swaffelen / zwaffelen

In 2008, swaffelen (or zwaffelen) was named the word of the year in the Netherlands. Its meaning? To hit one’s penis (often repeatedly) against an object or another person’s body. If you don’t believe me, look it up. 😛

The fact that it was chosen to be word of the year is not too surprising, since it’s kooky and memorable (are you going to forget it now?). The problem that I have with it is why it even exists in the first place! How can this action be such a common occurrence that it needs to have its own one-word expression? Maybe there’s something about Dutch culture that I have yet to learn. Are there any Dutchmen out there (with this word in their vocabulary) who could explain this?

Want to read more about other uncommon words? 🙂 See the Interesting Words page.

Sources:
– A friend of mine who lived in Amsterdam. (No, he did not physically demonstrate anything while talking about this word.)
Wikipedia (English)
Wikipedia (Dutch)