08450 345677

  • English

Fun Dutch phrases and idioms


21st April 2017

Emily Robertshaw

Planning a trip to the Netherlands? Here are some fun phrases for you to try while you’re there.


Een bakje troost

Literal translation: a cup of comfort

Meaning: a cup of coffee


Ben je van de trap gevallen?

Literal translation: Did you fall down the stairs?

Often used when someone has a drastic haircut!


Nou, breekt m’n klomp!

Literal translation: Now, that breaks my clog!

Meaning: That takes the biscuit!



It doesn’t have an English equivalent as it’s used to mean a lot of things in Dutch.

It can mean cosy, comfortable, friendly and fun.



Literal translation: Hailstorm

Often used to mean chocolate sprinkles, which the Dutch eat on toast!


En frisse neus halen

Literal translation: To get a fresh nose

Meaning: To go outside and get some fresh air


Ik neem de benenwagen

Literal translation: I’m going to take the legs wagon

Meaning: I’m going to walk home


Lets voor een appel en een ei kopen

Literal translation: To buy something for an apple or an egg

Meaning: To buy something cheaply



Literal translation: Plasterflights

Meaning: This comes from the flights organised by insurance companies for those who’ve fallen over and broken a limb when skiing. A lot of Dutch people go skiing every year and not everyone is a natural at it!

More blog posts


Autumnal idioms in other languages


A nosy round the Netherlands


Funny French idioms


Top 5 staycation destinations