Tony Abbott gets the last word in – to the Australian National Dictionary

He was ousted from the Prime Ministership, but Tony Abbott is still making a contribution to Australian society, this time in the new edition of the Australian National Dictionary. 

Oxford University Press head Peter van Noorden has singled out the former Coalition leader for lightening up the Australian language. 

“We’re a bit disappointed that Tony Abbott isn’t as prevalent anymore on our TV screens,” he said. 

What were his favourite ‘Abbottisms’?

“He certainly brought us some beauties in terms of ‘shirt front’, which was a real winner,” Mr van Noorden said. 

“‘Captain’s pick’ was a beauty as well and he sort of the became the poster boy for ‘budgie smuggler’.

Lots of other political references also made the grade in the first update to the dictionary since 1988, including “Howard's battlers”, the Nationals’ election “wombat trail” and the Australian Democrats slogan “Keeping the Bastards Honest”.

Overall, more than 6,000 words and phrases unique to Australia were added, including words from over 100 indigenous languages.

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A special thanks to our contributors

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.