Puzzles, posts, news and general word-chat.

Diabolically Arcane

Bingo. You’ve reached David Astle dot com, a carnival of words, puzzles and more words. Welcome aboard, and have fun.

Loading tweet...

Miso Soup

17 October, 2012

Seems a bloke can’t walk down the street this week without having the word MISOGYNY walking the other way, or sidling up, or reverse-parking, or texting on the corner. The buzzword gained extra hum from PM Julia Gillard’s demolition of counterpart Tony Abbott last week. If you missed the speech, like I did, then check out the brimstone on Youtube. It’s a finely restrained assault.

Sue Butler at the Macquarie Dictionary has recognised the speech’s impact within her own lexicon. As of today, MISOGYNY means both the hatred of women, and now the entrenched prejudice against women.

With a Wordplay column in mind, I’d like to get your thoughts. Has the word always carried the sexism element for you? Are hatred and prejudice such close cousins they are almost interchangeable? And on a lighter matter, what other words have you noticed growing lately, taking on additional meanings and nuances?

I’d nominate GAY, which has gone from blithe to homosexual and now has swept up naff. Or I swear we are giving far too much toil to the workhorses of PROCESS and COMMUNITY, let alone FACILITATE.

So tell us, without digressing into political soapboxing, what other words should a dictionary broaden? Ticklish topic perhaps – but your thoughts are welcome.

comments powered by Disqus

Gargantuan News

Yep, my Gargantuan Book of Words is big & full of words. Not just English but secret codes, Papuan pidgin, Zulu worms, sound FX, funny goldfish, letter origami. You get the drift? It's big. It's fun. And it's out now


Gargantuan Book of Words

Sneeze words. Fake pasta. Viking slang. Gargantuan is a jumbo jumble of puzzles & games, mazes & quizzes, tailor-made for that wordy wonderkid in your life. Or anyone in love with letters, secret codes, puns, rhymes, emoji & all things languagey. More here 

read more +


Packed with games, pickles, codes and cheesy puns, Wordburger is your chance to be a champion puzzler in 20 quick bites. Ideal for wordy kids keen to open a new language door, or grown-ups who want to cut their cryptic teeth. Click here. 

read more +


Riddles in song, in code, in pictures. From Ireland & Wonderland, Einstein & Pompeii. Riddledom reveals 101 wry questions from 50+ languages & shares their secrets. A book to unlock culture via conundrum. Order here.

read more +

Recent Comments

Riddledom Rave

If you missed my riddle chat with Richard Fidler, then feel free to slurp the podcast at http://ab.co/1I9t1x5

Text-speak is creeping into Scrabble. Where do you sit?
OBVS I'm fine with it
Entrenched stuff - like LOL and OMG - but no more.
Words With Friends, maybe. Scrabble, no
Let the 'real' dictionaries decide first
Just the handy stuff, like FAQ and EUW
I mean, WTF?! No way
See Results