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Dictionary Changes Definition After Abbott Threatens to 'Shirt Front' Putin

A contemporary Musical Automaton depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin is displayed pripr to auction at Auction Team Breker in Cologne Oct. 27.

A leading Australian dictionary has added a new definition to its pages following Prime Minister Tony Abbott's threat to "shirt front" Russian President Vladimir Putin at this year's G20 meeting in Brisbane.

"Look, I'm going to shirt front Mr Putin ... you bet I am," Abbott told reporters in Queensland in October, as he announced his intention to confront Putin over the downing of flight MH17 in Ukraine this July. In all, 38 Australians lost their lives in the crash, which Western nations believe was caused by pro-Moscow rebels armed with weapons provided by Russia.

According to the current definition in the Macquarie Dictionary — widely considered to be the leading authority on Australian English — a shirt front is a "head-on charge aimed at bumping an opponent to the ground."

But after Abbot's threat earlier this year, the dictionary will as of January update its definition of "shirt front" to mean "confronting someone with a complaint or grievance," Britain's The Guardian reported Monday.

After being isolated by the majority of world leaders, Putin left early from this year's G20 summit, which was held from Nov. 15-16, saying he needed to catch up on some sleep.

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