Nice things, crazy stuff about the Netherlands, Holland and the Dutch


Holland, Dutch and the Netherlands

Foreigners think a lot to decipher the name of that little country in the north of Europe. What is in a name? Call it Holland or the Netherlands and what do they mean by “Dutch”? Well we like to explain something:

  • Dutch facts
  • Dutch food
  • Dutch Non-food
  • Dutch soccer
  • Dutch Bicycles
  • Dutch sayings

Dutch facts

  • Most foreigners refer to “Holland” when they mean the “Netherlands”. The Netherlands is a Kingdom, consisting of 12 provinces including the provinces of North and South-Holland.
  • The official language is Dutch.
  • The capital and largest city is Amsterdam
  • The democratically elected government settles in the city of Den Haag.
  • On the 1st day of 2015 there lived 16.909.010 people in the Netherlands.
  • The Netherlands is a liberal country with legalized abortion, prostitution, euthanasia and maintaining a progressive drug policy.
  • It’s the first country in the world which legalized “same-sex marriage” in 2001.
  • The Dutch are the tallest people in the world. The average height for men is 184cm and for women 170cm.
  • Due to the short of grave space, graves are rented (for 10, 15 or 20 years) and cannot be purchased.
  • 86% of the Dutch speak English as a second language.
  • The Netherlands are partly European and partly Caribbean, The Caribbean part is called the Netherlands Antilles or Dutch Antilles.
  • The european part of Holland borders to Germany, Belgium and the North Sea.
  • The Netherlands Antilles consist of two island groups. The so called “special municipalities” are Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The islands with autonomous rights are Aruba, St. Maarten and Curacao.
  •  The colour of the Dutch flag is red, white and blue. Orange is the official colour of the Royal House of Orange.
  • The Dutch soccer team preferably plays in Orange.

Dutch food

  • Dutch people drink a lot of coffee. They drink an average of 140 liters a years, this is 3.2 cups a day!
  • They also have the lowest incidence of lactose intolerance of the world, only 1%.
  • Drop is a black Dutch candy made off Arabic gum and Salmiac. Dutch people adore it and eat many kilo’s of it. Most foreigners think it taste disgusting.
  • The Netherlands is the world’s second largest exporter of food and agricultural products, after the US! They are also the largest exporter of cheese in the world.
  • Cheese knife, a ‘kaasschaaf’ is used to cut very thin slices of cheese and is a Dutch invention.
  • The Dutch love to eat chopped fried potato’s with mayonnaise, they call it a ‘Patatje Met’ you can buy it in a pointed paper bag.


  • Coffee shops, in a coffee shop you don’t buy your cappuccino, they don’t sell coffee. Here you can buy a large variety of stimulating products at reasonable prices. Coffee shops are very popular among young tourist.
  •  The world-famous tulips and tulip fields of Netherlands do not originate from our country. The first tulip bulbs were imported from Turkey.
  • Wooded shoes “Klompen” have been popular in the Netherlands for about 700 years as industrial footwear worn by farmers, fishermen, factory workers and artisans to protect their feet from injury and keep them dry. Today the Dutch don’t ware klompen anymore.

Dutch soccer, The Dutch call it “voetbal”

  • The Dutch soccer team plays, if possible, always in the national colour Orange.
  • The best playing Dutch soccer players at this moment are Robbie van Persie, Arjan Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Rafael van der Vaart
  • Famous coaches are Guus Hiddink (current national coach) and Louie van Gaal.

Dutch Bicycles

Dutch people love to ride a bike, they ride a bicycle a lifetime. As soon as a child can walk they start riding on a little children’s balance bike. Once the learned to balance the child is give a bigger bike with side wheels. Once they now how to balance the side wheels are taken off and the biking life starts.

  • With 19 million bicycles the Netherlands have the highest bicycle density in the world.
  • In Holland lies 17.000 mileages bicycle paths, most of them have the special bicycle path colour dark red.
  • There are 4.500 mileages of national cycling routes.
  • The Netherlands is a cycling nation per definition.

Racing bike’s are very popular. A lot of people, man and woman,  ride in their free time racing bike tours.

Dutch sayings

Like every other country Holland has a lot of sayings and expressions. Some are new and often used. A lot are historical but not forgotten. Way to many to name the all.  Some expressions are nice to know, only if you use them in the good way. For example, what would you say if you feel there making a fool out of you, or if the price is to high? I would say: Neem je me in the maling? Best translated as: Are you kidding me? Are you trying to fool me?
A child can do the laundry.
An accident sits in a small corner.
Clapping out of the school.
Coming on the coffee.
Don’t let them take you by the nose.
Every disadvantage got its advantage.
Everything kids behind the zipper?
Having something under the knee.
He’s a holy little bean.
I have a walking nose.
I have hungry like a horse.
I have there a little brother on dead.
I keep you in the holes.
I see no hand for my eyes.
I sometimes walk too hard from staple.
I will keep an eye in the sail.
I will see it through the fingers.
I´m on the end of my Latin.
I’m not crazy Hanky!
It comes me my nose out.
It shall me a sausage be.
It smells an hour in the wind!
It walks out of the claws.
It’s cucumber time.
It’s not always party.
Joost may know.
Laughing like a burp with toothache.
Make that the cat wise.
Now breaks me the wooden shoe!
Now you fall through the basket.
One swallow makes no summer.
Salt up man!
Sitting with the baked pears.
So are we not married!
That comes for the baker.
That flyer goes here not up.
That looks me strong.
The bullet is through the church.
The pot accuses the kettle of being black.
There comes the monkey out of the sleeve.
There is work to the shop!
To dance to someones pipes.
Wet finger work.
You can feel that through your wooden shoes.
You just did it for John with the short surname.
You should not look a given horse into the mouth.
You shouldn’t sell the skin before the bear is shot.
Let us know: What do you say, dear reader. Does this sound like Double Dutch to you? Please send me sayings about us – The Dutch – in your country. Make me happy.

About Author

Hello, my name is Joop and I am the creator/designer of this blog. Always looking for new adventures. I travelled the World and would like to travel some more. Well, that's who I am in a nutshell. Together with some friends and family we like to show the Netherlands to the World. I hope you will enjoy our blog and persuade you to visit our lovely country. Love to see you soon in Holland.

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