1. belt Iconspeaker_3
[de riem, de rie-men]

The most common use for "riem" is in combination with a pair of trousers. To clarify the use of a "riem", its ‘purpose’ is sometimes added, e.g. "broekriem": (lit.) pants belt, or "veiligheidsriem": safety belt.Riem

– "Die bruine riem past niet bij die zwarte broek." 
("That brown belt does not go well with those black trousers.")

– "Ik doe even mijn riem los, ik moet even uitbuiken…" 
("I’m just gonna loosen up my belt, I have to sit back and relax for a minute…")

– "Dames en heren, we tonen u nu het gebruik van de veiligheidsriem."
("Ladie and gentlemen, we will now show you the use of the safety belt.")

– "Het slachtoffer dat met een riem geslagen was, heeft tegen de dader aangifte gedaan van zware mishandeling." 
("The victim that had been slapped with a belt, has pressed charges against the perpetrator over severe molestation.")

– "Een hart onder de riem steken": to put new heart into a person.
– "(Een stoot) onder de gordel": (a punch) below the belt.

Related words:
– Band: band, belt, strip, ribbon, tire [noun] [de band, de banden].
– Gordel: girdle [noun] [de gordel, de gordel].

2. paddle Iconspeaker_3
[de riem, de rie-men]

Second translation of "riem" is in the context of rowing: "paddle". Synonymous to "riem" in this context is "peddel" (sounds like the English "paddle"…) or "roeispaan".

– "De kredietcrisis komt behoorlijk hard aan." – "Ja, we moeten maar roeien met de riemen die we hebben." 
("The financial crisis is a quite a punch in the face." – "Yes, we’ll just have to make shift with what we have." )

– "Roeien met de riemen die je hebt": one must make shift with what one has.

Related words:
– Roeien: to row [verb] [roeide, geroeid].

2 thoughts on “Riem

  1. I heard this on the news morning (I think I heard it correctly), after a train accident, that the attendants had failed “de trein onder de reim te steken”. I assume that this means that they failed to secure it. Does that sound possible?

  2. @markmc – I don’t recognize what they could have said on the news from your description. “To brake” in Dutch is “remmen” and perhaps there was a problem with the “rem” (brake)?

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