The term ‘strollout’ has been picked as Australia’s 2021 word of the year, for capturing the frustrations over the slow pace of our COVID-19 vaccination rollout.
The Australian National Dictionary Centre (ANDC), based at the Australian National University, chose the word from a long list of pandemic-related terms.
The term is defined as “the slow implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination program in Australia”.
The ANDC says the word highlighted Australia’s mood in a year once again dominated by the coronavirus.
Centre director Dr Amanda Laugesen says it was inevitable there were many words related to the pandemic.
“These became part of our everyday language,” she says.
“In Australia, the rollout was initially described by political leaders as ‘not a race’. For many Australians, the pace of the rollout was considered too slow.”
The 2021 word of the year shortlist included:
- Double-vaxxed: having received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Clayton’s lockdown: a lockdown considered to be inadequate to slow the rate of COVID-19 community transmission.
- Fortress Australia: the concept that Australia was protected and isolated from other countries during the pandemic.
- AUKUS: a security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States centred on the Indo-Pacific region.
- Net zero: a target of offsetting the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activity through reduction measures.
Strollout gained prominence in Australia and quickly spread across the world.
It even made its way into international publications like The Washington Post.
“It’s yet another example of how a truly Australian expression can make waves globally,” Dr Laugesen said.
“It’s also captured a very particular moment in our nation’s history. The pandemic has had a profound impact on our society and lives.”
Other terms which came to the fore in 2021 include vaccination hub, vaccine hesitancy, vaccine passports and vaccine rollout.