SYDNEY – “Kwaussie,” a portmanteau of the words “Kiwi” and “Aussie,” has been chosen as the Australian National Dictionary Centre’s Word of the Year, the institution announced on Monday.
A “Kwaussie,” according to the ANDC, refers to a person who is a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand, a New Zealander living in Australia or a person of Australian and New Zealand descent.
“In a time of covfefe, fake news, and tweetstorms, the Australian National Dictionary Centre has chosen Kwaussie as its Word of the Year for 2017,” said the institution, a joint Australian National University and Oxford University Press project.
The word has been particularly relevant in Australian media in 2017 due to the country’s parliamentary eligibility crisis, which forced the resignation of several members of Parliament, including Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, after a court ruled them ineligible for holding dual nationality.
Joyce, who has strong links to rural Australia and is known for his trademark Akubra hat, discovered in August that he was a citizen of New Zealand by descent from his father, and later lost his seat in parliament.
The National Party of Australia politician won back his seat in a bi-election on Saturday after rescinding his New Zealand nationality.
The first reported use of the word “Kwaussie” was found in a 2002 New Zealand newspaper article which was describing actor Russell Crowe.