Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The word of the year

In 2010, 'shovel-ready' was deemed by the esteemed persons who put together the Macquarie Dictionary to be the word of the previous year. Yes, it was soooo 2009, but it was, according to editor Susan Butler, topical and visually graphic in structure. Those are the criteria required to get a guernsey in our national dictionary. It was on the tips of everyone's tongues, it looked good - and it was raring to go.

This year's field holds some worthy contenders. Brand slut in the fashion category. Koala ears (defined as 'patches of pubic hair protruding from a swimming costume or underwear) also in fashion. Astroturf marketing (defined along the lines of marketing that looks as though it's word-of-mouth but is run by a behind-the-scenes professional marketer) in the communications area. Sandbagging, not in the area of flood management as you might expect, but in the Politics category, and meaning an attempt to secure an electorate against a feared swing in the vote by making election promises targeted at that electorate.

You can read the entire list - and vote - here, and it's worth the time to see just how far our language has evolved in 365 short days. Koala ears. Nothing more to say really...

Here in the Fibro, the language is also jumping ahead in leaps and bounds. If 2009's word of the year was 'bokkens' (full story here), then the strong contender to take out the award this year is - drumroll please - fablious (pron. fab-lee-us). Usage: 'Mum, you look FABlious.' Origin: Mr4 (who else?).

It's really taken off in these parts (that is, within the walls of the Fibro). Everything and everyone is fablious. So much classier than the overused 'fabulous'.

I'm betting it will really catch on.

What's the word of the year at your house?

{image: bioweb.uwlax.edu}


  1. I should be making a list - I have some doozies. (Is that a word?!)

    Scrumbled - as in "Mummy, my bed is all messy and scrumbled" when the quilt is all rucked up and the sheets are all tangled.

    "Ramishing" - This is a cross between famished and ravishing. Apparently. Lexie uses this to describe a yummy looking dinner when she is starving hungry.

    "Mitror" - Olivia has a mental block over "mirror" and always calls a framed mirror a "mitror" (as a combination of the word mirror and picture".)

    I think I need to stop now. I have too many. I am making my kids look kooky.

  2. Aww, that is so cute and even better that he is saying it to you :D Our newest word here is 'wishus' and everything is wishus (delicious!!). Jen

  3. We like 'turducken' - we heard it on 'Ace of Cakes' (apparently it's a dish - chicken stuffed in a duck stuffed in a turkey - sounds horrible)...we just love the onomatopoeia of it. Very satisfying word to say (makes a good swear word too!)

  4. I'm fron Tipperary in Ireland, and I have tonnes of old words that I use everyday. Like Lucy above, I may be inspired to write a list of my own. I wasn't even fully aware I was using them until my boyfriend tried to write me a poem cramming in loads of them.
    Streal - a really untidy person is a streal
    to put a smacht on something is to tidy it up and put it in order
    to peg someone is how I'd say I pinched someone. I love new words too.
    Interesting post - great link. Thanks Alison.

  5. I haven't heard any of those terms from 2010. I am beginning to wonder if I was around last year at all? My only suggestion would be 'ranga', but its probably already in there.

  6. We love the following at our house ...

    Ridonculous (Ridiculous) from the movie BOLT.

    Jeggings (leggings that look like jeans or jeans that look like leggings?)

    Grawesome (great x awesome, as created by my Big Girl, or so she thinks?)

    Chillaxin (chilled x relaxing) ... said a lot when around the pool.

    I'm sure there are more. Will check with the Kiddos in the morning.

  7. Fablious is fabulous! So much moreso than koala ears.

    Here? It's pooter. Like "Mom spends too much time on the pooter."

  8. I love fablious. It sounds like a mix of words, purposely put together to make a new meaning. Really cool and clever...go Mr 4! I know we've got some words of our own but I can't, for the life of me, think of them right now....

  9. It's an oldy but a goody, I still love the "may I have a BRINK of water"

    There's also the mix up of words that goes with the mispronunciation eg. I know what you call a lady who likes ladies.....a vegetarian.


  10. Contenders are:

    The Front Gerandah - where we hang out

    Electrikity - which often 'clacks out' around here

    But the words of the year for us is what Cappers calls her 'bits':

    My La La

    Nothing more to say, really. x

  11. That was fablious. And unlike Kirsty, my son does not have a brink of water, he has a drink of mortar - which always sends my 11 yr old into hysterics.
    It will take me awhile to recover from Koala Ears.

  12. Great post and I'm afraid to say that 'randomised' is the word in our house at the moment. Well with two girly tweens what do you expect?!

  13. We have a few favourite words in our house.
    One is 'engineee' as in eating food gives our bodies engineee :)
    Another is 'coffers' - as in "Mum, I have the coffers" to tell me she is coughing lots!

  14. Heh heh heh -- some of the comments are fab!
    Koala ears??? OMG -- bad mental image...

    My kids say fablious, as well. Also 'binoclears' instead of binoculars -- which we've picked up, and we now have to correct ourselves when talking to non-family people.

    Teenager says 'awesome sauce' which is kind of funny.

  15. FABlious? I LIKE it!

    Think I might have to borrow that one. ;)

  16. Kids are truly the best inventors, are they not?

    Our house resonates with calls of "Buck-dake!" Do some letter substitution and you'll soon figure the meaning. My "Dyna" as opposed to daddy's "pee-pee" and his favourite animal - the "efelus" with his big nose.

    But for the grown ups it has been a year all about the "Out Laws" (my parents being "out" because they are so not "in").

  17. Actually we have a word that is actually used far too often by actually by my 3 kids who actually say it day in and day out.
    Can you actually guess what it is?
    Well actually it is actually (driving me insane).
    Miss 8 - Actually Mum you DIDN'T say I couldn't read when in time out.
    Master 7 - Actually Mum it has been 5 minutes since you said we could go in the pool
    Master 3 - Actually I have changed my mind.

    Me: I actually wish you would get another favourite word.

  18. LOL @anna - Actually is on high rotation around here as well.

    I am loving all the comments here. Nice to see the language is alive and well and evolving.

    At the end of the day, though, I forgot to mention the one word that seems to be used every single day in the Fibro. It's an oldie, but a goodie. You all hear it too.


  19. My friend's seven-year-old used to call it a jumpoline instead of a trampoline. I think his version is probably more accurate.

    Koala's ears is such a great term by the way!

  20. Well I have recently shared humdinger with you, but just asked SS if he knew koala ears, he didn't, so I have finally been the one to know a funny term first.

    Dingle berries is another one of his terms. A totally boys school word I am to embarrassed to write about.

  21. Our fablious word of the year is "nothing." As in, "what's going on up there?" Nothing! "Why is it so quiet?" Nothing!


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