How will 2011 define us? Voting for the Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year is now open

13 January 2012

Meggings, slashy, disaster porn, achacha, peak P, guyliner, thongage, photobomb, food coma, planking, PIGS, party house, kabadi, e-bomb... which is your word of 2011?

The wordsmiths at the University of Sydney's Macquarie Dictionary lab have had their ears to the ground all year, collecting all the new words which have gripped the nation and entered the vernacular to choose a Word of the Year in the annual update of the Macquarie Dictionary Online.

The categories have been selected, the nominations are in, and now members of the public are being asked to cast their vote for what they think is the most striking contribution to Australian English in 2011. The voting will determine the People's Choice, which will accompany the overall winning word into the Macquarie Dictionary Online.

The overall winning word will be selected by the Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year Committee chaired by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Dr Michael Spence. Other committee members include Stephen Garton (Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney), Les Murray (Poet and Fellow of the University of Sydney), Susan Butler (Editor of the Macquarie Dictionary) and David Astle (freelance journalist, Radio National book reviewer and a long-time word tragic).

Some of this year's nominations include:


noun a person who follows another's tweet. [TW(ITTER) + (P)EEP1]


noun a fruit which is believed to have exceptional qualities in terms of nutrients and antioxidants, as the mangosteen, wolfberry, acai berry, etc.

Food porn

noun 1. food that is presented in a way that is visually stimulating or erotic.

2. (derogatory) food which is high in calories or fat content. Also, food pornography.

Soy cap intelligentsia

noun (derogatory) a class or group of persons with a comfortable upper middle-class income who espouse left-wing views that have no real impact on their own lives. [from the supposed tendency, regarded as pretentious, of such people to drink soy caps (cappuccinos made with soy milk)]

Macquarie Dictionary, based at the University of Sydney, is the publisher of Macquarie Dictionary Online, the most up-to-date Australian dictionary available.

To vote, log on to the Macquarie Dictionary website and follow the links to the voting page. Voting closes at 5pm, Friday 27 January.

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Media enquiries: Charlotte Ree, Pan MacMillan, 02 9285 9147,