Dutch(redirected from dutches)
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Related to dutches: Dutch people
To be beyond the bounds of imagination or belief, as in a surprising, shocking, or amazing occurrence. Well that beats all! I wasn't expecting to have you here for Christmas!
beat the Dutch
obsolete To surpass expectation, imagination, or belief. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. Look at the fanfare, the fireworks, the massive crowd! This celebration truly beats the Dutch!
1. The act of committing suicide. The disparaging use of the word "Dutch" is a reference to the fierce rivalry between England and the Dutch in the 17th century. After her daughter died, we were worried that Mary might be tempted to do the Dutch act.
2. The act of deserting or fleeing from something, especially military duty. (See above for origin.) Robert is likely to be court-martialed for doing the Dutch act while on active duty in Iraq.
obsolete A bill or other account of charges that is not itemized or detailed in any way and that is usually irregularly high. The disparaging use of the word "Dutch" is a reference to the fierce rivalry between England and the Dutch in the 17th century. At the end of our stay in the country hotel, we were a little nonplussed at the Dutch reckoning with which we were presented by the concierge.
1. language or speech that is difficult or impossible to understand. This book on English grammar is written in double Dutch. I can't understand a word. Try to find a lecturer who speaks slowly, not one who speaks double Dutch.
2. a game of jumping rope using two ropes swung simultaneously in opposite directions. The girls were playing double Dutch in the schoolyard.
an auction or sale that starts off with a high asking price that is then reduced until a buyer is found. (Viewed by some as insulting to the Dutch.) Dutch auctions are rare—most auctioneers start with a lower price than they hope to obtain. My real estate agent advised me to ask a reasonable price for my house rather than get involved with a Dutch auction.
unusual or artificial courage arising from the influence of alcohol. (Viewed by some as insulting to the Dutch.) It was Dutch courage that made the football fan attack the policeman. It will take a bit of Dutch courage to make an after-dinner speech.
a social occasion where one pays for oneself. (Viewed by some as insulting to the Dutch.) "It's nice of you to ask me out to dinner," she said, "but could we make it a Dutch treat?" The office outing is always a Dutch treat.
a man who gives frank and direct advice to someone. (In the way an uncle might, but not a real relative.) I would not have to lecture you like a Dutch uncle if you were not so extravagant. He acts more like a Dutch uncle than a husband. He's forever telling her what to do in public.
[for each person in a pair or a group] to pay for himself or herself. I don't want you to pay for my ticket. Let's go Dutch. Is it still considered a date if you go Dutch?
*in Dutch (with someone)
in trouble with someone. (*Typically: be ~; get ~.) I'm in Dutch with my parents for my low grades. You're in Dutch quite often, it seems.
talk to someone
1. Lit. to speak to someone; to confer with someone. Talk to me! I really want your opinion. I will have to talk to Mark to see what he thinks.
2. Fig. to lecture to someone; to reprimand someone. I wish you would talk to your son. He is creating havoc in the classroom. I am going to have to talk to Roberta. She is not getting things clean.
See also: talk
double Dutch(British & Australian)
speech or writing that is nonsense and cannot be understood He came out with a load of sophisticated grammatical codes and it all sounded like double Dutch.
a Dutch treat
an occasion when two or more people agree to share the cost of something, especially a meal She and Callahan often met for lunch. It was always a Dutch treat.
the confidence that you get by drinking alcohol before you do something that you are frightened of doing He had another drink to give him Dutch courage for what he might find at home.
to share the cost of something, especially a meal 'Will you let me take you out tonight?' 'As long as we go Dutch.'
Surpass anything, especially in a strange or amazing way, as in Adam and his cousin Eve eloped-doesn't that beat all! This phrase appears to have replaced beat the Dutch. It is often used in a negative construction, as in the example. [Slang; first half of 1800s] Also see to beat the band.
beat the Dutch
see under beat all.
1. Language that cannot be understood, gibberish, as in They might have been speaking double Dutch, for all I understood. This usage dates from the 1870s (an earlier version, however, had it as high Dutch) and is heard less often today than the synonym double talk.
2. A game of jump rope in which players jump over two ropes swung in a crisscross fashion.
False courage acquired by drinking liquor, as in He had a quick drink to give him Dutch courage. This idiom alludes to the reputed heavy drinking of the Dutch, and was first referred to in Edmund Waller's Instructions to a Painter (1665): "The Dutch their wine, and all their brandy lose, Disarm'd of that from which their courage grows."
An outing or date in which each person pays his or her own expenses. For example, Her parents agreed that she might date if it were a Dutch treat. The related expression go Dutch means "to go on a date with each person paying their own way," as in Students often elect to go Dutch. The first term dates from about 1870, and the variant from the early 1900s.
A stern, candid critic or adviser, as in When I got in trouble with the teacher again, the principal talked to me like a Dutch uncle . This expression, often put as talk to one like a Dutch uncle, presumably alludes to the sternness and sobriety attributed to the Dutch. [Early 1800s]
see under Dutch treat.
In trouble or disfavor, as in If I don't finish on time I'll really be in Dutch. This expression may allude to the stern reprimands of a Dutch uncle. [Slang; c. 1850]
Also, give a talking to. Scold, reprimand, as in The teacher said he'd have to talk to Jeff after school, or Dad gave us both a good talking to. [Colloquial; second half of 1800s] For talk to like a Dutch uncle, see Dutch uncle.
See also: talk
the Dutch actand the Dutch cure
n. suicide. Well, Ken took the Dutch cure last week. So sad. It was the Dutch act. He ate his gun.
the Dutch cureverb
See the Dutch act
1. n. liquor; false courage from drinking liquor. A couple of shots of Dutch courage, and he was ready to face anything.
2. n. drugs. Max deals in Dutch courage, as he calls it.
in. [for two people] to split the cost of something, such as a meal. (see also Dutch treat.) How about dinner tonight? We’ll go Dutch, okay?
mod. in trouble. I didn’t want to get in Dutch with you.
To be impressive or amazing. Often used in negative conditional constructions: If that doesn't beat all!
To pay one's own expenses on a date or outing.
In disfavor or trouble.
Bravery acquired by drinking alcohol. Political and economic rivals during the 17th century, England and Holland fought a series of wars. English propagandists spread the rumor that Dutch soldiers and sailors developed the necessary nerve to fight only after drinking gin and other alcoholic beverages. The Dutch haven't fared well in the English language. Other unflattering phrases are “Dutch treat (you pay for only yourself), “Dutch uncle” (a stern person, especially one who gave you a lecture you weren't happy about receiving), and “double Dutch” (gibberish).