Going Dutch is an often used phrase throughout the world. There are quite a few other words or phrases that are related to the ”Dutch”. Interested? Let’s have a look!


Ever wondered why there are quite a few sayings about the Dutch? Well, apparently it is because we were one of the first nations to travel the world. In those early days it wasn’t common to leave your country of origin and many never did. But, there were a few brave men (sorry ladies, no women conquering the world at that stage yet..) that took it upon themselves to map and explore the world. The Dutch were in some countries the first foreigners ever sighted. Therefore, strange, or at least uncommon behaviour, was often classified as ‘Dutch’. Not because it was typically Dutch or anything, but because it was something people had never seen before until the Dutch came around. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to have a look at what we are known for around the world.

#1 Going Dutch (obviously)- but how do you ‘Go Dutch’?

Meeting a Dutchie? Better come prepared.

Going Dutch  is probably the most famous one of all of them and very well known around the world: splitting the bill. So far so good. Splitting the bill is splitting the bill right? Wrong. Is the bill going to be divided equally amongst a number of people? Or, does everybody pay their own share? Or even, do we split the food evenly, but then pay drinks separately? Anyway, depending on what you are planning on eating and drinking, choose your system wisely.


#2 Dutch Agreement- not for the sober mind.

A Dutch agreement is an agreement made whilst being drunk, and of which both parties, most of the time, have no recollection of. Basically, both parties were so drunk when they made the deal neither will be able to recall making the deal the next day and have to be reminded of it by other people that were present. I guess, if you are planning on closing a Dutch agreement with anyone, do it without witnesses. That’s your safest bet.

#3 Dutch Auction- it comes with a twist!


Not many people know this one, even though it’s good, and so Dutch! It is basically the opposite of a regular auction. Normally auctions start with a certain amount and then go up, until no one is bidding anymore. A Dutch auction however starts off with a high amount and then goes down until any one person stops the auctioneer and the that’s the price the buyer pays.


#4 Dutch Oven- don’t confuse it with cooking.

It’s not what you think it is.

This one is not for the fainthearted. A Dutch oven is how one person traps another person under the sheets while just having farted. When I first found out about this practise, by hearing about it, not by having the act performed on me, just to be clear (!), I was so confused as to why on earth this was called a Dutch oven. The only reason I have been able to come up with so far is the odour of our cuisine. A whiff of Dutch cooking and you want to run? Something like that maybe? Anyway, when a friend of mine invited me over for dinner a few months later, proudly stating she bought a Dutch oven I was confused all over again, as I had no idea that a physical Dutch oven actually is a thing.


#5 Dutch Courage- kind of courage that never ends well

Because no epic night ever started by drinking water.

This is courage we are all familiar with. You could just say it as it is and call it ‘overestimating oneself’, but by giving it a cute name I guess the things you do under the influence of Dutch courage just sounds less stupid. It’s the courage that arises after having a few drinks. The ‘of course I can run down the street with my shoelaces tight up together whilst carrying a crate of beers’. That kind of courage.. The kind that never ends well. Never.


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To Conclude,

These phrases might not be the most flattering of sayings about us, but most of them came about centuries ago. Imagine spending months on a boat, getting off, having a few drinks and do something stupid. ‘Watch that guy and his Dutch courage’. Could have happened to best of us. Do that a couple of times and you’re famous for it.

Keep in mind though, if sayings like that would have to be made up about us today, they might not be a whole lot better. How about ‘they’re playing Dutch football’ – meaning a team sucks. Or ‘a Dutch Parliament’ – meaning something is most likely never going to happen.

No offense, but I’ll stick to the Dutch oven for now thanks.


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