Gaffes, insults and apologies: Quote of the year finalists revealed

David Cunliffe's apology for being a man and Pam Corkery's potty-mouthed rebuff of a persistent reporter are among the finalists for 2014's quote of the year.

Some of the contenders on this year's shortlist for the annual Quote of the Year competition. Source: 1 NEWS

The 10 shortlisted finalists in Massey University's annual best quote competition are set to go out to a public vote.

This year's list features a heavy dose of Dirty Politics, with Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater the subject of, and in one case, the deliverer of many of 2014's most memorable lines.

Massey University's speech writing specialist Heather Kavan says this race is tighter than most.

"In every other year there's been a predictable winner, but this year the competition looks like it will be more intense.

"Confessions tend to be memorable, so I expect David Cunliffe's 'I'm sorry for being a man' to be high on the list. Quotes that can be said in other contexts are usually popular too, such as 'We think it's, um, pretty legal'."

Dr Kavan says a bruising election campaign meant 2014 was more a year for memorable gaffes than well-composed one-liners.

"If there was any soaring rhetoric during the election, no-one seems to have remembered it. Instead, phrases like 'puffed up little s*** have lingered," she says.

Quote of the year voting closes at 12pm on December 18, with the winner announced on December 19.

The shortlisted finalists

I'm sorry for being a man. (David Cunliffe's unusual apology at Labour's domestic violence policy launch at a Women's Refuge forum).

We think it's, um, pretty legal. (Steven Joyce asked by reporters about the use of a song for the National election campaign that sounded very similar to one by Eminen)

You work in news you puffed up little sh**...When will you glove puppets of Cameron Slater just p*** off? (Internet Party press secretary Pam Corkery at a campaign event, when the media kept asking for an interview with Kim Dotcom)

It was all steam and no hangi. (Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis describing Internet-Mana after it failed to deliver on the hype on election day).

He could probably survive shooting little kittens in his garden with a shotgun. (Kim Dotcom on how little impact Dirty Politics had on Prime Minister John Key's approval ratings).

I play politics like Fijians play rugby. My role is smashing your face into the ground. (Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater after Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics was released).

I did not have textual relations with that blogger. (Spoof of John Key's initial denial that he had received texts from Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater tweeted by Lloyd Burr of RadioLive).

It terrifies me how much of our economy is stuck inside a dairy cow. (Comedian Te Radar talking to farmers at Fieldays).

Get past the breath-taking PR snow job. (Former CERA communications adviser Tina Nixon describing the press conference to announce the resignation of chief executive Roger Sutton after a sexual harassment complaint).

No more beersies for you. (Tagline in this year's Health Promotion Agency advertising campaign to reduce harmful alcohol consumption.)