“Anderhalvemetersamenleving”, meaning “1.5-meter society” wins Dutch word of the year

The jury is in — what jury exactly, we’re not sure, but we imagine it’s a group of people with a lot of time on their hands. The word “anderhalvemetersamenleving” meaning “1.5-meter society”, has been awarded Dutch word of the year. 

The winner and its runners up were all coronavirus related this year, unfortunately this makes complete sense given that 2020 seems to have borrowed its plotline from some extremely boring, apocalyptic plague-themed dystopian novel.

Runners up

Runners up for this prestigious award included the words Fabeltjesfuik and viruswappie, RTL Nieuws reports. These are very worthy nominations when you consider their meanings.


A fabeltjesfuik is someone who can be described as easily believing conspiracy theories. While I’m sure many of wish that this was a word with little relevance to Dutch society, unfortunately, this year has taught us that it is very much relevant.


This in another word that needed to exist, sadly. A viruswappie is a swear word that you would use to describe someone who denies how serious the coronavirus pandemic really is — *slap of palm hitting face.*

The Dutch love their distance

However, while the Dutch enjoy their words to be nicely squished together — as demonstrated by the above vocab — they do love their distance. This is especially obvious when you compare them to the Belgians.

While the Dutch word of the year means “1.5-meter society”, Belgium’s word of the year was the word knuffelcontact, meaning hug contact. Are we surprised? Not really.

What do you think of the Netherlands’ word of the year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Feature Image: Gustavo Fring/Pexels

Sarah O'Leary
Sarah O'Leary
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.


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