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Cronkiter (Dutch) / Kronkiter (Swedish) ?

12 replies    
A famous American news broadcaster just died - Walter Cronkite.

Multiple obituaries have written things like "Cronkite was the broadcaster to whom the title "anchorman" was first applied, and he came so identified in that role that eventually his own name became the term for the job in other languages. (Swedish anchors are known as Kronkiters; In Holland, they are Cronkiters.)" (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_obit_walter_cro...)

Is anyone sufficiently familiar with Dutch or Swedish to know whether this report is accurate? Do the Dutch and Swedish really use these terms to mean news broadcaster?


Authoreric (new york) (63613) 18 Jul 09, 04:38
I have lived in Sweden for over twenty-five years and never heard the term "Kronkit" used to describe anything, let alone a news anchorman.
#1AuthorHat Trick18 Jul 09, 04:50

[...] In his book A Reporter's Life, Cronkite states that news anchors in Sweden were once known as "cronkiters", a term obviously derived from his name. This claim can be found in several other books about the history of television journalism, but without any indication exactly when the term was used in Sweden or whether it still survives.

Answer: I have never heard anybody use this expression, but on the other hand, it may just have fallen out of use. What we need is a senior member here, who remembers his glory days in the 60's, who can tell us if indeed there was such an expression. If there was, it was probably just a very temporary word, which did not live long. On the other hand, it does sound like the kind of juicy stuff that somebody would add to their biography, because they figure nobody will check it out...does anybody know?


OT: Erinnert mich an Dylan's Black Diamond Bay; Darin kommt der Cronkite ja auch vor.

I was siting home alone one night
In LA watching old Cronkite
On the seven o'clock news
It seems there was an earthquake that
Left nothing but a Panama hat
And a pair of old Greek shoes ...
#2AuthorAngelina18 Jul 09, 08:41
I have never heard of a 'cronkiter' in Dutch. I can't find it in my von Dale dictionary. I also checked the most extensive Dutch dictionary "Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal" at http://gtb.inl.nl/?owner=WNT and came up empty-handed. I also tried similar spelling variants like 'cronkijter', 'kronkiter', and 'kronkijter', but got zero hits.
#3AuthorNorbert Juffa (unplugged)18 Jul 09, 11:37
I am from Iceland, not Sweden. But a word like Kronkiter should sound familiar, if it'd be a word. I also tried several swedish and other scandinavian search sites, as well as dictionaries. Nothing. I'd say no.

Kron is swedish for crown, Kista (the word I know closest to kiter, if you pronounce it swedish) means, well, coffin.
#4AuthorFenjaIS18 Jul 09, 13:33
Thanks to all.
#5Authoreric (new york) (63613) 18 Jul 09, 17:04
The Swedish word for news broadcaster is nyhetsankare.

My mother, a child of the 60's, hasn't heard of kronkiter (or Walter Cronkite). The word doesn't appear in my dictionary nor is it mentioned in the brief entry on Cronkite in my "Bra Böckers" encyclopedia.
#6AuthorNicky19 Jul 09, 13:42
"Cronkiter" is a term used in the news trade. Slang, if you will.
#7AuthorMandoist19 Jul 09, 22:46
In that case, it would appear to be somewhat obscure slang, because I can't find solid references for it. Even UrbanDictionary has nothing. The only item I found was:

Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Slang:
cronkite  n. [1990s] news, information. [the newsreader Walter Cronkite (b. 1916)]
#8AuthorNorbert Juffa (unplugged)19 Jul 09, 23:09
Zum Ursprung dieser Legende siehe auch:

#9Authorkkhds04 Aug 09, 21:18
Fascinating. Yet another example of the media feeding on itself, and amplifying in the process. Thanks for posting the link.
#10AuthorNorbert Juffa (unplugged)04 Aug 09, 21:34
Cool, thank you from me too. (-:

Precisely after this discussion in the forum, I had been really skeptical and hoping some fact-checker would pick up on it, but I never heard retractions on any of the main news shows (including, by the way, NPR).
#11Authorhm -- us (236141) 04 Aug 09, 22:22
We are talking about something that may have happned nearly 50 years ago. At that time there was no internet and the world was quite different with imperfections in communications being the rule, not the exception. To debunk this "word" at this stage is decades too late and can only be based on anecdotal evidence. The only thing that can be said is it appears it was not in general use. However, limited use is impossible to prove - or even if it came out of one utterence at one time in one unexpected corner of a country that one person now long gone thought was humorous. It could even be satirical in a visit by Cronkite that when he went to one news studio there they could have joked about the term, and thus the humorous claim would be based in fact, and only the scope open to "debunking". I say let bygones be bygones. At some threshhold point things disappear into history, and we are far too late for a scientific debunking, and if one person is found to know about this I am not sure how that would change anything except typical "look at me, I'm famous for looking into totally meaningless things and forcing my suspicion over them."
#12AuthorCronker Squad05 Aug 09, 23:41
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