Word of the year voting opens

Karen Thomson of Angus and Robertson contemplates the word of the year.
Karen Thomson of Angus and Robertson contemplates the word of the year. Peter Holt

ARE you a googleganger, do you ego surf or are you infauxmance?

You may not know the meaning of these words, but during the course of 2010, words such as ego surf along with 500 others have seeped into conversations.

Yesterday voting opened for the Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year 2010.

Macquarie Dictionary editor Susan Butler said they had been busy all year and had their ears to the ground, collecting all the new words that gripped the nation, entered the vernacular and affected our lives.

“This year we have a broad range of words, with a nice float of humour.”

Ms Butler said researching new words and definitions becomes quite a habit.

“It does become a habit of the mind; we are always looking through newspapers and looking for words that should be in the dictionary.

“We are terrible eavesdroppers, at dinner parties we are taking notes and recording things,” she joked.

The categories for 2010 are agriculture, business, colloquial, communications, computers, crops, culture, eating and drinking, environment, fashion, general interest, health, internet, the mind, politics, social interest, sport and technology.

Ms Butler said googleganger was one of her favourite words.

“It is a sly dig at all of us; we have all at some point typed our name into Google.”

Cast your vote for what you think is the most striking contribution to Australian English in 2010. The voting will determine the People’s Choice.

The overall winning word will be selected by the Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year Committee chaired by the vice-chancellor of the University of Sydney, Dr Michael Spence.

Voting is now open and will end at midnight on Friday, January 28.

To vote, log on to

Words from 2010

  • Fauxmance: a sham romantic relationship between two celebrities, fabricated as a means to gain publicity.
  • Googleganger: a person with the same name as oneself, whose online references are mixed with one’s own among search results for one’s name.
  • Buddymoon: a honeymoon in which friends are invited to accompany the newly-wed couple.
  • Ego-surf: to search the internet for instances of one’s own name, as in mentions in text, links to one’s blog, etc.

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