in Dutch Etymology, Featured

Let’s start simple.

💡aard- is the Dutch root for the word “Earth”

🔶de aarde = the Earth
🔶de aardbol = the globe (earth-ball)
🔶de aardappel = potato (earth-apple)
🔶de aardbei = strawberry (earth-berry)
🔶de aardbeving = earthquake (earth-shake)
🔶aarden (adj.) = earthen, terrestrial
🔶aarden (v.) = to get used toto earth (a wire)

🔶aard nature, personality / character (if you stretched the metaphor, I’m sure you could see how the ‘nature’ of a person is his ‘ground’)

Let’s do a couple of quick sentences for the above.

✏️Ik kan met hem praten over problemen van elke aard. / I can talk to him about problems of any kind.

✏️Het zit niet in haar aard om wrok te koesteren. / It is not in her character to hold a grudge.

🔶geaardheid = orientation (most often used in seksuele geaardheid) (ge-nature-hood)

💡 -heid is a Dutch suffix that translates most closely in English to -hood or -ness

🔶aardig = pleasant, nice, friendly, good-natured (nature-full)

💡 -ig is a Dutch suffix similar to -y or -ed in English that help to convert nouns into adjectives and generally mean ‘having’ (eg: messy, voiced)


If aard- is the earth, what is the sky in Dutch?

💡hemel- or lucht- are the Dutch roots for the word “sky”

🔶de hemel = heaven, sky, canopy
🔶ophemelen = eulogize, exalt, glorify (up-heaven)
🔶hemelbed = four-poster bed (canopy-bed)

🔶lucht = sky, air, smell
🔶luchten = to air out, to dry out
🔶opluchten = to relieve
✏️We waren allemaal opgelucht toen de dokter ons het goede nieuws kwam melden. / We were all relieved when the doctor came to tell us the good news.

🔶baklucht = baking-smell
🔶gaslucht = gas-smell
🔶luchtballon = air-balloon
🔶de luchtbel = bubble
🔶buitenlucht = outside-air


Before we close out this chapter on the Earth and the Sky, let’s take one quick detour. As seen above,

💡 buiten is the Dutch word for outside

Note: Think of buiten as bi- + uit (out)+ -en

🔶buitenaards = alien, extra-terrestrial (outside-earths)
🔶buitenland = abroad, foreign land (outside-land)
🔶buitenaf = external


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