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Dutch courage

Posted by Lewis on June 06, 2008 at 11:52

In Reply to: Dutch courage posted by ESC on June 04, 2008 at 21:27:

: : Where did the phrase "dutch courage" originate?

: "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." Dutch courage -- courage inspired by booze, the Dutch were once said to be heavy drinkers. From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Fact on File, New York, 1997)

because the English and the Dutch only had a short period of hostility in an otherwise good relationship, many modern people wouldn't anticipate an expression mentioning 'Dutch' to have negative connotations. I've always got on with the Dutch people I've met. even their street corner crack dealers were polite in Amsterdam! (I said 'no thanks' and didn't get snarled at)