nervous, tense [adjective, adverb] Iconspeaker_klein_2

"ZenuwachtiNagelbijteng" is related to the word "zenuw" which means "nerve" (the plural is "zenuwen" which can be translated with "nerves"). A synonym of "zenuwachtig" is "nerveus" which is closely related to the English "nervous".

– "Hij bijt altijd op zijn nagels als hij zenuwachtig is."
("He always bites his nails when he is nervous".)

– "Doe niet zo zenuwachtig; je maakt me nerveus."
("Stop fidgeting; you’re making me nervous.")

– "Op iemands zenuwen werken": to grate under someone’s skin.

– "De huilende baby werkte me op mijn zenuwen."
("The crying baby got on my nerves.")

– "Op zijn van de zenuwen": to be a nervous wreck (please note that the emphasis is on "op").

– "De Miss Universe-kandidate was op van de zenuwen toen ze de vraag over klimaatverandering moest beantwoorden."
("De Miss Universe-candidate’s nerves were in tatters when she had to answer the question on climate change.")

– "Stalen zenuwen hebben": to have nerves of steel.

Related words: 
– Zenuwpees: fidget [noun] [de zenuwpees, de zenuwpezen].
– Nerveus: nervous [adjective].

2 thoughts on “Zenuwachtig

  1. Thank you for the work that you do on this very interesting website.
    I would welcome ‘elkaar’ being a word of the day. I know that generally it means together, but I’ve come across the expression ‘in elkaar’ and can’t quite figure it out. ‘Hij zakte in elkaar.’ was the sentence and the context suggests ‘exhaustedly’, but I don’t think that’s quite right.

  2. Hi Alen,
    thanks for your positive comment! I can understand your confusion about ‘elkaar’; its meaning depends on the preposition. ‘In elkaar’ therefore has a different meaning than, for instance, ‘uit elkaar’. I’d translate ‘hij zakte in elkaar’ by ‘he collapsed’. It’s going to be a long dwotd, but I’ll volunteer some time during the next weeks.

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