The Macquarie dictionary announces its word of the year 2021

Today, the Macquarie Dictionary named “strollout” as its official word of the year for 2021.

Wait, hasn’t “stroll” already been chosen as the word of the year?
Yes, but it was a different dictionary. On Wednesday November 17, the Australian National Dictionary Center (ANDC) named its word of the year for 2021 “ambulation”, drawing attention to the deployment of the Covid-19 vaccine at the rate of the federal government’s snail. Now Australia’s most used dictionary has picked the same word, after last year’s choice, “doomscrolling”.

The Macquarie Committee says the ‘walk’ and ‘roll out’ coat rack is easy to understand and ‘is a really important marker for this period in Australian history’.

Who said it first?
Sally McManus, secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, is said to be the first person to use the term, which she tweeted in May 2021 about the slow distribution of vaccines for elderly and disabled care workers. She said: “We don’t have a vaccine deployment, we have a vaccine deployment.” 702 ABC Drive host Richard Glover is credited with spreading the word abroad, writing an article for the Washington post titled “Australian vaccine release shows dangers of Covid complacency.”

What is the audience saying?
Surprisingly, “strollout” is also this year’s People’s Choice winner. This is only the second time in the history of the Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year that the committee and the voting public have agreed. “The popularity of the word is undoubtedly influenced by this Australian irony evident in its construction,” said the Mac, in a statement.

What other words were up for grabs?
Nineteen words were shortlisted, with the Mac committee giving honorable mention to “Delta”, which says “is not an inventive word, but this variant has dominated our lives”; as well as “menty-b”, which means “deterioration of mental health”. This one was also the People’s Choice finalist. “It’s an easy way to get into an important discussion,” the committee said.

“Last chance tourism” was also in the running, ie “tourism to places with endangered landscapes or geological features, or which are habitats for endangered species”. The Mac said the word evoked a “shared concern and dilemma” about the climate crisis. “Sober curious”, “dry scooping” – shout at TikTok – and “wokescold” were also part of the shortlist, which you can read in full. here.

Who decides on Macquarie’s word of the year?
Each year, the Mac selects a committee to discuss new words and definitions that have entered the dictionary over the past year. For 2021, the committee included radio host and crossword creator David Astle; professor of linguistics at the University of Sydney Nick Enfield; award-winning author and professor of creative writing at Curtin Kim Scott University; Tiger Webb, language research specialist on ABC; and Macquarie Dictionary Editors Victoria Morgan and Alison Moore.

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