Kiekefretters, who are you?

Frédéric Solvel.

22 Oct 2014, 15:10 Last Updated: 30 Sep 2015, 09:09

Trully born and raised Brusseleirs (people from Brussels) are nicknamed kiekefretters. Why? How? investigated for you the origin of this unusual word.

The investigation begins with a little translation homework. In Flemish (Dutch), a kiekefretter is someone who eats chickens. That's already quite an information as it is, but to understand the rest of it, we need to go back in time. We ned to go back a few hundred years, to the 14th Century to be precise, to find the first traces of the kiekefretters... 

At war with your... chicken! 

The inhabitants of Brussels (Brusseleirs) were proud soldiers. They never hesitated to go out for combat to defend their land or their honor. They would go with weapons in their hands and chickens in their bags, for food supplies of course.

Several proofs have been found of this habit to go to combat with a chicken. The story tells that when it was time to avenge the death of Everard t'Serclaes and face the terrible Lord of Gaesbeek, the Brusseleirs went to battle with fury, weapons in hands and chickens in bags. The same story was told when the Brusseleirs had to face the Duke of Juliers...

And so began the nickname of chicken eaters, or kiekefritters in Flemish. Nowadays, Brussels is therefore inhabited by born-and-raised Brusseleirs, or kiekefretters, and Brusseleirs by adoption, or zinneke.