origin of ‘Dutch treat’ and ‘to go Dutch’

USA—‘to go Dutch’ (1907): to have every participant pay their own expenses, or share expenses equally—via ‘to go Dutch treat’ (1887), from ‘Dutch treat’ (1873): a meal, etc., at which each participant pays their share of the expenses—from a German practice

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a phrase based on prejudice: ‘Dutch courage’

UK, 1797—strength or confidence gained from drinking alcohol—alludes to the drinking habits ascribed to the Dutch—one of the phrases in which ‘Dutch’ is used derogatorily, largely because of the enmity between the English and the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries

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‘here’s looking at you’ (used as a toast in drinking)

USA, 1871—The phrase ‘here’s looking at you’ is used as a toast in drinking. It is now widely associated with the American film Casablanca (1942), in which Humphrey Bogart addresses Ingrid Bergman with the words “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

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the American-English phrase ‘hot under the collar’

Of American-English origin, the colloquial phrase ‘hot under (or ‘in’) the collar’ means ‘extremely exasperated or angry’. The earliest instance that I have found is from The Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) of 8th July 1869.

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the forgotten origin of ‘cock-a-hoop’

from the 16th-century phrase ‘to set cock a hoop’, ‘to set (the) cock on (the) hoop’, apparently meaning ‘to put the cock (= spigot) on a barrel hoop and let the liquor flow prior to a drinking bout’—‘cock’ later equated with the fowl and ‘hoop’ with French ‘huppe’ (tufted crest)

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origin of ‘pub crawl’: political propaganda

British English: a drinking tour of a number of pubs or bars—but first appeared in 1909 with specific reference to an organised form of propaganda consisting in sending a person from pub to pub in order to promote the Conservative cause

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‘six of one and half a dozen of the other’

denotes a situation in which the alternatives are considered equivalent—first recorded, as ‘six of the one and half a dozen of the other’, on 24th April 1790 in the journal of Ralph Clark, a British naval officer—synonym: ‘(as) broad as long’

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a U.S. political term of the 1920s: ‘backroom boys’

The phrase ‘boys in the backroom’, or ‘backroom boys’, appeared in the 1920s as a U.S. political term denoting persons exercising a surreptitious influence. The Oxford English Dictionary is therefore mistaken in saying that it originally denoted, in 1941, persons engaged in research.

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How ‘blue Monday’ came to denote a gloomy Monday.

A calque of German ‘blauer Montag’, ‘blue Monday’ originally denoted a Monday on which people chose not to work as a result of excessive indulgence over the course of the weekend. Under the influence of the adjective ‘blue’ in the sense ‘dismal’, it came to denote a Monday that is depressing or trying.

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original meaning of ‘to see the elephant’

U.S.—‘to see the elephant’: to see life, the world or the sights, as of a large city, to gain knowledge by experience. But in 1842, the original meaning of ‘to see the elephant’ was ‘to get sick and tired of something’.

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