's-Gravenhage

cyanista

законодательница мод
NRW
Belarusian/Russian
Many towns in the Netherlands have an apostrophe and a small s in front of their name, like 's-Gravenhage (the Hague). So, I was wondering: is it an abbreviated article or something? Why do some towns/cities have articles and some don't, then?

Dank u vooraf. :)
 
  • Chazzwozzer

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Hi cyanista,

    It was exactly what I wondered when I read that The Hague is officially called 's-Gravenhage. After asking some Dutch friends and personal research, here's what I can tell you:

    's refers to "des", which is the archaic form of "of the."

    So, des Gravenhage means The Count's Hedge which is now called as Den Haag in Dutch and The Hague(direct translation) in English.

    Same goes for 's Hertogenbosch as well. It would mean "The Duke's Forest", of course. Now, the Dutch call it Den Bosch and it's Duke Town in English.

    I don't know why some have and some don't. As a matter of fact, I even don't have an idea how come A'dam refers to Amsterdam. What about it, guys?

    Speaking of 's-Gravenhage, isn't Lahey the same? I used this word many times in The Hague and no one around there had any idea what I was talking about.

    Well, to be honest, I didn't get what they meant when I first heard The Hague because I had always thought it would have been pronounced like "Haag" so I went all like "What? The Hack?"

    So I mean, it's maybe because of my pronunciation, Lahey is what we call that in Turkish and it might have sounded different to them when they heard.

    Cheers,
    Ekin
     

    mansio

    Senior Member
    France/Alsace
    Turkish Lahey comes from French La Haye (the Hague in old French spelling).

    A'dam is the abbreviation of Amsterdam as L.A. is the abbreviation of Los Angeles.
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Hi cyanista,

    It was exactly what I wondered when I read that The Hague is officially called 's-Gravenhage. After asking some Dutch friends and personal research, here's what I can tell you:

    's refers to "des", which is the archaic form of "of the."

    In German, it is colloquial to abbreviate es (even in written German) or das (only spoken) as 's. Could it be colloquial in Dutch as well. Or would they rather use 't (to abbreviate het)? :D

    I don't know why some have and some don't. As a matter of fact, I even don't have an idea how come A'dam refers to Amsterdam. What about it, guys?

    This is common for many long towns in German, too. I like the idea very much, provided you have to know how a town is abbreviated:

    Bad Hönningen > Bad H'en

    No one who has never been there would recognize Bad H'en as "Bad Hönningen." I wouldn't have recognized A'dam as Amsterdam, but from now on, I will know. :)

    Speaking of 's-Gravenhage, isn't Lahey the same? I used this word many times in The Hague and no one around there had any idea what I was talking about.

    The word "Lahey" is common in many languages: French, Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, ... but not in Dutch. ;)

    Well, to be honest, I didn't get what they meant when I first heard The Hague because I had always thought it would have been pronounced like "Haag" so I went all like "What? The Hack?"

    Den Haag sounds like [dən ha:x].

    Hope it helps.
     

    Chazzwozzer

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    A'dam is the abbreviation of Amsterdam as L.A. is the abbreviation of Los Angeles.

    So, it's just an abbreviation, is it? Interesting, how common is this?

    In German, it is colloquial to abbreviate es (even in written German) or das (only spoken) as 's. Could it be colloquial in Dutch as well. Or would they rather use 't (to abbreviate het)? :D

    It shouldn't be a part of colloqualism because it's used in the sense of official names. Well, it's my guess. :)


    This is common for many long towns in German, too. I like the idea very much, provided you have to know how a town is abbreviated:

    Bad Hönningen > Bad H'en

    No one who has never been there would recognize Bad H'en as "Bad Hönningen." I wouldn't have recognized A'dam as Amsterdam, but from now on, I will know. :)

    I just can't recall if they abbreviate street names in the Netherlands as well, but the street at which I stayed wasn't called in any abbreviated form and it had a too long name to be memorized and pronounced correctly by me.

    Turkish Lahey comes from French La Haye (the Hague in old French spelling).
    The word "Lahey" is common in many languages: French, Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, ... but not in Dutch. ;)
    Quite interesting. I just did a search and:
    Catalan: La Haia
    Italian: L'Aia

    Lahey is, as I've seen, often used in Turkish media and most people prefer calling the city as Den Haag with the standard Turkish pronunciation.

    Den Haag sounds like [dən ha:x].

    Hope it helps.
    I actually mixed up the pronunciation of the Hague with Den Haag. (Hague-Haag) Which wasn't correct either. Pathetic, eh? I usually sounded like "then hug" until my last week there, which I learned it was not actually how they pronounce it in Dutch. :D

    Don't even ask me about Scheveningen, do you know how many times I had to try to pronounce it like a native? :D It has a very interesting story dates back to WWII, by the way.
     

    moldo

    Senior Member
    Dutch, Netherlands
    Dear all,

    I am very pleased with your interest in the Dutch language.

    This little 's has raised so much additional questions, which I am happy to address.

