Dat slaat nergens op

that makes no sense at all [Dutch phrase of the week] Iconspeaker_klein

The informal "dat slaat nergens op" can be a bit stronger than "that makes no sense at all", and can convey the message that you think it is ridiculous or plain crazy.

The literal translation does not seem to make much sense: "That beats/hits on nowhere". In this context however, "slaan op" translates to "to refer to", where "nergens" translates to "nowhere". From "that refers to nowhere" it is a small step to "that makes no sense at all", well, at least it is for us 😉

To say it even stronger, "helemaal" can be added to the phrase: "Dat slaat helemaal nergens op!" And if you are looking for (implicit) confirmation, you can add "toch": "dat slaat toch helemaal nergens op!" 🙂

You will also hear the question: "Waar slaat dit op?" ("What is this about? / What is this supposed to be/do?")

– "Meneer, u mag hier niet parkeren!" – "Belachelijk! Dat slaat helemaal nergens op!"
("Sir, you are not allowed to park here!" – "Ridiculous! That really makes no sense at all!")

– "Wat vond je van de uitleg van de professor?" – "Die sloeg helemaal nergens op!"
("What did you think of the professor’s explanation?" – "It really didn’t make any sense at all!")

– "Het slaat nergens op dat ik door die mierenneuker word beschuldigd van het gebruiken van schuttingtaal!"
("It’s ridicuous that I’m being accused of using foul language by that nitpicker!")

– "De prijs die je tegenwoordig moet betalen voor een enkeltje Den Haag – Amsterdam slaat helemaal nergens op!"
("The price one has to pay nowadays for a single ticket from The Hague to Amsterdam is ridiculous!" Note that "enkel" in Dutch can have two meanings: ‘single’, or ‘ankle’. It is common to use the diminutive "enkeltje" for a single train ticket. A return ticket is a "retour" or "retourtje".)

Related words:
– "Onzin": nonsense.
– "Belachelijk": ridiculous. Lit. "laughable".
– "Onterecht": unjust, wrongful.

2 thoughts on “Dat slaat nergens op

  1. Don’t forget about the various alternatives. Like: “dat slaat als een tang op een varken” (“That beats like tincers on a pig” – prefereably used when something is absolutely too ridiculous for words), or “dat slaat als een #@$^#% (read: kut) op Dirk” (That beats like a #@^#% (read: cunt) on Dirk).

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