German Bad Word Of The Year 2016: Volksverräter

That means traitor, or traitor of the people. And it’s actually a non-word or un-word of the year, not just a bad word of the year. Although it’s all three, I guess.

Traitor

And if you look carefully at that photo you will see the feminine form of that word. Just in case you were wondering.

Each year, German linguists elect one word as the ‘Unwort’ (non-word) of the year. For 2016, the winner was a term meaning ‘traitor’ which has strong Nazi connotations.

Das Wort sei ein “Erbe von Diktaturen“, sagte sie. In der Begründung der Jury heißt es, Anhänger von Pegida, AfD und ähnlichen Initiativen würden den Begriff als Vorwurf gegenüber Politikern verwenden. Er sei undifferenziert und diffamierend und würde “das ernsthafte Gespräch und damit die für Demokratie notwendigen Diskussionen in der Gesellschaft” abwürgen.

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