I like to think of myself as a reasonably read person who keeps up with current affairs.
So why is it that when the Australian National Dictionary Center selects its 2012 Word Of The Year it’s a phrase I’ve never read or heard before?
This year the word is:
green-on-blue ‘(used in a military context) an attack made on one’s own side by a force regarded as neutral’.
This term has gained prominence in the Australian and international media due to the ongoing military involvement in Afghanistan.
Military conflict has historically generated many new terms; green-on-blue is yet another such product of war. The term comes from the use of green to indicate neutral forces (in Afghanistan, the local security forces are technically considered neutral) and blue to indicate friendly forces on military maps. While this term is not exclusively Australian, it has come to have significance in Australia in 2012 as a number of Australian soldiers lost their lives in such attacks.