Norwegian Language Blog

Word of the Year 2014 Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

’Emoji’ was one of the proposed ”Norwegian word of the year”.

’Emoji’ was one of the proposed ”Norwegian word of the year”. (Image from Wikimedia Commons.)

Every year a handful of Norwegian language geeks kårer årets norske ord (elect the Norwegian ”word of the year”). Språkrådet, the Norwegian Language Council, ranked the following ten candidates for 2014:

10. deleøkonomi (’share economy’) means that you share & recycle resources. Maybe you own a car together with your neighbour or borrow your best friend’s wedding costume…

9. A ståhjuling (’stand-wheelie’) is a segway. 🙂

8. A luseskjørt (’lice skirt’) is a new technology to shield oppdrettslaks (bred salmons) from lus (lice).

7. Whenever the excitement of your tablet or cell phone makes you look like a humpback, you’re suffering from mobilnakke (’mobile neck’).

6. A gittercelle (grid cell) is a special kind of cell in your brain. The word was made popular by Norwegian scientists May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser, who both won this year’s Nobelpris in medisin.

5. Stordata is a neat Norwegization of ’big data’ (huge amounts of information that companies like Google are able to analyze).

4. Pøbelgran means ”mob spruce” and is a (non-Norwegian) spruce that’s growing outside a plantation, causing havoc among the local trær og planter (trees and plants)!

3. Emoji means the same as in English… 🙂

2. When something ’goes viral’ in English, it now even går viralt in Norwegian. It may be a viral [virAHL] video, like last year’s Norwegian hit ’What Does the Fox Say?

1. Unfortunately, the winner is fremmedkriger (’foreign fighter’), which means someone who goes to another country to fight in a war. It could be a Norwegian who goes to Syria to join one of the groups fighting there. 🙁

Språkteigen, a Norwegian radio show, had their own kåring (election). Their årets ord was a bit more uplifting:

robust [rohBOOHST]. It’s a loan from French (and ultimately Latin), meaning ’robust’ or ’sturdy’. It’s been around in Norway for decades if not centuries. However, according to Språkteigen’s Facebook page, Norwegian politicians have been using this word a lot in 2014, for example in the phrase: Vi skal ha robuste kommuner med robuste løsninger! (We need sturdy municipalities with sturdy solutions!)

Godt nyttår! See you in 2015!

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.