I heard a new word

New experiences are fun to behold. I visited the local library where I was fortunate enough to hear a speaker who was passionate about the English language. Not just English, but Australian English. Our own unique brand of communicating. Her name was Susan Butler and she is the Editor of the Australian National Macquarie Dictionary. I own a copy of the 2011 Signature Edition of this tome which is bigger than an old-style phone book.

Australian is its own brand of language. Who else would use budgie-smugglers or strewth in a sentence. There is a lot that is unique about us quirky Aussies, but dictionaries these days also have to keep up with new words in our language. New words come from new situations, new trends, new technologies and new avenues of our life. Some words come and go, whilst others are adopted and stay for life as part of our new vernacular.

The Macquarie Dictionary awards a new word of the year in several different categories. An honourable mention goes to “lumbersexual” which is a hybrid of lumberjack and metrosexual, meaning a rugged outdoors urban male generally with a beard. My favourite new addition in the sports section is “slackpacking” which is an easier version of backpacking, but in an oh-so-very relaxed way. This version of hiking will see all the heavy stuff transported to your night’s destination while you enjoy a wander with only a daypack.

So check out what’s new in the world of words or just keep tabs on the Aussie word of the week and support our unique language. This week it’s a “bad trot” from the 1940’s, meaning a run of bad luck.




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