Dutch uncle

Dutch uncle

noun Sometimes Offensive.
a person who criticizes or reproves with unsparing severity and frankness.

Origin:
1820–30


Because Dutch is used here to describe someone manifesting the opposite of warm, affectionate, typically avuncular behavior, this term is sometimes perceived as insulting to or by the Dutch. See also Dutch.
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World English Dictionary
Dutch uncle
 
n
informal a person who criticizes or reproves frankly and severely

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

Dutch uncle

A stern, candid critic or adviser, as in When I got in trouble with the teacher again, the principal talked to me like a Dutch uncle. This expression, often put as talk to one like a Dutch uncle, presumably alludes to the sternness and sobriety attributed to the Dutch. [Early 1800s]

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