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D is for dag; doekje; and doosje

Dag is a general greeting. Literally it means day, but it’s used as both Hi and Bye. So it’s a very useful word to know.

When we were first here and I was starting to learn Dutch we were once in a cafe (or lunchroom) and something was spilled. I went up to the counter to ask for a cloth to wipe it up, and I decided to ask for it in Dutch as I felt I could do this.

I said, “Heeft u een doosje alsublieft?”

The lady behind the counter looked very confused at me. We’d been there a few times before and she knew that we were English. So I repeated my question. As she was still confused I switched to English to explain that we’d spilt a drink and I wanted to wipe it up.

Her response was: “Oh, een doekje!”, and she handed me a cloth.

Yes, I’d asked for a small box rather than a cloth!


  1. My wife tried to speak in Dutch to order in a restaurant in Amsterdam and the woman replied “Oh no, you MUST speak English!” 🙂

    • Yes, I’m quite glad we chose a small town to live in, not Amsterdam, as people are much happier to put up with my bumblings trying to talk Dutch!

  2. I love this about the #Challenge…finding a new blog with an interesting theme like this. I admire you for learning this new language and wonder how far back in the drawer is the How to Learn Italian discs. I like the addition of the personal story as I caught up with your other posts A-D. Congratulations on this effort. Uf you have time and interest, my theme this year is BOOKSTORES, their architecture, location, and the wonderful people who sell books. Hope you can join the tour and will teach me the Dutch word for books! Stephenyhoughtlin.com

    • Hi, glad you’re enjoying it. We moved the the Netherlands a few years ago, so I have an imperative to learn, and I’m surrounded by native speakers. And the Dutch word for book is boek.

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