ghost, phantom [noun] [het spook, de spoken] [‘spook‘]  Iconspeaker_3

common Dutch expression is "spoken bestaan niet": ghosts do not exist.
It is used when there should really be a rational explanation for a strange phenomenon. Other than in this expression, you may come across a "spook" or "spoken" in fairy tales, cartoons or the Dutch translation of Harry Potter. However, if you
are driving on Dutch motor/highways and there is a warning for a
"spookrijder" on the radio, then pay attention as somebody might be driving on the
wrong side of the road (and hopefully it’s not you).

-"Mamma, ik zie een spook voor het raam!" – "Nee joh gekkie, spoken bestaan niet!" 
("Mom, I see a ghost in front of the window!" – "No you silly goose / dummy, ghosts do not exist!" Note that "gekkie" is the informal diminutive of "gek". It is friendlier than "gek" – the noun for madman or lunatic or fool etc. – and usually used in the meaning of "dummy".)

– "Wat is eigenlijk het verschil tussen een spook en een geest?"
("Now what is actually the difference between a ghost and a spirit?")

– "Ik keek vroeger naar Scooby-Doo, maar het spook bleek dan
altijd nep te zijn. Meestal was het gewoon de burgemeester ofzo!"

("I used to watch Scooby-Doo, but the ghost always appeared to be fake. Usually it was just the mayor or something!")

– "Overal spoken zien": to see ghosts everywhere, to be paranoid.
– "Spoken bestaan niet": ghosts do not exist; used when there should really be a rational explanation for a strange phenomenon.
– "Door het huis spoken": to prowl about in the house late at night.

Related words:
– "Spoken": to haunt (by ghosts).
– "Spookhuis": haunted house.
– "Spookverhaal": ghost story.
– "Spookrijder": motorist driving against the traffic on motor/highways.
– "Spookachtig": ghostly, spooky.
– "Geest": spirit.

3 thoughts on “Spook

  1. Your related words “geest” and “spookrijder” lead nicely to “geestschrijver” — which I hope to mean ghost writer…

  2. Hi Michael, nice try! However … 🙂 I don’t think we have a word in Dutch for ghostwriter. So we will probably say ‘ghostwriter’. If there is a Dutch word, my guess would be ‘spookschrijver’ as ‘spook’ conveys the ‘not knowing who’ a bit better than ‘geest’ (I believe, but it’s just a hunch).

  3. “Een spook” can also mean “a very unattractive person”: “Hij heeft een nieuwe vriendin — wat ‘n spook!” “He has a new girl friend — an intensely ugly woman!”

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