Dutch expressions

Delta nr 35, November 2005

'Nu komt de aap uit de mouw' (literal translation: 'Now the monkey comes out of the sleeve').

People use this rather odd Dutch expression when they might otherwise say something along the lines of: 'Ah-ha, so now you're finally revealing to me what this is really all about!' It's often used when a person's hidden agenda finally comes to light. When people use this expression, they usually aren't angry, although that isn't to say they're amused, either. An example of the expression's usage could be when a person invites a friend over for dinner, and then during the course of the dinner, the host says to his friend: 'By the way, my computer seems to be having a few problems. Would you mind taking a look at it, since you're here now anyway?' Of course, when the host invited his friend to dinner, he had his friend's computer skills in mind. And when the friend realizes this, he might say or at least think: 'Nu komt de aap uit de mouw!'


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