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Typically Dutch idioms/expressions

Hello everyone!

I thought it would be fun to share some of my favourite Dutch idioms involving stereotypically 'Dutch' things:

-'Nu breekt mijn klomp!' (Now my clog breaks!) = Said when you are surprised by something. Nowadays it is not used a lot anymore, only jokingly.

-'Dat kan je op je klompen aanvoelen' (You can feel/sense that on your clogs) = Something is easy to sense, you can feel it very strongly ('Iets op je klompen aanvoelen' = to feel something in your bones)

-'Hij heeft een klap van de molen gehad' (He has had a hit from the windmill) = What you say about someone who is acting crazy/ weird.

-'Zoden aan de dijk zetten' (setting sods(?) to the dike) =Getting things done, contributing something useful. This originates from the middle ages when people needed to add 'zoden' (bits of grass/ground) to the dikes to reinforce them when they were about to break. So if the dike was about to break through, and you were not setting 'zoden aan de dijk', you were not being helpful.

-'Het water over de dijk laten lopen' (Letting the water run over the dike) = Crying.

-'Een scheve schaats rijden' (riding a crooked/skewed iceskate) = Doing something you shouldn't be doing/ is not allowed, making a mistake.

-'Wat heb ik nou aan mijn fiets hangen?' (What do I have hanging on my bike now?) = What kind of weird thing is happening now?

-'Oh, op die fiets' (Oh, on that bicycle) = Oh, in that way, now I get it.

-'Oude koeien uit de sloot halen' (taking old cows out of the ditch) = Bringing up half-forgotten, old stories again. Usually annoying or unpleasant stories that people don't feel like being reminded of, such as that one time they forgot to pick up the kids or that one time they lost your valuable ring.

'Ergens geen kaas van hebben gegeten' (Not having eaten cheese of something) = Not knowing anything about something, to not understand something.

Alright, that's about it for today! If you have any questions or you can think of any idioms which you think are 'typically Dutch', I'd love to hear them! :)

3 years ago