Macquarie Dictionary


Word of the Year 2013

The results are in!


The Committee’s choice of Word of the Year 2013 is:


noun a person who craves information, especially one who takes advantage of their ready access to it on digital devices.


The Committee thought that the coinage infovore was a response to the perception that we now had access to information all the time. The smart phone made it possible to find out immediately what we wanted to know. For some people knowing that whatever questions life threw at us the answer was a click or two away was a liberating experience. Indeed they were in danger of becoming addicted to this rush of instant information.  This was a word that reflected a significant change in how we conducted our lives. It was also a neat coinage.

The Committee would like to give honourable mention to:


verb (t) (firescaped, firescaping)
to landscape (an area) with the possibility of bushfire in mind, as by growing fire-resistant plants, creating firebreaks with gravel, concrete, etc., eliminating flammable wood or plastic items.



noun 1.  a genre of speculative fiction based on the premise that climate change will give rise to fundamental changes in the way human beings live.

adjective 2.  of or relating to cli-fi.

[CLI(MATE) + FI(CTION) modelled on SCI-FI] 


Each summer now we are constantly aware of a background of major bushfires.  In response to this there is a continuing flow of new words related to bushfires and how we deal with them. Firescaping is a form of landscaping that reduces the hazard of fire.  The other honourable mention went to cli-fi, a neat coinage, and one that is prompted by environmental change.  The committee thought that it was fair to say that in all the discussions generated by this topic, no one had predicted a new genre of sci-fi as an outcome.


The Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year Committee comprises:

Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney
Professor Stephen Garton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Sydney
Anne Bell, Director of University Libraries, University of Sydney
Catriona Menzies-Pike, Arts Editor, The Conversation
Susan Butler, Publisher of the Macquarie Dictionary


The People’s Choice Award for 2013 goes to:


noun 1.  a loose-fitting one-piece suit, usually of a stretch fabric, gathered at the wrists and ankles and loose at the crotch. 

2.  a one-piece stretch garment for an infant, with or without legs and sleeves, sometimes enclosing the feet.

[one + –s– + -ie] 

Category winners:

Agriculture  dining boom
Arts  fanfic
Business  showrooming
Colloquial  facepalm
Communications  churnalism
Eating and Drinking  coffee cupping
Environment  firescape
Fashion  onesie                  
General Interest  watch and act
Health  enabler 
Internet  Streisand effect 
Politics  marriage equality 
Social Interest  generation debt 
Sport  barefoot running 

 dumb phone 

Download the pdf below to view all the entries considered for Word of the Year 2013.

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