"Euromaidan" - a general term for pro-European rallies which take place across Ukraine - was chosen as Ukrainian word of the year on Friday by Myslovo dictionary.
January 3, 2014 (Newswire.com) - "Editors' choice is quite clear: though the word appeared in Ukrainian language only at the end of November, very quickly it became dominant in social discourse. Furthermore, it reflects and sums up social and political developments in the country for the last year", Myslovo dictionary explained in a statement.
Dictionary editors emphasize on interesting etymology of the word: prefix "euro-" came to Ukraine with its independence in nineties, and is a synonym for high standard and good quality; "maidan" is an old word of Persian origin which means "square". This literally Eurasian word perfectly reflects country's constant struggle for it's own identity.
Euromaidan lifted up another political word of the year, "titushky" (pro-government thugs), which was coined earlier this year from the personal name of one of that thugs, "Titushko". "Twitter" and "hashtag" became much more popular words among Ukrainians during 2013, which demonstrates a growing interest to social media.
"Euromaidan" has spawned a bunch of spin-offs, such as "antimaidan" for the government-organized demonstrations, "automaidan" for those supporters who use their cars during the protests and such an exotic term as "narcomaidan" for psychonauts who support Euromaidan mentally.
"Is is interesting to see Ukrainian neologisms entering into other languages. "Euromaidan" doesn't leave the headlines around the globe, and Western journalists are trying to explain to their readers what is "titushky" or "zek" (nickname of Ukrainian president). Last time Ukrainian language gained such attention during the first wave of Ukrainian emigration at the end of 19th century. Then it was mostly cuisine-related words: "varenyky", "pyrohy" or "borscht". For the first time in many years Ukrainian language became a donor to Russian: both "Euromaidan" and "titushky" were selected as a neologisms of the year in Russia," Borys Petrenchuk, editorial director for Myslovo dictionary, said.
It is the first time Ukrainian word of the year to be selected. The main criteria for selection are word popularity during particular year and its social impact.
About Myslovo dictionary:
Myslovo is a web-based dictionary of modern Ukrainian language and slang written by its users. Updated daily, it is the only user-generated dictionary in Ukraine. Myslovo was launched in November, 2012 and since then grew into the leading source for modern Ukrainian language, including slang, vulgarisms and profanity.