The expression, which in recent months rose to prominence across the globe, has edged out other popular neologisms such as "fidget spinner" or "lillavelger" (literarily: "purple voter," one oscillating between liberal and conservative parties, traditionally designated as red and blue in Norway).
"The word is not exactly new, but its use has exploded over the past year," language researcher Ole Våge, a senior advisor to the council, told national broadcaster NRK. "'Fake news' was the most used new word amongst this year's candidates [in the Norwegian general election]. The phrase reflects the fight for truthful news in public debate in a completely new way, both in Norway and elsewhere in the world," Våge explained.
However, the delight was far from unanimous, as the editorial board of the independent fact-checking portal Faktisk.no claimed the phrase was misused by the US President.
"Indeed, the expression has become well-known over a short period of time, but at the same time it has been twisted and destroyed by the American President. Donald Trump uses it to describe real news he does not like," Faktisk.no head Kristoffer Egeberg said.
Every year, the recipient of the award is chosen by the Language Council of Norway in collaboration with Norwegian School of Economics professor Gisle Andersen. The word can either be completely new, or a simply a recently coined or revised word that has characterized the year. Data from major national and regional newspapers is used in the process of selecting the word.
This year, other notable runners-up to "fake news" were "svenske tillstander" ("Swedish conditions," a tongue-in-cheek reference to Sweden's integration struggles, mostly used by anti-immigrant politicians), "plasthval" ("plastic whale", used in reference to the whale found dead with its belly full of plastic debris) and "imamsleiking" (literarily: "imam-licking," a phrase coined by Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug implying that some of her colleagues flirt with Muslims voters).
Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia — so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met. FAKE NEWS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 12 декабря 2017 г.
CNN’S slogan is CNN, THE MOST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS. Everyone knows this is not true, that this could, in fact, be a fraud on the American Public. There are many outlets that are far more trusted than Fake News CNN. Their slogan should be CNN, THE LEAST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 9 декабря 2017 г.
Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 6 февраля 2017 г.