Sat Nov 9 06:30:41 UTC 2002

John Landau brought up this word, meaning in stagecraft "a strip of cloth
soaked in size that is used to cover joints and gaps in the stage set, and
to apply same," and generally (beyond the stage) as "a device for hiding or
counteracting structural defects."

I found confirmation of the first at one of the online glossaries, which
defined it somewhat more specifically as, "tape or material used to cover
the seams between flats, prior to painting."

I questioned a stage-manager friend, who confirms the term as I found it
online and says that, "It can be a verb also, as in, 'Those two flats need
to be dutchmanned'." He adds that the word is "not used much anymore."

I also queried a filmmaker friend. No use of the term in that field, but he
volunteers that, in another use of the word "dutch" to denote things not
quite regular, odd camera slants used in some films have been referred to
as "dutch angles." This term, too, seems not to be in much current use.

No one had any ideas as to origin.


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