Posted by: Tobias | November 20, 2008

Today’s Dutch Word of the Day

… is Afwerkplekken and describes an institution that I can only imagine in the Netherlands

Update: I also have a new favorite example for my theory that Dutch is the kind of language that two-year olds would invent. I don’t mean this in any negative way (I have a great deal more respect for many two-year olds than for some grown-ups). Rather I think that compared to German, a lot of the words in the Dutch language are much more direct and honest and the imagery far more descriptive.

My favorite example used to be the scooter, which in German is “Motorroller”, i.e. something that rolls and has a motor. Definitely better and more descriptive than the English word, but it’s got nothing on the Dutch “Bromfiets” which literally means a bike (“fiets”) which makes lound humming noises (“brommen”). Brilliant because it captures the two most striking features of the object.

My new example will be “Tippelprostitutie, the Dutch word for street prostitution. “tippelen” means sneaking around on ones toes, so you can practically picture prostitutes quietly tippeling along the side of the street looking for a john.


  1. Just lovely, when it is your own language you don’t notice always those strange words! The ones you choose are very very good.

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