crab louse, crabs Click to listen
[de schaam-luis, de schaam-lui-zen]

“Schaamluis” is composed of “schaam” (from “zich schamen”) and “luis”, which respectively translate to “to be ashamed” and “louse”.

The Dutch call the area in which crabs tend to nest the “schaamstreek”: the pubic area, literally the shame area…

If you have crabs, your doctor will tell you: “U heeft schaamluis” (<note: in this case the singular form is used>), or “Je hebt platjes” (<plural form again>), which is more informal…

– “Ik ben gisteren naar de dokter geweest…ik heb schaamluis…” – “Balen!” 
(“I went to the doctor yesterday…I’ve got crabs…” – “Tough luck!”)

– “Heb je het al gehoord? Frank heeft schaamluis!” – “Dat verbaast me niks met al zijn knipperlichtrelaties…” 
(“Have you already heard? Frank has crabs!” – “I’m not surprised, with all his on-and-off relationships…” Lit.: “That surprises me nothing…”)

– “Schaamluizen leven van menselijk bloed.” 
(“Crab lice feed on human blood.”)

Related words:
– Condoom: condom [noun] [het condoom, de condooms].
– Geslachtsziekte: sexually transmitted disease, venereal disease [noun] [de geslachtsziekte, de geslachtsziekten].
– Jeuk: itch [noun] [de jeuk, <no plural>].

– “Ik heb jeuk in mijn schaamstreek…” – “Misschien moet je je laten controleren op schaamluis.”
(“I have an itch in my pubic area…” – “Maybe you need to go have yourself checked for crabs.”)

– Schaamstreek: pubic/genital area [noun] [de schaamstreek, de schaamstreken].
– Soa (seksueel overdraagbare aandoening): STD (sexually transmitted disease) [noun] [de soa, de soa’s].
– Zich schamen (voor): to be ashamed (of) [verb] [zich schamen, schaamde zich, h. zich geschaamd,].

Now we’re on the subject, here’s the STD top 7 in the Netherlands (from SOA Aids) (although crabs aren’t necessarily an STD…):
– Chlamydia (chlamydia)
– Genitale wratten (genital warts)
– Gonoroe / druiper (gonorrhea / (lit.) dripper)
– Hepatitis B (hepatitis B)
– Genitale herpes (herpes simplex)
– HIV (hiv)
– Syfilis

3 thoughts on “Schaamluis

  1. “When you have crabs, your doctor will tell you…”
    Perhaps that should be “if” rather than “when”?
    I think we’d all hope not to have crabs so an “if” would be more appropriate than a more definite “when”?

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