The Australian National Dictionary Centre controversially chose ‘Kwaussie’ as its Word of the Year 2017. Evidently Kwaussie was used during the political debacle over a politician who may or may not have been a dual citizen of New Zealand and Australia, although it had been coined earlier in Queensland. But not many people use the word ‘Kwaussie’ or its variants such as Kwozzie (which actually reflects the pronunciation better), and it took me a while to catch up with its existence. I was not alone, and I found out that its new status had generated a mixture of bemusement and ire, causing the director of the dictionary to further explain the decision.
My response is to design a simple analytical tool to detect anyone who might be worried about being a Kwaussie. The beta version of my test consists of six simple items, although any of these could probably act alone as a shibboleth (without the dire consequence of the original test described in the Bible, I do hope).
Instructions: Choose one or more answers for each question.
1 A mob refers to:
B people, group, community
C an unruly crowd
2 The toys in this picture are:
A a kangaroo, a pūkeko, and a kiwi
B a kangaroo, that bird we see at lakes and rivers, and a kiwi
C a kangaroo, a purple swamp hen, and a kiwi
3 Students live in:
B share houses
4 At the beach you wear:
5 You wash your face with:
A a flannel
B a face washer
C a face cloth
6 The best rugby team in the world is:
A the ABs
B who cares?
C those ones that do the haka
Scoring: Add up the number of A, B, or C answers you chose.
Mostly A: Kiwi.
Mostly B: Aussie.
A and B: Kwaussie – check your status if you want to be a politician in Australia.
Mostly C: Other – I hope you make it to NZ or Australia before too long!