Monday, November 8, 2010

The Dutch boss -more and more people understand Dutch around the globe

People all over the world are speaking Dutch without knowing it. A new Dutch dictionary of loan words in other languages has just been published. Heading the list of export successes is the word baas. It turns up in no fewer than 57 languages, in forms ranging from ‘boss’ in English to ‘bosi’ in a Chinese dialect. In past centuries the Dutch set up plantations around the world, the author points out, all of them with Dutch bosses.

The word ‘gas’ also turns out to be a Dutch invention – or Flemish, to be precise. The term was apparently coined by Jan Baptist van Helmont around 1600.
Some Dutch words have even been packed off abroad and then re-imported in another form. Bolwerk (bulwark) and manneke (little man) were taken up by the French, and then ended up back in the Netherlands years later as boulevard and mannequin.
Not surprisingly, the former Dutch colony of Indonesia has absorbed the most Dutch words – 5568 in total. They range from gotperdom (from Godverdomme, God damn) to hip-hip-hura!
And what about the word 'asvalt'...pretty famous in Turkey...

5 comments:

Claude said...

Very interesting! Even the word booze comes from the Dutch (busen)!:))))

I also like poppycock which means nonsense (coming from Dutch pappekak:"soft dung".)

Also bumpkin which means unsophisticated yokel (coming from Dutch bommekijn:"little barrel").

And so many more...We better watch out. You're taking over the world! :)))

Internation Musing said...

Booze,Busen?.))
I know the word 'Booze' and 'Busen' (in fact Bussen) but that are cars...))
thanks Claude for some Dutch lessons...indeed, watch us carefully..))
warm regards
hans

Claude said...

Maybe from Middle Dutch, buizen: drink to excess?

Much love:))))

Gauri Gharpure said...

very very interesting! some words in other anglo-saxon languages are thought to be derived from sanskrit.. for eg. manu = man, pada = pedi , matri = mother/mater, dasha = deca, etc.

Internation Musing said...

@Claude: buizen is bargoens (Dutch slang) and I'm not familiar with that..))
@Gaudi: also sanskrit has simular words with Turkish: baba and anna...father and mother.)!