Sexing up Amsterdam real estate with French names

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Amsterdam real estate is in the hands of a selected few, including Prince Bernhard who owns a staggering 349 buildings in Amsterdam.

In the neighbourhood of ‘Bos en Lommer’ (aka Bolo, where 24HQ is located), a bunch of tall flat buildings are coming and will be sold to whomever can afford them: either rich Dutch folks or rich foreigners, the latter being bashed for buying houses that Dutch people in Amsterdam cannot afford, as if that was a new thing. And if rich Dutch people buy them, there’s much less bashing somehow.

And selling nice houses in a good neighbourhood needs a sexy name, n’est-ce pas? The brochure that is doing the rounds and making people laugh out loud swaps out ‘Bos en Lommer’ for a poor French translation, ’Bois & Lombre’ (‘Bois’ like ‘Bos’ means either woods, wood or forest and ‘Lombre’, meaning ‘shadow’ should be spelled ‘l’ombre’. And ‘Bos’ in Amsterdam usually refers to a park with lots of trees because we don’t have forests, a prime example of a sexed up term.

There’s a beautiful Dutch word that describes when someone uses English to make a Dutch word sounds sexier: ‘aandikengels’ (roughly, ‘thickening English’, thickening as in pouring it on thick).

We’re calling it, as a new Dutch word is born: ‘aandikfrans’ (‘thickening French’), which has no Google hits as I write this.

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