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What's with the British and the Dutch ?

What's with the British and the Dutch ?

Old Nov 20th 2008, 1:29 pm
  #1  
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Default What's with the British and the Dutch ?

Besides our own MH with her occasional posts in Dutch, I hadn't realised how much of an influence the country across the water has had on the UK as we have a lot of sayings (at least 50) referring to the "Dutch":

1. double Dutch - gibberish; also a rope term for jumping with two ropes.
2. Dutch act - suicide.
3. Dutch auction - one that starts with a high bid and works down.
4. Dutch bargain - a one-sided deal, not a bargain at all.
5. Dutch barn - a barn without sides.
6. Dutch bath - an acid bath used in etching.
7. Dutch book - a bookmaker's account book.
8. Dutch brig - a cell in which punishment is meted out.
9. Dutch build - a squat person.
10. Dutch cap - a condom.
11. Dutch cheese - baldness.
12. Dutch clock - a bedpan.
13. Dutch comfort - consolation typified by the line: "It couldhave been worse." Also known as Dutch consolation.
14. Dutch concert - a concert in which everyone plays a different tune, or sings a different song. Also known as Dutch medley.
15. Dutch courage - bravery inspired by drinking.
16. Dutch daub - a mediocre painting.
17. Dutch defense - surrender, no defense at all.
18. Dutch drink - emptying a glass in one gulp.
19. Dutch feast - a dinner at which the host gets drunk before the guests do, or worse yet, where the host is drunk before the guests arrive.
20. Dutch fit - a fit of rage.
21. Dutch gleek - liquor.
22. Dutch nightingale - a frog.
23. Dutch oven - a deep iron skillet with legs and a lid.
24. Dutch palate - coarse taste.
25. Dutch pink - boxer's term for blood.
26. Dutch pump - sailor's punishment in which he is thrown overboard and must tread water ('pump') to keep from drowning.
27. Dutch reckoning - guesswork, or a disputed bill.
28. Dutch rod - a Luger pistol.
29. Dutch row - a faked altercation.
30. Dutch route - suicide.
31. Dutch rub - an intense painful rubbing with the knuckles, usually to the scalp.
32. Dutch steak - hamburger.
33. Dutch tilt - a television and movie term for a camera that has been tilted from the horizontal for dramatic effect.
34. Dutch treat - a treat whose price is shared by host and guest(s).
35. Dutch uncle - a severe, disciplinary man, dispensing unasked-for criticism.
36. Dutch widow - prostitute.
37. Dutch wife, Dutch husband - a feather pillow, or a poor bed companion, or, more recently, an inflatable rubber sex partner.
38. Dutchifying - converting a ship's square-stern into a round stern, frequently done to men-of-war in the early 19th century.
39. Dutchman - a piece of wood or stone used to fill a hollow space.
40. Dutchman's headache - drunkenness.
41. Dutchman's anchor - anything left at home, from the tale of a Dutch sea captain who explained after he had lost his ship that he had a good anchor but had left it at home .
42. Dutchman's breeches - a small blue patch in the sky.
43. Dutchman's cape - imaginary land.
44. Dutchman's drink - a draught that empties the vessel.
45. Dutchy - slovenly.
46. As drunk as a Dutchman.
47. Well, I'll be a Dutchman's uncle - an expression of surprise.
48. It beats the Dutch - applied to anything that is monstrous, startling or inexplicable.
49. To do a Dutch - to run away.
50. To go Dutch - to share in the price of a meal (probably same as Dutch treat No. 34)

No. 30 in Australia has a total different meaning !

I hadn't heard of No. 37 before, perhaps Inse has..

Last edited by MacScot; Nov 20th 2008 at 1:36 pm.
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Old Nov 20th 2008, 1:36 pm
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Default Re: What's with the British and the Dutch ?

van de meeste uitdrukkingen heb ik nog nooit gehoord...
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Old Nov 20th 2008, 1:39 pm
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Default Re: What's with the British and the Dutch ?

Originally Posted by MataHari View Post
van de meeste uitdrukkingen heb ik nog nooit gehoord...
My simple Babelfish translation online:

"of the most of expressions I have never heard"

..agree with you...but I was surprised by the size of the list !
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Old Nov 20th 2008, 2:33 pm
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Default Re: What's with the British and the Dutch ?

