'Shovel-ready' wins Macquarie's word of year

"Shovel-ready" has dug its way into the Australian vernacular and been crowned the Macquarie Dictionary's word of the year for 2009.

"Shovel-ready" has dug its way into the Australian vernacular and been crowned the Macquarie Dictionary's word of the year for 2009.

The adjective was chosen from a list of new words selected for inclusion in the annual update of the Macquarie Dictionary Online.

The word refers to a building or infrastructure project capable of being initiated immediately, as soon as funding is assured.

Macquarie Dictionary editor Susan Butler said the word was chosen by the Word of the Year Committee because of its topicality and its visually graphic nature.

"The committee felt that this word was associated with one of the major preoccupations of 2009 - how to avoid a recession," Ms Butler said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Shovel-ready projects were worthy to receive money from the economic stimulus package because they could provide jobs immediately."

In the people's choice category the most popular word was "tweet", meaning to post a message on the social network site Twitter.

The committee gave an honourable mention to several other words, including "head-nodder", meaning a supporter of a politician or other media figure who stands beside them in the frame of a television shot and nods his or her head in agreement with what the speaker is saying.

Other words receiving an honourable mentions were "cyberbully", defined as a person who bullies another using email, chat rooms, social network sites, and "roar factor", referring to the influence that a home crowd has on a referee or umpire in making adjudications.

Source: AAP

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