‘Hard to go past’: Word of the Year revealed

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The Macquarie Dictionary’s 2022 Word of the Year has been revealed and it might surprise you that it’s not a new word.

Teal is defined as “a political candidate who holds generally ideologically moderate views but who supports strong action regarding environmental and climate action policies and the prioritising of integrity in politics”.

Unlike most winners of the Word of the Year – the word “teal” was not invented in the same year.

However, its use in everyday conversation over the last 12 months has been largely due to its resurgence as a descriptor for the independent political movement.

The Word of the Year committee's choice is teal. Picture: Macquarie DictionaryThe Word of the Year committee’s choice is teal. Picture: Macquarie Dictionary

“It’s hard to go past teal as an emblem of Australia’s political landscape in 2022,” the dictionary’s committee said.

“It’s not a brand-new word but a brand-new sense that no one saw coming.”

The colour teal – a dark greenish blue – was featured on the electoral material of Climate100-backed candidates in the federal election, including Zali Steggall, Kylea Tink and Allegra Spender.

The runner-up was “truth-telling”, which is defined as the act of relating the facts of a situation, exclusive of any embellishment or dilution applied as justification for past actions.

The word ‘teal’ gained a whole new meaning this year when it was used to describe political independents. Picture: Jason EdwardsThe word ‘teal’ gained a whole new meaning this year when it was used to describe political independents. Picture: Jason Edwards

The People’s Choice Word of the Year went to “bachelor’s handbag” – a phrase used to describe a supermarket roast chicken.

“A funny, clever coinage – so quintessentially Australian, summing up the role of a BBQ chook perfectly,” the committee said.

Last year, the word “strollout” took out both the Committee’s Choice and People’s Choice Word of the Year.

The word was a humorous jab at the federal government’s rollout of the Covid vaccination program that was perceived as slow.

The runner-up is truth-telling. Picture: Macquarie DictionaryThe runner-up is truth-telling. Picture: Macquarie Dictionary

Here are the words that made the shortlist:

  • Barbiecore: A fashion characterised by an all-pink colour palette, especially bright pink.
  • Bossware: Software installed on an employee’s computer that allows their employer to remotely monitor and measure activity and productivity, as by logging keystrokes and mouse movement, taking screenshots, etc.
  • Brigading: The organisation of a concerted effort by a large number of people to effect a particular action or change, as by online voting or reviewing
  • Clapter: Applause from an audience to indicate agreement with a comedian’s joke or statement, especially one of a social or political nature.
  • e-change: A move from a city environment to a rural location, made possible by the facility of being able to, and permitted to, conduct one’s work remotely from home.

Bachelor’s handbag received an honourable mention. Picture: Macquarie DictionaryBachelor’s handbag received an honourable mention. Picture: Macquarie Dictionary

  • Gigafire: A fire that burns through more than 100,000ha.
  • Goblin mode: A pattern of behaviour characterised by an embrace of indolence or slovenliness
  • Hidden homeless: People with no home who stay temporarily with a friend, family member etc and who do not access homeless support services during this period.
  • Nepo baby: A celebrity, often in the entertainment industry who has a famous parent (so called from the insinuation that they have attained a high profile as a result of their parent’s fame or connections).
  • Orthosomnia: An excessive preoccupation with obtaining the amount and quality of sleep recommended by a wearable sleep tracking device, often resulting in anxiety, which can in turn adversely affect sleep quality and the ability to fall asleep.
  • Pirate trail: A trail that has been established or constructed without the required permission, used for mountain biking
  • Prebunking: The practice of challenging the veracity of misinformation or disinformation, and the authority of its source, before such information is disseminated.
  • Quiet-quitting: The practice of strictly limiting oneself to performing the tasks within one’s job description and working only the hours that one is contracted.
  • Skin hunger: Desire for loving or friendly physical contact with another.
  • Spicy cough: Colloquial for Covid-19
  • Yassify: To apply multiple filters and edits to an image or digital photograph in order to transform the original image to one which is glamorous and beautiful (from yas queen).

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