Op rolletjes

like clockwork Iconspeaker_3
[Dutch phrase of the week]
[op rol-le-tjes]Rollerskating

To express a general state of prosperity, the Dutch use the expression "op rolletjes". You can use it when things are going smoothly: like clockwork.

"Rolletje" is the diminutive of "rol": roll. "Op" is a very common preposition, usually translated with "on". "Op rolletjes" therefore literally translates to something like "on little rolls" or "on little wheels" (like under a desk/chair/table/rollerskates etc.)

Examples:
- "Geen files onderweg, het ging op rolletjes!" 
("No traffic jams on the way, it went like clockwork!")

- "Ik heb nog stapels met werk…" – "Wat klets je nou? Alles gaat op rolletjes!"
("I still have loads of work…" – "You’re talking nonsense, everything goes like clockwork!" )

- "Hoe gaat het met solliciteren?" – "Nou, nog niet echt op rolletjes…"
("How’s the job hunting going?" – "Well, not very well yet…")

Expressions:
- "Voor de wind gaan": to do well, to prosper.

Example:
- "Het gaat Frank voor de wind, zelfs in deze crisistijden."
("Frank is doing well, even in these times of crisis.")

Related words:
- Rol: role [noun] [de rol, de rollen].

Example:
- "Er zijn geen toiletrollen meer…" – "Dat zit er dik in, net nu ik serieus aan de diarree ben…"
("We’ve run out of (roles of) toilet paper…" – "Of course, just when I’m having a serious case of diarrhea…")

- Voorspoedig: prosperous [adjective].

6 thoughts on “Op rolletjes

  1. I think the best English translation for “op te hoogte” is “up to speed”.
    “I can’t believe he’s not up to speed on that procedure.”
    “Keep me up to speed on new developments.”
    Etc.
    Wat denkt U?

  2. Hi Carolin,
    The placements of the words is correct but remember that the verb “to go” has the conjugations.
    Ik ga, (jij,hij,zij,het) gaat, “wij jullie, zij” gaan.
    And instead of “ik” use the word “me”.
    “Het gaat me voor de wind”

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