Eigen grond

Typical translations of the Dutch word ‘grond’ (that which you are standing on) are ‘ground’, ‘floor’ or ‘earth’. It can also mean ‘land’ or ‘property’ as in ‘eigen grond’: private land/property, see the photo.
The photo shows a note put up by an angry home owner who has too many Pokémon trainers trespassing in his garden. It turns out to be a very suitable note to expand your Dutch idiom and to learn something about Dutch modern culture, so I have translated it below for those interested 🙂

Eigen grond

Photo from Facebook post by FunX

[Explanatory notes between brackets.]

“This garden is on private land and hence forbidden for dorks looking for Pokémons”
[The verb ‘liggen’ would be more suitable instead of ‘staan’ given it is a garden and not a house]
[‘Verboden toegang’ literally translates as ‘forbidden entrance’]

“Do something useful with your life and get the hell out of my garden!”
[Read more on ‘nuttig’ and ‘oprotten’ here:

“In any case this (whole) Pokémon fad is (really) the stupidest I have ever seen.”
[‘Sowieso’ is taken from German and means something like ‘in any case / anyhow’. A ‘rage’ is a ‘fad’; it is pronounced with ‘zj’ sound instead of ‘g’.]
[In Dutch there is a super-superlative degree that you form with ‘aller’: allerbeste, allerliefste, allerdomste. Of course it is completely redundant.]

“And believe me, I have already seen lots of dumb sh*t in my life.”
[The Dutch like to use the noun ’sh*t’ for stupid stuff, bad quality etc.]

The author then lists what he/she believes to be ‘domme sh*t’. Based on the topics, I believe the author to be in his or her mid-40s. It is a nice overview containing fundamental elements of Dutch culture 😉

Prijzenslag met Hans Kazan: Dutch version of the Price is Right https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prijzenslag. Hans Kazàn is a famous Dutch magician.
Vengaboys: when you say 90s music in NL, you say Vengaboys https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vengaboys
Buckler Bier: alcohol-free beer by Heineken, however no longer available in NL. Some say it is due to Dutch comic Youp van ’t Hek completely trashing the brand shortly after its release in 1988 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miDSDyLN_88
GTST: Dutch soap Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden (running since 1990)
Emile Ratelband: infamous self-proclaimed positivity guru who coined the catchword ‘Tsjakka!’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO6aXNmZxaA
Premier Balkenende: former prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Peter_Balkenende
Oh Oh Cherso: infamous reality-tv show showing youth from The Hague going crazy in the Greek town Chersonisos (The title is a pun on the famous Dutch song ‘O O Den Haag’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptGJ8wzeGDE)
Flippo’s: fad from the 90s; the goal was to collect so-called “flippo’s” that were included in bags of potato chips https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flippo
Jodie Bernal: one hit wonder Jody Bernal. His song ‘Que sí, que no’ (2000) will haunt us forever https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jody_Bernal

The author then closes with:
“If you walk on for a bit, there is quite a nice pub around the corner.”
[‘Kroeg’ is another word for ‘bar’. Here ‘aardig’ does not mean friendly, but ‘nice/pleasant’. Together with the diminutive of ‘kroeg’ it translates as ‘quite a nice’.]

“Do me a favour. Go there, have a beer and think hard about the direction you want to take in life.”
[See http://www.dwotd.nl/2012/03/1006-doe-me-een-lol.html for an explanation on ‘Doe mij een lol.”]
[Literally the translation is: “Go there, take a beer, and then think again properly about where you want to go with your life.”]

For comments please see the original Facebook post.


A ‘boef‘ (pronounce: ‘boof’) is a dishonest, disreputable man. It is often used in the meaning of (petty) criminal; basically a ‘bad guy’. Its use is mostly colloquial and is starting to become a bit outdated. The expression ‘Ga toch boeven vangen’ however, is still popular with Dutch people when they feel the police are stopping them for no reason.

The English adjective ‘proof’ has made its way into the Dutch language (used in combination with nouns) and a common word is ‘hufterproof’: resistant against vandalism (with a ‘hufter’ being an incredibly rude and bad guy). ‘Boef’ and ‘proof’ combine nicely to get a message across efficiently as can be seen in the photo.


Photo taken on Victorieplein – Amsterdam

For comments please see the original Facebook post.

Gebed zonder end

When something is taking (or expected to take) lots of effort and time without any result, the Dutch may call it a ‘gebed zonder end’ (‘an endless prayer’). Sometimes it’s used to say that it is not even worth trying, e.g. “Ik wil mijn fitnessabonnement opzeggen, maar ja, dat wordt natuurlijk weer een gebed zonder end!”
Note that ‘end’ is a synonym for ‘eind’ (or ‘einde’). See DWOTD Eind for more information on how to use it.

De steeg 'Gebed zonder End' in Amsterdam

Photo taken on Grimburgwal – Amsterdam

For comments please see the original Facebook post.

Een huishouden van Jan Steen

17th century Dutch painter Jan Steen is known for depicting ordinary people having a good time in somewhat chaotic (household) settings. A well known Dutch saying is based on his paintings: when a room or situation is described as ‘een huishouden van Jan Steen’ (a ‘Jan Steen household’) it means it is messy 🙂

The painting in the photo shows the title ‘Soo D oude Songen, Soo Pijpen De jonge’ which is actually the text on the piece of paper nailed to the wall in upper right corner. In other words: ‘the young imitate the behaviour of the elders’. Here the verb ‘pijpen’ means ‘to play the flute’ (which is the old-fashioned meaning of the verb; the modern meaning is in a way similar however completely different 😉 ).

Een huishouden van Jan Steen

Photo taken on Eerste Jan Steenstraat – Amsterdam

For comments please see the original Facebook post.