[Ads-l] to "dutch"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 27 15:33:28 UTC 2020

"To lay bets in such a way as to win by covering all possibilities
proportionately; also fig."

Not in OED.

1902 _St. Paul Globe_ (Dec. 21) 33: When the book was "Dutched," it meant
that the player turned the tables on the bookie, and played every horse in
the race, certain of winning on practically all. ...In the days when the
men in the ring had the large slates, standing up in full view, on which
the prices were clearly written in large figures, it was an easy matter to
"Dutch" the books. [How-to details follow.]

1910 _Washington Times_ (Sept. 4) 12: The Cubs will be stronger favorites
in Chicago than in Philadelphia. Fine chance to "Dutch the book."

1914 _Evening Bulletin _ (Providence, R.I.) (Sept. 11) Sec. III 9: At the
beginning of the season these sporting men backed the champions at prices
of 1 to 2 and 1 to 3. They are now endeavoring to lay off as a matter of
protection, to Dutch the book, in other words.

1916 _Denver Rocky Mountain News_ (Dec. 3) (Want Ads Section) 3: FOR SALE -
ACRES AND RANCHES... A Chance to Dutch the Book...for $300 under value,
raise vegetables and chickens; you can't lose.

1924 _San Francisco Chronicle_ (Oct. 2) (Sports) 2: One could easily "dutch
the book" by betting on Washington in New York and the Giants in San
Francisco. On such a basis, one would wager $1000 in New York to win $1200
and $1000 in San Francisco to win $1250.

1932 _San Francisco Chronicle_ (June 14) (Sports) 15: In the East you might
bet $800 on Schmeling against $1000. In San Francisco you would then wager
$800 on Sharkey. What would happen? You would stand to win $200 no matter
who might win. Of course, in the case of a draw, you would be upsticks and
nobody hurt. But it is not always easy to make sure of "Dutching the book."

1986 _Jersey Journal_ (Jersey City) (Apr. 14) 24: So get ready to dutch the

The origin? Evidently < "Dutch book" (not in OED), 'a bookmaker's inexpert
odds that allow a bettor to profit by wagering proportionately on all
possibilities; also fig.'

1894 _Evansville [Ind.] Courier and Press_ (June 15) 7: Parties ...who seem
content to be called bookmakers even if they do offer to the public what is
commonly known in the ring as a Dutch book....[T]heir patrons get the best
of it, as long as it lasts.

1895 _San Francisco Chronicle_ (Jan. 9)  10: Then Joe went after Motor
money. What kind of a Dutch book did Joe have with Motor at 13 to 5,
Realization at 8 to 5, and Elise at 6 to 1?

1911 _Evening World_ (N.Y.C.) (Mar. 2) (Daily Mag.):  Concentrate! The
fellow who plays for General Results is making a Dutch book on himself!

1930 _Times-Union_ (Albany, N.Y.) (JUne 8) B-5:  Obviously Shaw could not
lay these prices under any other system for the reason that he would likely
be making a "dutch" book.

Why "Dutch" (presumably "German")?  The quest goes on.


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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