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Swaffelen (or zwaffelen or dick-slap) is a Dutch term meaning to hit one's soft or semi-hard penis - often repeatedly - against an object or another person's body. Swaffelen was named as the word of the year in the Netherlands and Belgium in 2008.

The act of swaffelen often takes place in the form of teasing, crude humor, or a degrading context, but can also be a sexual act. When the act is practiced on a person, it is often the person's cheek that is hit with the flaccid or semi-hard penis.


The term "swaffelen" is believed to have originated in English-speaking areas.[1] It is believed to originate from Dutch words meaning swing, sway and swoop, as well as the German words for tail or penis (Schweif and Schwanz).[1][2]


In April 2008, the term received wide media-attention in the Netherlands and Belgium,[3][4] when a Dutch student committed the act on the Taj Mahal and uploaded the video to YouTube. The student was suspended for this action.[5][6]

In response, the BNN TV program Spuiten en Slikken invited viewers to make their own videos of other objects being swaffeled. They also called for a BNN Nationale Swaffeldag (BNN National Swaffel Day) to be declared.[7] The Royal Palace of Amsterdam and the Basilica of Saint Servatius in Maastricht were among the objects swaffeled in the submissions.

In 2015 a firefighter in Enkhuizen was fired for swaffeling a colleague.[8]

When the topic of swearing in various languages arose, in episode 4, series N, of the British panel show QI, one of the show's panelists, Jeremy Clarkson, mentioned the word,[9] defining it as meaning, specifically, "...to bang your penis against the Taj Mahal."

On episode 5 of the Amazon Video show The Grand Tour, Jeremy Clarkson again defined it as "to bang your gentleman sausage... on the side of the Taj Mahal".

Word of the year[edit]

Swaffelen was voted as the word of the year in a 2008 competition organized by Genootschap Onze Taal (Society for our Language), Van Dale Uitgevers [nl] (Van Dale Publishers) and the newspaper De Pers.[1][2][10] The blog GeenStijl encouraged readers to vote for "swaffelen".[11] "Swaffelen" received 57% of the votes while "wiiën" (meaning to play Wii) drew 12% and "bankendomino" (referring to the credit crisis) received 6% of the votes. "Gastroseksueel" and "smirten" each received 5% of the vote.[12]


Turkey-slap is another term for swaffelen. The phrase gained notoriety in Australia during 2006, after two male contestants in the Big Brother reality TV series performed the act on a female housemate. In the ensuing controversy, the male housemates were expelled from the house and contest for violating the show's terms of agreement.[13][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Dutch pick penis-shaking term as top word". UPI. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Swaffelen is Dutch word of the year". Dutch News. Expatica. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Swaffelen woord van het jaar". Het Nieuwsblad (in Flemish). 15 December 2008. Retrieved 2022-01-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ (in Dutch) Algemeen Dagblad, 14 april 2008: Zaak 'swaffelaar' erg opgeblazen."
  5. ^ "Student van school wegens 'swaffelen'". Trouw (in Dutch). 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2022-01-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Student van school wegens 'swaffelen'". Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). 9 April 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-04-08. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  7. ^ (in Dutch) BNN-uitzending over de BNN Nationale Swaffeldag op YouTube.
  8. ^ Kooijman, Tim (January 12, 2015). "Ontslag voor brandweerman na swaffelen van collega". AD. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  9. ^ rockattack (2016-11-13), Jeremy Clarkson on Dutch swear words (BBC Qi), retrieved 2017-01-03
  10. ^ (in Dutch) De Volkskrant, 15 december 2008: "Swaffelen woord van het jaar."
  11. ^ (in Dutch) De Pers, 16 december 2008. Door Sjoerd de Vries. "Swaffelen is de favoriet."
  12. ^ (in Dutch) Woordvanhetjaar.vandale.nl, uitslag verkiezing
  13. ^ Darren Cartwright (April 27, 2007). "Big Brother turkey-slap baby". The Daily Telegraph. News Limited. Archived from the original on 18 March 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
  14. ^ "Big Brother Turkey Slap Transcript". duncanriley.com. Retrieved 18 October 2016.