Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Phrase Finder


A question I found myself confronted with recently was:

Where does the term Double Dutch come from?

A moment's focused Googling threw up the kind of answer you're never sure you truly want to hear: 


Meaning

Nonsense - a language one cannot understand.

Origin

The English used to hold the Dutch in very low regard, on account of the hostilities between their two countries in the 17th century. As a consequence of the previous antagonism, there are numerous English phrases which portray Dutch items in a poor light:

Dutch comfort = cold comfort
Dutch concert = pandemonium
Dutch courage = the courage of drink
Dutch crossing = crossing the street slant wise
Dutch treat = each pays for their own expenses

On that note, I'll quit whilst I'm behind!

All of that knowledge poured forth from The Phrase Finder. Worth checking out. They have entire sections on:

  • Proverbs
  • American Phrases
  • Phrases coined by Shakespeare
  • Nautical phrases
  • Phrases from the Bible

Drop a comment if you find any entertaining ones.

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