‘Genderneutraal’ wins most annoying Dutch word of the year vote

Photo: HandigeHarry via Wikimedia Commons

‘Genderneutraal’has been chosen as the most annoying word of 2017 in the annual poll ‘Weg met dat woord!’ (Down with that word), conducted by language lobby group Instituut van de Nederlandse Taal.

Some 43% of the Dutch respondents voted for the word to disappear as quickly as possible, ahead of ‘in je kracht staan (to be in your power)’ and ‘papadag (day off for dads)’. Among Flemish voters, the expression ‘ik heb zoiets van (I’m like)’ raised most hackles. Some 2,300 people participated in the poll.

One reason ‘Genderneutraal’ was chosen was the use of the English word ‘gender’ – the word should be ‘geslachtsneutraal’, one commenter wrote.

People are also annoyed by the implications of the word: ‘Another hype!’ wrote another commenter while a third opined there is no such thing as gender neutrality because ‘you’re either male or female’.

Last year’s most annoying word was ‘diervriendelijk’ – or animal friendly.