Funny words in Dutch: a laughable list (2023)

Add some fun to your language learning journey in the Netherlands with these fun Dutch words and phrases.

if you're just getting startedlearning Dutch, it can seem quite challenging. For example, not only is the letter "g" difficult to pronounce, but the vowels also present all kinds of problems. if you can pronounce itLeon(León),disorder(disorder), thedry(wizard), you are doing quite well. The same goes for mastering word order and determining when to use it.He,That,It is, jdie.

All of these challenges mean it's important to keep your motivation high and one of the best ways to learn a language is to have fun doing it. Read on to find some of the funniest words in the Dutch language, and when you're done check out some of the funniest.hilarious expressionsjuntranslatable words.

  • Very proud
  • Squirrel
  • center
  • peanut butter
  • Fries with peanut sauce, mayonnaise and raw onion
  • Barber
  • Monster
  • polar bears
  • Able to
  • Crema
  • Asperja
  • Rhino
  • grandma bike
  • tick


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Very proud

althoughis a funny Dutch word that has nothing to do with its English equivalent. No, 'trotting' is not the way a horse moves, but 'proud':I'm proud of youmeans "I'm proud of you."

Keep the word though.youup front, and you've got, "I'm so proud of you." It seems a little absurd, but that's okay; evidently,never had a literal meaningjyousimply reinforced the adjectivealthough. So if someone tells you that it isvery proud in youConsider it a compliment: they are super proud.



when you pronounce itsquirrelcorrect, it sounds very similar to the English word "acorn". But don't be fooled: this word is a false friend between Dutch and English.

Funny words in Dutch: a laughable list (2)

SquirrelIt actually means "squirrel," the small forest animal that eats acorns. Interestingly, the two words seem unrelated. 'Acorn' was originallykernin Old English and came outProto-Germanic *fieldsNorth(originally meant the fruit of any tree – link in Dutch), whilesquirrelprobably from Proto-Germanic *he was scratchingNortho *aikurnaNorth.



Imagine you just ate a delicious apple (appeal) and your Dutch friend tells you to throw it awaycenterin thewaste. This is a word whose meaning can only be deduced from context.centerIt translates as "house of the clock", but it means the core of an apple or a pear.

Where does this nice Dutch word for core come from? Inmedium Dutch,clochuusOrelojhuysIt meant "bell tower". An observer who ate apples probably noticed that the inside of an apple resembled this structure and borrowed the word. It was first found in theearly 16th centuryto refer to the core of an apple.

peanut butter

It's no secret: the Dutch love peanut butter. Whether it's a slice of white bread with a pinchrough(more on that later) or in a satay sauce, they just can't get enough of this nut cream.

Funny words in Dutch: a laughable list (3)

The advanced Dutch students among you will have noticed thispeanut buttermeans "peanut butter". So why don't they mention itrobots come in? When peanut butter first came onto the Dutch market,butterIt can only mean real butter, made from milk. Cheese, however, did not enjoy this protection and therefore did notpeanut butterborn.

If you really want to fit in, make sure you say sotoo many("unfortunately peanut butter") when something awkward happens.


Fries with peanut sauce, mayonnaise and raw onion

Another classic Dutch snack that contains peanut butter,Fries with peanut sauce, mayonnaise and raw onionIt is a portion of fries with mayonnaise, peanut sauce and freshly chopped onion. Don't judge it until you try it.

The name means "war fries", an uncommon term for a snack. Some people think it's from the time of the Indonesian National Revolution, but it's more likelyjust slang. The name of this snack started to lose popularity in the 1990s during the Yugoslav wars, so if you'd rather not say itFries with peanut sauce, mayonnaise and raw onion, you can askFries with peanuts, mayonnaise and onion.



In the Netherlands, there are many ways to eat fries, and another is the famous oneBarber. Plenty of fries with shoarma topping, cheese, salad, garlic sauce and, if your taste can handle a bit of heat, sambal (Indonesian chilli sauce).

