov 25 2018

24mins

Play

#22 Forensic linguistics, crime & punishment

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When it comes to bugging a suspect, re-interpreting a dusty statute, or presenting evidence in a criminal trial, the shifting tides of language draw the law with them. In this episode, forensic linguist Dr Helen Fraser tests our ear-witness fallibility with speech evidence from a real-life murder case. Plus, the Macquarie team remembers that time they had to investigate a ransom note.

Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Nov 06 2018

32mins

Play

#21 For the love of words

Podcast cover
Read more
Surprise! We're back with another bonus episode, featuring some funny, fascinating, unaired tidbits from Season 2.   Also, you can vote for us in the Australian Podcast Awards! Voting closes 1st April, so head to this link posthaste: bit.ly/2pPuGI3

Mar 29 2018

15mins

Play

#20 Take a bow, Sue Butler

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So ... we have news. It's officially the end of an era. Our long-time Editor Sue Butler is putting away her pencil and catalogue cards to retire, after 48 years at Macquarie Dictionary.   Join us as we look back with Sue at her incredible career in words.   Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Mar 22 2018

17mins

Play

#19 Word of the Year 2017

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It's that time! Take a peek behind the scenes with us as Macquarie Dictionary chooses its 2017 Word of the Year.    We sidle into the secret Word of the Year committee meeting, featuring guest judges Dr Karl and Tiger Webb of ABC Language. The editors lament the worst evergreen query - "But It's Two Words!" - and throw a tiny bit of shade at other dictionaries' picks (youthquake, anyone?). And finally, Adrik overcomes an obstacle.   Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Jan 29 2018

30mins

Play

#18 Harmless drudgery

Podcast cover
Read more
It takes a special kind of person to be a dictionary editor. You need an instinctive understanding of language, a sharp, ever-listening ear, and the ability to laugh off death threats (really). In this very special episode, Merriam-Webster's Kory Stamper and Macquarie Dictionary's Alison Moore discuss both the drudgery and the delights of their work, as we journey into the secret heart of the dictionary editor.    Kory Stamper's book is Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries.   Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Nov 29 2017

18mins

Play

#17 Good doggo

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Buckle up for a wild ride down the Information Superhighway, and into Cyberspace, where language moves faster than we can catch it. While the dictionary team reflects on the technology words of the past, our resident internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch fights the good fight on hyphenated email; Adrik and Kate look for favourite words at Oz Comic-Con; and we discover a brand new language online, all for the love of dogs (it's h*ckin good).   This is the final episode of Season 2, but stay subscribed! There are more bonus episodes to come in the weeks ahead.   Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Oct 24 2017

25mins

Play

#16 Slang from Down Under

Podcast cover
Read more
In Australia, we're working with a wild array of slang: classic phrases, new inventions, and slang so good that other countries want a piece of it. In this episode, lexicographer James Lambert explains the appeal of informal language; Kate tries to blend in at the skate park (gnarly, dude!); and Sue Butler decodes a song we all know, but perhaps have never entirely understood.   Read more about Word for Word at: macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Oct 17 2017

22mins

Play

#15 The A-B-Cs of spelling bees

Podcast cover
Read more
Sometimes English spelling seems designed to bamboozle. How did we end up with all these inconsistencies, quirky flourishes, and spellings that bear no resemblance to pronunciation? In search of an answer, the editors dig into the history of English spelling - including attempts to reform it - and hint at the secret work they do for spelling bees today. Plus, we check in with the adorable contestants of the Great Australian Spelling Bee TV series, two years on; and Adrik Kemp collects favourite words from the Sydney Story Factory.    Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Oct 10 2017

27mins

Play

#14 Spin & speechify: Political language

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In politics, we can always point to the slipperiness of language. In this episode, the dictionary editors remember iconic Australian political slogans, and consider new words like "fake news" and "antifa"; we're on the hunt for favourite words at the Antidote Festival; and John di Domenico, the world's no. 1 Donald Trump impersonator, takes us inside the language of the 45th American president.   Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Oct 03 2017

28mins

Play

#13 Translations & foreign words

Podcast cover
Read more
Every language plays by its own rules. So how do you faithfully represent the stories of one language in another? Novelist Hannah Kent remembers how it felt to see her bestselling book Burial Rites translated into 29 languages; literary translator Meredith McKinney inducts us in the secrets of her profession; and Sue Butler explains the allure of untranslatable words.   Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Sep 26 2017

24mins

Play

#12 They: A singular pronoun?

Podcast cover
Read more
When it comes to the language we use around gender, change is happening fast. But some of that new language isn't so new after all. Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch takes us deep into the history of pronouns in English, and the long and useful life of singular they; the editors look to Sweden, with an eye on The Watch List; and Norrie explains how one little word took them all the way to the High Court of Australia.    Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Sep 19 2017

28mins

Play

#11 Strine; the Australian accent

Podcast cover
Read more
Winston Churchill called the Australian accent "the most brutal maltreatment that has ever been inflicted" on the English language. But when Strine first emerged, it was praised as an unusually pure variety. Linguist Felicity Cox traces the history of our accent from the Sydney colony to the present day - when it's still changing.   Plus: pronunciation can be a source of personal anxiety and public controversy. The dictionary editors muse on the Americanisation of Australian English, the rise of "haitch", and the oral gymnastics of "ophthalmologist".   Read more about Word for Word at macquariedictionary.com.au/podcast

Sep 12 2017

22mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

4 Ratings
Average Ratings
3
0
0
0
1

Terrible terrible audio quality

By incognito82 - Aug 14 2019
Read more
I am listening to “polari” episode. Well trying to listen and I give up. Man on the phone is talking under a blanket. Cannot hear a thing. How can this be on podcast?