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Cozzie livs – Macquarie Dictionary’s choice for 2023

The cost of living term, 'cozzie livs', has struck a chord with Australians.

The cost of living term, 'cozzie livs', has struck a chord with Australians. Photo: Macquarie Dictionary

After a year of rampant price rises and soaring interest rates, it is little wonder that Macquarie Dictionary’s Word of the Year is the cost-of-living lament, ‘cozzie livs’.

According to the new Macquarie entry, ‘cozzie livs’ is a colloquial term used as a “humorous play on [the] cost of living”.

People online and in conversation have ironically been referring to their challenges and experiences in the ‘cozzie livs’.

“Although cozzie livs was coined in the UK, it has resonated soundly with Australians,” the Macquarie committee stated.

“And what could be a more Australian approach to a major social and economic problem than to treat it with a bit of humour and informality?”

Earning honourable mentions by the selection committee were “blue-sky flood” and “algospeak”.

‘Blue-sky flood’ refers to the rainless floodwaters flowing from higher ground after a downpour.

“The floods so many have endured in recent times make blue-sky flood a topical expression, and it resonates more broadly,” the committee said.

“The idea that there is a deluge coming, even though the sun is shining, is almost like the time bomb we’re all sitting on with climate change.”

‘Algospeak’ is a form of coded language used on digital platforms in which words, like those relating to sex and violence that would be triggers for a site’s moderation rules to remove a post, are replaced with innocuous words which are sometimes similar in sound or form, such as ‘seggs’ for ‘sex’.

AI makes its mark

“AI is increasingly a major part of our lives. Making good use of the productive (and sometimes a bit sinister) word part-speak (think Orwell’s newspeak), algospeak describes an attempt to circumvent AI surveillance,” the committee said.

As well as the committee’s choices, the term ‘generative AI’ was named the people’s choice for 2023.

Both the committee’s choice and people’s choice winning words were chosen from the list of new entries included in the annual update of the Macquarie Dictionary Online.

Generative AI is an artificial-intelligence application which is capable of producing new content, such as text, images and videos, through the use of machine learning.

“Unlike many other previous people’s choice winners, generative AI isn’t a clever or humorous construction, but it has touched a nerve. A clear winner, it shows that AI is figuring prominently in our minds this year,” the committee said.

The People’s Choice Word of the Year 2023 was selected from the public votes cast on the Macquarie Dictionary website.

Members of the public were invited to select their top three words from the shortlist.

The full entries of the shortlisted words can be found on the Macquarie Dictionary website.

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