5 Funny Dutch words
THE VERY MOMENT you’re able to make a joke in your new language and make natives laugh, you can be very proud of yourself! Being funny in a new language is one of the most difficult things there is. And then we’re not talking about making people laugh by making terrible or funny language mistakes.
Below you can find some phrases that will work even when you are a beginner, which will break the ice and put/toveren a smile on a Dutchie’s face.
Grappig is een grappig woord / Funny is a funny word!
When you find yourself in a funny situation, just say ‘dat is grappig’ – that’s funny. Meeting a person who is funny, or flirting in a café, you can compliment the person by saying ‘ik vind je grappig’. Hard to pronounce? Just focus on the first part, ‘GRAPpig’.
Helaas pindakaas / Unfortunately peanut butter
Does not make any sense in English, but you can impress your Dutch friends by using this phrase in a situation that is a bit disappointing. Please note, a bit disappointing. So not in case someone has broken his leg or died, but in a situation where you, for example, just missed the bus.
Wat jammer / What a pity
You want to express your disappointment about a situation in an informal manner? Then you can say ‘wat jammer’. When it concerns a really serious matter, you could add ‘wat ontzettend jammer’, which equals to ‘what a pity’. Situations like failing your NT2 exam, finding out your holiday was cancelled, unable to join a party, etc.
Je hebt gelijk / You are right
Are you in a romantic relation with a Dutchie? You can’t make your loved one happier than by then telling them: ‘je hebt gelijk’ or ‘je hebt helemaal gelijk!’ every now and then. Meaning ‘you are right’, ‘you are completely right!’ (hiding your own thoughts in the meantime of course). Life, and a romantic relation especially, is all about diplomacy and humour.
Thinking ‘hey you jackass, ding-dong, dummy, windbag, cookie’ about a person and you want to express that in Dutch? Try ‘hé oelewapper’ next time. We here at Flowently won’t take any responsibility for what happens after, but we would like to warn you: don’t use this word in a formal setting! Need context? You can use this expression in an ironic way for a person who is not acting very handy or ‘een beetje dom’.
De mazzel! Good luck!