stickler (for accuracy), fussbudget/fusspot
[het pie-tje-pre-cies, de pie-tje-pre-cie-sen] 

The Dutch adjective for ‘precise’ is ‘precies’. It can also be used in the meaning of ‘exact(ly)’ or ‘accurate’. A common, but now old-fashioned name for men is Piet. Often when talking about the random average man, one talks about ‘Jan met de pet‘ or ‘Jantje en Pietje’. Although originally ‘Pietje’ thus refers to a man, a ‘pietje-precies’ is the general informal term for people who are sticklers for accuracy (like me 😉 ).

“Sander is echt een pietje-precies, op het irritante af soms.” 
(“Sander is a real stickler for accuracy, sometimes it’s plain annoying.” Note that you sometimes encounter a noun derived from an adjective in Dutch, e.g. ‘het irritante’. This is best translated as ‘the annoying part/bit’. You often see it used in the form: ‘het irritante eraan is…’: ‘the annoying part of it is…’ or ‘what makes it annoying is…’. When something is ‘op het […] af’ it means that it ‘is bordering […]’.)

“Zie je hoe netjes hij zijn bureau heeft opgeruimd, alles ligt evenwijdig aan elkaar. Hij wordt al net zo’n pietje-precies als zijn vader.” – “Hmm, ik weet niet of je daar nu zo blij mee moet zijn…” 
(“Do you see how neatly he has cleaned up his desk, everyting is laid out in parallel. He’s already becoming the fussbudget his father is.” – “Hmm, I’m not so sure you should be happy about that…”)

“Als je bruggen ontwerpt moet je wel een beetje een pietje-precies zijn; de kleinste afwijking kan de grootste gevolgen hebben!” 
(“When you design bridges you have to be a bit of a stickler for accuracy; the smallest deviation can have the biggest consequences!”)

– “Volgens de regels”: according to the rules.
– “Volgens het boekje”: by the book.

“Het moet bij hem altijd volgens het boekje gaan, er is geen enkele ruimte voor creativiteit!”
(“He always wants things done by the book, there is zero opportunity for creativity!” Lit.: “It must always go by the book with him, there is no room at all for creativity.”).

Related words:
– Precies: precise, accurate, exact [adjective/adverb].
– Perfectionistisch: perfectionist [adjective].
– Regel: rule, procedure [noun] [de regel, de regels].
– Exact: exact [adjective/adverb].
– Nauwkeurig: accurate, close, careful [adjective/adverb].
– Zorgvuldig: careful, accurate [adjective/adverb].
– Gedetailleerd: detailed [adjective].
Mierenneuken: to nitpick, hairsplit [verb] [mierenneukte, gemierenneukt].
– Kommaneuken: to nitpick, hairsplit [verb] [kommaneukte, gekommaneukt].

2 thoughts on “Pietje-precies

  1. In American English, someone who is a stickler for accuracy is said to be “anal retentive” or simply “anal”!

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