• The word 'dutch' to modify other nouns, (door, uncle, date, treat, oven): In the seventeenth century, the Dutch and British were enemies. Both wanted maritime superiority for economic reasons, especially control of the sea routes from the rich spice islands of the East Indies. The two countries fought three wars at sea between the years 1652 and 1674. At the lowest point of the struggle, in May 1667, the Dutch sailed up the Medway, sank a lot of ships, and blockaded the Thames. The Dutch were powerful, they were the enemy, they were the bad guys, and their name was taken in vain at every opportunity. The stereotype of the Dutchman among the English at this period was somebody stolid, miserly, and bad-tempered, and these associations, especially the stinginess, were linked to several phrases. Examples from the time of the Dutch wars include Dutch reckoning, a bill that is presented without any details, and which only gets bigger if you question it, and a Dutch widow, a prostitute. In the same spirit, but recorded later, are Dutch auction, one in which the prices go down instead of up; Dutch courage, temporary bravery induced by alcohol; Dutch metal, an alloy of copper and zinc used as a substitute for gold foil; Dutch comfort or Dutch consolation, in which somebody might say "thank God it is no worse!"; Dutch concert, in which each musician plays a different tune; Dutch uncle, someone who criticises or rebukes you with the frankness of a relative; and Dutch treat, one in which those invited pay for themselves. Meals were cooked in a big cast iron pot, the infamous "Dutch Oven" that always hung over the fire. Every day folks lit the fire and added more food to the pot. Because many were poor, they ate mostly vegetables and didn't get much meat. Folks would eat this vegetable stew for days, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight before starting up the fire for the next meal. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for days. Hence the rhyme: "peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old". For most people, meat was a luxury. Sometimes folks would get some pork, and they would feel really special. So when company came over, the generous host would bring out the bacon and hang it out to show it off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could "bring home the bacon". Thus, when company came, folks would cut off a little piece of pork to share with guests, and everyone would sit around and "chew the fat".
  • I don't know,... but I got my wife to dive under the covers, when I told her I was going to spit straight up in the air. You might ask her.

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