“Sjoemelsoftware”: Dutch word of the year reflects VW scandal

Volkswagen (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/The Car Spy)Volkswagen logo (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/The Car Spy)

"Sjoemelsoftware" was voted the Van Dale Word of the Year for 2015. The word became popular during the Volkswagen diesel scandal earlier this year. It means software that positively influence the test results of a device, such as software in cars that make CO2 emissions seem more favorable.

Sjoemelsoftware got 48 percent of the more than 40 thousand votes that were cast between November 24th and December 14th. Ton de Boon, chief editor of Dikke van Dale, calls the winner unsurprising. "Also in the media sjoemelsoftware was a very successful word", he said in the announcement.

Second place went to "poortjesspringer" - someone using public transport without a ticket that jumps over a turnstile at a train station - and third place went to "je suis" - a slogan, such as the one used after the Paris terrorist attacks.

In the youth category the word "tinderellasyndroom" got first place with 34 percent of the votes. The word consists of a combination of dating app Tinder, fairy tale character Cinderella and "syndrome". It refers to young people who cannot flirt in real life because of their dependence on dating apps.

Last year's winner of the Van Dale Word of the Year was the word "dagobertducktaks", or Scrooge McDuck tax, which refers to extra tax for the very rich.

Last week the word "me" was voted as the most irritating Dutch word of the year in the Institute for Dutc Lexicology elections, according to NU. Dutch people find it irritating when people use the word "me" instead of "mijn" when speaking Dutch, as in "me moeder" instead of "mijn moeder". "Diervriendelijk vlees", or animal friendly meat, came in second place.