national" (see Teutonic
), from PIE base *teuta- "people" (cf. O.Ir. tuoth "people," O.Lith. tauta "people," O.Prus. tauto "country," Oscan touto "community"). As a language name, first recorded as L. theodice, 786 C.E. in correspondence between Charlemagne's court and the Pope, in reference to a synodical conference in Mercia; thus it refers to Old English. First reference to the German language (as opposed to a Germanic one) is two years later. The sense was extended from the language to the people who spoke it (in Ger., Diutisklant, ancestor of Deutschland, was in use by 13c.). Sense narrowed to "of the Netherlands" in 17c., after they became a united, independent state and the focus of English attention and rivalry. In Holland, duitsch is used of the people of Germany. The M.E. sense survives in Pennsylvania Dutch, who immigrated from the Rhineland and Switzerland. Since 1608, Dutch (adj.) has been a "pejorative label pinned by English speakers on almost anything they regard as inferior, irregular, or contrary to 'normal' (i.e., their own) practice" [Rawson]. E.g. Dutch treat (1887), Dutch uncle (1838), etc. -- probably exceeded in such usage only by Indian
-- reflecting first British commercial and military rivalry and later heavy Ger. immigration to U.S.
The Dutch themselves spoke English well enough to understand the unsavory connotations of the label and in 1934 Dutch officials were ordered by their government to stop using the term Dutch. Instead, they were to rewrite their sentences so as to employ the official The Netherlands. [Rawson]
Dutch elm disease (1927) so called because it was first discovered in Holland (caused by fungus Ceratocystis ulmi).