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WORDS AND THEIR STORIES(22) - DUTCH

时间:2006-03-09 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:sqp   字体: [ ]
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WORDS AND THEIR STORIES - DUTCH
By Warren Scheer

Broadcast: Sunday, September 26, 2004

Now the VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories.

Today, we tell about American expressions using the word "Dutch". Many of the "Dutch" expressions heard in American English were first used in England in the seventeenth century. That was a time of fierce neighbor competition between England and the Netherlands. At that time, the British used "Dutch" as a word for something bad, or false, or mistaken.

A Dutch agreement was one made between men who had drunk1 too much alcohol2. Dutch courage was the false courage produced by their facts of drinking alcohol. And Dutch leave was what a solider took when he left his base without permission.

Some of these old expressions are still used today with a little different meaning. Dutch treat is one example. Long ago, a Dutch treat was a dinner at which the invited guests were expected to pay for their own share of the food and drink. Now, Dutch treat means that when friends go out to have fun, each person pays his own share.

Another common expression heard a few years ago was "In Dutch". If someone said to you, you were in Dutch. They were telling you that you were in trouble. An important person, a parent or teacher perhaps, was angry with you.

Some of the Dutch expressions heard in American English have nothing to do with the Dutch people at all. In the seventeen hundreds, Germans who moved to the United States often were called Dutch. This happened because of mistakes in understanding and saying the word "Ditch3", the German word for German. Families of these German people still live in the eastern United States, many in the state of Pennsylvania. They are known as the Pennsylvania Dutch.

During the American Civil War, supporters of the northern side in the central state of Missouri were called Dutch, because many of them were German settlers. In California, during the Gold Rush, the term Dutch was used to describe Germans, Swedes, and Norwegians as well as people from the Netherlands.

President Theodore Roosevelt once noted4 that anything foreign and non-English was called Dutch. One expression still in use to talk to someone like a Dutch uncle did come from the Dutch. For Dutch were known from the firm way they raise their children. So if someone speaks to you like a Dutch uncle, he is speaking in a very severe way. And you should listen to him carefully.

You have been listening VOA Special English program -- Words and Their Stories. This is Warren Scheer.


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1 drunk LuozL6     
adj.醉酒的;(喻)陶醉的;n.酗酒者,醉汉
参考例句:
  • People who drives when they are drunk should be heavily penalised.醉酒驾车的人应受重罚。
  • She found him drunk when she came home at night.她晚上回家时,经常发现他醉醺醺的。
2 alcohol AxCzB     
n.酒精,乙醇;含酒精的饮料
参考例句:
  • The law forbids shops to sell alcohol to minors.法律禁止商店向未成年者出售含酒精的饮料。
  • The alcohol is industrial.这些酒精是供工业用的。
3 ditch GlXzY     
n.沟,沟渠,渠道
参考例句:
  • With the blind leading the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.如果瞎子替瞎子带路的话,那么两方肯定会掉到沟里。
  • The water in the ditch is not very clean.沟里的水不很清洁。
4 noted 5n4zXc     
adj.著名的,知名的
参考例句:
  • The local hotel is noted for its good table.当地的那家酒店以餐食精美而著称。
  • Jim is noted for arriving late for work.吉姆上班迟到出了名。
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TAG标签:   word  story  word  dutch
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