332. Kussen

1. pillow, cushion [noun] [het kussen, de kussens] [‘ku-sun’]

For any kind of small pillow the Dutch say "kussentje", which is also a common translation for "cushion" (if small).

Mind that "kussen" also means "to kiss", see translation 2. below.

– "Ik wil een nieuw kussen kopen. Weet jij een goede winkel?"
("I want to buy a new pillow. Do you know (of) a good store?")

"Men zegt dat je je kussen regelmatig moet opschudden. Dat doe ik echt nooit."
("It is said that one should fluff up his/her pillow regularly. I really never do that.")

– "Ik heb erg veel last van mijn nek. Misschien is mijn kussen niet goed."
("My neck really bothers me. Perhaps my pillow is not suitable/good.")

– "Mag ik je kussen …… opschudden!": this is a joke Dutch children may make. Due to the big pause the first part of the sentence is understood as "May I kiss you" (see 2. below), but when "opschudden" is added after the pause, the meaning changes to "May I fluff up your pillow!".

– "Twee geloven op een kussen, daar slaapt de duivel tussen": literally "two beliefs/religions on one pillow, there sleeps the devil inbetween" this is an old-fashioned saying that was used when two people of different religion got married and it expressed worry that the differences in religon/background would be too big for the marriage to survive. This is not really an issue anymore in the Netherlands, but you may still hear it in the case of big differences in general.

Related words:
– "Kussensloop": pillow case.
– "Kussengevecht": pillow fight.

2. to kiss [verb] [kuste, gekust] [‘ku-sun’]

This is a synonym for "zoenen" but less used, however you will often hear the noun "kus", or its diminutive "kusje".