Dutch Word of the Day
onhandig: awkward
Wel, dat was onhandig.
Well, that was awkward.

I’d like to introduce a new segment today. Hopefully, it won’t be too much of a common one, but something tells me it will be. Dutch people are often nice, practical and charming, but damn are they awkward. Combine their awkwardness with someone who doesn’t speak their language (or chooses not to) and it get’s special.

Take for example, last night. In New York, if their aren’t any cars coming you just walk across the street. Lights don’t really have a lot of sway in New York except for yellow, which means run faster. So I’m running across the street when there are no cars at all, and some cops decide to yell at me:

Cop: Rood licht!
Me (playing the American card): What?
Cop (pointing to light): Rood! Licht!
Me: I don’t speak Dutch!
Cop: Oh. Red light! You can’t go!
Me: Um…ok… (runs off to the next intersection)

Granted you need to pay attention because of the bike and tram traffic, but when no one’s there, what am I supposed to do?

1 Response to “Awk-ward”

  1. 1 cliff September 4, 2009 at 16:30

    onhandig = clumsy

    awkward (bijv.nw. / bijw.)

    naar, lastig, onaangenaam, storend, hinderlijk, onplezierig, ongelegen, onverkwikkelijk, moeilijk, zwaar, ongemakkelijk, niet makkelijk, ernstig, kritiek, benauwd, zorgwekkend, zorgelijk, benard, hachelijk, penibel, onhandig, gebrekkig, onbeholpen, stuntelig, knullig, stumperig, schutterig, koppig, bokkig, pijnlijk, zeer doend, slungelig, onprettig, opgelaten, lastige, gênant

    Have a good one!

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February 2007
The Hype Machine mp3 blogs Questions? Comments? Post suggestions? Leave a comment or mail me at: amherstdam....(at)

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