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Word of the Day: flikker (gay)

The Swedish word ‘flicka’ evokes memories of a visit to Sweden some hundred years or so ago, when I was still far from ‘gamla’ or GAMMEL (yesterday’s word). At a midsummer crayfish party somewhere in pre-Wallander country, I had a crush on a beautifully blonde blue-eyed Swedish ‘flicka’. Having sucked the meat out of delicious boiled crayfish and having swallowed too many drops of the lethal water of life, I soon lost sight of her. Akvavit is killing… or was it Gammel Dansk?. After I returned to our marshy land, I lost the urge to learn the vakra flicka’s wonderful language. Which I now regret.

Word of the Day: gammel (rickety)

Yesterday I discussed Scandinavian television series and the many Dutch sounding words that I hear. WAKKER (awake) and Swedish ‘wacker’ (pretty) unloosed an interesting discussion about the possible evolution of the words.Today the ancient Dutch word GAMMEL.

Word of the Day: koffiehuis

Yulia, who is a student in Petra’s intermediate group, wondered what the Dutch name is for a place that sells excellent coffee like Starbucks, Coffee Company, La Mano Maestra or Lola’s. Café, coffeeshop, koffietent….? What do you think?

Word of the Day: vrijmarkt

Today everyone in the Netherlands can be Queen and King for one full day. We are all free to do and act as we like. We can sing on street corners, expose our artistic selves in public and sell what we like in the street. Especially kids love this national holiday. And all because of the VRIJMARKT.

Word of the Day: drempel (threshold, ramp)

Taxidrivers hate the many DREMPELS (speed bumps) in the streets of The Hague and surroundings. Avril told me that last November a Hague taxidriver refused to go into a street near her home in Rijswijk. He insisted that he should take a roundabout route, ‘because’, so he said, ‘these ******* “drempels” ruin the suspension of my car.’ So Avril said ‘Stop here!’, got out of the car (being the stubborn person that she is) paid for the ride and walked home.

Word of the Day: onzin (nonsense)

Jet suggested the word RAASKALLEN (rave, talk gibberish or nonsense). A lovely word that dates back to the early seventeenth century and is still in general use. Lots of people love to RAASKAL… So do I when I am on my FIETS or RIJWIEL (bicycle, see previous postings). Especially when I’m slightly depressed, it helps to RAASKAL to myself somewhat. Sometimes there is a look of surprise, when another cyclist realizes I am not speaking into my cell phone but to myself. When words are up in the air, they fly around, sometimes they start to hum and sing, and make you happy.

Word of the Day: wielrijden (cycle)

Thank you Niromi for your question about WIELRIJDEN. It means ‘to cycle’, so the same as FIETSEN, but it is slightly old-fashioned, just as the word RIJWIEL. There is also the word WIELRENNEN, which means ‘cycle racing’.

Word of the Day: rijwiel (bicycle)

Do you know the expression: ‘zo heb je een fiets, zo heb je niets’? One moment you own a bike and the next moment you have nothing. Unfortunately all too true in this country where 4-5% of all bikes are being stolen each year. So don’t forget to lock your FIETS to a lamppost. Or is it a RIJWIEL that you own?