Uitwaaien is a Dutch expression for clearing your head by going for a walk when it is windy. Uit means out and waaien is the verb used for the blowing of the wind – as can be read in our Instagram post on Dutch weather. When you have been inside all day or when you have a lot on your mind, the urge to go uitwaaien can get particularly strong. The Dutch expression uitwaaien calls to mind the image of the wind sweeping through your head during some form of physical activity outdoors, leaving you feeling refreshed and healthy.
Similar Dutch expressions
During your Dutch lessons you might have come across similar Dutch expressions, such as een frisse neus halen or een luchtje scheppen, which both mean getting some fresh air. Whereas these expressions can be used in any weather circumstance, uitwaaien is specifically reserved for when it is windy. The typical Dutch expression is used for heading towards the coast in the weekend for a walk along the beach, to enjoy being outdoors and clearing your head after a demanding week.
Experience the joy of uitwaaien
Uitwaaien gives you a good feeling, it is lekker – see this Instagram post for an explanation on the Dutch word lekker. So, give in to the particularities of Dutch weather and implement uitwaaien in your daily life. Before you know it you will hear yourself say: Zullen we naar buiten gaan, even lekker uitwaaien? Shall we go for a walk now that it is windy, to clear our heads for a moment and unwind?
Uitwaaien in the Washington Post
An article on uitwaaien recently appeared in the Washington Post. On social media the article was soon accused of presenting uitwaaien as a ‘lifestyle’, while for most Dutch people it is just a word for a familiar activity. However, the article does place the Dutch expression in a broader context of mental and physical health and mentions the historical importance of wind for the Netherlands, which makes it an interesting read for any (potential) student of a Dutch language course.
Written by Eveline Mineur
Ellipsis Text and Translation