Macquarie Dictionary


Put some onions on that democracy sausage

This week we have a piece of chargrilled Aussie slang we can’t wait to slather in sauce and sink our teeth into. That’s right, we’re taking a bite out of the famous democracy sausage. Though it’s not a Federal election year, we thought there was enough voting going on around our states and in a certain other country overseas to inspire us to fire up the barbecue.

A democracy sausage is a sausage sandwich (or a sausage in bread, or a sausage sizzle…) which a voter can obtain at a polling booth on polling day. This patriotic sausage has become so embedded in Australian culture that on election day you can follow a live map of where voters are chowing down. Democracy sausage has cultural clout. It was the Australian National Dictionary’s 2016 word of the year. 

Perhaps even more famous than the democracy sausage is the cultural phenomenon of the sausage sizzle. Generally, a sausage sizzle is a barbecue at which only sausages are cooked, especially as a fundraising event. We welcomed these grand events back a couple of months ago after they were put on ice during lockdown.  

With hot days returning, we look forward to towns and suburbs filled with the smell of the sausage sizzle

Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.

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