'Zip it, sweetie' named top quote

19:13, Dec 20 2012
Paula Bennett
National MP Paula Bennett's "zip it, sweetie" barb to Jacinda Ardern was overwhelmingly favoured for best quote of 2012.

National MP Paula Bennett's "Zip it, sweetie" has earned her the top honours in Massey University's 2012 Quote of the Year competition.

The quip to Labour MP Jacinda Ardern was the clear winner with 57 per cent of the total vote.

Massey University speech-writing specialist Dr Heather Kavan said the quote's win was no surprise.

"There's something almost primal about two women fighting, and the line seemed completely unscripted," she said.

"As far as jibes go, it wasn't outrageously cruel, Jacinda Ardern laughed it off.''

Dr Kavan said it is also a quote that can be repeated in different contexts.

Advertisement

Finance Minister Bill English came a distant second in the competition with his quote estimating the value of selling state assets: "I just want to emphasise that it is not our best guess, it's just a guess."

Dr Kavan said his quote was appealing because of its unintentional humour.

"With some of the quotes, especially the Bill English one, there's also ... the pleasure of seeing someone in a superior position say something that makes them look stupid," she said.

A good quote is usually brief, witty and original, she said.

Dr Kavan and a judging panel narrowed down several dozen entries, nominated by Massey students and the general public, to a top 10. The shortlist was then put to a public vote to find the winner.

The top 10 quotes of 2012:

The Dominion Post