Funny words in Dutch: a laughable list (4)

Although it looks like a classic Dutch dish, theBarberwas actuallyinvented in 2003. He owes his name (which also means 'hairdresser') to Nataniël Gomez, the owner of a salon in Rotterdam. I regularly ordered shawarma fries from a local takeaway restaurant. One day the owner asked if he wanted melted cheese on top and this Dutch fast food product was born. So if someone asks you if you want a "hairdresser" in Dutch, say yes.


The Dutch are not as afraid of monsters as the English speakers! That's because in Dutchmonstermeans more than just a scary creature: it also means "specimen".Monstermeaning 'monster' comes from Latinmonsterwhich has a similar meaning, while the word "sample" comes fromShow, 'Show.'

There is also a town in the south of the Netherlands called Monster, which is probably the casegot his namefrom Latin. can come frommonastery, which means "monastery".

polar bears

polar bearscan be literally translated as "to the polar bear". This phrase, first attested in1897, means to walk from one side to the other. Some people speculate that this is due to the behavior of these peoplebears in captivity(in Dutch) and that it is not a natural way for wild animals to walk.

Able to

Once you have aDutch bank accountand you received your shiny new oneDebit, you can pay by card. However, you may be surprised when you first see the card machine proudly announce:Now you can fix it. But don't worry, it's not an insult, it just means "now you can use your card".

Funny words in Dutch: a laughable list (5)

Many English speakers are surprised when they realize thatable tois an everyday word in the Dutch language. It simply means "can". Not only that, but it comes from the same root as the English translation, both of which are descendants of Proto-West Germanic *municipal. Meanwhile, the English c-word comes from Proto-Germanic.* only.


Another word that sounds a bit rude in English:cremameans whipped cream. It consists of two words:human waste(here/here) oneroom(cream). If you pronounce it correctly in Dutch, it sounds more serious, but no less delicious. Tip: so tastyDutch foodDelicious with a generous portion of apple pie.


Asperjais another nice Dutch word; Not only is it fun to say, but it also has two meanings. Literally it refers to a hailstorm, but figuratively it is much tastier. When you arrive in the Netherlands, you might be surprised to see people eating bread with butter and sprinkles on top for breakfast, lunch or snack.

Funny words in Dutch: a laughable list (6)

This Dutch delicacy was invented in1919, when the manager of a licorice factory decided to market beans with anise flavor as a sandwich spread. Many different types over the yearsroughhave evolved and perhaps the best known is chocolate. Slushie in a bun? Yes please.


One of the funniest things about the Dutch language is the literal way things are named. For example,Rhino, literally "rhinoceros". The most insightful people can guess its meaning: rhinoceros.

Many of the nice Dutch words in this article have an interesting literal translation, such aspolair bot(polair bot) =ice(ice cream) +bier(bear), but some other examples are:

  • Gloves(gloves) =thousand(thousand) +shoes(shoes)
  • Sandwich(bun) =butter(butter) +ham(ham)
  • vacuum cleaner(vacuum cleaner) =dust(powder) +piston(struggle)

grandma bike

grandma bike, literally "grandma's bicycle", is one of the most common items in the Netherlands. If you live in oneDutch city, you will almost certainly ride it. These bikes have a frame that makes it easy to get on the bike, even if you're wearing a skirt. They allow you to sit upright and comfortably navigate your route.

Funny words in Dutch: a laughable list (7)

Namegrandmother on a bicycleThis is probably because the bike was seen asDeprecated(in Dutch) in the 1950s. However, since then this classic bicycle has made a comeback and you can see (and ride) it all over the Netherlands.


tickIt's not just a funny Dutch word, it's a way of life. Or better,an appWhen you move to the Netherlands, you will probably need to download it. The Dutch are known for being thrifty, and one way they do this is by checking who owes what. This app allows you to send and receive requests for payment, so you don't have to worry about asking people to pay you back.

It was originally invented byABN Amro Bank, Buttickis a nice word that is really included in the Dutch dictionary. And not always in a positive sense: it is written about in publicationsculture(Tikkie Culture – in Dutch) andhitting terrorists(Tikkie terrorists, or people who send payment requests for small amounts of money). It has also become a verb, so don't be surprised if your friend asks "Have you already sent a label?'('Have you sent me a Tikkie yet?').


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