Vocabulary Dutch

The vocabulary contains 1588 meaning-word pairs ("entries") corresponding to core LWT meanings from the recipient language Dutch. The corresponding text chapter was published in the book Loanwords in the World's Languages. The language page Dutch contains a list of all loanwords arranged by donor languoid.

Word form LWT code Meaning Core list Borrowed status Source words

Field descriptions


For analyzability, I have concentrated on contemporary language use: do modern speakers consider a certain form to be a derivation/compound or not? This may involve, for instance, the word draad ‘thread’ being labelled unanalyzable, although from a historical point of view it is derived from the verb draaien ‘to turn’ - the suffix -d has, however, for many centuries been unproductive. Likewise, the old and by now unrecognizable suffix –el is regarded as being unanalyzable; it was formerly used to form instrument names such as beitel ‘chisel’, schoffel ‘hoe’ and diminutives like eikel ‘acorn’. And sprinkhaan ‘grasshopper’, finally, is regarded as semi-analyzable from a contemporary point of view: it has haan ‘cock’ for its second element, obviously, but the first part - the stem of the verb springen ‘to leap’ – is no longer recognizable as such.
On the other hand, hangmat ‘hammock’ is counted as an analyzable compound: the word was borrowed from Spanish hamaca, but through folk etymology it has been adapted in such a way that modern speakers regard it as being a compound of hangen ‘to hang’ and mat ‘mat’.
For the (un-)analyzability of verbs, the following arguments have been used: Dutch has a small group of verbs in -n such as slaan ‘to strike, hit, beat’, doen ‘to do’. The great majority of verbs, however, end in -en – these are all considered to be analyzable, even when they have been borrowed. They are either semi-analyzable (like sterven, the first element having no meaning), or analyzable derived (like hoesten: cough-INF, see hereafter), or analyzable compound ( aansteken: aan-steken [on-stick-INF]. If a stem has both a noun and a verb, like hoest ‘cough’ and hoesten ‘to cough’ or slaap ‘sleep’ and slapen ‘to sleep’, it is, within our contemporary linguistic system, impossible to judge which of the two is the original form and which the derivation – even historically, it is often not feasible to determine this. In these cases I have consistently labelled the noun (slaap) unanalyzable and the verb (slapen) analyzable derived ([sleep etc.-INF]). Dutch has a number of prefixes for verb derivation that are very old and whose meaning cannot clearly be described: be-, ver- and ont-; for these prefixes I have usually indicated only whether the verb derived is transitive or intransitive.


My dating of the words is largely based on the information provided by the EWB and van der Sijs 2001. Most of the dates mentioned in these works come from the quotations given in the three big historical dictionaries of the Dutch language, the WNT, the MNW and the VMNW. For the period up to the 13th century we have few sources, and the dates for this period have always been found quite by accident. We know about many native words that they must already have existed then as well, but it is not until the 13th century that we have a reasonable number of texts at our disposal. But also dates found for other periods are always more or less relative and accidental. For French and English there is a rich tradition in the domain of datings, but even there scholars keep on correcting and supplementing. In Holland, the situation is much less propitious - datings have been investigated and provided for only a few decades there. Not a single date can be accepted as absolute, every date is an indication for a period. And it is "work in progress": more and more sources have of late become available digitally, making it possible for ever better and older locations to be discovered. Still, the data I have supplied give an indication about the century since when the word has been known in Dutch.


In the case of most words, we know whether they are native Dutch words or have been borrowed. In the case of only a few words have I indicated that they are "perhaps borrowed".
A special category is formed by personal names in -er and -aar. The suffix -er in personal names is, historically, partly native and partly borrowed – present-day native speakers feel it to be wholly native. I have therefore labelled personal names with this suffix as native (not: created on loan basis) and unanalyzable whenever there is no obvious verb underlying (as with herder ‘herdsman’). When there is another word underlying the psersonal name, I have labelled it analyzable derived, as with kleermaker ‘tailor’ [dress-make-AGT] or visser ‘fisherman’ [fish-AGT]. Some nouns were borrowed in toto, e.g. dokter ‘physician’, meester ‘master’ – these are then labelled 4. Clearly borrowed and unanalyzable. The same goes for the suffix -aar in personal mames: officially, it was derived from Latin, it is very old and still productive – it is used side by side with -er; in the past, the two forms were frequently mixed up. Words with the suffix -aar are thus considered to be native and analyzable derived, e.g. bedelaar ‘beggar’ [beg-AGT] and handelaar ‘merchant’ [trade-AGT].
In nearly all cases, the meaning of the loanword has remained unchangd in Dutch; only in some exceptional cases, where the meaning has deviated, have I indicated this under Meaning (W16).
Only the immediate source word and donor language have been filled in, not the earliest known source word.


