Opgeruimd staat netjes!

that’s done and dusted / everything’s shipshape / good riddance
[Dutch phrase of the week]
[op-ge-ruimd staat net-jes] 

It’s been one of those weeks in which you don’t have time for anything and at home things are piling up and it’s turning into a mess! Today I finally had time to clean up (a bit). When a room is tidy and in good order, in Dutch we say it’s ‘netjes’.  So, ‘opgeruimd staat netjes’ says something like ‘cleaned up looks neat/tidy’. You use the phrase to state/emphasize that cleaning up is a good thing, since the result is that everything looks ‘netjes’. (Note that in this phrase the verb ‘staan’ translates as ‘looks’ or ‘makes one/something look’.) The phrase is also often used when you finally succeed in getting rid of somebody 🙂

‘Netjes’ can also apply to the way one is dressed, e.g. ‘je ziet er netjes uit’ (which translates as ‘you look smart’), or ‘netjes gekleed zijn’ (to be smartly dressed).

Bed opgemaakt, was gedaan, afwasmachine ingeruimd en aangezet: opgeruimd staat netjes!” 
(“Made up the bed, did laundry, loaded the dishwasher and turned it on: everything’s shipshape!”)

“Heb je gehoord dat ze Frank eindelijk ontslagen hebben?” – “Ja, opgeruimd staat netjes zou ik zeggen, die gast liep de kantjes er vanaf.” 
(“Did you hear they finally fired Frank?” – “Yes, good riddance to him is what I’d say, that guy never did more than the bare minimum.” Note that the expression ‘de kantjes er vanaf lopen’ implies that the effort delivered is in fact insufficient. ‘Kant’ means ‘side’ in Dutch and the expression originally meant that you were avoiding work, always staying on the side.)

“De verkrachter is veroordeeld tot 10 jaar cel. Het publiek dat aanwezig was bij de veroordeling reageerde met een ‘opgeruimd staat netjes’.” 
(“The rapist was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The audience that was present during the sentence responded with a ‘good riddance to him’.”)

“Ben je wel eens bij haar thuis geweest? Van ‘opgeruimd staat netjes’ heeft ze nog nooit gehoord! Weet je wat ik denk? Ik denk dat zij aan verzamelwoede lijdt en niks kan weggooien!”
(“Have you ever been to her house? She has clearly never heard of “that’s done and dusted”! Do you know what I think? I think she suffers from collector’s mania and is unable to throw anything away!”)

– “Die zijn we kwijt!”: Finally we got rid of her/him!
– “Het staat je netjes!”: This literally says “it looks good on you”, but is often used ironically so say that whatever you did or are doing does not look good on you at all.
– “Orde op zaken stellen”: to restore order / to put things right / to take care of business.

– “Ik heb het heel druk gehad en moet nu hoog nodig eerst thuis orde op zaken stellen.”
(“I have been very busy and I really must first restore order at home.” Lit. “…and must now highly urgently first restore…”)

Related words:
Opruimen: to tidy up, to clear out [verb] [ruimde op, opgeruimd].
Troep: mess, rubbish [noun] [de troep, <no plural>].
– Schoon: clean [adjective].
– Geordend: well-ordered, orderly [adjective/adverb].

Zo zijn we niet getrouwd!

that’s not what was agreed, that was not in the bargain
[Dutch phrase of the week]
[zo zijn we niet ge-trouwd

The phrase ‘zo zijn we niet getrouwd’ literally translates as ‘that is not the way we got married’ and refers to the different formal ways one can enter in marriage (e.g. with a prenup in place or in community of property). However, in practice one only uses this phrase to express astonishment when somebody does something contrary to what had been previously agreed upon, or when something happens that is clearly not supposed to.

“Ja zeg, zo zijn we niet getrouwd! Ik heb je mijn auto voor een dag uitgeleend, niet een hele week! En zou je ‘m niet even vol tanken?!” 
(“I’ll be d*… This is not what we had agreed! I lent you my car for a day, not a whole week! And what about filling up the tank?!”)

