And the Netherlands' word of the year for 2021 is...

And the Netherlands' word of the year for 2021 is...

This year's competition for word of the year saw 15 new Dutch words nominated but, of course, there can be only one winner. With a whopping 82,2 percent of the vote, the Netherlands' 2021 word of the year is prikspijt!

Prikspijt voted 2021 word of the year

Every year, the Dikke van Dale dictionary sets out to find the Netherlands' word of the year. In order to be nominated for this highly esteemed prize, words submitted must have originated in 2021. Previous winners have included anderhalvemetersamenleving in 2020 and boomer in 2019

Like last year, many of the nominated words were coronavirus related, and so it's unsurprising that this year's winner once again related to the pandemic. Voting closed on December 20, and this year saw almost 49.000 people cast their vote - four times as many as last year!

On Tuesday morning, the editor-in-chief of Dikke van Dale, Ton den Boon, announced prikspijt as the 2021 word of the year. The word - which directly translates to  "vaccine regret" and is used to refer to the regret someone feels after receiving a vaccine -  won an overwhelming majority of the vote after a group of anti-vaxxers took to Twitter earlier this month, calling for people to submit their vote for prikspijt as word of the year.

Den Boon said the winning word reflected "the polarisation in society surrounding vaccination and boosters." The runners up were woonprotest and wappiegeluid, with 3,7 and 3,6 percent of the vote respectively. 

The Netherlands' nominees for word of the year

Prikspijt faced some serious competition this year - these are all the Dutch words that were nominated for word of the year 2021.

  • Boosterprik ("booster shot"): An additional dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines, designed to boost protection against COVID-19.
  • Deltavariant ("Delta variant"): A highly contagious coronavirus variant that became the dominant COVID-19 strain in 2021, previously referred to as the Indian variant.
  • Doorbraakinfectie ("breakthrough infection"): A coronavirus infection that occurs in someone who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Finfluencer ("financial influencer"): Someone who provides financial advice to their followers via social media.
  • Gevoeligheidslezer ("sensitivity reader"): A publisher or editor who checks a manuscript for potentially offensive or politically correct content prior to publication.
  • Grotsyndroom ("cave syndrome"): A fear of partaking in social activities again following a prolonged period of isolation.
  • Intimiteitsvacuüm ("intimacy vacuum"): The temporary or long-term lack of both physical and emotional intimacy between people in a romantic relationship.
  • Memeaandeel ("meme stock"): Shares of a relatively small company that are bought by a group of small investors in order to manipulate the price.
  • Pandemocratie ("pandemic democracy"): Democracy that has been (permanently) affected / changed as the result of a pandemic.
  • Prikpolarisatie ("vaccine polarisation"): The social divide that occurs between groups of a population who are either for or against large-scale vaccination.
  • QR-samenleving ("QR society"): A society in which people only have access to certain venues or events if they can present proof of vaccination, recovery, or a recent negative test via the CoronaCheck app.
  • Vaccinatievoordinger ("vaccine queue-jumper"): Someone who uses their connections or position to jump the queue and receive their vaccination earlier than they should.
  • Wappiegeluid ("fool / loser noise"): Misleading opinions or information about a social or political issue (i.e. conspiracy theories).
  • Woonprotest ("housing protest"): A protest against the national housing crisis and inaccessibility of the Dutch housing market.

What do you think of the winner? What would be your word of the year? Let us know in the comments below!

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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