Australia's Tony Abbott makes 'suppository of all wisdom' gaffe
August 12, 2013 -- Updated 1122 GMT (1922 HKT)
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott during the Leaders Debate on August 11, 2013 in Canberra.
- "No one ... is the suppository of all wisdom," Tony Abbott says at an event
- "There was an audible gasp," a reporter at the event says
- The hashtag #suppository starts trending on Twitter in Australia
- Abbott is campaigning for national elections next month
(CNN) -- Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott set social media abuzz on Monday with a memorable slip of the tongue.
"No one -- however smart, however well-educated, however experienced -- is the suppository of all wisdom," Abbott told a Liberal Party event in the city of Melbourne.
A suppository is "a small piece of medicated substance, usually conical, ovoid, or cylindrical, introduced into a body passage, as the rectum or vagina, where body heat causes it to melt," according to Webster's New World College Dictionary.
Not quite the same as a repository (a place in which things may be placed for safekeeping), the word typically used in the expression "the repository of all wisdom."
Abbott's unwitting switch of the two words both shocked and amused his audience.
"There was an audible gasp in the room, a few people snickering," said Jonathan Swan, a political reporter for Fairfax Media who was at the event.
As news of Abbott's unfortunate utterance filtered out, social media users quickly seized on the gaffe. The hashtag #suppository began trending on Twitter in Australia.
And people couldn't resist exploiting the situation's comic and crude potential.
"Oh dear. Abbott - "we are not the 'suppository" of all wisdom.' Not sure where to stick this one," wrote Marcus Priest, a political reporter for the Australian Financial Review.
'I feel sorry for Abbott & his accidental use of the word suppository. Stop going on like he's the enema," quipped Felicity Reynolds, the head of a non-governmental organization in Sydney.
It's not the kind of coverage Abbott's aides will have been hoping for ahead of national elections next month. The night before, he had been engaged in a televised debate with his key opponent, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Labor.
As of Monday evening, Abbott hadn't joined in the Twitter flurry his malapropism had caused.
He's not the first Australian politician whose words have caused a stir on social media during this election campaign.
Stephanie Banister, a 27-year-old welder running for a seat in Rankin, Queensland, unleashed a series of blunders during an interview, including referring to Islam as a country.
Her comments went viral and on Saturday, she withdrew from the race, citing threats to her family.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0254 GMT (1054 HKT)
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.