"Going Dutch"

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
No Picnic
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:01 am UTC
Location: Shenyang China

"Going Dutch"

Postby No Picnic » Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:40 am UTC

Once again I come to you for ESL advice. Even if I have not replied to your comments, I have read your replies. I really appreciate how the folks here have helped me get some perspective.

In China, an idiom that the university students are sometimes taught is "going Dutch." Instead of one person treating the others, the people at a restaurant pay individually for the bill. (In China, it's the custom for one person to treat all the others.) Now, before I came here, I knew nothing about this idiom. I would have called it "splitting the bill" instead. I've even heard the idiom talked about without explanation on the ChinesePod.com podcast. I'm from Pennsylvania in the northeastern US. Is this idiom really very common (and I've been oblivious to it), or am I correct in suspecting that it's not very widespread or popular?

User avatar
Owehn
Posts: 479
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:49 pm UTC
Location: Cambridge, UK

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby Owehn » Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:50 am UTC

I've never heard this either. I'd advise you tell your students to say "split the bill", which I'm sure will be understood anywhere. While I recognize the importance of explaining idioms as well, "going dutch" seems like a case where no one will be embarrassed if someone has to ask what it means.
[This space intentionally left blank.]

User avatar
Alcas
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 1:41 am UTC
Location: Minnesota

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby Alcas » Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:35 pm UTC

I have heard this -- I live in Minnesota -- but only in the context of two people going on a date. Even then, I've only really heard a few people use it. So it's definitely not widespread, and might be mis-connoted by anyone who does recognize it.
"It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people"

User avatar
I Am Raven
Posts: 2416
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:09 am UTC
Location: Amsterdam.
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby I Am Raven » Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:07 pm UTC

I don't know if this idiom refers to the actual Dutch people. (I'm Dutch, but as far as I know it's not uncommon to "go dutch", but neither is it to just treat all... :| )
Ptolom wrote:penis

quantropy
Posts: 195
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:55 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby quantropy » Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:51 pm UTC

A few hundred years ago the English and the Dutch were great rivals. Thus a lot of insulting terms relating to the Dutch were invented. One of these was 'Dutch Treat' - someone offers you a treat but then expects you to pay for it. Hence a situation where each person paid for themselves came to be known as 'Going Dutch'.

User avatar
turnip
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:51 am UTC

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby turnip » Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:20 pm UTC

I live in Southern Ontario and have heard this a fair bit, but it is often used in poking fun at my Dutch-ness (or used by me to insist that I pay for my share when I don't want the other person paying for me). I've never met anyone who didn't know the meaning around here, but I would stick with "splitting the bill" to avoid any confusion since you haven't heard anyone else say it before.

Supergrunch
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:17 pm UTC
Location: Cambridge, UK
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby Supergrunch » Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:59 pm UTC

From a British perspective: I've never heard the phrase "going Dutch" before, and if it was used here I doubt many people would know what you were saying. "Splitting the bill" sounds fine, this way anyone will know what you mean. Incidentally, I don't think we really have a set phrase for it these days - "splitting the bill" has an American hint, and "sharing the bill" sounds a little antiquated.

User avatar
4=5
Posts: 2073
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:02 am UTC

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby 4=5 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:42 pm UTC

I've heard of the phrase but it's not very commen

User avatar
steewi
Posts: 873
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:38 am UTC
Location: Tropical Nowhere

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby steewi » Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:09 am UTC

I've heard it used here in Australia, but 'splitting the bill' is more common.

It's not a common concept in China.

zenten
Posts: 3799
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:42 am UTC
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby zenten » Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:34 am UTC

I'm from Toronto, and live in Ottawa. I've heard of the term before in the context of dates only, and I suspect most people in both places have as well, but it's not in common usage. It's also pretty clearly an ethnic slur. "Splitting the bill" is much better.

Waterhouse
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:37 pm UTC

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby Waterhouse » Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:43 pm UTC

I'll add one more voice to the din and say that I have certainly heard this and related terms and I would assume that people would understand me if I were to use them. I'm a native English speaker from Northeast United States.

Another variant:
"Dutch date" - A romantic outing where the man and lady split the cost.

This term carries connotations of either cheapness on the part of the man, or of being "liberated" on the part of the lady, or both.

Certainly my personal lack of umbrage at the term does nothing to alleviate the political-incorrectness of it, does it?

User avatar
steewi
Posts: 873
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:38 am UTC
Location: Tropical Nowhere

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby steewi » Tue Apr 08, 2008 5:42 am UTC

Going dutch doesn't have the connotation of cheapness, necessarily for me. It implies friendship rather than romantic intention. A group of friends goes dutch (note lower case - it feels more correct to me), but going dutch on a date would be weird.

