27 December 2023, by Abi Carter

With a convincing majority of 65 percent of the vote, the Dutch word “graaiflatie” (greedflation) has been named the Netherlands’ word of the year for 2023. 

The Dutch word of the year for 2023 has been chosen

Every year since 2007, the Dikke van Dale dictionary has conducted a vote to crown the Dutch word of the year. Nominations are submitted by members of the public to compile a shortlist of 10 words, with the winner selected by a public vote. 

This year, more than 65 percent of the 10.000 people who voted selected graaiflatie as their chosen word of the year. The word literally translates to “grabflation”, but the term “greedflation”, which also entered common parlance in English this year, is a better equivalent. 

Van Dale defines the word as a form of inflation fuelled by companies that fully or excessively pass on the rising costs of raw materials, means of production and labour to consumers, in order to maintain or increase their profits. 

The word has been around for some time now, but it became more widely used in the spring, when it became apparent that many large international companies had made huge profits in 2022, in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the global economic instability that followed, by passing on significant price increases to customers. 

The words that define 2023

Second place went to “vreugdebier” (joy beer) – beer that sports enthusiasts throw onto the pitch in celebration – and third place went to “nepobaby” – which is used to refer to someone who is said to owe their job to their famous parents. 

The 10 nominated words for 2023 were:

  1. Graaiflatie (greedflation) – Inflation fuelled by companies raising prices excessively to increase their profits
  2. Vreugdbier (joy beer) – Beer that sports supporters throw on the pitch in celebration
  3. Nepobaby (nepo baby) – Someone who has achieved success because their parents are famous, particularly those working in the entertainment industry
  4. Bestuurschaamte (management shame) – The shame a person feels due to damage caused by an administrative body they are part of
  5. Hittefit (heat fit) – Being prepared for a heatwave and physically able to withstand high temperatures
  6. Sportfluencer (sports influencer) – A portmanteau of “sports” and “influencer”, referring to athletes who become social media influencers
  7. TikTokjustitie (TikTok justice) – A form of vigilante justice when someone’s alleged crime is exposed on TikTok or another social media platform
  8. Treitertaks (bullying tax) – A kind of tax that is seen as unfair by the person who has to pay it
  9. Wokewashing – Promoting values like diversity and inclusivity to conceal abuse, similar to “whitewashing”
  10. X’en (to X) – To post on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter)

Editorial credit: Hadrian / Shutterstock.com

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