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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Australish - almost English dictionary

Contemplating a New Year tattoo in that fashionable area above the buttocks? To help you along, Australians have given them a not-so-fashionable name: "arse antlers." Want a suntan as well? You could have "tanorexia."

These are just some of the words the country's biggest online dictionary is asking people to vote for as word of the year for its latest annual update.

A "butt bra" raises the profile of the buttocks to go with your arse antlers, while "manscaping" refers to removal of body hair for men, sometimes tied to the female preoccupation with the "lady garden," or pubic zone.

"Tanorexia" refers to an obsession with a suntan, while a "salad dodger" is an obese person.

Other nominations for the Macquarie Dictionary Online include "infomania," for those who constantly put aside the job at hand to concentrate on incoming email and text messages. "Password fatigue" is frustration from having too many passwords to recall.

In business, the "glass cliff" refers to people placed in jobs with high risk of failure because they belong to a group not well represented in leadership positions, such as women.

Casting aside the personal, someone who spreads their clothes around the house, clean or otherwise, is said to be treating the room as a "floordrobe."

Or if the global credit crunch is hitting home, you may be tempted into becoming a "credit card tart," or someone who shifts loans around from one credit card to pay for another.

Even geopolitics gets a mention, with "Chindia" joining China and India, at least in Australish English, in terms of their fast growing strategic and economic clout in the world.

The "Great Firewall of China" refers to the block preventing Chinese internet users from accessing online sites deemed undesirable by the Chinese government. To get around it may take a "cyberathlete," or professional computer game player.

Susan Butler, the dictionary's publisher, said environmental themes were hot this year in a time of global warming, with "climate canary" referring to a geographical feature, plant or animal species pointing to climate change.

"Toad juice" refers to a liquid fertilizer produced in Australia from pulverized cane toads, an introduced environmental pest marching its way across the continent.

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