'Captain's call' is Macquarie Dictionary's word of the year

Tony Abbott. Getty / File

The people at Macquarie Dictionary, the local Australian word experts, have chosen “captain’s call” as the 2015 word of the year.

The nod to former prime minister Tony Abbott “perfectly encapsulates what happened in Australia over the past year”.

Macquarie Dictionary says the phrase is a noun and means a decision made by a political or business leader without consultation with colleagues.

“There has been an interesting change in usage; an infrequent item of the jargon of cricket makes the leap into politics and is now being used generally with an ironic tinge to it that is very Australian,” this year’s judges say.

Tony Abbott’s most famous captain’s call was to re-introduce knighthoods in the Australian honours and then to grant one to Prince Philip, the husband of the Queen.

The dictionary gave honourable mentions to two other words, lumbersexual and deso.

Lumbersexual refers to an urban male who wants to associate himself by his appearance with a rugged outdoors way of life, as by wearing outdoor clothes such as check shirts, jeans and large boots combined with a beard as typical of a lumberjack.

Sometimes they are called hipsters.

“It used to be all about women’s fashions, but the words are now being dominated more and more by those related to men’s fashion,” the judges say. “Lumbersexual is an organic phenomenon that someone has identified and named. It is a neat coinage and perfectly describes this style that peaked in Australia over the past year.”

The second honourable mention is deso, a noun meaning a designated driver.

“The idea of deso is very topical,” the judges say. “It combines a drinking culture with that of a law-abiding society. The word structure itself is typically Australian – a shortened form with an -o ending. It is astonishing how quickly and smoothly the deso became part of our lives.”

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