Words from our Word Box: update 14

Click on the logo to go to the Word Box page

Click on the logo to go to the Word Box page

by the ANDC team

This is the first update for 2016 on contributions to our Word Box, the website feature you can use to alert us to new or unfamiliar words and phrases. These contributions allow us to identify new material for our archive of Australian words, and also for our general Australian Oxford dictionaries. We encourage you to contribute—just click on the Word Box image to the left to post your word. A few of the more interesting contributions from the last three months are discussed below; some are new to us, and some we already know. We welcome any comments about your understanding or experience of these words, and look forward to your contributions to Word Box.

anti-siphoning laws – legislation that limits the number of sporting events that pay TV broadcasters can bid freely for. It is designed to ensure that viewers are able to watch significant sporting events free of charge, and that these are not ‘siphoned off’ to pay TV. In Australia anti-siphoning regulation began with the introduction of subscription television in 1995. There is an anti-siphoning list of events which are subject to this legislation; they include such things as the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, the Australian Open, Melbourne Cup, AFL and NRL premiership games, and the Australian Grand Prix. The term is not a new one, being recorded in the US from the 1970s. 

Eric Bana as a bogan in 'Full Frontal'

Eric Bana in ‘Full Frontal’

boganistan – a mythical place inhabited by bogans; Australia as a home of bogans. The word is modelled on Afghanistan, and is likely to have originated as a Twitter hashtag (#boganistan) in 2011. It is a further example of the productivity of the Australian English word bogan, meaning ‘an uncultured and unsophisticated person; a boorish and uncouth person’. Evidence for bogan first appears in 1985. For a discussion of bogan and the words derived from it, see our Ozwords article ‘Bogan – From Obscurity To Australia’s Most Productive Word’ (on page 7).

brogressive – a male who pays lip service to progressive ideals, such as feminism and gender issues, but who is socially conservative at heart. It is a blend of brother and progressive, and is modelled on similar blends based on brother, such as bromance and bro-hug. Brogressives are typically males who are heterosexual, white, middle-class, and well-educated. First recorded around 2013.

machinima – the technique of producing animated films through the manipulation of video game graphics. The word is a blend of machine and cinema, and is pronounced muh-SHIN-uh-ma. Machinima began as a cheap way for amateurs to make short animated movies on their home computers, creating them in real-time video game environments. It has now become a more mainstream practice, with some games providing machinima software to encourage users to create their own movies. Machinima has also been used on television, for example in an episode of the animated series South Park. The term is recorded from 2000. 

Machinima used in the 'Make Love not Warcraft' episode of South Park, 2006.

A still from a machinima sequence in the ‘Make Love not Warcraft’ episode of South Park, 2006.

nailing granny to the floor – the phenomenon of children encouraging their income-poor elderly parents not to sell the family home, especially where it might unlock funds for the parents’ retirement or aged care, so that the children can maximise their inheritance. This term is recorded from 2012, and the evidence is Australian.

prepper – a person who prepares in a practical way for imminent disaster, whether natural or man-made. This term is derived from the word prepare, and has become especially popular as a result of the US television show Doomsday Preppers (2012-14), a documentary series about people who are making preparations in expectation of various emergency or doomsday scenarios. Depending on the type of emergency the individual is concerned about, a prepper’s task may include making up emergency kits of supplies needed in the immediate aftermath of disaster, stockpiling food and water, building a bunker, planning escape routes, or investigating alternative food and energy sources. Earlier related terms are survivalist and retreaterPrepper is first recorded around 2009. 

A slashkini.

A slashkini.

slashkini – a woman’s one- or two-piece swimsuit with cut-outs. A blend of the words slash and bikini, and modelled on other swimwear terms based on bikini, such as monokinitankini, and mankini. The slashkini first appeared in mid 2015, and its appeal was described by The Times (London) newspaper as ‘veer[ing] unsteadily between sexy bondage and trussed-up chicken’.

straightie 180 – 1. relating to a person (especially a young person) who abstains from drugs, alcohol, and casual sex. 2. relating to a heterosexual person. The first element of the term, straightie, is based on the word straight, which has several relevant meanings over the years. Straight is recorded in the sense ‘well-conducted, steady, chaste’ from 1853, and from the mid-20th century onwards it has the colloquial meanings ‘conventional, respectable, normal’, as well as ‘not under the influence of drugs’, and ‘heterosexual’. The -ie ending of the form straightie is influenced by the rhyme with 180. The 180 element refers to 180 degrees; a figurative sense of 180 (often in the form one-eighty) means ‘a complete reversal in attitude or opinion’ – alluding here to a reversal of attitude from youth culture norms. The term may also be influenced by straight edge – ‘an ascetic or abstinent lifestyle associated with hardcore punk music’ (first recorded in the 1980s). Straightie 180 is likely to be an Australianism, and is recorded from 2012.