We’ve already introduced you to a couple Dutch words, but if you really want to speak Dutch, then it’s probably not a bad idea to know a few more. And who are we not to supply you with these gems?
So here we go, teaching you how to speak Dutch in seven (more) words — and no people, gezelligheid is still not one of them.
Let’s start you off with our fun little video:
If you’re not really into watching our video (Why? We tried so hard for you!) — here’s the text version (admittedly, jokes are sometimes better in text.)
Gast – dude
Although gast also means “guest” it’s more commonly used as “dude.” As in “Kom op gast” meaning, “come on, dude.” It’s a fairly simple word, and just like “dude,” the word gast is primarily a masculine word when used in this context. Alternatively, it’s also used as “guy,” but more in the sense of “oh, remember that guy? Oh, weet je die gast nog?”
Graag – please, gladly
If you’re planning on being polite at some point during your stay in the Netherlands (and let’s be fair, you probably are), then you’ll need to know the word graag. It essentially means please, as in “Yes please” — “Ja graag.” You can also just say graag if you can’t spare that extra syllable.
It can similarly be used to ask for a service or order food, for example. In that case, “Ik wil graag een margherita pizza, meaning “I would like to have a margherita pizza, please.”
Graag can also mean gladly. For example, when you say, “Ik wil erg graag naar die nieuwe burger tent” meaning “I really want to go to that new burger joint.” In this way, it’s also very common to say “graag gedaan” which translates roughly to “Done gladly” but is used as “You’re welcome.”
Lol – fun/laugh out loud
For those who speak English, the acronym LOL is nothing new. It, of course, means laugh(ing) out loud. For many Dutch people, however, this acronym flew right over their heads even though they used the same three letters (in the same order) online all the time.
In Dutch, lol means fun. Naturally it tends to work both ways in most contexts, so it’s no wonder it took my mother at least three years to realize the difference. In Dutch one might say “we hebben lol” meaning “we have fun.” I’m actually not sure who would say that, but it’s grammatically correct.
Just know that lol, in Dutch, means fun. So no, we’re not always laughing out loud (although we do that from time to time as well and often while we’re having lol).
This isn’t so much as word as a phrase. It’s not easily translatable either. Poeh poeh is probably best described as saying “that’s done now” or “how nice/impressive of you” — but only in a cynical way. Anyways, the most important thing to remember is that poeh poeh has nothing to do with the lovable disney bear or, you know, “poo.”
Much like poeh poeh, this is also more of a phrase. It’s essentially what you say while shaking your head disapprovingly or disappointingly at someone or something. In meaning it’s probably best compared to saying “wow’ with a lot of sarcasm attached. Another thing one might say in Rotterdam especially is man man man man.
In its use, the word kut is probably best compared to shit. Except in definition it’s not a word for human excrement but rather for a woman’s lady parts. It’s definitely the most versatile of cuss words in Dutch, but it’s not so easily used in other languages.
While normal use of kut includes shouting “Kut!” when something bad happens, the word can also be used directly to swear at someone or can be attached to almost any word depending on how creative you want to be.
You could, for instance, call someone a “kut.” Alternatively, you could say “Wat een kutdinges!” meaning “what a shitty stupid thingy!” I’ve also had the pleasure of hearing someone called a “huppelkut” meaning “a skipping vagina” before.
In any case, we at DutchReview recommend swearing with the word “Verdorie” instead. It’s much more PG. Like saying “gosh darn.” Much better.
Tof/leip/top – cool, awesome
“Oh wat tof, zeg!” meaning “Oh, that’s awesome!” Tof and leip both essentially mean “cool” or “awesome.” Occasionally also interchanged with Leuk which we covered in our last article. Leip is something you would use more when there’s a “crazy” aspect to something. A gast can also be a “leipe gast” for instance.
There’s also top, which sort of means number one (or more literally “the thing above” — but it can also be used just like tof or leip.
Have we got you hooked but you’re too lazy to read our previous article? (hey we can imagine, you’re already after learning frickin seven new Dutch words here YOU CHAMP) That’s why we made a movie of those first seven words, enjoy!
That wraps up this list, hope you learned something, gast.
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Feature Image: fotografierende/Unsplash
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in April 2017, and was fully updated in October 2020 for your reading pleasure.