English word is Danish word of the year

December 13th, 2014

This article is more than 9 years old.

Many suggested words were English or based on English-language concepts

If you’ve used the MobilePay app to give your share of a restaurant bill or used it to pay a friend back for a concert ticket, then you’re one of the quickly growing customer base who inadvertently shot the name of the app to the top of the list for Denmark’s word of the year.

That’s right, in a surprise turn, the English word “MobilePay” is 2014’s Danish word of the year, reports Politiken.

In fact, many of the top 12 words in the competition were English or English-based, including Ebola, byhaver (urban garden), inklusion (inclusion) and hverdagssexisme (the Danish version of the Everyday Sexism campaign).

The Language Laboratory, a radio programme on DR P1, has been collecting suggestions from listeners across the country to find this year's word on the tips of everyone's tongues, or rather everyone's fingertips.

“The fun with the word of the year competition is that in the last four years, completely new words have been seen every year,” Helle Solvang, the host of the radio programme, said in a press release. “These words could not have been suggested last year, and will probably not make it to the final next year.”

Words reveal concerns
The word competition shows what has concerned and interested Danes over the last year. Apart from the technological interest in an easy payment app, many of the words put forth by listeners revolved around the environment, economy, lifestyle and food.

Other word candidates included madspild (food waste), nedskalering (downsizing) and normcore, a unisex fashion trend.

The competition also had a few subcategories, including swear word of the year, which Anglophones might be surprised to hear was “bum”.

The word of the year for 2013 was undskyld (sorry).


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