The other day I learnt an interesting word in Dutch – flierefluiter – which a Dutch friend described as being a “butterfly type of person”. That is, someone who rarely sticks to or finishes anything.

According to the vanDale dictionary flierefluiter is a nietsnut (layabout or someone fit for nothing).

According to Dictionarist a flierefluiter is a ‘loafer, idler, dawdler, lazy person; low slip-on shoe’.

Are there interesting words for this type of person in other languages?

4 thoughts on “Flierefluiter

  1. I recently did a klezmer gig, as a part one-off duo drawn from a larger band I play with. For want of a better name, we called ourselves ‘Nebbish and Nudnik’.

    Both words are derogatory terms in Yiddish.

    nebbish: an ineffectual person
    Czech neboh ‘poor’, ‘unfortunate’ (+ ish) http://www.etymonline.com

    nudnik>: an annoying or boring person
    Polish nuda ‘boredom’ or Russian nudnyi ‘tedious, boring’ (+ nik) http://www.etymonline.com

  2. Nietsnut sounds very familiar to something my grandmother called us kids in a joking manner. She had a few German sayings that I’d love to know but I’ve never been able to figure them out. I expect it’s something from a German dialect. Any ideas?

  3. Jean: German has “Nichtsnutz”, a cognate of the Dutch word, with the same meaning 🙂

  4. I wonder whether nudnik, notwithstanding the above etymology, is influenced by nichtsnutz – or vice versa.

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