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Double Dutch

Posted by Bob on September 15, 2000

In Reply to: Double Dutch posted by ESC on September 14, 2000

: : We know what the phrase means but not how it originated. Any ideas welcome.

: : Reg

: : Ian Frame

: The "Morris Dictionary of Phrase and Word Origins" has a lengthy entry about the use of the word "Dutch" in phrases. "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." Mr. and Mrs. Morris say "'Double dutch' is a kind of talk deliberately intended to deceive the listener."

There's also the urban jump-rope game Double Dutch, very popular with African American girls, where two ropes are twirled in opposite directions by two girls, and one jumps in the center. How did that name arise?