Come on, just admit it, we Dutch people amuse you, horrify you and surprise you in ways you – and we ourselves – could never have imagined. How do I know? Apart from talking to international students, I happened to stumble on this amazing website that points out all our peculiarities, aptly called ‘StuffDutchPeopleLike’, because 16,629,900 people can’t be wrong, right?

Maybe I should not have told you, because it undermines the raison d’etre of this column, i.e. explaining typical Dutch behaviour to people like you, but on the other hand, you will probably find it highly useful and it gives you a chance to talk to other foreigners about our strange ways. So consider it a gift! The only thing I ask in return is to keep reading the ‘Bleep’ and email me your own observations about typical Dutch behaviour, please.

Now back to the site. It covers subjects ranging as far as natural childbirth, hagelslag, Dutch directness and being tall. Personally I really like number 43, ‘speaking in expressions’. Apparently we often translate Dutch expressions haphazardly into their own unique English versions, ‘resulting in a trail of words bizarrely strung together, senselessly hanging in the air and requiring my constant nod and smile of approval. Many mornings have been spent hearing about cows being pulled out of ditches and tall tulips getting their heads chopped off’.

It appears such ‘Dunglish’ phrases can be grouped into three main categories: 1) expressions relating to farm life; 2) expressions relating to the endearing Dutch weather; 3) expressions that make no sense at all. For instance: ‘Als de hemel valt, krijgen we allemaal een blauwe pet (Translation: If the sky/heaven should fall, we will all be wearing blue hats). Huh? You what?? Or how about the always useful Helaas, pindakaas (Translation: Oh well , peanut butter). No explanation needed, right? Right!

Other classics are: ‘Well now the monkey comes out of the sleeve’ or ‘You can’t make chocolate from it!’ As the writer of the website states: ‘I used to ask for an explanation, but I’ve since learned that often one doesn’t exist. Well, you just can’t make chocolate from it…’

So check out the site, or follow it on Twitter @stuffDutchLike or on Facebook. And don’t forget to email me your comments!

Have any observations for this column? Mail [email protected]