misery, distress [noun] [de ellende, <no plural>] Iconspeaker_klein

In Dutch, “ellende” does not always have a weighty connotation (e.g. like in “the misery of war…”) . Also the insignificant occurrences of life’s distress are referred to as “ellende”, see the Examples.Ellende

– “Ik word echt chagrijnig van alle ellende in deze wereld…”
(“All the misery in this world really makes me cranky…” Lit.: “I really get cranky because of all the misery in this world…”)

– “Het Nederlands elftal heeft afgelopen zaterdag verloren van Australië…ellende…”
(“The Dutch were beaten by Australia last Saturday…misery…”)

– “Eerst kreeg ik een lekke band, daarna begon het te regenen.” – “Jongen, wat een ellende!”
(“First I got a flat tyre, then it started to rain.” – “Dude, what a distress!”)

– “Na regen komt zonneschijn”: After rain comes sunshine.

Related words:
– “Balen“: to be fed up with.
– “Belabberd“: lousy, terrible, miserable.
– “Ellendig”: [adjective] miserable.
– “Ellendeling”: [noun] [de ellendeling, de ellendelingen] wretch, villain.

One thought on “Ellende

  1. I heard this story when I was living in Holland although I can’t substatiate it: Apparently during WWII many Jews were forced to write letters/cards telling those back home everything was ok. Often the Dutch Jews would end their letters with “Geef mijn groetjes aan Ellen de Groot” or if put together “ellende groot” as a hint to their relatives that everything was not ok.

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