MOL Bubi bicylce Budapest Hungary
Photo: Daily News Hungary ©

Every year, the Word of the Year is announced during the Night of the Museums in the Museum of the Hungarian Language. This year, it is “Bubi”, the name of the Budapest city bike system, reports. They also picked an “anti-word”, a “youth word” and a “poetic word”. Read on to find out what characterised 2017 according to the linguists.

The word of the year is “Bubi”, the name of the shared-bike system of Budapest, which is an acronym from “Budapest” + “bicikli” (bicycle). The decision was made by the linguists at Manyszi (Hungarian Language Services Office) and professional colleagues, said linguist Károly Minya on Saturday night at Széphalom.

As Minya, an instructor at the University of Nyíregyháza and vocabulary researcher explained:

“Bubi is an environmentally friendly, community-building city bike system. The name has become widespread and popular since the launching of the service, it is easy to remember and has earned currency in the Hungarian language.”


The “anti-word” of the year is plázaterepjáró, “mall jeep”, which denotes the flashy cars with an increased ride height that are often found in the parking lots of shopping centres. According to the committee, such vehicles represent the superficiality of the consumer society and evoke a rather disagreeable way of life.

The “youth word” of the year is egoszörf, “ego surf”. As Minya explained, this word denotes “the practice of looking up your own name in a search engine to see what is written about you. This can be seen as a narcissistic thing, but it is also a practical one, as you can get up-to-date information about yourself”.

The boarded ceiling of a Hungarian Unitarian church in Oklánd, present-day Romania. photo: Márkó Laci / Wikimedia Commons

Finally, the “poetic word” of the year is hímes templom, “delicately decorated church”. “Hímes” refers to delicate folklore decorations and is most usually used in the collocation “hímes tojás”, traditional Hungarian Easter egg painting. When used in connection with churches, it describes a colourfully painted church with a boarded ceiling. It is an item of vocabulary recently rediscovered by an ethnographer.

Featured image: Daily News Hungary


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.