Winning Word of the Year 2009

Feb 03, 2010

The Committee's choice for Word of the Year 2009 is: 

adjective (of a building or infrastructure project) capable of being initiated immediately as soon as funding is assured.

"The Committee felt that this word was associated with one of the major preoccupations of 2009 — how to avoid a recession. Shovel-ready projects were worthy to receive money from the economic stimulus package because they could provide jobs immediately. It was therefore a word that was topical as well as one that provided a graphic mental image,' said Macquarie Dictionary Editor, Sue Butler.

The Committee would like to give honourable mentions to:

heritage media
noun media, as print newspapers, television, etc., which, although strong and influential in the past, are thought to be losing viability in the face of changing methods of communication. Compare social media.

noun a mixture of natural oils and terpenes released by eucalypts which, when washed by rain into watercourses, is a signal to fish, invertebrates, etc., that the season is sufficiently wet to support breeding. [Greek petros stone + ichor fluid; coined by Australian geochemists Richard Grenfell Thomas and Isabel Joy Bear in 1964]

noun a supporter of a politician or other media figure who stands beside them in the frame of a television shot and nods his or her head in agreement with what the speaker is saying.
head-nodding, noun

noun (plural cyberbullies) 1. a person who bullies another using email, chat rooms, social network sites, etc.
–verb (t) (cyberbullied, cyberbullying) 2. to bully (another) in this way. Also, cyber bully, cyber-bully.
cyberbullying, noun

roar factor
noun Sport the influence that a home crowd has on a referee or umpire in making adjudications. [from the roar of protest from the crowd at a perceived infringement by a player]

And the People's Choice Award, as voted by the public, goes to:

verb (i) 1. to post a message on the social network site Twitter.
–verb (t) 2. to post such a message to (someone).
–noun 3. such a message.

To see all the fascinating words that were under consideration this year, click on the category links below. The most popular words in each category were:

Agriculture: green harvesting
Art, Literature, Theatre: poverty porn
Business: elevator speech
Colloquial: man crush
Communications: tweet
Ecology: virosphere
Environment: bushfire survival plan
Fashion: geek chic
Eating and Drinking: truffle dog
General Interest: staycation
Health: social phobia
Internet: noob
Politics: slacktivism
Psychology: brain fade
Social Interest: friend with benefits
Sport: roar factor
Technology: mashup

Check out some of the media coverage in response to the choice of shovel-ready:

Shovel-ready wins word of the year | AAP | ABC News 

'Shovel-ready wins Macqaurie's word of the year | AAP | The Australian 


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