1. to dim [verb] [dimde, gedimd] [‘dim-mun’] Iconspeaker_klein

The literal translation "dimmen" is not very exciting: to dim… However, in Dutch, "dimmen" is not only used to describe lowering the intensity of light(s), but also to describe lowering the intensity of certain (human) behaviour, see 2.


– "Lezen bij gedimd licht is slecht voor je ogen."
("Reading with dimmed light is bad for the eyes.")

– "Frank, kun jij het licht dimmen, zodat we de presentatie beter kunnen zien?"
("Frank, can you dim the lights so we can have a better view of the presentation?")

– "Liefie, wil jij het licht even dimmen?" – "Vanavond niet schat, ik heb hoofdpijn."
("Sweetie, could you just dim the lights?" – "Not tonight honey, I’ve got a headache.")

Related words:
– "Dimmer": dimmer(-switch).
– "Donker": dark, gloomy.
– "Verduisteren": to darken, to obscure, to embezzle.

2. to cool it [verb] [dimde, gedimd] [‘dim-mun’] Iconspeaker_klein

In this context, "dimmen" is used to describe lowering the intensity of certain (human) behaviour, hence the translation: "to cool it".

You may see the following phrase a lot: "Effe dimmen!" ("Cool it!"). "Effe" is informal spoken language for the Dutch word "even", written phonetically. "Even" is used a lot in Dutch! It translates to "for a moment" or "just", but cannot always be translated like that literally. Sometimes "even" is omitted in the translation, as is the case in the first example.

– "Effe dimmen, makker! Dit is niet leuk meer."
("Cool it, pal! This is not funny anymore.")

– "Die gast moet nu dimmen, anders sla ik hem op zijn bek!"
("That dude should cool it right now, or I’ll punch him in the face!")

– "Die topmannen moeten gewoon effe dimmen met die bonussen." – "Ik weet niet of ik dat met je eens ben."
("These captains of industry should just cool it on the bonuses." – "I don’t know if I agree with you on that.")

Related words:
– "Kalmeren": to calm (down).
– "Rustig": calm, peaceful, quiet.
– "Ontspannen": to relax.

2 thoughts on “Dimmen

  1. Ach so… It looks like ‘effe’ is pretty much like ‘eben’ in German, which also means ‘even’ but is also used for ‘just’ or just tossed in for a almost indefinable effect. But ‘halt’ is starting to replace the looser functions of ‘eben’.

  2. Wow, er is een site met Dutch word of the day. Wow.
    Zo vreemd.
    Hehe, ‘t is altijd wel lachen hoe mensen Nederlands leren. Als ze dan toekomen in Belgie ofzo kunnen ze geen Nederlands verstaan want iedereen spreek dialect/tussen taal.

Comments are closed.