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Word of the day: opruiming (clearance sale)

A new year has begun and it’s time for the OPRUIMING. All clothing shops and department stores try to lure you to buy their wares and commodities. Half price! Fifty percent off! Buy, buy, buy. Cheap, it’s now or never.

opruimingThe noun OPRUIMING derives from the verb OPRUIMEN which means ‘to clean’ or ‘to clear up’. In England the meaning of selling of merchandise at lower prices dates back to Victorian and Dickensian times.

In Belgium the word OPRUIMING means that the wares have to be sold because the shop has stopped its business. Belgians usually call a sale ‘koopjes’ or they use the French word ‘solden’. The word OPRUIMING is on its way out anyway. It is about to be cleared up by ‘sale’. In Belgium and the Netherlands more and more shops prefer the English word ‘sale’ now.

Another Dutch word for OPRUIMING is UITVERKOOP. Tomorrow I’ll come back to this concept which is so typically Dutch.

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