The Word of the Year 2013

General news0

infovoreThe results are in and the winning words for 2013 have been decided. The winner of the Committee’s Choice is…infovore

Macquarie Dictionary has announced infovore as the Word of the Year 2013 from the list of new words selected for inclusion in the annual update of the Macquarie Dictionary Online.

The overall winning word was selected by the Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year Committee, comprised of 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) and Susan Butler (Editor of the Macquarie Dictionary).

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.

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 a genre of speculative fiction based on the premise that climate change will give rise to fundamental changes in the way human beings live.
[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 People’s Choice winner goes to…


Thousands of votes were cast on Macquarie Dictionary Online throughout January to determine the People’s Choice Word of the Year for 2013. This year the winning word was:


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]

The runner-ups were marriage equality and showrooming.

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
• Technology – dumb phone

For a full list of nominated words and their definitions please visit

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