In the database:
EWB 1997 = Veen, P.A.F. van, and Nicoline van der Sijs. 1997. Etymo¬logisch woordenboek. De herkomst van onze woorden, Van Dale: Utrecht / Antwerpen. Second edition.
Sijs, Nicoline van der. 2005. Van Dale Groot Leenwoordenboek. De invloed van andere talen op het Nederlands, Van Dale Lexicografie: Utrecht / Antwerpen.
WNT = Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal. 1882-1998. Den Haag / Leiden. Aanvullingen. 2001. Three volumes. Third edition of the cd-rom 2003. [also online: www.inl@wnt.nl]

Also used as reference for etymology/age, though not mentioned in field W21:
Cd-rom Middelnederlands. 1998. Den Haag / Antwerpen.
Franck, J., N. van Wijk, and C.B. van Haeringen. 1976. Etymo¬lo¬gisch woordenboek der Nederlandsche taal, 's-Gravenhage.
MNW = Verwijs, E., and J. Verdam. 1885-1929. Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek. Den Haag. 9 volumes.
Philippa, M., F. Debrabandere, A. Quak, T. Schoonheim, N. van der Sijs (eds) (2003-), Etymologisch woordenboek van het Nederlands, A-. Amsterdam.
Salver¬da de Grave, J.J. 1906. De Franse woor¬den in het Nederlands, Am¬sterdam.
Sijs, Nicoline van der. 2001. Chronologisch woordenboek. De ouderdom en herkomst van onze woorden en betekenissen, Veen: Amsterdam.
Theissen, S. 1975. De germanismen in de moderne Nederlandse woordenschat, Belgisch Interuniversitair Centrum voor Neerlan¬distiek.
VMNW = W.J.J. Pijnenburg, W.J.J., K.H. van Dalen-Oskam, K.A.C. Depuydt, T.H. Schoonheim. 2001. Vroegmiddelnederlands Woordenboek. Leiden. 4 volumes.
Vooys, C.G.N. de. 1946. Duitse invloed op de Nederlandse woordvoorraad, Amsterdam. (Verhandelingen der Koninklijke Neder¬landsche Akademie van Wetenschappen, afd. Letterkunde, N.R. deel 49, 1.)
Vooys, C.G.N. de. 1951. Engelse invloed op de Nederlandse woordvoorraad, Amsterdam. (Verhandelingen der Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, afd. Letterkunde, N.R. 57, 5.)
Vries, J. de. 1971. Nederlands etymologisch woordenboek, Leiden.
Vries, J. de, and F. de Tollenaere. 2000. Etymologisch woor¬den¬boek. Utrecht.


The effect indicated (Replacement, Insertion, Coexistence) cannot in all cases be fully illustrated – it is sometimes based on chance. Sometimes we just happen to know that in earlier days a different word was used, which has been replaced by another loanword; sometimes, this is what may have happened, only we simply do not know that. For those cases where we cannot be sure, I have filled in Insertion. For the Environmental Salience (Present in pre-contact environment, Present only since contact, Not present, No information) I have used only the first two options, and here, too, there has been a certain amount of interpretation. Also, no account has been taken of small meaning developments. Thus, we know that the Latin loanword koken ‘to cook’ has replaced the native verb zieden, and the suggestion is that that happened because koken is a slightly different process from that of zieden – in this case, I have filled in Present in pre-contact environment. The Germans must have cooked their food in a certain type of container, but we no longer know what that was called. We do know that the word pot was borrowed from Latin, and again I have indicated this as Present in pre-contact environment, even though we do not know what it used to be called.


No special abbreviations.