The unraveling of 6 typical Dutch words (which don’t exist in English)

How many times have you heard people talking Dutch to each other, without having any idea what they are talking about? Probably one of the reasons why you didn’t understand anything is because the Dutch use a lot of words which don’t exist in English. After reading this article, you will know the meaning of 6 Dutch words which people use a lot in everyday conversations.


Although gezellig literally means cosy, for the Dutch this word represents way more than that. Dutchies use this word when they are having a fun, amicable and exciting time with friends or family.

Hè hè

This is a short exhalation that people mostly use when they want to express comfort, satisfaction or relief, for example after completing a busy day at work or a good work out at the gym.


Tasty food is commonly called lekker, but Dutchies use this adjective also when they see attractive people or well-made clothing. Even when they had a good night of sleep, they say ‘ik heb lekker geslapen.’


In English you would say borrel means aperitif, but it’s actually a word used for informal gatherings at bars (which could take place before or after dinner). On Fridays, many employers organize after work drinks at their offices known as vrijmibo (vrijdagmiddagborrel).


After the Dutch ate a delicious, filling meal they go ‘uitbuiken’. This literally means ‘outbellying’ in English, but Dutchies use this verb to express they need time to relax after eating a filling meal.

Op Die Fiets

This idiom barely makes any sense, because it literally means ‘on that bike’. But the Dutch use it in a way to say ‘Oh, now I understand how that happened’.

Which Dutch word appears the most strange to you? Let us know in the comment section below!

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