Wind tegen

against the wind Click to listen
Wind tegen
[Dutch phrase of the week]

Literally, "wind tegen" translates to "wind against". It is commonly used in combination with the verb "hebben" (to have): "wind tegen hebben" (to go against the wind, to have the wind blowing against you). Note the subtlety that the Dutch actually say "the wind" goes "against you", instead of "you" go "against the wind"…we respect THE WIND… 🙂

The opposite of "wind tegen" is "wind mee": before the wind. When there's no wind, it's "windstil".

In the Netherlands, there's usually a south-west wind blowing, but it seems that no matter which direction you go, you always have "wind tegen"…

– "Ik had vandaag wind tegen op de fiets naar werk." 
("Today, when I was riding my bike to work, I had the wind blowing against me." Lit.: "…on the bike.")

– "Met wind tegen moet je harder trappen. bijna zwoegen…" 
("Against the wind, you have to pedal harder, almost toil…")

– "Ik ben helemaal uitgeput van de hele tijd wind tegen…" – "Dat valt toch wel mee? Het is bijna windstil nu." 
("I'm completely exahausted from having the wind against me all the time…" -"It's not so bad, is it? There's almost no wind now.")

– "De wind van voren krijgen": to get it good, to draw a storm on one's head.
– "Met alle winden meewaaien": to set one's sail to every wind, to bend with every wind.

– "Veel politici waaien met alle winden mee, verschrikkelijk!"
("Many politicians bend with every wind, terrible!")

Related words:
Rukwind: squall, gust [noun] [de rukwind, de rukwinden].
– Tegen: against [preposition].


"Wiet roken is tegen de wet, maar wordt in Nederland onder bepaalde
omstandigheden gedoogd."

("Smoking weed is against the law, but is allowed
under certain conditions
in the

Waaien: to blow [verb] [waaien, waaide, h. gewaaid].
– Wind: 1. wind [noun] [de wind, de winden]. 2. fart [noun] [de wind, de winden].


squall, gust [noun] [de rukwind, de rukwinden]

The past week two storms have passed over the Netherlands, leading to very strong winds primarily at the coast. In general, storms in the Netherlands are not very serious, but cyclists and motorists can definitely get in trouble due to "rukwinden": sudden sharp increases in wind speed.
The word "rukwind" consists of "ruk" and "wind". The noun "ruk" comes from the verb "rukken" which translates to "to jerk/tug/pull"; quick consecutive strong pulls. And yes, it can be used in a sexual context (see ‘Related words’).

– "Door hevige rukwinden kwamen diverse automobilisten in de problemen op de A4 in de richting van Amsterdam."
("Due to strong squalls/gusts several motorists got into trouble on the A4 in the direction of Amsterdam.")

– "Het Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut (KNMI) waarschuwt fietsers morgen niet de weg op te gaan in verband met mogelijke rukwinden."
("The Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute for Meteorology warns cyclists not to go on the roads tomorrow because of possible squalls/gusts.")

Related words:
1. "Windstoot": synonym for "rukwind".
2. "Storm": storm.
3. "Wind": wind.
4. "Waaien": to blow (by the wind, see DWOTD "72. Waaien").
5. "Rukken": to jerk/tug/pull.
6. "(Af)rukken": (informal) to jerk off, to masturbate (by a man).


Grammar: <waaien> [verb] [waaide, h. gewaaid].

Translates to: to blow (by the wind).

The verb "waaien" usually has the wind as its implicit subject. Variations on "waaien" exist that involve other subjects than the wind, see ‘Related words’.

1. "Het heeft hard gewaaid afgelopen nacht."
("It was very windy/There was a strong wind last night." Literally: "It has blown hard …")

2. "Hoor de wind waait door de bomen…"
("Hear, the wind blows through the trees…" First sentence of a well-known "Sinterklaasliedje". See "DWOTD 36. Kloppen" for other Sinterklaasliedjes and information on "Sinterklaas".)

1. "Laat maar waaien!": let it go, don’t bother about it!
2. "Zoals de wind waait, waait zijn jasje.": he has no opinion of his own. Literally: like the wind blows, so does his jacket/coat.

Related words:
1. "Omwaaien": to be blown over (by the wind).

Example: "Mijn fiets is omgewaaid." ("My bicycle …")

2. "Wegwaaien": to be blown away (by the wind).

Example: "Mijn pet is weggewaaid." ("My cap …")

3. "Uitwaaien": to be blown out (by the wind).

Example: "De kaars is uitgewaaid." ("The candle …") See also "DWOTD 32. Kaars".

Another use of the verb "uitwaaien" is to walk in the wind and clear your mind, typically at the coast.

4. "Overwaaien": to blow over (by the wind) and figuratively: arrive somewhere quickly from somewhere else, usually a phenomenon.

Example: "Grunge is overgewaaid van Amerika naar Europa."
("Grunge came to Europe from America.")

Another use of this verb is to say that a bad mood or a hard time will go past (eventually). Typical usage: "Het waait wel weer over!" ("It will pass!")

5. "Aanwaaien": to be blown at you/in your direction by the wind.

Example: "Kijk, er komt een ballon aanwaaien!"
("Look, a balloon is blown in our direction (by the wind)!")

"Het komt hem allemaal maar aanwaaien.": He succeeds without effort, he does not have to put energy into something and still has success.
Usually when this expression is used it expresses some degree of envy.

And then there are more verbs with "waaien", but we thought this would be enough 🙂