378. X-aantal

a certain number, n [noun] [het x-aantal, <no plural>] [‘iks-aan-tal’] Iconspeaker_klein 

Not too many words in Dutch start with an ‘x’. Today, we thought we’d take a word that is not directly derived from Latin, and that is actually often used.

"X-aantal" is used to indicate an unknown number. It is composed of the letter "x" (the typical unknown variable), and the noun "aantal", which translates to "number". Translations of "x-aantal" may vary from "some", "a few" to "quite a few", or just "an unknown amount".

– "Wacht een x-aantal seconden, en druk dan op ‘Menu’."
("Wait n seconds, then press ‘Menu’.")

"Sander heeft gisteravond een x-aantal DWOTD-visitekaartjes aan Yolanda gegeven, die zij gaat uitdelen aan haar collega’s."
("Last night Sander gave a bunch of DWOTD business cards to Yolanda, who will hand these out to her co-workers.")

– "Ik ben de laatste tijd flink aangekomen en nu heb ik een x-aantal spijkerbroeken die niet meer passen."
("Lately I have gained quite some weight and now I have a number of (pairs of) jeans that do not fit anymore.")

– "Hoeveel vriendinnen heb jij gehad?" – "Ach, een x-aantal."
– "Ja ja…"

("How many girlfriends have you had?" – "Ah well, some." – "Yeah right…")

Related words:
– "Nummer": number, figure.
– "Aantal": number (as in a number of books/years), a few (as in a few minutes).
– "Tig": a lot (derived from the ending of tens in Dutch: twintig, dertig, veertig, etc.).