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11 Examples of Double Dutch in the English Language ...

By Neecey

If you’ve ever tried to learn a foreign language you know how difficult it can be, but have you ever given any thought how strange English must be to non-speakers? There are plenty of examples of double dutch in the English language, making it easy to wonder how on earth non-English speakers fathom it out? There really is a delicious amount of befuddling and discombobulating ways in which the English language just amazes. Here are some choice examples of double dutch in the English language. Some of them may take a couple of times reading!

1 Rings and Squares

Quicksand works slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea or is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? These are some great examples of double dutch in the English language, don't you think?

2 Teachers and Preachers

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?


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3 Ham and Eggs

There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France (Surprise!). Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. Kind of makes you wonder what you're eating, doesn't it?

4 Presents

Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present. The written version of the English language can get super confusing. If you didn't know the language, imagine what you would think of that sentence!

5 Sewing and Sewers

A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line. Isn't a seamstress a sewer? She sews, after all. This is yet another example of double dutch in the English language, and boy does it make you think!

6 I Love Meeses to Pieces

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it? Is it an odd, or an end?

7 Numbing the Tongue

After a number of injections my jaw got number. Those silent letters can really be confusing! Can you imagine reading that sentence if you weren't already familiar with the language?

8 Close the Door

They were too close to the door to close it. What if they have to close it because it has clothes in it? What a close call!

9 Desert for Dessert

The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert. That sentence probably makes perfect sense to you. However, it's a great example of double dutch in the English language, of the sort that frequently confuses non-English speakers.

10 Fat Chance

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which, an alarm goes off by going on. How does any of it make sense?

11 Because, Because, Because

Here is a really great trick. The only way that you can use "because" three times in a row, and still be grammatically correct: "She used because, because 'because' was the right word to use." Kind of gives new meaning to the term, "because I said so," doesn't it?

I would like to thanks to H. Bedford for help with this blog. For more examples check out In the meantime, anyone got anything else?

Top Photo Credit: dicegirlsnapz_away

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