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Go Dutch = Dutch treat

Posted by ESC on March 17, 2004

In Reply to: English work posted by Kate on March 17, 2004

: Does anyone know where the phrase "to go Dutch" originates from? Please e-mail!

It refers to a "Dutch treat."

DUTCH TREAT - "When you're invited to a 'Dutch treat' or a 'Dutch luncheon,' the host expects each guest to pay his own way." From the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977). Mr. and Mrs. Morris call "Dutch treat" a derogatory phrase.

"Probably no nationality has come in for so consistent a torrent of verbal abuse from the English as their neighbors across the channel the Dutch...It was not always thus. Until well after Shakespeare's time, the Dutch were usually well regarded in all literary references by British authors." From I Hear America Talking: An Illustrated History of American Words and Phrases by Stuart Berg Flexner (Von Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1976).

"In the 17th century the English-Dutch hostility over control of the seas and disputed parts of the New World was intense.The anti-Dutch tradition of early English settlers persisted and gives (America) such terms as.'Dutch treat,' 1887; 'go Dutch,' 1931, no treat at all, each person paying for his own meal or ticket." From the Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson (Fact on File, New York, 1997). "The Dutch people have been so offended by the English language over the past three centuries that in 1934 their government decided to drop the word 'Dutch' and use 'Netherlands' whenever possible." The section on "Dutch" lists three columns of phrases using the word.

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