Bijdehand

bright, sharp, quick-witted [adjective]

"Bijdehand" is a contraction of "bij de hand", the latter meaning "at hand" (see ‘Related words’). The ‘d’ at the end sounds like a ‘t’, and when conjugating this adjective declining this adjective by adding an ‘e’ to the end, Dutch people get confused; should we write "bijdehande" or "bijdehante"? The first does not sound right, and the second looks strange since now the ‘d’ that belongs to ‘hand’ has disappeared. However, the latter is the correct way of spelling (but it is still a bit weird; see ‘Examples’).

This word is quite often used in a derogatory or ironic way.

Examples:
– "Dat jongetje is behoorlijk bijdehand voor zijn leeftijd!"
("That boy is pretty quick-witted for his age!")

– "Het bijdehante meisje stak bij elke vraag van de leraar haar vinger in de lucht."
("The bright girl raised her hand at every question from the teacher." Literally: "… stuck her finger in the air.")

– "<spottend:> Zooo, bij-de-ha…and…"
("<mockingly:> Wooow, briiight…" … or something :-). "Zo" is a bit like "well" but it can also be used as an expression of astonishment. Remember, it sounds like "zoa", not "zoo".)

– "<ironisch:> Bijdehante actie zeg!"
("<ironically:> Smart move, eh!")

– "Doe niet zo bijdehand!"
("Don’t be smart now!")

Related words:
– "Bijdehandje": quick-witted person (often derogatory/ironic).

Example:
"Wat een bijdehandje!"
("What a know-it-all!")

– "Bij de hand": at hand.

Example:
"Heb je een schroevendraaier bij de hand?"
("Do you have a screwdriver at hand?")