‘Teal’ named Australia’s Word of the Year

The Macquarie Dictionary committee selected the noun from a shortlist of 19 words, including 'spicy cough', 'skin hunger', 'Barbiecore', 'hidden homeless', and 'quiet quitting'.

‘Teal’ has been named Macquarie Dictionary Committee’s Choice and People’s Choice Word of the Year 2022. 

The Committee observed:

Teal embodies the year that’s been, and truth-telling is the year that’s to come – let’s hope that’s the case. They’re both really important concepts, central to Australian culture and politics.”

The word ‘teal’ has gained prominence in Australia after an eventful year for both federal and state politics. The Committee added:

It’s hard to go past teal as an emblem of Australia’s political landscape in 2022. It’s not a brand-new word, but it is a brand-new sense that no-one saw coming.

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Macquarie Dictionary defines the word teal as “an independent political candidate who holds generally ideologically moderate views, but who supports strong action regarding environmental and climate action policies, and the prioritising of integrity in politics, so-called as many of the candidates use the colour teal in their electoral material”.

The Macquarie Dictionary committee selected the noun from a shortlist of 19 words, including ‘spicy cough’, ‘skin hunger’, ‘Barbiecore’, ‘hidden homeless’, and ‘quiet quitting’.

Further, ‘Truth-telling’ was selected as the first runner-up for the title. The Committee pointed:

With increased discussion of the First Nations Voice to Parliament, there is a sharp focus on the need for clear, unembellished truth-telling about our past.”

The People’s Choice Word of the Year 2022 was decided by Australia as ‘bachelor’s handbag.’

Last year’s winner was “Strollout” – a word coined to describe the slow pace of Australia’s vaccine rollout.

The 2022 Macquarie Dictionary Committee, which met mostly through met on Google Meet, consisted of Alison Moore and Victoria Morgan (Macquarie Dictionary Editors), Melissa Kemble (Publisher), David Astle (crossword maker, radio host, and writer), and Tiger Webb (language research specialist).