NAUTICAL SAYINGS (DUTCH COURAGE)
Tuesday January 20th, 2009
IT WAS THE DRINK!
The phrase ‘Dutch courage’, which as we all know means alcohol induced bravery, was originally considered rather insulting. It came into use in the 17th Century during the Anglo-Dutch wars along with other similar phrases such as ‘go Dutch’, ‘Dutch uncle’ and ‘double Dutch’. Based on British propaganda circulated at the time it was claimed that Dutch sailors and troops were cowards and could only be coaxed into fighting through the administration of large amounts of schnapps. Of course history has shown that many famous battles have been fought and won by armies and navies fired up on strong liquor… quite a few of them by the British actually!