ACT News


My word, here's something new on the books for 2012

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

Are you concerned about the amount of brotox your male 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 on to the Australian National Dictionary Centre shortlist for 2012 Word of the Year.

The winner, ''green-on-blue'', joins a number of other military-inspired terms that have become an established 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 continuing military involvement in Afghanistan.

The shortlisted words were all chosen for their resonance with Australian society.

''The aim of the words that we put on the shortlist was based on really looking for words that reflected, or were prominent in, the Australian social and cultural landscape,'' Dr Laugesen said.

The shortlist was whittled down from a larger collection of words, some submitted by the public and others selected from new dictionary editions, over a period of months.

''Brotox'', meaning "botox used by a man", was another that made the list, 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.

The Australian National Dictionary Centre has been selecting words of the year for six years, while Oxford Dictionaries runs similar projects in Britain and the United States.

Dr Laugesen has already got one term on her watch list for 2013.

''I thought fiscal cliff, possibly if it's still around and if people are still using it,'' Dr Laugesen said.

''I'll be hoping that fiscal cliff will be a word that we know too much about.''