‘And now for something completely different’ in Dutch dictionary

Photo: HandigeHarry via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: HandigeHarry via Wikimedia Commons

Over 50 years after BBC comedy show Monty Python’s Flying Circus first introduced ‘And now for something completely different’, the catchphrase has been added – in English – to the Dutch dictionary Van Dale.

The phrase, spoken by John Cleese in impeccable BBC English, was a parody of the artificial way unrelated subjects used to be announced on television. In 1971 it became the title of a film consisting of completely unconnected sketches.

‘The quote has become synonymous with a very quick, almost absurdist change of subject,’ said Van Dale editor Ton den Boon in radio programme Volgspot.

Another Cleese phrase that resonated enough with the Dutch to warrant inclusion is ‘Don’t mention the war’,  Basil Fawlty’s famous failed attempt to keep the war out of the conversation when a group of Germans descends on the hotel in comedy show Fawlty Towers.

Introduced to the dictionary at the beginning of the year, it is a phrase ‘people use in a jokey manner in a situation in which it would be embarrassing to talk about a certain subject, Den Boon said at the time.

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