Top 20 funniest Dutch expressions – and how to use them

Top 20 funniest Dutch expressions – and how to use them

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Only in the Netherlands can you feel 'chickenskin' or 'chickendelicious', and is it a good thing to be someone who 'screws ants'?

1. Step out of bed with the wrong leg: Met het verkeerde been uit bed gestapt

The Dutch don’t wake up in a bad mood, they 'step out of bed on the wrong leg'.

2. Chickendelicious: Kiplekker

Dutch don’t only feel great, they feel ‘chickendelicious’.

3. A little cup of solace: Een bakje troost

The Dutch don’t order a cup of coffee, they order ‘a little cup of solace’.

4. Chickenskin: Kippenvel

Dutch people don’t get goosebumps when the are cold, they get ‘chickenskin’.

5. Ant screwer: Mierenneuker

If a Dutch person does not spend too much time on details, they’re ‘someone who screws ants’.

6. Glue someone behind the wallpaper: Lemand achter het behang kunnen plakken

The Dutch won’t tell someone to get lost, they’ll ‘glue somebody behind the wallpaper’.

7. Using the leg-van: Met de benenwagen

The Dutch don’t walk, they ‘use the leg-van’.

8. Pale fart: Bleekscheet

The Dutch are not pale skinned, they are a ‘pale fart’.

9. A whistle of a cent: Een fluitje van een cent

The Dutch don’t find things easy, rather it’s ‘a whistle of a cent!’

10. The small outside leg: Buitenbeentje

The Dutch don’t have a misfit in a group, they have ‘a small outside leg’.

11. Can’t knot any rope to it: Er geen touw aan vast kunnen knopen

The Dutch don’t have unclarity, they ‘can’t knot any rope to it’.

12. It sits like a moustache: Het zit wel snor

The Dutch won’t say 'it’s okay' but they will assure you 'it sits like a moustache'.

13. It's easier to look the cow in the ass: Achteraf kijk je een koe in z’n kont

The Dutch won't say you have 'hindsight' but they will say 'after it is easier to look the cow in the ass!'

14. The monkey is coming out of the sleeve: Nu komt de aap uit de mouw

When Dutch have clarity, 'the monkey is coming out of the sleeve'.

15. Nothing on the hand: Niets aan de hand

A Dutch person won’t comfort you by saying 'it’s going to be alright' but they will say know there's 'nothing on the hand'.

16. Who knows my ass in Keulen? Wie kent mijn kont in Keulen?

A Dutch person who doesn’t care what they look like in their hometown will say 'who knows my ass in Keulen?'.

17. When your butt burns, you have to sit on blisters: Wie zijn billen brandt, moet op de blaren zitten

The Dutch won’t tell you to own up to consequences, they’ll say 'when you burn your butt, you need to sit on the blisters'.

18. Like an angel peeing on your tongue: Alsof er een engeltje over je tong piest

The Dutch don’t need to compliment the chef when instead they can say 'it’s like an angel is peeing on my tongue'.

19. Eat a biscuit with someone: Een beschuitje met iemand eten

A Dutch person won’t invite you for a night of romance, they’ll invite you ‘to eat rusk’.

20. A show far from your bed: Een ver-van-mijn-bed-show

A Dutch person won’t find something uninteresting, they’ll find it a ‘far-from-my-bed-show’.


Daphne Blomsma / Reprinted with permission of Matador Network.

After travelling 10 years through Asia, Europe and South America, this happy Dutch traveller fell in love with and in Chile. When not writing about people, food and culture in other countries, Daphne loves to read about all of these things and try to master the local dishes.

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2 Comments To This Article

  • gkbeynen posted:

    on 8th July 2016, 07:18:21 - Reply

    My favorite is: "Dat is geen kattepis," litterally: "That ain't no cat pee," meaning that something is impressive. Probably rhyming slang for: "Dat is niet mis."
  • chris posted:

    on 7th July 2016, 01:33:53 - Reply

    When I lived in Amsterdam,
    we would say lekker BAKKIE koffie!