September 27, 2022


The Netherlands is filled with countless cities and villages, each with its own unique atmosphere. While some towns have gained their fame due to their attractions, others are loved for their hilarious names. 

After looking at the map of the Netherlands, some places may have you thinking they’re fake (yes, we’re talking about you, De Hulk). But, we assure you that these towns are real.

And they’ll have you questioning what the hel the Dutch were thinking. 👇

17. Stinkhoek (The stink corner) 💨

You’ll find this hamlet in the North Brabant province of the Netherlands. Its name has now been changed to Rijkerbeek (Richer bear) for “unknown reasons”, but we have a good guess as to why they came to that decision. 😆

The older generation of today’s Rijkerbeek definitely remembers the olden days of the stink corner, when it was known for its stench and rich bears. 🐻

📍 Rijkerbeek, 5469 SR

16. Vrouwenverdriet (Woman’s grief)

This hamlet’s name is said to originate from an inn that stood there around 1630. This was supposedly where the diggers of the Nauernasche Vaart canal drowned their wages at the inn’s bar. 🍻

Tip: Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, there was a water mill in the hamlet with the name “De Student.”

Of course, this made the workers’ partners so sad that the entire village came to be known for their feelings of despair. 💸 At least, that’s our take on the situation. 

📍 Vrouwenverdriet, 1566 PM

15. Raar (Weird) 

This Dutch province is located in Limburg and reminds us of that one kid we all had in our high school that wanted to be known as ‘the weirdo’ to distinguish themselves from everyone else.

The origin of the name probably derives from ‘rade’, which means ‘cultivation’ or ‘open place’ as the area used to host many farmers and agriculturists. 

Though we’re pretty sure the Netherlands is no stranger to farming culture. Maybe the province really is the high school weirdo. After all, it’s so close to the Southern border — and who knows what goes on there? 🤔

📍 Raar, 6231 RR

14. Helmond (Hellmouth)

This municipality in the Netherlands doesn’t sound like much to the non-Dutch speaker but it literally means ‘mouth of hell’ in Dutch. Imagine putting that on your postcard! 

The name ‘Helmond’ can be traced back to a combination of Hel, which means ‘low-lying’, and Mond, which refers to a higher, more secure place. 

helmond theatre in Dutch town netherlands
A gorgeous theatre in the middle of a mouth of hell? What a fiery experience! Image: Depositphotos

The name has nothing to do with today’s literal translation of ‘Hell Mouth’, but we like to think a fiery beast used to haunt the village a hundred years ago. 

📍 Helmond, Netherlands

13. Leiden (Suffering)

What could we possibly say about Leiden? You may ask. Well, you should probably know that it technically means suffering in German, which doesn’t sound all that inviting…

However, Leiden is a gorgeous student city that hosts countless bridges and historical buildings. We’d like to point out that plenty of German students come to study here in spite of the name.

READ MORE | Living in Leiden: 5 things to do when you move to Leiden

It’s also home to the DutchReview headquarters, so maybe you can forgive us for being a bit biased here. 😉

📍 Leiden, Netherlands

12. Hoofddorp

This town’s name doesn’t actually mean anything, but we know that the word itself sounds funny to many English speakers. 

The bad news is that in Dutch, the name loses its humour. It’s actually pronounced Hofe-dorp and not hoof-dorp. We prefer the latter. 💁🏻‍♀️

Hoofddorp also means ‘main village’, something the city constantly tries to use to its advantage since many of its hotels try to make you think that you’re staying in the main village: Amsterdam. 

📍 Hoofddorp, Netherlands

11. America

Do we even need to explain this one? You’ve probably heard of Holland in Michigan, now we have America itself in the lowlands. 

America is actually a Dutch province of Limburg, in the south of the Netherlands. It was most likely named after the Americas and is known for its history of peat extraction. 

photo of station america in the netherlands funny town netherlands
While it may say “Station America”, you’re actually in the Limburgish territory! Image: Rob Dammers/Wikimedia Commons/CC2.0

It’s no surprise that the Netherlands and the United States share similar town names with such a long history together. After all, New York was once New Amsterdam. 🤷🏻‍♀️

📍 America, Limburg

10. Doodstil (Dead quiet) 

This hamlet is located in Groningen, where just a couple hundred people live. With such a low number of residents, the literal translation of the name rings pretty well. 🤐

If not known for its noise, it is definitely known for its name. In May 2005, it won the “most beautiful place name” in the Netherlands thanks to its actual meaning: perfectly still. 

This success ironically put an end to the “dead quiet” atmosphere as this attracted many tourists to the area. 🤭

📍 Doodstil, 9997 PA

9. Vuilpan (Dirt pan)

Vuilpan is a hamlet near the Dutch-Belgian border in the municipality of Sluis. 

Sluis is built on fortified grounds and looks like your traditional Dutch town with churches, windmills, and flowing canals. 

