[Ads-l] to "dutch"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 27 18:52:55 UTC 2020

It sounds like adhockery to me, since I'm unaware of any tradition that
Germans "make themselves say what they don't mean." The Irish were
associated with absurd blunders ("bulls"), making the nonexistent "Irish
book" a more likely expression of that idea.

Germans were notorious instead for their accents, lager, and sausages.
Vaudeville stereotyping was common, but no more so than for other ethnic

Interesting find, though.


On Sun, Dec 27, 2020 at 11:34 AM Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:

> An early explanation of the word suggests it was "derived from the habit
> some ignorant Germans have of making themselves say what they don't mean,
> and the flippant sports apply the term to a book that 'wins backward,' or
> stands to lose no matter which horse wons the race."
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/66134635/the-los-angeles-times/
> LA Times, October 25, 1903, page 23.
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of
> Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Sent: Sunday, December 27, 2020 7:33:28 AM
> Subject: to "dutch"
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      to "dutch"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> "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
> book.
> 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.
> JL
> "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
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

"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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