Seven Dutch sayings that are full of beans

We don’t really know why the Netherlands has so many sayings revolving around this particular vegetable – but then there are a lot of different sorts.

Boontje komt om zijn loontje. This Calvinistic and typically Dutch saying means you will get your just deserts (only if you eat up your vegetables of course).

Je eigen boontjes doppen. Bonen doppen means shelling beans thus shelling your own means you can’t rely on others to do the job for you.

Here are some we prepared earlier

Here are some we prepared earlier

Honger maakt rauwe bonen zoet, or hunger makes raw beans sweet. You will eat anything if you’re hungry enough.

Rare snijboon. Snijbonen are string beans and you would think a silly string bean would denote a tall and gangly person. But it doesn’t. It just means silly sod. A gangly person is called a bonestaak, or bean pole.

These beans are apparently weird

These beans are apparently weird

Ik bid niet veur brune bonen Not strictly a saying. This is a quote from a very popular tv series based on a book by Anne de Vries called Bartje. It is set in the province of Drenthe in the Thirties. When forced to eat brown beans which he detests Bartje refuses to pray before the meal and is, of course soundly thrashed.

You can't get much more Dutch than this

You can’t get much more Dutch than this

Ik ben een boon als ik het snap. I’m a bean if I understand this. The English equivalent would be  something like I’ll be dashed.

Een heilig boontje, or holy little bean is a person, usually a child, who is always trying to be good (but isn’t really).

Do let us know if you have any more suggestions.


3 thoughts on “Seven Dutch sayings that are full of beans

  1. Tanja van den Broek

    In de bonen zijn – te be confused
    (Meedoen) Voor spek en bonen – you are allowed to play/work along but you are not taken seriously (nor can you win because of your attribution is not taken seriously)

  2. aj

    the first one is incorrect. boontje komt om zijn loontje means that you will get what you deserve. Its said when someone has been set back by the people who react to that. basically: he had that coming.

  3. chita

    I never ever use these sayings, never. But it’s funny there are so many of them. Back in the days we probably couldn’t think about anything else but beans. Maybe it was cheap to buy and pretty ok to sell 😛


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