bird Iconspeaker_3
[de vo-gel, de vo-gels]

Dutch wildlife is not too impressive. Here’s a list of our most common birds:
– Merel: blackbird [noun] [de merel, merels].
– Mus: sparrow [noun] [de mus, de mussen].Vogel
– Duif: pigeon [noun] [de duif, de duiven].
– Meeuw: seagull [noun] [de meeuw, de meeuwen].
– Ekster: magpie [noun] [de ekster, de eksters].
– Spreeuw: starling [noun] [de spreeuw, de spreeuwen].
– Eend: duck [noun] [de eend, de eenden].
– Kip: chicken [noun] [de kip, de kippen].

For the bird watchers among us: check out a more complete list at Wikipedia.

– "Er vloog een vogel hoog in de lucht." 
("A bird flew high in the sky." Lit.: "There flew a bird…")

– "De struisvogel is geen inheemse vogel." 
("The ostrich is not a domestic bird.")

– "Ik vind de meeuwen op het strand zulke agressieve vogels." 
("I think the seagulls at the beach are such aggressive birds.")

– "Een vroege vogel": an early bird.
– "De vogel is gevlogen": the bird has flown, he/she’s gone/disappeared/escaped.
– "Een vreemde vogel": a strange fellow.

– "Ik vind Frank een vreemde vogel…hij heeft zo’n bleek blotebillengezicht…"
("I think Frank’s a strange fellow…he has such a pale pudding face…")

– "[…] in vogelvlucht": a bird’s-eye view of […].

– "Amsterdam in vogelvlucht."
("A bird’s-eye view of Amsterdam.")

– "Beter één vogel in de hand, dan tien in de lucht": a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Related words:
Vogelvrij: outlawed [adjective].
– Vogelpoep: bird poop [noun] [de vogelpoep, <no plural>].

– "He…er zit vogelpoep op mijn auto…bah"
("Hey..there’s bird poop on my car…yuck")

– Vliegen: to fly [verb] [vliegen, vloog, gevlogen].
– Vleugel: wing [noun] [de vleugel, de vleugels].
– Snavel: beak [noun] [de snavel, de snavels].
– Nest: nest [noun] [het nest, de nesten].

One of the oldest written Dutch texts is known as "Hebban olla vogala", which are the first three words of the sentence "Hebban olla vogala nestas hagunnan hinase hi(c) (a)nda thu uuat unbidan uue nu", which
translates to "Hebben alle vogels nesten begonnen, behalve ik en jij. Waarop wachten we nu?" In English: "Have all birds started nests, except you and me. What are we waiting for now?"…

5 thoughts on “Vogel

  1. Dutch wildlife is not too impressive? We love watching the stalks (ooievaren) fly low over our house. Never seen a stalk in England.
    Also noteworthy that you couldn’t call a man a strange bird in British English as a bird usually refers to a woman. In English the early bird catches the worm too!

  2. Hi Simon,
    (So what is the difference between a stork and a ‘stalk’?)
    Also worth noting is that the stork is the symbol of the city of The Hague. You will often find a picture or statue of a stork on the “gevels” of buildings in the city centre.

  3. It’s so great to have DWOTD back! Another great example of how you can take a simple word like vogel and come up with many useful examples and related words.
    Een vreemde vogel: in amerikaans engels you can call either a man or a woman a strange bird. A quick googling showed that apparently there is a Jimmy Buffet song titled Strange Bird (“Watch out girl, he’s a strange bird”).

  4. Hi Sander,
    D’oh, having my English spelling corrected by a Dutchman – wat gênant! Storks of course fly, and stalks is the third person form of the verb to stalk (same in Dutch, right, stalken?).
    Also to note the difference between US and UK English re. strange bird.

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