The Dutch Oven

My son (5) just experienced his first ever ‘Dutch Oven’. He farted in bed so I threw the covers over his head and held them down. He laughed so hard that he began to hiccup. I then explained to him that this was called a Dutch oven. I smiled to myself as I thought about how ironic it was that I was explaining the concept of the Dutch oven to my child for the first time here in the Netherlands, surrounded by the Dutch. When he finally composed himself, he then asked me why it was called that. I had no idea, so I decided to do a little research. This got the ball rolling and I decided to find out how other sayings involving the Dutch came about..

The Dutch Oven

The “Dutch oven” is a fart chamber created by pulling a blanket over someone’s head and farting. It was given this name based on the cooking action of a traditional Dutch oven (cast iron cooking pot), where food is cooked and steamed inside a closed chamber. Makes sense haha!

Going Dutch

“Going Dutch” is a term that indicates that each person participating in a group activity pays for themselves. The action probably got its name as the Dutch were internationally known for being tight with their money. However, I find that the Dutch are extremely generous and will foot the entire bill if they initiated the dinner. It is becoming more the norm nowadays to split the bill between friends and family. Maybe this was always the case?

Dutch Auction

A Dutch auction is an auction in which the auctioneer starts the auction at a high price, then begins to offer the goods at gradually decreasing prices. The first bidder to accept becomes the purchaser; the reversed process of a normal auction. A much quicker auction than normal. It began when traders from the Ottoman Empire brought tulip bulbs to Holland. Their novelty made them an instant favorite, and the demand for the bulbs grew quickly. This drove the prices high, so the Dutch auction was invented to get traders in and out with what they wanted as quickly as possible and at a high price.

Double Dutch

“Double Dutch” actually has two meanings. It can be used when describing a hard to understand language or babbling – no further explanation needed here!!  It also means the jumping of two jump ropes rotating in opposite directions simultaneously. This game is very popular world wide, particularly in America where it may have originally been introduced by the first Dutch settlers.

Dutch Courage

“Dutch courage” is basically alcohol induced self-confidence. To have an alcoholic drink right before a task you are dreading. This term originates from a time when England was fighting a war alongside the Dutch. The English soldiers noticed that Dutch sailors took their alcohol allowance just before battle, whereas the English Royal Navy men drunk throughout the whole day.


So there you go. Interesting hey! The Dutch have been well known all around the world since the Dutch Golden Age (17th Century). They were seafarers and explorers, travelling the world and inspiring phrases such as these along the way.

There are many more sayings involving the Dutch. For instance, the “Dutch Rudder”…but umm..I will let you do your own research on that one 🙂




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