Dutch-courage



noun, Sometimes Offensive.
1.
courage inspired by drunkenness or drinking liquor.
noun
1.
false courage gained from drinking alcohol
2.
alcoholic drink

noun phrase

False or fleeting bravery resulting from liquor: A man in liquor is full of Dutch courage

[1820s+; like many other pejorative uses of Dutch, this comes from the 17th century, when the English and the Hollanders were chronically at war. In some uses, though, Dutch means ”German” rather than ”Netherlandish,” and the cases are not easily sorted]
False courage acquired by drinking liquor, as in He had a quick drink to give him Dutch courage. This idiom alludes to the reputed heavy drinking of the Dutch, and was first referred to in Edmund Waller’s Instructions to a Painter (1665): “The Dutch their wine, and all their brandy lose, Disarm’d of that from which their courage grows.”

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