Halal Snack Pack
A Turkish cook prepares doner kebab made of beef in a small restaurant in the Mediterranean Turkish city of Antalya January 17, 2006. Reuters/Umit Bektas PP06010254

Macquarie Dictionary has announced that "halal snack pack" is Australian People's Choice Word of the Year 2016. The dictionary has also defined the three-word term as a fast food comprising layers of hot chips, grated cheese, halal doner kebab meat, garlic sauce, barbeque sauce and chilli sauce. HSP is the official abbreviation of the term.

Halal snack pack received more votes than any other words from the Macquarie Dictionary’s Committee’s shortlist of 15 words. Halal snack pack trumped over alt-right and fake news, which were the runners up in People’s choice category. Other words in the short list included racebending, greige, bubble soccer, filter bubble, etc.

The committee came up with a shortlist of 15 words from an annual update of the Macquarie Dictionary. People were asked to vote their top three from the 15.

The Macquarie Dictionary Committee said that people’s choice of "halal snack pack" tells people about something once confined largely to the Muslim community that is now surfacing throughout the broader Australian community. Susan Butler, editor of Macquarie Dictionary, added that people had spoken about their choice. She also explained that despite being a three-word term, halal snack pack was still considered a word or a lexical unit as it made up a unit of meaning.

She added that the word’s victory prompted her to try her first snack pack. “So today I ate my first HSP,” said Butler. “I can understand why this dish has become the fast food item of the day. It is carbo-loaded, calorific sinfulness. Once started on it, you cannot stop,” she added.

Other words that came close to winning the People's Choice Word of the Year 2016 were "alt-right" and "fake news." Butler said that politics played a big role in 2016, adding that it was understandable the alt-right ended up in second place. “The success of extreme right-wing political groups in the UK, the US, France, the Netherlands and Australia is unprecedented,” she added.

In addition to People's Choice Word of the Year 2016, Macquarie Dictionary announced the Committee's Choice for Word of the Year 2016. The Committee’s choice for word of the year was "fake news." Enby was the runner up in this category.

Explaining their choice, the committee said that fake news gained prominence in 2016. It was a major issue not just in Australia but also around the world. The term showcases an evolution of deceptive content to sway people’s opinions in a particular direction.

The Macquarie Dictionary Committee for Word of the Year 2016 comprised of eight individuals such as Dr Michael Spence, Vice Chancellor and Principal of University of Sydney; Professor Stephen Garton; Journalist Annabel Crabb; Professor Nick Enfield and Director of Libraries at University of Sydney Anne Bell. Macquarie Dictionary’s editor Susan Butler was also a member of the committee as were writer Dominic Knight and bestselling author Kate Grenville.