Written by Dyami Millarson
I would like to shed light on the following nine typical words:
1. Tsjirmje – to tremble from the cold
The weather and exposure to the elements are an inherent part of Aasters traditional culture. It is no wonder then that speakers of Aasters exhibit a profound knowledge of the weather and nature; this traditional knowledge was necessary for their survival on the island.
2. Toesjoed – again and again, always
This is a loanword from French: toujours.
3. Spitig – unfortunate(ly)
This word is very common in Frisian: spitich.
4. Sjekje – night dress
This word is nowadays archaic. Moreover, night dresses have become old-fashioned. Aasters people traditionally wore night dresses when they went to bed.
5. Toetmem – sign of homogeneity
This Aasters expression is worth memorising: Et is un toetmem, it is all the same.
6. Smoek – cozy, pleasant, nice
In Danish there is the typical word hygge and in Dutch there is the word gezellig. It is hard to translate these culturally specific words to English.
7. Spil – game
In Frisian they say “spul.”
8. Tefoeg – useful, suitable
This is an all-purpose word in Aasters.
9. Staf – forgetful
In Aasters they have an expression: So staf as un hoen, so forgetful as a chicken. This expression is used to describe someone who is very forgetful.