Google says calico or maybe jute

Yesterday a man who was helping me with directions started telling me about two markets that I should check out. He said one was a regular market with produce, but when he started describing the other market he pointed to his shirt sleeve and paused for a minute.

“Well, I’ve forgotten the exact word in English, but it’s essentially textiles and fabrics.”

What word is he talking about? There is a specific and unique word for a type of textiles that is on the tip of a Dutch man’s tongue but can’t be found in even the darkest remote corners of my vocabulary.
Not only does my English underperform, but so far I don’t even have to tell anyone that I don’t speak Dutch. Cashiers, tram drivers, and people on the street just switch from Dutch to flawless English when I approach them, the abject terror in my eyes does all the talking. I’m fluent in looking scared.

5 thoughts on “Google says calico or maybe jute

  1. i think he wanted to explain “lapjesmarkt” or “lappenmarkt”. the word “calico” would be correct, I think, since we also call some cats a “lapjeskat”, which has the same meaning as “calico cat”. good job on your research! (and I have learned a new english word now – never had heard of calico before!)


    1. That’s so cool! I only know the word calico because of a toy called Calico Critters in English, which are very cute animal family toys. (It looks like the Dutch name for those toys might be Sylvanian Families?)


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