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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
India TV News Desk November 24, 2014 11:42 IST
India TV News Desk

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.”