Top 10 English Words that Are Actually Dutch!

Did you know alot of English words are actually Dutch? English words from Dutch often sound very funny to us Dutchies and the other way around. You can often hear it’s Dutch pronounced in an English way, because if a native English speaker would have to say ‘rekening’ it will most probably sound like ‘reckoning’. Amazing! Alot of these words are also false friends to English, or otherwise funny Dutch words. Read it all now in the blog from the one and only original online Dutch school!

1. Reckoning – Rekening

‘Mag ik de rekening?’ is a phrase you probably heard if you’ve been visiting restaurants in the Netherlands regularly. It means ‘Can i have the bill?’.

Rekening – bill. It’s funny and amazing how it evolved into a much more dramatic word in English. But it makes sense, as the word is used in a similar way in a lot of Dutch sayings:

”De rekening komt later” —> “The bill (consequences) will come later”

“Jan denkt niet veel na over de toekomst. Hij betaalt de rekening altijd later”—> “Jan doesn’t think too much about the future. He always pays the bill later”

“We gaan nu genieten, we denken even niet na over rekening!” —> “Now we will enjoy, we won’t think about the bill/consequences for now!”

2. Cookie – Koekje

ANother word that sounds almost the same, right? Try to say both words out loud, if you don’t believe us. See? the -je became the -ie in English. And that’s till the case for most native English speakers; meisje becomes ‘meissie’ (which is also kind of Dutch slang!) and hoekje (small corner) becomes ‘hookie’ or ‘hooky’, as we’ll see later in this list as well.

3. Aboard – Aan boord

Used by Dutch captains on their ships since, well, forever. Get aboard! = Kom aan boord!

English basically removed a few letters and glued it all together. Gotta love languages, right?

4. Apartheid – “Apartness”

This word has a dark history, but still very Dutch history.

Apartheid was the system of segregation used in South-Africa by the Dutch colonialists. It was pure racism, still felt today both in the Netherlands and in our old colonies. Black and brown people were separated from the Dutch, German and British colonizers and farmers.

The ‘Dutch’ Antilles are still part of our ‘kingdom’ and there too traces of apartheid are still very much felt. But that’s at topic for another article!

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5 – Bazooka – Bazuin

Anyone knows this word! Especially if you love a good old first-person shooter, you are familiar with this one.

A bazuin is a kind of flute, and a big one too. It’s considered the precursor of the trumpet. If you know classic games like Duke Nukem and Wolfenstein, you know just how popular bazooka’s are. Now you know the word is actually from the Dutch language!

6 – Blaze – Blazen

Blazen means to blow air (with your mouth). The now trendy word is used by young and old. Especially rap and hiphop-fans will recognize this one.

7 – Boss – Baas

These two words sound almost the same! Now you know why. They are basically the same.

Did you know Dutch is the closest language to English?

This goes for both grammar and vocabulary. That is one of the reasons lots of Dutch people have no issues with communicating in English.

8 – Dope – Dopen

Another word that’s also part of Dutch slang..While it’s actually from Dutch!

Dopen means to dip, to sop. As in: dipping your Doritos in salsa sauce.

We Dutchies like to dope alot; our foods and ourselves. In nice sauces, baths or even better, when we get some sun: the sea!

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9 – Hooky – Hoekje

Literally: small corner. It’s a diminutive, a small version of the original noun hoek.

The -je was and is hard to pronounce for native English speakers, so it transformed into a-y.

Hence the word hooky, which means catchy or being absent at school in the expression ‘playing hooky’ (spijbelen in Dutch).

10 = Sketch – Schets

A very popular one, especially since the app came into existence (called Sketch).

This is another word that is basically the same as the Dutch original. The Dutch g was (still is) too hard to pronounce, so the English turned it into a k. Easy does it!

BONUS: Yankee – Jan Kees

Who doesn’t know the word yankee?

It’s a (derogatory) term used for Americans or those from the northeast coast of the United States.

It’s a combination of the Dutch names Jan and Kees – very common Dutch names!

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