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Lost In Translation – Dutch Words We Could Use in English

amsterdam polaroid

Last week I bizarrely bumped into #TeamNL at Schiphol Airport, those brave orange jacketed souls heading to South Korea for the Winter Olympics. It filled me with Dutch pride, and as the events kick off in Pyeongchang here’s some Dutch words we should all hear more of.

Gunnen 
To wish something for someone because you think they deserve it. Probably my favourite Dutch word and it makes me sad that I can’t say it as often as I’d like. I ‘gun’ Team NL 50 gold medals.

IJsberen – literally ‘polar bearing’
It’s the Dutch word for walking back and forth in a room when one is nervous or in deep thought. Just like me when I’m trying to come up with a suitable pun for the next post.

Voorpret – literally ‘pre fun’ or ‘anticipatory pleasure’
This is the excitement and pleasure you get before an event or trip, or whatever floats your boat.

Uitzieken – literally ‘sickening it out’
The recovery process of getting rest to get the illness out of you. Preferably not creating a giant mess.

Gezellig
Often translated a cosy, but it’s so much more. It’s the feeling of satisfaction, happiness and comfort when with people close to you. It’s like getting a cuddle from a giant teddybear who serves you hot chocolate.

Kouwkleum
Someone who gets cold quickly and is always suffering from the cold. A modern day White Walker.

Uitwaaien – literally ‘wind blowing out’
When you go for a walk to let the wind blow away your problems. Not recommended in hurricane season.

Beleg – literally ‘spreads’
We Dutchies love our sandwich toppings so much we have a special word dedicated to them! Beleg covers everything you want to shove on your humble piece of bread – not limited to only spreads but also chocolate sprinkles and sliced meat – anything goes!

Natafelen – literally ‘after table-ing’
Once dinner is over, but you continue your conversations around the table until the late hours. Sadly this word might die out with all the hip restaurant pressuring you to leave to free up a table.

What’s your favourite untranslatable gem?

2 thoughts on “Lost In Translation – Dutch Words We Could Use in English

  1. Eva

    Zo’n goed lijstje, gezellig en gunnen is bij mij ook wel veel gemist. Pre fun, vind ik overigens wel een mooie, die ga ik er vaker ingooien bij gesprekken 🙂

    Reply

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