'Democracy sausage' snags Australia's official word of 2016

2016-12-14 22:13
The leader of the Australian Greens Party, Richard Di Natale, celebrates the freedom of democracy in Australia by biting into a sausage. (Paul Crock, AFP)

The leader of the Australian Greens Party, Richard Di Natale, celebrates the freedom of democracy in Australia by biting into a sausage. (Paul Crock, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Canberra - A humble barbecued sausage on a slice of bread sold at polling booths around Australia was picked Wednesday as the country's official word of the year - "democracy sausage."

Despite being two words, democracy sausage qualified as the Australian National Dictionary Centre's word for 2016 because it was essentially a compound word, the centre's director Amanda Laugesen said.

"Democracy is one thing, sausage is another thing but democracy sausage is its own particular thing," Laugesen said.

The term was first recorded in 2012 to describe the ubiquitous beef sausage sandwiches served with onions, ketchup, barbecue sauce or mustard, which are sold at fundraising stalls outside polling booths.

But it gathered momentum in 2016 when Australia had an extraordinarily long two-month federal election campaign that was so close that the result was not known for days.

In a country where many people vote because it is compulsory rather than through any sense of civic duty, some Australians seemed more concerned about the quality of the democracy sausages on offer than the candidates.

Social media and websites directed voters to the best-catered polling booths in their neighbourhoods.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull grabbed a pair of tongs and rolled sausages on a grill on election day morning as he mingled with voters at a Sydney polling booth. Opposition leader Bill Shorten bit into one on election day, declaring: "The taste of democracy. Very good."

Shorten confounded some onlookers by biting into the side of the roll instead of the end as is customary. He later said the crusty roll was so big he had to squash it with both hands to fit it in his mouth.

The Australian National University-based dictionary centre said its choice for 2016 Word of the Year was based on extensive research and public suggestions.

Short-listed words include "shoey" - the act of drinking an alcoholic beverage from a shoe. The term gained popularity thanks to Australian Formula One racing driver Daniel Ricciardo's habit of celebrating a win by drinking champagne from his shoe.

Despite the popularity of democracy sausages, only 90% of eligible voters cast their ballots at the July 2 election, the lowest proportion since voting became compulsory in Australia in 1925. Failure to vote carries a fine.

Read more on:    australia

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Does your dog have separation anxiety?

We've got tips, advice and how to help your dog

 
 

Paws

Fascinating facts about dogs
Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.