to keep one’s fingers crossed Click to listen
[dui-men, duim-de, ge-duimd]

people-484966_640Literally ‘to thumb’, this is the Dutch equivalent of ‘to cross your fingers’. I don’t know why we apparently ‘thumb’ to wish somebody good luck or to hope for a good outcome. It also seems that we don’t really know how to ‘thumb’ exactly so it is best used figuratively 🙂

Another translation of ‘duimen’ is ‘to suck one’s thumb’ but you will probably not use it too much (we hope).

– “Vanavond duimen wij voor Oranje!!” 

(“Tonight we keep our fingers crossed for the Dutch team!!”)

– “Heb je morgen je examen? Ja? Dan zal ik voor je duimen!” 
(“Is your exam tomorrow? It is? Then I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!”)

– “Wij duimen voor de winst tegen Uruguay!” 
(“We’ll keep our fingers crossed that we’ll win against Uruguay!” Lit. ‘we thumb for the victory’.)

Related words:
– Duimendraaien: to twiddle one’s thumbs, to sit around doing nothing, to be inactive [verb] [draaide duimen, duimengedraaid].
– Duimen/duimzuigen: to suck one’s thumb [verb] [duimde / zoog duim, geduimd / duimgezogen].

– “Volgens mij heeft hij tot zijn elfde geduimd.”
(“I think he sucked his thumb until the age of eleven.” Lit. ‘until his eleventh’.)

– Duim: thumb [noun] [duim, duimen].