Dutch Language Blog

Dutch Word of the Month August: Puzzelwoord Posted by on Aug 26, 2019 in Culture, Dutch Language, Dutch Vocabulary

Like July, August is a quiet month for the news, real komkommertijd. But this month, something exciting happened: Lingo is back! And with it, some of Lingo’s iconic vocabulary. The word of the month is: Puzzelwoord (puzzle word)!

Click here for previous Words of the Month

What does it mean?

Image by Glenn Fleishman at Flickr.com under license CC BY 2.0, edited by author

Puzzelwoord (puzzle word) quite simply refers to a puzzle word. This can be a word quiz in the krant (newspaper), in a televisieprogramma (TV program) or – if you are one of the dedicated puzzlers – a puzzelboek (puzzle book). But why is the puzzelwoord relevant to this month specifically?

Relevance to August

Earlier this month, it became clear that Lingo was coming back! The puzzelprogramma (puzzle show) ended in 2014, and many were sad to see it go. But it is back, and tonight the new season had its first episode at 20:00 (8 pm) on SBS 6. You can find the episode here, though it may not be available in your location. If you are able to receive SBS 6, it airs every weekday at 20:00 Dutch time.

Lucille Werner, who presented the show from 2005 to 2014, tweeted the following last year:

It says “Minister Koolmees wants to change the integration policy by beginning with language immediately. JinekLive idea: Bring Lingo back! Newcomers once learned Dutch every day in a playful manner #solution”.

And so now it is back! While for nieuwkomers, the game may be a little too challenging, it can certainly help you recognize words and patterns in Dutch vocabulary. Plus it just is a fun experience! Anybody can sign up, and so you also get a glimpse at regular Dutch people from all walks of life.

But what is the weeknight puzzle show, how does it work? The regels (rules) are quite simple, actually. Jan Peter Pellemans, the voice in the studio who verifies whether words really exist and better known as JP, described the regels:

“Het is een taalspelletje dat draait om vijf-, zes- en zevenletterwoorden. Je moet zo snel mogelijk woorden raden aan de hand van de letters die je krijgt.”

(“It is a language game that revolves around five-, six- and seven-letter words. You have to guess words as quick as possible with the letters you are given.”)

When a letter is orange, it is in the right place. When a letter is in a yellow circle, it means the letter is in the word, but not in the correct position. Can you find the right word fast enough?

Here’s an episode to give you an idea of what that looks like:

Did you know all the words mentioned? Let me know in the comments below!

And finally, here some comic relief of some… let’s say, unprepared candidates. Do you know the words they’re looking for?



Do you have a similar spelprogramma (game show) in your country? How do you like Lingo? Are you going to watch more on it? Let me know in the comments below.

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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.


  1. Malkia:

    I loved. I personally love words very much and spelling has always been something i enjoyed. It would so wonderful if i could participate in such a game. Unfortunately im quite new to the Netherlands and still learning the language. But iam looking forward to watching Lingo.

  2. Errol:

    What a great programme! Thanks for telling us about it. It’s great for someone who kind of understands the language. You learn a lot from watching it. Luckily I have found quite a lot of old broadcasts on Youtube.