Shoes in proverbs from clogs, slippers, boots to skates
Proverbs reflect the culture and history of a country. Proverbs about clogs in the Netherlands, for example, testify to our agricultural society. A country without ice has no proverb with skates in it. In our country ?? of manure, fog and rain ?? are there expressions with boots. That is why it is important in education for children, immigrants, immigrants and refugees that they learn our proverbs. Through our expressions with clogs, skates, boots, slippers and shoes, they learn about our country, our history and culture. Moreover, children and immigrants miss a lot if they do not understand the figurative meaning of proverbs. You can look up the meaning of proverbs in thicker dictionaries such as Koenen or ‘Dikke van Dale’. You can also buy a special proverbial dictionary.
Proverbs like mirrors
So, proverbs reflect our society in a way. This applies to proverbs about footwear, but also to other proverbs. That is why this article is part of a special on various categories of proverbs.
The lump in the proverb
Our clogs or ?? wooden shoes ?? are known to tourists all over the world. A tourist attraction of the first order. These “wooden shoes” are widely bought in tourist shops in Amsterdam. Seeing them made by an old craftsman is interesting for Dutch and foreigners. ‘Swedish clogs’ are a completely different story.
Three well-known expressions with the word lump in it are:
? You can feel that on your clogs? which means as much as that you can feel very easily. So easy that even if you are wearing hard wooden clogs you could still feel something with your feet when you walk over them. In a manner of speaking then.
A farmer in clogs; this expression is used to express that someone is ‘rude’ or ‘blunt’. A saying that does not sound so friendly to our farmers. It therefore reflects how wealthier or (then) more educated people thought about our farmers in the past (and perhaps even sometimes).
‘Now my lump is breaking’; this proverb is a way of expressing that something drastic is happening, something that someone does not expect at all. A lump does not just break or crack; it takes a lot!
Slippers in our proverbial expressions
With slippers you should think of slippers or perhaps also some kind of slippers or mules.
?? The fire run out of his slippers ??; this expression means to say that someone is very committed to something. He runs so fast on his slippers (which is not easy at all) that sparks are fired! It is a compliment for the efforts someone shows.
?? Shoot out of his bag ??; if someone goes off the rails, he reacts very angry. Can you see it for you too? How does the person in question then take his shoe ?? takes and throws it at you?
Sayings about boots
Nowadays you have boots in all shapes and sizes: snow boots, wellies, fur boots, waders. But very special are a set of very old, antique boots from the fairy tale of Little Thumb, as Perrault knows in his “Fairy tales of mother the Goose”! Little Thumb ?? lends ?? in that story the giant’s enchanted boots, with which he can cover seven miles in one step.
?? With seven-league boots ??; This proverb indicates that someone is doing something quickly or in large steps. These steps do not have to be taken literally, they can also be meant figuratively. For example when a person handles something quickly.
?? Something to flout ??; If someone ignores something, it is believed that someone hardly cares about something or takes it very easily. It is patching in the sense of “patching up”, fixing something easy. Also consider ?? shoe lapper ?? in the sense of shoemaker.
The slipper, the comfortable footwear
In a cold country like ours, you don’t walk in your bare feet or socks indoors. Far too cold. We have traditionally needed a special type of footwear for this. Nice and warm slippers.
A slipper hero; A hero in slippers is like a hero in socks! This way you can nicely explain one proverb with another. But to be clear, a slipper hero is anything but a hero.
Sit under the slipper; perhaps a lesser known expression. Someone who’s under the slipper is under the plaque. Another example of a proverb that can be explained with another proverb. Whoever sits under the slipper with his boss or wife has little or nothing to say. He certainly doesn’t rule.
Shoes in our sayings
There are many proverbs about shoes. I will name you two that appeal to me.
Whoever fits the shoe, put it on ??; this phrase expresses that if you think someone is criticizing you, you should do something about that criticism. You have to take that feedback! Rightly or wrongly, this proverb always reminds me of the Cinderella fairy tale, described by both Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. Cinderella is the only one who fits the lost glass slipper and the silk slipper found by the prince.
If you are curious about fairytales, you can visit my special about fairytales here.
In its infancy; Something that is still in its infancy is something that has only just begun.
You can say it is a project that still needs to be developed further. You can also say of a person that he is still in its infancy. He is not yet ready to be an adult or undertake adult activities. He still needs to develop.
The skate in our regular expressions
In our country with its many water and skating enthusiasts and Elfstedentocht fanatics, a proverb with a skate in it could not fail. Yet I have only been able to find a proverb with it. Skaters understand this expression all too well.
A crooked skate ride; when a person rides a skate skate, he is making a mistake, a slip. It will certainly go wrong with skating!
Shoemaker, stick with your read!
Nowadays not many people have their shoes properly repaired by a real artisan shoemaker. They prefer to go to a heel bar or buy new shoes right away!
Cobbler, stick with your reads A last is the mold on which a shoe is made. This saying advises anyone to whom it is said to engage in matters of which they understand.
?? The shoemaker’s children walk barefoot ??; a perhaps less known proverb. When the shoemaker’s children walk barefoot, they walk barefoot. This indicates that someone is not paying attention to their own problems. And that, dear reader, is gruesome and angry! Especially if someone does interfere with other people’s problems!
Conclusion about footwear in our Dutch proverbs
It will now be clear to you that our proverbs always tell something about our culture and our history. Anyone who wants to learn to understand ‘the Dutchman’ must understand our proverbs. And if you don’t know the meaning of a proverb, you can look it up in the more extensive, more specialized dictionaries. Think of Koenen’s dictionary of the Dutch language or (the best) in the ‘Dikke van Dale’, large dictionary of the Dutch language. You can also purchase a special proverbial dictionary. With this knowledge and books equipped, you can hit the trails, into the avenues, ahead with a brisk pace!
Not a proverb, but a song that the elderly among us know well.