10:10 Famous Dutch Proverbs and Expressions

Here is your second instalment of my 10:10 at 10am! See what I did there? I love little quotes and funny sayings. I equally love how much forigen speaking people use them as apposed to us English. Never have I ever come in from a storm and said ‘Its raining cats and dogs out there’ we just don’t do it. It doesn’t stop them form being funny and of course as in English every language has them that don’t quiet translate properly but the sentiment is still there. The first one I head and feel in love with was “Nou breekt mijn klomp!” translanting to ‘That breaks my wooden shoe!’ on in English ‘Well I’ll be damned’. liske95 commented on one of my posts a while back with a list of Dutch proverbs and it kept me occupied for ages and really got my thinking so I thought I’d share 10 of my favourites with you. Here they are:

Famous Dutch proverbs and expressions…
1. Voor niets gaat de zon op

>The sun rises for free<

In English we would say something like ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’ meaning somebody always wants something, nothing comes for free.

2Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 16.57.38. Het regent pijpenstelen

>It’s raining pipe-stems<

The Dutch equivalent to it’s pouring with rain or ‘raining cats and dogs’ you cant really say ‘Het regent katten en hondjes’ althought, personally, I don’t think that sounds all that bad!

3. Hoge bomen vangen veel wind

>High trees catch a lot of wind<

I’ve never heard this one in English but I have been reliably informed that it simply means – Important people attract a lot of attention.

4. Wie boter op zijn hoofd heeft, moet uit de zon blijven

>He who has butter on his head, should stay out of the sun<

This one I thought was hilarious. Who has butter on their head? Its true tho, if you get in the sun you’d be in a right mess!

5. Door de bomen het bos niet meer zienDSCN1633

>Unable to see the wood for the trees<

It’s the ‘Can’t see the wood for the trees’ comment. I admit I have used this. I find it most easy to use in real life situations.

6. Wat baten een kaars en bril als de uil niet ziet en wil

>What’s the use of candle and glasses if the owl doesn’t want to see<

I’ve never head this before. I don’t eve know the English equivalent. (Do you? Let me know in the comments below!)

7. Heb je geen paard, gebruik dan een ezelShrek-donkey1

>If you don’t have a horse, use a donkey<

I love the sentiement of this one too! Its easy to translate and very accurate too! There is always another way!

8. Bitter in de mond maakt het hart gezond

>Bitter in the mouth makes the heart healthy<

This one rhymes. Rhyming makes me happy! I stand by this too, the more horrible medicine tastes the better it works for you! Three words: Cavonio cough mixture – its vile, but it works!

9. De regen die vandaag valt, valt morgen niet

>The rain that falls today, doesn’t fall tomorrow<

Just an aphorism. A nice way to view the world too I think. Its along the lines of ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’

Den_Bommel_windmolen_De_Bommelaer10. De molen gaat niet om met wind die voorbij is.

>The windmill doesn’t care for the wind that’s gone past.<

You don’t need precautions for something that has happened in the past. What’s gone is gone. You cant change the past. Etc.

There we have it then. My 10 Dutch Proverbs and Expressions. What’s your favourite? Even Sky Radio got involved this weekend by posting this on their Facebook!



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