Australian leader's 'shirtfront' gets new meaning
Canberra: The Australian prime minister's threat to “shirtfront” Russia's president during an international summit this month has prompted a dictionary to broaden its definition of the word beyond an illegal football maneuver.
Russian officials ridiculed the threat made by Prime Minister Tony Abbott at a news conference last month, warning that President Vladimir Putin was a judo expert.
Susan Butler, editor of the Macquarie Dictionary, the definitive authority on Australian English, said Monday that the controversy made editors realize the word had taken on a broader meaning in recent decades than just an Australian football term for a shoulder charge to an opponent's chest.
Starting in January, the Macquarie Dictionary online will offer alternative definitions of “shirtfront,” including “to confront someone with a complaint or grievance.”