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Double Dutch

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noun (sometimes lowercase)
  1. a form of the game of jump rope in which two persons, holding the respective ends of two long jump ropes, swing them in a synchronized fashion, usually directed inward so the ropes are going in opposite directions, for one or two others to jump over.
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double Dutch

noun Slang.
  1. unintelligible or garbled speech or language: She could have been talking double Dutch for all we understood of it.
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Origin of double Dutch

First recorded in 1875–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for double dutch

Historical Examples

  • The paper was covered with lines, circles, and writing that appeared to us like "double-Dutch."

    500 of the Best Cockney War Stories

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British Dictionary definitions for double dutch

double Dutch

noun
  1. British informal incomprehensible talk; gibberish
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for double dutch

Double Dutch

"gibberish," 1864 (High Dutch for "incomprehensible language" is recorded from 1789); from double (adj.) + Dutch.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with double dutch

double Dutch

1

Language that cannot be understood, gibberish, as in They might have been speaking double Dutch, for all I understood. This usage dates from the 1870s (an earlier version, however, had it as high Dutch) and is heard less often today than the synonym double talk.

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2

A game of jump rope in which players jump over two ropes swung in a crisscross fashion.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.