Macquarie Dictionary


Word of the Year 2023

Announcing the Macquarie Dictionary Committee’s Choice and People’s Choice Word of the Year 2023.

Committee Winner


noun Colloquial cost of living.

[humorous play on COST OF LIVING]

Although cozzie livs was coined in the UK, it has resonated soundly with Australians, with its -ie suffix and its clipped formation, reminiscent of menty b and locky d. And what could be a more Australian approach to a major social and economic problem than to treat it with a bit of humour and informality?


Committee Honourable Mentions


noun a flood in low-lying areas caused by the flow of floodwater which has made its way from higher ground after the cessation of substantial rainfall.  

The floods so many have endured in recent times make blue-sky flood a topical expression, and it resonates more broadly. The idea that there is a deluge coming, even though the sun is shining, is almost like the time bomb we’re all sitting on with climate change. 



noun a form of coded language used on digital platforms in which words, such as those relating to sex, violence, etc., which would be triggers for a site’s moderation rules to remove a post, are replaced with innocuous words which are sometimes similar in sound or form, as seggs for ‘sex’.

AI is increasingly a major part of our lives. Making good use of the productive (and sometimes a bit sinister) word part -speak (think Orwell’s newspeak), algospeak describes an attempt to circumvent AI surveillance. But how long will it be before the moderating software learns the code words?


People’s Choice Winner


noun an artificial-intelligence application which is capable of producing new content, such as text, images, videos, etc., through use of machine learning.

Unlike many other previous People’s Choice winners, generative AI isn’t a clever or humorous construction, but it has touched a nerve. A clear winner, it shows that AI is figuring prominently in our minds this year.


People’s Choice Honourable Mentions

Runners-up skimpflation and rizz show a return to form, each demonstrating a bit of fun, even though the meaning of skimpflation is far from amusing. Rizz seems to be appealing to younger voters – it’s succinct, has a satisfying sound, and is proving flexible in use. Hostile architecture and doorway effect also scored well in the People’s Choice vote. 

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