Our Dutch language is based on some pretty funny stuff. A lot of sayings and words come from ancient times and even the Dutch don’t know what the background is of some words or sayings.

Here is one with a really interesting story. In our language we use this sentence a lot “ik ben in de aap gelogeerd”. Literally that means “I stayed in the Monkey”. But what the…..does that mean!?? Well, all Dutch know that means that somebody double crossed (tricked) you, and you are in trouble now. So when you come home really sad and your wife asks , “what’s wrong dear”? Then for instance you will say,” I accidently signed for a time share apartment and now I stayed in the monkey!!” What!??? The wife will say, you stupid son of a……, now we really stay in monkey!!

Well folks, all clear now? Of course not. Well here is the background story.

The story is that in the 17th century there was a guest-house for sailors in the centre of Amsterdam. The guest house called “the Monkey”. After a long journey from Indonesia or Surinam the sailors wanted to sleep in a proper bed and slept at the Monkey and paid good money for that. The only thing was, that the owner of the guest house only cared for the money and not proper hygiene. The place was swarmed with flees. When the sailors got back to their ship to start a new journey they were covered with flees. They were really upset, and when people asked, “hey what’s wrong!?” Then the sailor would say, “I slept in the monkey”. Then local Amsterdam people immediately knew he had been tricked. He paid too much money and ended up with flees.

True story.