The Australian National Dictionary Centre has announced our most iconic word of 2021, but we're not sure it's even real.
With the launch of a global pandemic and many trapped in their homes for months on end, last year's stand-out word was understandably 'isolation' or 'iso'.
2021's iconic term on the other hand is far less predictable - in fact, most Aussies have probably never even used the word!
It's a combination of words coined by Sally McManus, who used it in the first half of the year when the nation's vaccination roll-outs were underwhelmingly slow.
It is defined by the Australian National University as "the slow implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination program in Australia."
The Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions immortalised the word in a tweet on May 13.
'We don't have a vaccine rollout, we have a vaccine strollout,' McManus wrote.
'Aged and disability care workers were all meant to be vaccinated by now. They are not.'
'It's less than three weeks until winter - where is they urgency?'.
We don’t have a vaccine rollout, we have a vaccine strollout.— Sally McManus (@sallymcmanus) May 13, 2021
Aged and disability care workers were all meant to be vaccinated by now. They are not. It’s less than three weeks until winter - where is the urgency?
Since the word's inception, the likes of Bill Shorten and New Zealand's Newsroom have utilised 'stroll-out', with the term also crossing international borders through the Washington Post.
Dr Amanda Laugesen, Centre Director at the ANDC, says it was inevitable that a COVID-related word would trump this year's competition.
'It’s yet another example of how a truly Australian expression can make waves globally.'
'It’s also captured a very particular moment in our nation’s history. The pandemic has had a profound impact on our society and lives.'
While some claim it's a terrible pun attached to a hyper-specific moment in time, others have thrown support behind the idiom.
'Strollout is a crackup name for it', wrote one Twitter user.
Stroll out is a crackup name for it— 𝕊𝕒𝕞𝕞𝕪 🥶💖 (@SammyOverAndOut) May 13, 2021
The 2021 word of the year shortlist also saw mentions of double-vaxxed, fortress Australia and net zero. Perhaps we'll see those pop up at the top of the list next year!
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