1. fool, lunatic, nutcase, loony [noun] [de gek, de gekken]

You can often hear the noun "gek" being used informally between friends to address eachother when expressing disbelief about the other person’s actions or comments.

– "Ga je dit jaar kamperen?" – "Nee gek, dat is toch niks voor mij!"
("Are you going camping this year?" – <informally:> "No fool, that is not my thing!" Literally: "…, surely that is nothing for me!")

– "Je moet uitkijken gek!"
(<in traffic:> "You have to watch out you fool!")

a) "Gekkenhuis!": literally meaning "madhouse", this word is often informally used to express disbelief about a situation, a bit like the word "bizar".

– "… en toen hebben we nog tot 11 uur ‘s ochtends doorgefeest!" – "Echt? Gekkenhuis!!"
("… and then we partied on until 11 o’clock in the morning!" – "Really? Bizar!!")

– "Het was echt een gekkenhuis in de stad!"
("It was really insane downtown!", implying it was really crowded etc.)

b) "Dat is gekkenwerk!": literally "that is work for lunatics", this is used to describe that something is impossible to realize or just crazy to try to begin with.

Related words:
– "Mafkees": lunatic.
– "Dwaas": fool.
– "Mongool": moron. Although politically incorrect you will often hear this word used as a term of abuse.

2. crazy, mad, weird, strange, insane

– "Ben je soms gek?"
("Are you crazy or what?")

– "Ben je gek ofzo?"
("Are you crazy or what?")

– "Ik ben toch niet gek!"
("I’m not crazy, am I?" This is often used in arguments to emphasize that you must be right (unless when you are really crazy of course 😉 )

– "Ik ben gek op jou!!"
("I’m crazy about you!!)

– "Wat gek, ik kan mijn sleutels nergens vinden!"
("Strange, I can’t find my keys anywhere!")

– "Vind je ook niet dat jouw broer gekke vrienden heeft?"
("Don’t you also think your brother has weird friends?")

– "Let maar niet op hem, hij is gek!"
("Don’t pay attention to him, he is mad!")

A well-known expression in Dutch is: "Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg!"

It literally translates to: "Just act normally, then you act crazily enough!" and basically says to keep your posture and be normal and definitely do not let yourself go. This mentality is a result of the influence of Calvanism on the Dutch culture.

Related words:
– "Gestoord": insane (mental state).
– "Maf": weird, strange.

4 thoughts on “Gek

  1. i have also heard ‘te gek, man!’ used in a very positive way, to say something is really cool

  2. “Te gek” literally translates to “too crazy”. It can be used as you describe, however it can have two meanings:
    1. To say that something is really cool. Like a cool car, or say, a concert by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (if you so desire 😉 ).
    2. To informally express gratitude, much like the English “Nice one mate!”

  3. Hi Bruce,

    ‘Gek’ behaviour may in some cases be impolite or rude, but normally ‘doe niet zo gek’ takes on the meaning of ‘stop fooling around’ or ‘stop acting crazy’. For example:
    “Doe niet zo gek en eet je bord leeg!”

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