In this video Ruud Hisgen (Direct Dutch Institute) explains why the word ‘Dutch’ sounds a lot like the word ‘Duits’ (meaning German).
Let’s get rid of ‘Dutch’. The word has an unfavourable ring to it anyway. Except for cheese and bricks, everything nasty or obscene is called Dutch in English. This negative quality came into existence in the seventeenth century when the Netherlanders and the English were fighting over the question which nation should rule the waves. This competition led to several wars between our countries and the result was that the English started to hate the Hollanders. Funny, though that this reaction was not reciprocal. The Dutch never insulted their enemies by inventing nasty expressions containing ‘English’.
The Oxford English Dictionary has a list of phrases and expressions containing Dutch. Here are a few:
double Dutch, gibberish.
to do a Dutch (act) , to desert, escape, run away; to commit suicide.
to go Dutch, when each person pays for his own food, drink, etc.
Dutch nightingale , a frog.
Dutch wife, an open frame of ratan or cane used in the Dutch Indies, etc. to rest the limbs upon in bed (goeling) or a kind of life-size mechanical doll with built-in electric heating and all the other refinements.
Dutch auction, an auction by which an article is put up at a high price, and, if nobody accepts the offer, then reduced to a lower.
Dutch bargain, concluded by the parties drinking together.
Dutch concert, when several tunes are played together.
Dutch consolation, ‘thank heaven, it is no worse’
Dutch courage, bravery induced by drinking.
Dutch feast, where the entertainer gets drunk before his guests.
Dutch reckoning, a bad day’s work, all in the wrong.
Dutch uncle, someone who gives another a regular lecture.
So, be kind to the Netherlanders, and talk Netherlandish to them. ‘Spreek Nederlands met Nederlanders in Nederland!’
To find out more about the origin of the word Dutch, follow this link.