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'Green-on-blue' tops word of 2012 list

Date

Sally Pryor

Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre Dr Amanda Laugesen.

Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre Dr Amanda Laugesen. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Does the proliferation of green-on-blue attacks keep you up at night?

Are you concerned about the amount of brotox your friend has had?

Is there a lot of fossil farming going on in your neighbourhood?

And how are you feeling about entering the fourth age?

These are all terms that have made it onto the Australian Dictionary Centre's shortlist for 2012 Word of the Year.

The winner, "green-on-blue", joins a number of other military-inspired terms that have become part of the Australian lexicon, including “digger” and “Anzac”.

Director of the ANU-based centre, Amanda Laugesen, said “green-on-blue”, an attack made on one's own side by a force regarded as neutral, had gained prominence in Australia and the rest of work because of the ongoing military involvement in Afghanistan.

“While green-on-blue is not exclusively Australian, it has come to have significance in Australia in 2012 due to the number of Australian soldiers who have lost their lives in such attacks,” she said.

“In these circumstances we felt it appropriate to recognise what has undeniably become a part of our national consciousness, our history and our language, especially amongst younger generations.”

Some of the other terms were culled from the Australian social and cultural landscape throughout the year.

"Brotox", for example, means “botox used by a man”, namely Shane Warne, while the "fourth age" refers to people aged 85 and over.

The growing problem of the abuse of prescription drugs has spawned the term "fossil farming", which denotes the act of buying prescription drugs from elderly people for personal use or illegal sale.

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