‘Prikspijt’ meaning ‘vaccination regret’ voted Dutch Word of the Year

It’s official — the Dutch word of 2021 is…🥁 drum roll, please 🥁… prikspijt!

The word can be translated as ‘vaccination regret’ or ‘pricker’s remorse’. With an 82.2% majority of a total 49,000 votes, prikspijt clearly resonates with a lot of Dutchies.

But, wait a minute. The NOS reports that public calls on Twitter by the anti-vax community to vote for prikspijt might have something to do with this overwhelming majority. Are we talking rigged elections? 🧐

Electoral fraud or honest popularity vote?

So, if one word of the fifteen nominees for this year is singled out by individuals sceptical of the coronavirus vaccine and promoted on Twitter, is it still an honest representation of the Dutch word of 2021?

According to Ton den Boom, Editor-in-Chief of publishing house Van Dale, it is. “It’s a sign of the times: even the word of the year is polarising,” Den Boom states in a Volkskrant interview, which he reposts on Twitter.

He also tells the NOS, that the popularity of prikspijt is an important representation of those who do not wish to be vaccinated. As long as there were no ‘bots’ faking user votes, Ton den Boom sees no reason to call for re-election.

The losers

Well, we think it’s a pity. Aside from prikspijt there were some really strong competitors who could’ve made the race — and probably would have resonated with more people.

Just look at these bad boys:

  • Grotsyndroom: cave syndrom
  • Intimiteitsvaccuüm: intimacy vaccum
  • Woonprotest: housing protest

Of course, since the onset of the pandemic, many of the words were coronavirus inspired. Last year’s winner, for instance, was anderhalvemetersamenleving, which translates to 1.5-meter-society.

Isn’t that something both anti-vaxxers and pro-vaxxers could relate to? No polarisation necessary.

What do you think of the Dutch word 2021? Tell us in the comments!

Feature Image: Jadmij/depositphotos

Cara Räker 🇩🇪
Cara Räker 🇩🇪
Cara moved to the Netherlands at fifteen and she is here to stay! After all, there is so much to love about it, except maybe the bread (as every German will tell you). Next to finishing up her bachelor's degree in European politics (dry), Cara loves to do yoga, swim, and cook delicious veggie food.


  1. The result of the Vote is clear, but the author thinks other words would have resonated with more people… modern journalism in a nutshell

  2. The prick regret as most popular word in the netherlands may yet become more global and inside each who agree is the formation of a new drive ahead to take the regret into forgetting that their blindness had gone.Now will the 80% open new eyes to new beleifs in forgetting it happened..
    Epiphany for the year ahead will appear from the last year…

  3. I have not once heard the term in the UK nor has it been mentioned by my Dutch business partners, all vaccinated, nor by any of the dutch people I come into contact with.

  4. They changed the meaning of the word to fit their narrative. Now it means when you get into hospital and haven’t been jabbed you regret it. While most people voted on it saying the meaning is you have been jabbed and regret it because you suffer from the side effects or didn’t get the freedom the minister promised you’d get. It’s just a hot mess to be honest


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