crybaby, whiner
[de hui-le-balk, de hui-le-bal-ken] 

football-619243_640A ‘huilebalk’ is an annoying child that cries or whines at the drop of a hat. The word is also used to describe adults who are known to whine quickly, or otherwise easily get emotionally upset. When talking about a baby that cries most of the time (including the night), we use the word ‘huilbaby’.

‘Huilebalk’ is composed of the stems of the verbs ‘huilen’ and ‘balken’. The latter used to mean ‘scream/cry’ however it is not used in that meaning anymore in the Netherlands (see Related words below). The verb ‘huilen’ was originally only used for dogs and wolves (compare ‘to howl’), however it is now the common verb for ‘to cry (tears)’.

“De buren zeggen dat Sam hun zoontje geslagen heeft.” – “Ach, daar geloof ik niks van; dat kind van hen is zo’n verschrikkelijke huilebalk!” 
(“The neighbours say that Sam hit their son.” – “Oh well, I don’t believe a word of that; their son is such a terrible crybaby.” Literally “.., there I believe nothing of…”)

“Ik heb een collega die bij het minste of geringste emotioneel wordt. Onvoorstelbaar, dat je op volwassen leeftijd nog zo’n huilebalk kan zijn!” 
(“I have a colleague who gets emotional at the least little thing. Incredible, how one can be such a crybaby at an adult age.” Literally ‘onvoorstelbaar’ translates as ‘unimaginable’.)

“Als zij verliest, verandert ze in een enorme huilebalk. Vraag het maar aan Aisling, want die speelt altijd squash met haar.” 
(“When she loses, she turns into an enormous crybaby. (Go and) ask Aisling, she always plays squash with her.” The use of ‘met’ in ‘speelt altijd squash met haar’ emphasizes more the social aspect of sports. In order to emphasize the match element, one would use ‘tegen’ instead.)

Related words:
– Aanstellen: to behave like a child, to act childishly [verb] [stelde aan, aangesteld].
– Huilen: to cry (tears) [verb] [huilde, gehuild].
– Wenen: more formal but less used synonym of ‘huilen’ [verb] [weende, geweend].
– Huilerig: tearful, weepy [adjective].
– Dreinen: to whine persistently, snivel (of babies, toddlers) [verb] [dreinde, gedreind].
– Balken: to bray (donkey) [verb] [balkte, gebalkt]. Despite the explanation in the introduction, the verb ‘balken’ is encountered mostly in this translation.

Things to remember from this DWOTD
– The difference between a ‘huilebalk’ and a ‘huilbaby’;
– The use of ‘bij het minste of geringste’;
– The difference between ‘spelen met’ and ‘spelen tegen’;
– The common root of ‘huilen’ and ‘to howl’.