Going Dutch

From Academic Kids

Going Dutch is a slang term that means that each person eating at a restaurant or paying admission for entertainment pays for himself or herself, rather than one person paying for everyone. It is also called Dutch date or Dutch treat.

Etymology

The origin of the phrase "going Dutch" is unknown. Several phrases using Dutch that show Dutch people in a bad light, e.g. Dutch courage, Dutch uncle, Dutch wife, were created because the Netherlands used to be a great rival to England in the 17th century (especially the Dutch East India Company). It should be noted, however, that Dutch often refers to Germany rather than the Netherlands, e.g. Pennsylvania Dutch.

See also: Anglo-Dutch Wars, List of common phrases based on stereotypes

In Spain, "going Dutch" is attributed to Catalans, due to a stereotype that they are greedy. A stereotypical non-Catalan Spaniard would compete to invite the group. In the Netherlands, the expression "American-style party" is used instead.

Etiquette

There is a delicate etiquette surrounding going Dutch. It may be accepted in some situations, such as between non-intimate friends or less affluent people, but considered stingy in other circumstances, such as on a romantic date or at a business lunch.

The traditional way to handle a bill on a heterosexual date in the West has been that the man takes the bill and the woman may not even know the actual price of the meal. Some restaurants keep ladies' menus without prices.

Since the advent of feminism, it has become more common for women to pay their own way, or to pay for men's meals. Some women are offended if their male dining partner "grabs the cheque." Social custom also varies among same-sex couples.

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