Covid and cuddle contact included in latest edition of Dutch dictionary

Covid and cuddle contact included in latest edition of Dutch dictionary
The latest edition of the dictionary will be published in March 2022. Credit: Belga

Thousands of new words, some of which refer to the pandemic, climate change, social media and inclusiveness, have been added to the latest edition of the Dikke van Dale, the dictionary of Dutch Language.

The sixteenth edition of the dictionary, which will be published on 22 March 2022, will include new words that reflect today's society, such as Covid and 'knuffelcontact' (the Dutch word for close contact that made international news), as well as expressions, proverbs, and 150 Dutch language history stories.

"This makes this three-part dictionary a 'mirror of society' that shows how our changing society impacts our language," a press release announcing the jubilee edition of the dictionary stated.

A word or expression, such as 'one-and-a-half metre society' and 'super-spreader', can be included in the dictionary if it appears in newspapers, magazines, books and on the Internet for a long period of time.

In its latest update announced last week, the American Merriam-Webster dictionary also added new terms describing the policy and research developments connected to Covid-19, including 'breakthrough' in the medical sense of the word, 'super-spreader', 'long Covid' and 'vaccine passport'.

Other new words in the Dikke van Dale relate to climate, finance, and economics, as well as social media and inclusiveness. The definitions of some other words have been modernised. No words have been deleted in the latest edition.

Meanwhile, the Dutch language stories included in this special edition are spread throughout the three volumes and are illustrated with infographics, timelines, maps, and pictures of old dictionary articles.

They aim to provide a glimpse into the creation of the Dikke Van Dale through the years since it was first published 150 years ago by Johan Hendrik Van Dale, a Dutch teacher.

The last edition of the Dikke van Dale was published in 2015.

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