you don’t make an effort, you don’t really try
[Dutch phrase of the week]
"Ergens met de pet naar gooien" is "to make a half-hearted attempt" to finish a job or task because you don’t feel like doing it. When someone’s not committed to something, and therefore only finishes half of the job or does a very poor job, you can say: "Hij/zij gooit er met de pet naar", which literally translated to : "He/she is throwing the hat at it". Phrases with a similar meaning as "ergens met de pet naar gooien" are "niet je best doen" ("not try your best") or "ergens lak aan hebben" ("not care about something").
– "Ze heeft haar studie nooit afgemaakt; vanaf het begin gooide ze er met de pet naar."
("She never finished her studies; from the start she was not really committed to it.")
– "Ik denk dat zijn contract niet wordt verlengd want hij gooit er met de pet naar."
("I don’t think that his contract will be renewed because he’s not really committed [to the job].")
– "Zodra de voetballers wisten dat ze de wedstrijd niet meer konden winnen, gooiden ze er met de pet naar."
("As soon as the soccer players knew that they couldn’t win the match anymore, they didn’t make an effort.")
– "Elk klusje dat je aan haar geeft moet je zelf overdoen – ze gooit er echt met de pet naar."
("Every task that you give to her you’ll have redo yourself – she really does a poor job.")
– "Ergens lak aan hebben": to not care about something.
– "Je best doen": to do one’s best.
– Pet: hat [noun] [de pet, de petten].
Does anyone know where this expression came from?
It’s very similar to the expression “throw the towel in”, which I’ve been told comes from boxing. I was thinking they’d come from the same place, but there’s not a alot of hat wearing in boxing. :S
“Je gooit er met de pet naar”
This phrase does not have the audio.
Thanks Barbara! It should be OK now.
I tried to find its origin ’cause I agree it doesn’t really seem to make any sense, but can’t find anything about it. Will let you know when I come across it.
“Throw in the towel” normally means to give up when you know you’re beaten, or concede defeat. It doesn’t mean you didn’t try hard to win.
Idiomatic English for “met de pet naar gooien” might be “mailing it in”. When a sports team isn’t really working hard, we say they’re “just mailing it in”, as if they didn’t show up in person. It could also be used in other contexts than sports.
Matt, I assume that you’re American, because I have never heard the expression “mailing it in” before. I’m British and would have absolutely no idea what that would mean if someone said that to me!
The Dutch also ‘throw the towel in’ = ‘de handdoek in de ring gooien’ to concede defeat. Not to be confused with the English ‘to throw your hat into the ring’ which means to let yourself be entered as a contender in a race or election, etc. Idioms are confusing, eh?