What’s funnier than this hamlet’s name is that there’s barely any information about it on the internet. Though, we’re sure people visit the area just to say they’ve fallen in the Dutch dirt pan. 🍳

📍 Vuilpan, 4529 JS

8. Moddergat (Mudhole)

This fishing village was actually voted the second most beautiful place in the Netherlands in 2004. Who knew a mudhole could be so good-looking? 

Moddergat’s name is actually three centuries old! It was first called “Modde Gat” (muddy pool) and was home to only 220 people in 1840. 

As of 2017, the population had risen all the way up to 221 residents. It seems Moddergat has won the hearts of its locals, who are happy to stay in their muddy hole! 

📍 Moddergat, Netherlands

7. Muggenbeet (Mosquito bite) 🦟

Muggenbeet is quite a small hamlet with only 25 permanent residents, now that’s a mosquito bite of a number! 

No need to start scratching your legs however, the name actually has nothing to do with annoying insects. 

Welcome to Muggenbeet, where all the buzzing mosquitos of the world reside! Image: Gouwenaar/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

In 1313, it was spelt as “Mugghenbete”. This refers to the Old Saxon way of saying “small stream” or “Mücken Beecke”, which is named after a small stream that flows through the village.

📍 Muggenbeet, 8356 VK

6. Losser (Loser)

Losser is a Dutch municipality in the province of Overijssel, in the East of the Twente region and near the German border. 

There’s not much to say about this one other than the fact that now we know the Dutch have an area designated for all its losers. 

All jokes aside, the municipality is home to 13,405 local losers, who we’re sure to have won at least something in their life! 

📍 Losser, Netherlands

5. Broek in Waterland (Trousers in Waterland)

While there’s no accurate reason as to why this village is called trousers in Waterland, maybe they just wanted people to know — Mean Girls style — that in Waterland, we wear trousers. 👑

The village was quite the tourist hotspot! In the 1600s, the area was popular among sea captains who would spend their holidays there. 

Other travellers who would visit the area around the 17th century always recalled the cleanliness and tidiness of the village in their travel books. 

Ironically, between the 1960s and 2011, Broek in Waterland was host to a major landfill where toxic chemicals were dumped. Today, it’s been partially re-opened as a nature reserve! 🌱

📍 Broek in Waterland, Netherlands

4. De Hulk (The Hulk)

Unfortunately, this Dutch hamlet isn’t a homage to the green Marvel superhero. 💪🏼

De Hulk derives its name from an old inn which stood along the canals Hoorn- Alkmaar and Hoorn- Amsterdam. 

Legend says you’ll be able to find the Hulk’s house in this picture if you look long enough. 👀 Image: Gouwenaar/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The inn had a sign on the front which featured a large maritime ship, which is also known as a hulk in English. 🚢

The hamlet is great for canoe trips, hiking trails, and of course scavenging for the superhero’s house hidden somewhere in the Dutch woodlands. 

📍 De Hulk, Netherlands

3. Sexbierum

If a 10-year-old kid was in charge of naming a town, this is probably what they’d come up with. 

Sexbierum is a village in the Northern-central part of the Netherlands, in the municipality of Waadhoeke. 

Its original name “Sixtisberen”, which dates all the way back to the 13th century, means “houses of Sixtus” and is a reference to Pope Sixtus II. 🤔

Ironically, in Dutch, the contemporary name groups up three words — sex, beer, and rum. And yes, the Sexbierum place name signs get stolen from time to time. No surprise there! 😆

📍 Sexbierum, Netherlands

2. Rectum

Imagine this: You live in Rectum and your friend is coming over to your place and asks you where your house is: “Sorry, say that again, please?!” 📍 Sexbierum, NetherlandsImagine this: You live in Rectum and your friend is coming over to your place and asks you where your house is: “Sorry, say that again, please?!” 

Back to serious talk, Rectum (ha ha) is a hamlet located in Overijssel, a Dutch province in Eastern Netherlands. 

Though Rectum’s etymology is unclear, the first part of the name is likely named after the nearby river “Regge”.

We don’t mean to be anal, but(t) naming a town Rectum sounds like you just pulled that name out of your *ss. 

📍 Rectum, 7642 NA

1. Nummer Eén (Number One) 🥇

Of course, we had to place this Dutch town at the top of this list, or else what was even the point of all this? 

Number one is a small hamlet located in the municipality of Sluis in Zeeland with a nearby nature reserve (Staatsbosbeheer), perfect for camping, hiking, and droppings

Contrary to its successful name, Nummer Eén doesn’t actually have the title of the “best hamlet in the Netherlands”. 

It gets its name from the fact that the hamlet was the first plot of the Hoofdplaatpolder, at the end of the 18th century. How’s that for a mini history lesson? 🤓

📍 Nummer Eén, 4513 KS

There you have it, everyone! The 17 Dutch towns with the funniest names, with some strange ones here and there — *cough* Sexbierum *cough* Muggenbeet. 

Perhaps this list also makes for one of the funniest national Dutch road trips! Get in the car, we’re going to the Stink corner. 😎

Which hilarious Dutch town name made you laugh the most? Tell us in the comments below! 


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