deceptive, tricky [adjective] Iconspeaker_3

“Verneukeratief” is truly a brilliant Dutch word and very much suited for the informal Friday 🙂 You may think it is a vulgar word, because it contains “neuk”, from “neuken”, which translates to “to f*ck”… “Verneukeratief” is not vulgar though, although its use is quite informal.

But be careful!…The related verb “verneuken” is pretty vulgar, since it translates to “to f*ck up”…

– “Dit contract is erg verneukeratief. Lees de kleine lettertjes maar…” 
(“This contract is very deceptive. Just read the disclaimer…” Lit.: “Just read the little letters…” see Extra)Verneukeratief

– “Het verneukeratieve van het internet is dat je nooit zeker weet of informatie echt waar is.”
(“The tricky thing about the internet is that you never know for sure whether information is actually true.”)

– “Advertentiefoto’s zijn vaak verneukeratief: het product op de foto is altijd prachtig, maar in het echt valt het tegen.”
(“Advertising pictures are often deceptive: the product in the picture is always beautiful, but the real thing is disappointing.”)

– “Iemand ergens in laten lopen”: to play a trick on somebody.

Related words:
– Bedrieglijk: deceptive [adjective].
– Tricky: tricky [adjective].
– Verneuken: to f*ck up [verb] [verneukte, verneukt].

– “Frank heeft de hele presentatie verneukt.”
(“Frank has f*cked up the entire presentation.”)

– Misleidend: misleading [adjective].
Vals: fake, fraudulent [adjective].

“De kleine lettertjes” (lit.: the little letters) is commonly used as a metaphor for the disclaimer(s) in a contract, which are often printed in a smaller font than then the font of the contract’s actual text. “De kleine lettertjes” are often associated with a sense of fraud….

12 thoughts on “Verneukeratief

  1. In English we call de kleine lettertjes “the small print”, and yes, it carries exactly the same connotation.
    Goed bezig!

  2. Hi
    Thank you for your effort in presenting DWOTD. I am learning Dutch and enjoyed your words of the day, regrettably up till today with “Verneukeratief”.
    It is in bad taste and I can’t see that it will contribute to any decent student’s Dutch vocabulary.
    Kind regards,

  3. Hi,
    I’ve recently subscribed and I thought I was beginning to like this service but I find the word VERNEUKERATIEF a ridiculous word to use as Dutch word of the day.
    This word is not common and is probably particular only to some DUTCH only people. I’ve asked various Dutch speakers in my office here and none of them have heard of the world.
    Furthermore none of these Dutch dictionaries know of the word.
    And so on.

  4. Dear Morné, Jerry,
    I’m sorry to hear your discontentment with regards to “verneukeratief” being the DWOTD.
    It is my experience that “verneukeratief” is not very uncommon or in bad taste. Most Dutch know it, not all Dutch use it though. For a fact, “verneukeratief” is listed in the authoritative Dutch dictionary Van Dale, see
    About our choice in DWOTDs…check out the “kleine lettertjes” of DWOTD ( ) : We do not follow any methodology, the DWOTD is random, and we write whatever we feel like 🙂

  5. Dear Morné,
    Thank you for your comment. We are very happy to receive feedback from our readers because only then we know how the DWOTD is received.
    I’m sorry that you regret our choice for today’s DWOTD. I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the meaning of the word “verneukeratief”. It is informal, but certainly not indecent or vulgar.
    The adjective “verneukeratief” is derived from the verb “verneuken”. The verb “verneuken” translates as “to deceive”, “to con” etc. and dates back to around 1795. Its meaning has not changed much since then.
    The contrary is true for the base verb of “verneuken”. Back then, “neuken” had the meaning “to thump”, “to thrust”, “to bump” etc. It has however completely lost its original meaning and is now only used as a vulgar (but very common) synonym for “to have sex”. Because of today’s meaning of “neuken”, many people think that “verneukeratief” is an indecent word, but it is in fact not.
    There is also an associated noun “verneukerij” that translates as “swindle”, “con”, “rip-off” etc.
    Note that “verneuken” is now also commonly used in the (very informal) translation that Marc gave in his post.
    When writing the DWOTD we choose not to avoid “bad” or vulgar words because these are part of a language and it is better to be aware of them. However it is our policy to not choose these words as the main DWOTD because we don’t want to confront readers with it. We do cover them as part of a DWOTD when we think it is of interest. But as I tried to explain above, this does not apply to “verneukeratief”.
    Best regards,

