dutch dictionary

I've picked up quite a few little-known Dutch words over my week here in Holland. Here are a couple:



Drempels, n. A drempel is a kind of Dutch pastry about six feet in length and weighing seven hundred pounds. Villages in Tholen and Duiveland gather in the town square every full moon to mix a dough made of wheat flour and sawdust and lumber from downed windmills. They lay out the dough on a flat sheet and heap up a pile of unfinished croquettes, squares of mature cheese and probably a few pickled onions. The pastry is then rolled up, boiled in an iron cauldron overnight and then baked in a giant wicker man that towers over the medieval churches and gives burghomasters unquiet dreams. After three days the villagers remove the pastry from its grisly oven and, because of its density and inedibility, lay it across a highway to serve as a speed bump. Eventually it is paved or bricked over.



Overflakken, v. Whether you grow up in Ouwekerk or Utrecht, if you're a Dutch teenager you eventually participate in this kooky adolescent ritual. For one year you must pocket a single square of mature cheese from each meal. At the end of the year, on a moonless October night, in the shelter of a polder, you meet up with your friends. From the year's worth of mature cheese you build a gigantic cheese man that towers over the medieval churches and gives the klompen makers restless fantasies of wealth and power. You must spend the night under the mature cheese giant. If in the morning your cheese man is host to murders of cawing crows, you and your friends may steal a car and get stoned in an Amsterdam coffee shop.



te koop, coll. In order "te koop" with the immense pressure of pronouncing the Dutch language properly, many citizens will abandon their homes in the dark of night and disappear forever, leaving behind a sign in the window that states "te koop". People will pay large sums of money to move into these abandoned homes.



Those definitions are only really funny if you know Dutch, and probably not even then.