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Norwegian council refuses to strike gummy candy name from dictionaries

OSLO, Norway, March 11 (UPI) -- The Norwegian Language Council rejected a candymaker's motion to have a word meaning "chewy man" removed from dictionaries.

Orkla, owner of candy company Nidar, had sought to have the word "seigmann," Norwegian for "chewy man," removed from official dictionaries because it was trademarked in 2003 as the name of a gummy candy released by the company, TheLocal.no reported Tuesday.

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The company said the word had been used for the candy since 1965 when the moniker was adopted by Nidar predecessor Kiellands dropsfabrikk.

However, the Norwegian Language Council said the word has been appearing in print as a general reference to gummy candies since the 1930s.

"If dictionaries are to be reliable, they must describe the language as it is used. Common words cannot be removed from the dictionary without good reason or be given another meaning," the council said in its ruling.

"When it comes to words like Sukett [an artificial sweetener] and Termos [Thermos], dictionaries state that the words come from trademarks. That is not the case for seigmann, since the word was in general use first," the council said.

The ruling said council officials found it "unfortunate" that Orkla had been allowed to trademark the term and council members suggested they plan to contact the issuing authority about revisiting the decision.

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