Many phrases on that list look completely made up.
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Old Nov 20th 2008, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: What's with the British and the Dutch ?

Mostly made up ..and a dutch cap is a Diaphragm not a condom
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Old Nov 20th 2008, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: What's with the British and the Dutch ?

Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Mostly made up ..and a dutch cap is a Diaphragm not a condom
I didn't see going Dutch on that list when guys and gals share the bill.
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Old Nov 20th 2008, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: What's with the British and the Dutch ?

Originally Posted by Lorna at Vicenza View Post
I didn't see going Dutch on that list when guys and gals share the bill.
Try number 50
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Old Nov 20th 2008, 5:31 pm
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Default Re: What's with the British and the Dutch ?

Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Mostly made up ..and a dutch cap is a Diaphragm not a condom
..well spotted. A small proportion of the sources are from Sweden and may be translations into English...perhaps the way in which Swedes see the Dutch.

I have heard of about half of them...the nautical terms would be known by mariners.
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Old Nov 20th 2008, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: What's with the British and the Dutch ?

Originally Posted by MacScot View Post
..I have heard of about half of them...the nautical terms would be known by mariners.
Well I never heard any of them being used on the Woolwich ferry ..
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Old Nov 20th 2008, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: What's with the British and the Dutch ?

Originally Posted by MacScot View Post
..well spotted. A small proportion of the sources are from Sweden and may be translations into English...perhaps the way in which Swedes see the Dutch.

I have heard of about half of them...the nautical terms would be known by mariners.
Dutch and Swedish is rather similar as languages go..a Swede can read a Dutch newspaper but not really speak the language I was told once.

Both are "Platt" or low German languages..
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Old Nov 20th 2008, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: What's with the British and the Dutch ?

Originally Posted by bimcnorth View Post
Dutch and Swedish is rather similar as languages go..a Swede can read a Dutch newspaper but not really speak the language I was told once.
I disagree; my brother did Swedish at university and my husband's Dutch, so I know a smattering of each language. But I'll ask the husband. Oddly enough on my walk into work I saw a Eurocar "S" (Sverige) sticker on a Honda.

We use some of the sayings in American English, but not nearly so many. The Dutch don't drink nearly as much as the Brits, so I've never "gotten" Dutch courage. I'd personally use "Scottish courage" .

The Dutch were and are an amazingly inventive people who shared a love of wandering the world along with the British -- two smallish countries separated by the North Sea, each having an influence on the world far greater than geography or population would explain.

9. Dutch build - a squat person
makes no sense since the Dutch are on average the tallest people in the world

There's one missing that we use: "Dutch door" where the top and bottom halves of a door can be opened and closed independently; the bottom usually remains closed while the top is open. Great for corralling toddlers.

Last edited by snowbunny; Nov 20th 2008 at 8:00 pm.
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Old Nov 20th 2008, 8:01 pm
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Default Re: What's with the British and the Dutch ?

Originally Posted by snowbunny View Post
The Dutch don't drink nearly as much as the Brits, so I've never "gotten" Dutch courage. I'd personally use "Scottish courage" .

Nou breekt mijn klomp!...

...OK...the Scots might outdrink the Dutch now...but 'Dutch courage' is a well used saying, which is old...so the Dutch must have enjoyed their drink at one time
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Old Nov 20th 2008, 8:04 pm
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Default Re: What's with the British and the Dutch ?

From the wiki for Dutch courage:

"One other theory of origin is that phrases using Dutch were created because the Netherlands used to be a rival to Britain (especially the Dutch East India Company), and generally these phrases containing "Dutch" are pejorative."

Absoluut!
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Old Nov 20th 2008, 8:13 pm
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Default Re: What's with the British and the Dutch ?

Originally Posted by snowbunny View Post
From the wiki for Dutch courage:

"One other theory of origin is that phrases using Dutch were created because the Netherlands used to be a rival to Britain (especially the Dutch East India Company), and generally these phrases containing "Dutch" are pejorative."

Absoluut!
..agree many are perjorative.

Dutch build: broad-brimmed and high-pooped...obviously a nautical term applied to people as squat? Again, probably perjorative.

Alle beetjes helpen, zei de mug, en ze piste in de zee.
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Old Nov 20th 2008, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: What's with the British and the Dutch ?

Als de drank is in de man, is de wijsheid in de kan.
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