“Ho eens even, zo zijn we niet getrouwd jongedame, je zou voor middernacht thuis zijn en je zou thuisgebracht worden! Het is nu laat, maar ik wil je hier morgen over spreken!” 
(“Hold it right there, this is not what we agreed upon young lady, you were supposed to be home before midnight, and somebody would bring/drive/walk you home! It’s late now, but I want to talk to you about this in the morning!”)

“Je kunt wel kritiek op me hebben, maar zo zijn we niet getrouwd. Als jij wil kunnen doen waar je zin in hebt, dan mag ik dat ook!” – “Zo zijn we niet getrouwd?? We zijn inderdaad niet getrouwd nee! Omdat jij te laf bent om mij ten huwelijk te vragen! Vind je het gek dat ik doe waar ik zin in heb?!” 
(“You can criticize me all you want, but this is not how we treat one another. If you want to be able to do whatever you feel like doing, then so can I!” – “We’re not married this way?? No, we are not married indeed! Because you are too much of a coward to propose to me! And now you wonder why I do whatever I feel like doing?!” Lit. “… Because you are too cowardly… Do you think it’s strange that I …” Note that it is more common to say ‘kritiek hebben op iemand’ instead of ‘iemand bekritiseren’.)

– “Dat was niet de afspraak!”: that was not the deal / that’s not wat was agreed!
– “Afspraak is afspraak!”: we had a deal! Lit.: “agreement/deal is agreement/deal”. Used when the other is trying to pull out of the deal.

Related words:
– Afspraak: agreement, deal [noun] [de afspraak, de afspraken]. Note that ‘afspraak’ can also mean ‘appointment’.
Trouwen: to get married, to marry [verb] [trouwde, getrouwd].
– Huwelijkse voorwaarden: prenuptial agreement(s). When one marries in the Netherlands with a prenup in place, it is said that one ‘trouwt op huwelijkse voorwaarden’.
– In gemeenschap van goederen trouwen: to marry in community of property.

Het werpt zijn vruchten af

to bear fruit, to work (out) well, to pay off, to yield profit
[Dutch phrase of the week]
[het werpt zijn vruch-ten af] 

The verb ‘afwerpen’ translates as ‘to cast/fling/toss off/away/down’ depending on force and direction used 🙂 It is a bit strange to use ‘afwerpen’ in the context of (pieces of) fruit since a tree or plant would at most just drop its fruit with a little help from gravity. Perhaps it is meant to bring an image to mind of fruit flying everywhere in an attempt to symbolize ‘profit’. In any case the point is: we emphasize the fruit ‘falling off’, whereas in English one emphasizes the ‘bearing of’ the fruit.

You may also hear: ‘het begint zijn vruchten af te werpen’, or the opposite ‘het werpt (nog) geen vruchten af.’ Quite often instead of ‘het’ a real subject is used; see the Examples.

“Dit is DWOTD nummer 1001; denk je dat Sanders methode inmiddels zijn vruchten begint af te werpen?” 
(“This is DWOTD number 1001; do you think that Sander’s method is starting to bear fruit by now?”)

“We hebben een moeizame start achter de rug, maar het begint nu zijn vruchten af te werpen. Dat is wel een hele opluchting kan ik je zeggen!” 
(“We have a painful/laborious start behind us, but it is starting to pay off now. That is a big relief, I can say that much!” Literally: “… behind the back… That is a whole relief…”)

“Ik probeer een betere band op te bouwen met mijn buren door hen af en toe bij mij thuis uit te nodigen, maar het werpt nog geen vruchten af…” 
(“I’m trying to build a better relationship with my neighbours by inviting them to my home every now and then, but it’s not working out very well…” Literally: “I’m trying to build a better bond…”)

“Heb je je ‘Location Services’ al uitgezet op je iPhone 4s? Dan gaat je batterij veel langer mee!” – “Ja, ik heb ook mijn email-ophalen op ‘manual’ gezet in plaats van op ‘push’; dat werpt ook zijn vruchten af!” 
(“Have you switched off ‘Location Services’ on your iPhone 4s yet? By doing so, your battery will last much longer!” – “Yes, and I have also set the retrieval of e-mail to ‘manual’ instead of ‘push’; that’s also working well!” Note the verb ‘zetten op’: to set (a configuration option).)

