News

"Googleganger" is the Word of the Year


4 February 2011

Macquarie Dictionary has announced that "googleganger" is the Word of the Year for 2010.

Googleganger, a noun, is defined as a person with the same name as oneself, whose online references are mixed with one's own among search results for one's name.

The overall winning word was selected by the Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year Committee chaired by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Dr Michael Spence and also including Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Garton.

Sue Butler, the editor of Macquarie Dictionary, commenting on the reason for the choice said, "The committee thought that googleganger, based on doppelganger, was a witty coinage, and that it provides a glimpse of how we live our private lives in the days of the internet. No-one can resist the temptation to key in their own name in the search box and see who pops up."

The word was chosen from the new words selected for inclusion in the annual update of the Macquarie Dictionary Online.

The Committee also gave honourable mention to vuvuzela, the plastic horn played by South African soccer fans and made famous during the World Cup last year.

The People's Choice Award is shockumentary, defined as a documentary film or television show which features footage of accidents or violence. It also describes a documentary which gives damaging information about an organisation, often presented in a way which magnifies the shock value of the facts.

Category winners as decided by the committee included:

  • Arts - tart noir: a genre of crime fiction in which the female investigator is a woman who is tough, independent and sexy.
  • Business - black swan event: a major event which is so improbable that it is not likely to be predicted.
  • Communications - fauxmance: a sham romantic relationship between two celebrities, fabricated as a means to gain publicity.
  • Environment - toad golf: the activity of hitting cane toads with a golf club.
  • Social interest: - self-gift: something bought for oneself as a personal indulgence

Media enquiries:

Susan Butler, Editor of the Macquarie Dictionary, is available for comment/interview.

Verity Leatherdale, 9351 4312, 0419 278 715, verity.leatherdale@sydney.edu.au

Kate Nash, 9285 9113, 0406 997 647, kate.nash@macmillan.com.au