badly done piece of work or repair, botch-job, botch-up
[het brod-del-werk] 

The noun ‘werk’ means ‘work’ in Dutch and it can be used for a (type of) job one has, but also for a job done, e.g. ‘goed werk!’ (good job!). When you deliver ‘broddelwerk’ you are doing a terrible job of poor quality. The related verb is ‘broddelen’ (to bungle / botch (up) (one’s work)’, however it is almost never used.

“Hij heeft een goede reputatie als dichter, maar zijn laatste bundel is echt broddelwerk!” 
(“He has a very good reputation being a poet, but his latest collection (of poems) is a botch-up.”)

“Ik heb mijn auto laten spuiten, maar het is echt broddelwerk, ik zweer het je, breng je auto nooit naar die garage!” 
(“I had my car spray-painted but it’s a botch-job, I’m telling you, never take your car to that garage!”)

“Denk jij dat Frank contractverlenging krijgt?” – “Ik denk het niet, die gast levert echt broddelwerk af!” 
(“Do you think Frank will get contract renewal?” – “I don’t think so, the guy’s output is always of very poor quality.”)

Related words:
– Broddelen: to make a botch of something, to bungle / botch (up) (one’s work) [verb] [broddelde, gebroddeld].
– Slecht werk leveren: to do a poor job [verb] [leverde, geleverd].
– Broddelaar: bungler, botcher [noun] [de broddelaar, de broddelaren].
Waardeloos: worthless [adjective].
– Slecht: bad [adjective].
Aanfluiting: farce, travesty [noun] [de aanfluiting, de aanfluitingen].


employee Iconspeaker_3
[de werk-ne-mer]

Werknemer Literally "werknemer" means "work taker". It is the formal term for "employee". Typically you'd never say that you are a "werknemer" somewhere, you would say "ik werk bij …" ("I work at …")

– "Dit bedrijf heeft veel tevreden werknemers." 
("This company has a lot of satisfied employees.")

– "De plaatsvervangend directeur heeft besloten alle werknemers vanmiddag vrij te geven in verband met de warmte." 
("The deputy general manager has decided to give all employees the afternoon off due to the heat.")

– "De relatie tussen werkgever en werknemers is verslechterd door het langdurige conflict." 
("The relationship between employer and employees has deteriorated because of the long-lasting conflict.")

– "Uiteindelijk zijn de werknemers overgegaan tot een staking, maar dat was het laatste redmiddel." 
("Eventually the employees decided to go on strike, but that was the last resort.")

Related words:
– Werk: work [noun] [het werk, de werken].
– Werkgever: employee employer [noun] [de werkgever, de werkgevers].
– Vakbond: trade/labor union [noun] [de vakbond, de vakbonden].
– Staken: to strike [verb] [staakte, gestaakt].
– Staking: strike [noun] [de staking, de stakingen]. 


fireworks [noun] [het vuurwerk, <no plural>]

In the Netherlands it is common that people let off their own fireworks. Since fireworks is not cheap, some people complain about the waste of money that could have been spent on more useful things or on the less fortunate people on this planet.
Fireworks is usually sold in the Netherlands from the 28th of December till the 31st. Safety laws are strict for the shops that sell fireworks, and not all fireworks are allowed by Dutch law. For this reason border control between the Netherlands and Belgium is enforced in this time of the year, since more dangerous fireworks are allowed in Belgium and people try to bring it into the Netherlands.

– “Op oudejaarsavond wordt om twaalf uur vuurwerk afgestoken.”
(“At New Year’s Eve, fireworks are let off at twelve o’clock.”)

– “Veel kinderen steken al eerder dan twaalf uur klein vuurwerk af, zoals rotjes.”
(“Many kids let off small fireworks earlier than twelve o’clock, like firecrackers.”)

– “In Nederland mag vuurwerk alleen worden afgestoken op 31 december vanaf 10 uur ‘s ochtends tot ‘s nachts 2 uur.”
(“In the Netherlands, fireworks are only allowed to be let off at December 31st from ten o’clock in the morning till two o’clock at night.”)

– “De discussie die ik gisteren met haar had, man…vuurwerk!”
(“The discussion I had with her yesterday, man…fireworks!”)

Related words:
– “Jaarwisseling”: turn of the year.
– “Rotje”: firecracker.
– “Strijker”: heavy (illegal) firecracker, literally “striker”.
– “Gillende keukenmeid”: whizzer, literally: “screaming kitchen maid” 🙂
– “Vreugdevuur”: bonfire.

The Dutch city of Den Haag is notorious for its high amount of bonfires after New Year’s Eve. Some neighbourhoods are temporarily changed into warzones. Because not all fires can be prevented, the authorities allow bonfires at certain locations under certain circumstances. Not many people stick to those rules though…;-)

Every year the Dutch government makes an effort to warn teenagers for the dangers of fireworks. With all the “common” violence on tv and in videogames, realistic commercials with blown off fingers do not have so much impact anymore. This year, the Dutch government tries to get the message across by creating a web site with a fictitious Chinese guy explaining the dangers in YouTube like videos. Check it out at