As a result of the close relatedness with Bulgarian and Serbian, Macedonian shares a considerable amount of its lexicon with these languages. Other languages which have been in positions of power, such as Ottoman Turkish and increasingly English also provide a significant proportion of the loan words. Prestige languages, such as Old Church Slavonic, which occupies a relationship to modern Macedonian comparable to the relationship of medieval Latin to modern Romance languages, and Russian also provided a source for lexical borrowings.
During the standardization process, there was deliberate care taken to try and purify the lexicon of the language. "Serbisms" and "Bulgarisms", which had become common due to the influence of these languages in the region were rejected in favor of words from native dialects and archaisms. One example being the word for "event", настан[ˈnastan], which was found in certain examples of folk poetry collected by the Miladinov Brothers in the 19th century, while the Macedonian writer Krste Misirkov had previously used the word собитие[ˈsɔbitiɛ]. This is not to say that there are no Serbisms, Bulgarisms or even Russianisms in the language, but rather that they were discouraged on a principle of "seeking native material first".