mate, pal, buddy, friend [noun] [de makker, de makkers] [‘ma-kur’]

"Makker" is originally a synonym for "vriend", the Dutch equivalent of "friend". It is now mainly used for the more informal "mate" or "buddy".

"Makker" and "vriend" can be used to informally and semi-friendly address a man you do not know, especially when you feel treated impolitely. This requires some experience though 🙂 Have a look at the Examples.

– "Hé makker, wat wil je drinken?"
("Hey mate/buddy, what do you want to drink?")

– "Marc en ik zijn al jaren makkers."
("Marc and I have been friends for years.")

– "Wat maak je me nou makker! Ik zag deze parkeerplaats het eerst!"
("What’s up with that buddy! / What’s this mate! I was the first to spot this parking spot!" Literally: "what do you make me now…")

– "<bij de bakkerij:> Sorry makker, ik was eerst!"
("<at the bakery:> I’m sorry mate/pal, I was (the) first!")

Related words:
– "Dienstmakker": somebody that was in military service with you. The Dutch military service was abolished about 10 years ago. It is usually abbreviated from "militaire dienst" to "dienst".
– "Vriend": friend.
– "Maat": another informal synonym for "vriend".

7 thoughts on “Makker

  1. The use of ‘mucker’ is by no means confined to Derry. It’s quite common (if slightly outdated) British slang for a mate or buddy.
    It’s generally found in phrases such as “me old mucker” – see for 23,000 hits!
    I’m not sure whether it’s cognate with ‘makker’ or just a coincidence – would be interesting to find out…
    Fantastic blog by the way 🙂

  2. Hi Neil, a bit of googling shows that “makker” might be derived from the old-English “gemaecca” (“match”, “equal”). I’m not sure about “mucker” 🙂

  3. Makker (or Mucker?) is used in a similar way in (northern) German slang for “boy friend” and if you feel mistreated.

  4. Hey, this is really nice. I finally learnt the meaning of my surname. ‘Makker’ is my surname 🙂

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