I learnt a cute Dutch word today – ietsiepietsie. It means a little, a little bit, teeny tiny or a teeny tiny bit, and is also written ietsie pietsie, ietsje pietsje or ietsjepietsje [source].
You could also translate it as itsy-bitsy, itty-bitty or teensy weensy Do you know any similar expressions in English or other languages.
It is a reduplication* of ietsje (somewhat, a little bit), a diminutive version of iets [its] (something, anything), which comes from the Middle Dutch iet (something, anything, to any degree, a little, somewhat, sometimes, perhaps), a contraction of iewet, from the Old Dutch *iowiht, from the Proto-Germanic *ne (not) plus io (ever) plus *wiht, from *wihtą (thing) [source].
*Reduplication is “a morphological process in which the root or stem of a word (or part of it) or even the whole word is repeated exactly or with a slight change.” They’re not very common in Dutch. Other examples include taaitaai (gingerbread), tamtam (fanfare, grapevine) and bla-bla (blah-blah, talk) [source].
They’re more common in English. Examples include easy-peasy, hoity-toity, hurdy-gurdy, raggle-taggle, tut-tut, chit-chat and knick-knack [source].