- of, relating to, or characteristic of the natives or inhabitants of the Netherlands or their country or language.
- pertaining to or designating the style of painting and subject matter developed in the Netherlands during the 17th century, chiefly characterized by the use of chiaroscuro, muted tones, naturalistic colors or forms, and of genre, landscape, or still-life subjects drawn from contemporary urban and rural life.
- of, relating to, or characteristic of the Pennsylvania Dutch.
- Archaic. German; Teutonic.
- go Dutch, Sometimes Offensive. to have each person pay his or her own expenses: a dinner where everyone goes Dutch.Also go dutch.
- in Dutch, Sometimes Offensive. in trouble or disfavor (with someone): in Dutch with the teacher for disturbing the class.
Origin of Dutch
- Cockney slang wife
Word Origin for dutch
- the language of the Netherlands, belonging to the West Germanic branch of the Indo-European family and quite closely related to German and EnglishSee also Flemish, Afrikaans
- the Dutch (functioning as plural) the natives, citizens, or inhabitants of the Netherlands
- See Pennsylvania Dutch
- See double Dutch
- in Dutch slang in trouble
- of, relating to, or characteristic of the Netherlands, its inhabitants, or their language
- go Dutch informal to share expenses equally
late 14c., used first of Germans generally, after c.1600 of Hollanders, from Middle Dutch duutsch, from Old High German duit-isc, corresponding to Old English þeodisc "belonging to the people," used especially of the common language of Germanic people, from þeod "people, race, nation," from Proto-Germanic *theudo "popular, national" (see Teutonic), from PIE root *teuta- "people" (cf. Old Irish tuoth "people," Old Lithuanian tauta "people," Old Prussian tauto "country," Oscan touto "community").
As a language name, first recorded as Latin theodice, 786 C.E. in correspondence between Charlemagne's court and the Pope, in reference to a synodical conference in Mercia; thus it refers to Old English. First reference to the German language (as opposed to a Germanic one) is two years later. The sense was extended from the language to the people who spoke it (in German, Diutisklant, ancestor of Deutschland, was in use by 13c.).
Sense narrowed to "of the Netherlands" in 17c., after they became a united, independent state and the focus of English attention and rivalry. In Holland, Duits (formerly duitsch) is used of the people of Germany. The Middle English sense survives in Pennsylvania Dutch, name of the people who immigrated from the Rhineland and Switzerland.
Since c.1600, Dutch (adj.) has been a "pejorative label pinned by English speakers on almost anything they regard as inferior, irregular, or contrary to 'normal' (i.e., their own) practice" [Rawson]. E.g. Dutch treat (1887), Dutch uncle (1838), etc. -- probably exceeded in such usage only by Indian and Irish -- reflecting first British commercial and military rivalry and later heavy German immigration to U.S.
The Dutch themselves spoke English well enough to understand the unsavory connotations of the label and in 1934 Dutch officials were ordered by their government to stop using the term Dutch. Instead, they were to rewrite their sentences so as to employ the official The Netherlands. [Rawson]
Dutch oven is from 1769; OED lists it among the words describing things from Holland, but perhaps it is here used in the slighting sense. Dutch elm disease (1927) so called because it was first discovered in Holland (caused by fungus Ceratocystis ulmi).
In addition to the idioms beginning with Dutch
- Dutch courage
- Dutch treat
- Dutch uncle
- beat all (the Dutch)
- double Dutch
- in Dutch