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

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huge mess, ravage(s), debris Click to listen
[de ra-va-ge, de ra-va-ges]

DomUtrecht "Ravage" is the mess resulting from destruction or demolition. Typically it is also used colloquially for a huge (physical) mess in general. Once a bookshelf topped over in my apartment; the result was a 'ravage'. So not necessarily there is real debris involved 🙂

Note that in 'ravage' the 'g' is pronounced as 'zj', as is the case with "lekkage".

– "Moet je dat zien, wat een ravage!" – "Nou, ik vind het wel meevallen hoor." 
("Look at that, what an enormous mess!" – "Well, I don't think it's that bad actually.")

– "De inbrekers hebben niet alleen mijn sieraden gestolen, ze hebben ook nog eens een enorme ravage veroorzaakt!" 
("Not only did the burglars steal my jewelry, they also created a terrible mess!")

– "Na het bombardement was het centrum van de stad één grote ravage." 
("After the bombing, the city centre was in pieces." Lit. 'one big mess'. The word 'één' is emphasized to indicate that it was 'completely' in pieces.)

– "Toen de supporters het Museumplein in Amsterdam verlieten na de verloren finale, lieten zij een enorme ravage achter." 
("When the supporters left the Museumplein in Amsterdam after the lost final, they left behind a huge mess.")

Related words:
– Puin: debris [noun] [het puin, <no plural>].
– Puinhoop: heap of rubble [noun] [de puinhoop, de puinhopen].
Troep/zooi/bende: mess [noun] [de troep/zooi/bende, <no plural>].
– Chaos: chaos [noun] [de chaos, <no plural>].
Opruimen: to clear out, to clean up (mess) [verb] [ruimde op, opgeruimd].
Puinruimen: to sort things out, to clean up the mess [verb] [ruimde puin, puingeruimd].