to kiss [verb] [zoende, gezoend]
which is “kussen”. There’s a slight difference between the two, though
very subtle. “Zoenen” is more informally used, and “kussen” in a more
formal, theatrical way. Two characters in a play of Shakespeare would
engage in “kussen”, where a guy and girl on the dancefloor would engage
in “zoenen”. The respective nouns “zoen” en “kus” both translate to “kiss”.When ending written communication, it would be more common to end with
“kusjes” (“little kisses”) than with “zoentjes” which is never used.
However one can end with “dikke zoen” (“fat kiss”) and with “dikke kus”
between close friends (not between men though). A single “kus” would be
more intimate. The usage of the x’s is also very common (the Dutch
don’t do the o’s for hugs)).
– “Zullen we zoenen?”
(“Shall we kiss?”)
– “Heb je zin om te zoenen?”
(“Do you feel like kissing?” or “Do you want to kiss?”)
– “Sorry, maar ik zoen niet in het openbaar!”)
(“I’m sorry, but I don’t kiss in public!”)
– “Het verliefde paartje stond aan de bar te zoenen.”
(“The amorous couple was kissing at the bar.”)
– “Bij het afscheid gaf Frank zijn schoonmoeder drie zoenen op de wang.”
(“When he left, Frank gave his mother in law three kisses on the cheek.” Literally: “At the departure, …”)
(“The young mother gave her child a big smacking kiss.” From the verb “smakken”: to smack (one’s lips).)
– “Tongzoenen”: French kissing.
– “Klapzoen”: smacking kiss, from the verb “klappen”: to clap.
– “Negerzoen”: marshmellow on biscuit base covered in chocolate. This
word is found polically incorrect by some, since it literally
translates to “negro’s kiss”. However, a negative connotation is absent
With greeting and leaving, Dutch people
kiss good friends and relatives on the cheek. And when they do it, they give three kisses, usually starting on the left cheek (as seen from the initiator’s point of view).
It is sometimes difficult to decide whether or not you should kiss
people on the cheek if you don’t know them very well. There are no real
rules and this often leads to awkward situations, where one initiates
the kisses and the other holds back.
If you wonder whether or not it would be appropriate to kiss people on
the cheek, well, if you don’t know the person, you should not kiss. If
you however have had a mutually pleasant social interaction you can exchange
3 kisses when saying goodbye.
In general if you don’t want to kiss, keep a distance and only extend the hand. This usually works.Some people in the Netherlands are opposed to the 3 kisses on the
cheeks. They either don’t want it at all, or believe that 1 or 2 is
enough (there’s even this guy who created badges that you can wear that
express your kissing policy).
Some people have the deal that they kiss good friends only once, which paradoxically is then more intimate then 3 kisses.Men kissing each other on the cheek is very uncommon, however women kissing each other on the cheek is very common.