  6. Dear Jerry,
    Admittedly “verneukeratief” is not a very common word. I sometimes use it, so does Marc. I sometimes hear it spoken or see it written. It is a word that is not part of everyday vocabulary and therefore not all Dutch people know it. Some people who know the word don’t use it much because of the potential (but unjust) vulgar association.
    Today’s word was in fact a request from one of our readers. We chose to publish “verneukeratief” as the DWOTD because you might hear it spoken and see it written; although not often used it is an acceptable, but informal, synonym for “bedrieglijk” (“deceptive”).
    Many people think it is vulgar, but it is in fact not and this is something that we want our readers to know. Perhaps we should have emphasized this aspect more.
    Another reason to publish this word today is that we try to keep the DWOTD interesting for all learners of the Dutch language, from beginners to the advanced, from students to linguists. This is why we have created different categories: BASIC, INTERMEDIATE and GURU.
    GURU words are for those who already speak Dutch at a decent level and want to extend their vocabulary or are otherwise interested in the peculiarities of the Dutch language. “Verneukeratief” is an example of a word in the GURU category and can be skipped by beginners. The category of a word is shown in the footer of the post.
    We spend a lot of time on this blog and it is our goal to help our readers to learn Dutch. For this reason we obviously want it to be useful, but at the same time we try to keep it interesting for learners at all levels. Today’s choice was aimed at the advanced learners.
    I hope that I, on behalf of the DWOTD team, can keep welcoming you to our blog and that you will find words that are of use to you in the posts to come, in the alphabetical overview, or in the category of your choice (under ‘DWOTD Level’ in the right column).
    Best regards,

  7. Hi Sander, Marc,
    Thanks for your interesting reply.
    The fact that it is actually a word and that it is in Van Dale makes it a very valid and interesting word to include in DWOTD.
    Learning and translating Dutch is extremely complicated for me, as you can see here and other stories:
    You don’t have to read this but you see I spend a lot of my time trying to learn Dutch and it is extremely and extremely frustrating experience.
    Now when I have 3 native Dutch, albeit Flemish, speakers in my office who don’t even know the word verneukeratief, I of course reacted when I could not find it in my favourite online dictionaries.
    Thanks again for your explanation and I hope to continue receiving DWOTD on a regular basis.

  8. Hi Jerry,
    In your reply you have brought up an interesting point which is your reference to your Flemish co-workers.
    In general, there are differences in the current vocabulary of the Netherlands and Dutch-speaking Belgium.
    For example a very normal word in Belgium would be “fusioneren”. Ask 10 Dutch people for the meaning and you might find one who will know that it is a synonym for “fuseren”, which is the common equivalent that is used in the Netherlands.
    Similarly it could happen that we suggest words that are not of much use in Flanders.

  9. I am delighted with all of the entries you provide on this site, including the less formal ones, such as “verneukeratief”. As a student of the Dutch language, I find knowing all parts of the language, formal & informal, professional and everyday, include the less salubrious parts, to contribute to a comprehensive knowledge of your language. Thank you again for your hard word on DWOTD. It is much appreciated.

  10. Dear people
    What fun to read about this discussion about the word ‘verneukeratief’, one of the jewels in my language; please bear in mind that the Dutch have definitely other moral standards than many foreigners. I am saying ‘other’, certainly not lower. Verneukeratief can absolutely be used, i sometimes use it, when talking to my students to explain sth is . A truly zealous and devoted student of Dutch should take up this word as well, as the actual usage is more important than the existence of neuk in the word.

  11. It’s not an issue of morals. A learner of English might have the same thoughts about the word “niggardly”. Sounds bad but isn’t. Verneukeratief can also be used likewise in respectable settings, though it makes everyone think of neuken.

  12. I’m sorry to see that you apply self censorship with regard to the word fuck. I think this is a token of a hypocritical society, I must say with regret.

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