in Dutch Etymology

If you are at a high position, you will naturally have more responsibilities. Life will be tougher. You will face many headwinds. It’s exactly how ‘high trees catch a lot of wind’ or hoge bomen vangen veel wind.


💡 vang- in Dutch means ‘catch’

Think about it. The fangs of a dog or bat are used to bite and ‘catch’ prey. Deriving from the same Germanic roots, we have vangen in Dutch meaning ‘to catch, capture or trap’. De misje vang de bol. De politie heeft de dief gevangen. De visser is trots op zijn vangst. The fisherman is proud of his catch. A vangnet (safety-net) catches you when you fall.

If you get caught doing something illegal, you go to the gevangenis. You become a gevangene.

If you en-catch something, it could mean that you took possession –> took charge –> began. Aanvangen is the formal word for a beginning or to begin.


Quick Recap

🔶 vangen = to catch, capture, trap
🔶 vangst = catch
🔶 aanvangen = to commence, begin (formal)
🔶 gevangenis = prison
🔶 gevangene = prisoner

🔶 visser = fisherman
🔶 trots = proud
🔶 de dief = the thief


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