Miscommunication Monday is a semi-weekly meme created by me! In these posts, I provide you with a Dutch saying by presenting a scenario in which a Dutch person might say it to you. Then I will tell you how we say it in the Netherlands and give you an explanation of what it means.
You can find more information in my Introduction Post.
Disclaimer: I don’t know every English saying. There might be a post where I’m like “look how stupid this sounds in English HA-HA”. And you’re sitting there like “um… that’s an actual saying here too…”. If this ever happens: 1. I’m sorry, 2. I’m an idiot, and 3. please tell me in the comments!
It’s a Friday night, which means you are going out with some friends. To be quite honest, it normally means staying inside and finishing up a book. But this is a special Friday. You’re downtown with a pretty big group of people. Some of your friends decided to invite other people. One of these strangers is a guy from the Netherlands called Bob. You have spent the past couple hours in a bar. It has been great. People are sharing some crazy stories. You now know that one of your friends once mistook a window for a sliding door and walked right into it. The only downside of this evening has been the bar you guys chose. For some reason, the owners decided that they would put on these blinding lights. It is well past midnight when you and your friends decide to leave. Which means it is extremely dark outside. It probably seems even worse because your eyes have been attacked by light for hours. When Bob, who is now slightly intoxicated, comes outside he screams “WOAH it’s dickblack outside!“
If speaking Dutch, Bob would have said “WOAH het is pikzwart buiten!”. This expression is pretty similar to “It’s pitch black outside” (pointed out by @BookBum in the comments). You use it to say it’s extremely dark outside. That’s not the only use for it though. Anything can be pikzwart! What does my clothing look like? Pikzwart. What color do you want your wall to be? Pikzwart. You burned your food? Pikzwart.
Though this is not an ‘official’ saying, it is pretty widely used. Can you believe it? I have always found this saying so strange. I once read somewhere that it used to be pekzwart. Pek is tar. Tar is black. Then over the years, pek turned into pik. That sounds pretty reasonable but still… dickblack… really?