More Than Words: The Making of the Macquarie Dictionary

Pat Manser

The idea for a dictionary of Australian English was conceived in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until 1981 that the first edition of the Macquarie Dictionary was published. More Than Words tells the story of how the dictionary was brought to life during this period – from identifying the need for a genuinely Australian dictionary to the long road towards publication – and explores how the dictionary has evolved over the years since then.


Pat Manser

Pat Manser arrived in Sydney in 1952 from the north of England with her parents who were ‘Ten Pound Poms’. Her dad said he had ‘discovered sunshine’, during his war service. After a degree from the University of Sydney in Early English Literature and Language, Pat’s working life began as a teacher at a girls’ high school and subsequently at TAFE. Between her teaching stints, Pat worked as a Research Editor on the first Macquarie Dictionary. It gave her a lifelong passion for the special character of Australian English. After Macquarie, she went on to senior positions in both the Commonwealth and NSW public services. She retired as a Deputy Director-General of the NSW Department of Commerce in 2008. She lives in Sydney, on the Georges River, and is enjoying her retirement with her family and friends.

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