Eigen grond

Typical translations of the Dutch word ‘grond’ (that which you are standing on) are ‘ground’, ‘floor’ or ‘earth’. It can also mean ‘land’ or ‘property’ as in ‘eigen grond’: private land/property, see the photo.
The photo shows a note put up by an angry home owner who has too many Pokémon trainers trespassing in his garden. It turns out to be a very suitable note to expand your Dutch idiom and to learn something about Dutch modern culture, so I have translated it below for those interested 🙂

Eigen grond

Photo from Facebook post by FunX

[Explanatory notes between brackets.]

“This garden is on private land and hence forbidden for dorks looking for Pokémons”
[The verb ‘liggen’ would be more suitable instead of ‘staan’ given it is a garden and not a house]
[‘Verboden toegang’ literally translates as ‘forbidden entrance’]

“Do something useful with your life and get the hell out of my garden!”
[Read more on ‘nuttig’ and ‘oprotten’ here:

“In any case this (whole) Pokémon fad is (really) the stupidest I have ever seen.”
[‘Sowieso’ is taken from German and means something like ‘in any case / anyhow’. A ‘rage’ is a ‘fad’; it is pronounced with ‘zj’ sound instead of ‘g’.]
[In Dutch there is a super-superlative degree that you form with ‘aller’: allerbeste, allerliefste, allerdomste. Of course it is completely redundant.]

“And believe me, I have already seen lots of dumb sh*t in my life.”
[The Dutch like to use the noun ’sh*t’ for stupid stuff, bad quality etc.]

The author then lists what he/she believes to be ‘domme sh*t’. Based on the topics, I believe the author to be in his or her mid-40s. It is a nice overview containing fundamental elements of Dutch culture 😉

Prijzenslag met Hans Kazan: Dutch version of the Price is Right https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prijzenslag. Hans Kazàn is a famous Dutch magician.
Vengaboys: when you say 90s music in NL, you say Vengaboys https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vengaboys
Buckler Bier: alcohol-free beer by Heineken, however no longer available in NL. Some say it is due to Dutch comic Youp van ’t Hek completely trashing the brand shortly after its release in 1988 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miDSDyLN_88
GTST: Dutch soap Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden (running since 1990)
Emile Ratelband: infamous self-proclaimed positivity guru who coined the catchword ‘Tsjakka!’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO6aXNmZxaA
Premier Balkenende: former prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Peter_Balkenende
Oh Oh Cherso: infamous reality-tv show showing youth from The Hague going crazy in the Greek town Chersonisos (The title is a pun on the famous Dutch song ‘O O Den Haag’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptGJ8wzeGDE)
Flippo’s: fad from the 90s; the goal was to collect so-called “flippo’s” that were included in bags of potato chips https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flippo
Jodie Bernal: one hit wonder Jody Bernal. His song ‘Que sí, que no’ (2000) will haunt us forever https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jody_Bernal

The author then closes with:
“If you walk on for a bit, there is quite a nice pub around the corner.”
[‘Kroeg’ is another word for ‘bar’. Here ‘aardig’ does not mean friendly, but ‘nice/pleasant’. Together with the diminutive of ‘kroeg’ it translates as ‘quite a nice’.]

“Do me a favour. Go there, have a beer and think hard about the direction you want to take in life.”
[See http://www.dwotd.nl/2012/03/1006-doe-me-een-lol.html for an explanation on ‘Doe mij een lol.”]
[Literally the translation is: “Go there, take a beer, and then think again properly about where you want to go with your life.”]

For comments please see the original Facebook post.


‘Toko’ is Indonesian for ‘shop’. At a toko in the Netherlands you will find Asian food products and take-away food. First association with toko is Indonesian but there are also Chinese and Surinamese tokos. Note that if someone tells you that ‘some place somewhere’ is a strange or fun ‘toko’, then it’s likely used as slang 😉

The sign says: ‘Als koken even niet uitkomt.’ (When it’s not a good time to cook / When cooking is not convenient.) ‘Uitkomen’ is a notorious homonym and has 12 different meanings according to Van Dale (vandale.nl). Another common meaning is ‘to exit (from somewhere)’, e.g. ‘De gijzelnemer komt het gebouw uit’. See http://www.dwotd.nl/2008/12/520-dat-komt-goed-uit.html for more.


Photo taken on Amstelveenseweg – Amsterdam

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A ‘boef‘ (pronounce: ‘boof’) is a dishonest, disreputable man. It is often used in the meaning of (petty) criminal; basically a ‘bad guy’. Its use is mostly colloquial and is starting to become a bit outdated. The expression ‘Ga toch boeven vangen’ however, is still popular with Dutch people when they feel the police are stopping them for no reason.

The English adjective ‘proof’ has made its way into the Dutch language (used in combination with nouns) and a common word is ‘hufterproof’: resistant against vandalism (with a ‘hufter’ being an incredibly rude and bad guy). ‘Boef’ and ‘proof’ combine nicely to get a message across efficiently as can be seen in the photo.


Photo taken on Victorieplein – Amsterdam

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Sambal erbij?

“Bonnetje erbij?”, “tasje erbij?” or “koekje erbij?” So far you may have gathered from context what is asked, but what does ‘erbij’ really mean? ‘Erbij’ is an adverb that means something like ‘(to go) with it/that’. It becomes clearer when we write the full intended sentence, e.g. “Wilt u er een bonnetje bij?” – “Would you like a receipt (with that)?”
The object that is referred to by ‘er’ is derived from context. The use of ‘er’ (in a way a temporary placeholder for an object or location) can be difficult to master. For example the short version “Bonnetje erbij?” is derived from the also allowed version “Wilt u een bonnetje erbij?”

Chinese take-away restaurants in the Netherlands are known for always asking the same question when handing over the order: “Sambal erbij?” – “Would you like sambal (hot sauce) (to go) with that?” It’s often jokingly imitated (“Sambal bij??”), and restaurant Ah-Lung is ‘owning it’ at the corner of Van Woustraat and Hemonylaan in Amsterdam.

Chinese muurschildering met de tekst 'Sambal erbij?'

Photo taken on Hemonylaan – Amsterdam

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A ‘fietsenrek’ is a bicycle rack. Although the ‘fietsenrek’ is often regarded by Dutch cyclists as optional, the City of Amsterdam has started to enforce correct parking of bicycles in busy places. This is due to the excessive growth of the number of bicycles, e.g. on Leidseplein (where you have to park in the ‘fietsenrek’ or specially marked ‘vakken’ (sections)).

Even though Amsterdammers are pretty practical when it comes to parking one’s bicycle (general rule: don’t hinder anybody, otherwise expect some abuse of your bicycle), some have started to introduce their own ‘neighbourhood rules’. The photo was taken in the Jordaan and the sign reads as if spoken by a true original ‘Jordanees’; the word ‘eigen’ is used incorrectly and ‘u eigen’ should be ‘uzelf’.

Fietsen parkeren in de Jordaan

Rijwielen in het fietsenrek of bij u eigen voor de deur

Photo taken on Palmstraat – Amsterdam

For comments please see the original Facebook post.