Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Laf! -- #Curaçao expressions on the #AtoZChallenge 2015

Remember that post about ferfelu and how it differs from its (probable) Dutch root of vervelend? Same case today... but worse. (Well, funnier.)

(yep... just like "laugh")

but it's not "laugh".

In Papiamentu laf means boring. In Dutch--yes, spelled exactly the same--it means cowardly. (Or, worse, chicken shit.)

You can imagine the confusion.

Dutch Guy asks a Curaçao girl out and suggests a movie and dinner.
Curaçao Girl: "Maybe. What movie?"
DG: "There's that new German one that won the Golden Palm at Cannes."
CG (no fan of art-house films): "Ai no, hopi laf."

She means boring, but he'll hear her insulting his bravery... And there goes that love story, swirling down the drain of cultural non-entendres.

Sam, for instance, becomes a different dog in Dutch and in Papiamentu.

Today's bonus word:

Hint: People in Curaçao speak Papiamentu hopi lihé... which makes it hard for us beginners to understand ;)

(Congratulations, Romi C (Letters from the Land of Cherry Blossoms)--you got yesterday's bonus phrase right, and you're in the draw for the collection of Curaçao short stories :) )


  1. I like this word. I'm going to try to work "hopi laf" into my vocabulary for sure. :)

    1. Glad to hear it, Chuck! Do let me know how it feels--and how people react to it :) Thanks for the visit!

  2. Thanks Guilie.. not attempting this translation. Besides G+ is there another way of accessing yr posts?

    1. Hi Susan :) Not sure what you mean by "accessing"... Other than the actual blog, you mean? I usually post links on Twitter and Facebook, and there's also a subscribe-by-email widget around here somewhere. Is that what you mean?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...