Dutch Dopers: Maximum number of J's in one word?

That’s the question. What’s the maximum number of occurrences of the letter “J” in an individual word in the Dutch language?

Of course, there are oodles of Dutch words containing one “j”, and I’ve spotted some with two, such as “jaarlijk” (“yearly”). Any three- or four-J words out there?

The reason I’m asking is that this morning I dreamed that somebody asked me this, and I didn’t know the answer. And it’s been bugging me ever since I woke up.

Don’t know Dutch and therefore don’t know the answer, but if you asked me about the French word with the most accents in it (a vaguely similar questions), I’d tell you that it’s hétérogénéité.

**indivisibilities ** is a great word to use in hangman.

“wha, there’s a word that goes i–i-i-i-i-i-i–, no way, dude.”

Aiyiyiyiyiyiyi! I’m going to have to remember that one! :slight_smile:

I’m making shit up, but is ‘ijstijdje’ a word, “little ice age”? I think you could make some faux diminutives like that (ijzersmelterijtje: a little iron smelter) while would be understandable. Or maybe some baroque compund word like “Rijksrijbewijs”-- governmental driver’s licence, or some other spurious thing. Otherwise I’d be surprised if you could find a word with three; and damn surprised about four. I’ll wait for the natives, though.
By the way, there’s nothing funnier than the Dutch scrabble ‘ij’ tile. Cracks me up, its very existence.

Thanks capybara! (It looks as though this is turning into a general “how many of some particular character can you get into a single word in some particular language” thread, which is fine, but I do want a specific answer about "j"s in Dutch too.)

I like the notion of “Rijksrijbewijsje”! But I’ve noticed that the Dutch tend to be an eentsy bit stern with uppity foreigners playing silly neologistic games with their language*, so I’m waiting on confirmation from an “echte Nederlander” before I accept it as a genuine four-J word.
*When I first moved here I was a little bit thrown by the “lumpiness” of the language in terms of permitting unbroken sequences of consonants or vowels. In particular, you can apparently get as many as eight consonants in a row :eek:(“angstschreeuw” or “cry of anguish”), and routinely up to four vowels (e.g., “draaien”, “to turn”). I was seized with the ambition to make a more impressive vowel sequence, and came up with “tweeeiuiomelet” or “two-egg-and-onion-omelet”. :slight_smile: I like it, but some Dutch people are distinctly not amused: “You can’t just make up Dutch words like that, it’s silly.”

I have read that ‘ij’ can also be represented as ‘ÿ’ (y with two dots above). If you look at the letter forms, this makes sense. How did Dutch come to use ij instead of ÿ?

And is ‘indivisibilities’ the record-holder for number of the same vowel in one word in English?

Hmmph, no real Dutch people helping out here? Don’t you even care what the maximum number of "j"s is that can occur in a word in your own language?!?

Phooey, or as we would say over here, foeie. :slight_smile:

The original form was ‘ij’ – ÿ is a ligature formed by mushing the i and j together. J originally was a form of I, so the ij was basically a double I.

A short way down this page, you can find words with the most of each of the letters in English.

Thanks dtilque! From your link:

Wow! Surely some Netherlands linguist has done similar vitally important research on maximum occurrences of various letters in Dutch words? I confidently await Doper input.

(Hmm, maybe I scared off the Dutch readers with my vowel-happy neologism “tweeeiuiomelet”? I like “tweeeiuiomelet” but I’ll renounce it in exchange for an answer to the question about "j"s. Ask me about my other Dutch neologism, “fietsgolfjes”! :))

[hijack]Since this has pretty much turned into a generic “largest number of identical letters in one word” discussion… In Hebrew, a word can be constructed that consists solely of four waw-s and nothing else (four ‘W’-s when transliterated into Latin characters ) – like this: wwww (“וווו” if you can see this in Hebrew letters)

It means “and his hook.” It’s actually a perfectly good word, you can construct real-life sentences with it :slight_smile:


As for dutch (and the OP) – I am not dutch, by any stretch, but isn’t “ij” a distinct letter, with it’s own place in the alphbet, and thus different from just “j” on its own?


Noone Special, a Dutch colleague confirms your (and others’) point about the “j” in “ij” being different from the ordinary letter “j”. The “ij” diphthong apparently does have its own place in the Dutch alphabet, at least sometimes, and it apparently can’t be counted along with the ordinary “j”.

So I guess we’re back to two-“j” words like “jasje” and “jongetje” for the record-holders. Oh well.

My favorite vowel-laden Dutch words are ooievaar and eeneiigetweeling. Oh, and eeuw. Love that word. Ayyyyyy-eewwww.

I’m half dutch by ancestry but not well-versed in the language, since Grandpa and Grandma Mercotan used it as their secret language to talk in front of my dad and his sibs. (BTW, back in de oude land it was spelled Mercotijn :smiley: )

My favorite dutch term is the one used to describe the medical condition of epididimitis, or uncomfortable inflammation of the structure on the top of the testicle. My pragmatic kinsmen call it pijn in de balzak. I think any sharp doper can figure out what that means in english!

Can’t help you with multiple j’s tho. Sorry.

QtM, that is truly hilarious. So I guess I should be careful about mentioning a certain famous French writer whose first name was Honore when I’m around Dutch people, huh?

As no other Dutch doper has replied as yet, here are a few tries.

  • jojootje (small yoyo)
  • houtje-touwtjejasje (small jacket which closes with loops (touwtjes) hooked around wooden buttons (houtjes)).
    -jongetjesjasje (small jacket for little boys).

These are somewhat artificial, though not completely. More common would be:

  • houtje-touwtjejas
  • jongensjasje

And yes, Balzac’s name is an neverending source of mirth for pubescent boys and girls in The Netherlands.

I agree, “Rijksrijbewijs” doesn’t have any 'j’s at all, only three 'ij’s.

I will give some thought to the matter of which word has the most/many proper 'j’s - can’t think of any off the top of my head.

And the real killer for hangman in Dutch is “zeeeend” (sea-duck) . Put in your own dots, I have’t figured out how to plus it looks even weirder this way.

Tusculan, you are my new hero! Thank you! So it looks as though the definitive answer to my original question (as definitive as possible, at any rate) is “at least three, possibly four”.

If I ever meet that unknown person in my dream again, and they start up with their language trivia questions, I’m ready!

PookahMacPhellimey: And the real killer for hangman in Dutch is “zeeeend” (sea-duck) .

Wow!! Now that’s a thing of beauty. I guess you would put the trema or dieresis over the third “e” (“zee” + “eend”), but I agree it’s more stunning without it.

(Still haven’t seen more than four consecutive vowels in any naturally occurring Dutch word, though. Hmmm.)

OMG, some of these words make me so happy that I took German, and will never, ever learn Dutch. Ever.