Word for Word
About This Show
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.
Most Recent Episode
#9 First 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 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