Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Jun 10 13:38:36 UTC 2006


  "The legend of the brave Dutch boy ...who supposedly put his finger in the dyke to prevent a flood, was actually a literary invention by the American writer Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge (1831-1905), who was born in New York."

  http://www.pantheon.org/articles/l/little_dutch_boy.html "This tale originates from the American writer Mary Mapes Dodge and is in fact not a real myth, although many people believe it is. She published this tale in 'Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates' in 1865. The Little Dutch Boy is a very popular myth in the United States (and other countries), but is not well known in the Netherlands and has probably been imported there by American tourists."

  This squares with what I heard many years ago, so it may even be true.

Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Laurence Horn
Subject: Re: dutchmen

>>Farmer & Henley list a whole bunch of anti-Dutch slurs and epithets,
>>whose origin they associate with the Herring Wars over supremacy of
>>the North Sea fishing routes.
>There sure are plenty. But perhaps the current "dutchman" is much more
>recent, and of innocent origin? Like maybe from an image of a Dutch fellow
>plugging an undesirable aperture in an embankment, like in the story?
That does seem more plausible than the Dutchmen-as-blocks-of-wood
metaphor, but on the other hand it seems as though the current one
should instead be "little Dutch boys", given the dike-plugger


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