The Definitive Australian Dictionary

It’s almost English when dictionary does Australish

By Rob Taylor Thu Jan 10, 11:00 AM ET

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Contemplating a New Year tattoo in that fashionable area above the buttocks? To help you along, Australians have given them a not-so-fashionable name: “arse antlers.” Want a suntan as well? You could have “tanorexia.”

These are just some of the words the country’s biggest online dictionary is asking people to vote for as word of the year for its latest annual update.

A “butt bra” raises the profile of the buttocks to go with your arse antlers, while “manscaping” refers to removal of body hair for men, sometimes tied to the female preoccupation with the “lady garden,” or pubic zone.

“Tanorexia” refers to an obsession with a suntan, while a “salad dodger” is an obese person.

Other nominations for the Macquarie Dictionary Online include “infomania,” for those who constantly put aside the job at hand to concentrate on incoming email and text messages. “Password fatigue” is frustration from having too many passwords to recall.

Casting aside the personal, someone who spreads their clothes around the house, clean or otherwise, is said to be treating the room as a “floordrobe.”

Or if the global credit crunch is hitting home, you may be tempted into becoming a “credit card tart,” or someone who shifts loans around from one credit card to pay for another.

In business, the “glass cliff” refers to people placed in jobs with high risk of failure because they belong to a group not well represented in leadership positions, such as women.

Even geopolitics gets a mention, with “Chindia” joining China and India, at least in Australish English, in terms of their fast growing strategic and economic clout in the world.

The “Great Firewall of China” noun refers to the block preventing Chinese internet users from accessing online sites deemed undesirable by the Chinese government. To get around it may take a “cyberathlete,” or professional computer game player.

Susan Butler, the dictionary’s publisher, said environmental themes were hot this year in a time of global warming, with “climate canary” referring to a geographical feature, plant or animal species pointing to climate change.

“Toad juice” refers to a liquid fertilizer produced in Australia from pulverized cane toads, an introduced environmental pest marching its way across the continent.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chris@bookarama
    Feb 19, 2008 @ 00:56:42

    Those are good. I think I might use them.

    nylusmilk: i don’t quite know when to insert these interesting words in my conversation, really! but if they don’t know them, people will think you’re awfully witty and hey, who’s going to complain about that? 😉

    Reply

  2. aloi
    Feb 19, 2008 @ 12:19:41

    toad juice. yummy 😉

    nylusmilk: perfect for our barbie, eh mate? 😛

    Reply

  3. museditions
    Feb 19, 2008 @ 14:07:41

    Some of these are hilarious—arse antlers!—I thoroughly enjoyed the list. haha.

    nylusmilk: that’s my favourite too, haha!

    Reply

  4. cjwriter
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 02:03:31

    Wow, even I hadn’t heard of some of those. Love “tanorexia”… I’ll have to find a way to use that.

    One of my favourites has always been “the duck’s nuts”. I’m not sure if that was originally Australian but we’ve claimed it anyway – like Russell Crowe. 🙂

    nylusmilk: haha, if you have friends who love to tan, then it’ll be much easier. 😉 duck’s nuts?? what’s that?

    Reply

  5. cjwriter
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 14:07:31

    The duck’s nuts means to give high praise, particularly if someone’s done something that seemed unlikely. eg. You got that shirt for $5? That’s the duck’s nuts, mate!

    It’s a bit like the bee’s knees and I guess it comes from the idea that their testes are internal, so if you see them it would be pretty bloody amazing! Either that or it’s one very confused duck. 🙂

    nylusmilk: haha, i shall try to use that and shock some people. 😛

    Reply

  6. cjwriter
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 14:22:31

    Er, “amazing” meaning it would be pretty strange to see… sheesh, now I sound like I have a duck fetish. 😳

    nylusmilk: hahahaha!

    Reply

  7. museditions
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 15:23:40

    I should be ashamed of myself for this, but, can we say “Quing Quang” cj?
    (nylusmilk, if you don’t understand the reference, just “Google” Quing Quang & see what happens! 8)

    nylusmilk: rotflmao!! you guys cracked me up today. 😀

    Reply

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