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Belgian word of the year

14th January 2019

Painted cycle lane
Painted cycle lane, Harrogate

The dictionary Van Dale announced 'moordstrookje' as Belgian/Flemish Word of the Year 2018. According to De Standaard, it refers to a painted, unprotected bike lane, right next to the main carriageway.

'Moord' means murder or killing, and 'strookje' is a lane or band, so 'moordstrookje' is a killing lane.

The choice of word is the result of a vote by Flemish people, between 28th November and 17th December 2018. 10,000 people took part. They could select one of 18 options; 21.2% of respondents plumped for 'moordstrookje'.

The word is controversial. When it was used in the Flemish Parliament by Green member Bjorn Rzoska, he was heavily criticised. That's because the word 'moord' signifies a deliberate killing - in this case presumably by the road designer or inattentive driver.

In any case, the fact that the word came top of the poll shows how the Flemish feel about this road safety issue.

This is a report on the subject from RTL Nieuws:

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