“Prikspijt,” indicating regret over vaccination, chosen as 2021 Dutch word of the year
The word prikspijt has been chosen as the 2021 new Dutch word of the year by dictionary publisher Van Dale, with over 8 out of 10 members of the public selecting the word as their choice out of a group of 15 options. The company described the word as regret or short-term pain that someone experiences after they were vaccinated against a contagious disease.
Ton den Boon, the Dutch language editor-in-chief of the complete Van Dale dictionary announced the winning word on Tuesday. "Prikspijt is a broad concept and it is a good reflection of what is happening in society. On the one hand, you have the activism on social media by people who are against the coronavirus vaccinations. But ‘spijt’ can also be understood as a term that you use if you experience pain for a short time after being vaccinated, or because the vaccinations do not seem to be the ultimate way out of the crisis at the moment, as hoped,” Den Boon explained.
Radio 1 Journaal also conducted Interviews with people on the street Tuesday morning, which demonstrated the worn has not yet become particularly established in the Netherlands. Many people said that the someone is actually remorseful when they wind up in the hospital with Covid-19 because they have not been vaccinated. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge felt the same, saying on Twitter, “If you are in the ICU because you have not gotten a shot. Only then do you have prikregret.”
Nevertheless, the term received 82.2 percent of the 49,000 votes castover the past two weeks. It was selected over woonprotest, a demonstration over the housing shortage (3.7 percent), and wappiegeluid (3.6 percent). The latter refers to misleading opinions not grounded in facts or academic insights, with a wappie often referring to one who believes in conspiracy theories about serious issues, such as the coronavirus pandemic. It is becoming more common for one word to clearly stand out from the other nominees, Den Boon said, but never before has the difference between first and second place been so great.
Many of the fifteen nominated words this year had to do with the consequences of the coronavirus crisis, such as prikspijt, prikpolarisatie (the polarization between vaccinated and unvaccinated people), and vaccinatievoordringer, someone who skipped the line to get vaccinated before it was there turn. The Dutch word for booster shot, boosterprik, was also an option, along with Deltavariant, referring to a variant of the coronavirus, Doorbraakinfectie, a coronavirus infection diagnosed in a vaccinated person, and QR-samenleving, defined as a society in which people can only access certain locations by showing a coronavirus access pass.
A democracy influenced and changed by a pandemic, or Pandemocratie, was also an option, like wappiegeluid.
Nominated words which were unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic include finfluencer, an influencer dealing with financial matters, and gevoeligheidslezer. This literally translates to “sensitivity reader” in English, and is a proofreader or editor who checks text for potentially offensive content.
The other options were grotsyndroom, which translates directly to “cave syndrome,” intimiteitsvacuüm (“intimacy vacuum”), memeaandeel (“meme share”), and woonprotest. People could also submit words that they thought should have a chance at the title.
The 2020 Van Dale word of the year was anderhalvemetersamenleving, the Dutch word meaning a society where people keep 1.5 meters of distance between each other.
The year before, the title went to the word boomer. As in English, the word refers to someone from the Baby Boomer generation, and can also refer to someone whose are old fashioned or who is close-minded.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.