The unofficial guide to Dutch slang

Have you ever overheard a Dutch conversation, and thought “what did they just say?!?!?” Learning Dutch is no small feat, and even when you think you might have mastered the art of “d” or “dt,” or 't kofschip, there are a few slang terms that might slip in here and there that you’ll want to learn. Hereby we present the unofficial guide to Dutch (street) slang, so you can be ready to impress your fellow Dutchies whenever the opportunity arises.


Of course, every conversation starts with a greeting. You can say “ewa,” “faka,” or “ewa faka,” to ask what’s up. You can ask your bro’s; “swa,” “matsko,” or “niffo,” the last of which technically means nephew but in the bro sense of the word, or you can say it to your furry, four legged “dagoe.”


Seeing as students are always lacking money, it’s important to know how to express this in street slang terms. Three words for money are “floes,” “mula,” and “saaf,” and you can say you want to borrow 10 euros or a “donnie,” 100 euros or a “barkie,” or 1000 euros, “a doezoe.”


Some slang terms for cities also exist, which consist mainly of shortened versions of the city name. Examples include terms such as “Damsko” for Amsterdam, “Roffa” for Rotterdam, “Nimma,” for Nijmegen, and “Enske,” for… You can definitely also make up your own butchered word of a city and pretend that it’s a street slang term, that’s usually how these come about in the first place.

Another version of street slang for Dutch cities has a handy formula attached to it. It is common to say the area code of a big city, so for example “nul-vijftig” for Groningen, “nul-twintig” for Amsterdam, and of course “nul-vijf-drie” for our beloved city of Enschede.


Speaking of formulas, for many object type words, you can seem to take the first half of the word and extend the vowel, take “Merrie (benz)” for Mercedes Benz, “Nosso” for nose, and “Trinna” for train. There are some exceptions to the rule, such as “patta’s” for shoes, which you can use in a sentence to compliments someone's “outje” (outfit).


The last few slang sentences we want to make sure you’re aware of are the following: “De fissa is lit,” to let everyone know how lit the party is; “watskeburt,” to ask what happened, and “was maar een fatoe,” to make sure everyone knows it was just a joke,

We look forward to hearing everyone flex their newly acquired Dutch knowledge that you aren’t able to find in any language or grammar books.