372. Irritant

annoying, bothersome, irritating [adjective] [
‘ie-rie-tant‘]  Iconspeaker_6

“Irritant” is most often used to describe an annoying event, person or situation. It can also be used as an exclamation (see the examples). The word is similar to the English “irritant” but cannot be used in the same context everywhere. For example, the Dutch “irritant” cannot be used when describing allergic reactions or inflammation to flu ids or other substances. In these cases, you would use a construction with the Dutch verb “irriteren” (see Related words).

Less often you will hear “irritant” being used as an adverb. You can for example say “irritant goed” about somebody who annoys you by always excelling.

– “Het is heel erg irritant dat ik iedere dag in de file sta…”
(“It’s really very annoying to be in a traffic jam every day…” Lit.: “…that I stand in a traffic jam…”.)

– “Hij weet altijd alles beter; hij is echt een irritant mannetje.”
(“He always knows things best; the guy is a real pain in the neck.” Lit: “He always knows everything better; he really is an annoying little man.”)

– “Door die stomme muis ben elke keer mijn cursor kwijt. Irritant!”
(<office language> “This stupid mouse makes me loose my cursor all the time. Annoying!”)

Related words:
– “Irriteren”: to irritate.

– “De harde muziek irriteert me, ik kan niemand meer verstaan”.
(“The loud music is annoying me, I can’t hear anyone anymore”.)

– “Sanex irriteert je huid niet.”
(“Sanex does not irritate your skin.”)

– “Irritatie”: [noun] irritation, vexation.

“Haar continue klagen was de voornaamste bron van zijn irritatie.”
(“Her constant complaints were the main source of his vexation.”)

– “Irritatiegrens”: [noun] irritation threshold.

– “Ik luister niet meer naar je stomme opmerkingen, mijn irritatiegrens is bereikt.”
(“I won’t listen to your stupid remarks anymore, my irritation threshold has been reached.”)

A mistake often made when using the verb “irriteren” in an active mode, is “ik irriteer me aan hem” (Lit: “I annoy me on him”). The correct way of saying this is: “hij irriteert mij” (“he annoys me”), since the verb “irriteren” always needs a direct object. A verb with a similar meaning as ‘irriteren’ is ‘ergeren’. This verb can be used in both ways, e.g. “hij ergert mij” and “ik erger me aan hem”, both translated as “he annoys me”.

This DWOTD was provided by guest author Laura.