Een kind kan de was doen

It’s as simple as that [Dutch phrase of the week] Iconspeaker_3

The literal translation of "Een kind kan de was doen" is "A child can do the laundry". This expression is often an addition to an instruction for an activity or action at hand. It stresses the fact that the action is childlishly simple. Eenkindkandewasdoen

– "Je sluit de webcam aan op de laptop en de installatie gaat vanzelf! Een kind kan de was doen!" 
("You connect the webcam to the laptop and the installation is done automatically! It’s as simple as that!")

– "Ik stop de afwas in de afwasmachine en een uur later is alles schoon…een kind kan de was doen…" 
("I put the dishes in the dishwasher and after an hour everything is clean…it’s as simple as that…")

– "Het is nu ook mogelijk om on-line belastingaangifte te doen. Een kind kan de was doen."  – "Echt niet, ook on-line blijft het een vervelende klus."
("It’s possible now to do your tax report on-line. It’s as simple as that." – "Really no! Also on-line, it’s still an annoying job.")

– "Eitje": piece of cake.
– "Appeltje-eitje": a piece of cake. Lit.: little apple, little egg. An extended version the expression "eitje".
– "Een fluitje van een cent": a piece of cake. Lit.: a little whistle of a cent.
– "Een inkoppertje": a piece of cake.
– "Een peuleschil": a piece of cake. Lit.: a bean’s peel.

– "Deze kruiswoordpuzzel is echt geen peuleschil, level ‘Goeroe’ is in feite onbegonnen werk…"
("This crossword puzzle is really not a piece of cake, level "Guru" is in fact a hopeless task…")

– "Een koud kunstje": a piece of cake. Lit.: a cold little trick.
– "Een abc’tje": a piece of cake. Lit.: a little a-b-c.

Related words:
– Kind: child [noun] [het kind, de kinderen].
– Was: wash, washing, laundry [noun] [de was , <no plural>].
– Doen: to do [verb] [deed, gedaan].

4 thoughts on “Een kind kan de was doen

  1. Just a quick note to say heel hartelijk bedankt for DWOTD. I’m a musician, and whenever I tour in Holland I use words and phrases I’ve learned from your blog. I’ve just finished a short tour here, and every night for the last four nights I’ve said “een kind kan de was doen” after teaching the audience the chorus of one of my songs. It gets a huge round of applause every time! Duizend maal dank en gelukkig nieuwe jaar!

  2. Hi Sarah, well that is great to hear!! Let us know when you are in Amsterdam or The Hague, and we’ll give you some feedback on the pronunciation 😉

  3. Hi Sander! I’m actually going to be in the Hague for a few days in Feb — staying with a friend in the Hague Feb 23-25, then doing a couple of gigs not far from the Hague — Voorhout on the 26th and Koudekerk on the 27th — see the Calendar page on for details, and you can also contact me directly via the Contact page … By the way, I love today’s entry — wish English had a similar word!

  4. Hi,
    Im from Holland, i live in Nijmegen and in Rotterdam.
    ‘Een kind kan de was doen’ is not something special, they jused it in Belgium to.
    And bytheway: Amsterdam and The Hague sucks!!!;p
    If you are in the Netherlands go to Zeeland (Middelburg) or go to Nijmegen with the ‘4daagse’ it’s like a big summerparty in the city and people walk for 4 days(each day 50 Dutch kilometers)

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