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Going Dutch is a phrase invented by the English to describe the practice of everyone paying for the cost of their own restaurant meal rather than relying on a sole benefactor to pay for all. However it also has pejorative undertones hinting at meanness  and is part of a series of phrases arising out of historical English Dutch rivalry and presenting the Dutch in an unfavourable light:
Back in the 17th century the intense rivalry between the British and the Dutch, both countries fighting to build their global empires, led to many phrases being coined by the British navy to insult their Dutch counterparts. Dutch-courage: implied that the Dutch needed a few drinks inside them to have the stomach required for a fight. Dutch defence: retreat, rather than fight. The phrase "going Dutch", where a couple each pays for their own half of a restaurant bill implies "cheap", basically.


In US English at least, "Dutch" was used as a adjective that means "false". For example, "dutch courage"- courage from drinking liquor (no real courage), "dutch metal"- imitation gold made mostly of copper, "Dutch nightingale"- a frog; "Dutch concert" - an unmusical racket, "Dutch auction" - auction starting at maximum price. Therefore, "Dutch treat" means no treat at all.

In the context of this blogpost, I am using the phrase ironically to ask the question whether Ireland is prepared to pay its share of the price of maintaining the integrity of the EU's external frontier post Brexit. Our approach so far could not be less like the Dutch...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jun 8th, 2019 at 01:28:56 AM EST

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