321. Ik ben niet op mijn achterhoofd gevallen

I wasn’t born yesterday [Dutch phrase of the week]

"Achterhoofd" is composed of "achter" and "hoofd", which respectively translate to "behind" and "head". Hence, this phrase literally translates to "I haven’t fallen on the back of my head". It is used to say that you are not ignorant, dumb or stupid.

– "Probeer je me te bedriegen, makker? Ik ben toch niet op mijn achterhoofd gevallen!"
("Are you trying to cheat on me, pal? I wasn’t born yesterday, you know!" Note that "toch" is translated with "you know"; it expresses an implicit request for confirmation. In this case, "toch" could also be translated with "was I?" at the end of the sentence.)

– "Laat je niet afleiden door zijn/haar uiterlijk, hij/zij is zeker niet op zijn achterhoofd gevallen."
("Don’t let yourself be distracted by his/her looks, he/she certainly wasn’t born yesterday.")

– "Ja, ik ga echt geen 2,40 betalen voor een biertje, ik ben niet op mijn achterhoofd gevallen!"
("Yeah right, no way I’m going to pay 2.40 Euro for a beer, do they think I’m stupid or what!" Unfortunately, in more and more places in The Hague, a beer costs 2,40 Euro!)

2 thoughts on “321. Ik ben niet op mijn achterhoofd gevallen

  1. Mijn frank was niet gevallen. I didn’t get it (the joke). This came from one of my friends in Belgium. Since you have so many “Frank” posts, I didn’t know where else to post this but under ‘gevallen.’

  2. Hi Bruce – we have a similar saying in the Netherlands: “Het kwartje is gevallen” or “het kwartje valt” – literally the quarter drops and referring to the public payphone.
    It is a good example of expressions or sayings that will not change despite changes to their underlying origin; in this case the public payphone and the euro.

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