Each year, the Australian National Dictionary Centre, based out of The Australian National University, chooses a word that has gained prominence in the national landscape, and in 2021 the list of words to choose from were all about COVID-19.
The Centre defines strollout as ‘the slow implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination program in Australia.’.
Dr Amanda Laugesen, the Centre’s director, said the Australian word ‘strollout’ captured the mood many felt towards the slow rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations.
"As the Delta strain of COVID-19 spread around Australia the urgency of vaccinating the population became clear, with words like vaccination hubs, vaccine hesitancy, vaccine passports, vaccine rollout, and double vaxxed gaining prominence,” she said.
"Large-scale programs to vaccinate millions were implemented worldwide. In Australia, the rollout was initially described by political leaders as 'not a race'.
“For many Australians, the pace of the rollout was considered too slow.”
The word first appeared in public forum when it was tweeted by Sally McManus, the Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, in May 2021. Ms McManus has since clarified Liam O'Brien, the Assistant Secretary of ACTU said the word during an internal meeting.
The word also made international headlines when it was published by high-profile outlets such as The Washington Post.
"It's yet another example of how a truly Australian expression can make waves globally," Dr Laugesen said.
"It's also captured a very particular moment in our nation's history. The pandemic has had a profound impact on our society and lives."
Other words to make the list include:
- double-vaxxed: having received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Clayton's lockdown: a lockdown considered to be inadequate to slow the rate of COVID-19 community transmission.
- Fortress Australia: Australia regarded as a country protected and isolated from other countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- AUKUS: a security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States centred on the Indo-Pacific region.
- net zero: a target of offsetting the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activity through reduction measures.