Dutch Courage – Alcohol Education

Posted on July 24, 2011 | By TheEnabler | No Comments

A few days ago I was out playing golf, One Club Golf to be specific (for the complete rules of One Club Golf, read the following sentence – YOU GET ONE CLUB! FAQ’s – Is a putter a club? Answer: If I hit you in the head with it, am I clubbing you? In addition you get 1 mulligan per nine holes. Other golf rules within reason apply) – I mentioned having some “Dutch Courage” to get me ready for a tough shot. He had never heard the term. So, in the interest of alcohol education, we bring up the term – DUTCH COURAGE.

In a nutshell, Dutch Courage is that sort of false courage you get from alcohol. Kind of like when you were in high school and the girl that you were in “love” with was supposed to go to a dance with you but instead decided to go with the Football Team’s best linebacker at the last minute. At the dance you loaded up on “Dutch Courage” and approached aforementioned gent. Luckily, Dutch Courage also has an anesthetic quality in large enough quantities to you really did not feel the black eye until the next day. Dutch Courage might also kind of conflate with “Belgian Lack of Common Sense” which also is alcohol related.

Here we see a mention of it in the book “Sunday Afternoon” by E.F. Merriam, written in 1878.

“And as they walked up the gentle slope of the hill side I am quite sure said he that the bark of these people is worse than their bite. Indeed I am never afraid of people who threaten much you know the old proverb Really the only danger is in whisky These fellows get it sometimes I wish I knew where or how; and on some night when they have been drinking more than they ought some of them will be going home, bragging of their prowess, really not knowing what they are doing and your little establishment or my sentinel here might suffer. Now an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and I have observed that even Dutch courage does not break its head against stone walls. Do you know what Dutch courage is?” Yes Rachel did know what Dutch courage was. But the phrase is dying out for the slang of one generation is replaced by the slang of another and for young readers it may be said that “Dutch courage” is the courage of the man who has been drinking whisky or other liquor.

As noted in this book, 150 years past, they were worried about the slang dieing out and being replaced. So, since I think that this is a great phrase, I would encourage you to use the term in conversation whenever you can to keep it going. Mahalo.

Jamaican courage needs a match.

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