‘Climate roar’ is new word of the year

Global climate crisis creates new word in Norwegian language

climate roar

Photo: Serge Ouachée, Wikimedia Commons
Klimabrølet—the Climate Roar—was meant to express collective frustration about the inactivity of world leaders and institutions on issues related to climate change.

The Local

The importance placed on the global climate crisis by young people in Norway has been highlighted by this year’s selection for the country’s word of the year: klimabrøl (climate roar).

The Language Council of Norway (Språkrådet, LCN) makes the annual selection. Previous winners have included “fake news” and “fremmedkriger” (foreign fighter).

In its decision, LCN found that the word reflects the powerful and alarming strength of young people’s engagement in climate issues, news agency NTB reports.

Young people have gathered in the thousands across Norway during 2019 for climate strikes and other actions intended to bring about political action in the area.

“This word sums up the special strength young people have shown this year. We often use the suffix brøl [-roar, ed.] in to express huge excitement through words like seiersbrøl (victory roar), tribunebrøl (stadium roar),” LCN senior adviser Dagfinn Rødningen told NTB.

“Klimabrøl [climate-roar] is an interesting newcomer because, in this context, it gives associations with anger and protest,” he added.

LCN’s words of the year can be neologisms but may also be words or recently emerged phrases that have characterized the year.

“Important criteria for the award are that the words should be relevant, widely used, viable and of good linguistic quality,” the Language Council notes.

In order to find candidates for the award, the council uses a computer tool that identifies new words used in major national and regional newspapers.

This article was originally published on The Local.

This article appeared in the December 13, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.

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