• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Saterfrisian
  • Afrikaans
Show all

The productive suffix -boel, actually a suffixoid, forms nouns with common gender from other nouns. The noun to which the suffix is related is boel things, matters. An example of a derivation ending in -boel is papier paper > papierboel papers. The derivations have a collective meaning, and are often used pejoratively .

[+]General properties

The suffix -boel can be attached to various nouns. The table below shows some examples:

Table 1
Base form Derivation
bist animal bisteboel messy collection of animals
drek mud drekboel mud
snie snow snieboel snow mess
fodde rag foddeboel rags
brij porridge brijboel chaos
hok shed hokkeboel group of (shabby) sheds
masine machine masineboel unclear collection of machines
kompjûter computer kompjûterboel computer mess
papier paper papierboel papers, paper mess
For most of the derivations it is the case that there is (1) a collective element and (2) they refer to chaos/a mess. However, there are semantic inconsistencies. For instance: in bisteboel the reference is to a (chaotic) collection of animals. But in brijboel chaos the relationship with porridge is not even literal.

-Boel is a suffixoid that grammaticalized from the noun boel things, matters. It preserves the common gender of this noun. The word hok shed, for instance, is neuter, whereas the gender of hokkeboel group of sheds is common. Due to the collective element, nouns ending in the suffix -boel cannot have a plural; one cannot have *hokkeboelen.


Some formations show a linking element -e. Examples are bisteboel messy collection of animals and hokkeboel group of (shabby) sheds. This linking element -e resembles the linking element -e that is found in nominal compounds.

[+]Other suffixes that form collective nouns

-Boel is not the only suffix that forms collective nouns. Comparable suffixes are:

  • -brol: papier paper > papierbrol papers;
  • -brot: krant newspaper > krantebrot newspapers;
  • -dom: minsk human > minskdom humanity;
  • -emint: kaak jaw > kakemint the lower and upper jaw;
  • -guod: fûgel bird > fûgelguod birds;
  • -heid: minsk human being > minskheid humanity;
  • -spul: bist animal > bistespul animals;
  • -wurk: skonk leg > skonkwurk legs.

    printreport errorcite