“Leerlingen moeten van mij sinds kort direct hun telefoon inleveren als ik ze zie gebruiken, en inderdaad; het werpt zijn vruchten af!” 
(“Recently I’ve made (my) students/pupils hand in their phone immediately as soon as I catch/see them using it and sure enough; it’s paying off!” Note that ‘leerlingen’ are ‘school students/pupils’ whereas ‘studenten’ are ‘university/college students’. The construct ‘zij moeten van mij’ can be translated along the lines of ‘I have told them to’, “I’m telling them to”, ‘I want them to’, “I’ve mandated them to” etc. )

Related words:
– Vrucht: fruit (of tree or plant) [noun] [de vrucht, de vruchten]. Note that in case of fruit in general (as in the collection of fruit types, e.g. apples, bananas etc.) we use the noun ‘fruit’ [het fruit, <no plural>].
– Afwerpen: to cast/fling/toss off/away/down [verb] [wierp af, afgeworpen].
– Opleveren: to yield, to bring in [verb] [leverde op, opgeleverd].
– Voortbrengen: to produce, to generate [verb] [bracht voort, voorgebracht].

Eigen schuld, dikke bult

it’s your own fault, you had it coming, serves you right
[Dutch phrase of the week]
[ei-gen schuld, dik-ke bult] 

This phrase is used teasingly and says that the person whose own fault it is should have known better, or simply had it coming.

The noun ‘bult’ probably means ‘hunch’ (as in hunchback). The ‘Van Dale Groot Uitdrukkingen woordenboek’ hints that this may date back to superstition saying that hunchbacks were to blame themselves for having a hunchback. In the meaning of ‘hunch’, we also use the word ‘bochel’ and ‘hunchback’ then becomes ‘gebochelde’ (e.g. ‘De gebochelde van de Notre Dame’).

“Ik ben misselijk!” – “Eigen schuld, dikke bult! Dan had je maar niet vijf haringen en drie moorkoppen moeten eten!” 
(“I am sick to my stomach!” – “That’s your own fault! (Then) You shouldn’t have eaten five herrings and three ‘moorkoppen’!” My aunt, who likes food, once ate five herrings followed by three ‘moorkoppen’ and wondered why she was sick to her stomach.)

“O jee, ik ga mijn trein missen, nu kom ik te laat voor die vergadering! Wil jij me naar het werk brengen met de auto? Pleeeease??” – “Ja daaag! Dan had je vanochtend maar niet moeten blijven liggen; eigen schuld, dikke bult!” 
(“O dear, I’m going to miss my train, now I’ll be late for that meeting! Can you drive me to work? Pleeease??” – “No way! You had this coming! You should have gotten up this morning instead of staying in bed!” Literally: “Can you take me to work by car?…” – “Yes bye!! Then you shouldn’t have remained lying…” When begging for help or a favour we often use a prolonged and slightly higher pitched ‘pleeease’ 🙂 )

“Els is bij me weggegaan, hoe moet ik nu verder?? Ik kan niet zonder haar!” – “Eigen schuld, dikke bult gozer! Je bent meerdere keren vreemdgegaan; wat verwacht je nou?!” 
(“Els left me, what do I do now?? I can’t live without her!” – “It’s your own fault man, you had it coming! You have cheated on her multiple times; what did you expect (was going to happen)?!” Lit.: “Els has left me, how must I continue?? I can’t without her!”)

