10 (guilder) cents coin [noun, diminutive] [het dubbeltje, de dubbeltjes]
In Dutch ‘dubbel’ means ‘double’. The diminutive ‘dubbeltje’ translates to something like ‘small double’ which of course does not make a whole lot of sense.
The word ‘dubbeltje’ was the name of the small 10 cents coin that we had during the era of the Dutch guilder (an era deeply missed by many of us 😉 ).
It is ‘dubbel’ the 5 cents coin, and it is a tiny coin. Hence: dubbeltje.
After the introduction of the euro, some Dutch people have started to call the 10 Euro cents coin a ‘dubbeltje’. But this is obviously wrong and a sad attempt to make up for lost times.
A few sayings with ‘dubbeltje’:
1. “Zo zie je maar weer hoe een dubbeltje rollen kan.”
Translates to something like: “Once more you see/realize how a dubbeltje can roll.”
This saying is to describe the role of fate/chance in events.
2. “Voor een dubbeltje op de eerste rij willen zitten.”
(“To want to be in the first row (of a theatre) for a ‘dubbeltje’ “.)
This means that you want to get the best without spending money, or putting any effort in it.
Example: “Hij wil voor een dubbeltje op de eerste rij zitten.”
Did you know:
The CD was invented by Dutchman Kees Immink at the Philips research labs here in the Netherlands. As part of the final design he had to decide on the diameter of the hole in the middle of the CD. Since he didn’t know what to choose, he took a dubbeltje out of his wallet and decided it would be a perfect choice. If you ever find a dubbeltje: it is funny to see how it is a ‘perfect fit’.