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'Halal Snack Pack' Is Macquarie Dictionary's Runner-Up Word Of The Year

'Fake news' took out first place.

25/01/2017 7:50 AM AEDT | Updated 25/01/2017 11:39 AM AEDT

How far the humble combination of meat, chips, sauce, cheese and styrofoam packaging has come. A year ago, few would have heard of a halal snack pack, but now the new kebab shop favourite has been named one of the words of the year by Macquarie Dictionary.

The dictionary released its annual word of the year list on Wednesday, crowning 'fake news' as the word of 2016 (and yes, before you ask, 'fake news' is two words -- strangely for a dictionary, they use a rather elastic definition of 'word' to include terms and phrases).

"The concept of fake news is one of the big issues of 2016, not only in Australia but around the world. It captures an interesting evolution in the creation of deceptive content as a way of herding people in a specific direction," Macquarie Dictionary said of its decision.

"There has come a point with fake news where people are beginning to believe what they want to believe, whether or not the news story is actually true."

A runner-up word of the year was 'enby', a term you may not have come across in that word. The committee called it "an interesting construction", saying it had evolved "from the abbreviation NB (for non-binary) to a word in its own right."

"Gender identity has been a powerful part of the political discourse in Australia over the past year."

But legions of fans across the country will be cheering that their favourite new junk food, the near cult-status halal snack pack (a HSP for those in the know) was also named a runner-up.

"The significance of halal snack pack is that it tells us about something once confined largely to the Muslim community that is now surfacing throughout the broader Australian community," the dictionary said.

Unsurprisingly, federal senator Sam Dastyari -- who arguably has done more to promote the humble HSP than any other single person, after repeatedly talking about them in parliament and even inviting avowed halal opponent Pauline Hanson to eat one with him during a live election night broadcast -- was stoked.

The dictionary's committee has made their choice, but the public voting for the People's Choice word of the year is still open. You can vote for your own favourite words of the year until January 31, on the Macquarie Dictionary website.

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