Wanted: new words

Set of quartet cards

In November 2016, Het Taalmuseum and BplusC went looking for language that does exist, but does not have an official status. The campaign Wanted: New Words (‘Nieuwe Woorden Gezocht’) asked visitors to our website and to the Leiden libraries to share words with us that they only use in their family or circle of friends. We also went on a search for new words. There are many phenomena that do not have a Dutch name: from the fear to lose your phone to the scent of freshly mown grass. We wondered: how simple or hard is it to make up a word for those things?

1000+ Contributions

We received more than a thousand contributions. Het Taalmuseum presented the results at BplusC on Sunday 26 November 2017. What new words did the contributors come up with? Can we find similarities among them? And were there words that will soon be so integrated that we can no longer imagine daily life without them? Vivien Waszink, researcher and linguist at the Dutch Language Institute (Instituut voor de Nederlandse Taal), took visitors on a trip to discover new words and highlighted some gems among the contributions.

Order now

The 48 best new words were collected in a set of quartets cards, designed by our regular designer Robin Stam. He drew an apt illustration for each new word. The game (only available in Dutch) can be ordered in the webshop of Het Taalmuseum.