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Slovenian word of the year is honeybee

Ljubljana, 10 January - The Slovenian word of the year 2018 is čebela (honeybee), the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU) announced on Thursday. More than 2,000 votes, which is a new record, were collected in the third campaign to pick the word that left the biggest mark on the past year.

Ljubljana
The Carniolan honey bee native to Slovenia.
Photo: STA

Honeybee was followed by micro-plastic and a cup of coffee, while the shortlist also included woman general, orbanisation, graphic novel, hatred, texting, tactile book and guard.

According to Simon Atelšek, researcher of the Fran Ramovš Institute for the Slovenian Language and one of the authors of the Beekeepers' Terminological Dictionary, the Slovenian terminology in beekeeping has very few loanwords.

"This is because Slovenians have always been very advanced in this field - Anton Janša was appointed the head of the first royal beekeeping school by Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa in the 18th century - so we have been exporting our know-how rather than importing it like in law, military etc."

Another interesting fact is that "we had as many as four individual beekeepers' manuals by the mid-19th century, which is extraordinary compared to any other related field," Atelšek said.

Slovenian terms used in beekeeping reflect the great respect Slovenians feel towards honeybees, he said. While there are two different terms for dying for animals and humans in Slovenian, the term for bees is the same as for humans.

Moreover, the term for the queen bee is derived from the word mother in Slovenian.

This year, more than 2,000 people cast their vote for the word of the year in an on-line poll published on the website of the ZRC and the MMC portal, and both partners' accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

That is twice as many as last year, ZRC SAZU said.

The most innovative word of the year was also picked this year. The winning word is drečka, a bag for picking dog poop.

Word of the year proposals are collected throughout the year and then a jury of experts makes a shortlist of ten words, which are put up for a vote.

In 2016, the word of the year was refugee and in 2017 European champions.

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© STA, 2019