Know your salad dodger from your tart fuel? Then you must be Australian

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The Independent Online

Gentlemen: isn't it time to take care of the "manscaping"? Singletons: why not break out and try a spot of "read dating"? And parents: just admit that the "kippers" are getting on your nerves.

Confused? Well then it's time to update your vocabulary, with a bit of help from Down Under. Australia's national dictionary publisher, Macquarie, is asking people to vote on their word or phrase of the year in 17 different categories, from food and drink to fashion to the environment.

The candidates offer a tongue-in-cheek snapshot of life in the late Noughties.

Take the modern-day workplace. It is fraught with potential dangers, such as "password fatigue" – that point when as you're asked for your secret word your mind goes blank and you find yourself guessing frantically while trying to convince the helpdesk or customer service adviser that you are not a fraudster. Then there's the possibility of becoming an "infomaniac" – someone unable to get on and do anything constructive in the office because their inbox keeps pinging, their mobile keeps ringing and they couldn't possibly ignore it.

Leisure time is no safer. If you're the parents of Generation Kippers – Kids In Parents' Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings – the chances are you can't afford to do too much anyway. And even if you do have the money for a far-flung holiday, remember a trip to the beach might bring on a bout of "tanorexia" – an obsession with becoming that perfect shade of bronze, and hang the risk of skin cancer.

Restaurants are out of bounds if you're a "salad dodger", there's a big enough "globesity" (worldwide obesity) problem as it is. Although sufferers may want to consider committing to some "incidental exercise" at the very least – nothing as dramatic as joining a gym, but using the stairs instead of the lift and clearing up their own "floordrobe" (clothes strewn about the floor) instead of employing a cleaner.

Those wanting to meet someone special might like to try posting an online advert listing their favourite books in the hope of attracting a like-minded soulmate. Or "read dating", as those in the know call it.

When it comes to that all-important face-to-face meeting, more vain males will probably have already taken care of the "manscaping" (shaving and trimming of hair), while tattoo aficionados will no doubt be offering a glimpse of the "arse antler" at the bottom of their spine, probably wearing the requisite "butt bra" to lift their buttocks for maximum effect.

Dictionary contenders

Arse antlers

A tattoo just above the buttocks, having a central section and curving extensions on each side

Butt bra

A garment worn as a support for the buttocks


China and India, considered as a unit as far as their economic power and strategic importance relates to the rest of the world

Climate canary

A significant change in the state of a geographical feature, a plant or animal species, or a human habitat, which provides an early warning of a climate change


The manipulation of photographic or video images to convey a false representation of events


A floor littered with discarded clothes, viewed ironically as a clothing storage system

Glass cliff

The phenomenon whereby individuals who belong to groups which are not well represented in leadership positions, such as women, are more likely to be found in positions which entail a greater than usual risk of failure.


The phenomenon of obesity in Western countries, seen as a global health problem

Incidental exercise

Exercise that is built into the routine of one's daily life, such as walking up and down stairs


Person who gives immediate attention to incoming messages such as emails and texts, resulting in constant distraction


An adult child still living in the home of his or her parents Kids In Parents Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings

Love mile

A mile travelled by air, for the purpose of visiting friends and family who live far away


A grooming procedure in which hair is shaved or trimmed from a man's body

Password fatigue

A level of frustration reached by having too many passwords, resulting in an inability to remember even those most commonly used

Pod slurping

The downloading of large quantities of data to an MP3 player or memory stick from a computer

Read dating

A form of speed dating in which the participants display a list of their favourite books underneath their name tag in order to facilitate the identification of a common interest

Salad dodger

An overweight person


An obsessive desire to have tanned skin

Tart fuel

Alcopops, viewed by men as deceptively alcoholic drinks that will lower a woman's resistance to sexual advances