The Warlike Origins of ‘Going Dutch’

1 Oct

A pitched sea battle during the Anglo-Dutch Wars.

AT THE END OF A restaurant meal, deciding who pays and how much can be fraught. Societal norms tend to dictate if one person whips out their credit card, or if everyone should “go Dutch”: that is, pay their own share.

“Going Dutch” can quickly get complicated, with adding up tax, tip, and separate bills. But the origin of the term is even more complex: It likely stems from a centuries-old dispute between England and the Netherlands that left behind a slew of uncomplimentary phrases in English, all rooted in the word “Dutch.”

So begins Anne Ewbank’s reminder of the England-Netherlands rivalry in the 17th century. You may read the entire Atlas Obscura post here.

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