That Should Be A Word: Australian Edition

alex atkins bookshelf wordsEngland has the Oxford English Dictionary of British English, America has the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of American English, and Australia has the Macquarie Dictionary, the dictionary of Australian and New Zealand English. The first edition of the Macquarie Dictionary was published in 1981 with a team of lexicographers from the Linguistics department at Macquarie University (Sydney Australia) led by editor Susan Butler. The dictionary has quite a lexicographic pedigree: the first edition is based on Hamlyn’s Encyclopedic World Dictionary (1971), which in turn was based on Random House’s American College Dictionary (1947), which was based on the New Century Dictionary (1927), which was based on the two-volume The Imperial Dictionary of the English Language (1847-1850), which was based (finally!) on Noah Webster’s second edition of the American Dictionary of the English Language (1841). The Macquarie Dictionary is now in its seventh edition.

Like its British and American English counterparts, the Macquarie Dictionary is always evolving, adding new words as they arise in print and online. On their website, they ask Aussie readers to submit words that should be considered for inclusion. Here are some recent words being considered by the editors:

detourism: tavel that is off the beaten track or away from the usual sightseeing destinations

Droste effect: a Dutch art term for when a smaller image appears within itself in a recursive manner (a picture within a picture, as in the work of M. C. Escher)

factflip: when  politician or government changes impending policies because of public pressure

psychobiotics: live bacteria which, when ingested, can manipulate human gut bacteria for mental health benefits

SOML: story of my life

xenofiction: fiction told from the perspective of a nonhuman

zucked: to be banned from Facebook for posting something that conflicts with their guidelines

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