Thursday, November 06, 2008

Q is for Quitte

In searching for a Dutch word that started with Q, I had to go looking. Fred was all shrugs. He didn't have much to offer. Even the dictionary, a fine Van Dale set that Fred bought me when I was in Dutch class, only has about 2/3 of a column on one page. There's really not much to choose from. However...

Quitte means quits or even. It's break even. So if you owe me €20 and you win a bet with me where you win €20, we're quitte with each other.

I love playing games. I don't mind losing; I just like to have fun and laugh a lot. Going quitte doesn't appeal to me. I'd rather win or lose. For me, it's just a reason to play another round.

How the heck would you pronounce this? Kit? Kit-uh? Key-tuh?


Mel said...

Seems to me that it would depend on the etymology. I'd wonder about a French origin for the word, since Q is such an uncommon letter in the Germanic languages. In that case, "KEY-tuh" seems more likely. On the other hand, the German word Quelle is pronounced "KVELL-uh", so maybe it's closer to that. I bet a bit of asking around would provide an answer.

Alexander van Haart said...

It has a French origin. For 'we staan quitte' the French say 'nous sommes quitter'.
In Dutch it's pronounced 'Kiet' with the 'te' as a silent part of the word.
I glanced over the Q-section in the dictionary... there's not a Dutch word amongst them; they're all borrowed from other languages.

danny said...

"kiet" would be the Dutch way of spelling this phonetically (it's usually spelled that way, I don't think anyone really uses the French version anymore); for yis English speakers, stick to "keet", but with a shorter 'ee' sound.