“Strollout” – a term used to describe snail-paced federal Covid-19 vaccine rollout – was named word of the year by the Australian National Dictionary Centre (ANDC) on Wednesday.
It beat shortlisted words “double-vaxxed”, “fortress Australia”, “Clayton’s lockdown” and “net zero”, as well as “Aukus” – the name given to a security pact made between Australia, the US and the UK that saw Australia ditch plans to buy French submarines in favour of ones with nukes.
If you hang around on Twitter a lot, there’s every chance you’ve read (and possibly used) Australia’s word of the year, but morning TV host David Koch claimed he hadn’t heard of it. The Sunrise presenter was baffled by the term, a reaction Twitter didn’t take lightly.
Nationally, 83.9 per cent of Australians aged 16 and over are double vaccinated, but the slow rollout of vaccines this year has impacted different areas of the country unequally. Queensland and Western Australia are sitting at only 58 per cent and 57 per cent double-vaxxed, and a Covid-19 outbreak reported this week in the NT is affecting remote Aboriginal communities.
The Australian National Dictionary Centre, which is based at the ANU, says it chose “strollout” because Australia’s slow Covid-19 vaccination rollout made headlines both at home and abroad. The shortlisted words and phrases were all connected to the pandemic or Australia’s political choices over the last 12 months – or both.
In a statement, ANDC director Dr Amanda Laugesen said, “As the Delta strain of Covid-19 spread around Australia the urgency of vaccinating the population became clear, with words like ‘vaccination hubs’, ‘vaccine hesitancy’, ‘vaccine passports’, ‘vaccine rollout’, and ‘double-vaxxed’ gaining prominence.
“Large-scale programs to vaccinate millions were implemented worldwide. In Australia the rollout was initially described by political leaders as ‘not a race’. For many Australians, the pace of the rollout was considered too slow.”
“Strollout” was first used by Sally McManus, secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. McManus said she was stoked it was chosen as the word of the year.
The day “strollout” was born https://t.co/YoXr8G4n6a— Sally McManus (@sallymcmanus) November 17, 2021
The ANDC’s 2020 word of the year, “Iso”, might have been more relatable for Kochie. Triple J Breakfast hosts Bryce Mills and Ebony Boadu asked listeners this morning if they’d come across “strollout”, and many hadn’t. However, 702 ABC Drive host Richard Glover is credited for taking the word overseas. He wrote an article for the Washington Post titled “Australia’s vaccine ‘stroll-out’ shows the dangers of Covid complacency”.
The Australian National Dictionary Centre is jointly funded by the ANU and the Oxford English Dictionary, which works with the ANDC to publish the Australian Oxford dictionary. Australia’s most widely used dictionary, the Macquarie, will release its word of the year in early December. Last year it chose “doomscrolling”.
Have you ever used “strollout”? One Twitter user said, “Admittedly when I first heard it, I thought it was a German pastry.”
strollout is australias word of the year and ive never even heard it before— not fex (@soogyuber) November 17, 2021