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Switzerland’s Word of the Year

The Word of the Year embodies key social developments that are reflected in Swiss discourses. A team of researchers at the School of Applied Linguistics determines Switzerland’s Word of the Year in order to find out what is on the population’s mind – in all four national languages.

How is Switzerland’s Word of the Year chosen?

Switzerland’s Word of the Year is selected on a multilingual, research-oriented and interactive basis:


Between 2003 and 2016, the “Word of the Year Office” selected Switzerland’s Word of the Year in German. Since 2017, a team of researchers at the ZHAW School of Applied Linguistics has determined Switzerland’s Word of the Year in German and French, with Italian being added in 2018 and Romansh in 2019.


For each language, the selection process encompasses three stages:

  1. The researchers initially analyse the ZHAW “Swiss-AL corpus” text database and identify 20 words that have been used more frequently in the current year than in the years before.
  2. A jury of language professionals then selects the three most striking words from this list and suggestions from the public as well as on the basis of their own experience.
  3. Finally, the researchers use word histories to show how these words have developed as part of language use in Switzerland during the past year and what social changes they represent.


The ZHAW collects data on public discourse as well as suggestions that can be sent in via the following channels up to 24 November:





We provide you with regular news updates on this page and via our Twitter channel @ZHAWLinguistik.

Video, Slam, Rap

Video: Word of the Year

Slam: a word is worth more than 1,000 images

Previous Words of the Year

Year, Rank German French Italian Romansch
2022, 1. Strommangellage boycotter penuria mancanza
2022, 2. Frauen-Ticket sobriété invasione status S
2022, 3. Schutzstatus S souffle coraggio 19 grads
2021, 1. Impfdurchbruch iel certificato respect
2021, 2. Starkregen précarité urgenza pazienza
2021, 3. entfreunden variants exploit tgira
2020, 1. systemrelevant coronagraben pandemia mascrina
2020, 2. Maskensünder gestes barrières responsabilità extraordinari
2020, 3. stosslüften luttes distanza positivitad
2019, 1. Klimajugend vague verte onda verde luf
2019, 2. OK Boomer féminicide sciopero delle donne diaspora
2019, 3. Flugscham flygskam 5G unda verda
2018, 1. Doppeladler charge mentale gesto dell’aquila 2019
2018, 2. Rahmenabkommen sécheresse notte tropicale -
2018, 3. 079 infox criptovalute -
2017, 1. #metoo harcèlement ab 2018 ab 2019
2017, 2. weglachen congé paternité - -
2017, 3. Influencer influenceur / influenceuse - -
2023, 1. Monsterbank décombres GPT Solarexpress
2023, 2. Chatbot intelligence artificielle Tunnel Igl Rutsch
2023, 3. Ghosting coûts de la santé e  


Strategic management and member of the German-language jury

Member of the French-language jury

Member of the Italian-language jury

Member of the Romansh-language jury

Corpus linguistics

Sounding board