Going Dutch – The origination explained in video

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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One thought on “Going Dutch – The origination explained in video

  • Silvatungfox

    If someone invites someone else out to dine, unless it is pre-determined that each pay their own way, it is simply bad manners to suggest “going dutch” after the meal.

    Other terms using Dutch:
    Dutch oven: It is not clear if these cast iron pots got their name from the way pots were manufactured by the Dutch, or came to have this title following Dutch traders selling pots among their other wares, or as some historians believe that it came into use from the Pennsylvania Dutch population using these pots to cook in.

    In Dutch: Slang of unknown origin, the inference being that one is in trouble if one is in dutch.

    Double Dutch Jump Rope: Double Dutch is historically a jump rope game played by black children (mainly girls) in rural and urban areas in America.

    Dutch Apple Pie: Apple pie that contains the normal ingredients plus things like raisins or icing.

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