In Reply to: My old dutch posted by Gary Martin on January 11, 2009 at 12:11:
: : Ref: My old dutch. You say that the origin is cockney rhyming slang and you are right. However dutch does not rhyme with dutchess. Cockney rhyming slang usually has two words with the second (and the one that rhymes)not being spoken. Hence the terrible confusion for anyone not in the know! e.g. apples and pears = stairs, whistle and flute = suit, Barner fair = hair. You might say "I went up the apples in me new whistle to comb me barnet".
: : I think you will find that My old dutch is from Dutch plate = mate.
: I believe you are mistaken. Dutch, meaning wife, has been an abbreviation for duchess since at least the early 19th century.
: There are many examples of rhyming slang words that include the rhymed word, for example, 'daisy roots', 'north and south', 'trouble and strife'.
: You might be confusing this with 'china plate' = mate. I can find no examples of 'Dutch plate' as an expression meaning mate and, in any case, 'my old Dutch' doesn't even mean mate, it means wife.
"Wife" is the most common meaning - indeed, the only one I've come across personally, and is indeed a "two part" example of cockney rhyming slang. "Dutch", in this case, is short for "Duchess of Fife" - an alternative to the better known "trouble and strife". Google turns up an awful lot of references. It also confirms the "Dutch Plate" = Mate, although I don't think this usage is anywhere near as common. Graham C.