The word Dutch when used alone, has several possible meanings in the English language. Most, if not all, of these meanings are in reference to the European country the Netherlands, its people, or its culture.
The term Dutch, when used by itself can refer to:
- The Dutch language ('Nederlands' in the native tongue), spoken and official language in the Netherlands, Flanders (the Northern part of Belgium), Brussels (the capital of Belgium), La Flandre (the most northern part of the French region Nord-Pas-de-Calais), Sint Maarten, Curaçao, Bonaire, Aruba and Suriname.
- The inhabitants of the Netherlands
Dutch was also a nickname of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and the title of a controversial 1999 biography of Reagan by Edmund Morris, ISBN 0394555082.
Dutch is often confused with Deutsch, the German word for German. English Dutch, German Deutsch, and Dutch Dietsch are actually variations of the same word. In English, Dutch used to be a generic term to refer to Netherlanders and Germans alike. This is why the German immigrants to Pennsylvania are also called the Pennsylvania Dutch. The same problem happens with the Dutch words dietsch, Diets and Duits. Today, the English word only refers to the Netherlands. The label Dutch is found in a number of terms and expressions:
Several of these are derogatory terms which have traditionally been explained as resulting from the 17th-century Anglo-Dutch Wars, but are now understood to have originated earlier.
See also: List of common phrases based on stereotypes