Posted on 25 March 2021

Boondoggle! Funny words that you should learn

The English language is a funny thing. Some words make sense and others… well they take a dictionary to decipher. There are words that will discombobulate or even cause a bit of brouhaha. But once you know their meaning they’ll make perfect sense! Unless we’re full of malarky? Let’s have a squiz at some of our favourite tongue-twisting words and you can tell us which ones you already knew in the comments below! If you’re caught cheating when playing marbles it’s called fanannywhacking or cribbing (part of our Australian Word Map), which of course only a nincompoop, or idiot (a contributor’s favourite word from this enjoyable list) would do. If you’re interested in astronomy you’d know syzygy is the conjunction or opposition of two heavenly bodies. Also a selection from our ‘beautiful words’ series. And if you’re interested in cartography you’d know exactly where Woop Woop and Kickastickalong are located. When you’re chock-a-block full of flummery you’ll probably develop the collywobbles or maybe you’ll just cark it. And if you’ve lost your wee juggler, make sure the lost signs say, ‘Major Mitchell’, white wings, pink underparts, neck and face, and white crown suffused with salmon pink and forward-curving scarlet crest. Save everyone the rigmarole and faffing around trying to find it! Some more words that are just fun to say are:
  • pronking (of an animal such as a springbok) leaping into the air with all four legs extended
  • widdershins in a direction contrary to the apparent course of the sun
  • canoodling fondling or petting
  • poop deck a raised deck built on the stern of a ship above the main deck
  • lolligagging playing around foolishly or aimlessly; wasting time
  • bumfuzzled confused or bewildered
  • mugwump someone who acts as an independent or affects superiority, especially in politics
  • pettifogging quibbling over petty details
  • spondulicks money
  • macaronic involving a mixture of languages
  • somnambulist someone with the habit of walking about, and often of performing various other acts, while asleep; sleepwalker
Let us know what words tickle your fancy below.  
Posted on 9 March 2021

Replacement swear words

Bloody oath! Aussies love swearing, just ask Cate Blanchett. But there are times when swearing isn’t appropriate, like when your granny comes to visit. Don’t fret. If you need to let off some steam, or if your lingo consists mostly of language that would make your granny blush, then the Macquarie Dictionary has got you covered with these replacement swear words.  Let’s start with holy... – an entire genre of replacement swear words. The list includes classics like holy cow, holy mackerel and holy moly. Other excellent additions to the genre include holy Moses – possibly the only literal entry to the list – holy smokes, and of course holy guacamole. Holy snapping duckshit is a no-no! Really, you can put just about any word after holy to create a replacement swear word. But not everything is so sacred. Australians also borrow replacement swear words from similar sounding words. Fudge and sugar are common replacements just as smarmy and sweet as the real thing.  Get stuffed you galah. Interpretation – go away you empty-headed fool. Sorry, just testing out some replacement insults, which could probably be an entire blog unto itself. If you’re on the receiving end of a rough tongue, you might exclaim jeepers or blimey! These are both exclamations of surprise that will save you from resorting to stronger language.  I can hear you all telling me to shut the front door. To that, I say . See, emojis can be replacement swears too.