Have you ever wondered why are the Dutch called ‘Dutch’? You might be surprised by the word’s origin. The Dutch are famous for being very direct and straightforward people. You want gay rights? You got it! Wanna split the bill? Still got it! You want to have unlimited flavours of cheese to choose from? You got that tenfold!
Everything seems pretty simple here, until you start asking yourself specific questions. Why does this country have two names? Is it the Netherlands or Holland? And why are people here called Dutch? And why do these words have nothing in common with one another? Well, we have the answers for you!
The Netherlands and Holland: as if that wasn’t already confusing
If you already know the difference between the Netherlands and Holland, have heard the Dutch national anthem at least once, and know a thing or two about Dutch history then you’re pretty much a half Dutchie. But for those of you who don’t know, let’s just get it out of the way before we get to the main question.
In short, the Netherlands is split up into 12 provinces. However, the two provinces of North and South Holland are the ones that contain all the good (read touristy) stuff. Think tulips, windmills, canals, Amsterdam, and The Hague. So because the two Holland provinces are so popular, the whole country kinda became known as Holland, even though its real name is the Netherlands. But why are the people here called Dutch? Well…
The British are to blame
England? English! America? American! The Netherlands? Netherlander? Hollander? No, Dutch! Why? Because logic.
But actually, the British are to blame. As if Brexit wasn’t enough to screw up half of Europe, the Brits have messed things up for the Netherlands quite some time ago.
Now, I need your full attention for the ignorant (yet kinda funny) reason why the Dutch are called ‘Dutch’. As we all know, the German word for Germany is ‘Deutschland’. Now, for the British everyone who spoke a Germanic language was one and the same. Which resulted in the British calling people from Germany and the Netherlands both Dutch.
Then, as time passed, the Germans became known as…well, Germans. However, like an embarrassing nickname that the fat, ignorant bully gave you back in high school, the name Dutch kinda stuck to the Netherlands to this day.
What do you think about the word’s origin? Were you surprised to find out the reasoning behind it? Let us know in the comments below!
Here’s more about how this odd name choice came about:
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2018 but was updated for your reading pleasure in November 2020.
Feature image: Public Domain Pictures