Participatiesamenleving is new word of the year

Participatiesamenleving – participation society – has been voted word of the year by members of the Dutch language expert’s association Genootschap Onze Taal.

Participatiesamenleving was first used by king Willem-Alexander in his first speech from the throne in September.

In the address to the nation, the new king spoke of how the Netherlands is moving from being a classic welfare state to a participation society in which people take control of their own lives.

The word was voted best addition to the Dutch language by 25% of the almost 1,000 votes. Pietitie – a play on Piet and petition, referring to a Facebook page supporting Zwarte Piet – was joint second with 18%. Socialbesitas – addiction to social media – also took 18% of the vote.

Last year’s Onze Taal winner was plofkip – literally ‘exploding chicken’ and used to describe intensive factory-reared birds.

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