'Foreign fighter' is Norway's word of 2014

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'Foreign fighter' is Norway's word of 2014
Photo: National flag of Norway. Word cloud illustration. Shutterstock"

The word "Fremmedkriger" (foreign fighter) was voted Word of the Year by the Language Council of Norway on Tuesday.


Other favourites on the newcomer list included "Mobilnakke" (mobile phone neck), "pøbelgran" (punk fir) and "glittercelle" (glitter cell).

The Language Council of Norway (Språkrådet) produced the list with Uni Research Computing, a data-gathering company. They were also joined by Professor Gisle Andersen from the Norwegian School of Economics (Norges Handelshøyskole - NHH). Andersen is researching new words entering the language.
The criteria for "word of the year" are that they should be relatively new, relevant, function well in the Norwegian language and would likely remain in the Norwegian language for a long time.
Past winners of the "Word of the Year" include:
In 2009, "Svineinfluensa" (Swine flu)
In 2010, "Askefast" (Ash stranded)
In 2011, "Rosetog" (Rose parade)
In 2012, "Å nave" (to be nav-ing). This odd term means taking a year off work or studies to live of the Nav government benefits system)
And last year's winner was "Sakte-TV" (Slow TV).
Professor Andersen said to NTB: “The word 'foreign fighter’ showed up in the newspapers in 2010, but wasn't used so much before 2014. Now it is here to stay.”
According to terror researcher Thomas Hegghammer at FFI, the Norwegian word “fremmedkriger” has been translated from the English term “foreign fighter” that showed up just after year 2000.
Some other words from the 2014 list that are slightly more confusing in their definition.
The word "mobilnakke”, meaning in English "mobile phone neck", is a neck pain caused by using mobile phone and other handheld technology.
"Pøbelgran” - translated as "punk fir" - is a fir tree planted in an unwanted place.
"Glittercelle” ("glitter cell") is a type of nerve cell that is used in physical orientation.


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