10 June 2014

English words of Dutch origin

Wikipedia has an extensive list and discussion -
The main part of refugees to England, Wales and Scotland from the 11th till the 17th century were from the Low Countries... In the Dutch Golden Age, spanning most of the 17th century, Dutch trade, science, military, and art were among the most acclaimed in the world, and many English words of Dutch origin concerning these areas are stemming from this period...English and Dutch rivalry at sea resulted in many Dutch naval terms in English... Via settlements in North America and elsewhere in the world Dutch language influenced English spoken there, particularly American English.
Just a few examples:
Aardvark, bamboo, beaker, bicker, blink, blister, booze (from Middle Dutch busen (="to drink in excess"), boss, boulevard, Brooklyn, bully, caboose, coleslaw, cookie...
Via - appropriately - Gerard Vlemming's The Presurfer.


  1. Also some of the American Food has Dutch origins, like apple pie, pancakes and doughnuts: http://www.rollmagazine.com/going-dutch/.

  2. PS In this context 'Dutch' implies everybody from the Low Countries, present day Belgium included (a lot of the colonists were from Flemish descent).

  3. Do the Dutch eat horsemeat as the Belgians and French do? Just curious... I spent a week in Rotterdam in November 1996 and enjoyed myself immensely -- everyone I met were warm and friendly, humorous and generous. Although I was there on business I was entertained in the evenings and saw a bit of the night-life. It was a great time!

  4. Some of these English words from Dutch origin are quite odd when Dutch is your native language, as is mine.
    The word "knapzak", for instance: that is already a funny word in Dutch (rarely used, but still well-known because it appears in the lyrics of an old song), but when I first heard somebody use "knapsack" in English I was convinced that this could not be the actual translation.

  5. The first people to visit Western Australia were the Dutch, and they named a parrot the Twenty Eight parrot after its call, which supposedly sounds like "Twenty Eight" in Dutch.



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