I'm starting to lose the will to live each time the Macquarie Dictionary releases its word of the year. First up, it's rarely a word, but a phrase. But phrase of the year just doesn't have the same ring to it.
And the chosen word/phrase seems to becoming increasingly obscure and, how do I put this? NEVER. UTTERED. BY. ANYONE. EVER.
I mean, isn't the word of the year supposed to be something that has become part of the vernacular? Especially when it's chosen to be put in Australia's own dictionary?
The Macquarie Dictionary word of the year for 2023 is - shudder - "cozzie livs".
Which is, according to the judging committee, a colloquial abbreviation and humorous play on the phrase "cost of living".
The committee mused: "Although 'cozzie livs' was coined in the UK, it has resonated soundly with Australians, with its -ie suffix and its clipped formation, reminiscent of menty b and locky d. And what could be a more Australian approach to a major social and economic problem than to treat it with a bit of humour and informality?"
Ho, ho, yes. Love joking about the cost of living.
"How's your cozzie livs going, Cheryl?"
"Oh, up shit creek, Rhonda."
Never, in the history of the world, has anyone said "cozzie livs". Please, bring me examples. I beg of you.
Look, I know we Aussies love to abbreviate everything with an "ie". Tradie. Barbie. Postie. Budgie. Bikkie.
Not Cozzie. Not now. Not ever. Except in reference to a swimming costume. That's perfectly fine.
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It makes me hanker for the olden days when the Macquarie Dictionary word of the year was actually meaningful.
I didn't mind the 2009 word of the year which was "shovel-ready" - an adjective referring to a building or infrastructure project capable of being initiated immediately as soon as funding is assured.
I liked it because shovel-ready did indeed become the phrase du jour of politicians who wanted to sound active and in control and tradie-like.
And it's probably no coincidence that shovel-ready was word of the year at a time when the Rudd government was spending billions on building 47,000 school halls to stave off the impact of the global financial crisis.
In 2008, the word of the year was toxic debt, a reference to "the subprime loans which precipitated the GFC". Again, not bad. At least rooted in reality.
The judging committee that year also gave an honourable mention to "bromance". Yes! A new word in 2008 but one that endures 15 years later. ("Bromance": a non-sexual but intense friendship between two males.) Shoulda been word of the year.
The 2014 word of the year was "mansplain" which, again, was a word that came into common use. It was a "verb (t) colloquial (humorous) (of a man) to explain (something) to a woman, in a way that is patronising because it assumes that a woman will be ignorant of the subject matter". I mean, our own Senator Katy Gallagher used "mansplaining" to ferocious effect a whole two years later, in a 2016 Senate committee.
So, I can't wait for Treasurer Jim Chalmers to deliver the federal budget next May when I'm sure his speech will include lots of references to "cozzie livs". It just rolls off the tongue.
But I suppose we should be grateful for small mercies. Also on the shortlist for the 2023 word of the year was "scrotox" - "noun Colloquial: a botox preparation for the scrotum, especially as used for cosmetic purposes to make the skin appear less wrinkled".
I mean, if you're not talking about scrotox, are you even alive?