Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year
Word of the Year 2008
Posted on 23 December 2013
The Committee's choice of Word of the Year 2008 is:
noun debt which, although initially acquired as a legitimate business transaction, proves subsequently to be financially worthless, as the subprime loans which precipitated the GFC.
The committee, in the course of its review of the words that had been added the Macquarie Dictionary, considered the important events of 2008. The concern with the environment was an obvious issue and there were many words reflecting this, water footprint having considerable appeal. But the event of 2008 which overshadows all our lives was the GFC, itself a term now added to the lexicon. In this category toxic debt was thought to be the root cause, the lingering blight on our lives, and in addition it had, as a lexical creation, a visceral impact. It needed no explanation but said it all.
The Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year Committee comprises:
Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney
Professor Stephen Garton, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Sydney
Les Murray, renowned Australian poet
Susan Butler, Editor of the Macquarie Dictionary
The Committee would like to give honourable mention to:
- noun Colloquial a non-sexual but intense friendship between two males. [bro + (ro)mance1]
- noun Colloquial someone who sends an excessive number of text messages.
- noun a person who plants gardens in areas controlled by councils or other organisations but neglected by them in terms of vegetation, as nature strips, roundabouts, council-maintained gardens, etc. Also, guerrilla gardener.
- noun the use of international law by a country to attack or criticise another country, especially a superior military power, on moral grounds, that is, by accusing it of having violated international law. [(international) law + (war)fare]
- noun Colloquial a backpacker who travels in relative luxury. [flash(y) + (back)packer]
The People's Choice Award for 2008 goes to:
noun Colloquial a backpacker who travels in relative luxury. [flash(y) + (back)packer]
|Eating and Drinking||guerilla dining|
|Social Interest||helicopter parenting|
Download the pdf below to view all the entries considered for Word of the Year 2008.