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Sunday 28th August 2016
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What's the origin of "going Dutch"?


Where does the phrase “going Dutch” come from, when you split a restaurant bill?
Emma, Finchley


** Definitive **
Name: Daniel, Barking
Qualification: I’ve been to Holland 28 times
Answer: Dutch farmhouse doors split equally at the top and bottom, like a stable door. The original term was a Dutch door. Hence the term, “going Dutch”.

Name: Jamie, Orpington
Qualification: Talking Double Dutch
Answer: The Dutch were colonial rivals to the English in the 1700s and there are lots of negative phrases about the Dutch in English language – Dutch Uncle, Dutch courage, Double Dutch for example. At that time, it was seen as ungallant to split the bill, so a negative phrase about the Dutch was created.
(James O’Brien: You haven’t actually answered where the phrase came from.)

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