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Dutch uncle

noun, Sometimes Offensive.
a person who criticizes or reproves with unsparing severity and frankness.
Origin of Dutch uncle
First recorded in 1820-30
Usage note
Because Dutch is used here to describe someone manifesting the opposite of warm, affectionate, typically avuncular behavior, this term is sometimes perceived as insulting to or by the Dutch. See also Dutch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Dutch uncle
Historical Examples
  • She has had a quarrel with Tom perhaps, and she wants me to go and talk to him like a Dutch uncle.

    The Imaginary Marriage Henry St. John Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for Dutch uncle

Dutch uncle

(informal) a person who criticizes or reproves frankly and severely
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
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Slang definitions & phrases for Dutch uncle

Dutch uncle

noun phrase

A severely censorious person, usually a man: A ''Dutch uncle'' whose every word is reproof (1838+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with Dutch uncle

Dutch uncle

A stern, candid critic or adviser, as in When I got in trouble with the teacher again, the principal talked to me like a Dutch uncle. This expression, often put astalk to one like a Dutch uncle, presumably alludes to the sternness and sobriety attributed to the Dutch. [ Early 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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