– “Het is je eigen stomme schuld”: similar to ‘eigen schuld, dikke bult’. Lit.: ‘it is your own stupid fault’.
– “Boontje komt om zijn loontje”: serves you right!
– “Lekker puh!“: na na na na na!

Related words:
– Schuld: fault, debt, guilt [noun] [de schuld, de schulden].
– Bult: lump, hunch, hump [noun] [de bult, de bulten].

– “Ik heb mijn hoofd gestoten en nu heb ik een bult!”
(“I hit my head and now I’ve got a bump!”)

– Bochel: hunch, hump [noun] [de bochel, de bochels].
– Gebochelde: hunchback [noun] [de gebochelde, de gebochelden].

Vers van de pers

hot off the press, just announced/published
[Dutch phrase of the week]
[vers van de pers] 

When a book, newspaper or any physical publication has just been released, we say it is ‘vers van de pers’: hot off the press. The phrase is popular due to the rhyme. The adjective ‘vers’ translates as ‘fresh’. Sometimes the phrase is also used to indicate that something has just been announced (or a bit of news has just been released).

“Heb jij het nieuwe boek van Arnon Grunberg nu al gelezen?” – “Ja, ik heb hem meteen gekocht toen die uitkwam; vers van de pers!” 
(“Have you already finished reading Arnon Grunberg’s latest book?” – “Yes, I bought it immediately after it was published; hot off the press!”)

“Ik lees de krant tegenwoordig op mijn iPad. Hij is dus nooit meer echt ‘vers van de pers’ maar ik verbruik zo wel minder papier!” 
(“I read the newspaper on my iPad these days. So it’s never really ‘hot off the press’ but I do use up less paper this way!”)

“Wat hoor ik nu, zijn de rayonhoofden bijeengekomen?? Wanneer?” – “Zonet! Het is zojuist bekendgemaakt; vers van de pers!” 
(“What have I heard, have the ‘rayonhoofden’ assembled?? When?” – “Just now! It was announced just a minute ago!” This example refers to the ‘Elfstedentocht‘ fever that’s currently spreading in the Netherlands. This ice skating race passes through several regions in the province of ‘Friesland‘, so-called ‘rayons’, and when the heads of the ‘rayons’ meet, it’s a serious indication that the race may in fact take place. The last ‘Elfstedentocht’ (11 cities tour) was held in 1997.)

“Ik heb een leuk nieuwtje, vers van de pers, wil je het horen?” – “Ja graag! Ik kan wel wat afleiding gebruiken…” 
(“I’ve got a fun bit of news, just heard it, do you want to hear it?” – “Yes please! I could certainly use some distraction…”)

“Geef mij maar een echte ochtendkrant, er gaat niets boven ontbijten met een krant die vers van de pers is!” 
(“I definitely prefer a real morning paper, nothing beats having breakfast with a newspaper (that’s) hot off the press!” Lit. “(just) Give me a real…, there goes nothing above…” The Dutch noun for ‘breakfast’ is ‘ontbijt‘.)

– “Het verspreidt zich als een lopend vuurtje”: it’s spreading very fast (of news).

“Twee uur geleden was het nog vers van de pers, maar nu verspreidt het bericht zich als een lopend vuurtje en weet iedereen ervan!”
(“Two hours ago it was ‘hot off the press’, but by now the news is spreading fast and everybody knows about it!”).

Related words:
– Vers: fresh, new [adjective].
– Pers: press (equipment), press (the media) [noun] [de pers, de persen]. The plural ‘persen’ only applies to the press equipment. In case of ‘press (the media)’ we always use the article, i.e. ‘de pers’.
– Persen: to press, compress, push, squeeze [verb] [perste, geperst]. ‘Persen’ in the translation of ‘to push’ is used when delivering a baby.
– Drukken: to print (of publication) [verb] [drukte, gedrukt].