It’s that time of the year folks: Macquarie Dictionary’s ‘Word of the Year’ shortlist is out and waiting for your vote, and there are some truly glorious phrases that I plan to enthusiastically absorb into my personality.
Every year, Macquarie Dictionary calls together a committee to sift through trendy new words that have been added to its dictionary in the last year, and one word is chosen above all to be crowned ‘Word of the Year’.
As part of this process, the editors curate a shortlist, and then the Committee’s Choice (aka the Word of the Year) is announced, before the shortlist is opened up to the public for a People’s Choice award.
But this year, they’re not announcing the winner until we’ve had our say — and I already know which word I’m voting for.
The shortlist includes gems that are both familiar and new, and some of these are about to be awarded a permanent place in my vocabulary.
My favourite word on the list is ‘menty-b’, meaning mental breakdown, as in this tweet:
There’s nothing I love more than using humour as a disguise for when I am legitimately spiralling, and menty-b is exactly the kind of word I need to get that vibe across.
More fave phrases to land a place in the short list are ‘porch pirate’, as in “a person who steals parcels which have been left outside a home by a deliverer” and ‘hate-follow’, as in “to link oneself to (a site on a social network) even though one dislikes or disagrees with the content being shared”.
Oh, and this word that I have been looking for all my life and have only just now found: ‘front-stab’, as in “to betray (someone) openly, without subterfuge”.
There’s also more serious words on the list, including ‘Delta’ (ugh, I’ve heard that one enough), and ‘shadow pandemic’, as in “an increase in mental health problems and domestic and family violence attributed to living with the stresses and restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
When voting, you get to choose a first, second and third choice, so check out the list and choose your faves!!! Menty-b supremacy!!! You can vote here.