Which English Words are Derived From Dutch?

The Dutch were among the first Europeans to settle in America. They established communities in the East, including one that became New York,early in the seventeenth century.

From 1820 until 1975, another 360,000 people from the Netherlands came to America. Today, there may be more than 1.5 million Americans with some Dutch blood, even though there are only about 14 million people in the Netherlands!

You might not realize it, but many common English words actually came from the Dutch language. Dope, luck, loiter, frolic, hoist, and spook are all derived from Dutch. So are boss, wagon, yacht, spool, skipper, and pickle, and the expressions hunky dory and poppycock.

The word snoop comes from a Dutch word meaning “eat snacks on the sly”. And speaking of snacks, that’s a Dutch word, too!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

2 thoughts on “Which English Words are Derived From Dutch?”

  1. The Netherlands actually has over 16 million inhabitants at the moment.

    Also, the words cookie and stoop come from Dutch.

  2. I’m suspicious some of these words/phrases are derived from Dutch. Hunky Dory? what Dutch word or expression does that come from? The word “doop” in Dutch means baptism, which doesn’t seem related in any way to our English pejorative “dope.” The word “snoep” in Dutch actually just means “candy” or “treat.” I don’t think there’s anything “on the sly” implied about it.

    On the other hand, the name “Brooklyn” comes from the original Dutch name for the terrain the present-day NYC borough sits upon. They called it “breukelen,” or loosely translated, “broken land.”

Leave a Comment