Krap bij kas

short of cash/money
[Dutch phrase of the week]
[krap bij kas] 

This week’s phrase is actually an expression: “krap bij kas zitten”: to be short of cash/money. It’s an example of the versatile use of the verb ‘zitten’ which normally translates as ‘to sit’ but is also often used when you are ‘in a specific situation’. The adjective ‘krap’ means ‘tight, narrow’. ‘Kas’ is the general ‘(directly accessible) repository for money’.

The opposite expression is “goed bij kas zijn/zitten”.

“Kun jij het even voorschieten, ik zit een beetje krap bij kas…” 
(“Would you mind paying for me, I’m a bit short of cash….” The verb ‘voorschieten’ is like lending somebody money but you will usually be completing the transaction yourself 🙂 .)

“Zullen we vrijdag ergens gaan eten?” – “Leuk, maar ik zit eerlijk gezegd krap bij kas deze maand. Kun je ook over twee weken, dan is het salaris weer binnen…” 
(“Shall we go out for dinner (somewhere) on Friday?” – “That would be nice, but to be honest, I’m a bit short of cash this month. Are you available in two weeks from now, I’ll have my salary by then.” Lit. “…., then the salary will be in again.”)

“We zullen de uitgaven beter in de gaten moeten houden, want op deze manier blijven we eeuwig krap bij kas zitten.” 
(“We will have to keep better track of the expenses, because this way we will always be short of money…”)

– “Geen cent te makken hebben”: to be very poor, to (always) be short of money.

Related words:
– Krap: tight, narrow [adjective].
– Kas: general repository for money which is directly accessible [noun] [de kas, <no plural>].
Arm: poor [adjective].
Blut: broke, skint [adjective].

4 thoughts on “Krap bij kas

    • Great word Chris!!
      I recognize ‘pecunia’ in there. Which I think comes from Latin ‘pecus’ (or something) which in its turn means ‘cow’ I believe (but perhaps I’m wrong). I’m glad we moved to coins (I’m personally fine with living a ‘cowless’ life alhough I will miss the cheese of course 😉 ).

  1. Pecus is cattle or sheep… whence pecora in Italian, Portoguese and Spanish. The first Romans were shepherds, thus the greater the herd the wealthier you were… either way, ik ben krap bij kas en bij kaas 🙂

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