Word of the year (Norway)

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Rose marches after the 2011 Norway attacks made rosetog the word of the year in 2011

Årets ord (English: Word of the year) is named by the Language Council of Norway, since 2012 in cooperation with the Norwegian School of Economics.[1]

Choices since 2008 have been finanskrise ("financial crisis"), svineinfluensa ("swine influenza"), askefast ("ash stuck"), rosetog ("rose march"), nave (referring to living on benefits from NAV without really needing it) and sakte-TV ("slow-TV"). In addition, the language council mentions other notable words of the year; since 2012 it has listed 10 words.

Background and methodology[edit]

The Language Council of Norway has named Årets ord since 2008. Since 2012, the language council has co-operated with word researcher Gisle Andersen at the Norwegian School of Economics.[1]

The methodology is based on new words that the language council manually pick up in media during the year, evaluation of which new words appear most frequently in electronic media text bases and suggestions from the public. The word of the year does not need to be a completely new word, but must have had an increase in use and a special relevance during the year. The committee also evaluates the language quality, in particular whether the word (if of international origin) works well in Norwegian. In addition, the committee considers whether the word is likely to stay in use.[1]


Finanskrise (English: Financial crisis) was named word of the year. The word was not new - between 1947 and 1988, the word was used on average 1 to 4 times yearly in Norwegian media according to the search engine Atekst/Retriever. Later the use of the word increased; in 1988, it was used 598 times and in 2007 it was used 218 times. In 2008, the word was used 10,732 times in newspapers, mainly after October.[2]


Svineinfluensa (English: Swine influenza) was named word of the year. While the word had been used 17 times in Norwegian media until 23 April 2009, it was used more than 8,500 times during the rest of the year. Pandemi (English: Pandemic) was another notable word of the year. The words tvitre and tvitring, which relate to the use of Twitter, were also mentioned as notable new words, as was snikislamisering (English: stealth islamization).[3]


Askefast (English: ash stuck) was named word of the year. The word refers to people who were unable to travel as planned because of the air travel disruption after the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Other mentions as notable words were app, nettbrett (English: Tablet computer) and lesebrett (English: e-book reader).[4]


Rosetog (English: Rose march) was named word of the year. This referred to marches held in Oslo and other places in Norway following the 2011 terror attacks. Other notable words of the year also related to the terror attacks: kontrajihadisme (English: counterjihadism) and ytringsansvar (English: speech responsibility). Other notable words of the year were gjeldskrise (English: debt crisis) and eurokrise (English: Euro crisis) referring to the situation in Europe, while smørkrise (English: butter crisis) referred to the Norwegian butter crisis at the end of the year. Jasminrevolusjon (English: Jasmine revolution) also received mention.[5]


Nave (verb) (and the noun naving) was named word of the year. The word refers to living on some kind of pension or welfare from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration, a government agency called NAV in Norwegian. The word is primarily used for youth who stay out of work for some time. The word was in 2012 used among youth themselves, but also among commentators and politicians who expressed worry that young people were abusing the system and not trying hard enough to get a job or start studying.[6][7] Critics of the choice claimed the word was derogatory and added to stigmatisation of people who receive welfare benefits.[8]

Number Word Translation Explanation
1 nave (naving) to live on welfare from the NAV for a time without really needing it. Mainly used about youth.
2 grovkarbo coarse carbohydrate Referring to food
3 bankunion bank union Proposal to create a bank union in the EU.
4 strøymeteneste/strømmetjeneste streaming
5 smartskule/smartskole smart school Schools which make wide use of high-tech solutions[6][9]
6 monsterløn/monsterlønn monster wage Excessive wages for CEOs etc.[9]
7 halehelt tail hero Famous persons who get their picture on the tails of Norwegian airplanes[10]
8 grexit grexit Greece withdrawal from the eurozone
9 glanekø staring queue People stopping to stare at a car accident etc.[9]
10 karbonsko carbon shoes Introduced in crosscountry skiing.[9] Lighter and stiffer than ordinary shoes


Sakte-TV (English: Slow-TV) was named word of the year.[11] The word refers to a series of popular NRK live "marathon" coverage of events like railtrips and cruises, starting with Bergensbanen – minutt for minutt in 2009, continued with Hurtigruten – minutt for minutt and National Firewood Night as well as National Knitting Night in 2013. The high ratings for NRK's live broadcast from the World Chess Championship 2013 have also been seen as part of the slow-TV trend. The word and concept have been picked up internationally and it was named 2013 Best New Format by Television Business International.[12][13]

Number Word Translation Explanation
1 sakte-TV slow-TV Live "marathon" television coverage of an event
2 rekkeviddeangst range anxiety Fear that a battery electric vehicle does not have enough range to arrive at its destination
3 gråblogg grey blog Blogs about the ordinary and grey sides of life
4 bitcoin bitcoin
5 blå-blå blue-blue Government coalition between the Conservative Party and the Progress Party.
6 betalingsmur paywall Reflecting an increasing number of Norwegian newspapers that use paywalls
7 avfølge unfollow
8 karbonboble carbon bubble The idea that economic growth based on carbon dioxide can not go on forever.
9 netthat net hate Harassment and hateful commentary on internet
10 revelyd fox noise Influenced by the Ylvis song "What does the Fox say"?


Fremmedkriger, meaning foreign fighter, was named word of the year. The choice reflected much focus in the Norwegian society on Norwegians who fight in the Syrian Civil war and related conflicts, mostly for ISIL. The word was used in Norwegian media for the first time in 2010 by terror expert Brynjar Lia who had the word from fellow terror expert Thomas Hegghammer.[14]


  1. ^ a b c Kåringa av årets ord 2012 Language Council of Norway. Retrieved 16 December 2013 (in Norwegian)
  2. ^ Årets ord: Finanskrise Language Council of Norway. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2013 (in Norwegian)
  3. ^ Årets ord: svineinfluensa Language Council of Norway. 18 December 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2013 (in Norwegian)
  4. ^ Her er årets ord Dagens Næringsliv. Retrieved 16 December 2013
  5. ^ Rosetog er årets ord Language Council of Norway. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2013 (in Norwegian Nynorsk)
  6. ^ a b NTB (5 December 2012) Årets nyord: Å «nave» VG. Retrieved 20 December 2013 (in Norwegian)
  7. ^ Årets ord: å nave (naving) Language Council of Norway. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2013 (in Norwegian Nynorsk)
  8. ^ Arnfinn Muruvik Vonen (12 November 2012) Når orda røper verdiane våre Aftenposten. Retrieved 20 December 2013 (in Norwegian)
  9. ^ a b c d Ivar L. Paulsen (5 December 2012) Årets ord er ”nave” Harstad Tidende. Retrieved 20 December 2013 (in Norwegian)
  10. ^ Klart for valg av halehelter Lofotposten. Retrieved 20 December 2013 (in Norwegian)
  11. ^ NTB Saktegående TV-program fødte årets ord Vårt Land. Retrieved 16 December 2013 (in Norwegian)
  12. ^ Gabrielle Graatrud, Cathrine Elnan (16 December 2013) NRK-fenomen ble kåret til årets nyord NRK. Retrieved 19 December 2013 (in Norwegian)
  13. ^ TBI’s 2013 in review – part one TBI Vision. Retrieved 19 December 2013
  14. ^ Daniel Eriksen et al (2 December 2014)«Fremmedkriger» er årets nyord(in Norwegian). NRK