The Australian National Dictionary Centre (ANDC) has selected its word of the year for 2017. Inspired by Australian deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, “kwaussie” is the chosen word.
The word is a portmanteau of “Kiwi” and “Aussie”, and refers to a person who is a dual citizen of New Zealand and Australia, a person of Australian and New Zealand decent or a New Zealander living in Australia. It became popular this year when Joyce found out he qualified for a New Zealand citizenship.
Amanda Laugesen, director of ANDC, said the word gained new meaning when the dual citizenship conflict arose earlier in 2017, leading to the prevention of multiple politicians from holding office. “The word was used to describe Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, and we found it was very popular in social media,” Dr Laugesen told Radio New Zealand.
The word has been used over the years, including to describe Hollywood actor Russell Crowe, who was describe as “what you get when you cross a Kiwi who can’t decide whether they’re a Kiwi or an Aussie”.
Some of the words kwaussie beat in the annual competition include “robodebt”, “jumper punch” and “makarrata”.