The other day I came across the wonderful Dutch word uitsmijter, which means bouncer or doorman, and also a type of food consisting of toast, egg(s), ham, bacon or other meat, cheese and pickles is various combinations.

Apparently this is the kind of thing that some Dutch people like to eat after the bars close and the uitsmijters throw them out, which one possible way the dish got its name. Another explanation for the name is that it’s something that easily made and ‘thrown out’ of the kitchen [source]. It’s also popular as a breakfast and lunch dish.

Here’s a recipe.

The word uitsmijter comes from uit (out) and smijten (to fling, throw, hurl, smite, heave), so an uitsmijter is a thrower/flinger out. Smijten comes from the Middle Dutch smiten, from the Old Dutch *smītan, from the Proto-Germanic *smītaną (to cast, hurl, hit, strike, smear, dirty), from the Proto-Indo-European *smeyd- (to smear, whick, strike, rub), which is also the root of the Low German smieten (to throw, cast, chuck), the West Frisian smite (to throw), the German schmeißen (to throw, fling, slam), the English smite, and the Danish smide (to toss) [source].

Are there dishes with similarly interesting names in your country?

This entry was posted in Danish, Dutch, English, Etymology, German, Language, Proto-Indo-European, Words and phrases.

2 Responses to Uitsmijter

  1. Ned says:

    An ‘outsmiter’ would be a good name for a ‘pub bouncer’!

  2. Drabkikker says:

    Have you discovered kapsalon already? It literally means “barber shop”, because that’s where it originated in Rotterdam in 2003 (see the Dutch wiki page).

    Other funny Dutch food names you may have come across are: patatje oorlog “fries à la war” (fries with mayonnaise, peanut sauce and/or onions); broodje gezond “roll à la healthy” (baguette with ham, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes); koffie verkeerd “coffee à la wrong” (coffee with a lot of hot milk); studentenhaver “student oats” (nuts & raisins, eaten as a snack); boerenjongens “farmer boys” (raisins in alcohol, often eaten hot with ice cream); lekkerbekje “tasty mouth” (comparable to English sweet tooth) (fried fish); suikerspin “sugar whirl (or: spider)” (cotton candy/candy floss), wentelteefje “revolving/flipping bitch” (French toast – also the name for Escher’s curl-up creature); Jan-in-de-zak “Jack-in-the-sack” (traditional dairy product).

    And let’s not forget the decidedly non-PC (but very common) moorkoppen “Moor heads”, jodenkoeken “Jew biscuits” and negerzoenen “negro kisses”. Some years ago, the latter was officially changed into zoenen, but most Dutch people think that’s ridiculous. (In Flanders they’re called negerinnentetten “negro-woman tits” – I’m not making this up.)

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