Monday, July 26, 2010

Going Dutch

The phrase “going Dutch” is a slang expression that means each person on an outing will pay for his or her own food, drinks, and entertainment. This is in contrast to a date scenario where one person is likely to pick up the full tab or a group scenario where the total cost of an evening is evenly split amongst all participants.

The phrase may have originated based on the idea of a Dutch Door, which is one of those cool doors that is split horizontally so the top half or bottom half of the door can each be opened separately. However, “Going Dutch” has often been considered cheap and tasteless, so more likely is the possibility that the phrase originated as a derogatory jibe against the Dutch (which is stupid, of course).

Several other languages have similar phrases, however:
In some parts of Italy the phrase pagare alla romana (to pay like people of Rome) holds the same meaning as going Dutch.

In Turkish, hesabı Alman usulü ödemek means “to pay the bill the German way.”

In Egypt it is called Englizy, meaning “English-style.”

And, ironically, the Dutch phrase Amerikaans feest means American Party and holds the same meaning as going Dutch.


Jaima said...

Kinda like how the people of Denmark refer to the pastry we all call the "danish" as "wienerbrød" (Vienna bread).

Sean said...

Placing the blame elsewhere, you might say. --Except for the Italians who proudly own the tradition.