Finally here: The Un-Word of the Year

I know, I know, you have just about heard enough about the words and un-words of the year and what they all mean and where they all come from. But let me add this one, because it's a good one.

 img credit: - Vielen Dank.

img credit: - Vielen Dank.

Followers of this blog will be aware that we had to wait until 15 January 2013 to find out about the word which has been "crowned" the Un-Word of the Year 2012. The Sprachkritische Aktion (Action for Linguistic Criticism) has announced that the king of lousy ethics and bad attitudes of 2012 is...


The word breaks down into "das Opfer" (victim) and "das Abo" (short for Abonnement - subscription).

You won't find this in a dictionary, of course. The word was first used by ex weatherman and Germany's darling Jörg Kachelmann after he was accused of sexual violence by his ex-girlfriend. Kachelmann displayed a despicable attitude when he stated that women practically subscribe to a victim status (they have the Opfer-Abo) in today's German society. By this he meant that women consider it acceptable to accuse a man of rape or sexual violence in order to get what they want.

The Un-Word jury stated that this statement can be considered both factually inaccurate (an estimated 5-8% of women actually report the sexual crimes commited against them) and disrespectful to any victim's dignity.

In just one word, "Opfer-Abo", Kachelmann managed to sum up a real issue of disrespect to rape victims and an attitude that assigns ulterior motives to a woman standing up for herself. Un-Word title well deserved in my book. What do you think?

German speakers can read more about it on the German language Un-Word Homepage.

Related articles:
- Words of the Year
- Words of the Year: Redux