In the same week as the long and anxiously awaited outcome of the US presidential election, when American colleagues were posting selfies with glasses of bubbly, Trump was throwing yet another wobbly and with the word matchingstool from a source text still fresh in my memory, some other very strange Dunglish words were appearing in the Dutch press. The worst one for me was callde when reporting that the Democrats had called, for example, Pennsylvania. So it’s ‘called’ but the Dutch past tense has been applied: callde. Please stop doing that! It’s as disappointing and confusing as bad champagne, or as I like to call it: Veuve Kliko.
The NRC newspaper featured photos of rubbish bins at the weekend along with the story behind a ubiquitous piece of street furniture: the kliko. Named after their little-known Dutch inventors -Klinkenberg and Koster – the word kliko is known in many countries but is not quite an eponym, like Scotch Tape, Post-it or Hoover. Pennsylvania on the other hand, although the first settlers were Swedish and Dutch, was named by the Quaker, William Penn!
Although the name kliko is also known in the UK too, everyone actually just calls them something which makes them sound like much more fun than they actually are: wheelie bins!