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Want to suggest a word for word of the year?

By Barcham - 1 November 2013 20

Crazed sex goblin

So the Australian National Dictionary Centre (ANDC) are looking to crown Australia’s “word of the year” and would like suggestions to help them along the way. It’s not a vote as they will make the final call, but they’re looking for you to make the shortlist.

I discovered this fact because the ANU have written a story about how ‘twerk’ should be the word of the year.

So many emotions right now.

Yes I realise that by me writing this response I am also helping but… shut up.

Twerk for word of the year? We have so many wonderful words out there! Why? Why would we grant that title to a ridiculous word used to describe a ridiculous dance employed during a tween celebrity’s (admittedly brilliant) performance as a crazed sex goblin that happened too long ago to be still amusing or relevant?

Don’t they realise we’re all up in arms about Russell Brand now anyway? Can’t you keep up ANU?

I was excited by the idea of a word of the year at first.

“That sounds fun!” I thought.

Previous words of the year include twitter, NBN, and podcast… scratch that, there’s no fun here.

It’s just a bunch of people jumping on trends after the fact.

Alrighty, looks like twerk would fit this list perfectly.

Ahh well.

Miley Cyrus brought twerking to the international stage and inspired mining billionaire and now politician Clive Palmer to famously twerk while on the election campaign trail.

That’s an incredibly quick international take-up of a word from obscurity into popular parlance.

So could twerking be up for the word of the year accolade?

The Australian National Dictionary Centre (ANDC) is on the hunt for its 2013 word of the year, and is looking for suggestions on which words you think should make the shortlist.

One word will then be crowned the winner based on its prominence in the Australian social and cultural landscape throughout the year.

It doesn’t need to be a newly coined term. The winning word for 2012 was green-on-blue: ‘an attack made on one’s own side by a force regarded as neutral’, significant in the media during 2012 in reference to Australia’s ongoing military involvement in Afghanistan.

Other previous Words of the Year include podcast (2006), GFC (2008), and Twitter (2009), showing that new words and phrases continually enter our vocabulary as our language organically grows and changes.

In this year’s newly released seventh edition of the Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary many new words have been added under the Oxford seal of approval.

The first edition, published in 1976, is significant as it was the first general reference dictionary to reflect Australian society and culture, says ANDC Director Dr Amanda Laugesen.

“Australian English is subject to external influences, but we continue to see new Australianisms and Australian usages,” she says.

The publication’s editorial team, Dr Laugesen, Mark Gwynn and Julia Robinson are constantly on the lookout for new words entering the Australian lexicon, and ensure that their definitions reflect the Australian context.

In the new edition of the Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary, the influence of global trends is clear through the addition of words related to the internet, technology, popular culture and politics such as hashtag, sexting, bromance, selfie, fracking and emissions trading, to name a few.

But specific ‘Australianisms’ have also been included like welcome to country, hook turn and NBN.

If you’d like to submit an entry for 2013 Word of the Year, email andc@anu.edu.au, use the ANDC Word Box or tweet to @ozworders

What’s Your opinion?


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20 Responses to
Want to suggest a word for word of the year?
Aeek 9:31 pm 01 Nov 13

I still prefer “defenestration”.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 7:43 pm 01 Nov 13

Roundhead89 said :

I’ve heard the word “twerk” several times in the media and I am none the wiser. What exactly does it refer to? I know it has something to do with Billy Ray Cyrus’s daughter so I’m assuming it came from one of her songs. As for the University of East Bumcrack putting out nonsense like this, well, we really can’t expect anything better. The last time I checked Miley Cyrus is an American and the word “twerking” was first used by US journalists. It hasn’t gained traction in this country at all. At the end of the 1980s a panel judging the Word of the Decade disqualified “Hawkespeak” as it was only used by the media and didn’t catch on with the general public. Putting forward a word created by US journalists and restricted to US entertainment shows hardly fits the criterion for “Australia’s Word of the Year”.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BKaL7WL-onI

MWF 6:27 pm 01 Nov 13

I want to nominate “suppository of all wisdom” as phrase of the year.

howeph 5:18 pm 01 Nov 13

johnboy said :

I do love the world’s most ignorant man claiming his ignorance invalidates others knowledge.

Twerking is a dance move you cave dweller. Involves buttock shaking.

Google twerking: https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Twerking

~ 18 BILLION results.

johnboy 4:56 pm 01 Nov 13

I do love the world’s most ignorant man claiming his ignorance invalidates others knowledge.

Twerking is a dance move you cave dweller. Involves buttock shaking.

Roundhead89 4:53 pm 01 Nov 13

I’ve heard the word “twerk” several times in the media and I am none the wiser. What exactly does it refer to? I know it has something to do with Billy Ray Cyrus’s daughter so I’m assuming it came from one of her songs. As for the University of East Bumcrack putting out nonsense like this, well, we really can’t expect anything better. The last time I checked Miley Cyrus is an American and the word “twerking” was first used by US journalists. It hasn’t gained traction in this country at all. At the end of the 1980s a panel judging the Word of the Decade disqualified “Hawkespeak” as it was only used by the media and didn’t catch on with the general public. Putting forward a word created by US journalists and restricted to US entertainment shows hardly fits the criterion for “Australia’s Word of the Year”.

johnboy 4:06 pm 01 Nov 13

They never stay in the sunset though

Holden Caulfield 4:04 pm 01 Nov 13

poetix said :

If they were looking for expressions, I would suggest ‘bigger than Clive Palmer’s lunchbox’, as a new way of describing a thing most awfully big.

I hope things go well for Clive in Parliament otherwise I fear he’ll do a wildturkeycanoe*.

*Take his bat and ball and sulk off into the sunset.

Henry82 3:49 pm 01 Nov 13

Chugger

shirty_bear 3:41 pm 01 Nov 13

thebrownstreak69 said :

poetix said :

If they were looking for expressions, I would suggest ‘bigger than Clive Palmer’s lunchbox’, as a new way of describing a thing most awfully big.

Fatter than Clive Palmers wallet?

Bigger than Russ Hinze on a unicycle.

Solidarity 3:16 pm 01 Nov 13

Fatter than Gina Rinehart?

Anywho, Barcham is a new word I only just learned this year.

“Flogged like Barcham”

thebrownstreak69 2:26 pm 01 Nov 13

poetix said :

If they were looking for expressions, I would suggest ‘bigger than Clive Palmer’s lunchbox’, as a new way of describing a thing most awfully big.

Fatter than Clive Palmers wallet?

poetix 2:18 pm 01 Nov 13

If they were looking for expressions, I would suggest ‘bigger than Clive Palmer’s lunchbox’, as a new way of describing a thing most awfully big.

astrojax 1:48 pm 01 Nov 13

i had to google ‘twerk’ – am still little the wiser. i suspected it might be some derivation from being a ‘twat’ at ‘work’. i think the first bit is right.

this site ought to push for ‘mully’ for inclusion. start the campaign…

thebrownstreak69 1:30 pm 01 Nov 13

It would be ok if it weren’t for her haircut. Worst looking haircut ever.

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