October 27, 2009 / 2:38 AM / 9 years ago

Ecowarriors storm Australia dictionary amid climate fears

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Australian English went green in 2009 as growing concern about climate change made its mark on the nation’s language, according to latest version of Australia’s largest dictionary.

About 5,000 new words have been added to the fifth version of Australia’s Macquarie Dictionary that is being launched this week, many relating to the environment and climate change such as “acid shock,” “ecowarrior” and “ecological footprint.”

“We have held strong concerns for the environment for decades, but the degree of worry and the sense of urgency with which we now view climate change have increased in recent years,” Professor Stephen Leeder from the University of Sydney said in an introduction to the new edition.

“A new economics vocabulary of climate change is evolving.”

The dictionary’s editor, Sue Butler, said the updated book is meant to be a snapshot of modern English in Australia, covering the language spoken in schools, workplaces and homes. The dictionary dates back to 1981.

“It has all the detail of carbon markets and there’s nothing more serious than that at the moment, but equally it has the bling and the treggings and the fashion,” she told Australia’s ABC Radio. Treggings are trousers so tight they look like leggings.

Butler said the new contributions had also been heavily influenced by the global financial crisis, which is referred to as the GFC in Australia, pop culture and the Internet.

New economic related entries include “moral hazard,” “ninja loan,” “toxic debt” and “zombie debt.”

Newcomers from the Internet include “breadcrumb navigation,” or an online navigation aid showing users’ the path to their current location, and “celeblog” or blogs about one or more celebrities.

Popular culture has led to inclusions such as “boyzilian wax,” a Brazilian body hair removal for men, “pimp cup,” an over-the-top drinking cup with bling and “shwopping,” a combination of shopping and swapping through the Internet.

Other new words of interest were listed as “click-and-mortar,” a business model combining offline and online operations, “first-person shooter” in video games, “flashpacker” or a business class backpacker, and “gene bank,” which is used to preserve genetic material.

The Macquarie Dictionary is named after colonial governor Lachlan Macquarie, who transformed the state of New South Wales from a penal colony to a free settlement about 200 years ago, planting the seeds for Australia’s foundation.

Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy

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