Culture

The Macquarie Dictionary’s Word Of The Year For 2015 Is “Captain’s Call,” A Fitting Tribute To Tone

Should've been "onion".

We missed you too. Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter, so you always know where to find us.

Every January, the Macquarie Dictionary looks back over the year just gone and picks a word that defines it. 2014’s was “mansplain,” which has taken a place in online culture, 2013’s was “infovore,” which absolutely no one has used before or since, and 2012’s was “phantom vibration syndrome,” commonly used to describe nervous ghosts.

This morning they released the newest Word of the Year for 2015, and it’s less of a word than it is a phrase: “Captain’s call,” the euphemism Australia came up with to downplay whatever idiotic thing Tony Abbott was doing on a given day.

The phrase first started doing the rounds in the backlash over Abbott’s decision to award an Australian knighthood to Prince Philip, a man whose list of titles and honours is almost as long as the list of nationalities he’s insulted. Eventually, it came to define everything wrong with the short-lived Abbott Prime Ministership — the disastrous 2014 budget, banning ministers from appearing on Q&A, his stubborn defence of Bronwyn Bishop during her expenses scandal.

Also, this.

Runners-up this time round included “deso,” a slang term for “designated driver” that people somewhere use, apparently, and “lumbersexual,” which we will never speak of again. They’re also running a People’s Choice competition where you get to vote for what you think the Word of the Year should be, so head to the Macquarie Dictionary website if you feel compelled to throw your support behind “manspread,” “keyboard warrior,” “bae” or “paperless arrest”.

Sadly, “onion” isn’t one of the options listed. Maybe we can start a write-in campaign.