    1.
    's in front of a word is an abbreviation of des, which is old Dutch for van de or in de (from the or in the).
    We have in Dutch many words starting with des, for example:
    destijds (in that time)
    desnoods (if need)
    desgewenst (if wished)
    Beside 's Gravenhage and 's Hertogenbosch as names of cities, we see also the 's adjuncted to the following words:
    's ochtends (in the morning)
    's middags (in the afternoon)
    's avonds (in the evening)
    It is only used for these specific words, so it is not a general rule that you may apply to any noun. For example:
    's winters (in the winter) :tick:
    but the oher seasons are not right in this combination:
    's lentes :cross: in de lente :tick: (in the spring, during spring time)
    's herfsts :cross: in de herfst :tick: (during autumn)
    I guess that these kind of special rules and exceptions makes Dutch very hard to learn.

    Another beautifull word (not used anymore):
    's anderendaags (the other day)

    2. A'dam is just short for Amsterdam. R'dam for Rotterdam. Only used in writing.

    3. As far as I know almost all places in the Netherlands have only one unique name in Dutch.
    Den Haag for 's Gravenhage and Den Bosch for 's Hertogenbosch are exceptions. The are both used in writing and speaking.
    Another exception is Gorkum for Gorinchem.
    I do not recall instantly any more examples than these three places.

    4. Streetnames can be long. In most cases this because the streets are called after somebody in history with first and last name fully written.
    For example: Nicolaas Beetslaan or Olde van Barneveld plein.
    These may be abbreviated: Nic. Beetsln or O.v.Barneveld pln.

    5. In German 's for das.
    In Dutch we have indeed 't for het.
    Gaat het goed? Gaat 't goed?

    6. For foreigners it is almost impossible to pronounce the Dutch "g", which is a scraping sound from the throat. I belief in Arabic the same sounds exists, but not in many other languages.
    's Gravenhage or Den Haag is very difficult to pronounce with this "g".
    La Haye is easy for a foreigner, but unfortunately practically no Dutchman will understand this.

    Regards, Moldo
     

    optimistique

    Senior Member
    Would "in de winter" still be correct or is "'s winters" the only acceptable possibility?
    Both are possible.

    The difference lies in the fact that 's winters means 'every time when it's winter', while in de winter just means in the winter, which refers to the previous or coming winter:

    1. 's Winters ga ik skiën. - In the winter I always go skying.
    2. In de winter ga ik skiën. - This coming winter I'm going skying.

    In de winter can also be used in the meaning of sentence 1., but then you should add 'altijd', or have a very clear context. Also used are van de winter and deze winter for the meaning of sentence 2.
     

    moldo

    Senior Member
    Dutch, Netherlands
    Many towns in the Netherlands have an apostrophe and a small s in front of their name, like 's-Gravenhage (the Hague).

    Dear Cyanista,

    In my opinion not so many places start with 's.:)

    A search of the Dutch national phonenumber book gave 13 results for places in the Netherlands beginning with 's:

    's-Gravendeel
    's-Graveland
    's-Gravenmoer
    's-Gravenpolder
    's-Gravenhage (aka Den Haag)
    's-Gravenzande
    's-Heer Arendskerke
    's-Heer Abtskerke
    's-Heer Hendrikskinderen
    's-Heerenberg
    's-Heerenhoek
    's-Heerenbroek
    's-Hertogenbosch (aka Den Bosch)

    's Graven = from the count
    's Heeren = from the lord
    's Hertogen = from the duke

    To my knowledge only 's-Gravenhage and 's-Hertogenbosch have alternative short names. These are big towns (according to Dutch standards ;) ). The other places are villages, some very small. I could not locate these places without a map.

    Regards, Moldo
     

    cyanista

    законодательница мод
    NRW
    Belarusian/Russian
    Thank you for your great contribution, Moldo!

    You're right, 13 are not many. :) That means I was lucky to see about half of those on the road signs, daher der Eindruck. :D
     

    alisonp

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Do English speakers really call Den Bosch "Duke Town"? I've never heard it. I think we just call it by the full name, possibly dropping the 's' from the front?
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I once lived near Den Bosch, and never heard an English speaker call it 'Duke Town'. English speakers tend to pronounce it as 'Den Bosh', which is incorrect, as the Dutch pronounce it as 'Den Bos'.

    I've seen 'Herzogenbusch' on some German maps, but they were pretty old if I remember rightly.
     

    moldo

    Senior Member
    Dutch, Netherlands
    A little bonus:

    28 Dutch places starting with 't (abbreviation of het):

    't Bergje
    't Buurtje
    't Eind
    't Goy
    't Haagje
    't Haantje
    't Harde
    't Heem
    't Hoekske
    't Hof
    't Horntje
    't Kabel
    't Klooster
    't Kruis
    't Laar
    't Loo
    't Loo Oldebroek
    't Rijpje
    't Rooth
    't Schot
    't Veld
    't Ven
    't Waar
    't Woud
    't Woudt
    't Zand
    't Zandstervoorwerk
    't Zandt
     
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