The Liberal leadership spill sparked the term ‘Canberra bubble’. Picture: Mark Graham and Sean Davey/AFP
The Liberal leadership spill sparked the term ‘Canberra bubble’. Picture: Mark Graham and Sean Davey/AFP

ScoMo inspires official 2018 Word of the Year

SCOTT Morrison and the dramatic Liberal leadership spill have inspired the 2018 Word of the Year.

Given federal politics provided a string of headline-grabbing scandals over the past 12 months it makes sense that the Australian National Dictionary Centre (ANDC) have dubbed 'Canberra bubble' the word of the year.

The Prime Minister has coined the term several times, noticeably in the wake of the Liberal leadership spill when the government came under fire for being disconnected from issues that matter to everyday Australians.

The Morrison-ism has since become a common phrase, with fellow politicians and media using it regularly to describe petty goings-on at Parliament House.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison coined the term ‘Canberra bubble’ in the wake of the leadership spill. Picture: AAP/Kelly Barnes
Prime Minister Scott Morrison coined the term ‘Canberra bubble’ in the wake of the leadership spill. Picture: AAP/Kelly Barnes

The phrase follows a political choice last year, with the 2017 Word of the Year announced as 'Kwaussie', referring to a person who is a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand.

This followed several dual citizenship issues engulfing MPs, namely then deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce.

ANDC director Amanda Laugesen said politics had a huge influence on our language.

"Politics is always a great contributor to our language," Dr Laugesen said.

"Canberra bubble is a term that increased in usage significantly through 2018, and it was noticeable that this year Prime Minister Scott Morrison used 'Canberra bubble' to define his politics.

"However, critics point out that the Prime Minister is very much inside the Canberra bubble.

"I think it also reflects the notion that across Australia there is some disenchantment with politics, and that politicians are more preoccupied with the goings-on in Canberra than the everyday concerns of Australians."

Other words - or phrases they might be better described as - that made the shortlist were also political; including 'drought relief', 'fair dinkum power' and 'NEG'.

Politicians were accused of living in a ‘Canberra bubble’ which meant they cared more about internal politics than the Australian people. Picture: Sean Davey
Politicians were accused of living in a ‘Canberra bubble’ which meant they cared more about internal politics than the Australian people. Picture: Sean Davey

A phrase spawned from the controversial Coles and Woolworths plastic bag ban also made the shortlist; 'bag rage', referring to customers who were angry about the removal of free bags.

The final short-listed word was 'blockchain', a system in which records are maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network, used especially for cryptocurrency transactions.

Macquarie Dictionary is yet to announce its 2018 Word of the Year, however it's 2017 winner was 'milkshake duck'.

Not familiar with it? A lot of people weren't.

It started when Australian cartoonist Ben Ward tweeted a meme of a duck drinking a milkshake through his popular Twitter account @pixelatedboat.

The meme read: "The whole internet loves Milkshake Duck, a lovely duck that drinks milkshakes! *5 seconds later* We regret to inform you the duck is racist."

The term 'milkshake duck' then represented something that rises rapidly in prominence, only to catastrophically fall after being exposed as defective.

Where were we when that happened?

The 2018 ANDC Word of the Year and shortlist were selected by the editorial staff of the Australian National Dictionary Centre.