belated Australian WOTY: me-tooism

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri May 30 12:15:57 UTC 2008

I don't recall seeing any previous announcements about this, from the
Australian National Dictionary Centre...

For 2007, subprime was on our list of favourites, but in Australia there was
one word that gathered to itself immense local significance -- me-tooism.
This word first appeared in the United States in 1949, and the political
meaning was strongly to the fore: 'The practice of adopting or imitating a
policy successfully or popularly proposed by a rival person or party; the
practice of following a popular trend.' Although me-tooism is not an
exclusively Australian word, it certainly became a political buzzword in the
election environment of 2007, and was clearly used much more intensively in
Australia than in any other country. In Australia, it was closely followed
by mortgage stress. Me-tooism is our 2007 Australian Word of the Year.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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