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby 22/7 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:39 pm UTC

I've heard the term and it's not an uncommon one where I'm from (Indiana), but is usually assigned to dates (either very early in a relationship or for something like friends going to a prom as dates, etc.). I would agree with using "dutch" rather than "Dutch".
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

User avatar
Moo
Oh man! I'm going to be so rebellious! I'm gonna...
Posts: 6440
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:15 pm UTC
Location: Beyond the goblin city
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby Moo » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:49 pm UTC

As a South African I've heard it before, and am surprised that it's not commonly used. Most of our TV growing up, and thus a lot of our cultural references, are from both America and Britian so it's always hard to know from which one I would have heard it though :)
Proverbs 9:7-8 wrote:Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don't bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you.
Hawknc wrote:FFT: I didn't realise Proverbs 9:7-8 was the first recorded instance of "haters gonna hate"

User avatar
Arancaytar
Posts: 1642
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:54 am UTC
Location: 52.44°N, 13.55°E
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby Arancaytar » Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:12 pm UTC

The origin might simply be a stereotypical frugality that the English ascribed to the Dutch. Here on the other side of the channel, we say the same about the Scottish. (I'm not sure if the Dutch do, actually).
"You cannot dual-wield the sharks. One is enough." -Our DM.
Image

User avatar
AnonyMouse
Boobs, LOL!
Posts: 486
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:44 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby AnonyMouse » Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:08 pm UTC

I'm another one who has heard it, but only in the context of a date, with no negative connotations. It didn't seem any worse of a phrase than the completely benign 'splitting the bill'. it's not overly common, but it wouldn't cause anyone to need clarification I don't believe.
I'm from new england, by the way.
Image

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby 22/7 » Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:14 am UTC

AnonyMouse wrote:I'm another one who has heard it, but only in the context of a date, with no negative connotations. It didn't seem any worse of a phrase than the completely benign 'splitting the bill'. it's not overly common, but it wouldn't cause anyone to need clarification I don't believe.
I'm from new england, by the way.

Ahh, that's why. To be honest, I don't like New England much more than I like Old England. It was good of them to try, but, well, it just doesn't do it for me.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

User avatar
AnonyMouse
Boobs, LOL!
Posts: 486
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:44 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby AnonyMouse » Thu Apr 24, 2008 5:38 am UTC

well.... good. we don't like you either?
:?
Image

watchayakan
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:02 pm UTC

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby watchayakan » Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:57 am UTC

Alcas wrote:I have heard this -- I live in Minnesota -- but only in the context of two people going on a date. Even then, I've only really heard a few people use it. So it's definitely not widespread, and might be mis-connoted by anyone who does recognize it.

The same for me, as well, and I live in Saskatchewan. In the context I've heard it used, it means to split it down half-and-half, while the term "going Indian" (not sure if that refers to East or Native!) means to just pay for your own.

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby 22/7 » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:50 am UTC

AnonyMouse wrote:well.... good. we don't like you either?
:?

It's an old joke. I usually make it about New Mexico (not being much better than the old one, or much cleaner, or take your pick).
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

TCW
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:32 am UTC

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby TCW » Sat May 03, 2008 3:47 pm UTC

Pretty common 'round here. I think I picked it up reading Archie comics actually.

Cooley
Posts: 398
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:53 am UTC
Location: Hemet, California
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby Cooley » Sun May 04, 2008 2:27 am UTC

I wouldn't be embarrassed to not know this, or to find out I didn't. As it is, I originally thought that Dutch food just happened to be really, really, REALLY cheap. Then someone explained it to me.

skw
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 1:37 am UTC
Location: Near the Atlantic

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby skw » Mon May 05, 2008 1:57 am UTC

Going dutch is common in my area (S FL) as well. Split the bill, non romantic outings. Nothing to be embarassed about - just regional differences.

User avatar
Neris
Posts: 536
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:09 pm UTC
Location: LV
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby Neris » Mon May 05, 2008 4:49 am UTC

Going dutch is my favorite thing. I've been doing it for years and I'm pretty sure everyone in the SW knows what it means. I just don't like it when guys pay for everything, I can pay for my own dinner thank you!
"My God, man! Do they want tea?"
"No, I think they're after something more than that, sir. I don't know what it is, but they've brought a flag."

Cooley
Posts: 398
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:53 am UTC
Location: Hemet, California
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby Cooley » Tue May 06, 2008 12:49 am UTC

Some guys just want to do something nice. You should let them pay, and then pay for the next thing.

User avatar
SecondTalon
SexyTalon
Posts: 26528
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:59 pm UTC

Cooley wrote:Some guys just want to do something nice. You should let them pay, and then pay for the next thing.

Ooorrr.... discuss the situation beforehand and establish the boundaries of who pays for what and when ahead of time, like an adult.

Back on the subject, I've heard it used in western Kentucky, and my Louisville-native wife used it as well, so I can only assume it's common here too.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby 22/7 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:03 pm UTC

Damn, way to necro the hell out of a thread just to tell someone off.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

User avatar
seladore
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:17 pm UTC
Location: Tumbolia

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby seladore » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:53 pm UTC

AS far as I know, 'Dutch' in England seems to denote some kind of backwards-ness to the normal state of affairs.

