10 Rude Sounding Dutch Words

These 10 words may induce giggling and guffawing for English speakers, but in fact, they have completely different (and very innocent) meanings in Dutch.

It’s not you, it’s us… 😉

1. Kok

Simply meaning ‘cook’ or ‘chef’. This is quite a popular surname in The Netherlands, much like the English surname ‘Cook’.

On a recent thread, Dubble Dutch commented: “And what do you think about the name of our former minister-president Wim Kok. I think he had to explain his last name every time he introduced himself abroad.”

2. Dik 

Dik means ‘fat’ (or thick/heavy/dense etc). Some people are even (un)lucky enough to be called Dik Kok! (Or the spelling variation Dick Kok.) *Childish snigger*…

3. Fok / Fokken

Sooooo many Dutch people have told me this story – in various permutations – it’s almost a Dutch urban legend! If you live in Holland and haven’t heard it yet, where have you been hiding? It goes a little something like this…

John F. Kennedy met Joseph Luns, the former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs. Kennedy asked for his hobbies and he answered: “I fok horses”. Kennedy, struck with surprise responded: “Pardon?”, Luns replied: “Yes, paarden!”.

Fokken means ‘to breed’, and paarden means ‘horses’ in Dutch.

Horses

4. Shag

If a Dutch person offers you a shag, don’t get your hopes up… they’re just offering you a rollie! (English slang for a cigarette you roll yourself.) Shag means ‘tobacco’. 🙂

5. Kunt / Kant

Sounds like something very familiar (and VERY rude) in English … right?

Je kunt  (You can)

Kunt u?  (Can you? formal)

Ledikant (meaning ‘crib’)

and my personal favourite Kies mijn kant!! (Choose my side).

6. Slagroom

A room full of slags? Wonderful! Except that it simply means ‘whipped cream’ in Dutch.

7. Hoegaarden

Amusing in a slightly different way. The Dutch have a very Dutch way of saying hoegaarden – if an English person tries to pronounce it, they’ll most likely say ‘ho-garden’. (Ho being slang for prostitute…)

A garden full of hoes and a room full of slags!? What more could you want!

8. Willy

My schoonmoeder’s name appeals to the juvenile side of my sense of humour. Willy is often used as a short name for Wilhelmina in the Netherlands.

9. Prik

Prikbord rather innocently means ‘pin board’ in Dutch. And if you ask for a drink zonder prik you mean ‘without bubbles’.

10. Hoor

Yes, I’ve mentioned this before on the blog… but this list wouldn’t be complete without it!!

If you spend any amount of time in Holland, you can expect people to call you a whore (to your face): “Ja, hoor!” “Nee, hoor!” “Momentje, hoor!”

But it’s not rude at all… it literally means ‘hear’ but when paired with Ja (yes) it means something like “Yeah, sure!” to emphasize agreement.

With Nee (no) it can mean a number of things depending on the context… some examples are: “No way” “No, that’s not right” or “No, thanks”.

It can be also used to make things sound more friendly, so “Momentje, hoor!” is expressing politeness like “Wait a moment, please.”

Which other rude sounding Dutch words make you giggle like a school child?

Hayley x

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27 comments

  1. Love this post! Before I started learning Dutch over hearing conversations with some of these words left me with a permanent shocked meets confused expression!
    I’ve had to explain to a few Dutchies that in English we don’t swear as openly either, trying to explain the “watershed” for tv and music was quiet difficult! It’s not all that acceptable to be saying “shit” to your granny in England!!

    Maria xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My son who grows up in England was shocked to hear his Dutch Oma said shit. He also showed me with disbelief his Dutch children book in which this word was written.
      Oh well, all of us do the action daily so how can it be rude ?

      Like

      1. I was kind of dumbstruck then it became ‘natural’ if you can say swearing is a natural part of language. Radio was what shocked me the most, we bleep EVERYTHING out here.
        There was a girl in one of my lectures back when I was at uni that was giving feedback to the lecturer and said ‘shit’ everyone was silent. She didnt know, for some european countries ‘shit’ said in a conversational way isn t offensive if its not directed and said in a malicious way. I don’t know why we make such a big deal out of it.
        But then I’m a bit of a hypocrite with the fact that I don’t like children to swear lol. Swearing is swearing and you don’t have to use such superlatives! 🙂

        Like

  2. Some way or another you might have had too much of that delicious white beer, and lost an a while drinking it! Hoegaarden is the official spelling and the Hoe comes from an order founded there by the name of Huardis…..;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s also a few Dutch names that cause confusion when we travel abroad.

    Joke (pronounced Jo-kuh), Floor or Floortje (Dutch variation on Flora/Florence) and my personal favourite Kokkie or Cocky (short for Cornelia).

    Love your blog btw!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I just can’t resist commenting on your epistle about us Dutchies…
    There’s nothing like having a good Dutch shag while my little Dik (7yrs old) is Fokking horses. My wife’s ledikant is too small to have slagroom in, because my partner’s prik lemonade wet half the bed. And I purposely pushed my kok through the door opening because he made some smelly hot dog, hoor! What a day…. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m so glad i found your blog! Het is echt zo grappig om te lezen hoe dingen die voor mij/ons vanzelfsprekend lijken, in Engeland zo’n andere betekenis hebben. De humor in je blog is echt geweldig! Love it. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Many years ago I was posted to Amsterdam to help install a large expensive piece of machinery. On attending the first meeting with the client team, I was introduced to a female senior executive. After exchanging names and shaking hands, she asked me (doing her best to speak English) whether I had a “vakdiploma” – but pronounced the English way with an initial “F” sound…

    Man! These Dutch are very forward and to the point I thought…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I once saw a entertainer juggling with torches. His mothertongue was english, but he tried to use as many dutch words during his show as he could, so the public would understand him. When he explaind that he wanted to juggle the torches he kept using the dutch word `fakkel`. I think the only way for him to remember how to pronounce the word was to say `fuck all`.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m an English person who learned Dutch as a teenager and in my twenties. I obviously have a separate Dutch brain and English brain as it took me a few moments to see what was funny about that advert!

      Like

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