New book demystifies Dutch abbreviations

21st September 2009, Comments 0 comments

A Dictionary of Dutchness promises to unravel the mysteries of 400 abbreviations, acronyms and weird words that baffle not only foreigners but many Dutch people too.

Amsterdam – A Dictionary of Dutchness contains explanations for 400 abbreviations, acronyms and weird words used in everyday Dutch, from ATV to ZZP.  A new edition of the Dictionary is scheduled for publication in October.

“The Dutch are very keen that everyone who lives in the Netherlands learns the language. But it does not matter how good your Dutch is or even if you are a native. Everyone is baffled by references to the Wajong, VAR, EPD, Bibob, a DigiD, the NTCB… the list is endless,” say Abi Daruvalla and Robin Pascoe, authors of the new edition.

A Dictionary of Dutchness coverAs well as being updated and expanded, the book has had a face-lift, including a cartoon by Joep Bertrams (Nova, Het Parool) on its cover.

Dutch can sound like a secret language at times and newcomers are bound to be puzzled when they hear ‘the Hollandse Nieuwe are rather small this year’ or that another sigarenboer has gone bankrupt—does the Netherlands have cigar farms?!

And how many Dutch people—let alone expats—know what RAI, Horeca or ADO (Den Haag) stand for? “We think A Dictionary of Dutchness will be appreciated by newcomers, long-term residents and Dutch people who are interested in the story behind the jargon and abbreviations,” says Pascoe.

A Dictionary of Dutchness, published by, will be available in bookshops from mid-October and online.  Copies ordered and paid for (EUR12.50) before 15 October will be delivered free of charge.

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