Idioms using the word ‘Dutch’

For some reason there seem to be many idioms using the word Dutch. Most of them seem to be negative though I am not sure why because The Netherlands seems to be neutrally regarded.

  • Dutch act Suicide
  • Dutch angle A cinematic tactic often used to portray the psychological uneasiness or tension in the subject being filmed. A Dutch angle is achieved by tilting the camera off to the side so that the shot is composed with the horizon at an angle to the bottom of the frame. Many Dutch angles are static shots at an obscure angle, but in a moving Dutch angle shot the camera can pivot, pan or track along the director/cinematographer’s established diagonal axis for the shot. (From Wikipedia
  • Dutch auction An auction in which the auctioneer offers the goods at gradually decreasing prices, the first bidder to accept becoming the purchaser; to reverse the process of a normal auction.
  • Dutch bargain or wet bargain A bargain settled over drinks, the Dutch being formerly reputed to be steady drinkers.
  • Dutch barn A farm building with a curved roof on a frame that has no walls.
  • Dutch bulb The term used to describe collectively certain kinds of garden bulbs, supplies of which largely are imported from Holland, which are planted in the fall for spring bloom. Included in the Dutch Bulbs description are such items as Tulips, Hyacinths, Daffodils, Crocuses, among others.
  • Dutch clover White clover, a valuable pasture plant.
  • Dutch collarA horse collar.
  • Dutch Colonial Characterised by a gambrel roof with overhanging eaves.
  • Dutch comfort Cold comfort, i.e. things might have been worse.
  • Dutch concert A great noise and uproar, like that made by a party of drunken Dutchmen, some singing, others quarrelling, speechifying, etc.
  • Dutch courage The courage exerted by drink; pot valour. The Dutch were considered heavy drinkers.
  • Dutch cousins Close friends, a play upon cousins german.
  • Dutch defence A sham defence.
  • Dutch door A door divided horizontally so that the lower or upper part can be shut separately.
  • Dutch elm disease A disease of elms caused by an ascomycetous fungus (Ceratocystis ulmi) and characterised by yellowing of the foliage, defoliation, and death.
  • Dutch generosity Stinginess.
  • Dutch gleekTippling. Gleek is a game and the name implies that the game loved by Dutchmen is drinking.
  • Dutch headache Hangover.
  • Dutch hoe A scuffle hoe, a garden hoe that has both edges sharpened and can be pushed forward or drawn back.
  • Dutch leaf False gold leaf.
  • Dutch goldDutch metal” German” gold, an alloy of copper and zinc, yellow in colour, which is easily tarnished unless lacquered. Imitation gold leaf is made from it, hence the name Dutch leaf. It is also called Dutch metal.
  • Dutch mineral Copper beaten out into very thin leaves.
  • Dutch nightingales Frogs.
  • Dutch oven1. A heavy iron cooking pot with close fitting lid.2. A tin hanging screen for cooking before a kitchen range or ordinary fire grate.3. A brick oven in which the walls are preheated for cooking.4. A prank where one farts under a blanket while holding a victim there.
  • Dutch roll A combination of directional and lateral oscillation of an aeroplane.
  • Dutch rub To rub your knuckles across the top of someones head whilst holding their head under your other arm.
  • Dutch talent That which is not done in true nautical and shipshape fashion, more the result of brawn than brain
  • Dutch treat A meal, amusement, etc., at which each person pays for himself (i.e. not a treat at all). To go Dutch has the same meaning.
  • Dutch widow A prostitute.
  • Dutch wife An open frame constructed of cane, originally used in the Dutch East Indies and other hot countries to rest the limbs in bed; also a bolster used for the same purpose. Called thus because it was round, fat and just lay there. In at least Japan, but probably also elsewhere, a sex doll.
  • Dutched Cancelled.
  • Dutchman’s breeches1. Two patches of blue appearing in a stormy sky giving the promise of better weather, i.e. enough blue sky to make a Dutchman (or sailor) a pair of breeches.2. A variety of Dicentra (D. cucullaria) a common plant native to North American woods that blooms in the spring. The flowers of the plant resemble the pants or breeches worn by Dutch boys many years ago. D. spectabilis is the plant commonly known as the Bleeding Heart, a very popular spring blooming garden variety.
  • Dutchman’s draught A “big swig”, a copious draught; one of the many allusions to the Dutchman’s reputed fondness for heavy drinking.
  • Dutchman’s log A rough method for finding a ship’s speed by throwing a piece of wood, etc., into the sea well forward and timing its passage between two marks on the vessel of known distance apart.
  • Dutchman’s pipe A hardy climbing plant (Aristolochia sipho) that grows wild in the southern United States. The plant has large, heart-shaped leaves and rather small, brownish-yellow pipe-shaped flowers.
  • Double Dutch 1. Gibberish or jargon, as of infants or of a foreign tongue not understood by the hearer.2. The jumping of two jump ropes rotating in opposite directions simultaneously.
  • Flying Dutchman A ghost ship. A sailor who sees a Flying Dutchman will die before reaching home.
  • To go DutchSee Dutch treat.
  • His Dutch is up His dander is up. He is angry, upset.
  • I’m a Dutchman if I do A strong refusal.
  • If not, I’m a Dutchman Used to strengthen an affirmation or assertion.
  • In DutchIn trouble, out of favour, under suspicion.T
  • he Dutch have taken Holland A quiz when anyone tells what is well known as a piece of good news.
  • To talk like a Dutch uncle To reprove firmly but kindly. The Dutch were noted for their discipline.
  • Well, I’m a Dutchman! An exclamation of strong incredulity.
  • Pennsylvania Dutch Not Dutch at all, but rather Deutsch, i.e. German, descendants (both the language and the people) of German settlers in Pennsylvania
  • Dutch diseaseThe deindustrialization of a nation’s economy that occurs when the discovery of a natural resource raises the value of that nation’s currency, making manufactured goods less competitive with other nations, increasing imports and decreasing exports. The term originated in Holland after the discovery of North Sea gas. See http://www.investorwords.com/1604/dutch_disease.html.
  • Dutch sandwich A legal tax dodge also called the Double Irish. Profits are sent to Ireland which has a high tax rate. But, Ireland doesn’t tax some payments made to other EU states, so the money is sent to a shell in the Netherlands. The Dutch have very low tax laws, so it is home free. The money is then routed to an Irish-owned subsidieary in Bermuda which is why it is called Double Irish. The corporation has only paid 0.2% of taxes in this process. What a deal!

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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