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Going Dutch

50 euro bill

Just about everyone is familiar with the term “going Dutch”.  However, not many are knowledgeable as to how the term originated.  Of course they figure that since the word Dutch is involved it must have come from the Netherlands.  Strangely enough, there are a number of theories out there about exactly how “going Dutch” came about.  Regardless, it is a well-known and widely used term.

The most commonly held belief about how the phrase “going Dutch” began was as a slur or swipe at the Dutch by the English during the time when they were constantly feuding and even going to war.  Rumor has it that the English came up with it because the Dutch had a habit of always paying only for what they partook of individually.

Now, that said, there are various versions of going Dutch and a lot of it depends on the part of the world as well as the culture of those involved.  Several countries in Europe have parity when it comes to men’s and women’s wages.  In these places it is quite common to split a bill right down the middle.  Other variations of going Dutch in these countries involve one party paying the bill on one date and the other on the next.

Other parts of Europe have their own twists on going Dutch.  Now, for example, if you are anywhere in the Middle East, the concept of going Dutch is very much frowned upon and even viewed as somewhat of an insult.  Whoever is doing the hosting or inviting always does so with the intent of paying for all expenses.

Now when we get around to places like Iran, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, going Dutch is likewise viewed unfavorably.  Payment of bills pretty much goes as follows:  The elder of the group will handle it.  If it is a couple then the male is expected to pay for everything.  Those invited to a dinner or special occasion are not expected to pay for anything.

Lastly, in the areas of South and Latin America, going Dutch is pretty much commonplace.  The only difference being the term used to describe it.

So there you have it.  The likely origin of the term “going Dutch” and how it is viewed upon and done in various parts of the world.