‘Glābējsilīte’ is word of the year

In what clearly is a sign of the times, the Latvian word of the year is glābējsilīte, a place where unwanted babies can be abandoned, the Rīga Latvian Society (Rīgas Latviešu biedrība) has announced.

The word glābejsilīte is the Latvianized version of the term “baby box,” a service offered by hospitals and clinics where infants can be abandoned without questions being asked. The Rīga Latvian Society’s language development interest group announced the word’s selection during a Jan. 18 press conference.

The “non-word” or nevārds selected from among multiple nominations is saīsināt, the news service LETA reported. Usually meaning “to shorten,” the term has been used during the country’s economic crisis to refer to the reduction of staff.

And the choice for the “winged words” (spārnotais teiciens) of the year is “Un ko jūs saprotat ar politisko atbildību?” (And what do you understand political responsibility to mean?), a phrase uttered by Latvian Health Minister Baiba Rozentāle during a press conference.

The society has been announcing words of the year since 2003.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

One thought on “‘Glābējsilīte’ is word of the year

  1. In fact the survey’s organiser is not the Latvian Society (RLB), but a group of language enthusiasts and linguists meeting in RLB’s building. It is called “Latviešu valodas attīstības kopa”, and during the annual survey it cooperates with the Writers’ Union and Terminology Committee. See – http://lvak.wordpress.com/

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