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German teens pick misspelling of 'I am' as coolest word of the year

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German teens pick misspelling of 'I am' as coolest word of the year
Photo: DPA.
16:13 CET+01:00
Youngsters across the country have had their say and the jury has made their final decision; ‘I bims’ is Germany’s 2017 Youth Word.

The expression means ‘Ich bin’ (I am) in the German language, dictionary publisher Langenscheidt announced on Friday.

The popular slang phrase derives from the language which Internet users on social networks use that involve the shortening of words and sentences and deliberately misspelled words, the publisher added.

"It's very widespread and everyone says it," said 15-year-old blogger Livia Kerp.

The term came out on top despite the fact it only ranked in tenth place in the first round of votes.

In an online poll which ended on Wednesday, it was down to the public to pick from a list of 30 contenders all vying for the title of best word amongst youth in Germany.

Then on Friday morning, a jury of 20 people met to decide on the final winner according to criteria such as linguistic creativity, originality and societal and cultural relevance.

After hours of deliberation, ‘I bims’ took gold in first place, beating out other expressions in the top ten such as a ‘selfiecide,’ ‘tinderjährig’ and 'napflixen' (a nap during a movie).

'Geht fit' - the term that came in first place in the poll - was too regional for jury member David Berger, who said it was not spoken widely enough outside the Ruhr area of Germany. 

'I bims' is much more familiar, the 19-year-old member of the jury for the past three years added.

According to Langenscheidt, approximately one million votes had been cast in this year’s poll - more than ever before.

Each year since 2008 German teens have had the chance to select a word that they dub to be the cool new word of the year.

Last year’s jury of high school students, YouTube stars, linguists, journalists and teachers chose 'fly sein,' meaning to be fly, as the hippest new word coined by youth across ‘Schland.

The 2015 Youth German Word was ‘Smombie,’ meaning a person who stares at their smartphone for hours on end like zombies

In 2014, ‘Läuft bei dir’ was coined the hippest term. Meant to be an expression of appreciation, the phrase loosely translates to ‘you’ve got it’ or simply, ‘cool.’

The year before that, a term that could be used in place of calling someone a leader or a boss - ‘babo’ - was crowned the winner.

And much to the annoyance of educators and organizations promoting the proper use of the German language, ‘YOLO’ (short for you only live once) was voted the most popular new expression among youngsters across the Bundesrepublik in 2012.

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