I.e.

Dutch auction (the opposite of a normal auction)
Dutch courage (the opposite of normal courage)
Dutch oven (umm... don't know)

User avatar
hermaj
Posts: 6139
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:37 am UTC
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby hermaj » Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:23 am UTC

A Dutch oven is a type of iron pot that you use in the coals of a fire to slow cook something while you're camping. While that could be made to fit your theory of being backwards (in terms of technology), I'm pretty sure they're called Dutch ovens because they originated in the Netherlands.

Here, we generally refer to that as a camp oven anyway, because a Dutch oven in Australia is generally accepted to be when you fart in bed and then pull the blankets over your SO's head so she (it is usually the man that finds this all hilarious) can't escape the smell. Because we are not at all uncouth. :P

Robin S
Posts: 3579
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:02 pm UTC
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby Robin S » Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:07 am UTC

22/7 wrote:Damn, way to necro the hell out of a thread just to tell someone off.
To be fair, the original creator of this thread recently created a duplicate thread (presumably having forgotten about the original), so is clearly still interested in this issue.
This is a placeholder until I think of something more creative to put here.

User avatar
Moo
Oh man! I'm going to be so rebellious! I'm gonna...
Posts: 6440
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:15 pm UTC
Location: Beyond the goblin city
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby Moo » Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:35 am UTC

seladore wrote:AS far as I know, 'Dutch' in England seems to denote some kind of backwards-ness to the normal state of affairs.

I believe you are correct in that these terms originated from a historical period where the British looked down upon the Dutch. However in the modern vernacular there is no negative connotation anymore, it's more a way to describe certain phenomena.
Wikipedia wrote:Phrases using Dutch were created because the Netherlands used to be a rival to Britain (especially the Dutch East India Company), and generally these phrases containing "Dutch" are pejorative.[citation needed]
(see also here).
Dutch auction (the opposite of a normal auction) a method of selling in which the price is reduced until a buyer is found (not opposite or necessarily a bad thing)
Dutch courage (the opposite of normal courage) courage obtained from alcohol consumption (again, not quite the opposite of courage)
Dutch oven (umm... don't know)As hermaj pointed out, a fart-related prank probably so named because the prank involved "cooking" the prankee with a "lid on" just like food is using a Dutch Oven - I fail at describing the similarity very well but you see what I mean.
Proverbs 9:7-8 wrote:Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don't bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you.
Hawknc wrote:FFT: I didn't realise Proverbs 9:7-8 was the first recorded instance of "haters gonna hate"

User avatar
seladore
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:17 pm UTC
Location: Tumbolia

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby seladore » Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:15 am UTC

Well, it depends what you mean by opposite. I realise that they are not the literal opposite in every way, I was trying to point out that the descriptor 'dutch' implies some kind of contrary-ness. This doesn't mean that the terms are still pejorative in any way.

So with a normal auction, the price goes up. In a dutch auction, the price goes down.
With normal courage, you get strength from within yourself. With dutch courage, you rely on an external cause.

Dutch oven doesn't really fit this admittedly.

User avatar
Moo
Oh man! I'm going to be so rebellious! I'm gonna...
Posts: 6440
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:15 pm UTC
Location: Beyond the goblin city
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby Moo » Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:20 am UTC

I wasn't trying to contradict you, just illucidate your point.
Proverbs 9:7-8 wrote:Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don't bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you.
Hawknc wrote:FFT: I didn't realise Proverbs 9:7-8 was the first recorded instance of "haters gonna hate"

User avatar
jaap
Posts: 2094
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:06 am UTC
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby jaap » Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:02 am UTC

Moo wrote:I wasn't trying to contradict you, just illucidate your point.


ITYM "elucidate".
The word "illucidate", if it existed, would probably mean the opposite of "elucidate".

User avatar
Moo
Oh man! I'm going to be so rebellious! I'm gonna...
Posts: 6440
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:15 pm UTC
Location: Beyond the goblin city
Contact:

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby Moo » Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:31 am UTC

I really should get in the habit of running spell checks. Laziness for the embarrassment.
Proverbs 9:7-8 wrote:Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don't bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you.
Hawknc wrote:FFT: I didn't realise Proverbs 9:7-8 was the first recorded instance of "haters gonna hate"

Moobly
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:54 pm UTC
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: "Going Dutch"

Postby Moobly » Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:50 pm UTC

One of my mates back in the states was from Colorado and he always used it like this:

Him: "Wanna grab a bite?"
Me: (always the cheap-ass) "You buying?"
Him: "I'll dutch you"
Me: "Feck off then"

I'd never heard "going dutch" before, but I've a vague idea that he developed the phrase from that, somehow.


Return to “Language/Linguistics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests