Dutch


Dutch
Dutch late 14c., used first of Germans generally, after c.1600 of Hollanders, from M.Du. duutsch, from O.H.G. duit-isc, corresponding to O.E. þeodisc "belonging to the people," used especially of the common language of Germanic people, from þeod "people, race, nation," from P.Gmc. *theudo "popular, national" (see TEUTONIC (Cf. Teutonic)), from PIE root *teuta- "people" (Cf. O.Ir. tuoth "people," O.Lith. tauta "people," O.Prus. tauto "country," Oscan touto "community").
As a language name, first recorded as L. theodice, 786 C.E. in correspondence between Charlemagne's court and the Pope, in reference to a synodical conference in Mercia; thus it refers to Old English. First reference to the German language (as opposed to a Germanic one) is two years later. The sense was extended from the language to the people who spoke it (in German, Diutisklant, ancestor of Deutschland, was in use by 13c.).
Sense narrowed to "of the Netherlands" in 17c., after they became a united, independent state and the focus of English attention and rivalry. In Holland, Duits (formerly duitsch) is used of the people of Germany. The M.E. sense survives in Pennsylvania Dutch, name of the people who immigrated from the Rhineland and Switzerland.
Since c.1600, Dutch (adj.) has been a "pejorative label pinned by English speakers on almost anything they regard as inferior, irregular, or contrary to 'normal' (i.e., their own) practice" [Rawson]. E.g. Dutch treat (1887), Dutch uncle (1838), etc. -- probably exceeded in such usage only by INDIAN (Cf. Indian) and IRISH (Cf. Irish) -- reflecting first British commercial and military rivalry and later heavy German immigration to U.S.
The Dutch themselves spoke English well enough to understand the unsavory connotations of the label and in 1934 Dutch officials were ordered by their government to stop using the term Dutch. Instead, they were to rewrite their sentences so as to employ the official The Netherlands. [Rawson]
Dutch oven is from 1769; OED lists it among the words describing things from Holland, but perhaps it is here used in the slighting sense. Dutch elm disease (1927) so called because it was first discovered in Holland (caused by fungus Ceratocystis ulmi).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Dutch — usually refers to: Something from or related to the Netherlands Dutch people, people from the Netherlands or their descendants Dutch language, spoken in the Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Maarten, and Sint… …   Wikipedia

  • Dutch — Dutch, a. [D. duitsch German; or G. deutsch, orig., popular, national, OD. dietsc, MHG. diutsch, tiutsch, OHG. diutisk, fr. diot, diota, a people, a nation; akin to AS. pe[ o]d, OS. thiod, thioda, Goth. piuda; cf. Lith. tauta land, OIr. tuath… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dutch — (engl., über ndd.: dütsch, hd.: deutsch) bezeichnet folgende Sprachen: Berbice Dutch Creole, ausgestorbene Kreolsprache Jersey Dutch, Sprache niederländischer Einwanderer in New Jersey Niederländische Sprache (engl.: dutch language),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dutch — [duch] adj. [ME Duch < MDu Duutsch, Dutch, German, akin to Ger Deutsch: see DEUTSCHLAND] 1. of the Netherlands or its people, language, or culture ☆ 2. of the Pennsylvania Dutch or their language or culture n. the West Germanic language spoken …   English World dictionary

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  • dutch — dutch; dutch·i·fy; dutch·ly; dutch·man; Dutch; …   English syllables

  • Dutch — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ relating to the Netherlands or its language. ► NOUN ▪ the Germanic language of the Netherlands. ● go Dutch Cf. ↑go Dutch ORIGIN Dutch dutsch Dutch, Netherlandish, German …   English terms dictionary

  • Dutch — Dutch, n. 1. pl. The people of Holland; Dutchmen. [1913 Webster] 2. The language spoken in Holland. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dutch — ► NOUN (usu. one s old dutch) Brit. informal ▪ (among cockneys) one s wife. ORIGIN abbreviation of DUCHESS(Cf. ↑duchess) …   English terms dictionary

  • Dutch|er — «DUHCH uhr», noun. 1. = Dutchman (def. 2). (Cf. ↑Dutchman) 2. one of the Pennsylvania Dutch …   Useful english dictionary


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