the Dutch act
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.
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.