Canberra, Nov 15 : “Matilda” has been named Australia’s Word of the Year for 2023 following the success of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
It was announced by the Australian National Dictionary Centre (ANDC) at Canberra’s Australian National University (ANU) on Wednesday, reports Xinhua.
It comes after the national women’s football team – the Matildas – made the semifinals at the 2023 tournament held in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20.
Amanda Laugesen, director of the ANDC, said that the selection of “Matilda” as the word that gained the most prominence in Australia in 2023 was an easy one and reflected the nation’s growing interest in women’s sports.
“It’s only since the mid-1990s that the women’s soccer team has been called the Matildas, but after this year’s World Cup the word has once again cemented itself in the Australian lexicon,” she said.
The Matildas’ semifinal defeat to England was the most-watched television program in Australia since current records began in 2001, drawing 11.5 million viewers.
According to FIFA, the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup was the most attended in history, with 1.97 million people watching games inside stadiums, up from the previous record of 1.35 million in Canada in 2015.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino labeled the 2023 Women’s World Cup “the best ever,” crediting it for transforming the face of women’s football globally.
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