/ 16 November 2023

Aussie words and puking birds

Image source: Getty
Image source: Getty

The Australian National Dictionary Centre has chosen ‘Matilda’ as its 2023 word of the year. While it’s an obvious nod to our women’s national soccer team and their wonderful World Cup run, the centre said the word has a “great and long history in Australian English”. Featured in Banjo Patterson’s famous ballad Waltzing Matilda, it’s a slang word for a swag (the outdoor sleeping bag, not the aura of confidence…). And speaking of winners, a New Zealand competition has crowned its bird of the century. After a huge effort from talk show host/self-appointed campaign manager John Oliver, the pūteketeke blew its competitors out of the air. The threatened species is known for its predisposition for grunting, vomiting, and strange mating rituals. The poor kiwi – or our favourite, the kākāpō –  never stood a chance…

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