Bargoens

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bargoens [bɑrˈɣuns] is a form of Dutch slang, more specifically, it is a cant language that arose in the 17th century, and was used by criminals, tramps and travelling salesmen as a secret code, like Spain's Germanía or French Argot.

However, the word Bargoens usually refers to the thieves' cant spoken in the latter half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. The actual slang varied greatly from place to place; often Bargoens denotes the variety from the Holland region in the Netherlands. While many words from Bargoens have faded into obscurity, others have become part of standard Dutch (but are more often used in the "Hollandic" than in other Dutch dialects). Hufter (jerk), gappen (to steal) and poen (money) are examples of words now common in Dutch. As is the case for most thieves' languages, many of the words from Bargoens are either insults or concern money, crime or sex.

Due to the historically large number of Jews in Amsterdam, Bargoens has many Yiddish loanwords. Examples are sjacheren (to barter), mesjogge (crazy), jatten (hands, to steal), gabber (buddy, friend), tof (great), hachelen (to eat).

The name of this cant is close to baragouin, which means "jargon" in French. It is supposed to have been derived either from the Breton words bara+gwin (bread+wine) or from Bourgondisch ('Burgundish', i.e. [the language] from Burgundy).

Examples[edit]

apehaar (bad) tobacco
appie kim okay
bajes prison (Jiddish)
bekakt snobish
bollebof manager (Jiddisch)
bisnis business life, more specifically in prostitution
eisjedies adultery
gabber friend (Jiddisch)
gozer young man (Jiddisch)
hufter basterd
lef courage (Jiddisch)
jatten noun: hands;
verb: steal (Jiddisch)
penoze collegues's or: organized crime (Jiddisch)
opduvelen! saying this means: bugger off!
saffie cigarette, in earlier days also cigar: from the Morocco leather used for cigar kokers
smeris policeman (Jiddisch)
temeier prostitute (Jiddisch)
kassiewijle dead, defect (Jiddisch)
toges/tokus pump, anus (Jiddisch)

Also the nicknames of former Dutch guilders were Bargoens:

spie cent
hondje, beisje dubbeltje
heitje Twenty-five cent coin (Jiddisch)
piek, pegel guilder
knaak rijksdaalder
joet ten guilders (Jiddisch)
geeltje twenty five guilders
meier hundred guilders (Jiddisch)
(rooie) rug thousand guilders

See also[edit]