Word of the year: refusenik civil servant

26th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

The term “refusenik civil servant”, used to refer to officials who refuse to marry gay and lesbian couples, has been chosen as the word of the year 2011 by the Our Language Society.

The word was chosen today by the 1,400 members who attended the Society’s annual meeting. The term “Arab Spring” ended second. “Peeing bag”, recently proposed to be used as a last resort on trains with no toilets, came third.

Over the past two weeks, language lovers registered on the Society’s website the words they considered the most representative, important or the funniest of this year. A jury of the Society used the entries to form a shortlist of ten words.

The word that got the least votes was “debt crisis”. Other words on the shortlist included “app”, “casino pension”, “euro crisis” and “occupy”. 

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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