The word of the year reflects Danes' focus on national identity. Photo: Ric Esplana Babor/Iris
Here at The Local, it feels like we wrote an awful lot about Danish identity politics this year. From the Danish People’s Party’s controversial ads over the summer to Queen Margrethe's thoughts on what makes one Danish to this week’s ‘Denmark canon’, the notion of ‘Danishness’ seemed inescapable.
Turns out, we were far from the only ones to feel that way.
‘Danskhed’, or Danishness, was selected as Denmark’s word of the year by radio broadcaster DR P1’s ‘Sproglaboratoriet’ (Language Lab) programme.
“Danishness is what we were most absorbed in this year. Danishness and our values faced a test,” Sabine Kichmeier, the head of the Danish Language Council (Dansk Sprognævn) told DR.
The winning word was selected out of a list of 100 suggestions that was whittled down to 13 finalists. The 12 other finalists were:
Ekkokammer (Echo chamber)
Eliten (the elite)
Gyllegate (the name given to an agriculture scandal)
Opbrud (break-up or uprising)
Skræmmeklovn (creepy clown)
Smykkelov (Denmark’s much-discussed ‘jewellery law’)
Faktaresistens (fact resistance, akin to post-truth, the English word of the year)
2015’s Word of the Year was flygtningestrømme, which translates to English as ‘refugee flow' or ‘stream of refugees'. Previous winners of the award have included ‘MobilePay' (the name of a banking app), stenalderkost (Stone Age diet) and arabisk forår (Arab Spring).