Word for Word
By Macquarie Dictionary
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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.
||Clean#25 Word of the Year 2018||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...||14 1 2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#24 Crosswords and cryptographs||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..||2 12 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#23 Noongar: The pulse of language||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...||25 11 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#22 Forensic linguistics, crime & punishment||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...||6 11 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#21 For the love of words||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...||28 3 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#20 Take a bow, Sue Butler||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...||22 3 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#19 Word of the Year 2017||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....||28 1 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#18 Harmless drudgery||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...||28 11 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit#17 Good doggo||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...||24 10 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#16 Slang from Down Under||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...||17 10 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#15 The A-B-Cs of spelling bees||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...||10 10 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#14 Spin & speechify: Political language||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...||3 10 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#13 Translations & foreign words||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...||26 9 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#12 They: A singular pronoun?||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...||19 9 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#11 Strine; the Australian accent||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..||12 9 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit#10 What's in a name?||A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Or would it? In this episode, we dive headfirst into the history of naming. Tiger Webb from ABC Language helps us get to grips with given name trends, surname extinction and Australian place naming; the...||5 9 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitWord for Word: Season 2||We're back! Season 2 launches 6th September with new weekly episodes, featuring more secret word histories, fascinating guests, and behind-the-scenes revelations from Macquarie Dictionary. Listen for a preview of what's in store this season....||29 8 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#9 Australian indigenous languages||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...||27 4 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#8 Word of the Year 2016||Join us as we go behind the scenes in the selection process for Macquarie's Word of the Year. We listen in on the Word of the Year committee meeting, featuring guest judges Dom Knight and Annabel Crabb; the dictionary team reflects on how the...||12 2 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#7 Emojis, hashtags & internet slang||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...||13 12 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#6 Toorak tractors & sausage sandwiches||It's the question that sparked debate around the country: what do you call a sausage in a piece of bread? Your answer will likely reveal your roots, as the Macquarie team goes beyond bathers vs. cossies to explore Australian regionalisms. Also: Sue...||6 12 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#5 Scrabble master||Fancy yourself a dab hand at Scrabble? Meet Esther Perrins. She's a former British national champion and Guinness World Record holder, and her highest score for a single game of Scrabble is a staggering 683 points. Also: Sue Butler muses on the...||29 11 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit#4 Darn & blast||Warning: this episode contains quite a lot of swearing because we're talking about - well, swearing. This week, the Macquarie Dictionary team is living dangerously with no good, very bad, extremely naughty taboo words. Also: Sue Butler tells the story..||22 11 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit#3 Omar Musa: Wandering rhapsodist||This week on Word for Word, poet, rapper and author Omar Musa waxes lyrical on the rich diversity of Australian slang. Also: the Macquarie team explains how a new word gets in the dictionary and we hang out with a local Harley Davidson chapter. Read...||15 11 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit#2 Sweet nothings: Love & politics||Warning: this episode contains naughty words, sexual references, and really terrible euphemisms. This week on Word for Word, two strange bedfellows: love and politics. Sue Butler explains what makes the language of Australian politics so colourful,...||8 11 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#1 Good blokes & great guys||Welcome to the very first episode of Word for Word, a podcast about words and language from Macquarie Dictionary. It's the dictionary's job to record every aspect of Australian English, warts and all, and to keep up with changes in the language. But...||1 11 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanIntroducing Word for Word||Word for Word is a brand new podcast from Macquarie Dictionary. Throughout this series, 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...||24 10 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
You wouldn’t necessarily think a podcast by or about a dictionary would be interesting but it really, really is.
Best podcast - funny and intelligent!
It’s such a great podcast - I hope it’s back soon!
Awesome Aussie linguistics podcast
I studied Linguistics at Macquarie Uni and was so excited to find this podcast. It fills my need for linguistic chit-chat, by being fun, informative, well-planned and long enough to enthrall but short enough not to bore! I only wish they were more frequently released! Great job guys; please keep 'em coming. (And let me know if you need a Melbourne correspondent!)