TRIGGERED meaning? Positive or negative use?

Hi all

My first post on the Dutch forum

I came across on the social media a message in Dutch along the lines of: it triggers me

1. can this best be translated as stimulated?

2. In dutch is it a derogatory emotion or a positive, neutral emotion even?
Last edited:
  • ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Are you sure about all this?
    (1) Dit triggert veel emoties, Kimback triggert Tom Boonen, are uses of trigger as a verb (triggeren) in Dutch.
    (2) I also think it may often be used in a negative context but is that the meaning? I think it means something like 'unleash", like "cause", but automatically or something, unwanted or unawares... But of course it is more often used in a negative context but not pejorative as such...

    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Nederlands (België)
    The verb "triggeren" is neutral in most contexts, but on social media it has a specific meaning, at least in English. More here: Urban Dictionary: Triggered Dutch and Flemish people sometimes copy English use of words on the internet.

    It should be immediately clear from context, but we are not given any.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    It's mostly used in an ironical fashion. The word triggered is usually hurled towards those who dissent, implying that they're faint of heart (easily triggered). This usage of triggered by Dutch speakers is by no means odd or peculiar. It's informal though, you can't use triggered in a formal setting. I suppose you could use it in everyday conversation if you really wanted to, its usage isn't restricted to social media and/or written communication in general. I think Dutch speakers adopted the term because it was used in debates in the Anglosphere about trigger-free 'safe spaces' on university campuses.
    Last edited: