stuck-up, pompous person [noun] [de kakker, de kakkers] [‘ka-kur’]
One of the readers of the DWOTD was called a “kakker” recently. Now, is this unfriendly? Let’s try to explain what a “kakker” is!
The translation we have given here does not entirely reflect the concept of “kakker”. First some idiom background: “kakker” is derived from the word “kak”. In this context “kak” translates to “arrogance”, “airs”, “poshness” etc. Then you have the word “bekakt” which means “posh”, but not only the meaning of wealthy and rich, but also the mentality.
Mind that “kak” also translates to “shit” or “crap”, and “kakker” to “somebody who shits” but this is totally off-topic 🙂
So, basically a “kakker” is somebody from a somewhat posh environment, he or she might have airs, appear arrogant or stuck-up. However, in daily language a “kakker” has become the word for persons with a specific look associated with the posh environments. It is mainly used for their informal clothing style. “Kakkers” are associated with student fraternities, the field hockey sport, sculling/rowing and sailing/yachting.
Examples of “kakker” clothing for men are: red cotton pants with a checkered shirt, a v-neck sweater and a sailing jacket, together with brogue shoes or boat shoes.
For women: a similar outfit as for men but adjusted to women fashion 🙂 or: v-neck dress shirt with body warmer, jeans with rolled up legs and beige Timberland boots.
Now these are just examples, of course variations exist.
Typical brands of clothing for kakkers are: Oilily, Benetton, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Scapa, Gaastra….
In the city of the Hague you might find “kakkers” in the quarters of Benoordenhout or Statenkwartier and you can find some “kakker” stores on the “Fred” (posh abbreviation for “Frederik Hendriklaan“).
In Amsterdam you will find “kakkers” in Oud-Zuid or at the P.C. Hooftstraat and in Rotterdam you can come across them in Kralingen.
Now is being called “kakker” a bad thing? No. It’s just a name for somebody belonging to a specific group of people. But, the word is of course mainly used by people who do not consider themselves a “kakker”!
– “Op het schoolplein zie je vaak groepsvorming: aan de ene kant heb je de alto’s en aan de andere kant de kakkers.”
(“In the schoolyard one often sees groups being formed: on one side there will be the alternative kids, on the other side the posh ones.” This translation is a bit forced: “groepsvorming” is a typical Dutch word for people’s behaviour of socialising and hanging out with their own kind. An “alto” is an adolescent who is into alternative music like the grunge from the ninetees. It is derived from the Dutch word “alternatief”.)
– “Gisteren was ik op het terras van restaurant de Tuin aan de Kralingse Plas in Rotterdam. Daar waren best veel kakkers.”
(“Yesterday I was at the outdoor patio of restaurant de Tuin at the Kralingse Plas in Rotterdam. There were quite a few “kakkers” there.”)
– “Heb je de nieuwe vriendin van Peter al gehoord? Die praat echt bekakt!!”
(“Have you heard Peter’s new girlfriend? She really talks posh!!”)
– “Koude kak”: typical “kak”-society like behaviour.
– “Bekakt”: posh, stuck-up.
– “Bekakt praten”: to talk with a posh accent.
– “Kakmeisje”: girl from a “kak” environment.
– “Expatkakker”: an expat who has adopted the “kakker” style 🙂
– “Kak”: shit, crap.
I know the type! In the U.K., people like this are known as “Sloane Rangers”, or simply “Sloanes”.
I think the term ‘preppy’ is more appropriate and wasn’t mentioned. Oh, and don’t forget the always popped polo collars of course!
In certain regions of England (the south for example) “kakker” is a term of abuse for those in the shall we say lower socio-economic groups.
It is freequently used by jealous fathers in reference to their daughters’ unwelcome boyfriends, e.g. “Oh no! Not that kakker from the council estate!”.
Sorry, I also wanted to add that in Belgium (well, Antwerp and its environs at any rate) such people are commonly known as “dikke neks”.
One may often see these “dikke neks” – presumably those whose necks are too big for their collars – taking a Sunday afternoon walk in their finery (showing off) through the Grote Markt and around its many delightful cafés.
During a recent trip to Den Haag, I sampled Haagse Kakker. It tastes much better than it sounds!