Where does the funny Dutch word ‘de neushoorn’ come from?


The word neushoorn can be split into two separate words, de neus and the hoorn. Both words can have different meanings in Dutch:   

a. De neus (m)

/nøːs/ (noun)

De neus can have two different meanings in Dutch:

1. An organ used for breathing and to smell.

Example: Hij heeft een lange neus. He has a long nose.

2. The front part of an object.

Example: De neus van het vliegtuig was beschadigd. The nose of the plane was damaged

b. De hoorn (m)

/horn/ (noun)

De hoorn can have 5 different meanings in Dutch:

1. hard and usually curved protrusion at the head of various animals

Example : Het hert had lange hoorns. The deer had large horns.

2. Wax that looks like a horn, for example with insects

3. (mollusks) turned dish of some mollusks

Example : Ze zochten allerlei horns toen ze langs het strand liepen. They looked for all kinds of horns when they walked along the beach.

4. An (electro) acoustic amplifier, for example the hearing and speaking part of a telephone

Example: Hij legde de hoorn onmiddelijk neer nadat hij hoorde wie er aan de telefoon was. He put down the receiver immediately after he heard who was on the phone.

5. (musical instrument) wind instrument that was originally made from a horn, but nowadays often from an injured copper tube with valves, and a wide bell

Example : We kunnen aardig op de hoorn spelen. We can play nicely on the receiver.

Do you like the neushoorn? you can always get his T-shirt here. 

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