Macquarie Dictionary


The cellar dwellers

It’s deep into the football season. With the finals approaching, it’s time to analyse your team’s chances of making it to the last eight. Are they high on the ladder or are they cellar dwellers? You can probably guess what cellar dwellers means. Yes, it means your team is in last place. Bottom of the ladder. Rather than running out on Grand Final day, your team is more likely to be awarded the wooden spoon: a metaphorical (and sometimes literal) prize handed out to the team that finishes last in a sporting competition. 

Unfortunately, the team who are bottom of the ladder are likely to earn the moniker easybeats, a name borrowed from the 1960s Aussie rock band The Easybeats. Not a great title but I suppose it’s better than being outright called losers, right?

If there’s one consolation prize (a prize, usually of little value, given to the loser, or runner-up, in a contest), it’s that there’s always next season! Besides, it’s better to finish dead last and know your hopes and dreams are buried half-way through the season than get all the way to the Grand Final only to lose on the day. After all, no one remembers the runner-up.

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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