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Related to Dutch: Danish
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.
get (one's) Dutch up
To make one angry. Please calm down, I didn't mean to get your Dutch up. This whole situation gets my Dutch up so much—it's amazing that I haven't screamed at the whole staff today.
A situation in which two people agree to split the cost of something or pay for their own share, usually a meal. Since Bob and Sue were just friends, neither ever objected to a Dutch treat when they went out to dinner.
my old dutch
My spouse. Taken from the 19th-century Albert Chevalier song "My Old Dutch." Primarily heard in UK. Sure, my old dutch and I have had our problems, but we always work it out.
the Dutch have taken Holland
A sarcastic phrase said in response to outdated news. A: "Did you know that Kelly is getting a divorce?" B: "Oh please, that happened months ago. Did you know that the Dutch have taken Holland?"
1. Indecipherable or nonsense speech. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I'm not a programmer, so I have no idea what they're saying in there—it all sounds like double Dutch to me. When you teach preschoolers, you get used to hearing double Dutch all day.
2. A style of jumping rope in which two ropes are swung at the same time in opposite directions. I'm pretty good at jumping rope, but I always get tangled up when I try double Dutch.
An auction in which the asking price is set high and then lowered until someone buys the item. What is this, a Dutch auction? Why is the auctioneer starting out at $1,000 for that piece of junk?
1. Liquor. Come down to the bar and join us in drinking some Dutch courage!
2. The false sense of confidence induced by alcohol consumption. Joe gets into a lot of fights when he drinks, and I suspect that Dutch courage is to blame.
3. Drugs. You didn't bring any Dutch courage? Man, I need to get high tonight!
One who addresses someone severely or critically. Fred is always lecturing me like a Dutch uncle, forgetting the fact that I'm 40 years old!
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
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
Dutch couragemainly BRITISH
If you talk about Dutch courage, you mean the feeling of bravery and confidence in yourself that results from drinking alcohol. The survey also noted how some performers used a little Dutch courage to overcome inhibitions. Sometimes before leaving I would drink a glass of vodka on the stairs for Dutch courage. Note: In the past, the Dutch had a reputation for drinking a lot of alcohol.
go DutchBRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If two or more people go Dutch, they share the cost of the bill for something such as a meal or an evening out. We went Dutch on a cheap Chinese in Shaftesbury Avenue. Many women are happy to go Dutch with a new boyfriend on the first date. Note: You can also say that you have a Dutch treat. He wanted to pay the bill, but I objected and we settled on a Dutch treat.
in DutchAMERICAN, OLD-FASHIONED
If you are in Dutch, you are in trouble. Maybe he was in Dutch again and this time they offered him the chance of paying his debt by chasing me out of town. Doug wants to get Manatelli in Dutch with his boss.
do the Dutchcommit suicide. North American informal
Dutch is short for ‘the Dutch act’: apparently in the 19th century, when the expression originated, the Dutch had a reputation in America for attempting suicide.
Dutch couragebravery induced by drinking alcohol.
The phrase Dutch courage stems from a long-standing British belief that the Dutch are extraordinarily heavy drinkers.
a Dutch unclea kindly but authoritative figure.
Dutch here probably means no more than that the person described is not a genuine blood relation. In the mid 19th century I will talk to him like a Dutch uncle (meaning ‘I will give him a lecture’) was noted as being an American expression.
1999 Daily Telegraph She was the kindest of Dutch uncles, always prepared to listen to one's troubles.
go Dutchshare the cost of something equally.
An outing or entertainment paid for in this way is a Dutch treat and sharing the cost of a meal in a restaurant is eating Dutch .
1993 Vanity Fair He insists on buying his own tickets, ‘going Dutch’, as he puts it.
in Dutchin trouble. US informal, dated
1939 Raymond Chandler The Big Sleep And for that amount of money you're willing to get yourself in Dutch with half the law enforcement of this country?
that beats the Dutchthat is extraordinary or startling. US
ˌdouble ˈDutch(British English, informal) language that is impossible to understand: I wish someone would explain this contract in simple language — it’s all double Dutch to me!
ˌDutch ˈcourage(British English, informal) courage or confidence that you get by drinking alcohol: I was afraid of having to tell my wife about what had happened, so I went to the pub to get some Dutch courage.
go ˈDutch (with somebody)(informal) share the cost of a meal, etc. equally with somebody else: She always insists on going Dutch when they go out together.
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).