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Toxic debt brought to book

Defined as lending that "proves subsequently to be financially worthless", the term won the title because of its notoriety as the root cause of the financial crisis still shaking economies around the world.

books Updated: Feb 05, 2009 11:45 IST

Toxic debt has beaten bromance and textaholic to become Australia's Word of the Year, contest organiser Macquarie Dictionary announced Wednesday.

Defined as lending that "proves subsequently to be financially worthless", the term won the title because of its notoriety as the root cause of the financial crisis still shaking economies around the world.

Macquarie publisher Sue Butler said that "as a lexical creation (it has) a visceral impact".

The selection committee gave honourable mentions to bromance, which describes a non-sexual friendship between two males, and textaholic, someone who sends an inordinate number of text messages.

Also in the mix was flashpacker, a descriptor for a backpacker who stays in luxury hotels, and fanta pants, for someone who's a natural redhead.

All terms on the shortlist will appear in the next issue of the dictionary.