4th Dutch idioms of the week: Compound Adjectives
So, today a slightly different lesson: Compound Adjectives with the meaning very...
Bloedmooi -- het bloed [blood] + mooi -- Very pretty/beautiful
Spuuglelijk -- spugen [to spit] + lelijk -- Very ugly
Beresterk -- de beer [bear] + sterk -- Very strong
Straatarm -- de straat [street] + arm -- Very poor
Spiegelglad -- de spiegel [mirror] + glad -- Very slippery
Steenrijk -- de steen [stone] + rijk -- Very rich
Apetrots -- de aap [monkey] + trots -- Very proud
Stokstijf -- de stok [stick] + stijf -- Absolutely not moving
Muisstil -- de muis [mouse] + stil -- Very silent
Pikzwart -- het pik [pitch] + zwart -- Pitch-black/pitch-dark
Sneeuwwit -- de sneeuw [snow] + wit -- very white
Spuuglelijk = schreeuwlelijk -- schreeuwen = to scream
Steenrijk = schatrijk -- de schat = treasure
I hope you liked it :)
Why does "steenrijk" (or "steinreich" in German) mean "very rich"?
When building a house, rich people used to show off their wealth by using a large amount of small bricks rather than a small amount of large bricks. Using small bricks was more labour-intensive and thus more expensive. Also, combining small bricks and large bricks allowed for somewhat elaborate patterns.
If you go back as far as the Middle Ages, building a stone house in the first place as opposed to a timbered house was a sign of immense wealth.
Nice ones. I have two more:
Keihard -- de kei [the pebble/the boulder] + hard -- very hard (opposite of soft) / very fast
Hondsbrutaal -- de hond [the dog] + cheeky/bold -- very cheeky/bold
In the province of Noord-Brabant (usually called Brabant), they tend to use kei with all mentioned compound adjectives. In the rest of the country (and in Belgium as well I guess) they use the ones listed here and only use kei together with hard.
BTW I've never heard of the use schreeuwlelijk as a synonym of spuuglelijk only de schreeuwlelijk somebody with a big mouth/shouting a lot.