Er is geen doorkomen aan

there is no way to get through/to finish, there is no end to it Iconspeaker_3
[Dutch phrase of the week]

Rijen_dik The verb "doorkomen" translates as "to come/get/pass through" and can also be used figuratively, for example in this week's Dutch phrase.

– "Heb je al een afspraak gemaakt met de huisarts?" – "Nog niet, ik probeer (ze) te bellen, maar er is geen doorkomen aan!" 
("Have you made an appointment yet with the family doctor?" – "Not yet, I'm trying to call (them), but I can't get through at all!")

– "Misschien is het een goed idee om dit jaar wat eerder kerstinkopen te doen. Want straks is er in de winkels geen doorkomen meer aan!
("Perhaps it is a good idea to start the Christmas shopping a little earlier this year. Later on there will be no way to get through (the crowd of people) in the shops!")

– "Het is jouw beurt om bier te halen!" – "Als je het goed vindt wacht ik liever, want er is op het moment aan de bar geen doorkomen aan…" 
("It's your turn to get some beer!" – "If it's okay with you I'd rather wait as there is at the moment no way to get through at the bar…")

– "Gaat het je lukken om het rapport om twee uur af te hebben?" – "Zeg, heb je die stapel gezien? Er is geen doorkomen aan!" 
("Will you succeed in finishing the report by two o'clock?" – "Hey, have you seen that stack? There is no way to finish!")

– Rijen dik: rows of people, a big crowd of people (lit. 'rows thick').

– "Het publiek staat rijen dik te wachten om een glimp op te vangen van de popster."
("Rows of spectators were waiting to catch a glimpse of the pop star.")

Related words:
Druk: busy, crowded [adjective/adverb].
– Drukte: busyness, commotion, pressure [noun] [de drukte, <no plural>].

– "Wat een drukte! Kom, we komen straks wel terug!"
("What a crowd! Come on, we'll come back later!")

3 thoughts on “Er is geen doorkomen aan

  1. Hi Guys,
    One of the things that there seems no end to is economic cutbacks.
    In fact The Netherlands actually made the news here in the UK yesterday (!) because of protests against them (
    Not sure if this is the right place to request it, but could you do a DWOTD on the very topical subject of “cutbacks” or “cuts”?

  2. Hey Chris – thanks for the suggestion! While waiting for a real post, I can reveal here that the Dutch word for “cutback” or “cut” is…
    A related word is “zuinig”: economical, thrifty.

  3. Thanks Sander!
    I’m going to slip that into conversation later today – in the expectation of a raised eyebrow in response. 🙂

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