Climate activists make it official: Klimaatklever is word of the year

Photo: HandigeHarry via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: HandigeHarry via Wikimedia Commons

Klimaatklever, a new word describing climate activists who glue themselves to priceless works of art, has been voted Dutch word of the year after a social media campaign, reports dictionary maker Van Dale.

Over a quarter of the 15,000 people who voted thought klimaatklever (climate adherent or sticker) was the word that best typified 2022. Van Dale’s official definition of the word is ‘an activist who glues himself to an object with symbolic value to raise public awareness of climate change’.

In the Netherlands activists glued themselves to Vermeer’s masterpiece The Girl with the Pearl Earring at the Mauritshuis. In other countries paintings by Van Gogh, Picasso and Botticelli were given the same treatment as well as being covered in food. None of the paintings were damaged.

The second most popular word with 22% of the vote was zevenvinker, a reference to journalist Joris Luyendijk’s controversial definition of privilege. The seven ticks include being male, white, having a university degree, having at least one native Dutch parent and having rich or highly educated parents.

Energy tourism, or travelling to a warmer country to escape high energy bills, came third. Belgian voters also chose klimaatklever but opted for concentratiecrisis, or widespread distraction resulting from social media use, as their second choice.

In 2020 and 2021 the words of the year were the pandemic related  anderhalvemetersamenleving (1.5 meter society) and prikspijt (vaccination regret) respectively.

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