Thursday 18 August 2022

Words

The Dutch are always going on about their reputation for being bot (blunt), but it still comes as quite a shock to discover that Breezersletje – literally Breezer slut – is now an official word.


Yes, Breezersletje is included in the new edition of the Van Dale dictionary. It’s in fine company: kutmarokkanen (literally c*** Moroccans), a very popular way of referring to yobbish youths, entered its hallowed pages a couple of years ago.
Indeed, Dutch is a remarkable language when it comes to creating new words. Aso – which is short for ‘asociaal’ or ‘antisocial’ – is a lovely and very useful prefix which can be added to all sorts of things.
The Van Dale acknowledges two this year: asobak – a charming name for SUVs – those massive 4x4s which are too wide to drive through Amsterdam’s narrow streets and push all and sundry off the road. And of course there is aso-tv – television programmes made about antisocial families or teenagers. Definitely lowest common denominator stuff.
Of course, if they can’t invent their own words, the Dutch are equally happy to borrow them. And, as British writer Simon Kuper pointed out in yesterday’s Volkskrant supplement on ‘norms and values’, the politest words used by the straight-talking Dutch are sorry and pardon – both of which were imported from abroad.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.