Dutch Treat (1885)

Wed Nov 6 07:08:11 UTC 2002

I gather that "Dutch treat"--along with other "Dutch ____" terms such as
auction, bargain, concert, courage, wife--is part of that ignoble English
tradition of Dutch disparagement (dating from the 16th or 17th century, I
think) which we continued in the US. All, describing things that fell short
or were decidedly *not* the thing thus modified.

One such, apparently dropped by the 20th century (I don't find it in later
dictionaries), was "Dutch gold," defined as not gold, of course, but as
"copper, brass, and bronze leaf, used largely in Holland to ornament toys."
(from M-W 1864)


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