If you’ve ever wondered where the expression “going Dutch” came from, the video below does an entertaining job in answering it. Sure, it’s a bit nerdy to care about ancient history like this, but if you are heading to Amsterdam it can’t really hurt to know some of this stuff.
In the 3-minute video, Marina Orlova, the Russian-born philologist who is the star of the site hotforwords.com explains where many different uses of the term Dutch came from. I’m not sure I buy all of it exactly as explained, but I do feel like a better person for having watched the lesson. Her videos are consistently informative and entertaining, so it feels like she’s really performing a much-needed service for curious web surfers.
She also mentions a ‘Dutch auction’ as being somewhat backwards in that the prices go down instead of up. I found that part interesting because that’s exactly how the famous auction at the Aalsmeer Flower Market works. They sell about one third of the flowers in the world in that gigantic structure located in the suburbs of Amsterdam, and visiting is quite easy, although it’s by far the best to go early in the morning. It’s really fascinating to watch because they wheel these huge lots of flowers onto the stage, and then the price starts going down until they are all sold. If the dealers wait too long, there won’t be any flowers left, so it’s interesting that auctions work just as well in situations like this.
>>more information on visiting the Aalsmeer Flower Auction
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