Kwassie has been named Australian Word of the Year 2017!
Kwaussie: ‘a person who is a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand; a New Zealander living in Australia; a person of Australian and New Zealand descent’.
The Australian National Dictionary Centre, based at The Australian National University, selected Kwaussie, a blend of Kiwi and Aussie, as the most interesting term associated with the dual citizenship crisis engulfing the Australian Parliament in 2017.
It was used to describe the most high-profile casualty of the crisis, Deputy Prime Minister and National Party leader Barnaby Joyce. He revealed to parliament in August that, despite being born and bred in country New South Wales, he was also a New Zealander by descent. The first evidence is found in a 2002 New Zealand newspaper article discussing Russell Crowe: he is described as a ‘Kwaussie (what you get when you cross a Kiwi who can’t decide whether they’re a Kiwi or an Aussie’).
Subsequent evidence suggests its use is predominantly Australian, and is found chiefly in social media (and also found with spelling variants including kwozzie and kwozzy). Thanks to the two kwaussies identified as ineligible to sit in parliament, Barnaby Joyce and Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, the term is now becoming better known.
Kwaussie was chosen from a shortlist which included makarrata, jumper punch, postal survey, robodebt and WAXit.
The 2017 Word of the Year shortlisted words are selected by the editorial staff of the Australian National Dictionary Centre, who with Oxford University Press publishes the Australian National Dictionary of words and phrases unique to Australia.
The Australian National Dictionary Centre undertakes research into Australian English in partnership with Oxford University Press, and edits Australian dictionaries for Oxford University Press.
The Word of the Year is based on extensive research as well as public suggestions. Vote for your 2017 Australian Word of the Year:
View the previous Words of the Year on the ANDC blog page: