The Australian National Dictionary Centre's Word of the Year for 2017 is Kwaussie: a person who is a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand; a New Zealander living in Australia; a person of Australian and New Zealand descent. Kwaussie, a blend of Kiwi and Aussie, is the most interesting term associated with the dual citizenship crisis engulfing the Australian Parliament in 2017. It was used to describe the most high-profile casualty of the crisis, Deputy Prime Minister and National Party leader Barnaby Joyce. He revealed to parliament in August that, despite being born and bred in country New South Wales, he was also a New Zealander by descent. The first evidence is found in a 2002 New Zealand newspaper article discussing Russell Crowe: he is described as a ‘Kwaussie (what you get when you cross a Kiwi who can’t decide whether they’re a Kiwi or an Aussie’). Subsequent evidence suggests its use is predominantly Australian, and is found chiefly in social media (and also found with spelling variants including kwozzie and kwozzy). Thanks to the two kwaussies identified as ineligible to sit in parliament, Barnaby Joyce and Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, the term is now becoming better known.
On the shortlist were 'makarrata', 'jumper punch', 'postal survey', 'robodebt', and 'Waxit'. For more information about the Centre's Word of the Year and the shortlisted words read our blog.