The conversations of life

What the? Australia’s word of the year is … ‘Kwaussie’

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Yes, really. Defined as “a person who is a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand; a New Zealander living in Australia; a person of Australian and New Zealand descent”, the Australian National Dictionary Centre (ANDC) says it was the clear winner after Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce was booted from parliament in October by the High Court because he had Kiwi citizenship from his NZ-born father.

Under Australia’s constitution, politicians can’t be dual citizens. So far six senators, a senate president and one MP have been forced to resign because of the law.

The choice still left many on social media scratching their heads however.

But when you consider the Centre’s other short-listed words, we see why ‘kwaussie’ got the nod:

  • Jumper punch – an AFL term describing an illegal punch hidden by grabbing hold of an opponent’s jumper.
  • Postal survey – a reference to our now-infamous Australian Marriage Law survey.
  • Robodebt – a new word that takes a dig at Centrelink’s problem-ridden automated debt recovery program.
  • WAxit – used to describe WA’s much-talked about, never-happening departure from the Commonwealth.

Personally, we preferred last year’s word of the year – ‘democracy sausage’ anyone?

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.


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