A few days ago I posted some funny Dutch Proverbs and I loved writing it. So I decided to make a list with famous Dutch sayings for you.
These are words and sayings we use a lot. I will explain what it means in English, when we use it and what we mean with it.
Literal translations will be in bold, and the real translation will be in italic. I will also include the English saying if there is one.
april, kikker in je bil!
First of April, Frog in your bottom!
We use this one only on the first of April. If you succeed in a joke with someone, you say this to tell them it was a joke.
Unfortunately Peanut Butter!
Too bad! We use it a lot. When you are just to late for the last cookie, Helaas Pindakaas! or when you did not get something you want.
fluitje van een cent
A whistle of a penny
A piece of cake
When you need to do something and you think it is easy and it won’t take any effort. A lot of people say this and then still struggle with the thing they need to do.
Antfucker / someone who makes love to ants.
Basically, a nitpicker.
Just a nickname to someone who makes a big deal of the smallest things. We do not use it a lot, because it can sound a bit mean. I only use it with good friends.
Love makes blind.
When someone is in love, they do not see everything. They won’t see the bad things the other do or forget to do other things.
All they can look at and think of is the one they love.
Home sweet home
It doesn’t matter where you are, home is always there and the best. Home can be a person, place or sometimes just a thing.
For me, a home is
Uit het ook, uit het hart
Out of the eye, out of the heart
Out of sight, out of mind
We say this a lot to people with broken hearts or problems. If you do not think of it, it will be better.
If you are not facing the problem now, don’t think of it and don’t worry.
Out together, home together
If you leave with a group, you will return with a group. Sometimes parents say this as a warning not to leave anyone behind or along.
Sometimes there is one person in a group that wants to do something else and proposes that he goes alone. Most of the times, the group says Samen uit, Samen
lult uit je nek
You are dicking out of your neck
Talking bullshit. Acting like you know what you are saying, but it does not make any sense.
This one is used a lot, especially with teenagers.
Alsof er een engeltje op je tong piest
As though an angel is pissing on your tongue
It sounds crazy, bit this actually is really positive. You use this after eating a delicious meal or drinking a tasty beverage.
So if you cook for someone and they say this, thank them. It is something good even though it sounds pretty disgusting.
deur in huis vallen
To fall with the door into the house
To go straight to the point. You will ask what you want to know or say want you want to say.
Sometimes it can be very mean to ask directly want you want to know. But they are Dutch, so they will.
zijn neus in de boter vallen
To fall with your nose in the butter
When someone falls with their nose in the butter, they are really lucky. It means that they were at the right place at the right time.
mond vol tanden staan
To sit with your mouth full of teeth
Sounds pretty normal right? A mouth with teeth? But it actually means that you a speechless. You just heard something and you do not know how to react.
Iets onder de knie hebben
to have something under the knee
To master something or possess great knowledge about something.
Like when you are studying and you finally get it.
zullen dat varkentje wel even wassen
We will get that piglet washed.
You say this if you will do something. You will get the job done, fix it or just take care of something.
It can be something small or something big. As long as you do it, after you said this.
frisse neus halen
To get a fresh nose
To take a walk or just go outside and get some fresh air. Most of the time you say it when you are going out for a walk or someone says it to you when you should.
My mom loves saying this when I am not feeling well. Like: Take a walk and you will feel better.
breekt mijn klomp!
Now my wooden shoe is breaking!
Well, Holland is known for the wooden shoes, so of course there has to be a saying for it.
We say this when we are totally amazed by something. Mostly when you do not expect something, but it does happen to you.
That feeling when you did not study for an important test, expect a F and got a B? Well, that feeling.
So these are a few of the Dutch sayings we use. I use most of them or at least hear them a lot.
I told you that the translations can be hilarious and I am laughing while I am writing this.
The sayings are used more than the Dutch proverbs, but you will hear them both. So practice them and use them when you are sitting on a terrace in Amsterdam, eating a Kroket and enjoy the angel peeing on your tongue.
Please share if you like it!
Which saying do you like the most?