The best of “In the Netherlands we don’t say…” memes

So we all know that the Dutch language can get a bit wacky sometimes and even some Dutch people get stumped. Imagine how the non-Dutch folk wrap their heads around it!

There’s been a trend on Twitter about “In the Netherlands, we don’t say _______, we say…”, and some are pretty damn funny (got inspired by this one).

Some of them are totally bonkers for non-native speakers, but that’s kind of the point. 😉

Sometimes we quote songs…

Translation: You have to go to diemen south because you look nice!

Looking after your cents is key…

Translation: You still owe me 55 cents you can transfer it.

Sometimes we call our loved ones horrible names (by accident, maybe)…

There are other ways to say I love you or ‘close the door’…

Translation: Close that door behind your ass!

Oh, the classic ‘I’m not racist but’:

Translation: That whiner should stay away from our tradition!

Because eating is important… (also: toetje: dessert)

Translation: If you don’t finish your plate, you won’t get dessert!

Sometimes you just need to give them something to whine about…

Translation: Whining? I’ll give you a reason to cry!

Politeness is always really important…

Translation: Can’t you watch your 💩 motherf*cker.

Keep your enemies close and your neighbours closer… And you really need to know about the ‘driving judge’!

Translation: Your boxwood hedge is 20 centimetres too close to the property boundary, I’ll drag you before the #driving judge, roof rabbit! — listen, we don’t know either.

When food is life… 😋


There are other ways to express your love…

That p🐱ssy A12 is fixed again, so don’t wait for me to eat! — Again, we wish we could shed some light on this.

Limburg has other ways of expressing their love…

Translation: I love you’ but do we say ‘mosse still lager?’ Which means you think about that person and care about them. Isn’t it sweet?

Thank god the summer is over!

Translation: Have a nice day,’ we say ‘Glad that the typhoid heat is over and you’re finally not sweating like a mad baboon.

The dreaded circle of death…

Translation: Hey take a sausage, grab a chair and ask Ria to move up, do you want whipped cream pie or apple crumble? — Anyone care to shed some light??

On your bike!…

Translation: You just cycle to school despite the freezing cold, bitch!

Are there any others that you can think of? Let us know in the comments!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on October 2018, and was updated September 2022 for your reading pleasure.

Feature Image:DutchReview
Emma Brown
Emma Brown
A familiar face at DutchRevew. Emma arrived in Holland in 2016 for a few weeks, fell in love with the place and never left. Here she rekindled her love of writing and travelling. Now you'll find her eating stroopwafels in the DutchReview office since 2017.

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  1. Since the article is in English… wouldn’t it make sense to translate all these Dutch sentences?
    (And don’t send me links to google-translate… that would be so Dutch.)


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