Why learning Dutch will make you smile

Learning a new language can be hard and stressful, but it can also be hilarious at times. Scottish illustrator Laura Frame was learning Dutch while living in Belgium and she started making drawings of every amusing Dutch word she encountered… And there are plenty!

Laura Frame is an illustrator from Glasgow, Scotland. She lived in Ghent for a while, where we met through a mutual friend. She took language lessons to learn Dutch (in case you were wondering: we speak three languages in Belgium) and when a whole bunch of funny words caught her attention, she started making drawings of them. That’s how her ‘Amusing Dutch Words’ series was born. Talk about a cool tool to help you learn Dutch while in Belgium! Here are a few of our favorites.

Stofzuiger (vacuum cleaner)

Literal translation: dust sucker


Spiegelei (fried egg)

Literal translation: mirror egg


Tuinslang (hose)

Literal translation: garden snake


Feestneus (party animal)

Literal translation: party nose


Toiletbril (toilet seat)

Literal translation: toilet glasses

toilet glasses

Wasbeer (raccoon)

Literal translation: wash bear


Handschoenen (gloves)

Literal translation: hand shoes


Bloemlezing (anthology)

Literal translation: flower reading


Boterham (sandwich)

Literal translation: butter ham


Wielrennen (cycle racing)

Literal translation: wheel running


Hondenweer (foul weather)

Literal translation: dogs weather


Do you have any funny Dutch word suggestions for Laura? E-mail her at laura@lauraframe.co.uk or share them in the comments below, we’ll make sure to pass them on to her.



Written By

Freelance journalist & copywriter, vegetarian, photography lover, passionate reader, globe-trotter, aspiring everything.

  • I once stayed in a hotel in Antwerp and after checking in and looking for the way to my room, the receptionist told me that the ‘op-en-neerkamer’ was at the end of the corridor. This translates to the up and down room. At first I thought I had discovered a swinger’s hotel, but it turned out to be the lift.

    • Haha, that’s a good one, I had never heard of it before myself! I will pass it on to Laura. Thanks for sharing!

  • Great article! Kudos!

  • Motherofmultiples

    Re bloemlezing — it’s a translation from Greek anthos ‘flower’ + -logia ‘collection’ (from legein ‘gather’)

  • Hans de Wolf

    “Hanepoten” – really bad handwritten text. Literal translation cockpaws, the feet of a cock/rooster.