If you drive a bicycle in Amsterdam, you’ve probably been called some bad names in Dutch, without even knowing it. If you are curious what Dutch swear words mean and how to swear in Dutch, you can check out the list below.
If you want to use some of the words, tread very, very carefully. Especially in Amsterdam, swearing comes naturally for the locals and is often done with a tongue in cheek style that can be easy to miss and even more difficult to imitate.
When a foreigner tries to swear these Dutch swear words come across much harsher, especially when you don’t use the correct accent and tone of voice. Use this list with caution and drive safely!
10 Dutch swear words
1. Krijg de k(o)lere
Best translated as ‘fuck off’. Kolere (also klere; klerelijer) is a word that stems from cholera, a disease that spread across Europe in the mid 1800s. The infection spread quickly by contaminated water. In 1866 over 1151 people in Amsterdam died of cholera.
The Dutch curse Krijg de kolere is pronouced with a strong Amsterdam accent and was made famous due to the movie (and title song of) Ciske de Rat in which the young boy shouts it to its abusive mother just before he kills her in a fit of rage. You can watch the entire movie on You Tube with English subtitles.
Other uses of the word kolere:
Kolerelijer! (sufferer of cholera)
Wat een klerezooi (what a mess)
2. Kijk uit je doppen!
Meaning ‘watch out’ kijk uit je doppen uses an old Amsterdam word for eyes: doppen. So literally this word means ‘look out from your eyes’. A dop is literally a cap or lid.
Doppen is also used in the Dutch phrase boontjes doppen: taking the ends off green beans. The expression zijn eigen boontjes doppen means ‘taking his affairs in his own hands’, not using the help of others.
3. Hou(d) je smoel
In Dutch ‘shut up’ has many versions. Hou je smoel is typically from Amsterdam, with smoel meaning snout or face (like: shut your face). A better known version is Hou je bek / hou je bek dicht (Keep your mouth shut).
Smoel is Dutch swear word that can also have a more positive connotation. Something that has ‘smoel’, means it has ‘character’. For example: we moeten het een smoel geven: we have to give it more of a ‘face’.
4. Dutch swear words: Opzoute(n)!
A popular Amsterdam word to say for ‘go away’ is opzoute! (the (n) is unpronounced). It’s also used for third, unidentified persons: Laat ze opzoute! (in british: let them piss off) or a specific person: Eberhard moet opzoute! (Eberhard, -Amsterdam mayor- must fuck off).
Alternatively, oprotten! rot op! or opflikkeren! is used.
5. Klap voor je kanis
You want a smack in the face? Wil je een klap voor je kanis? Like smoel, kanis is the Amsterdam version of face or mouth.
6. Ben je helemaal besodemieterd?
A rather rethorical question, used only for the more advanced Dutch speakers, as besodemieterd is not an easy word to pronounce or remember. As a Dutch swear word, Ben je helemaal besodemieterd means Are you out of your mind, are you crazy?
Literally, when you are besodemieterd, it means you have been deceived. In this way, the very famous Dutch singer Marco Borsato uses it in the (well known) song Ik leef niet meer voor jou.
Je hebt me keihard voorgelogen
Besodemieterd en bedrogen
Dus droog die tranen in je ogen
Ik leef niet meer voor jou
You have lied to me without remorse
You’ve double-crossed me and deceived me
So dry the tears in your eyes now
I don’t live for you anymore
The entire song has nice, familiarised Dutch expressions, look for lyrics, translation in English and the song here.
As we have seen, lijer is sufferer, so someone who is kapsoneslijer is suffering from kapsones, a typically Amsterdam slang word. When someone has kapsones, it means his ego is too big, he has too much pride or is arrogant, has pretenses. So if someone tells you you are a kapsoneslijer, it’s not good!
8. Zit niet te zeiken. Zeik niet zo.
In English you would use the expression ‘don’t be a pain in the ass’ to translate Zit niet zo te zeiken. I have used the word ‘ass’ instead of ‘neck’, because zeiken is a very rude Dutch swear word and it’s not to be used for any your friends.
Hou (eens) op met je gezeik! Quit bitching!
In the dictionary you might find ‘zeiken’ as a word for to delay or put off, but it’s really not used in this way in every day life.
Literally zeiken means to pee/piss. Ik moet zeiken is a (very!) vulgar and seedy way to say that you have to use the toilet.
9. Kan me geen reet schelen
Het kan mij geen (ene) reet schelen means I don’t give a fuck. Yes, it’s vulgar, so it means you really, really do not care. Reet is a vulgar Dutch swear word for ‘ass’.
So from that we can distil more vulgar Dutch expressions: lik me reet (kiss my ass, literally lick my ass). Het zal me de reet roesten ( I don’t care). Je kan me reet likken (you can kiss my ass). Ik vind er geen reet aan. (I don’t like it at all.) Amme reet! (I won’t do it).
On a more positive use, you can also stick a feather in someone’s ass (Een veer in iemand’s reet steken) and then you make someone a compliment!
10. Eikel, lul, klootzak, muts, doos, kuttekop, kutwijf
Eikel, lul, klootzak, and klojo are more or less the same, meaning asshole or dickhead, really a rather unpleasant man. In Amsterdam these terms are used freely and easily, especially in traffic.
Kankerlijer (sufferer of cancer) is also popular and comes from the popular use in Dutch of diseases in swear words. In this category also falls teringlijer.
The words muts (wollen hat), doos (box, slang for vagina) and kuttekop (vagina head) are used to insult women. (with or without the prefix stomme -stupid. The British ‘You old cow!’ comes close to the meaning.
Wijf (slang for ‘woman’) has positive and negative uses in Amsterdam (lekker wijf is vulgar for ‘attractive girl), but the different uses are very subtle, so using these Dutch swear words are only for the advanced.
Of course it’s clear that kutwijf (cunt woman/bitch), kankerwijf (cancer bitch) and dom/stom wijf (stupid woman) are strong insults!
Don’t try these Dutch swear words at home!