Lieveheersbeestjeladybird, ladybug [noun] [het lieveheersbeestje, de lieveheersbeestjes] [‘lie-vu-heers-beest-ju‘]

This word may be a bit hard to pronounce 🙂  "Lieveheersbeestje" is composed of "lief", "heer" and "beestje", which respectively translate to "dear", "lord" and "little bug". All together it’s a kind of a sweet literal translation: "dear lord’s little bug". Sometimes you might even see "Onzelieveheersbeestje", which translates to "Our dear lord’s little bug".

– "Kijk! Er zit een lieveheersbeestje op je mouw!"
("Look! There is a ladybird on your sleeve!")

– "Ze zeggen dat een lieveheersbeestje geluk brengt."
("They say that a ladybird brings luck.")

– "Hoeveel stippen heeft dat lieveheersbeestje?"
("How many dots does that ladybird have?")

The logo of the "Landelijke stichting tegen zinloos geweld" (lit.: National foundation against pointless violence) is a ladybird.

6 thoughts on “Lieveheersbeestje

  1. I thought it meant “Dear Lord’s little beast” (beestje) 🙂
    This made me think of a rare version of “ladybird” in Polish – “Boża krówka”, which literally means “Lord’s little cow”.

  2. Hi Filip,
    you’re right, “beestje” literally means little beast, but this diminutive form is also often used in Dutch to refer to a little insect or bug. And in case of a ladybug, I think the latter applies 🙂

  3. I love lieveheersbeestjes 🙂 In English the full name is ‘Our Lady’s Bird’ which is how it got to be a ladybird.

  4. We got an email from one of our readers saying that the translation of “lieveheersbeestje” should “ladyBUG”. Any native english speakers around to comment on this? (The – highly respected 🙂 – Van Dale dictionary says “ladybird”…)

  5. To conclude this subtle matter 🙂 :
    “Ladybird” is used in British English.
    “Ladybug” is used in American English.

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