Milkshake duck: The Australian word that went 'universal'

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Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
'Milkshake duck' is used to describe someone's rapid rise and fall

Defeated by "youthquake" to be Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year, "milkshake duck" has - perhaps fittingly - won some redemption.

The term denotes someone who gains widespread positive attention, only to be suddenly criticised when new information is made public.

The debate typically happens online.

Despite famous US examples, milkshake duck was named Macquarie Dictionary's word of 2017 on Monday - highlighting its Australian origins.

Where did it come from?

Macquarie Dictionary, considered an authority on Australian English, attributed the term to a 2016 viral tweet by Ben Ward, a local cartoonist.

Mr Ward created the character of "Milkshake Duck" to amusingly describe debates online.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

It has since been used as shorthand for real-life examples, including in prominent instances:

Australia has seen similar examples.

In 2016, an audience member on a live television programme was celebrated for questioning why low-income Australians would miss out on a tax cut.

He was then publicly criticised when it emerged he had criminal convictions.

Image source, Macquarie Dictionary

Macquarie Dictionary said the term "in many ways... captures what 2017 has been about".

Despite some Australian news outlets querying whether the term was well known, the dictionary said it was an "absolute winner".

"There is a hint of tall poppy syndrome in there, which we always thought was a uniquely Australian trait, but has been amplified through the internet and become universalised," it said.

The word youthquake, describing young people who drive political change, beat five contenders including milkshake duck to be Oxford Dictionaries' 2017 favourite.

Last month, the Australian National Dictionary Centre selected the word "kwaussie" - a hybrid of Kiwi and Aussie - as its word of the year.