West-Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, County Sluis.
THE HOLLAND WEST CORNER.
Title of the website.
“Wudder” is in the West Zeeland Flemish dialect the word for “we”. (phonetic approximately ‘wuther’)
Around the West Zeeland Flemish villages are found creeks, near many villages. Some of them serve as water retention during heavy rain, and in many of these creeks there is also a lot of fish. (In some you can fish with permission). Of course, the streams are very attractive to holiday guests in the municipality of Sluis.
There are a large number of (water) birds along the streams. The streams are also often nature protected.
It is surprising to many people in the area that in the spring there is such a variety of green colors, from very light to dark, which in turn gives a true color show in autumn. City dwellers sometimes tell me that they wonder about the intensity of the light.
The municipality of Sluis is bordered by the North Sea, the Western Scheldt and Belgium (and of course Zeeland East Flanders.) On the Westerscheldt you can see the large cargo ships and tankers, as well as small and large boats and barges. Swimming in the summer along the long wide beaches by much of the residents and tourists and the many day trippers from the hinterland and people from the neighboring country of Belgium.
The North Sea and the Westerscheldt are rich in fish and can be fished by both professional fishermen and hobbyists.
The language in the different villages in West Zeeland Flanders can vary from village to village. For example, where in one village there is talk of “vljis” (dialect), one can speak in another village van “vleis” (dialect), as it refers to meat. So for instance “kippenvel” is also named “oendervleis” (goose bumps).
Also, the pronunciation of the names of the villages vary, so some speak of kùzzaant or katzaant, but I also hear people talk about “kùrzaant” when they mean Cadzand (village by the sea).
Or for example. Bressies or Breskùs if they mean Breskens.
I have included some examples of other dialect words and you can listen to them HERE.
For the Belgians we are “ollaanders” (Dutch = Flemish dialect), the inhabitants on the other side of the Westerschelde (Walcheren and South Beveland) are we ‘airekaanters’ and for the East Zeeland Flanders people we are “the land of kik en hie “(see photos Oostburg).
The villagers have often been given nicknames in the past, as some of them below.
Oostburg: Windmakers (because of a certain chauvinism)
Aardenburg: frogs (formerly liars) (origin unclear)
Sluis: quay spitters (in a time of recession many men were on the wharf and ….)
Breskens: Fighter Bosses (formerly they were evidently fighting cocks)
Cadzand: sidewalk crapper = entrance level shit (coming from a person who had an argument with the neighbors and ….)
Eede: ton rollers (they tried to invent a new game with tons)
Groede: porridge eaters (according to tradition they eat cake with porridge)
Hoofdplaat: crabs (because they live directly on the Westerscheldt)
Retranchement:people burners (“It is said that” people have been guilty of this in the old days).
Nieuwvliet: chickens (maybe they go to bed early, near the hoederhof (chickenfarm) is the hoenderweg (chickenroad).
Schoondijke: Maoneblussers (lunar extinguishers) (from the bright moon they thought there was a fire somewhere and fireworkers moved there to extinguish)
Sint Kruis: Pepper pot (because the church has never had a striker and therefore looked like a pepper pot.
Sint Anna Ter Muiden: Turks (because of the crescent moon in their shield)
Ijzendijke: vinegar necks (a story about a party vinegar barrels that had to be delivered in the early days in ijzendijke)
Zuidzande: Seven Shifters (The highest mill in the region, which has 7 top floors)
Draaibrug: sidewalk crapper = entrance level shit (origin unknown)
Mills in the region:
(All mills can be found on the photo pages)
Cadzand: “Never thought,” 1898 Bergkorenmolen year
Nieuwvliet: Grain mill Type of ground sailor built in 1850
Retranchement: Open Mill (post mill) built in 1643
Schoondijke: Bergkorenmolen year 1884
Sluis: “Beagle” mill / mill built in 1739
Ijzendijke: mill / smock year 1841
Zuidzande: Beltmolen / flour mill built in 1874
From Zeeland Flanders the big Flemish cities are nearby (own transport or by bus). In these cities, such as Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp, there are many museums, buildings, etc. that date back to the Middle Ages.