Dutch greetings


One of our students, who just started learning Dutch, explained how surprised she was by the Dutch way of greeting. In her opinion – she is Italian – Dutch language sounds a bit monotonous; sounds and melody all move within a certain limited range of expression, volume and toonhoogte. Until the moment they say goodbye. That’s when singing, shouting, yelling and extreme expressions start. Looking at it from her point of view, it’s funny but she’s right!


How to find your way as an international in this jungle of ‘doeg’ and ‘doedoei’? What can you say in what situation? If you want to play it safe, you can say ‘dag’ at any time of day or night; when you arrive, or when you leave. It’s always correct, and polite as well. Want to be a bit more adventurous? Then try ‘daag’, with a long aaa, works also fine in all situations.


Want to speak Dutch an be very informal? Do you have Dutch relatives? Join the club and try some ‘doeg’ or ‘doedoei’ next time you say goodbye. Please note, this is to be used only when you leave, it’s actually a kind of ‘byebye’.


These are used for specific parts of the day when you want to greet people you encounter in public but don’t know personally such as the tram driver, your neighbour, someone in the elevator, your colleagues at work, etc. These greeting can also be pronounced as ‘goeiemorgen’, goeiemiddag, and ‘goeieavond’. Be aware, the morning ends at 12pm, the afternoon is from 12 till 6pm, the evening from 6 till 12am, and the night lasts from 12 till 6am.


There is a simple trick: always focus on the vowels, so not on the ‘g’s’ as in ‘GoedemorGen’, but try pronouncing it as ‘gOEdemOrgen’. This is how ‘daG’ or ‘daaG’, will change into ‘dAg’ and ‘dAAg’. Pronunciation just got much easier! Just like ‘GraaG Gedaan’ (you’re welcome) changes into ‘grAAg gedAAn’. Give it a try!


Do you want to be informal, light, modern, then try these ways of greetings with your close Dutch friends or family in a bar, at a party, or any other time. You’ve reached the top of Dutch integration when you meet someone with the words ‘hi, hoeissie?’ which is ‘hi, hoe is sie’, meaning ‘hoe is het’, ‘hoe gaat het’, how is it, how is it going?


For those who want to integrate into their Dutch region very seriously, please consult the list below:

  • Adieë wa – Kerkraads dialect, Zuid-Limburgs goodbye
  • Ajiu, ajuus – informal àdieu
  • Doeg – Zaanstreek
  • Goedendag, Goeiendag of Gedag – from God geve u een goede dag! ‘Goede dag’ meant ‘luck’, may God give you luck.
  • Haije – goodbye in Noord-Limburg
  • Houje – Nijmegen, between Brabants and Limburg
  • Harre,  Agoeie – in parts of Friesland
  • Houdoe – Noord-Brabant, south of Gelderland
  • Moaj – West-Friesland (Nedersaksisch)
  • MôhMôguh – West-Nederland, Westland
  • Moi – North and East Nederland and goedgaon for goodbye
  • Morrie – goedendag, goedemorgen, hallo – West-Friesland
  • No heui – West-Friesland
  • Salut – (oost) Zeeuw-Vlaams (from France)
  • Tjeu, Tjo, Jo, Mazzel – goodbye
  • Tot ziens – Doeg, Doei, Later, Aju – goodbye
  • Vaarwel – formal goodbye, at the navy
  • Welkom – welcome
  • Welterusten – Slaap lekker – sleep well
  • Zjeur – Aalsters, informal, from Bonjour


Do you want to learn more about Dutch language in your region?
Book a session with one of our local tutors, available in over 100 cities in The Netherlands.
Dag en tot de volgende keer!

Published by: Flowently

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