Dutch courage

Dutch courage

noun Sometimes Offensive.
courage inspired by drunkenness or drinking liquor.

Origin:
1805–15


Dutch courage is foolish courage or misplaced confidence. Because “Dutch” is used to imply that the courage is not genuine, the term is sometimes perceived as insulting to or by the Dutch. See also Dutch.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Dutch courage
 
n
1.  false courage gained from drinking alcohol
2.  alcoholic drink

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Slang Dictionary

Dutch courage definition


  1. n.
    liquor; false courage from drinking liquor. : A couple of shots of Dutch courage, and he was ready to face anything.
  2. n.
    drugs. : Max deals in Dutch courage, as he calls it.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

Dutch courage

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."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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