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Weird Words

This is the web page where you can add to the weird and wonderful collection of words that arise in public sector life.

Add your own special word and its meaning through the link on this page, and we will include it as quickly as we can. You and the source of the word will remain anonymous

You may quote me!
'The Australian public sector is a brilliant source of neologisms (new words) and buzz words. Their creation may indicate high levels of intellectual creativity and a desperate need to find meaning and individuality.'


Francis Walsh

Latest Weird Words


A negative effect of a government benefit.

'The benefit provides support to successful applicants but there is a debenefit in that they may lose support from other government programs.'


The process of creating entitlements: e.g. creating an entitlement to workers' compensation.

'We are entitlementising those who have made a claim since 2010.'


Someone who is both a practitioner and an academic: e.g. a Customs officer co
mpleting a PhD.

'Our pracademic staff bring great value to the table.'


To create a new baseline.

'The new outcome requirements necessitate a rebaselining of the entire program.'


Nervousness, agitation or fear of something

'I am more than a little trepidatious about the outcome.'

(deployable, deploying)

someone who has been deployed (to do something)

An exquisite combination
of legalese and administrativese.

'The deployee will provide evidence of their activities.'

(mashable, mashing)

A combination of discrete elements that, when combined (mashed), create new meaning

'The mashup by citizen-activitists has provided new insights into our research findings.'

'Is the data mashable?'

'We are mashing the data to create results that are relevant to our community.'


Validation and verification achieved simultaneously; the attainment of 'certified valid' status

'Valification has been achieved, so we can proceed with confidence.'

To make anonymous

'It is vital that we anonymise any data that could lead to the identification of individuals associated with this program.'


A situation in which the ownership of a bad policy is continually transferred to others

'We chose the transparency option rather than taking the policy through to the implementation phase.'


A policy going nowhere

'The policy development team is in its eighth month in a pol-de-sac.'


Knowledge gained

'We must share our learnings as we
did when developing the new communications strategy.'


The division of processes over time

'A five stage periodisation of policy development can be expected.'


To administer

'We will administrate the program with all due diligence.'


To present for discussion

'That's an interesting idea; let's table-top it at the next meeting.'

Soft Deadline

A negotiable or flexible deadline

'If they don't meet the soft deadline, we will have to impose another deadline that we will strictly enforce.'


To weaken; to disperse; to share

'We were concerned that the funds might be shandied across two or more programs.'


The degree to which something is considered reasonable

'The policy will pass the test of reasonableness by our clients.'



A researcher who specialises in quantitative methods

'The quantoid approach is to sit in an office in front of a screen and work out the dimensions of the problem.'


The level of detail in a plan.

'We should not surpass the granularity of previous, equivalent programs.'


Able to be found through a Google search

'I am sure that word is googleable.'

'The book is so much more permanent and googleable.'


o provide an incentive to something

'We must incentivise the building industry to develop more housing.'


To discuss

'Let's dialogue that idea as a team.'


A record information

'This recordation form will be archived once the statutory storage and retrieval period has been exceeded.'


To change a reason or intent (code language for 'restructure')

'We will repurpose the policy unit even though it will cause staff a great deal of anguish.'


To solve

'We will solution that during the meeting.'


A continuing battle with varying degrees of intensity

'Contestation between business interests and organised labour has been problematic.'


To sack

'We have decided to deresponsiblise five of our surplus-to-need staff.'


Things that can be implemented

'Make sure the implementals are spelt out clearly to the minister.'


Something that works

'The incentive program will increase the impactful aspects of the new policy.'


To bring a previously outsourced function back

'IT support services will be insourced under our new contractual arrangements.'


To understand; to have incorporated; to have considered; to have taken account of

'The committee was across all the issues before it made its final decision.'


Collectivist or fraternal

Sometimes this word is used in a threatening manner if someone is not 'behaving' appropriately.

'In our branch, collegiality is a key value.'


The process by which someone becomes an alien

'Fifteen individuals have been processed following the alienisation procedures laid down in the relevant guidelines.'


A potential link between programs that may help to achieve administrative savings.

'I have been asked to identify plinks between the three community consultation programs.'



A meeting that focuses on the reasons for the failure of a project and who should be blamed.

'We need to dump the blamestorming and start working on solutions.'


The trajectory of a strategy.

'The program's strajectory is predictable and it comforms to our corporate objectives.'


Contributions, insights and/or evidence provided from a group of people who have identified themselves as interested in a subject

This is a combination of 'crowd' and 'outsource'.

'We should crowdsource suggestions for improving the program's website.'


to bring common law matters to the status of statute law

'We intend to statutorise all outstanding issues in relation to common law marriage.'

to bring to light or to raise for discussion or decision

'We will surface those issues during the section meeting.'

Statuary Office

A statutory office where everyone stands perfectly still and tries to look good.

'The statuary office was established three years ago and it has distinguished itself by doing nothing significant during that time.'


The person performing a task

'The performant will be assessed on the basis of government standards.'


The change in a profession caused by technology

'Journalists are now competing with bloggers through the cottagisation of their profession.'


To examine, to analyse, to dissect

'It is important to unpack those ideas before we write a briefing to the minister.'


Agreement and concurrence

'We will need to seek the Minister's
agreeance to this strategy.'


The process of marketing

'This policy is strong on savings but I'm not so sure about its marketisation.'


deadline with survivors

'We don't have deadlines here. Everyone survived, so it's just a woundedline.'


To be a preventative factor

This is not a new word but it is used where risk avoidance is significant.

'The media's response will militate against the public accepting the policy change without expressing concerns.'


To bring about change

'Our aim is to transition the community to a new way of thinking.'


To move from one place to another, usually in relation to IT.

'The Division will migrate all of its spreadsheet files to the new system on 6 May.'


To bring into operation; to activate a policy plan

'The task force will operationalise the action plans in November.'


To activate a policy; to introduce a new method of delivery

'The rollout will begin as soon as the legislation receives Royal Assent.'


Add Your Weird Word.


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