Macquarie Dictionary 2014 Word of the Year
Macquarie Dictionary 2014 Word of the Year

Macquarie Dictionary has some mansplaining to do

Each year, the Macquarie Dictionary draws attention to words that are acknowledged to have made a contribution to our language. After a challenging and hard fought battle, the Macquarie Dictionary 2014 Word of the Year has been chosen.

This year’s winner, selected by the Word of the Year Committee, is mansplain. Also announced was the People’s Choice Award, share plate.

Macquarie Dictionary defines ‘mansplain’ as follows:

mansplain: (verb) Colloquial (humorous) (of a man) to explain (something) to a woman, in a way that is patronising because it assumes that a woman will be ignorant of the subject matter.
mansplaining (noun)

Voted by the public, the People’s Choice Award is perhaps not surprising, the more common, ‘share plate’ which Macquarie Dictionary defines as:

share plate: (noun) a serving in a restaurant designed as multiple small portions so that several diners can share the same dish.


Each year a number of honourable mentions also make the list, words that haven’t won, but have proven popular in our everyday lexicon. In 2014, these were:

lifehacking: (noun) the application of strategies or shortcuts used to simplify or improve any aspect of one’s life.
–lifehacker (noun)

binge watching: (noun) the practice of viewing a favourite television series, seeing many episodes in one extended sitting.
Also, binge viewing.

bamboo ceiling: (noun) a barrier created by prejudice which hampers the progress of Asian Australians to positions of leadership in government and business institutions.

A dishonourable mention was made by the Committee to the ‘selfie stick’ which proved almost inescapable in 2014.


Included in the announcement is a range of category winners, all of which are listed below:

Agriculture:                     crash gazing

Arts:                                binge watching

Business:                        drip pricing

Colloquial:                       mansplain

Communications:            emoji

Eating and drinking:        share plate

Environment:                   green electricity

Fashion:                           loom band

General interest:              decision fatigue

Health:                            ambulance ramping

Internet:                           typosquatting

Politics:                            defund

Social interest:                 lifehacking

Sport:                              urban exploration

Technology:                     selfie stick

The Macquarie Dictionary has been published in print since 1981 and is the complete record of English as it is used in Australia, from the colourfully colloquial to the highly technical.

What do you think of the 2014 winners? Are there any words you think should have made the list?

The Macquarie Dictionary is a household name in Australia and is the nation’s leading authority on Australian English. The Macquarie Dictionary is one of only two dictionaries in the world to bear the name of the university where it was founded with origins going back more than 40 years.

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