“Crisis mode” has been named “Word of the Year” 2023. This was announced by the Society for the German Language (GfdS). “Anti-Semitism” came in second, followed by “unable to read.” A jury selected a ranking of a total of ten words of the year that were dominant in public discussion in recent months and thus had a significant impact on the year.

“The list reflects reality, and the reality is pretty bleak at the moment,” said GfdS managing director Andrea Ewels. Society has been in “crisis mode” since 2020, she said, with a view to the corona pandemic, Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the energy crisis, the poor education and Hamas’ attack on Israel.

“The state of emergency has become a permanent state,” said Ewels. “This triggers fear, insecurity and powerlessness in people. These feelings dominate everyday life and you don’t know what will happen next.”

The “Words of the Year” were chosen by the jury this year from around 1,800 documents. The suggestions come from various media, and anyone can submit terms. “The decisive factor in selecting the “Words of the Year” is not the frequency of an expression, but rather its significance and popularity,” explained the Society for the German Language. The selected words and phrases are not associated with any evaluation or recommendation.

The jury, made up of linguists and media experts, is made up of the company’s board of directors and the scientific staff.

The “Word of the Year” was chosen by the GfdS for the first time in 1971 and regularly since 1977. In 2022, “Zeitenwende” landed in first place. The term is related to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and was taken up and coined by, among others, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD).