Have you ever wondered what some curious sayings and expressions in your language actually mean? I often treat hubby to some bizarre Dutch sayings, which sound even more curious when translated into English. Because I’m always interested in culture and etymology, I collected 10 of my favourite Dutch sayings, expressions, phrases or words that feature animals, and tried to look up their origins.

Zombies, vampires, the undead: these are all creatures that make up for successful franchise films, and all were originally born from gothic literature. The first ever Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto (1764), was written by British author Horace Walpole who found the inspiration for the novel in his gothic castle in west London. After an elaborate restoration, it is now possible to visit this extraordinary and eccentric historical house.